Leighton Park School


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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.


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.


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

2017. Open Mornings: Sat. 30th September, Tues. 10th October, Tues. 7th November and Tues. 5th December.

2018. Open Mornings: Tues. 20th February, Tues. 13th March, Tues. 24th April, 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.


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.


ISI Boarding Inspection 2012
ISI Full Inspection 2014

School Contact Details

Headteacher: Mr Nigel Williams

Leighton Park School
Shinfield Road

[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.

To send an email to the school please fill in your details below and add a short message. If you are requesting a prospectus to be sent to you please include your postal address.

School News

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.

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.

Robert Beckett, who lives in Reading, was delighted to receive his results. With 37 points he will be heading off to Tilburg University in the Netherlands to read Economics.

Lillie Sokolski will also be studying abroad, joining another Leighton Park student, Finty Grace Kelly, at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in New York for an immersive two-year, performance-based course which prepares students for a professional career on stage and screen. Head of Drama, Geraint Thomas, commented, “The American Academy is one of the most famous drama schools in the world and is certainly on a par with our best; RADA, Central or the Bristol Old Vic etc. It is so great for an international school like ours to be placing students in prestigious places all around the world.”

Max Jennings, whose 40 points are taking him to Falmouth College for his Art Foundation course before he selects a creative degree course in his preferred medium, told his Art teacher, Elaine King, “I’m so happy with my results! I have the overall grade requirements so I can go to any uni I choose, thank you so much for all your help during the last two years!”. Another of Elaine’s students, Liza Gargarina, achieved the highest possible subject mark in the IB with a 7 in Art. Liza’s talents and her fantastic results will see her applying to the prestigious Slade School of Fine Art at UCL next year.

Marijn Vuijk, who achieved 38 points and is going to be studying in the Netherlands next year, has spent the last month volunteering at a local primary school in Guatemala. Marijn was awarded £300 earlier in the year as part of Leighton Park’s Travel Scholarship programme, enabling her support Niños de Guatemala, a charity offering education to children from low-income families.

Nigel Williams, Head, commented “In the uncertain climate in which we find ourselves, it is very reassuring that Leighton Park students have performed so well in an internationally recognised rigorous Diploma programme, that will give each student the option of continuing their studies in the UK, the EU or anywhere in the world. The IB curriculum is unanimously praised by universities; who appreciate its breadth, academic rigour, and preparation for students to become lifelong learners. It is a natural fit with the ethos of Leighton Park  where we look to ensure our students develop as internationally minded and caring global citizens who are better prepared to be a positive influence in a very challenging world”.

Leighton Park students averaged a score of 35 against a world-wide average of 30. Five students also gained a bilingual diploma. Just under a quarter of students achieving a point score of 40 or more against a maximum of 45, including Head Boy, Finbar Aherne. Fin, who has been spending the summer so far surfing in Newquay with a dozen of his fellow Sixth Formers, took time out of his relaxed schedule, to celebrate his excellent results with some fish and chips washed down with champagne! “We are so proud of him” said Fin’s mother, Joanna, “The teaching staff at Leighton Park are excellent and Fin responded brilliantly to their teaching. He worked so hard; he really put the work in and now he has reaped the rewards.” Speaking from the beach, Fin commented, “I was really happy to get my results. I felt like it was well deserved; I put so much effort into it and I’d been aiming for a 40. It’s an amazing feeling!”.

Deputy Head (Academic) and IBDP Co-ordinator at Leighton Park, Karen Gracie-Langrick, added, “The IB Diploma Programme  has been the gold standard in International Sixth Form education for over 40 years. At Leighton Park the IB has continued to grow and now, in its seventh year, I am delighted that this year’s students have maintained an excellent average point score of 35 which will see them attend leading universities across the globe. I am extremely proud of our students and congratulate them on their well-deserved results, which is a testament to all their learning and hard work and to the dedication and professionalism of our academic team.”

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 interesting 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 also 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 10th October 2016, 6.00pm.


Photo: Netherlands bound student, Robert Beckett (left) and Justin Wong, who scored over 40 points (right)

IB Philosophy students travelled to London for a day out at the Victoria and Albert (V&A) and Tate Britain Museums.

