CCSS Cambridge Centre for Sixth-form Studies


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  • Category: Senior / Sixth Form
  • Pupils: Co-Education
  • Type: Day & Boarding
  • Religious Affiliation: Non-Denominational
  • Roll: 85 (Boys) 82 (Girls)
  • Age Range: 15 - 21 years
  • Founded: 1981


CCSS has two central teaching sites and five boarding residences. All are located right in the heart of Cambridge within minutes of each other and of Cambridge City Centre (by foot or bike, but a little longer in a car!). In 2018, CCSS joined the Stephen Perse Foundation, a collective of seven schools across Cambridge, Madingley and Saffron Walden.

Our campus reflects our style and ethos: high quality, purposeful and a million miles away from a traditional school environment. Our collegiate set-up encourages our students to make best use of first class teaching facilities, of quiet and well-equipped study rooms and of modern and well-appointed social spaces. Our teaching buildings include specialist laboratories for sciences, well-equipped, bright study rooms and a full suite for the visual arts. Our IT provision is second to none, with superfast broadband operating over hard-wired and WiFi networks and uniquely generous download limits.

Our boarding houses provide 130 attractive, fully supported single-rooms, all of a high standard and all a great “home from home”. Most of our rooms have private bathroom facilities and there is a good choice of different styles to suit individual tastes. Boarding houses also benefit from superfast broadband that supports links with home and the best access to academic resources.

ll students are encouraged to experience the wide range of sports, arts, cultural and leisure activities. We team up with key our cultural associates when this adds value for our students. For example we share sporting facilities with the University of Cambridge: our home football pitch is at Pembroke College where students experience high-quality facilities as well as an insight into university life. Cambridge has so much to offer and our teaching and residential sites are within minutes of indoor tennis courts, top-class sports pitches, an Olympic-sized swimming pool and sports halls.

Entrance Requirements

If you have completed GCSE examinations, the standard requirement for our 2-year A Level programme is for students to have achieved grades A* to C in at least five subjects including English and maths. If you have not been studying GCSEs we assess your application individually.

As each overseas country has its own education system there is no single entry requirement. Our experience in evaluating overseas school transcripts and examination certification (from Europe, Asia, Africa, the CIS, the US, etc.) means that we will be able to make an informed decision quite quickly, based on your past or upcoming qualifications. Reports and transcripts from your current or previous schools will be important. We would always encourage coming to interview at CCSS , if at all possible, and if you cannot come in person we will talk to you by Skype video link.

Open Days

2019. All visits are welcome, please contact the school.


2018/2019. Standard 2 year A-Level course: tuition only £7,000 per term. 1 year A-Level course covering both AS and A2: 3 subjects £8,400 per term. 1 year GCSE (up to 7 subjects): tuition only £7.000 per term. Boarding fee: from £5,067 per term.

For international student fees, including English as a Second Language for IELTS course, please contact the college.


ISI Inspection 2013

School Contact Details

Headteacher: Mrs D Hammersley

CCSS Cambridge Centre for Sixth-form Studies
4-5 Bene’t Place

[t]: 01223 454762
[f]: 01223 517530

Location Description

The College is situated in central Cambridge and is made up of three teaching sites and five Boarding Houses. Cambridge has the great advantages of being relatively small, cosmopolitan and extremely beautiful. It is a lively and ‘student-friendly’ city less than one hour from central London.

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School News

CCSS Cambridge Centre for Sixth Form Studies independent college Cambridge

We are pleased to announce that Cambridge Centre for Sixth-form Studies (CCSS) has joined our highly acclaimed and award-winning family of schools.

As part of the

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Stephen Perse Foundation, CCSS will continue to operate as an independent college, offering GCSE, A-level and University Foundation courses whilst enjoying the advantages of being part of the wider campus of schools. Both organisations will benefit from the enhanced educational and strategic opportunities arising from the additional scale and wider reach of the enlarged group.

