Leighton Park School

Berkshire

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  • Category: Senior / Sixth Form
  • Pupils: Co-Education
  • Type: Day & Boarding
  • Religious Affiliation: Quaker
  • Roll: 282 (Boys) 182 (Girls)
  • Age Range: 11-18 years
  • Founded: 1890

General Information

Our positive approach to life and education provides us with the energy and enthusiasm to look for the good in each individual, and prepare well-rounded and confident students with the wide variety of skills and experience so valued by universities and employers. Through their academic endeavour, sport participation, charity work and event organisation our students become self-motivated and fully equipped with the skills they will need to succeed in their future studies and careers.

With our rich Quaker traditions and history, a strong sense of pastoral care and community and an engaging academic curriculum Leighton Park can offer a guided, disciplined learning environment in which every individual can thrive.

Facilities

Versatile theatre and concert space; drama studio; digital recording studio and technology suite. Extensive sports fields, floodlit astroturf, cricket square and indoor pool. Large number of electronic whiteboards in classrooms, 3 ICT suites. Well equipped Library and range of author visits and events to excite readers. Sixth Form Centre with lounge, kitchen, garden and study space. Careers Library. Boarding houses well equipped with leisure facilities, for use of day pupils as well as boarders.

Entrance Requirements

Entry into Years 7-10: Tests in English, English Essay and Maths plus interview. For entry in September 2017, the entrance tests will be held on Saturday 14th January 2017.

Sixth Form entry: required GCSE or equivalent results and interview.

Students whose first language is not English will be required to sit an EAL (English as an Additional Language) test and possibly other subject area papers depending upon previous educational background and subjects studied.

International students: arrangements can be made for students to sit tests at their current school. Interviews will be arranged and carried out using Skype. A birth certificate and passport will be requested to confirm identification and date of birth.

Scholarships

A limited number of Academic, Art and Design, Drama, Music and Sports scholarships are granted for entry to Year 7, Year 9 and Sixth Form on the basis of a competitive examination.

Open Days

2018. Open Mornings: Tues. 22nd May and Tues. 19th June.

Please visit our website www.leightonpark.com or contact the Admissions Office for details, by telephone on 0118 987 9608 or email admissions@leightonpark.com.

Fees

2017/2018. Per term. Junior pupils (Years 7 and 8): Day £5786, Weekly Boarding £7962, Full Boarding £9054. Senior pupils (Years 9 to Upper Sixth): Day £7218, Weekly Boarding, £9767, Full Boarding £11348.

Sibling discount offered.

Reports

ISI Boarding Inspection 2012
ISI Full Inspection 2014

School Contact Details

Headteacher: Mr Nigel Williams

Leighton Park School
Shinfield Road
Reading
Berkshire
RG2 7ED

[t]: 0118 987 9600
[w]: www.leightonpark.com

Location Description

Set in 60 acres of parkland, 1 mile south of Reading. Close to M4 and River Thames and within easy reach of Heathrow and Gatwick airports.

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School News

Leighton Park Independent Berkshire New GCSE Subjects at Leighton Park School

With the school’s aim of providing an inspiring, holistic education for each individual, Leighton Park School’s Deputy Head (Academic), Karen Gracie-Langrick, is delighted to announce

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three new GCSE options to offer Year 10 students even more choice from September 2018.

We are pleased to offer a new GCSE in Dance, further enhancing our strong creative arts offering and complementing our investment in performing arts through the development of the Michael Malnick Centre for music and media. The school is making investments to support this new option, recruiting a dance teacher and creating a new dance studio. These investments will also enable exciting new dance options as part of our expansive co-curricular programme.

Reflecting the school’s strength in Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM), we will be launching a new GCSE in Engineering. Drawing on expertise in Maths and DT, this subject will explore materials, manufacturing processes and systems. It will also build on our strong industry partnerships with companies like Cisco and Intel and our close relationship with the Institute of Engineering and Technology (IET). The school is investing in STEM facilities, including the creation of a STEM creative studio, sponsored in part by HP, to support the growth in relevance and popularity of DT, Computer Science and Engineering.

Leighton Park will also offer a new GCSE in Food Preparation and Nutrition, which will focus on nurturing students’ practical cookery skills to give them a strong understanding of nutrition. This exciting new option will make the most of our fantastic food technology centre, link closely with the school’s PE GCSE and support our Advanced Performer Programme (APP) for elite athletes.

Further details can be found in our GCSE booklet at https://www.leightonpark.com/academic/senior-school

Leighton Park independent day and boarding school Berkshire

A Leighton Park student, who is the current U16 1000m kayak UK champion and on the GB Olympic pathway, has been awarded a prestigious Squadkit

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Scholarship for her amazing achievements in kayaking.

