The final beam of Waldegrave School’s new building has gone in.

Sixth form students will arrive in September and on Friday, February 14, hosted a special “topping out” ceremony to celebrate the milestone.

The installation of the last beam concludes the major structural work on the building, which will also provide a new sports hall and dining room.

Lord True, leader of Richmond Council, said he was “thrilled” at how the sixth form building was looking ahead of this autumn's first intake of pupils.

He said: “The introduction of sixth form choice is a big priority for this council.

“It has always been our ambition that school sixth forms be established within the borough to attract the very best teachers, sustain high standards and increase choice and diversity for all our young people.

“They also need to have adequate buildings.

“Already we can see that young people are applying for these sixth form places in their droves and I am thrilled that these building works are going well.”

The sixth form building will include seminar rooms, specialist science labs, classrooms and learning spaces.

It has been designed with modern IT facilities, wi-fi, digital learning resources, a library and a cafe.

Philippa Nunn, headteacher, said: “We are thrilled with the progress of our new sixth form buildings which will also impact upon the students in the main school who will be provided with a new sports hall and dining room.

“Staff have been working extremely hard with colleagues across the borough to prepare for this very exciting curriculum development, we look forward to welcoming our first year 12 students in September.”

Among those at Friday’s topping out ceremony were Lord True and mayor of Richmond Councillor Meena Bond.

Demand for sixth form places in the borough outstrip supply by two to one, figures showed last week.

As well as Waldegrave, the council has invested millions into developing sixth form buildings at Christ’s, Grey Court, Orleans Park and Teddington Academy.

Councillor Paul Hodgins, cabinet member for schools, said: “Now our talented young people who live in the borough have the opportunity to pursue further education within their own schools.”