CCSS shares our vision of preparing young people for the globally interconnected world they will live in a vision which our Principal believes is shaped by Cambridge:

“With an internationally top performing university cheek by jowl with the entrepreneurial power house of Silicon Fen, our young people have the privilege of growing up in a city which is pointing towards a very different future for them.

“Rather than just turning out young people who are highly-skilled at passing exams, we prepare young people to be independent thinkers in an ever-changing world.  It’s a very different kind of education, where great results are a by-product, not our sole focus.”

The Principal of CCSS, Stuart Nicholson, said:

“There are many synergies in ethos and vision between our two organisations and the Stephen Perse Foundation group of schools will provide an excellent home for CCSS. Being part of a highly successful group of schools presents many new opportunities for CCSS and what we offer perfectly complements the education provided by other schools in the group – we are excited to see what the future brings.”

As a Foundation, we have a history of excellence in education in Cambridgeshire and Essex. Our outstanding leadership and strategic vision has been acknowledged through awards and accolades including the TES Independent Schools Award for Outstanding Strategic Initiative. In 2008, we successfully set up a co-educational 6th Form College; in 2010 we acquired Madingley Pre-Prep; in 2011 we established a City Pre-Prep in Cambridge; in 2013 we merged with Dame Bradbury’s School in Saffron Walden; and in 2014 we introduced the diamond model co-educational community into our Junior School, followed by our Senior School in 2017.

CCSS Cambridge Centre for Sixth Form Studies independent college Cambridge

On Saturday 2 February, 9 students from CCSS caught an early morning train to London in order to attend the West London Model United Nations

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Conference. This was everyone’s first conference this year and so nerves and excitement were high. The conference was being held at The American School in London, which was a place familiar to the students as they’d participated in a Model U.N. training day there a few months ago. CCSS was the only school participating from outside of London, and so had had a longer commute than most that morning!

The conference began with the opening ceremony, which included some touching speeches and a rousing call to action to begin helping change the world for the better. The overall theme for the conference was ‘Global Health’ with students later dividing into committees on subtopics under this theme. The committee topics included Sexual Health, Migration and Health, Migrant Safety and Wellbeing, and the Security Council discussed the important topic of the Rohingya crisis in Myanmar.

The debates and discussions lasted the whole day, with every moderated and unmoderated caucus bringing the committees ever closer to agreeing on resolutions. At the end of the day, all the delegates came back together for the Awards Ceremony. We were delighted to hear that Arimoku from CCSS had won the award for the best position paper for the Security Council. The conference was a fantastic experience and greatly inspired the students involved. By the end of the conference, the students were more aware of crises and global issues, they were more confident in forming and debating an opinion, and in making their voices heard on issues that matter to them.

Cambridge Centre for Sixth Form Studies independent college Cambridgeshire

Students at CCSS (Cambridge Centre for Sixth-form Studies) have taken a variety of paths to get there, but they are now celebrating A Level success

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and a place at their chosen university.

This year’s cohort included a student who was previously home schooled to another who took A Levels in one year after missing out on their preferred university place last year and others who travelled from across the globe for a Cambridge education.

Samuel Stark has achieved three A* grades in Physics, Maths and Further Maths at the age of just 15. Samuel was previously home schooled and first joined CCSS to take its online computing course. Success with this led to A Levels and he plans to apply for Cambridge next year after taking a “GAP year” from exams.

Anna is celebrating achieving the grades to get into City University of London to study Business Computing Systems after studying Business Studies and English Literature at CCSS for just one year. “When I first arrived, I did not believe it possible to do English Literature in a year, but my teachers Anna and Lynn structured things in such a way that we got through it” says Anna. “Lynn, who was also my tutor always provided wise advice regarding my university application and I felt I could talk to her about almost anything. Another positive has been the diversity of students here! Students come from all over the world and this adds another dynamic to one’s education because you learn about the world and different cultures.”