Olympic gold medalist and GB Hockey team member, Kate Richardson-Walsh, came to Leighton Park to present Kate with her award. She graciously took the time to deliver a seminar to students in Leighton Park’s Advanced Performer Programme and ran a hockey masterclass with some of the school’s top hockey players.

Kate applied for the Squadkit Scholarship along with several other elite athletes on Leighton Park’s Advanced Performer Programme. Kate is one of only five students in the country to be granted one. Squadkit is committed to supporting the next generation in sports, and the sponsorship goes a long way to helping Kate achieve her goals and get ever closer towards her Olympic aspirations. Providing tangible support that also motivates and engages students and their peers.

Kate said:

“I feel so honoured to have received this award and am so excited to see the opportunities this will open for me. I’m so thankful to Squadkit”

Leighton Park’s Director of Sport, Jeremy Belas said:

“We are very proud of Kate and her achievements in kayaking. She is a thoroughly deserved winner of the Squadkit scholarship and will put the money to good use on her journey to greatness in her sport. This is a big positive for the school, sport and the Advanced Performer Programme and all the students involved in the sessions with Kate Richardson-Walsh have had a truly inspirational experience.”

Kate Richardson-Walsh, Squadkit Performance Director said: “It’s great to see Squadkit support young athletes with the Squadkit Scholarship at the time when they need it the most. I feel lucky to be able to visit schools across the country as Squadkit Performance Director hoping to inspire the next generation and always come away inspired by the young people I meet, who like Kate have so much passion and dedication for their sport. I wish Kate every success in achieving her goals and look forward to following her sporting progress.

It was my honour and pleasure to present Kate with one of the Squadkit Scholarships. With only 5 scholarships awarded each year, this represents the enormity of Kate’s achievements to date. Kate is dedicating her life to being the best kayaker she can be whilst juggling her academic life alongside. Representing her country at junior levels, her progress to seniors is both steady and assured. We all look forward to supporting Kate in any way we can.”

 

Leighton Park independent school Berkshire

Following months of successfully contested heats, Saturday 20th January 2018 saw Leighton Park School’s Giacomo (Johnny) (Year 10) at The NEC in Birmingham for The

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Open Mic UK Grand Final.

Having made it through local, area and regional heats with renditions of The Beatles’ ‘Yesterday’ and ‘Come Together, reggae style, with a rock version of U2’s ‘Where the Streets Have No Name’, Johnny’s performance of his own composition, ‘Come Back Home’ won him fourth place from an appreciative crowd. “I’m a very proud papa” commented dad, Richard. “I write all the time so I thought I would perform one of my own songs in the final. I knew the judges were looking for originality.” explained Johnny, “I wasn’t expecting that much out of it as I’ve never entered a competition like this before but I won the song writing competition with ‘Never Let You Go’ and I made it to the finals for my age group in the singing.”

The competition, which has been running since September 2017, aims to encourage new talent and recognises young singer / songwriters who can enter by age category. Over 3,500 hopefuls entered the Under 16s group and Johnny’s musical skills took him to the Grand Final as one of the best contestants in his category.

Johnny began his musical journey at the age of eight when he joined the choir at St George’s, the prep school that prepares choristers for St George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle. From his role as Head Chorister in 2015, Johnny launched a Sussex based three-strong rock / pop band called Paper Machete who are currently working on their first album with plans to tour a number of London venues in the summer holidays. Influenced by musicians as diverse as Frank Sinatra and The Rolling Stones, Johnny feels that he is destined for a career in entertainment. “The NEC was so cool; what I want to do is to perform and sing all the time. It’s exhilarating standing on stage. I don’t get nervous because I love it so much and it’s what I want to do. I wouldn’t see this as work at all, it’s just having a good time on stage.”

In addition to members of the public and the judging panel, the audience included A&R representatives from famous record labels such as Universal Music Group, Sony Music Entertainment and Syco. Part of Johnny’s prize is a meeting with a management company with a view to boosting his exposure on the music scene. Those lucky enough to perform at this national level may well be forging their musical future lives on stage, even before they have left school.

Johnny’s talents have also secured him this year’s lead in the Leighton Park School’s Senior Production, ‘Parade’ by Alfred Uhry. The production which is taking place 6th-9th February packs a punch, with many songs in different styles telling the story of a Jewish factory manager framed for murder. Johnny and the cast have been working hard since the autumn term in putting together a fantastic show. If you have yet to book your tickets to the show, you can do so at http://bit.ly/ParadeLP2018

Johnny in rehearsal for Parade

Johnny on the stage for Open Mic UK

 

Leighton Park independent school Berkshire

Leighton Park School is delighted to announce the appointment of Matthew Judd as Head from 1st September 2018.

