Sixth Form Life

Our unquestionable purpose in setting out Sixth Form life is to engender a culture that is rigorously academic. But alongside the academic strand of the Sixth Form, we have also fostered a climate of high-level social activity and a commitment to high culture.

We know that, by the time students come to interviews with employers and universities, there is an expectation on them of what are frequently (if somewhat pejoratively) called ‘soft-skills’: emotional intelligence, interpersonal confidence, humour, a wide cultural basis, a capacity to delegate, to lead and to communicate. These skills are only ever developed in context and we have a number of vehicles to ensure that students are exposed to many of these.

There are designated societies and extra-curricular clubs for Sixth Form students: debating, sport, music, art. In addition to this, students also take part in whole school activities, giving leadership to a rich programme of cultural experiences. A school musical, choral events, orchestral concerts, an annual Shakespeare performance, house sport competitions, literary groups, book clubs, film societies all litter the working week. We want our students not only to be engaged with their studies but to make a wider contribution to the school that open doors to a variety of experiences.

In addition, weekly assemblies, led by a member of the school’s Leadership Team, address cultural and spiritual teams and stimulate reflection. There are trips to the theatre, to concerts and to exhibitions across London. We enjoy a close relationship with our alumni, including those in illustrious careers, who visit regularly and generously bestow their guidance on the next generation of young adults. We host speakers of enormous stature. Recently, Janet Baker, Claude Litner, Simon Russell Beale have all spoken with students about their experience of successful working lives and their schooling. Such experiences are different from YouTube videos – they are about an encounter, a physical presence, and an opportunity for students to exhibit that blend of humility and confidence, deference and assertiveness that builds appropriate warmth.

As part of our adult environment – and to mirror professional working life – students follow a dress code: suits (with jacket and trousers/skirts matching in pattern, material and colour), collared shirts, business shoes and ties for gentlemen. Formality is key – in spoken register, in sartorial decision-making and in written work.