Senior School Learning

Senior School Learning

Academic success is focused on the progress of the individual with high expectations of excellence for all pupils.

In the First and Second Forms, the curriculum is centred on the Cokethorpe Diploma. This programme brings the broad range of subjects offered together through cross-curricular links that focus on developing skills and learning habits required for the exam years ahead.

As pupils enter the Third Form the focus of their study turns more to preparation for the GCSE programme. Core subjects continue as normal, but pupils are provided with their first opportunity to make some choices – giving these subjects more teaching time and thus preparing pupils more effectively for the increased rigour of the GCSE programme.

There is a wide range of GCSE subjects available for pupils to select and flexibility in the School timetable ensures option combinations are numerous, allowing for a personalised set of GCSE qualifications. We are ambitious for our pupils and know that a firm grounding in a broad spectrum of subjects will ensure success further down the line.

"A spectacular learning environment"

The Good Schools Guide

The Sixth Form

As pupils progress through the Senior School, thoughts become increasingly focused on plans for the future.

Academic life in the Sixth Form is different from lower down the School. Students are taught in smaller groups, study fewer subjects, and are expected to spend a larger proportion of the day studying independently.

The core academic curriculum will be at the centre of a student’s Sixth Form experience. Most of our students opt to study three A Levels with the Extended Project Qualification (EPQ), though some prefer to choose four A Levels, whilst others still will select the Extended Diploma in Business – a single programme, equivalent to three A Levels, or the Level 3 National Extended Diploma in Business alongside an A Level in Physical Education.

We offer a broad range of A Level subjects – 23 options – with a flexible curriculum to accommodate most subject combinations, as well as the popular Extended Diploma in Business. Offering this breadth ensures students can follow their interests, discover new subjects, and receive an education that will prepare them for their individual future ambitions.

Alongside the core academic curriculum is the rich tapestry of wider Sixth Form life that supplements and supports the academic environment. Whether through the Lower Sixth Electives Programme (see the film below), the Sixth Form Skills Carousel, the Study Skills programme, the Enlightenment Lecture series, or any one of the myriad ways Sixth Form life is enriched, you can be sure of a stimulating learning experience in Sixth Form. Our students are inspired to think beyond their subjects, and to see the bigger picture; to understand the context of and connections between all that they learn in lessons, and to develop life-long interests and passions.

Mindset for Learning

Our ambition at Cokethorpe is to help our pupils become better, more effective learners, who are curious about the world around them and who are prepared to broaden their horizons and challenge themselves intellectually in order to further their understanding of it. We want pupils to leave us having cultivated habits, skills and attitudes that will benefit them in the longer term, enabling them to face difficulty and uncertainty calmly, confidently and creatively.

The programme initially centres on pupils becoming self-aware of their own learning mindset and developing an understanding that intelligence is not fixed but can be affected through focused effort. As attentions turn to external examinations, pupils are introduced to research-based approaches to effective revision and are encouraged through challenging tasks within lessons to develop resilience in the face of problems.

The programme teaches pupils how to collaborate effectively, how to communicate meaningfully, how to work independently without distraction and how to solve problems without fear of failure.

As soon as students join the Sixth Form they start a tailored Mindset for Learning Programme specifically designed to ensure that students remain on a positive progress trajectory.

Using the VESPA (Vision, Effort, Systems, Practice, Attitude) model devised by Martin Griffin and Steve Oakes, the Programme is delivered through tutorials and in-class sessions and provides students with the skills needed to take responsibility for their own learning and recognise the ways in which they can be effective learners.

Research and Scholarship

The School awards Academic Scholarships to those pupils who are considered to exhibit the ambition to excel in their academic study. Scholarships are based on academic performance and Scholars are expected to act as role-models for their peers. They may not always be the best at each subject, but the expectation is that they will show perseverance in the face of challenge, scepticism in the face of certainty and a general enthusiasm for learning.

The Scholars’ Journal, which is published annually, contains original research pieces completed by our Academic Scholars in the Senior School and Sixth Form. Working independently, they advance their understanding on a broad range of topics, compiling their explorations into the articles found within these pages.


For more information about applying for Scholarships and Awards, please visit our Admissions pages.

Where next?

Parent and Pupil celebrating results of academic achievements - Results, Higer Education and Careers - Academic
Results, Higher Education and Careers

We believe that we can help our pupils strive further, reach higher and achieve more. Our results and strength of our Careers services are testament to that success.

Senior School Teacher working with Pupil - Digital Learning - Individual Focus - Academic
Digital Learning

At Cokethorpe, we are proud of the way we embrace modern technology, utilising it to support and augment teaching and learning, both in the classroom and beyond.

The Co-Curricular Programme

Our Co-Curricular Programme covers the performing and creative arts, sport and outdoor education, the Duke of Edinburgh Awards, and our extensive range of clubs and societies.

Book your tour today

Come and visit Cokethorpe, whether for an Open Morning or a personal Tour, and Discover Your Cokethorpe.