Matthew comes to the school with a very

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impressive track record of success from Haberdashers’ Aske’s School, where he is Second Master (equivalent to Deputy Head) and Executive Head of the preparatory school. He has been instrumental in driving academic standards whilst bringing greater focus on values education and personalised learning. Haberdashers’ Aske’s School is one of the UK’s leading independent schools and won Sunday Times Independent School of the Year in 2017.

Prior to this, Matthew was Principal of Mander Portman Woodward College – an independent co-educational school. He is a Geography graduate of the University of Wales and qualified in education at Queens’ College, Cambridge.

Matthew said: “I am thrilled to be joining Leighton Park School as Head to lead the amazing community with its exceptional commitment to the holistic education of young individuals. Never have Quaker principles for a mindful and reflective education been more important. I am proud to be joining a School dedicated to bringing out the best in young people in their academic and co-curricular lives, at school and beyond”

Matthew also brings valuable experience from his role as a Trustee, and latterly Chair, of Education Action International. Matthew has demonstrated a strong affinity for the School’s Quaker values and was strongly motivated in applying for the role after visiting the School as an ISI inspector. He will live on the park with his partner Ian.

David Isherwood, Chair of Governors, said: “I am confident that Matthew is the right person to lead and shape the School through its next phase. He has achieved excellent results over a sustained period at his previous school and will have a superb foundation to build on at Leighton Park. The school is remarkable because of the huge commitment of its staff, the wonderful sense of calm and the impressive way that it inspires each student to succeed as themselves.”

 

Leighton Park independent school Berkshire

Under the slogan of ‘Dream big, start small, act now’ (Robin Sharma) 60 enthusiastic Sixth Formers and a plethora of engaging industry experts were ‘full

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STEAM ahead’ as they generated an audible buzz at the CISCO Offices on Green Park on the 9th and 10th November.

15 excited Leighton Park students teamed up with pupils from UTC, Kendrick School and John Madejski Academy for the two-day IT solutions challenge. ‘Green Meets Grey’ was masterminded by Cisco in Reading for technologically minded teens to solve real problems for a range of organisations. Issues such as water irrigation or mapping systems were tackled and through a range of presentations and ice-breaking activities the mixed-school teams were able to understand the importance of business case building, rapid prototyping and creativity when developing an innovative solution.

“It was such an impressive initiative, the brain child of Mark Mason (Director of Design Thinking) and Louize Clarke (Connect TVT), which focussed the creative minds of our students on team building challenges which combined the elements of technology and business to solve real industry related problems.” commented Karen Gracie-Langrick (Deputy Head, Academic).

Each team worked with a representative from a local organisation which a given real world problem to solve using IoT (Internet of Things) technologies. Each group brainstormed and refined their ideas before splitting into technical and business teams. The groups needed to utilise their communication skills to ensure that both sub-teams were working along the same critical path and were keeping to the prescribed timescales. The business teams developed marketing and financial plans around a client profile. The technical teams used Python controlled sensor boards to measure elements such as temperature, rotation and moisture, using computational thinking skills such as debugging and decomposition to edit existing libraries and transmit the output from the sensor readings. On the second day, the teams made further developments to their prototypes and undertook strategic testing to demonstrate their solutions with a pitch communicating the full business solution to all participants.

“It was heartening to hear the key skills required in today’s workplace echo many of our Quaker values: particularly the notion of an equal voice. Additionally, our students were encouraged to adopt the principles of ‘agile development’ and to raise the bar to achieve, and pitch for success!” continued Karen.

The winning team which included Leighton Park student, Tao (Wallance), Lower Sixth, developed a solution to help Thames Water solve the problem of providing water supply to households. The solution included placing smart sensors with cameras into water pipes to collect the necessary data. This data could then be turned into information visible on a smartphone app so that a customer could identify an imminent problem before it occurred.

I really enjoyed that Green Park Challenge not only because of winning it, but also for improving my presentation ability.” Commented Tao, member of the winning team H2O with their FISH initiative. “It was actually the first time that I have made a presentation in English which is not my first language. What’s more, it was a challenging but interesting to work with students from other different schools.”

 

 

Hewlett Packard (HP), Intel and IT solutions specialists XMA have awarded Leighton Park School the exciting Ripple Effect Prize. The prize recognises schools at the

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forefront of using technology to support student learning.

The school will be presented with an HP STEM & Creative Learning Studio, worth over £20,000. As well as specialist laptops, the Prize consists of the latest 3D scanning and immersive computing technology.

