Support for our Sixth Form

At Cobham Hall we provide an exceptional learning experience which is complemented by an outstanding programme of individual support for all of our students.  As a mixed ability school, our motto ‘there is more in you than you think’ encourages all students, irrespective of age or ability, to thrive and go beyond what they thought possible.

Through a variety of strategies we actively support Sixth Form students through the many challenging aspects of preparing for examinations, making informed choices about their future university and career and encourage independence as we prepare them for life beyond school.   

Alongside our exceptional pastoral care we provide a strong programme of academic support ensuring that all of our students are challenged appropriately.  Our most able students, regardless of whether their strengths lie in the academic, creative or sporting arenas, are challenged by a variety of enrichment programmes designed to help them realise their full potential.  Small class sizes, a flexible curriculum and an outstanding Student Support Department help to ensure that all of our students are given the opportunity to develop their abilities and excel.

To discover more about the exceptional support provided to our Sixth Form students, please use the links below.

Pastoral Care

Learning Support

Tutorial System

In the Sixth Form you will join a Tutor Group of about 12 students - a mixture of Year 12 and 13, Day Girls and Boarders, UK and International students. 

Our diverse tutorial programme aims to encourage thought and expression of ideas, enhance communication skills, develop self-confidence and leadership qualities and to broaden individual perspectives.  A range of activities and outside speakers promote development in all areas, highlighting our commitment to foster internationally-minded, confident young ladies who are ready to take on the challenges of the world.

Our caring and experienced Tutors are always available to discuss any concerns you may have.  Small Tutor Groups Pastoral (1)guarantee a personal touch: your Tutor will know you as an individual, your likes and dislikes, extra-curricular activities and friendship groups. They will write personalised references and provide boundless support and encouragement.  As well as meeting with your Tutor daily, you will have regular individual meetings with your Tutor and the Head of Sixth Form to check on your academic progress and your personal wellbeing.  Our Tutors regularly go above and beyond the traditional role of a Tutor, such as organising birthday cakes and cards.

Scholarships and Enrichment

We believe in supporting and challenging all our students.  Candidates with an exceptional ability in a particular area can apply for a Scholarship in a subject they intend to study.  Successful applicants will follow a comprehensive and tailored enrichment programme, organised by the Head of Faculty.

Enrichment activities may take a variety of forms specific to the subject: these may include leadership opportunities, workshops, trips, clubs, competitions, debates – all designed to positively influence achievement by providing thought-provoking, challenging and motivational experiences within their chosen field.

Scholarships for the Sixth Form can be awarded for specific subjects being studied, or for commitment to Round Square. Click here to find out more about Scholarships.

University Challenge

We appreciate that all students are individuals, and that Higher Education institutes and courses are also unique.  Some are substantially more challenging to gain admission to and we want to ensure that students thinking of applying for such places are fully supported with their application. 

Our University Challenge Programme is aimed at those students who wish to study at elite British universities, such as Oxford, Cambridge, other Russell Group institutes, Ivy League Colleges in the USA or those who wish to study highly academic and competitive courses such as Medicine, Veterinary Science and Dentistry.

The Programme will include sessions on higher-level thinking skills, visits to Oxbridge colleges, interview practice, entrance tests, talks from previous Oxbridge students, the importance of wider experiences, and additional support with personal statements.  

Programme Aims

  • To identify and encourage pupils with potential and a genuine interest in academic study at the highest level
  • To prepare for the process of applying to highly academic and competitive universities and courses, and to encourage intellectual independence
  • To learn and fully understand the expectations of being an outstanding academic candidate
  • To fully appreciate the importance of ‘standing out’ – what will set you apart from all the other exceptionally academic students
  • To prepare for any thinking skills assessment tests required for course admission and interviews.


Img 9252We believe that all students should have space to relax and to study. All Sixth Form students, whether Boarders or Day Girls, are allocated a study-bedroom. 

These, along with the library facilities, can be used to enhance self-study skills, encourage responsibility and aid in the development of life-long independence. Day Girls are encouraged to stay over in their rooms should they need to stay late at school for an extra-curricular club or a theatre trip, or for a study group or social event.


To ensure we offer the best and most informed careers advice to our students we use a variety of approaches. To fully prepare our girls for the world beyond school we engage external speakers from higher education institutes and the workplace to regularly visit our school to discuss and share experiences with our students. We hold drop-in clinics and discussions delivered through our tutorial programme, enabling our students to know themselves and make confident and informed choices for their future.

