About Us

In a nutshell

We are an academy, and a founding member of the Lighthouse Learning Trust, offering over 30 full-time A Level and over 35 vocational courses for 16-19 year olds,  together with a wide and varied range of enrichment activities and career guidance opportunities.  Due to our unique size, we are able to offer our students a friendly, supportive and caring environment  where their individual needs are met on an academic and a pastoral level.  Our class sizes, 1:1 tutor sessions, Upgrade learning support, gifted and talented academies and progression measures, such as  regular teacher review meetings and working at grade reviews, mean that each student gets the individual support and encouragement that they need. We put equal importance on developing our students so that they become independent adults and take personal responsibility for their  own learning and progress.

The college also offers a number of part-time adult education courses and embraces and supports the local community of Southampton by opening its doors for evening and weekend lettings.

Based in Upper Shirley, in the heart of Southampton, our college is situated right next to Southampton Common and is accessible by a host of bus routes.  Classes take place in our beautiful historic building and in  our new purpose built blocks. We think of it as traditional but with a modern twist!

Our history

We have a rich history! In 1989 Hill College merged with the original Richard Taunton College, created in 1969, to become Taunton’s College, and then changed its name in 2012 to Richard Taunton Sixth Form College. Here’s a short history lesson…

Hill College:

  • From 1907 to 1967 Hill College was known as the Southampton Grammar School for Girls
  • In 1936 the Girls’ Grammar School moved to a new purpose built building on Hill Lane
  • In 1967 it became one of the country’s first sixth form colleges, called the Southampton College for Girls
  • In 1978 the college admitted boys and renamed itself Hill College to reflect the fact that ‘Hill Farm’ had once existed on the college’s site.

Taunton’s School

  • Taunton’s School was founded in 1760 by Richard Taunton, the former Mayor of Southampton
  • It changed its status over the years from trade school, to primary school and then to a grammar school
  • It started to admit girls in 1968.

Our student success stories

Some of our famous alumni include:

  • Theo Walcott and Gareth Bale, footballers
  • Chris Packham, naturalist and television presenter
  • Chris Tremlett, cricketer
  • Manisha Tank, World Report presenter
  • Joe Stilgoe, singer/songwriter
  • Emma Vardy, BBC political correspondent.

Facts and stats

  • Winner of UK Rock Challenge Open Final 2017
  • Recipient of the 2017 Ambassador for All Award
  • Winner of the Balletboyz 14 Day Challenge 2017
  • Only college in Hampshire to have a boxing gym.