Neil Sawyer, Channel and Education Director, HP UKI, commented “The STEM worker shortfall is estimated at 40,000 in the UK. With more jobs being created to meet the shifting demands of the digital economy, this gap is only going to widen”.

“HP believes it can boost STEM learning by reinventing the way we teach these skills in schools. The careers of tomorrow will be in robotics, programming and engineering. Early access to this technology for schools, its staff and students is critical to the UK economy. By working alongside as many schools and colleges as possible – such as Leighton Park – HP hopes to inspire people to be the inventors of tomorrow.”

Leighton Park is working towards becoming a Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics centre of excellence, combining particular strengths in these traditional areas with expertise in creative media and the creative arts. The Prize comes on the back of other developments at the school, such as a partnership with Pinewood Studios for film production and becoming a Yamaha Music Education Partner.

Innovative uses of learning technology at the school include the roll out of CleverTouch interactive screens to facilitate dynamic, engaging lessons, the use of Google Classroom and Chromebooks to support student learning and an exciting enabling environment to support creative media, including design, film production and music technology.

Ben Brown, Head of Schools and Further Education at IT solutions specialists XMA commented: “XMA were really happy to award the 2017 Ripple Effect Prize to Leighton Park on seeing their entry.  The exciting use of technology in the school really is supporting the STEM agenda and will be preparing the pupils for life outside of the school. Hopefully the new technology will continue this work and XMA are looking forward to working with them to innovate further.”

Mark Smith, Head of Design and Technology said: “We are absolutely delighted to have won the competition and know the HP and Intel technology will be very well utilised in a school where technology is already firmly embedded within our students’ learning. On a personal note, the 28 students who attend a weekly 3-dimensional Computer-Aided Design club are incredibly excited.”

The award-winning submission took the form of a video, which was produced by students and staff – the video is available online here.

Leighton Park School independent day and boarding school Berkshire

Eager GCSE students were keen to collect their results at 8am this morning as the 84-strong cohort awaited the outcome of two years dedicated study.

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“I didn’t sleep at all; not at all!” laughed Hannah Pither, looking forward to celebrating her excellent results by getting back into bed! “She didn’t believe these were her results!” enthused Hannah’s mum, Rachel, “I’m so proud of her.”

Chunya Munga (5A*s, 5As), who has spent the summer training for the rugby season, commented, “I always sleep well but I’m so pleased and relieved to have my results,” he said, “It was the one thing this summer that I had to worry about and now it’s done.” Chunya is looking forward to continuing to his studies at Leighton Park next year taking Economics, Geography, Politics and Maths at A Level.

STEM subjects (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) were particularly successful with A*-B grades in Maths (82.9%), Chemistry (70.4%), Physics (76.6%), Biology (64.6%) and DT (81.8%). Josh Butcher who achieved A*s in all three sciences, along with a further 4A*s and 3As, was delighted with his results, “I’m so happy,” he said, “I’m really, really pleased!”.

There was just under a 10% increase in the number of students achieving 5 GCSEs at A*-C including Maths and English. Other notable subjects at A*-B grades were English Literature (69.1%), Language (66.7%) and Geography (75%).

Nigel Williams, Head, commented, “I am really pleased that so many individual students have realised their potential through their good grades. I congratulate them on their success, achieved through their hard work and the dedication and skill of their teachers.”

Leighton Park School, located in 60 acres of beautiful parkland, opposite the University of Reading, offers GCSE students the opportunity to choose from a broad range of 26 subjects. In addition, Leighton Park also offers a rigorous one-year Pre-Sixth Form course primarily for international students seeking an intensive programme of study prior to Sixth Form.

Students currently in Year 9 and their families are welcome to find out more about the GCSE or Pre-Sixth Form courses at Leighton Park at the school’s annual open morning on Saturday 30th September 2017, 10am–12

Leighton Park independent day and boarding school Berkshire

With over 20% of the 2017 A Level cohort achieving A or A* in 3 or more subjects there were many happy faces at Leighton

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Park School this morning as excited students collected their results. “I am delighted that so many of our students achieved the highest grades.” commented Head, Nigel Williams. “I am particularly pleased this year to see that one in five were awarded exclusively A grades or higher.”

Deputy Head (Academic), Karen Gracie-Langrick, remarked, “The increase in our percentage of A* grades to 14.3% this year is excellent news as it demonstrates the quality, rigour and robustness of teaching at Leighton Park with regards to the new linear A Levels, and the hard work and application of our students who met and exceeded the grades required by their Russell Group Universities. In our truly co-educational school, we have an excellent gender balance in our grades, with both girls and boys performing equally well.”

