Beyond the Sixth Form Curriculum - St Mary's and St John's CE School

Beyond the Sixth Form Curriculum

In addition to the subjects studied, students will have a weekly PSHCEE, Collective Worship and Service to the community. 


Sixth Form super-curricular

What is super-curricular? 

Super-curricular enrichment is wider engagement with areas of academic interest. This is extremely important for developing a student’s cultural capital and fostering a love of their learning. It is also integral to ensure a student stands out as an exceptional candidate for both university applications and the world of work. 

The term super-curricular is used to describe activities and experiences that enable you to study your subject specific interests in greater depth. This may involve exploring a topic you have studied in greater detail or studying a whole new topic. 

  • Super-curricular activities include: 
  • Reading books, specialist magazines and journals 
  • Visiting museums and galleries 
  • Watching films and documentaries 
  • Listening to podcasts 
  • Attending online seminars and lectures 
  • Attending ‘taster days’ 
  • Entering academic competitions 

Here are some top tips from the University of Oxford, to help you engage with super-curricular resources in your subject:

Be open minded
Do not be afraid to try out some things that are different to what you’re used to. You might discover your next new hobby! 

Find connection 
Look for links in between different things that you have explored. By doing this you really test how well you’ve understood the ideas and you could even come up with unique ideas of you own. Making comparisons and contrasts are good ways to do this. 

Think actively and ask questions 
Don’t just accept the arguments that you come across. Try and challenge them, and think of counter examples. Would it be the same in all situations? Is there another way of solving that problem? What do you really think? 

Pause and reflect 
While reading articles or listening to podcasts, stop to think. What is your opinion? You might find it useful to write a short paragraph to practice articulating your own ideas about a subject.

Share and discuss
Always talk about things with people, whether your teacher, parent, or friend. Perhaps you don’t understand something you’ve read or you’d like to debate it further. Conversations such as these provide excellent practice for future interviews. 

Remember to follow your interests
Don’t do an activity just because you think it looks good. Read books and take part in things that you think are genuinely stimulating. This means that you avoid having to try hard to fake interest. Pursuing super-curricular activities should never become a chore. 

Please see below a number of different resources, programmes and websites for students to begin their Super-curricular journey: 


Super-curricular online resources - Hertford College, University of Oxford

Reading Lists



BBC Radio 4 latest podcasts

Podcasts - University of Oxford

Podcasts - University of Nottingham

Videos & lectures - Gresham College

Widening Participation, Masterclasses and Summer Schools

These are often applied for in February of Year 12 and are aimed at students from lower socio-economic backgrounds and from areas with low levels of progression to university. You do not have to be sure that you want to apply to this university to go to the summer school; it can be simply about getting a feel for the university experience. Attending a summer school can really make the difference and give you the confidence to make a successful university application.

University of Cambridge - Subject Masterclasses

University College London (UCL) - Subject Masterclasses

London School of Economics (LSE) -  LSE Explore

LSE Explore is a series of online academic taster events for Year 12 students which offer an insight into selected undergraduate degree subjects at LSE.

University of Oxford - Oxford for London

King's College London - Widening particpation

Sutton Trust - Summer Schools

Excellent summer schools at one of thirteen partner universities for ambitious students from low or middle income families. These are some of the most prestigious summer schools in the UK:

  • University of Bristol
  • University of Cambridge
  • Cardiff University
  • Durham University
  • University of Edinburgh
  • University of Glasgow
  • Imperial College
  • King's College London
  • University of Nottingham
  • The Royal Veterinary College
  • University of St Andrew's
  • University College London
  • University of Warwick

University of Oxford - UNIQ

UNIQ is the University of Oxford’s access programme for state school students. It prioritise places for students with good grades from backgrounds that are under-represented at Oxford and other universities. Every year more students from diverse backgrounds get offered places at Oxford with help from UNIQ.

The UNIQ residential summer school started in 2010 and continually improves the support it provides to UNIQ students. For the last two years, UNIQ has been delivered online due to the pandemic. It offers students both an academic residential in Oxford and a sustained online admissions support programme.

Oxbridge Colleges Outreach Programmes

Some Oxford and Cambridge colleges offer their own outreach summer programmes. Search online ‘outreach’ or ‘widening participation’.

For example, Christ Church, University of Oxford is the link college for Barnet.

King's College London - Pre university Summer Schools

Choose modules from across King's faculties. Learn about health and science, law, business management, culture and social science. 

Places on the summer modules are allocated on a first come, first served basis upon payment of fees. Each module lasts one week and students can choose to attend more than one module during each summer programme.  

Queen Mary University of London - Activity Portal

Browse their selection of events and activities available to you.

University of Westminster - Westminster Wednesdays

Their College of Liberal Arts and Sciences organises Westminster Wednesdays, a series of short interactive sessions to give your students a taste of the subjects taught. Choose a taster session from a variety of subjects within the fields of life sciences, social sciences, humanities and law.

University College London (UCL) Medical School - Target Medicine

Target Medicine is UCL Medical School’s widening participation initiative aimed at raising the attainment and aspirations of young people from backgrounds underrepresented in higher education and medical school.

University of Westminster - The Access to Architecture Summer School

The Access to Architecture summer school is a three-day course aimed at helping you boost your skills and prepare your portfolio through a mix of creative 2-D and 3-D studio projects and building visits – supported by our experienced studio tutors. The course also includes taster mini-lectures and advice from our team on course choice and the all-important personal statement.

Many of our summer school students have gone on to win university places in architecture and interior architecture.

It is open to any 15-19-year-old interested in a creative future.


London School of Economics and Political Science - Player

London School of Economics and Political Science - Events

TED talks

Conway Hall Ethical Society - What's on

Subject masterclasses

London School of Economics and Political Science - Pathways to Law

University of Cambridge - Subject masterclasses

FutureLearn - online courses and degrees from top universities

Bursaries, scholarships and mentoring

Sutton Trust - Pathways Programmes

Social Mobility Foundation - Aspring Professionals Programme

Individual Universities will have their own admissions programmes, access schemes, widening participation offers. Search on individual university websites.

For example, Access to Leeds.

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