“Perhaps it is because we are all girls but honesty and openness is really encouraged here. We don’t compete with each other academically but we work together to raise all our levels; it is just a really supportive community.”
—Current Upper Sixth student
Our Sixth Form teaching team are experts in their field who are committed to nurturing academic excellence in each girl. They deliver an innovative and rigorous curriculum, brought together in our Neligan Programme, which instils both a love of their subjects and of independent scholarship more broadly.
The close and supportive relationships which result from this approach ensure that every girl is recognised for her academic potential and we are adept at supporting the individual learning needs of all girls. Research has demonstrated that different behaviours and approaches to learning arise not because ‘girls are girls’, but because they tend to adapt their behaviour to co-educational contexts. It really is a privilege to be able to witness students excel academically in this girls-only environment every day.
We believe in offering a flexible and individualised programme of study; our curriculum comprises 25 different A level options which showcase the diversity of interest and ambition in our Sixth Form community. Helping each girl to understand her potential academic profile is the key to making the right choices for Sixth Form study. Most girls study three A levels plus an Extended Project Qualification (or EPQ for short). Exceptionally, students with a strong GCSE profile, or those wanting to pursue Further Maths, can chose four subjects. The reason we ask the majority of students to take three subjects is simple. Even the most competitive universities only offer places to students based on three A levels. Studying three subjects also gives students the time to make the most of our busy and diverse extra-curricular programme.
Whilst we are known for our commitment to academic excellence, absolute grades and league tables are only ever part of the story. The journey of each girl is also important and should be celebrated. Sometimes the girl achieving a B can signify an even greater achievement than the girl who garners an A*. Personalisation and potential are terms which often bandied about in some schools, but in our Sixth Form they really do characterise the academic journey of ‘every girl, every day.’
Our Sixth Form experience at Croydon High School is brought together into one programme: The Neligan Programme.
Miss Neligan was the school’s first headmistress when it opened in 1874. Miss Neligan was a formidable character who served with the Red Cross in France during the Franco-Prussian War. She remained Headmistress of Croydon High for twenty-seven years and after retirement she became a militant suffragette so incensed at the long delay in giving women the vote. On one occasion, she protested by refusing to pay her rates and, on another, she assaulted a policeman but escaped prison presumably because of her advancing age. Our Neligan Programme seeks to engender the equality of opportunity which Miss Neligan fought for, although we always stress the importance of our students operating within the law!
Students complete The Neligan Programme by choosing four or more of the following activities in addition to their A level studies:
- Pursue the Extended Project Qualification;
- Complete a MOOC or Open University Module;
- Enter a competition related to one or more of their A level subjects;
- Attend two lectures or talks related to one or more of your A level subjects;
- Undertake a regular extra-curricular activity (e.g. Young Enterprise);
- Take on responsibility or leadership in an academic venture or an extracurricular area of interest;
- Undertake agreed activities specialising in a subject area. These should be agreed with the Head of Sixth Form.
In addition, students must:
- Complete the Pathways Mentoring Programme;
- Maintain attendance at Tutorial sessions;
- Help with providing academic support for younger students within the department of one of their A levels;
- Submit a 250-word summary statement of their achievements.
Students record their achievements on our Unifrog platform. At the end of Lower Sixth, and in time for starting university applications, students submit a 250-word summary statement of their achievements and are be given an interview by their Neligan mentor (their Form Tutor) which provides a catalyst university for preparation.