Runbei Cheng, whose 3A*s in Physics, Maths and Further Maths, confirm his place to read Physics at Wadham College, Oxford, commented, “I’ve wanted to study Physics since I was 14 and plan to go on to do a PhD and then gain a Fellowship in Quantum Computing. I’ve been studying extra physics modules during my studies and am looking forward to getting started at Oxford.”

The EPQ was undertaken by 10% of the 2017 cohort including twins Helga and Peter Polz who achieved an impressive total of eight A*-A grades between them. “The workload is greater for A Levels, but so is the support, especially in the Upper Sixth.” said Helga, “I’m really grateful for that! It is the difference between really understanding the course, not just memorising facts. You have to get deeply into the knowledge of the subject.”

Charlie Harris (A*A*A) who dedicated many Sixth Form hours to his passion for stage management, leading the Leighton Park Tech Crew support of a variety of musical and dramatic productions in locations all over the 60 acre parkland, including the woods, was delighted with his results. “It was a lot to take on,” Charlie noted, “I had to work really hard all the time, in every moment I was either studying or busy with tech but I’m looking forward to studying Biochemistry at Imperial College, London.”

Joseph Norris also understands the relief of great results after so much effort, “I really blasted it in the Upper Sixth,” he said, “It paid off as I got A*AA in English Literature, Economics and Psychology and now I can study PPE at uni.”

Also celebrating was Rowan Taylor, who at 14 years old was the school’s youngest AS Level candidate achieving a B grade in Creative Writing. An enthusiastic member of the Leighton Park Creative Writing club, Rowan was inspired by club leader and Head of Teaching and Learning, Ken Sullivan. “Ken suggested we all just go for it!” explained Rowan, “You have to write in two genres with an 8,000 word limit so I submitted a collection of poems and two short stories. I love writing and would like to continue, maybe onto an EPQ next; I’d like to write a novella.”

Traditional A Level courses such as Geography (82% A*-B) and emerging subjects such as Economics were both highly successful. Similar grade successes were being celebrated in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) by Maths (68% A*-B), Design and Technology (80% A*-B), Chemistry (71% A*-B) and Physics (83% A*-B). Nigel Williams, Head, added, “It is fantastic to see our commitment to our STEM initiatives resulting in such brilliant A Level results; demonstrating the school’s success as a STEM Centre of Excellence.”

Number of candidates 57
% A*/A grades 37.7
% A*/B grades 58.9
% A*/C grades 80
% Overall pass rate A*/E 97.7
Average Points per student 117.8
Average Passes per student 3

 

Photo: Leighton Park Students – delighted by their excellent results

 

 

Leighton Park School Independent Berkshire Big Bang Interactive Event at Leighton Park School

Berkshire’s Inaugural Big Bang!

An explosive morning of interactive Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) workshops and presentations from some of the UK’s leading scientific organisations

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was the order of the day on Tuesday 7th March for excited pupils from ten local schools. Leighton Park School, Shinfield Road, Reading was delighted to host the ‘Big Bang Interactive’ event, the first to take place in Berkshire, in conjunction with seasoned organisers, STEM Sussex and part of a bid to move towards Leighton Park School becoming a Centre of STEM Excellence.

PunkScience, the Science Museum’s resident comedy team, charged with making science thrilling and accessible, promised to deliver “the most horrible show in the world”. From eating crickets and scorpion legs to following the progress of a micro-camera through your digestive system there was plenty of high-energy educational entertainment! The groans, grimaces and guffaws which accompanied each of the three sessions they led, offered the team lots of audible appreciation for their revolting demonstrations and gross experiments!

Pupils from the ten schools, which included Caversham Primary School, Churchend Primary School, Dolphin School, Emmer Green Primary School, Farley Hill Primary School, Manor

Primary School, Oaklands Junior School, St Edward’s Prep, St Mary’s School Henley and Whiteknights Primary, joined Leighton Park’s own Year 7 students for the fun. Event initiator and Deputy Head (Academic), Karen Gracie-Langrick, said “This event has very much been part of a collaborative process from its inception and we have welcomed the opportunity to work closely and in partnership with committed and enthusiastic STEM Ambassadors from Industry and Higher Education. We very much hope that this will become an annual event – developing young students into creative, critical thinkers and providing opportunities to learn problem solving skills. If noise and excitement levels are good gauge of success – then I would say that today’s event has taken a tremendous step forward in achieving this aspiration!”

