Scholarships

Overview of scholarship opportunities - We offer academic, music, dance, drama, art and sports scholarships to current and prospective students. These typically represent 10% of a day student’s fees. But just as important is the support they receive to develop their talents and excel in their field. The deadline for scholarship applications this year is the 15th November. Please note that families must complete the Leighton Park application as well as the individual scholarship applications forms (listed below) to be eligible. See further details of our scholarships programmes below.
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About scholarships

We award scholarships to students entering years 7, 9 and Sixth Form based on a competitive exam. Scholarships last throughout a student’s time at the School, subject to satisfactory performance.

For academic scholarships, we’ll invite candidates to a scholarship assessment based on their performance in the entrance tests. All other scholarship applications open in September and close on November 15th.

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Girl sewing

"The teachers make you recognise that you have to put the hard work in and it's not just them pushing you, you have to push yourself."

Rhiannon, Lower Sixth

Academic

For Years 7-10 entry. there is no requirement to apply for an academic scholarship. Instead, candidates are invited to a scholarship assessment based on their performance in the entrance test, which takes place in January of the year of entry. Students will sit a written assessment and have a 20-30 minute scholar’s interview with a member of our academic team (for each academic subject selected). Please note, that in order to suitably assess a candidate’s natural academic aptitude, we will not be issuing exemplar test papers or any further details regarding scholar’s interviews in advance of the scholarship assessment day. Students are unable to take the French, Spanish or Mandarin paper if this is a home language, spoken by one or more parents. Every student will be required to submit a maximum of 250 words expressing why they would like to be a scholar in their chosen subject(s).

  • Additional one to one support within the scholar’s relevant academic department
  • Subject-specific opportunities to broaden and contextualise learning, including trips
    and sessions with external partners

Scholars are expected to make an active contribution to departments and their own
development through:

  • Being an academic ambassador within the School, entering relevant competitions, attending related trips and extension activities
  • Acting as a mentor to support younger students
  • Working with others to raise the profile of academia both internally and at outreach events
  • Extending knowledge by participating in, and leading, activities and clubs.

Art and Design

Candidates are requested to submit a portfolio of work and a maximum of 250 words expressing why they would like to be an Art Scholar at Leighton Park. The portfolio is one of the most important aspects of the Scholarship submission.

It should show an understanding of representational drawing, as well as a personal response to the individual’s own experiences, environment and culture. The work submitted need not be restricted to drawings and paintings, but may show evidence of a broad area of study, which might include, for example, prints, photographs or ceramics. Within a portfolio we are looking for the ability to record observations and experiences, develop ideas through various materials and techniques, and communicate ideas and feelings in a visual form.

Candidates successful at the initial screening, will be invited to take a short practical exam. In advance of the assessment day, candidates will receive an examination paper and are advised to spend some time producing preliminary/supporting studies. This work forms a very important part of the examination. We are looking for ideas from various sources, the development of these ideas and an ability to work independently towards a final piece.

The final piece will need to be produced unaided and under supervision in the Art Department, on the Art Scholarship assessment day. In the final stage of the assessment process each candidate is interviewed by a member of the Art Department. This is an opportunity to discuss their portfolio and general interests.

  • National Art Pass that permits free entry to over 240 galleries and museums, as well as 50% off entry to major exhibitions including those at Tate, the V&A and more
  • Co-curricular opportunities including Dressmaking and Flexi Art Club as well as departmental trips to galleries and industry events
  • Additional one to one support to develop technique and skill

Scholars are expected to make an active contribution to the Art Department and their
own development through:

  • Participation in art exhibitions, competitions and events in order to inspire others
  • Attending art trips to galleries and cultural institutions, where possible
  • Advancing work to new levels, in terms of scale, use of materials and intellectual enquiry
  • Assisting with studio duties, taking responsibility for the space and general upkeep
  • Showing commitment to art enrichment opportunities, such as Drawing Club
  • Developing art study further by selecting GCSE / A Level Art & Design and / or Textiles.

Dance

Candidates are requested to provide support for their application in the form of examination certification (LAMDA/RADA) or some form of dance grading. If this is not available, information on the student’s involvement relating to performance, design or technical support within dance should be provided. Candidates are also required to submit a maximum of 250 words expressing why they would like to be a Dance Scholar at Leighton Park.

The Dance Department encourage applications from students interested in all aspects of performance, and wish to emphasise that scholarships are also open to students who are keen to pursue their interest in the technical and design aspects of dance.

Candidates successful at the initial screening, will be invited to audition or present their portfolio. The audition performance could be any scripted piece from any medium and time period or even an original presentation devised by the student themselves. If the student chooses to perform a dance audition, the dance audition should be performed to suitable music. The design portfolio could include original designs for costume, lighting or sound, together with any visual evidence of the candidate’s interest in these areas. In the final stage of the assessment process each candidate is interviewed by a member of the Dance Department. This is an opportunity to discuss their dance ambitions and general interests.

  • Access to a purpose-built dance studio
  • Co-curricular opportunities including the annual Let’s Dance performance, masterclasses with various companies such as Rambert and visits to the theatre to observe dance companies such as Matthew Bourne
  • Development of physical, technical, expressive and choreographic skill
  • Development of life skills; confidence, perseverance, communication and co-operation

Scholars are expected to make an active contribution to the Dance Department and their own development through:

  • A passion for dance and a genuine interest in learning about dance as a discrete subject
  • Participation in all dance opportunities such as masterclasses and trips offered
  • Excellent attendance and positive behaviour in the classroom, workshops and educational visits
  • Seeking and accepting leadership responsibilities for performance projects such as co-ordinating and communicating with other students
  • Dedication to developing dance study further by selecting GCSE / A Level Dance.

