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How is Sixth Form Different

Academic Independence

Life in the Sixth Form is busy, with the added independence and freedom befitting individuals on the cusp of adulthood. Helped by committed teachers, Sixth Formers are encouraged to make the transition from ‘dependent’ to ‘independent’ learners.

Pupils will find that work in the Sixth Form will be very different in character from that further down the School. They will be studying a smaller range of subjects – subjects of their choice – in which powers of analysis and conceptual thinking will be central. To meet this new challenge successfully they will need to adopt new approaches.

Most importantly, pupils will be working on their own much more. About a quarter of their timetable and all private study time will be theirs to organise. Time management and clear planning are critical to make best use of this time. Their subject teachers in the Lower Sixth will expect them to spend a minimum of 5-6 hours per week, per subject, in private study. Equally important is the need for pupils to explore subjects on their own, to read widely, to attend related societies, to visit museums, theatres and libraries, and attend lectures, in Cambridge and elsewhere.



Sixth Formers take on greater responsibility, both in their own House and in the School, working alongside teachers and fellow pupils to ensure the smooth running of the school day. Staff regard you with genuine respect, treating you with trust and offering you responsibility, leading to a relaxed staff/pupil rapport.

Sixth Formers have a flexible dress code. This means a smart suit for both boys and girls, and girls may choose to wear trousers rather than a skirt if they wish. They are not restricted by school uniform.

The Leys is an excellent springboard for sampling the independence of future university life – under their Tutors’ watchful eye, Sixth Formers manage their own study and timetable, as well as living in what is in essence a collegiate atmosphere with faculties and Houses evenly distributed.



The Sixth Form at The Leys balances study and fun, with freedom to pursue your interests and develop friendships and independence, while living in a secure campus environment.

Pupils select from a wide choice of activities and clubs, with the option to pursue Sport, Drama and Music to an elite level. The popular Sixth Form Club offers a relaxing sanctuary from school life, while trips and outings provide variety off campus. There is a programme of lectures, visits and workshops for Sixth Formers which runs through the year. The Russell Group and The Headmaster’s Society are opportunities for discussion and debate.

Being situated in the heart of Cambridge offers diversity too. Attending lectures at the University or spending down-time punting, shopping or visiting museums and cinemas are a welcome part of a stimulating Sixth Form life.

The key to successful Sixth Form study is that pupils should be willing to take the academic initiative.

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Subject Choices

Most pupils choose three A level subjects, with all external exams taken at the end of the Upper Sixth.

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Further Education

All Sixth Formers meet regularly with their Tutor, who for the two years in the Sixth Form, is responsible for advising, monitoring progress and helping pupils to make full use of School resources.

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There is no doubt that a place at Oxford or Cambridge is very highly prized.

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