The Year 5, 6 and 7 students from the eleven participating schools were split into ten scientifically appropriate groups such as ‘Stephen Hawkins’, ‘Sir Edward Jenner’ and ‘Marie Curie’. Each group enjoyed two out of a possible ten interactive workshops led by industry experts from global companies such as Bion, Pfizer, Cisco and INTEL Corporation (UK) together with scientists from RSSL at Reading University and the University of Reading’s Biological Sciences Department. The activities ranged from designing a compressed air powered vehicle to travel over 1,000mph, building molecules in the drug development process, creating an architect’s model from mega blocks and using a (blunt!) hacksaw blade to power a small car! Leighton Park’s Computer Science Department delivered a Robotics session, the Physics, Biology and Chemistry staff teamed up to offer a ‘CSI-Crime Scene Investigation’ on the theft of the Head’s Christmas Selection Box and the Maths Department created a number based quiz covering several locations across the 60 acre park. “It was great fun!” said Francesca from Caversham Primary School, “I’ve made DNA this morning and am taking it home as a necklace!”

The children went home with a wonderful selection of science related goodies including seeds, 3D puzzles, stationery sets, straws and magazines. Some lucky prize winners even took away speakers, yoyos and maths card games and each school received a Sparkle Wand, all kindly donated by the generosity of the participating organisations.

Jo McKinney-Green, Operations Manager, STEM Sussex and Manager of the Big Bang programme for the South East, commented, “The Big Bang programme inspires young people to consider the interesting careers that are open to them when they study science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) subjects. I was delighted that Leighton Park School organised the first Big Bang in Berkshire for their own students and those from neighbouring schools, and am looking forward to future STEM careers events there”.

The event is one of a series of STEM initiatives at Leighton Park which will welcome the Big Bang back in June for a careers event for students in Years 10-13 featuring workshops, seminars and stands for industry and academic partners in stem related careers, apprenticeships and Higher Education courses.

Leighton Park independent day and boarding school Berkshire

Leighton Park’s IB students were excited to receive their International Baccalaureate Diploma (IBDP) results yesterday. Their top flight marks will see them taking full advantage

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of this internationally recognised qualification, accepting their places at UK, European and international universities.

Kara Ellis whose 42 points have earned her a place at UCL to read Biochemistry, was very relaxed about collecting her results. “She’s been too busy worrying about passing her driving test and taking her Grade 8 Oboe exam which was this morning,” laughed proud mum, Allie Ellis. “I’m just really, really happy!” grinned Kara.

Not everyone was lucky enough to be blessed with nerves of steel. Aiyana Tandon spent the last 24 hours feeling so restless that she had to go to the gym and take the dog for a long walk to burn off some nervous energy. She needn’t have worried though; Aiyana’s 40 points confirm her place at the University of Edinburgh to read Psychology, which she chose because the university also offers such a strong dance and drama programme, building on her extra-curricular success at Leighton Park. The family are off to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival next month; a chance for Aiyana to start settling in to the city. “I might even know where I am staying by then!” said a delighted Aiyana, keen to embrace the next stage of her academic career.

Fellow future Psychology student, Shanaya Khan, celebrated her place at Goldsmith’s College, London, by rewarding herself with an early night; “I just couldn’t sleep a wink last night, I was so scared about my results!” she said, “It is such a relief now, I’m so pleased!”

Nigel Williams, Head, commented “I am delighted that the IBDP results again reflect the high calibre and hard work of our students and of the teaching at the school.”

Leighton Park students averaged a score of 33, with five of the fourteen candidates also gaining a bilingual diploma. Last year Leighton Park’s results put us in the top five in the UK for small cohort IB results and although this year’s rankings have not yet been released, these fantastic results are a real tribute to the hard work and dedication of our students. We look forward to August when we hope to add A Level achievements to the impressive IB statistics and repeat last year’s success when 94% of Sixth Formers achieved their first university choice.

Deputy Head (Academic) and IBDP Co-ordinator at Leighton Park, Karen Gracie-Langrick, said, “The IB is a programme that has the advantage of offering the complete education with a moral purpose – encouraging students to look at the value of what they can contribute to the world whilst retaining breadth within their learning.  The IB is varied, rigorous and international and encourages students to foster an approach which enables them to explore links between the subjects, complete an extended essay and develop critical thinking.  An excellent, well rounded preparation for University and for life.”

Leighton Park School, located in 65 acres of beautiful parkland, opposite the University of Reading, offers Sixth Form students the opportunity to choose between studying A Levels and the IBDP. IBDP students follow a diverse and inspiring curriculum across six core subjects in addition to an extended project, and modules in Theory of Knowledge and Creativity, Activity and Service (CAS). In addition to the IBDP, Leighton Park offers a rigorous one-year Pre-Sixth Form course primarily for international students seeking an intensive programme of study prior to Sixth Form.