To ensure our girls have the best advice and continuous access to the latest, ever changing, careers advice they will join Inspiring Futures.  This is an external comprehensive career guidance programme that provides up-to-date and impartial careers guidance for young people from the age of 15 to 23.  Their personalised service consist of several stages of support ranging from initial student profiling and interview, to advice on decision making, understanding strengths and weaknesses and interview practice.  Students can also access a range of courses, workshops and events for specific areas of interest. More details can be found here.

We begin careers advice from Year 7. To find out more, visit the Careers page.

University Support

At Cobham Hall we offer an excellent programme of support to assist students through the sometimes daunting process of applying to university. 

Alongside our extensive careers programme, designed to enable students to make informed, confident choices about their future, we also organise a variety of sessions which will encourage our girls to appreciate all of their achievements and utilise these and their academic experiences to write an outstanding personal statement.  The whole Sixth Form team is heavily involved in this process and our small class sizes ensure that students have one-to-one support.

All Year 12 students will attend a UCAS exhibition which provides the perfect opportunity for students to speak directly to the universities they are considering attending.  Every year, we invite a university admissions team in to talk to the girls to highlight what universities are looking for in an application.

As we are a small school, tutors, academic staff and the Head of Sixth Form will all contribute to the reference-writing process ensuring that all references are highly personalised and individual.  We also support students who are considering applying abroad and our University Challenge Programme is designed to assist those applying for the elite universities and courses.

English as a Foreign Language

Living abroad, far away from home in Malaysia, was challenging.  However Cobham Hall made me feel welcome and comfortable.  I’m thankful for all the opportunities the school gave to me, and would recommend it to other international students.  I’ve enjoyed every single minute in this school and will cherish it forever. 

- Xu Qing, Year 13

Cobham Hall’s international ethos attracts girls from all over the world.  Our outstanding EFL Department provides our international students with a unique environment of academic, cultural, and pastoral support, enabling them to thrive in our education system.  Lessons are highly interactive and stimulating, and offer numerous communication opportunities which will aid the development of both competence and confidence in the language.

The EFL Department provides English Language support for all students in the Sixth Form whose first language is not English.  In Year 12, EFL lessons prepare learners for the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) examination, a requirement of most UK universities.  Students are taught in small groups by IELTS specialists and develop a broad and comprehensive understanding of Academic English, extending their linguistic and communication skills, equipping them for the wider curriculum demands of their other Sixth Form studies.  Students also follow courses leading to Cambridge English Examinations, which they take either at the end of Year 12 or Year 13.

In addition to their formal lessons, students at Cobham Hall also benefit from the open-door policy of the EFL Department, which offers them on-going support and assistance in their wider journey of cultural adaptation to life in the UK and beyond.

The international nature of the school encourages [pupils with EAL] to become fluent in English and so to make rapid progress.
– Independent Schools’ Inspectorate, February 2015


Our Housemistresses provide a nurturing and supportive environment for all our Sixth Form students, whether they are Day Girls or Boarders.  They are friendly, compassionate and always ready to listen.  They will be there for all Sixth Form students to offer advice, assistance and organisation tips.

The Student Voice is highly valued in Boarding; weekly House meetings are chaired by the student elected Head of House and the Housemistress will pass on information, giving all students the opportunity to contribute to the development of the House and activities. In the Sixth Form, students have age-based privileges which will relate to what you can do and where you can go in your free time. Students are encouraged to sign up for trips and suggest and take part in the numerous social occasions arranged by the students and staff.

The Boarding staff liaise closely with the academic and pastoral teams, ensuring that they can fully support all students. Students are encouraged to develop independence, but will be prompted to complete assignments if necessary.

Find out more about Sixth Form Boarding

Independent Learning Centre

Our Independent Learning Centre (ILC) offers a calm, well-resourced learning environment.  We have a comprehensive careers section, private study booths for the sole use of the Sixth Form and a knowledgeable, approachable and enthusiastic Librarian; students will always feel fully supported whatever their needs. 

All Year 12 students will have a library induction in their first week to enable them to fully utilise the facilities available and enhance the all important research skills that are essential to success in the Sixth Form, higher education and the work place.

Sixth Form students can apply to become a Library Prefect, developing management and leadership skills and contributing to our whole school ethos of service to the community.

Find out more about our ILC

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