Drama

Candidates are requested to provide support for their application in the form of examination certification (LAMDA/RADA) or some form of drama grading. If this is not available, information on the student’s involvement relating to performance, design or technical support within drama must be provided. Students are also required to submit a maximum of 250 words expressing why they would like to be a Drama Scholar at Leighton Park.

The Drama Department encourage applications from students interested in all aspects of performance, and wish to emphasise that scholarships are also open to students who are keen to pursue their interest in the technical and design aspects of theatre.

Candidates successful at the initial screening, will be invited to audition or present their portfolio. The audition performance could be any scripted piece from any medium and time period or even an original presentation devised by the student themselves. The design portfolio could include original designs for costume, lighting or sound together with any visual evidence of the candidate’s interest in these areas.

In the final stage of the assessment process each candidate is interviewed by a member of the Drama Department. This is an opportunity to discuss their theatrical ambitions and general interests.

  • Opportunities to extend learning beyond the classroom and undertake directing, performing and/or design responsibilities
  • Leadership roles whereby scholar’s can develop their own creative projects and performances
  • Additional one to one support appropriate to the scholar’s ambitions

Scholars are expected to make an active contribution to the Drama Department and their own development through:

  • Auditioning for each performance opportunity that the Drama Department offers
  • Attending all Drama performances, rehearsals or activities, where possible
  • Seeking and accepting leadership responsibilities for performance projects such as co-ordinating other students and communicating with them
  • Taking a full and active role in the Drama Council. This is a student led action committee that offers recommendations to the department and will take responsibility for supporting Drama projects in a range of activities
  • Developing Drama study further by selecting GCSE / A Level Drama

Music

Candidates are requested to provide support for their application in the form of graded examination and theory certificates (if applicable). If the student’s current music teacher would like to provide a reference, this should be included in their application. Students are also required to submit a maximum of 250 words expressing why they would like to be a Music Scholar at Leighton Park.

Candidates who are successful at the initial screening will be invited to an assessment day at Leighton Park and audition, whereby they can offer one or more instruments (voice included). Two contrasting pieces should be prepared for the first instrument offered and only one for any subsequent instrument. No more than three instruments will be heard at the audition. Compositions can be included as an ‘instrument’ for the purposes of this audition.

In the final stage of the assessment process each candidate is interviewed by our Director of Music, and are encouraged to talk generally about their musical experience and ambitions. We expect students to demonstrate evidence of widening musical interests and to complete some aural tests. Please note candidates are assessed on the basis of musical potential as well as prior musical achievement. Associated Board practical exams and other examination boards are a useful indicator but other factors are considered.

  • Two free instrumental lessons of thirty minutes each per week. These lessons are available with Leighton Park instrumental teaching staff only and are given in the Music Department. Please note that these lessons are non-transferable out of school to other external teachers
  • Performance in our wide range of concerts throughout the school year
  • Involvement in workshops, including those with visiting guest musicians
  • One to one support with a professional accompanist to prepare for practical examinations and raise any concerns
  • Immersion in a variety of musical projects with our Music Education Partner, Yamaha UK

Scholars are expected to make an active contribution to the Music Department and their own development through:

  • Participating fully in the musical life of the School
  • Being an ambassador for the Music Department and ensuring that behaviour at rehearsals and concerts reflects this
  • Performing in a range of concerts throughout the school year
  • Performing one piece in the ‘Scholars’ Concert’, which is held in the Spring Term of each academic year
  • Developing Music study further by selecting GCSE / A Level Music. There is no requirement to select A Level Music in the Sixth Form, although scholars are encouraged to consider it

Sport

Candidates are requested to provide evidence of playing for a rugby, cricket, hockey, netball, football, tennis or athletics team at county level or equivalent, or be on an advanced pathway, to support their application. Students who play alternative sports will also be considered but should be able to evidence playing their sport at a level that is considered elite. It must be noted that the final decision on these criteria will be down to the discretion of the Director of Sport. Students are also required to submit a maximum of 250 words expressing why they would like to be a Sports Scholar at Leighton Park.

Successful candidates are required to attend a trial session at Leighton Park, most likely linked to a games session amongst peers. They may bring a portfolio on their assessment day demonstrating their sporting abilities and passion if they wish to do so. All sports played should be indicated in an application. Students will be given the opportunity to display skills in more than one sport (of the sports indicated above) during the assessment day, where possible. In the final stage of the assessment process each candidate is interviewed by the Director of Sport and are asked to complete a fitness test. Students are encouraged to talk generally about their sporting experience and ambitions.

  • The Advanced Performer Programme (APP) provides bespoke strength and conditioning, monitoring and tracking of fitness and wellness data, exclusive trips and fortnightly seminars
  • Sports Science support package, providing a termly functional movement screening and consultation with our local conditioning and rehabilitation centre and partners, GoPerform
  • Access to in-depth feedback from professionals, on specific areas to improve sporting performance

Scholars are expected to make an active contribution to the Sport Department and their own development through:

  • Being an active member of the Advanced Performer Programme, attending weekly strength and conditioning sessions and the Friday meeting, where possible
  • Being actively involved in school sport, playing 1st team for the appropriate age group in at least one sport. If this isn’t possible then there is an expectation to play at a very high level outside of school
  • Being actively involved in sport outside of school, playing at least one sport at county level (or equivalent)
  • Being an ambassador for school sport by leading or helping with sports hobbies or offering opportunities to share your expertise with other students in your chosen sport at least once during the year

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Shinfield Road
Reading
Berkshire, UK
RG2 7DE
+44 (0) 118 987 9600
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