Cambridge Centre for Sixth-Form Studies

Introduction

The education you dream of

CCSS is proud to be setting the education agenda for ambitious young people. Our students’ accomplishments and the success of our alumni reflect our ambition to transform aspiration into achievement.

CCSS… inspiring education.

About us

Cambridge Centre for Sixth-form is an established and leading independent sixth-form college offering high quality one and two year GCSE and A Level courses.

Over the last 35 years CCSS has built an impressive reputation for stimulating, success-focussed education, preparing students for university and for life.

CCSS is located in the very heart of academic Cambridge, surrounded by colleges of the University of Cambridge.

Our small class sizes and first class tuition enable achievement and encourage ambition and self-confidence. With both day and boarding places and a broad international student mix, UK and overseas students thrive and succeed.

International Students are offered an introduction to the UK education system via our International Summer School programme or our Academic Foundation Course, or may choose to join the full academic GCSE and A level courses.

UK students can also experience a “taster” of life at CCSS, by joining in either our Easter Revision Courses or a short Summer Course – both of which are designed to assist students from independent or state schools gain those extra marks that make the difference in grades.

Welcome to CCSS… inspiring education. We look forward to meeting you.

Education to suit you

Our specialist teachers and the outstanding learning they create, in some of the smallest class sizes anywhere in the UK, mean our students have all the time and attention they need to study and to acquire learning skills. The uniquely supportive atmosphere of CCSS ensures our students’ abilities and horizons are constantly challenged and expanded.

CCSS - the inspectors' opinion

“The college aims to provide education which helps all students to prepare, within and beyond the curriculum, for the demands and possibilities of adult life.”

ISI Report 2013

“The defining feature is the close harmony and friendships that have developed among these young people. Diversity is celebrated and the culture of the college is clearly demonstrated by the respect shown to each other.”

OFSTED 2010

The CCSS advantage

Your courses and learning are tailored to suit your style and your ambitions.

Inspiring teachers, small tuition groups, an unrivalled choice of subjects, extra tuition time and of course, enthusiastic students all contribute to make your time at CCSS a fabulous learning experience.

  • Small class sizes (average six)
  • Excellent nationality mix (40% British / 60% EU and international)
  • Up to 7.5 hours teaching time per subject per week at A Level
  • Outstanding teaching by highly qualified staff
  • Unrivalled networking opportunities with academic, social and business contacts
  • Varied and educational extra-curricular programme of sports and cultural activities
  • Excellent UCAS support and university progression
  • All boarders live in single accommodation in CCSS managed residences
  • Supportive and caring environment which encourages independence and maturity

“The individual attention from world-class teachers is outstanding.” Hadley Freeman, Graduate from CCSS, now a journalist for The Guardian.

Results and Destinations

Up to 200 students from the UK and around the world come to CCSS every year to complete their secondary education before progressing onto university. In all cases, our results show that students benefit greatly from small class sizes, experienced and stimulating teaching, and individual personal tutorials. The overwhelming majority of CCSS students choose to continue their learning at universities in the UK or abroad. Many have enjoyed success at the UK’s top universities, including Cambridge, Oxford, LSE, Imperial and others.

With degree subjects ranging from International Business to Law and Medicine our academic achievement is clear. In the arts we also excel, with CCSS graduates regularly being offered places at leading creative institutions, for example Central St Martin’s, London.

Many of our students achieve results beyond their original expectations, making our “value-added” a truly impressive statistic. We can be confident that they leave us able to pursue their ambitions, having achieved their best, with many achieving the A* grades required for the world’s most competitive universities.

For example in 2015, five students received offers from Oxford and Cambridge, of whom three took up their places this September, one turned down Cambridge in favour of Durham, and one went to Edinburgh.

CCSS is one of the most successful schools and colleges in the country at achieving Oxford and Cambridge place, as a higher percentage of our students achieve Oxbridge success than at any of the similar schools or colleges we know. For further detail on all 2015 results and destinations please click the link below (a full list of examination results for the last academic year is available on request from the main school office).

Facilities

CCSS has two central teaching sites and five boarding residences. All are located right in the heart of Cambridge within minutes of each other and of Cambridge City Centre (by foot or bike, but a little longer in a car!)

Our campus reflects our style and ethos: high quality, purposeful and a million miles away from a traditional school environment. Our collegiate set-up encourages our students to make best use of first class teaching facilities, of quiet and well-equipped study rooms and of modern and well-appointed social spaces.