The school is offering Year 11 students the opportunity to learn more about the IBDP at their Sixth Form evening on Monday 16th October, 6.00pm.

Leighton Park School Independent Berkshire

On Thursday 25th May, Eye Film won Best Promotional Programme at The Royal Television Society East Awards 2017 for their school film they made with

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Leighton Park School, located in Shinfield Road, Reading.

Charlie Gauvain, Managing Director at Eye Film, in Norwich, Norfolk, commented, “Leighton Park School has a unique quality that is hard to put into words. Eye Film had the freedom to be creative and produce a script and film that would best convey the essence of the school. We spent a day filming with students, deliberately choosing to capture genuine, natural enthusiasm for the Leighton Park School. A few more days of filming followed to capture aerial shots, before adding some innovative editing techniques to create a slick final film full of creative transitions.”

“We’ve had a busy year with our company rebrand, launching a new website, producing two new TV projects for the BBC and working on a series of new films for schools, so we’re thrilled that we won. I don’t think there’s another school film quite like it and it was wonderful that Leighton Park allowed us creative free reign on the project, so thank you to them!” added Charlie.

Leighton Park School were thrilled with the video which can be viewed on the homepage of their website. Nigel Williams, Head, added, “I was eager to work with Eye Film, as Charlie and his team had a very clear vision about what they could offer us and a willingness to explore and understand the unique set of values that make Leighton Park School so special. I am delighted with the film and very excited about the thoroughly deserved award.”

Leighton Park School Independent Berkshire

Facing a Dragon’s Den style panel of judges of IT experts at Cisco, the world leader in IT and networking, might not be everyone’s ideal

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day out but for 25 girls from Leighton Park School it opened the gates to their dreams. On Thursday 27th April, thousands of girls worldwide were inspired by leading global companies in communication technologies as International Girls in IT Day took place, an initiative backed by International Telecommunication Union (ITU).

Twenty-five girls from Year 9 and 10 from Leighton Park, Shinfield Road, Reading, travelled to Cisco, the worldwide leader in IT and networking, also based in Reading, to celebrate the day that encourages girls and young women to consider careers in Information and Communication Technologies (ICT).

Alongside Leighton Park School, girls from Westgate School, Slough, Springwest Academy, Feltham and Rivers Academy Hounslow, also took part in the event at Cisco. Girls spoke to a variety of employees at Cisco about their job roles, as well as getting a greater insight into the world of IT, as they learnt how to write code, plan how to connect everyday items to the internet, create their own in-school app and present it Dragon’s Den style!

Girls were empowered and encouraged to work within the ICT field, as they were shown the numerous roles available and addressed stereotypes associated with the

field. “Attending Cisco’s Girls in IT Day has enabled us to identify our full potential, to open the gates of our dreams, to know that we can excel and achieve whatever we put our minds to; from public speaking in front of a crowd of unknown faces, to recognising the evolution of our everyday devices.” commented Letitia.

Girls left feeling more motivated and inspired to pursue careers within ICT fields. “We gained a meaningful insight into the growth of technology and the future of the internet that overrules our lives as human beings. At the end of the day, each of us were able to realise the abilities and strengths we possessed throughout public speaking, as well as recognising our unique confidence shining through against other schools! As females, we are now strong, proud and independent women!” affirms Emma.

Leighton Park School’s ambition is to become a STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) centre of excellence and is hoping to host similar events in the future that inspire young people to see the opportunities available to them. We are in collaboration with UTC Reading who are working with the Institute of Engineering and Technology to host a series of talks on women that work in STEM. The next two talks are on the 8th May and 5th June, with speakers from UK Space Agency, Institute for Environmental Analytics and Culham Centre for Fusion Energy.

Leighton Park independent day and boarding school Berkshire

Year 11 artists absorbed much of the Catalan culture during a four day trip to Barcelona in September, gathering inspiration for this year’s theme of

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‘Contrasts’. Beginning with the contemporary design and ceramics at Museu del Disseny they swiftly headed for the city’s beach at dusk before meandering through the packed streets of the Gothic Quarter.

On day two students took in the giants of Spanish art and architecture, Joan Miro and Antoni Gaudi. The Miro Foundation was reached via a funicular railway and was undoubtedly worth the climb. Energetic splashes of colour filled the gallery walls and rejuvenated everyone after a long morning.

With almost ten years to go until completion, Gaudi’s Sagrada Familia is already incredible. The afternoon saw the young artists entering a vast space filled with colour and light, with contrasting styles on each facade. In the evening everyone headed for the relative tranquillity of Parc Guell to take in the fresh air above the city.