Starting at the V&A, students made

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their way through a “Botticelli Reworked” exhibition where they got to see modern renditions of “The Birth of Venus”, which included pop art, textile and digital art versions. The students had a great time working in their sketchbooks and attempting challenges that Mitch Whitehead, Philosophy Teacher, gave them to do whilst at the museums.

The Tate Britain was a highlight for many of the group as they had the chance to go through the gallery twice – once to discuss the art, and once to absorb the art and attempt to fill the fun sketchbooks that they were all given. All of the students found it exciting to be able to recognise paintings by period due to prior lessons, and even see some of the artwork that they have seen on screen at school in person. One of the group said: “Mitch made a trip of what I would have initially thought to be filled with boredom into something refreshing!”

With academically stimulating exhibitions, students found the trip to be a thought provoking experience which broadened their understanding of philosophy of aesthetics, which is part of the IB philosophy course. Lower Sixth student Shanaya Khan praised the trip, commenting: “It allowed all of us to further link our education to everyday life; a skill we all wish to have developed thoroughly so as to successfully enjoy and make the most out of our unique and special time at Leighton Park.”

Incredible hand crafted tables are now being displayed in the Old School Reception area. The tables weren’t designed and created by professionals, but actually

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by a group of talented and hard working AS Design and Technology students!

Each student has created a stunning and completely individual coffee table, which will reside in Old School for some time before being taken home by lucky members of staff and students. The tables represent over six months of hard work and learning by our talented young designers and manufacturers.

The project briefs for the tables were carefully constructed to challenge the students and maximise the amount of DT processes used, “Students designed on CAD software, learned how to laser cut and engrave acrylic and experienced creating an acrylic mould” said Mark Smith, Design and Technology teacher.  They also gained experience in drilling and tapping a thread, lamination, form-bending and turning down brass on a lathe. The project was split into separate design and manufacturing tasks, with the design elements led by the students, who were encouraged to think like professional designers when approaching the project.

“I wanted to carve pictures on the inside too so that you can still the sunshine when you are lying on the floor.” said Lower Sixth student, Vlada Evtushenko.

”The students who enjoy this subject tend to learn by doing,” says Mark “rather than by reading a book.” Design and Technology continues to grow in popularity and scope at Leighton Park, with the number of students choosing it as an option doubling from last year.


Leighton Park School rounded off a year of celebrations of its 125th Birthday with an Open Day for its alumni, known as Old Leightonians, on

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19th September.

Almost 100 Old Leightonians and their families came from across the country and even from across Europe to enjoy a look round the school, guided by current students, to visit old haunts, inspect new buildings and to hear about exciting planned developments.  It was a precious chance to meet up with old friends and teachers too.  The school’s Archivist, John Allinson, displayed some of the treasures from the school Archives and spoke about the history of the school.  And of course, it wouldn’t be a birthday, without birthday cake!

One of the highlights was the burial of a time capsule, the brainchild of two of the students Katinka Pim and Robyn Ellis.  Old Leightonian Hugh Dawson, who was celebrating his 90th birthday at the weekend, spoke about his memories of schooldays during World War II and how the school’s ethos and values remain strong, almost seventy years after he left.  He then scattered soil over the capsule. It is to be opened in 25 years, and contains photos, memorabilia and as a souvenir of the school play this year, the mask worn by The Phantom of the Opera, Dan Barber. A number of other Old Leightonians then enjoyed helping to fill in the hole.

Robyn commented “Ever since I joined in the school I have wanted to make my own mark, and when the offer came along I could not resist helping. The idea was that future generations of students who will come through the school will just get a little snippet of what the school was like in its 125th year and so they can see how much it has developed. At the launch I had a little glimpse of what I hoped would happen; one of the OLs gave a speech about what the school was like not only during the 50th birthday celebrations but also during the war. This was so special since it really shows how the school has come through such a horrible time better than ever and just one step closer to the Quaker value of peace.”

Leighton Park, a Quaker School, opened in March 1890, with four boys. Girls joined the school in the Sixth Form in 1978, and the school has been fully co-educational since the early 1990s.

Famous alumni from the school include actor Jim Broadbent, singer songwriter Laura Marling, Olivier winning actor Nat Parker, Nathan Crowley (Oscar nominated Production Director on films eg Interstellar, the Dark Knight series), Michael Foot, Richard Wilkinson (co-author of The Spirit Level, leading researcher in social inequalities in health and the social determinants of health), Oscar winning film director Sir David Lean and composer Sir Richard Rodney Bennett.

