Welcome to our website. We're all immensely proud of our sixth form college and the education, in its widest sense, that we offer our students. We're the only Sixth Form College in Cumbria and welcome students from a wide area in the southwest of our county to a pleasant site on the outskirts of Barrow, near Furness Abbey. We are specialists in the education of sixth form students and the ethos of our college reflects that. We understand very well the journey you are embarking on from school to university or employment and will help you to make that transition. We hope you find the information you are looking for here, if not please contact us! We hope to welcome you as a student and, in due course, celebrate your success as you progress from Sixth Form College to university or into employment.
Welcome to Barrow-in-Furness Sixth Form College
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Congratulations to the following students who have recently graduated from Heriot Watt University:
Congratulations to the following students on their graduation:
If you are still wondering what to do this year or need advice on the courses that you could do then call into the College on Wednesday between 5 and 7pm to speak to our staff, we still have some places available and it's not too late to start at B6FC.
Voyage to the Centre of the Earth
Five intrepid adventurers led by the fearless Geographer Malcom Halsey set out from college early one Sunday morning to voyage to the centre of the earth. Well not quite, but we were going down into Gaping Gill, a 365 foot drop into the Yorkshire countryside above Ingleborough. First let me paint a picture of our party. First, Malcom, our leader, one of the UK's leading pot holers, was resplendent in an all in one body suit, giving him the appearance of a balding Teletubbie, an image reinforced by his wife Jeanette, also dressed in a dayglo orange fleece body suit. Barrow 6th Form's own Wendy Fitton from learning support was full of her own brand of laid back enthusiasm for the venture, and the 6th Form staff's newest addition the effervescent Emily Richards provided a youthful contingent. Then there was I your humble narrator, Chris Barnes always looking to broaden my horizons with new experiences.
We set off from the 6th Form at 8am, making our way in convoy up the A590, Malcom's hair (singular) blowing in the wind of his open top sports car. After leaving Cumbria and entering the wilds of Yorkshire we parked up in Clapham, changed into appropriate attire and begun the assent. It was two glorious miles of unspoilt walking through the dales above Ingleborough. We passed through a gorge which where we 'forced' Malcom to give us lecture on the geological history of the area. The more athletic of our party then forged ahead at pace, whilst the less able, namely Emily and myself, dawdled behind, negotiating cows in a field with some trepidation. Then as we came over the ridge toward Gaping Gill, groups of tents revealed themselves, populated by most bearded cavers, reminiscent of a scene from Tolkien.
The contraption in which we would be lowered the 365 feet looked like a modern day ducking stool, operated by powered winches and cable. I watched, a little disconcerted, as a child of no more than eight sat in the chair; the plank beneath his feet the slid away; a lever pulled and he dropped out of sight in a second. No steady descent here! I watched as each of my comrades suffered the same fate. I stepped forward like some wayward ship mate forced to walk the plank. On the outside I gave off an air of calm control, as though this was just one more massive drop into a dark hole on a piece of wire I had done that day!
The plank was pulled and I dropped. The rocks were inches from my knees, and I was gazing face on at dark green ferns and moss protruding from every crevice of the jagged rock face. Then it happened. The cave opened up and I was suspended in the midst of what can only be described as a cathedral. Waterfalls came into the vast cavern from several directions. The water catching in lights strategically places by those bearded cavers above to maximise the awesome quality of this space for appreciative amateurs like myself. As I descended I uttered little 'wows' to myself, feeling like a child entering his first sweet shop.
Once on the floor of the cavern my fellow cave rats and I shared a wondrous gaze at our surroundings. Malcom gave us a quick talk on the operation of our helmet lights and he led us into a cave off the main hall. I walked nearly upright through tubular cave, formed by water erosion giving me the sense of being on the inside of an empty water pipe. We then took an offshoot and went down on our knees, crawling over rough rock and damp clay. This process of stooped walking followed by knee, and sometimes even belly crawls, was the way we travelled between places with descriptive names like Sand cavern, Stream Passage and Mud Pot.
On the surface it is hard to describe the pleasure of crawling through confined rocky, muddy spaces. However the pleasure is that of entering a world that is alien to our everyday experience, and yet is right there beneath our feet. Around each corner, of which there are many, is always a new sight: stalactites, stalagmites, cavern, crevices and rock formations, all operating on geological timescale that makes you feel something like the short lived flea on the back of an elephant. Something primal stirs within the soul when you are so far away from the constructs of modern life. Down here it is just you and the planet, and your mates.
A couple of hours later we emerged back up through the ground and into the light and the rolling majesty of green spaciousness.
It is only when something is taken away that you truly appreciate its significance. I jumped up in the air, just because I could.
The caving trip began when we set off towards Ingleton where we received our headlamps and wrestled with our boiler suits in the middle of the road.