Enriching the sixth form programme

We recognise that achieving excellent grades is only one aspect of securing a university place and subsequent employment. Our aim at GSAL is to support our students in developing the study skills and personal qualities that will lead them to success in their degree studies and life after graduation.

Students will therefore follow our innovative programme of enrichment and co-curricular activities alongside their A-level studies from January of Lower Sixth to December of Upper Sixth.


Complement your academic studies with Aspire – our innovative new programme for sixth form students. As well as helping you to achieve A-level success, we want you to enjoy fresh experiences and challenges and learn new skills that will stand you in good stead in the future.

The three strands of the Aspire programme are:

  • Weekly lecture series with inspirational speakers sharing their life experiences (in terms 2 and 3 of Lower Sixth)
  •  Taught courses offering a wide range of options for learning new skills and immersing yourself in a different type of learning (terms 2 and 3 of Lower Sixth and term 1 of Upper Sixth)
  • One afternoon a week spent on a range of activities, including many sports, voluntary service and primary school pupil mentoring (throughout Lower Sixth and Upper Sixth)


The Extended Project Qualification (EPQ) can help you stand out from the crowd when you apply to university, and is an opportunity offered to all Lower Sixth students. A self-directed research project, the EPQ is your chance to investigate in depth a topic of your choice and demonstrate to university admissions tutors that you have interests beyond the core curriculum and possess the independent study skills needed at degree level.

Critical thinking

The two-term course in critical thinking is an option in Lower Sixth, and is different from all other subjects that you might be studying. You won’t be learning facts; rather the course will teach you to think, reason and debate issues effectively. Critical thinking attracts students from all areas of subject specialism and is of particular value to those who might face aptitude tests when applying to university. For those who wish to gain a formal qualification there will be the opportunity to sit the AS-level exam in the summer of Upper Sixth.

Outdoor leadership course

All students attend a three-day residential course during Lower Sixth with our expert outdoor learning team, where they will build leadership and team working skills through a range of exciting outdoor activities.

At the end of Upper Sixth all leavers are awarded a GSAL Certificate recognising their participation in and contribution to school life.

Felicity, Head Girl

In Sixth Form, I have enjoyed the transition to a more relaxed environment, easing my concerns about the exams ahead. Mixing with different people in activities and free periods, and smaller class sizes in lessons, narrow divisions within the year and create a more enjoyable atmosphere.

Enrichment activities such as Aspire and critical thinking bring something new to my timetable, without the pressure that A-level subjects bring. The highlight of my school year was the outdoor learning trip. Sharing activities such as abseiling and rock climbing, as well as cooking and watching films, brought our form group together to make up an experience that settled me into sixth form life.

Or, if you prefer to chat with someone please call our admissions team on 0113 229 1552