With 90% A* to C grades, there were plenty of delighted students and parents at Leighton Park School this morning.

This year’s cohort of 104 students

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has been particularly successful in the STEM subjects (science, technology, engineering and maths), which traditionally have a reputation for being the most academically challenging. 84% of physics students, 82% of chemistry students and 82% of maths students were awarded A*-B grades with an impressive 91% of Design Technology students celebrating the same achievement. Mandarin, which is studied from Year 7 by Leighton Park students, who experience a trip to China as part of their course, gained 100% A*-C grades with 73% A*-A; a phenomenal achievement for so many non-native speakers in the class of 22.

Nigel Williams, Head at Leighton Park, said “I am pleased to congratulate all our students who have worked so hard and achieved so well. Their enthusiasm and commitment will ensure that life in the Sixth Form will continue to be vibrant and successful, whether they are pursuing the A Level or International Baccalaureate course.”

Sophie Rowe (3A*s, 6As), one of four girls to have achieved purely straight A*s and As, commented “It’s a huge relief after all the hard work to actually have the results in my hand. It’s great!.”  Another top scoring student, Kara Ellis (7A*s, 3As), added, “I’m just really pleased.” High flier, Lia Hale, who was up every hour through the night worrying can relax now that she has collected her 5A*s and 5As. Aliaksei Pilko (5A*s, 3As, 1B) is delighted that his results will secure his place to study Maths, Further Maths, Physics and Geography in the Sixth Form. “I got A*s in all the subjects I want to continue,” said Aliaksei, “I am hoping  to be a pilot and study Aeronautical Engineering alongside my pilot’s licence at either Southampton or Edinburgh University. I’m celebrating my GCSE results by going flying this weekend.” Twins, Helga and Peter Polz, are planning a double celebration with both Peter and Helga scoring 5A*s and 4As.

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 more than 20 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 3rd October 2015, 10am–12pm.


Jumping for joy – Sophie Rowe, Anna Bagneris, Niamh Green, Robyn Ellis



Anxious students arrived early at Leighton Park School this morning, eager to learn what the future holds beyond their A Level examinations. Nervous chatter was

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replaced by laughter, hugs and tears of relief as students were delighted to discover the reward for all their hard work was a fantastic set of results. 62% of candidates achieved A*-B grades, an increase of 6% on 2014’s results, and the average points per student rose by 7% to 301 points per student.

The A Level results continue to build on the excellent success of Leighton Park’s Sixth Formers, with July’s International Baccalaureate results averaging 34 points against a world average of 29.9 points.

Nigel Williams, Head, commented “I am delighted that the students have responded so well to the particular challenges of this year’s examinations and, through their dedication and the hard work of the staff, the school has once again continued to  improve the already impressive academic reputation of the school.”

Star performer, Harry Day, was thrilled with his fantastic A*A*A* results and received well-deserved congratulations from Academic Deputy Head, Karen Gracie-Langrick.

Celebrating his outstanding AAA grades, Theo Burgess is looking forward to reading International Relations and Politics at the University of Bristol in September. “I’m really surprised actually,” said Theo, “I don’t know how I did it but I’m delighted!”.

Sarah Reed, whose great score of  AAB will take her to the University of Leeds to read Economics and Management, commented “I was convinced I was going through clearing; I’ve been up since the early hours. It’s such a relief to get my results; I’m so pleased!”.

Leighton Park School, located in 60 acres of beautiful parkland, opposite the University of Reading, offers Sixth Form students the opportunity to choose between studying A Levels and the International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma. 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.

The school is offering Year 11 students the opportunity to learn more about studying A Levels and the IB at Leighton Park at their Sixth Form evening on Monday 12th October 2015, 6pm.


Photo: Celebrating University Acceptances: Theo Burgess (AAA), Sarah Reed (AAB) and Ed Capstick, Head Boy (ABB with A* for EPQ)

For further information on the 2015 A Level results please contact Emma Randall, Marketing Manager or  Karen Gracie-Langrick, Deputy Head (Academic)


0118 987 9609

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