Leighton Park School was founded in 1890 and the same values of peace, integrity, equality, simplicity and reflection still inform its teaching practices today.
Based in Reading, Berkshire, Leighton Park School offers day and boarding secondary education to students who leave as passionate, knowledgeable young people ready to make a difference in the world.
Academic Life at Leighton Park
Academic life at Leighton Park School is divided into lower, senior, pre-sixth, and sixth form. Each educational stage allows students to grow and develop as individuals and academics. Teachers and students work together in a classroom to develop a positive learning culture where everyone feels confident enough to speak up, ask questions and share their thoughts.
Leighton Park is also very passionate about STEM subjects, and give all their students exciting educational opportunities. Visit the school’s site to find out a little more about their creative approach to Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths.
Years 7 and 8 learn in the lower school and are given a strong foundation of knowledge across all the subjects offered at Leighton Park. The school makes sure students get the chance to follow their interests and doesn’t limit their choices at such an early stage of their formal education.
As well as all their core subjects, students take part in additional learning sessions where they play games and take part in activities to help them become more creative, social and globally minded.About the lower school
In year 9, students build on their knowledge and start thinking about which subjects they might like to take at GCSE. Teachers are on hand to help them make the right choices for their future aspirations and to give them the best chance of a happy and successful time at school.
Years 10 and 11 students begin preparation to excel at their GCSEs. They learn more than what’s required of them to pass the examination and enjoy experiencing new academic challenges. Educational trips are an important element of the senior school, with students heading off to Bournemouth, The Tate Modern, the Imperial War Museum, Malaga, Rome, and Paris.About the senior school
It’s assumed that students at Leighton Park will want to continue their studies in sixth form, which the majority go on to do. The pre-sixth course is a rigorous academic programme designed to prepare students for their A-Levels or higher study. It’s a one year course where students sit a minimum of 5 GCSEs, though students often take many more.
For lots of lessons, pre-sixth students are integrated into mainstream classes. However, there are separate classes that these students must attend to get the support they need in a small group environment.About pre-sixth study
Sixth form study gives students the chance to delve deeper into 3 or 4 subjects that really interest them and that will give them excellent foundation for higher study in university and beyond.
Students can also take part in an extended project qualification, a 5000 word essay as the culmination of 5 months of independent research alongside their A-Level subjects.
Take a look at recent case studies of their A-Level students.
The success of their academic approach is demonstrated by the latest UK Government league table for Sixth Form, with Leighton Park’s students adding over a third of a grade, on average, to each A Level result. This places the school in the top 100 secondary schools in England, or in the top 3%, for the second year running.
Despite being among the top performing schools in the country, Leighton Park is no results factory. They believe a school must be judged by the full range and depth of achievements of its students, and Leighton Park develops young people who understand, cherish, and make a difference to the world which they inherit.
You can find an article talking about the school’s top performance in the UK Government League Tables here.A-Level Subjects on Offer
International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme
The International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme, or “IB Diploma,” is a great alternative to A-Levels, with many universities perceiving it to be better preparation than traditional A-Levels for higher study.
Students who study for the IB Diploma follow a broader range of subjects than A-Levels. It allows them to develop and hone important skills in problem solving, critical thinking and independent thought.
The course is divided into 3 sections, theory of knowledge, creativity, action and service, and an extended essay. Within these, students study 6 subjects from different curriculum areas: literature, languages, science, social and world subjects, maths, and arts.About the IB Diploma
Rosanna’s Leighton Park story
Listen to what sixth form student Rosanna has to say about her experiences at Leighton Park School.
Rosanna discusses her daily routines, talks about her classes and her teachers, and shares what she loves most about her school.
“I really like the community and the family that everybody has with loads of different year groups.”
“I have friends from all over the world […] it’s so cool to hear about their life in other countries.”
“Everybody is so lovely and kind and you can always speak to anybody if you’re struggling with anything, whether it’s your school work, or just if you need to talk to somebody.”
Each term, Leighton Park offers 90 co-curricular activities for their students, so there’s always something to get involved with. Activities occur both on the school grounds and off-site to give students a great range of extra-curricular experiences. Any activities that occur after school hours are available to both day and boarding students.
Sports, Drama, Music and The Arts
Quaker philosophy privileges involvement with sports, drama, music, and the arts, and Leighton Park offers a great range of opportunities for students in these areas. The school runs lots of sporting competitions as well as non-competitive exercise classes. If a student presents as an advanced performer in a particular sport, the school has a programme to help them develop into top quality athletes.
Drama and music offer excellent performance opportunities for students, as well as the chance to learn more technical aspects of the performing arts.
Performances are a highlight in the school’s calendar and you can watch their Yamaha Live Lounge sessions online.