CCSS has also had an extraordinary year for STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) subjects. David is heading off to Loughborough University to study a degree in Automotive Engineering after achieving four A* grades in Maths, Further Maths, Physics and Chemistry. David decided to join CCSS for A Levels because he believed it offered him the best opportunity of achieving his ambition to study engineering at university. “Studying at CCSS is a collection of small pleasures,” said David. “From sharing a laugh with a chemistry teacher when they go off topic mid-lesson, to simply arriving each day to do something you are good at. It’s the satisfaction of achieving your full potential, and being proud of what you can do.”

Patawee, achieved three A* grades in Maths, Further Maths and Chemistry and is now headed for Imperial College London to study Mechanical Engineering. Patawee came to the UK from Thailand because of the high standard of engineering education. “This great country is very famous for engineering courses for both undergraduate and graduate students,” he said. “I have enjoyed studying at CCSS especially the experiments and immersive media which has helped me to visualise the content of each subject, especially science-related subjects.”

Commenting on the success of these students CCSS Principal Stuart Nicholson said. “I’m delighted that these students – who have come from many different backgrounds and taken many different journeys – have all reached the same point with results that will lead them to their university of choice. The message here is that if you’ve got the dream and are prepared to work hard you don’t necessarily have to come via the traditional route. I wish them all the best of luck at university and beyond.”

At the annual CIFE Academic Awards Ceremony held at the House of Lords on Thursday, 7th April, Lord Lexden presented awards for academic excellence to

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thirty-nine students who achieved remarkable A-level and GCSE results last summer.

CIFE is a national organisation of independent colleges which specialise in preparing students for university entrance. The current Chairman of CIFE is Stuart Nicholson, Principal of CCSS, who was delighted to host all the award winners on behalf of CIFE.

The recipients – some British, some from overseas – were warmly applauded at the presentation, all having studied at sixth-form colleges belonging to the Council for Independent Education (CIFE), of which Alistair Lexden is President. The award-winners typically average 95% + scores in all their A-level exams.

Lord Lexden said: “Year after year statistics produced by leading international organizations show that our independent schools and colleges provide an education that ranks among the best in the world. No wonder families here and abroad are so keen to send their children to CIFE’s successful member colleges. Their outstanding A-level results prove once again that they have fulfilled the trust placed in them. Their mingling of great talents and different cultures enrich our country and other nations”.

‘P K’ is the latest in the line of Visual Arts stars from CCSS. Following the Umbria Cashmere Award 2012, he undertook an internship in

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Italy, then worked with designer Iris Van Herpen for her “Voltage” collection. Showcasing her collection at Paris fashion week, PK was then offered an internship with Alexander Wang in New York, where he has been for the last 5 months. The magical combination of technical skill and work ethic led to him being offered a permanent post there, but he has decided he will be returning to Central St Martins to finish his own final collection. PK credits his success to the skill of the teaching he received at CCSS.

“My final collection will be launched in May and I am already organising all my research and doing final fabric experiments and sourcing. I am delighted that under Charlotte’s inspiration at CCSS I have found my path in fashion and knitting, and I am proud to say I have studied in CCSS and feel I have met some great people in Cambridge, this city with harmony.”

Other Cambridge applicants’ successes include a trio from Thailand: Tanut Treetanthiploet achieved A*A*A*A* as well as top grades in the ultra-difficult STEP 2 and STEP

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3 mathematics papers; Pongpichit Churanraksasat scored A*A*A* and Natthawut Adulyanukosol A*A*A*A. Tanut will read Mathematics and Pongpichit and Natthawut are going to study Natural Science.

Hannah Smart, from Cambridge, who came to CCSS on a scholarship from The Manor School, achieved A*AA and has a place to study Law with American Law at UEA. Another high achiever was Yassin Salla, who comes from Gambia and is now going to the LSE to study International Relations. She too gained A*AA.

CCSS Principal, Stuart Nicholson said: “Our students have worked incredibly hard to achieve these results and I am delighted that so many are now going on to top universities to study a wide range of subjects, from art at St Martin’s in London to Veterinary Science at Cambridge. As well as creating a positive learning environment we put much store by preparing them for university in many more ways than academically, so I am confident they are all off to very successful university careers and beyond”.

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