Benefits of sixth form boarding schools

- 18 November 2020 -

Alexandra Collingwood, head of sixth form at Ackworth School, shares why boarding school could be the best place for a sixth former to thrive and flourish, both academically and pastorally.

Here are her top five benefits of sixth form boarding schools:

1) Bolsters academic growth

Sixth form students who board with Ackworth have access to tutors ‘out of hours’ during designated prep (study) time. So, not only are they making strides in their learning in school, but they have the chance to further this by getting extra educational support. Even outside of prep time, thanks to a digital learning approach, advice from teachers and tutors is only a message or email away. Students at Ackworth consistently perform better than what their targets and previous academic performance indicate that they should.

2) Incredible facilities

Ackworth School is a truly beautiful setting to learn and relax. It has a state-of-the-art gym, sports hall, tennis courts and music centre with 10 Steinway pianos set in phenomenal picturesque 18th Century grounds.

With advanced facilities, sixth form students have everything they need to excel at their chosen A-levels. They’re also able take part in extra-curricular activities in and out of school hours to enhance their learning. These all help when it comes to applying to universities.

3) Close-knit family feel

The sixth form is attached to the school, to maintain a real family community, and, as the school is non-selective, there’s plenty of opportunity for students to mix with people from all different backgrounds, ages and places.

Students travel from across the UK and other parts of the world to attend Ackworth School. Boarding helps build and nurture life-long friendships, and encourages social growth. It really is a home away from home.

Ackworth School Sixth Form head with students

Ackworth School building and grounds

4) Oxbridge Pathways Programme

Sixth form is an integral time in a young adult’s life. Their leaving destination will depend not only on their academic success, but also the skills they gain, and how prepared they are for upcoming applications and interviews.

Ackworth School covers everything with a bespoke Oxbridge Pathways Programme.  Helen Batty designed and manages the programme using her wealth of experience in Oxbridge admissions procedures and processes. Sixth form students are taught everything they need to know to achieve a place at a top UK university and succeed after graduation.

5) Necessary support and pastoral care

The wellbeing of pupils is paramount to their education. Ackworth ensure that all students have a positive environment to learn in as they believe this has a direct impact on whether they perform to the best of their abilities.

It is possible that giving sixth form students too much freedom too quickly could hinder their progression, rather than help. Many students come from an incredibly supportive secondary school environment. Boarding school, then, provides the right balance of support and freedom. It allows young people to ease into adult life, knowing the safety net is still there if they need it.

Find out more

If you’d like to know more about sixth form boarding schools, take a look at our schools pages to find the right one for you.

You can also visit Ackworth School’s sixth form page for more information. Contact their admissions team at or call 01977 233 621 for more information. You’re also welcome to book a visit to one of Ackworth’s open events here.

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