Sixth Form structure of learning

Sixth Form

Our teachers are motivated and gifted; they provide exceptional teaching, guidance and support. Our class sizes enable us to pay close attention to the needs of each individual student. This year we have around 10 students in each form group.

Our pupils achieve exceptional results and with our expert support are able to progress to their first-choice universities and careers. In their last report, the Independent Schools’ Inspectorate described Stockport Grammar School pupils as “exceptionally well educated”.

Sixth Formers begin with four A-level subjects, which they are all expected to continue with until the Prelim examinations in January. Most pupils continue with four A-levels until the Interims in the summer term. This start enables all pupils to retain an element of breadth at the outset of A-level, which is especially important for pupils who have chosen new subjects at A-level.

Most pupils then focus on three A-level subjects in the Upper Sixth form, with Trial examinations in January before the final linear A-levels. Approximately ten percent of each cohort in recent years have chosen to study four A-levels to their conclusion; a benchmark of scholarship. At every juncture, each pupil and their parents can access the support and advice of their form tutor, subject teachers and the Heads of Year/Head of Section.

In the Lower Sixth Form, each subject is allocated 10 hours of teaching per 10-day cycle; this increases to 11 hours in the Upper Sixth Form. Pupils are expected to spend three to four hours per week outside of lessons on academic work in each A-level subject; this includes homework and extension work such as wider reading.

In the Lower Sixth Form, there are six hours per 10-day cycle for study periods, which pupils must organise as they see fit. They may be used for work or, if work is up to date, for relaxation. In the Upper Sixth Form, time available for private study is dependent on each pupil’s subject profile (see below).

Wednesday afternoons

Wednesday afternoons are for games, activities or voluntary service.

Voluntary service

Many pupils take on responsibilities to the community. Opportunities to undertake voluntary work are offered through the voluntary service scheme. Pupils visit local nurseries, primary schools, old people’s homes, hospitals and charity shops as well as working with children in special schools. This scheme provides a wealth of different experiences and the chance to help the local community. It takes place on a Wednesday afternoon as an alternative to games.

Duke of Edinburgh’s Award

Service to the community is required to fulfil the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award. To obtain the award, pupils are required to undertake training and activities which correspond to four elements: skill, physical recreation, service and expedition. The Award can be entered at gold level in sixth form without any previous experience.

Co-curricular activities

There should also be time for co-curricular activities which will help build a strong CV.

Timetable changes

In the second half of the spring term, for many pupils the timetable will begin to change, as some will decide to focus on taking forward three of their subjects to final A-level examinations. These pupils must either participate in the enrichment programme for two hours per cycle or the Extended Project Qualification (EPQ).

Enrichment Programme

The Enrichment Programme seeks to develop knowledge and skills in such areas which complement and contrast with the pupils’ academic subjects. This includes learning a language, developing practical cookery skills and undertaking a Skills for Life course.

Extended Project Qualification

The EPQ is an independent research project. Those students who choose to continue with four subjects to A-level may opt to participate in the enrichment programme or EPQ as well.


Our sixth form handbook features information about life in the Stockport Grammar sixth form and acts as a prospectus for our A-level courses.

Download a Sixth Form handbook (pdf)