The Sixth Form is the most challenging and rewarding period for students at Woldingham. It’s a time of transformation from pupil to scholar.
We provide a unique and inspiring Sixth Form experience in a warm and thriving community where students are known and nurtured, given opportunities to grow and be challenged to be the best. Students are supported and given the tools to succeed, not just in public examinations, but in their personal and professional life after school. In the Sixth Form students learn how to learn, to be independent and be curious – in safe and supported environment where Woldingham’s beautiful surroundings and fantastic facilities are most appreciated.
Achieving good A Level grades is important because it opens doors to universities, careers and other options in the future. As in the rest of the school, Woldingham Sixth Form is not a hot house, but we do have high expectations for all our students. Our dedicated and enthusiastic teachers provide the academic rigour and stretch to bring out the best in every student.
The wellbeing of each student is at the forefront of everything we do. The pastoral support for both day and boarders is exemplary. Both the dedicated Sixth Form team, and wider teaching and support team, get to know each Sixth Form student very well. This means we can provide tailored support, care and attention as students transition into adults and succeed academically.
Sixth Form students at Woldingham have a very wide choice of A Levels including a range of new subjects not available at GCSE including economics, politics and media studies. We are one of the few Sixth Forms locally offering history of art at A Level.
Current subject choices are:
Most students study three A Levels and an EPQ (Extended Project Qualification).
While academic study is central, we never lose sight of the importance of having fun and developing a broad range of life skills through sport, clubs and societies, and our THRIVE programme. We want students to leave Woldingham with the skills and resilience to flourish.
Students in the Sixth Form have greater freedom – and responsibilities – than younger girls. They are role models to others in the school. Many students take on leadership roles in the school, including Head Girl and House Captains. Sixth Form students have a uniform code but with more flexibility than lower in the school.
We want students to be as busy outside of the classroom as they are inside the classroom. Our aim is to encourage - and delight in - genuine intellectual curiosity. Alongside supporting students to stretch themselves academically, we encourage them to pursue the exciting array of opportunities for enrichment and discovery available. This could be by undertaking an EPQ, participating in the Thinking Big Lecture series, Café Scientifique, entering competitions or attending one of the many academic clubs and societies, such as STEM Society and REthink. Students are encouraged to go further geographically too! The peace and quiet of Woldingham make it an ideal place for study but in the Sixth Form students are preparing for life after school. Taking advantage of London on the doorstep, there is a plethora of opportunities to pursue academic and cultural enrichment, by attending university lectures, going to the theatre and visiting world-class museums and exhibitions.
Being a student at Woldingham is a privilege. Woldingham students learn and grow in a safe and supported environment in a beautiful location with excellent facilities. It’s something we wish for all young people around the world.
One of our core values is commitment to community. Students throughout the school, and particularly Sixth Form students, are expected to have an awareness of – and empathy for – the needs of others, especially those less fortunate than themselves, whether that be within the school, locally, or in the global community.
In the Sixth Form, students are involved in community volunteering at local schools and nursing homes and in raising money for charities. As ‘Big Sisters’ they mentor younger students both academically and on the sports pitches.
Alongside having the opportunity to become a Ribbon (School Prefect), there are wide ranging opportunities for students to take on meaningful leadership roles and make a difference. In our experience it’s often the students who take the initiative, coming forward with creative ideas to make our community a better place.
Learning at Woldingham is embraced in the widest sense. As well as developing skills, the importance of having fun and letting off steam during a challenging two years is crucial to ensuring a healthy work-life balance and keeping well.
In a world where employers are increasingly frustrated by the lack of young people’s ‘work-ready skills’, we support students to develop these skills and characteristics such as adaptability, resilience, communication skills, teamwork, negotiation and advocacy.
Our wide range of exciting events and programmes ensures our girls leave with the skills to succeed in every aspect of their life - such as public speaking and being entrepreneurial.
All students are expected to take advantage of the opportunities available for all girls throughout the school from archery to Zumba, and through theatre productions, music and sport.
In addition, Sixth Form students can rise to the challenge of the Gold Duke of Edinburgh Award, take culinary skills to new heights through the Pru Leith cookery course, or learn the art of stage combat – there really is something for everyone.
Boarding becomes more popular as girls go through the school and it is particularly common for girls in the Sixth Form to board.
Boarding allows students to focus on their academic, sport and other activities in a safe and supportive environment and is a good transition to life at university.
The Sixth Form has two dedicated purpose-built Houses with study bedrooms – Berwick for Lower Sixth and Shanley for Upper Sixth
At the weekends, Sixth Form boarders have a wide range of activities to choose from. Recent trips included indoor skiing in Hemel Hempstead, Borough Market in London as well as visits to the Natural History and Science Museums in Kensington and Winter Wonderland in Hyde Park.
Boarders in the Sixth Form have more freedom than younger girls. They can visit local towns on their own and some take driving lessons.
Both day and boarding Sixth Formers have two wellness rooms and a popular coffee bar in Main House.
The Sixth Form Futures programme plays a key role in students’ lives as they transition from Woldingham life at university, work or training. We focus on ensuring students leave with the skills essential to succeed in today’s world.
To prepare students for the workplace, we have discussion events, such as our Women and the Workplace breakfast, as well as a range of career sector-specific events. We offer structured business partnerships and workplace visits, and opportunities to take part in external programmes. These include Classroom to Boardroom, organised in partnership with Entrepreneurs in Action, where students are set a real-world business challenge faced by a high-profile organisation.
We host a range of activities to develop students’ essential employability skills. We host networking breakfasts, speed-networking careers fairs and public-speaking workshops to enhance networking and communication skills. We run workshops in CV writing and creating LinkedIn profiles. Students can hone their presentation skills as part of the Thinking Big lecture series.
Every summer we run a Higher Education Conference for the Lower Sixth. The conference features a range of internal and external speakers covering applications to UK and overseas universities, alternative pathways including higher and degree apprenticeships, transition to university life including academic life, well-being and student finance. We also host a Higher Education Evening with panelists from a range of UK universities as well as visits to university taster days, and university and apprenticeship fairs.
Each student has access to unlimited individual support from the Higher Education team to help her explore her interests, select appropriate courses, and prepare her applications. The Higher Education team includes specialists in applications to medicine, dentistry and veterinary science, Oxbridge, art and drama schools and US and overseas universities.
Most students leave Woldingham to take university places at prestigious institutions in the UK and overseas. Around 75% leave for courses at Oxbridge or Russell Group universities. In the past five years we have had 26 Oxbridge offers. In recent years some of the most popular UK universities have included Bristol, Durham, Edinburgh, Exeter, Manchester and UCL. Woldingham girls have also taken up places at a range of universities overseas including Princeton, NYU and Cornell in the USA.
We work with every student to ensure she has considered and explored all possibilities to find the best option for the route she wishes to follow, including vocational courses and higher or degree apprenticeships.
Students secure places on a very wide range of courses, with a spread across science, arts and humanities, social science and business-related courses, reflecting their diverse achievements and interests and the broad education on offer.
For further details of our recent student destinations, look at the 2019 destinations booklet*.
Woldingham students achieve excellent GCSE and A Level results every year. In 2019 nearly half of all A Level grades were at A*-A, with one in five at A* and a quarter of pupils achieving straight A*-A grades. At GSCE 45% of grades were at 9-8 and more than half the year group achieved seven or more 9-7 grades.