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Sixth Form

The Sixth Form is an important time for academic study, often as a preparation for and requirement of university entrance. Many boys and girls will have been at Read for some time prior to entering the Sixth Form. It is important that the Sixth Form is able to provide a different and altogether more adult experience, not just an extension of school.

Pupils display high levels of self-confidence, self-understanding and maturity for their age and make an outstanding contribution to the school and the wider community.

Read School ISI Inspection 2018

The York Sixth Form Centre is an airy, modern and open area for working and leisure during non-teaching time. Computer workstations, large worktables, access to careers and university information and a small area for relaxing and socialising are all included here, giving our most senior students the facilities they need and deserve.   A small kitchen provides the facility to make hot drinks and prepare snacks.  Quiet independent study is encouraged in the Memorial library to which Sixth Formers have access throughout the day. 

Sixth Formers wear smart business clothes (rather than school uniform), and relationships with teachers are inevitably less formal. Teaching groups are very small and the standard of teaching support high. Sixth Form studies at Read are centred on A-levels and BTEC qualifications. These qualifications are well-known and widely accepted by universities and employers. Teachers are always ready to assist and advise students on the choice of subjects. The time-table is constructed to meet students’ wishes as much as is possible each year.

University and careers guidance is provided in house by the Head of Sixth Form and other experienced members of staff. Students have the opportunity to attend open days and fairs at universities and a number of subject visits may be made to universities in the North for support seminars and revision days.

Additionally, being a senior student at Read brings its responsibilities and challenges. The involvement of Sixth Formers in the school does much to lead and to determine the atmosphere, and the example set by Sixth Formers has an important influence on those younger than themselves. We encourage Sixth Formers to be involved in the school, as captains of sports, providing assistance to staff and younger pupils in the Junior School and in subject areas in the Senior School, as officers in the CCF and as senior prefects.

Whilst we are keen to encourage our Year 11 pupils to continue their Sixth Form studies at Read, we welcome equally applications from local day students and boarding students from the UK and overseas. Some scholarships may be available to assist with Sixth Form studies.

These are years of significant maturity of personality as well as development of ability. Studies should be enjoyable, rigorous and disciplined. The Read Sixth Form is a good place to spend these years.


The majority of Read School Sixth Formers go onto take up university place with nearly all achieving their first choice destination although the option of degree apprenticeships is becoming increasingly popular.

I've been throwing myself into my new life as n Oxford student - although I definitely haven't been spending as much time in the library as my tutors would like!

Jasmine Wells-Dean (2014-2016)

The Sixth Form tutor team aims to provide tutorial support, but also to assist in maximising the potential for that all-important university application, with a great deal of time spent on developing personal statements (Upper Sixth students); the resumé of achievements and input into society thus far. It is in this part of the university application or CV that celebrates all of the achievements and responsibilities gained from enrichment.  In addition to monitoring the work and progress of individual students, tutors will also discuss with students their career and university plans and help them to find the appropriate information at the right time.

Many new Sixth Formers have little idea of what they would like to do in their career, or what they might study at university. Therefore, investigating possibilities as soon as possible is the best way to ensure the right choice is made.  Recent Lower Sixth Formers have completed the Progression Module in partnership with Leeds Beckett University.  This has given added structure to individual research into appropriate careers, courses and universities.  Completing the Progression Module has enabled many pupils to make more efficient applications in the future.

Visits to open days at local universities are also encouraged and documented, so that students quickly get a feel for what kind of university they want to study at: campus or city centre based. These tend to happen during the summer term of the Lower Sixth and the autumn term of the Upper.  It is also a good idea to take a little time to visit likely universities during the Easter holidays during the Lower Sixth year.   Here at Read, we aim to have most UCAS forms completed before Christmas, prior to the January deadline.  Many degree subjects do not lead directly into a career; medicine, engineering and law (though not always) are exceptions.  Most degrees are simply a starting point for careers for ‘graduates in any discipline’: i.e. non-vocational. With a degree qualification, many more career opportunities are available.  It is, therefore, important to choose a subject that particularly interests you and that you enjoy.

Former Read School Sixth Form students have gone on to study at Oxford and Cambridge and we offer a programme of support with prospective applications, including regular talks with university representatives and visits to individual colleges and faculties.

Applications have to be received by 15 October of the Upper Sixth year, and should have been well researched beforehand.  Applicants should have a GCSE profile with a considerable number of A*/A grades in it and have the potential to achieve three A grades or better at A Level.  Any student interested should discuss this with tutors or with the Head of Sixth Form early in the Lower Sixth year.  Visits to the universities and the individual colleges are recommended.


Sixth Formers at Read are able to participate in a wide variety of events and experiences aimed at providing an enrichment to life as a student. Being a Sixth Former at Read is about so much more than study and offers opportunities not always available in other Sixth Form colleges and schools.

Opportunities on offer to our students include:

  • Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme – with the opportunity to achieve success at all levels; bronze, silver and gold.  The Award shows no sign of losing its place in the minds of employers and universities as one of the most sought after qualifications in any prospective student or employee

  • CSA (Classroom Support Assistant) programme. This is a system of allowing Sixth Formers into the classroom for a subject they are proficient in to assist the learning of younger pupils, often allowing them to work alongside a team of teachers and teaching assistants

  • Students are encouraged to be part of one of the first team squads and to participate in sport at a competitive level.   The first teams and their members are setting the standards and providing the role models for aspiring sports stars lower down the school.  Sport in the Sixth Form is also about passing on skills to the younger pupils of the school and those with an aptitude for sport are encouraged to be Assistant Coaches with the junior teams

  • Evening Lectures – in addition to the examination subjects offered, there are a number of evening lectures and social events scheduled over the year. These Wider Knowledge and Skills Evenings are designed to promote a greater awareness of the world at large. A diverse range of topics is covered, the ethos being that they should be useful and fun! They take place in various venues around the school and utilise expertise from speakers both external and internal to engage the students. Topics from the last two years have included:

  • How to succeed as a prefect
  • In-house “Cook Off” competitions
  • Crime Investigations –Forensic Science for the 21st Century
  • Their finances at University
  • Drugs and Alcohol – their effect on the body
  • Making an Oxbridge application
  • Blood and organ donation

Building on skills learnt, the school has offered Sixth Formers (and Year 11 pupils) the opportunity to participate in expeditions overseas.  Since 2007, we have had expeditions to Malawi, Thailand and Laos and Morocco. A further trip to the Indian Himalayas took place in the summer of 2013 and another is planned to Ecuador in the summer of 2021.  These trips are perfect for Sixth Form students who want to experience first-hand a completely different culture, akin to the type of activity that many students would get involved in as a Gap Year, prior to going to university.

Our Sixth Formers also involve themselves in school life:  as officers in the CCF (Combined Cadet Force); taking part in musical performances or drama productions; being senior prefects; important guides to visitors to the school on Open Days and at other public events.


Sixth Form Handbooks