The Sixth Form

We have provision for 80 - 100 students in the Sixth Form. Our aim is to provide every student with the opportunity to follow their career aspirations and leave the school a well developed, experienced and confident individual ready for their next steps in life.

We offer mainly academic courses suitable for students who expect to get at least 5 A*-C grades in their GCSEs. We meet with every student who applies to join us to ensure that their course choices are suitable and their qualifications are appropriate. A Levels are a significant step up from GCSEs and require a substantial amount of independent working, good organisational skills as well as commitment and enthusiasm. If you are unsure about whether A Levels are right for you, contact us to discuss your requirements or use the guides shown below.

We are quite unique in our offering. Sixth form students have their own study centre and common room with kitchen facilities and a computer suite. Sixth formers are treated as young adults and expected to behave as such. We have a smart casual dress code and expect a strong work ethic from all of our students.

All of our courses are taught by subject specialists in generally smaller than average classes. Every student must also undertake supervised study time in school as well as the additional hours at home required to study A Levels. For more information on the range of subjects offered, please look at our current prospectus or browse the faculty and subject pages.

Students are involved in whole school activities and encouraged to support the local community with the intention that they become responsible citizens who are more than just 'students'.

We are very proud of all that our students do and hope that you might like to become part of our small and friendly community.

Click here to view the 2016 prospectus.


Making your choice

Having read the information contained within the website you are now in a position to make your provisional choices. The latest course information can also be found via the Post 16 Prospectus and looking under the sixth form tabs for each subject.

At this stage you will fall into one of three groups:

  • You may have a very clear idea of the subjects which you want to study
  • You may, having read through the prospectus, be now considering other options
  • You are only just beginning to think about your options in Post 16

If you are struggling to decide what you should do consider the following steps:

  • Discuss with your school careers advisor
  • Make a list of your main subject interests
  • Consider your predicted grades as indicated by your Record of Achievement or school report
  • What are your career aspirations?
  • What qualifications do you need to follow your chosen career path?

Who should I talk to?

Making the choice is not something that you should necessarily do on your own. For this reason we suggest the following strategy

  • Talk to your Form Tutor
  • Approach any Post 16 student and ask for their opinion of what life in Post 16 is really like!
  • Talk to the Head of Post 16
  • Come and visit us!
  • Email the post 16 team (

Helping Others

We have an ever-growing culture of students taking more opportunities to help others and as a result develop themselves personally. New opportunities are always being identified but listed below are some of the activities that students are already involved in.

  • Mentoring younger students
  • Helping out in classes to support teachers and students
  • Lunchtime supervision of the school
  • Reading with younger children to develop their literacy skills.
  • Running activities on the school farm.
  • Supporting the local police
  • Running lunchtime clubs (chess club, debating society, science club, sports etc.)
  • Becoming a prefect and taking on a range of activities in the school
  • Supporting the Leyburn Festival of Food and Drink
  • Work experience on a regular basis at a range of employers and organisations
  • Becoming Head Boy or Head Girl

Physical Recreation

We are keen that you have the opportunity to keep fit whilst having some fun. The PE department offers a range of activities that you can sign up for. These are often decided by students in conjunction with PE staff at the beginning of term. Opportunities have included;

  • Mountain biking
  • Football
  • Hockey
  • Squash
  • Gym (at the local leisure centre)
  • Mountain climbing (using our own climbing wall and out in the local area)
  • Aerobics
  • Yoga

You may have other things you want to do: please feel free to suggest additional activities.


Every other year, students can apply to travel to Southern India to spend two weeks supporting a local orphanage and children’s school in a poor, remote area of Tamil Nadu. Students must raise their own money to travel to India through fund raising and organising events. It is a very popular trip that many students describe as life changing.


The school takes part in the Comenius project whose aims are:

  • To develop knowledge and understanding among young people and education staff of the diversity of European cultures and languages, and the value of this diversity.
  • To help young people to acquire basic life skills and competences for their personal development, for future employment and for active European citizenship

In previous years students have travelled to various countries living with families of other students who then return to the UK to spend some time here with families and in the school.


For the first time in 2009, two students applied and were accepted on a trip to visit the World War II concentration camp at Auschwitz. On their return, they shared their experiences through presentations and a display in Leyburn.


Every year the school runs a skiing trip to Europe. This is for beginners as well as those who have skied before. It is a fantastic trip and a great opportunity. For post 16 students, the trip is normally held around Easter holiday time.


