A SCHOOL said it has seen a "surge in interest" in a variety of its revamped sixth form courses.

Harwich and Dovercourt Sixth Form, based at the school in Hall Lane, has added eight new courses for its next intake of teenagers later this year.

The sixth form now offers a range of qualifications, including A levels, BTEC National Diplomas and Cambridge National Diplomas, in both traditional academic subjects and more modern vocational courses.

It comes following a drop in the number of students choosing to stay at the school past the age of 16 in recent years.

Following the revamp, the school has revealed applications have risen for several A level subjects.

Martin Higgon, deputy headteacher, said: "We have seen a surge in interest in revamped A level courses in subjects like psychology, sociology and history as well as in subjects we are currently offering such as health and social care, English and sport."

He revealed there have been 16 applications for A level psychology, 14 applications for A level history, 12 applications for A level sociology and seven for A level Geography.

Where as last year there were zero applications for all four subjects - and zero the previous year too.

By Monday, January 21 the school received a total of 54 applications for sixth form courses.

This time last year the school had no applications so it reopened the application process in the summer where a total of 65 applications were received by July 2018.

Mr Higgon said: "Our new construction course has received a lot of interest and we anticipate this will increase even further once students are able to see the new facilities we will be investing in for September, designed to offer a parallel route to our existing highly successful course in hairdressing, located in our on site salon."

The idea behind the revamp is for students to be able to find suitable courses at Harwich to help them to find employment and training locally from the age of 18 or a place at a Russell Group university.

Mr Higgon said the school is using the students' choices to structure the curriculum so it meets their needs and interests.

He said: "As a small sixth form we are able to tailor our offer to the interests of local students.

"We will be meeting with our applicants over the next few weeks to ensure that our offer is the right one for them and expect to continue recruiting students right up until GCSE results day in the summer term."