The Sixth Form Experience

Those who choose us for their Sixth Form experience recognise successful results at school are just the beginning of a lifetime of learning, service, leadership and fulfilment. An education here is about the balance between skills and knowledge.

It is about learning to forge your own path, to become an authentic individual, to add to and benefit from community life, and to discover the creative artistry within all of us which encourages you to flourish in times of change. We welcome students from a wide variety of backgrounds and who see the world from a diverse range of perspectives.



Academic success is important - it will no doubt be one of the top reasons you are considering Rugby for Sixth Form.

Students here achieve excellent results at A Level, consistently above 60 per cent A*–A, and well over 80 per cent A*–B. Our results are the best among both the major co-ed boarding schools in the country and all the Warwickshire schools. And now we can offer you the two highly respected academic routes of the International Baccalaureate (IB) or A Levels.



The International Baccalaureate (IB) or A Levels - it's your choice

The IB, with its world-class pedigree, international outlook, broad and deep learning and attention to the dispositions that empower a life, will provide the best route for some. IB trains students to think for themselves. The IB is a curriculum that draws on values first and foremost. It ‘aims to develop inquiring, knowledgeable and caring young people who help to create a better and more peaceful world through intercultural understanding and respect’.

For this reason, it is highly innovative and therefore closely aligned to the Rugby School ethos. Choose the IB route and you will benefit not only from engaging with a challenging foundation of knowledge, concepts and skills across three higher level and three standard level subjects, but also from cross-disciplinary connections built into the courses. IB specifications deliberately focus students on international, national and local concepts relevant to their subject of study, to encourage thinking from different perspectives.

Selection must include at least one mathematical, scientific, linguistic, literary and human subject, alongside the ‘core’. The core encompasses the three elements of Theory of Knowledge: an epistemology course which questions the basis of knowledge; a research Extended Essay; and participation in non-academic activity which combines creativity, action and service.

This holistic approach makes the IB ideal preparation for life at university and the world of work, where wide-ranging skills, flexibility and adaptability, knowledge of logical, critical, literary and creative thinking are in high demand. Is it hard? Yes, it is! No world-class sixth form qualification should be anything but. We hope you are excited by the prospect of developing into a future leader. The IB will allow you to flourish. If you are organised, then you will do well; if you are not yet organised, you will become so. This is a qualification that sets students apart from the crowd and is highly valued by universities across the world.

A Levels offer specialisation and focus which provoke the curiosity and drive needed for those highly demanding qualifications. This choice empowers you to take control of your learning and pick the route which fits best with your academic interests and aspirations.

A Levels promote a high level of knowledge and intellectual competence Why choose A Levels? The strength of A Levels is they allow early academic specialisation with a focus on in-depth subject knowledge, subject specific skills and intellectual agility. Whilst A Levels may be more familiar, they are likely to suit a narrower range of students compared to IB as they are a more specialist sixth form option. A levels may be a better preparation for some university courses and careers.

For example, students taking pure maths at university will benefit from the combination of Mathematics and Further Mathematics A Level. Alternatively, those interested in a creative industries future will find real advantages in choosing two A Levels from our dedicated Design Centre which offers Fine Art, Design and Technology, Textiles, Photography and Graphic Design. A Levels are hard as you would expect from any world-class sixth form qualification.

For success they require intrinsic motivation; a commitment to independent study, perseverance, resilience and a considerable aptitude for the subjects chosen. We provide the environment to help you fulfil these criteria through a careful balance of space and support, along with extensive resources. Acknowledging their rigour, we limit our A Level students to three subjects (although Further Maths is taught as a fourth). This allows us to allocate more lesson time to each subject.

Contact time with your teacher is vital and unusually, at Rugby, our A Level students will have the same number of taught lessons for their academic subjects as our IB cohort. A Levels are respected internationally and offer an excellent pathway into Higher Education.

“Whatever your starting point students perform better at Rugby than anywhere else” - Ed Davies, Head of Academic



Our dedicated Sixth Form centre

The Collingwood Centre, our dedicated Sixth Form facility is based in an impressive three-storey, Pugin-style building. Only Sixth Form subjects are taught here including Economics, Business Studies, Politics, Physical Education and Philosophy. A scaled-down House of Commons, complete with green leather seats, brings politics to life, while the modern, comfortable common room is a privilege for upper school only, creating more of a university atmosphere.

The Sixth Form curriculum

The Sixth Form curriculum encourages students to immerse themselves in advanced study. They enjoy the satisfaction of taking responsibility for their chosen subjects and, in the process, begin to mould their medium and long term futures. Departments will push students beyond their perceived limits, while those with the capability to apply to the world’s top universities will be swiftly identified and encouraged. A wealth of societies, journals and enrichment supplements the syllabus in all subjects, enhancing the opportunities for independent development. Study at Rugby always happens firmly within the context of the wider fulfilment of busy lives and the belief that the world is our classroom.

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