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Academic Enrichment

At King Edward's we believe that students benefit enormously from engaging with more than the A Level syllabus of their chosen subjects. Academic and personal development is enhanced by learning new skills, sharing experiences and striving for ambitious goals.

We want our students not just to succeed in their examination courses but also look beyond Sixth Form to undergraduate study, professional qualifications and career pathways. We encourage our students to think about where they would like to be in 5 years or 10 years and how they can achieve these goals. We have created an academic enrichment programme that offers students plentiful opportunities to both hone fundamental skills, push the boundaries of their intellectual world and experience entirely new fields. These are 5 elements to academic enrichment in the Sixth Form with each element providing a different way in which students' formal education is complemented by less formal learning.

Open Forum

Open Forum is a programme of presentations, usually given by guest speakers, to the entire Lower and Upper Sixth. These take place in the Dobson Theatre throughout the Autumn and Spring Terms. The Open Forum guest list is continually updated to provide a mixture of reliable favourites and exciting new speakers. Informative, entertaining and inspiring, Open Forum provides students with the opportunity to see the world through the eyes of some extraordinary individuals.

Recent Open Forum speakers have included:

  • Josh Coombes - 'Do something for nothing' founder
  • Natasha Devon - Body image and mental health campaigner
  • Ms Gorbat - talking about travelling as a solo female
  • Angela Findlay - Author 'Creating Change'
  • Nick Gazzard - Hollie Gazzard Trust
  • Jeremy Thomas - Mental Health talk 
  • Emma Cole - 'Providing HIV Education since 1991'
  • Claire Fuller – Author and Winner of the Costa Novel Award 2021.
  • Lucy Shepherd – Arctic Explorer.
  • Mike Hurst - Guitarist and pop producer.
  • Francis Benali - Saints legend.
  • Darren Swift – Double amputee Snowboarder and Ski diver.
  • Laura London – Magician and sleight of hand artist.
  • Erwin James - Former convict now a successful writer and prison reformer.
  • Emma Cole - Living with HIV for nearly 20 years.
  • Chris Lubbe – Nelson Mandela’s former body guard
  • Rick Finder - War photographer

Open Forum

Photo: Chris Lubbe – Nelson Mandela’s former body guard (Spring Term 2023)

Foundation Studies

Lower Sixth

Foundation Studies sessions enable students to make a successful transition from GCSE Studies to A level studies and from adolescent to young adult. All students in the Lower Sixth participate in a series of three week courses throughout the whole academic year. These cover areas linked to academic engagement, wellbeing, citizenship and planning for life after KES. These courses are delivered by teaching staff who have a particular interest and expertise in these areas as well as some external providers.

  • Academic Research Methods
  • Presentations
  • Health & Sexual Wellbeing
  • Politics & You
  • Student Finance
  • Living Sustainably
  • Essential First Aid
  • Introduction to UCAS
  • Gap year planning

Upper Sixth

Once our students have successfully navigated their Lower Sixth year, we offer a range of different courses to choose from with the aim to give them an opportunity to try entirely new activities or return to those that they'd like to brush up on. By engaging in creative, physical and practical activities students will enjoy a different type of learning and push themselves to embrace the unfamiliar. 

In 2023-2024, we are offering 20 different courses from which students will chose 5 to participate in during the Autumn and Spring terms.

These courses are delivered mainly by KES staff with a particular expertise in that field although we also invite in guest lecturers and agencies to work with our students.

Languages: Japanese, Chinese. These courses are for both terms and can lead to an AS qualification.

Arts & Culture: A Bluffers' Guide to Culture, Photography, Holiday Italian, The Story of Film, Dungeons & Dragons

Sport & Fitness: Powerboating, Strength & Conditioning, Self Defence, Navigation and Seamanship 

Mental Wellbeing: Resillience - turning pressure into performance, Mental Health First Aid Kit

Community: Science Roadshow, Forest School, Volunteering

Practical Skills: Touch typing, KESTED, Survival Cookery 

Foundation Studies - community

Photo: Science Roadshow - Sixth Form students teach engaging Science lessons to pupils at local Prep and Primary Schools (Spring Term 2023)

Additional Study

For Upper Sixth and Lower Sixth students studying three A Levels, they will have timetabled Additional Study periods. These are different to private study where students are expected to work independently as they are both structured and supervised. During Additional Study periods, students will complete work that is complementary to their A Level course and has been designed by Heads of Departments to both enhance and consolidate the work required by the formal syllabus. Students will have supervision during these lessons to provide them with guidance and support for this super-curricular A Level work. 

Extended Project Qualification (EPQ)

All students have the option to undertake the Extended Project Qualification (EPQ) which is equivalent to half an A Level once completed and assessed. Students choose a research topic in the Lower Sixth and are supported to frame this into a specific line of enquiry that they commence research for in the Summer Term. Upon return in September of the Upper Sixth, students are allocated a supervisor to support them through the process to completion in the Spring Term. 

Full details of this course can be found here