Upper School

Alleyn’s Upper School has a distinct identity and feel, creating a genuine sense of moving on, even if students are coming from our own Year 11 - and almost all of our Year 11 boys and girls stay on for Sixth Form. 

Select one of the following tabs to read the Head of Upper School's welcome, or to view the specific A level courses and pathways on offer at Alleyn's. The Sixth Form Curriculum Booklet for the 2019/2020 academic year is available to view here

Upper School overview

We have a broad range of subject options in our Upper School curriculum and we offer as much flexibility and choice as we can – which is a great deal, allowing students to choose freely rather than through columns of subject choice – and this helps the students find a pathway that suits them best. 

The teachers know the students well: they know their strengths, and how to nurture their future success at A level and beyond. We expand our year group slightly and take on more boys and girls at 16+, some of whom join with a means-tested bursary. We are lucky to attract high-quality 16+ applicants, many of whom come to us seeking the co-educational experience that we can offer.  

We have a strong pastoral care system at Alleyn’s and although students remain part of their House, we mix up the tutor groups to give the Upper School a new identity. This helps integrate the boys and girls that join us in the Upper School as well as offering a new experience for our current students. 

As well as the academic curriculum, our Sixth Formers take on many leadership responsibilities. As Senior Prefects, they play a key role in leading school duties as well as performing an important public-facing role at open days and interview days.  Sixth Formers who are Lower School prefects lead activities for Year 7 and Year 8 pupils during their tutor time and students also have many opportunities to take responsibility within the co-curriculum, in the CCF, Duke of Edinburgh's Award Scheme, Sport, Theatre, Music or Volunteering. 

All Year 12 students also follow a programme of Enrichment for one afternoon per week.  Students choose from a variety of options designed to enrich their academic diet, develop their powers of critical analysis and have a chance to do something different. The courses that we offer vary depending on the expertise of our staff; recently courses on offer have included: Critical Thinking; Survival Cookery; Arabic; The Power of Protest; and First Aid.

We have also partnered with local primary schools to give our students the opportunity to plan and deliver activities to primary pupils in subjects such as Science, Music, Art, Dance and Drama during some of their Enrichment sessions. These outreach options have proved extremely popular with our Sixth Formers.

The majority of our students leave us to go to top universities in the UK and overseas (with 12% going to Oxford or Cambridge and 85% in total going to Russell Group universities) but we help our students to find many other opportunities including degree apprenticeships, Foundation Art courses, or specialist music and drama courses.

Our Sixth Form provides a real opportunity for students to flourish, which is our ultimate aim for them. The sense of developing their individual identity permeates the whole of Sixth Form life at Alleyn's, helping the students to be fully prepared for life beyond School. 

Dr Rob Atkinson

Head of Upper School

A level courses and pathways

A level courses and pathways

We offer three main pathways for Upper School students:

Pathway 1: Four A level subjects

Most suited to those who are unsure on their future direction and would value the option of dropping a subject at the end of Year 12. Alternatively, able scientists who plan to continue with 4 A level subjects should choose this option.

NB: Those studying Mathematics and Further Mathematics must choose 4 A level subjects.

Pathway 2: Two to Three A level subjects plus AS Maths, AS English Language, or a Language qualification (eg DELE/DELF/ZDaF)

Universities usually make offers based on 3 A Level subjects and for some, the option to study a course that will give them useful transferable skills, maintain breadth but gain a qualification without having to commit to 4 full A levels, will be more attractive.

Pathway 3: Three subjects plus the Extended Project Qualification

The Extended Project Qualification (EPQ) suits students who are willing to commit to an extended research project that will give useful skills that universities value, are able to work independently without constant supervision, and who have a particular interest that they wish to pursue. The EPQ starts in October of Year 12 and finishes in September of Year 13.

NB: All of the pathway options outlined here are subject to numbers, staffing and timetable constraints.

Available A level subjects


Art History



Classical Civilisation

Design Technology

Drama and Theatre Studies


English Literature

English Language AS

Extended Project Qualification

Film Studies


French DELF



German ZDaF





Mathematics AS

Further Mathematics



Physical Education




Religious Studies


Spanish DELE

Our curriculum allows the flexibility to choose between breadth and specialism.