Pupils leave UCS with exceptional grades at GCSE and A-Level. Our academic expectations are high and match the ambitions of our charges and their parents. Each year our pupils achieve at least 90% 9-7 at GCSE and 90% A*-B at A-Level. In 2020, 96% of pupils achieved grades 9-7 at GCSE and 95% achieved A*-B at A-Level. School league tables, of course, are not a complete indicator of a school’s success but we were delighted that UCS was positioned 22nd in England in the latest Parent Power League Table published in The Sunday Times. This placed us as the top co-educational/all-boys school in North London.
That said, teaching and learning at UCS is driven by far more than simply the desire to achieve top examination results. From the moment they join the Senior School, pupils are encouraged to develop the four UCS Learning Values (resilience, relationships, responsibility and resourcefulness) both in and out of the classroom. Learn more about the Learning Values in this short film.
Our pupils progress to leading universities in the UK and overseas, with the confidence and motivation to stand alone as independent learners, with a firm basis of knowledge, experience and understanding, and a strong sense of values, personal integrity and compassion. Teaching is well-structured, dynamic, challenging and varied. Great emphasis is placed upon developing in our pupils a commitment to, and an enthusiasm for, learning. Our unique Academic Enrichment programme ensures that pupils of all ages benefit from the broadest academic education imaginable.
Teachers at UCS are highly qualified, both in terms of their specific subject areas and as educators, meaning that lessons throughout the school are creative and ambitious. In the Lower School (Year 7 and 8), we place a strong emphasis on “core” subjects, with significant timetable provision for English, Maths, Science and Modern Languages, alongside a wide range of Humanities subjects, Classical Languages and creative disciplines including Dance. Philosophy, Politics and Economics were recently introduced to the curriculum in these year groups and have proved extremely popular.
At GCSE, in keeping with our founding principles, we prescribe very little. Pupils must take English, Maths, one Science subject and one Modern Language, but thereafter are free to construct their own curriculum according to their own ambitions, interests and strengths. This remains the case when it comes to choosing Sixth Form subjects.
Throughout their time at the Senior School, pupils are supported and advised by their form tutors and their Deme Warden (or housemaster) who retains pastoral and academic oversight of a pupil’s progress throughout their time at UCS. Our academic provision is complemented by an extensive programme of co-curricular activities, including sport, music, drama, community service, and a vast range of pupil and teacher-led clubs and societies.
We are understandably proud of our outstanding track record in public examinations but the key to this success is in establishing the right balance for each and every pupil between their academic ambitions, their pastoral needs and their interests outside the classroom and beyond. UCS is a school where every pupil receives the individual consideration, attention, guidance and support, which will allow them to fulfil and eventually surpass their potential.