Ralph reflected on the trip, “I was overwhelmed by the contrasts throughout the city. The Sagrada Familia has to be my number one though. It’s up there, for sure.”

The third day took in century old traditions in the Jewish quarter of Girona before working spontaneously in the spirit of Dada and Surrealism, at Dali’s Theatre in Figures.

The final day was spent in the hustle and bustle of a Barcelona market, taking street portraits of the stall holders and sampling local delicacies. This year’s trip will leave indelible memories on many and all have pledged to return for the completion of Gaudi’s masterpiece. Fantastico!

 

Leighton Park independent day and boarding school Berkshire

A mix of 25 engineers and designers from Year 7 -11 have been spending the last few months putting together their creation for the Greenpower

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Project. Each student has been taking on their own role, whether it be assembling, designing, or fundraising!

The Greenpower Education Trust’s objective is to advance education in the subjects of sustainable engineering and technology and created the Greenpower project to inspire young people to become interested in engineering by getting them to design, build and race their own electric powered car. The event sparks a lot of interest in pupils nationwide, with 450 schools taking part in the event that involves 2 x 90 minute races at some of the best motor sport venues across the UK!

Many schools take the event very seriously and put together proper racing teams as well as a bespoke kit for their designs, however, all teams must follow these stipulations: the car must have the same motor and one pair of 12 volt batteries per race; at least three team members must drive the car and up to six further members can act as pit crew; drivers may only drive for one car and for one team for a minimum of fifteen minutes.

Myles Nash, Head of DT has been guiding students, “The Greenpower project is great opportunity for students to focus on their design and technology skills and embrace engineering by looking at aerodynamics, stream-lining and your ability to manage power”.

Students have been customizing, adapting and assembling their standard kit this term and now will begin fundraising for sponsorship from companies in the local area with any manufacturing expertise or interest in children learning engineering. The races will be taking place in the summer – We look forward to seeing further progress over the coming months!

Leighton Park independent day and boarding school Berkshire

On 8th – 10th February we saw a truly unique performance, both in venue as guests gathered in a brilliant bright red circus tent, as

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well as in theatrical exploration as performers contrasted the murderous plot of ‘Woyzeck’ with the cheerful frivolity of a circus setting.

Leighton Park’s new Head of Drama, Peter Scoggins, had the challenging task of creating a special environment for the production due to ongoing building works for our brand new state of the art Music and Media Centre, which is due to be completed spring 2018. “It has been an absolute joy to direct and design this performance and I have to say a special thank-you to everyone who has helped to make it happen. The young people of Leighton Park created something very special – theatre that seeks to explore something of the world that surrounds us and which also transports us somewhere else.” comments Peter.

‘Woyzeck’ is a dark play originally set in a small 19th century German garrison town, however, for the school’s production the setting of ‘Woyzeck’ was transported to a small travelling run-down circus at the start of the 20th century. Performers in the production experienced a variety of outings and workshops to inspire them with how to understand the unusual setting and devise their own circus scenes. Trips included spending an evening at the Circus Starr big top in Woodley where students got to see dangerous feats of acrobatics and strength accompanied by humour, as well as a workshop with Peter Wintercane from Big Top Mania. Students learned how to perform slapstick comedy and various circus acts to help them devise scenes for audience participation.

Despite the fun circus elements, the tragic central focus of the play remained intact as Christian exceptionally portrayed the down-trodden and inarticulate Franz Woyzeck as he descended into madness. Christian commented being involved in the play, “Taking part in the school production was a great learning experience for me. Playing the disturbed Woyzeck was probably the hardest thing I’ve had to do as an actor but the feeling of achievement afterwards made all the work worthwhile and despite the pressure and stress, I thoroughly enjoyed taking part.”

“The whole cast’s performance was remarkable in portraying the calamitous story of poverty, human suffering and violence, juxtaposed with the frequent light-hearted jovial circus scenes. What appeared an unusual combination for theatre was executed as an incredible demonstration of the talent at Leighton Park, as well as an unforgettable and exciting setting for the play in a unique theatre venue.” Nigel Williams, Head, commented.

Vladislav, who played Andres, Woyzeck’s friend and confidant, reveals the difficult demands for the production due to the unconventional location: “Performing in a circus tent was interesting experience because we had a few complications with space and the acoustics on our way to the final performance but I would be prepared to go through that journey again and again just to experience that incredible feeling of accomplishment after the curtain call!”

Students from Year 9 to the Upper Sixth contributed to the technical crew, the band, costumes and make-up over the three night run and received a monumental round of applause for all of their dedication and hard work. This year has proven to showcase another memorable Senior Production and demonstrate the abundance of talent throughout the school.

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