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Teaching

Our teaching buildings include specialist laboratories for sciences, well-equipped, bright study rooms and a full suite for the visual arts. Our IT provision is second to none, with superfast broadband operating over hard-wired and WiFi networks and uniquely generous download limits.

Boarding

Our boarding houses provide 130 attractive, fully supported single-rooms, all of a high standard and all a great “home from home”. Most of our rooms have private bathroom facilities and there is a good choice of different styles to suit individual tastes.

Boarding houses also benefit from superfast broadband that supports links with home and the best access to academic resources.

Activities

All students are encouraged to experience the wide range of sports, arts, cultural and leisure activities. We team up with key our cultural associates when this adds value for our students. For example we share sporting facilities with the University of Cambridge: our home football pitch is at Pembroke College where students experience high-quality facilities as well as an insight into university life.

Cambridge has so much to offer and our teaching and residential sites are within minutes of indoor tennis courts, top-class sports pitches, an Olympic-sized swimming pool and sports halls.

Tutors and staff

The CCSS system

Underpinning the unique style of CCSS is a pastoral system that encourages effective communication between all staff, students and parents. Every student is allocated a personal tutor who works closely with them and their parents, teachers and boarding staff throughout their time at CCSS. We share a common goal: to ensure that students make an effective transition to independence and responsibility. During their time at CCSS, students will be supported in achieving academic success, personal development and a rich cultural and extra-curricular experience.

Working with every individual

The Tutorial Team consists of over 20 experienced and dedicated staff who meet their tutees individually on a weekly basis. The “tutorial” affords protected time to consider issues such as:

  • Help with study, time management and revision skills
  • Monitoring progress and providing feedback
  • Support in liaising with teaching staff to help you overcome subject specific difficulties
  • Opportunities for discussing any personal concerns
  • Referrals to our SEND department should particular difficulties with the learning process arise
  • Guidance on choosing appropriate degree courses with specialist Careers Profiling
  • Intensive assistance with the UCAS application process and personal statement preparation
  • Applications to appropriate university information and Taster Days e.g. Engineering Experience placements/medical work shadowing/Law Workshops and Headstart Courses
  • Encouraging you to make the most of the educational and cultural opportunities of being in Cambridge e.g. University of Cambridge open public lecture programme, and The Institute of Astronomy public lectures.

Entry Requirements

If you have completed GCSE examinations, the standard requirement for our 2-year A Level programme is for students to have achieved grades A* to C in at least five subjects including English and maths. If you have not been studying GCSEs we assess your application individually.

As each overseas country has its own education system there is no single entry requirement. Our experience in evaluating overseas school transcripts and examination certification (from Europe, Asia, Africa, the CIS, the US, etc.) means that we will be able to make an informed decision quite quickly, based on your past or upcoming qualifications. Reports and transcripts from your current or previous schools will be important. We would always encourage coming to interview at CCSS , if at all possible, and if you cannot come in person we will talk to you by Skype video link.

What English language level do I need to join CCSS?

It is not essential to have a formal English Language qualification when you join CCSS, but to cope with A Level study you need an English level at least equivalent to IELTS 5.0. For the one-year A Level programme an English level of at least IELTS 6.0 is required, with at least 6.0 in the written component. For GCSE you need at least IELTS 4.5, and for our Pre-Programme a minimum of 4.0 is needed.

We will make an assessment of your spoken English at interview because it is crucial for your learning that you are able to participate properly in lessons. If your first language is not English we will provide you with a programme of ESL lessons, as our requirement is to get you to a high level of English for success at university.

This school offers programs in:
  • English

View Preparatory Year »

Programs

This school also offers:

Preparatory Year

Two-year A Level Programme

Campus Full time 2 years August 2017 United Kingdom Cambridge

The CCSS two-year A Level programme is a popular and successful option for students. CCSS offers an enviable range of A Level subjects and we can usually accommodate any combination a student chooses. Students generally select four subjects in their first year and reduce this to three in their second year... [+]

The CCSS two-year A Level programme is a popular and successful option for students. CCSS offers an enviable range of A Level subjects and we can usually accommodate any combination a student chooses. Students generally select four subjects in their first year and reduce this to three in their second year. Our teachers have remarkable expertise and offer high levels of individual support and enhanced learning opportunity. Our generous staffing ratios and teaching time result in students benefiting from twice as much teaching time per student than at other schools and colleges, resulting in the best possible learning experience and preparation for their examinations. The majority of our students join us aged between 16 and 18 years old and take A Levels over two years. Subject options Art Biology Business Chemistry Computer Science Economics English Literature Fashion and Textiles Film Studies French Geography German Government and Politics Graphic Design History History of Art Law Maths Media Studies Photography Physics Psychology Religious Studies Sociology Spanish [-]

