Why Sixth Form?

Gateways offers at least the same number of A Level subjects as any other local independent school and we will usually run a subject even if only a few pupils choose it - now that's a bespoke education! With small classes, there is simply no better preparation for the small group tutorial work expected at University than getting two years experience of it before you go!



Academic learning in the Sixth Form at Gateways is supported by a structured enrichment programme. An individual’s wider experience and development is given careful consideration by universities and prospective employers and our programme will enable students to demonstrate a number of skills beyond the classroom.

Community Outreach

A compulsory part of Sixth Form life is to commit to volunteering for charities and projects in the wider community. The school community votes for an annual charity to support and students organise fundraising activities throughout the year to benefit these. Our current charity is Plastic Oceans.

EPQ (Extended Project Qualification)

The EPQ is a qualification that prepares students for tertiary level education and is highly regarded by university admissions officers. It offers students a free project choice so they can explore in depth an aspect of a subject they are studying or a topic in which they have a personal interest.

The students then produce a 5,000 word project or may produce an artefact. Preparation for the writing project includes visits to university libraries and sessions on how to undertake individual research.

Certificate of Spoken English for Higher Education

This is a highly regarded qualification designed by the English Speaking Board for Sixth Form Students. It is valuable both for those going onto Higher Education and for those who will be entering the work place. Evaluation focuses on the ability to marshal thoughts, present them cogently and clearly, and argue persuasively from a basis of intelligent and perceptive listening.

External Speakers

Throughout Sixth Form we arrange for external speakers to present on a variety of topics and areas of interest.

Developing Leadership Skills

Students develop their leadership qualities in many ways throughout their time in Sixth Form. Initially, in Lower Sixth they are instructed by the Prefect body how to present themselves as role models and undertake a variety of duties at break and lunchtimes. In Lower Sixth, they lead the House, organising music, sporting, drama, charity and general whole school events, often with minimal staff input. At the end of their first year in Sixth Form, pupils are invited to apply for one of our prefect roles covering a wide area such as sports, arts, community outreach and whole school liaison.

Preparation for University & Careers

At the start of Lower Sixth, students are provided with guidance through the university application process. Mock interviews are arranged with a variety of professionals to help students prepare. Personal and academic tutors offer support to students on completing their personal statement and university application form.

Throughout the Sixth Form there is a carefully constructed and comprehensive careers programme involving internal and external careers advisors, careers fairs and a series of group and individual interviews.

For more information on University and Careers preparation at Gateways Sixth Form please click here. 

Stella Programme

The Stella Programme at Gateways is specifically designed to develop further the potential of able and talented pupils. The programme is implemented and progressed throughout the school and was set up to ensure that those pupils who are academically able are developed to their full potential.

Duke of Edinburgh Gold Award Programme

Gateways is a licensed Duke of Edinburgh Award Centre. Sixth Form students are encouraged to plan and undertake an expedition with the support and training of qualified experts. There is the opportunity to test inner strength through a supervised trek in untamed countryside in order to attain a Duke of Edinburgh Gold Award, which is presented at St James’ Palace.

A Day in the life of ...

Ellie in Sixth Form


My first lesson today is biology. We are currently preparing for our core practical. I have to design my own methods and research the area, plan my results table and prepare a risk assessment and equipment list.


After biology I have a free period. Today I am catching up on homework in the library. There is also a computer room which is only for sixth formers.


At break time I head to the sixth form cellars to chill out with my friends. The cellars are a private area for sixth formers. We have lockers, TVs and a kitchen so that we can make tea and coffee.


After break I have psychology. It's always an intense and fast paced lesson but very productive! Psychology is difficult but Mrs Hayward makes it fun. She creates games to help us learn complicated concepts. It is interesting how what we learn can be applied to our everyday behaviours!


After lunch I have Counterpoint choir practice. Counterpoint is a focused choir group and you have to be a dedicated member of the School Choir to join. We perform termly at school and at other events. Recently we sang at a wedding and we have also performed at Highfield Care Home and Rudding Park.


My final lesson is art which also happens to be my favourite. At the moment I am exploring textures and painting using a palette knife. Mrs Crawshaw gives us complete artistic freedom which is easier as there are just five of us in the class.

A Day In The Life


23rd March 2021

Gateways launches scholarships for...

To say thank you to Key Workers, we are offering a limited number of Foundation Scholarships to children of Key Workers. Following our successful Sixth Form Scholarship offer in 2020, we are...

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16th December 2020

Autumn term Cherryvine

Catch up with the latest news and developments at Gateways in our termly round up –  Cherryvine. Download the pdf of our Autumn Term 2020 issue here  

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25th June 2020

Sixth Form scholarships for...

Sixth Form Foundation Scholarships for Key Worker children As a thank you to Key Workers, we are offering a limited number of means-tested Foundation Scholarships for daughters of Key Workers (across all...

Read more