What are the benefits of an academic, sixth-form scholarship?

Sixth-form student with pen in classroom

The new academic sixth-form scholarship at Queenswood School is open to any girls entering Year 12 in September 2021. - Credit: Queenswood School

Independent girls’ school Queenswood is introducing a new academic, sixth-form scholarship, to offer a high-level educational experience to exceptionally bright pupils. 

Nick Kelley, head of publicity at the day and boarding school, at Brookmans Park, Hatfield, says the aim is to attract high-achieving pupils from both the state and private sectors. 

“We have a thriving sixth-form here – academically, our girls do really well,” he says. 

“In the last five years they have averaged 70 per cent A* to B grade at A level and 27 per cent of our girls go to Oxbridge, Durham and London universities. 

“Now, however, we want to ensure we are giving as many bright, talented, young girls as possible the opportunity to benefit from the Queenswood School educational experience.  

“We realise that beyond our usual cohort there is a vast array of academic talent out there, pupils who might be in the state school system at the moment, for example. 

“They might have considered the option of attending Queenswood for the sixth-form, but perhaps need a little extra financial support.” 

Exterior shot of Queenswood School

Queenswood School is an independent day and boarding school for girls. - Credit: Sophie Skipper Photography Ltd

What are academic scholarships? 

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Successful applicants will be entitled to a 50 per cent reduction in tuition fees, Mr Kelley explains. 

Their studies will be based around a university-style education programme, created with the aim of challenging, stimulating and encouraging them to reach their full potential. 

“Academic staff will lead university-style seminars based on quite broad philosophical or scientific questions,” he says. 

The eligible scholars will also benefit from notice about essay competitions and TED Talks and will enjoy subject-specific lectures with leading experts. 

“In the past, we have had visits from eminent scientists, such as Prof. Brian Cox and Lord Winston, as well as from experts in literature, who give talks and lead small seminars,” he adds. 

What are the benefits of a scholarship? 

Academic scholarships are superb preparation for university and can launch pupils on to exciting career paths, stresses Mr Kelley. 

“Our programme will provide our scholarship students with lots of co-curricular and cross-curricular references to use in university applications and interviews,” he observes. 

“The richness of their experience will ensure concrete examples of ways in which they have engaged in high-level, intellectual discussion and debate. 

“They can also put themselves forward for study abroad: we nominate our brightest academic scholars for the Global Young Leaders Conference, for example, which takes place in Washington DC in the summer holidays.” 

He adds: “As well as benefiting from the extra mentoring and tuition, it’s about engaging in debate and bouncing ideas around with other very talented, intellectual young women.” 

Sixth-form scholar at Queenswood School with mentor

The sixth-form scholarships 'are superb preparation for university'. - Credit: Queenswood School

How to apply for an academic scholarship 

The new sixth-form academic scholarships begin in September 2021, and all girls currently in Year 11 are eligible to apply.

The deadline for applications is Monday, February 1, 2021, and more details can be found on the school’s website

“Our website will explain exactly what the application process is, but, in addition to the usual papers for sixth-form entry, there will be two extra 45-minute exams,” Mr Kelley explains. 

“One of these will be a verbal reasoning paper and the other a broader, philosophical, essay-style question. 

“The exam questions will be very broad and open-ended and are designed not to require any specific subject knowledge. There will also be an interview with a senior member of staff.” 

How do scholarships impact your future? 

Some of Queenswood’s academic scholars on previous programmes have gone on to forge successful careers in a number of fields, Mr Kelley says. 

“One girl is now a producer on David Attenborough’s Blue Planet, for example, while others have gone into television journalism and are now broadcasters. 

“We also have many former pupils who went into academia at establishments like Oxford and Cambridge. Our academic scholars follow tremendous and really varied career paths.” 

Visit queenswood.org/admissions/sixth-form-academic-scholarship-offer for more information and to discover the benefits of an academic sixth-form scholarship

Contact them on admissions@queenswood.org