John Masefield Sixth Form is a comprehensive institution and its Extension Programmes ensures that the most able students are supported and challenged to achieve outstanding grades to reach the country’s top universities.

Early Applicants’ Programme

This programme is designed for those considering applying to the universities of Oxford or Cambridge or for other competitive ‘early applicant‘ courses (including Medicine, Dentistry and Veterinary Science). We provide a programme of dedicated advice and support which includes:

  • advice on reading lists and journals;
  • extended projects to develop independent research skills;
  • preparation for universities’ own subject-specific or aptitude tests (an increasingly common requirement) including the ‘STEP’ programme for Mathematicians;
  • access to universities’ widening-participation initiatives, available only to the maintained sector, including: student shadowing schemes, residential summer schools and study days;
  • using our established working relationships with Oxbridge colleges’ school liaison officers and admission tutors;
  • intensive interview preparation and presentation skills training.

Students who participate in the ‘Early Applicants’ programme who decide not to apply to Oxbridge nevertheless gain valuable experience and most win places at Russell Group universities.

Russell Group Applicants and HE+ Programme

John Masefield Sixth Form is proud to support students to gain places at Russell Group universities. The percentage of our students who secure places at these prestigious universities is consistently and significantly higher than the national average.

We are an established participant in the HE+ programme which is run by Cambridge University in partnership with a select group of maintained sector sixth forms.

The purpose of this initiative is to increase student aspiration and encourage applications to competitive universities; the programme provides extension lessons, master classes and specialist advice on competitive entry university applications. There will also be a limited number of places on a two day visit to Christ’s College, Cambridge to experience master classes delivered by current Professors.

Extended Projects

In Y12 students are given the opportunity to complete an Extended Project which can be a practical project with a 1,000 word essay or a straight research essay of 4,000 – 5,000 words. For either option students also complete a project log and deliver a presentation on their research area. Students benefit from doing an Extended Project by: achieving an extra qualification which is equivalent to half an A Level; gaining the ability to talk convincingly at interview about the choices they are making for university or careers; and, learning study skills crucial for success at university.

Enrichment Programme

John Masefield Sixth Form offers a wide range of activities and leadership opportunities aimed at encouraging healthy lifestyles, enjoyment and positive citizenship.

A list of our current enrichment courses are available here:

Work Experience

All Sixth Form students are actively encouraged to arrange meaningful work experience placements as part of their study programme. The school have a number of local work experience contacts, but priority is given to students studying vocational qualifications, such as BTEC L3 or Cambridge Technicals.

Recent work experience and summer schools have included;

Work Experience

  • University of Birmingham – six week Nuffield Research Placement with research published in a journal
  • QinetiQ, Malvern
  • Malvern Instruments (Engineering)
  • Three Choirs Festival
  • Birmingham Conservatoire (Young Composers Project)
  • The Little Princess Trust (Cancer Charity)
  • Jesters (Ledbury Playgroup)
  • Shaw Healthcare, Ledbury
  • After-school drama club at local primary school
  • Bubbles Nursery
  • Willows Care Home (Mental Health)
  • Haygrove, Ledbury
  • Ledbury Primary School


Summer Schools

  • University of Exeter – Materials Mining and Minerals at the Penryn campus
  • University of Lancaster – Biochemistry
  • Birmingham Conservatoire as part of the Young Composers Project
  • Oxford University and Cambridge University – Music
  • University of Nottingham, Physics, Engineering and Architecture
  • Sheffield University – Headstart