We have a small but excellent music department. Post 16 students can take part in an active singing group called Cantabile, a flexible instrumental group, and other small ensembles depending on current students’ interests and skills. These groups perform at the Wensleydale Tournament of Song and at local events. Music lessons are a key part of life for some of our students and some have organised brass band concerts in both Leyburn and surrounding villages. We hope you’d like to get involved too.

What skills do you need to be a successful A level student in the sixth form. You need to be:

  • Well organised: you need to be able to organise all of your work and time. Planning, organisation of notes etc are critical.
  • Dedicated: you have to want to do this. It is not a walk in the park, it will be tough at times, especially when the sun is out and you would rather by doing something else than studying.
  • Independent: you cannot wait for everyone to tell you everything, you need to learn to be a self starter who finds things out for themselves and seeks to continuously improve. There is no spoon feeding at sixth form (well maybe a bit at first to get you going)
  • A team player: the school and sixth form is a community or people working together. You may need to work in groups from time to time.
  • Have an enquiring mind: ultimately you have got to be prepared to learn, to discover, to find things out.

Helpful Resources for you

University of Southampton Study Skills: An excellent study skills resource with lots of information, ideas and worksheets.

Becoming a Successful Post 16 Learner: Our own in house guide to becoming a good learner in the sixth form.


By Bus

North Yorkshire County Council have a Post 16 Transport policy that offers some subsidy to students travelling by bus - details are shown below. However, some students have found that paying daily on the bus can be cheaper than the annual pass. All transport funding must be applied for and is controlled by the county council. Some students do start driving into school once they have passed their test.

NYCC Bus Route Information: Use this link to get all of the available service bus routes into the school or find other alternative bus schedules. Just type in "Wensleydale School" in the school search box.

NYCC Post 16 Transport Funding: Click here for the latest information on Post 16 Transport, application forms and full details.

By Car

Some students drive into school once they have passed their test and we have dedicated post 16 parking on site. We urge all staff and students to drive carefully on site. We reserve the right to ban students from parking on site if necessary. All cars and posessions are brought on site at the owners risk. The school will not be liable for any damage or loss on site.

Careers and HE

We have created a guide to applying to university which you can download here: Guide to Higher Education

Use can also use the hyperlinks below to access more detailed information on higher education (HE), careers and much more:



Admissions Tests


Careers Advice

Choosing a University Course



Foundation Diploma In Art & Design 

Gap Year

Graduate Destinations



Medicine, Nursing and Dentistry

Open Days


Personal Statements

Studying Abroad

Student Finance

Students Forums

Student Life & Guides


Veterinary Medicine & Nursing


Schools are full of teacher speak, acronyms and complicated language. Most parents and students just want to know what A levels are, how students study for them and how we help support them.

What is an A Level?

An A Level is a General Certificate of Education (GCE) qualification that is the next step up from GCSE (grades A*-C). Most A levels are studied over 2 years and all the exam marks get added together to get the final grade. Students are awarded an AS grade at the end of Year 12 which they keep if they do not study a subject for two years. An AS grade is equivalent to half an A level.

Do students get set a target?

Yes, we set every student a target based on their GCSE performance. It is not a perfect system but should be considered a starting point for discussion about where they should be. We then track and monitor the students progress and feedback to you throughout the year.

How many lessons are there for each subject?

For each subject, students will get at least 8 lessons a fortnight together (unless a very small class size) with another 4 hours a fortnight in supervised study. They will also need to study for at least another 4 hours a fortnight outside of school for each subject. This is variable but most students need to work at least a few hours outside of school most days of the week.

What happens at the end of Year 12?

Most students will stop studying one subject and continue with three subjects which they will complete to a full A level at the end of Year 13. A student who stops a subject at the end of Year 12 will be awarded an AS level.

What do I need to get into University?

Three A levels is the standard requirement for all universities. Some prefer Three A levels and one AS level, some give out specific grades, some require points. More details, videos and more can be found on the university application system website at

Do students have free periods?

Yes, when not in a lesson or a supervised study period the time is their own and they are allowed off site so long as they sign out. We encourage students to use this time for helping the local community, getting involved in other activities or for more private study time.

What should I wear?

Dress code is smart casual. Not casual, casual. So no jogging bottoms or lots of exposed flesh. Wear something that would be acceptable in a public place of learning. We have younger children on site through to adults. ;No one should be offended by what you are wearing. The Post 16 committee is currently considering an optional smart casual uniform for Post 16.

Situated in Leyburn, North Yorkshire, we have a long history dating back to 1959 and we pride ourselves on the quality of our teaching and the welfare of our pupils.

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