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The best boarding schools provide a well-rounded education while allowing students to develop into successful individuals beyond the classroom. While the curriculum is rigorous, teachers are supportive and their boarding communities are diverse and tight-knit. The nurturing environment encourages boarders learn new skills, celebrate different cultures and foster their independence. 

Steyning Grammar School is one such boarding school. Here, every student can reach their full potential – academically, socially and individually — and get into their first-choice universities. 

Its Sixth Form is where students can pursue a broad range of A Levels and Applied courses that are designed to equip each student for university, apprenticeships or the world of work. 

With over 30 A-level options available, students can choose from an incredible breadth of subjects including Art and Design, Digital Media, Forensic Investigation and Maths. The aim is to equip students with the necessary qualifications and experience for the next stage of their life as well as to develop the qualities and skills that employers, colleges and universities value. 

Classes take various forms. There are small group seminars, demonstrations, practical activities, e-learning based research, group debate and presentations. Whatever the format, each ensures students get the most out of their classes. 

Pastoral support and guidance are excellent here as well, helping students become the best that they can be. A comprehensive Support Programme includes placing Sixth Formers in a Learning Group with an experienced mentor who plays a significant part in all aspects of student life in the Sixth Form College. Students meet their mentor regularly for one-to-one interviews and for personalised advice.

All of this is in addition to a form tutor and Head of Year to guide Sixth Formers throughout their two years at SGS. Each fortnight, they have one tutor period where their academic progress and applications to university, apprenticeships or employment are tracked. A Careers Adviser provides professional and university advice along with practical help such as preparing CVs. A SEN Learning Support Mentor and a Wellbeing Lead add another layer of support, offering counselling if necessary.

Steyning Grammar School

SGS students have lots of opportunities to grow into the person they aspire to be. Source: Steyning Grammar School

With such features, it’s little wonder students thrive. “Achievement in the Sixth Form is good, with teaching that is often outstanding,” wrote a report from the Office for Standards in Education, Children’s Services and Skills. “Students feel that they achieve well and appreciate the quality of the guidance and support that they receive. The leadership of the sixth form is outstanding.”

Indeed, every SGS students goes on a “Journey to Excellence.” In this, traditions of excellence and highest expectations, combined with a commitment to innovation and new thinking, support students in preparation for their exciting futures. 

Kate Armstrong first joined SGS in 2017. Since then, she’s enthusiastically explored GCSE subjects, loved how her teachers made her classes fun, intriguing and compelling, and excelled in netball. She also joined an exchange trip to France and took part in the Bronze Duke of Edinburgh award. These had profound impact.

“Immediately, I made friends and discovered a new and engaging hobby which was sport,” she says. “Choosing to go to SGS was one of my best decisions because the subjects are engaging, the teachers are supportive and the environment is welcoming. I hope to finish this year by doing the best I can in my transition exams in my A Levels of French, English Literature and Economics.”

Rather than mere acceptance, there is a celebration of equality, diversity and what it means to be human growing up in different cultures. Source: Steyning Grammar School

Students like Armstrong live in what’s one of the most successful boarding provisions in the UK and the only state boarding facility in Sussex. For Sixth Formers, they reside at The Shooting Field Campus, a site that lets them flourish as independent learners and young adults. There is a lecture theatre, modern Science labs, a Dance and Drama studio, specialist Art, Music, Photography and Product Design rooms along with lots of social and independent study space. 

“The boarding school has helped me hugely with my confidence because I have been able to socialise and depend on people in my surroundings,” says student Lateef Oduola. “I’ve learnt new skills and attributes to add to my locker. Boarding school has welcomed me with a lot of respect and has taken care of me.” 

Schoolmate Winnie Cheung agrees. She credits her great experience here to the teachers and staff.  

“My past three years at SGS have  been a new adventure and I can’t wait to make some more memories here,” she says. Thank you to all the staff who have made it possible.”

To begin your child’s journey to academic excellence, apply online now.

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