Sixth Form life at UCS is based on strong, mutually respectful relationships between teachers and pupils. All teaching staff share responsibility for the social, cultural and moral wellbeing of pupils – at a time when schools are more acutely aware of wellbeing than ever before.

We are a school with a strong moral sense and we aim to treat each and every one of our students as the young person that they are. Kindness lies at the heart of our approach and our pastoral care is comprehensive and proactive. It is enhanced by an unambiguous culture of equality, diversity and inclusion, in which the student body is closely involved. It is a culture with zero tolerance of bullying or discrimination.

Every pupil has their own support structure in place, headed by the Form Tutor and House Master (known as Deme Warden) and including the Senior Tutor, Head of Sixth, School Nurse, School Counsellor and Director of Wellbeing. There is further specific and non-intrusive care available for pupils on bursaries who may require additional support. We ensure strong lines of communication between home and school to enable us to help our young people navigate with assurance whatever lies ahead and, crucially, to share with families their children’s successes and achievements.

Our Sixth Formers are afforded leadership opportunities in the support and mentoring they can give younger pupils. There are numerous mentoring schemes and our peer education project trains Sixth Formers to teach lessons on wellbeing and mental health to Year 7s through the PSHE provision. Sixth Formers also advocate for ways in which the school can support their wellbeing through the Sixth Form Union. This pupil-led body includes Wellbeing Officers who work closely with teachers in pastoral roles.

Focus on PSHE

Personal, Social, Health and Economic Education is an important element of the UCS curriculum in the Sixth Form. We aim to help give pupils the knowledge, skills and understanding required to lead confident, healthy, independent lives, and to become informed, active and responsible citizens. We emphasise building a climate of mutual trust and respect, which values all individuals and their cultures. Lessons are generally discussion based and led by Form Tutors on a weekly basis. 

Voices and Views

“The teachers have a direct line of communication with each individual pupil – you never feel uncomfortable talking to them. The school is so accepting and I felt I could be who I wanted to be both academically and socially. I’ve never been in such an environment before. ”

Ruby Koppel UCS pupil, 2021–2023

“The pastoral care afforded to UCS pupils is often bespoke. We know our pupils, their families and the circumstances inside out; this enables us to support them in a consistent and joined-up way. ”

Sophie Bennett Assistant Head (Co-Curricular)

“You develop real relationships with your teachers. The fact that they are so supportive and you can talk to them, makes you want to work for them. The teachers really get to know you.”

Alex Benson UCS pupil, 2016–2023

“Excellence not only results from effective teaching and learning but also depends on respect for the individuality of each student and the recognition of their talents, interests and potential. This is why we put such a premium on pastoral care.”

Rebecca Baxter Assistant Head (Head of Sixth Form)

“The teachers give the impression they want to be here teaching us. They are very engaging and want to help. We receive support, not pressure. And by being given our independence, we learn to create our own work ethic.”

Hugo Kinder UCS pupil, 2016–2023