One-year A Level Programme

Campus Full time 1 year August 2017 United Kingdom Cambridge

The CCSS one-year A Level fast-track programme is an exceptional opportunity to gain the gold-standard A Level qualification in just one year... [+]

Although subject specifications for A Levels are being reformed, these changes do not impact anyone taking one-year A Level courses starting in September 2015. The familiar specifications continue to be available this year. The CCSS one-year A Level fast-track programme is an exceptional opportunity to gain the gold-standard A Level qualification in just one year. On this course students take up to three subjects and it is suitable for students who have: completed secondary high school education abroad and need A Levels to enter a British university; completed lower sixth but need to re-cover AS in addition to learning the new A2 material, or want to take new subjects alongside an A2-based programme; taken A Levels but want to re-take. Re-take students generally graduate from CCSS with improved university options and a much clearer understanding of the skills required to make the best of degree-level work. Students are taught by experienced, professional and qualified staff who have considerable expertise in providing successful exam-oriented courses. Our teachers are positive, friendly and expert communicators. They are committed to helping students build confidence and enjoyment from study – essential ingredients of success. Very small group sizes (often two or three students) ensure that the one year option provides virtually bespoke provision. The pace is fast, and students all have a strong drive to succeed, resulting in a dynamic and focused programme. Subject Options Art Biology Business Studies Chemistry Economics English Literature Fashion and Textiles Film Studies French Geography Government and Politics Graphic Design History Maths Physics Psychology Sociology Spanish [-]

One year i/GCSE Programme

Campus Full time 1 year August 2017 United Kingdom Cambridge

CCSS runs a highly successful one year programme for GCSE students. We offer a broad range of subjects providing students with a varied and balanced curriculum. Maths, English and a science subject are compulsory on this course... [+]

CCSS runs a highly successful one year programme for GCSE students. We offer a broad range of subjects providing students with a varied and balanced curriculum. Maths, English and a science subject are compulsory on this course. Students usually take between five and seven subjects, depending on their background and future plans. This approach gives experience of a range of academic disciplines before choosing which subjects to study on the A-level programme. Personal, social and health education (PSHE) is an important element of the education for our younger students and this is interwoven in the GCSE programme. Who chooses a GCSE programme at CCSS? UK students who, after completing Year 9 or Year 10 at local schools feel that they will benefit from our small class sizes and personal attention or from our extensive subject range. Students whose families are planning to move to Cambridge and who seek a first class, success-focussed provision. International students who want to prepare for A-Level courses. Re-sit students who have not performed as well as they hoped and wish to retake GCSE in order to improve their grades and get a firm foundation for further education. Students who want to build upon GCSE success by quickly gaining additional GCSEs in new subjects that will open doors to a bright future. Individual support With an average class size of six, you receive strong individual support. Our Head of GCSE has a great rapport with students, you’ll meet every day to keep a close eye on your progress and achievement. Current GCSE courses include: Mathematics, English Literature, English Language, English as a Second Language, French, Geography, History, Business studies, Art, Biology, Chemistry and Physics. [-]

Pre-Programme

Campus Full time Part time 1 year August 2017 United Kingdom Cambridge + 1 more

The Pre-Programme at CCSS is the perfect all round preparation for academic study, as well as being a great introduction to life at an independent sixth-form college in the UK... [+]

The Pre-Programme at CCSS is the perfect all round preparation for academic study, as well as being a great introduction to life at an independent sixth-form college in the UK. Ideal for students aged 14-17, each Pre-Programme gives the student a personalised learning experience. A blend of expert English Language teaching and the very best introduction to subject lessons, sports activities and cultural excursions creates a rewarding English learning experience. The Pre-Programme at CCSS is offered as a full one-year course and we can offer short courses for two terms, for one term and for half a term. All Pre-Programme Courses can lead to further full-time study at CCSS. “It was just a really supportive atmosphere. My teachers were great and always there, the small classes worked really well and you always felt looked after and that you were learning something useful. It was great. I am very pleased I did it.” Chaiwut Jinnawat [-]

Videos

CCSS - An introduction for students