There’s also excellent provision at Leighton Park for media and film production. Working with the LP Film Company gives students the opportunity to explore all aspects of film making, including stop frame and computer animation.
Take a virtual tour of their Michael Malnick Centre for Music and Media to see their excellent facilities.
All kinds of art are studied and displayed at the school, which runs their own version of the famous Turner Prize, the Lurner Prize.
Sewing, textiles, knitting, digital photography, computer aided design and traditional art forms are all explored by staff and students.
Leighton Park has a long history of raising funds and supporting charities and encourages their students to get involved. Giving some of their free time to working in CAS (Creativity, Action and Service) projects gives pupils an awareness of the disadvantages and develops their compassion and drive to help others. Sixth form students undertake extensive fundraising and can take part in community service in Africa, and year 10 students get involved with the Young Philanthropy Initiative.
The Duke of Edinburgh Award
In 2017, Leighton Park was certified as an independent, licensed Duke of Edinburgh Centre. This allows them to adopt independence over the scheme and better support their students who are undertaking the programme.
Students in year 10 are able to work toward the Bronze award, and lower sixth form students aim for the Silver award. Participating in the programme helps students to develop themselves in a team and hone their independent thinking, personal responsibility, and self-reliance.
Trips & Tours
Leighton Park offers a wide range of trips and tours for all their students at every part of their schooling career. Students can participate in a range of day and residential trips in the UK and all over the world.
See recent school reviews
The school regularly receives glowing reviews from parents and independent organisations. Take a look at a selection of some recent reviews.
At Leighton Park, they accept both day and boarding students and have a flexible range of boarding options. Students can board at the school full time, weekly, as flexi-boarders or arrange infrequent overnight stays when it’s necessary or they’d like to spend more time with their friends or working on their study.
Housemasters and Housemistresses create homely environments for the students, making sure that each student feels comfortable and happy in their boarding houses. Each house is co-educational, allowing students to mix and develop friendships, but residential areas are separated into girls’ and boys’ wings.
Younger students typically share their room with 1, 2 or 3 other students, but each having their own desk space for study. Sixth form students have a room of their own in which to live, work and relax that can help them break away from the family home and start preparing for independent life. All students are encouraged to make their bedrooms their own with pictures and posters.
Three meals a day are served in Oakview restaurant. The school caters for all dietary requirements and their menus reflect the diversity of the school. Students are always well-fed and prepared for anything that a Leighton Park day can bring.
Watch short videos from some of their students to hear how they find life at the school and their thoughts on boarding at Leighton Park.About boarding at Leighton Park
There is a well-established system of support for students at Leighton Park who require it. The Individual Learning Centre offers one to one lessons to help each student develop and fully participate with the rest of the school environment.
While Leighton Park does not supply teaching assistants or one to one support in the classroom, teachers are well prepared to meet the needs of all their students. Individual learning plans will be shared with teaching staff. Teachers also receive a ‘classroom support information’ sheet which details the strengths and weaknesses of the student, as well as the techniques that have helped them be successful in the past.
Leighton Park School is selective and therefore students need to meet certain criteria to be offered a place with them.
For students entering in years 7-10, they must satisfactorily pass entry tests in the January preceding their entry in September. These tests include English (with a short essay) and maths. There will also be an interview with a member of the academic team.
Students wishing to enrol from overseas can conduct the tests in their current schools and the interview can take place over Skype. If the student’s first language isn’t English, they will also be required to pass the English as an Additional Language (EAL) test.
Any student wishing to enter the sixth form at Leighton Park must have an interview with a senior member of the academic team and be able to product evidence of their requisite GCSE or equivalent results.
Leighton Park School Fees, Scholarships & Bursaries
Leighton Park School Fees
Leighton Park School fees are payable every term a student studies with them. A non-refundable £100 (£175 for non-EU students) registration fee is necessary, in addition to an acceptance deposit to secure the place at the school. This deposit will be refunded when the student leaves the school.
A discount of 20% is applicable on each of the third and subsequent child’s school fees while their siblings are still in attendance.
Leighton Park School offers a limited number of scholarships and bursaries to students and their families to support the payment of school fees.
Academic, art and design, drama, music and sport scholarships can be given to students when they enter year 7 and year 9. These scholarships typically last throughout the student’s time at the school, but are subject to a yearly progress review. Sixth form students can also apply for scholarships based on a competitive examination.
Bursaries can be granted to students and their families if there is a case of financial hardship. These funds are limited and must be applied for each year the student attends the school. An application will be reviewed by an independent company, Bursary Administration Ltd, who will arrange a home visit to discuss finances and the application.
Arrange Your Visit
To get the best sense whether education in Leighton Park School is the right fit, students and their families are encouraged to visit before they apply. The school runs a number of open day sessions for prospective students, and if these aren’t convenient, individual tours can be booked in.