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Duke of Edinburgh Award

Young people growing up are eager to grasp opportunities for enjoyment, for developing their personalities and for working out their place in the world. They are willing to accept substantial challenges if they see them to be worthwhile and to have a relevance to the needs of their own societies. They want to prove themselves, to create, to dare and to work out their relationships with friends and the wider community.

The award scheme was introduced to encourage and stimulate their enthusiasms and energies by presenting a challenging programme of activities open to all young people between the ages of 14 and 25 in the UK and throughout the world.

Participants follow their chosen activities, largely in their own time, with guidance from someone knowledgeable in each subject. In gaining awards, young people learn by experience the importance of self-discipline, enterprise and effort. They discover a great deal about themselves and come to know the enjoyment of working with and for other people.

The Awards

We offer the Award at Bronze and Gold levels. For each you will have to fulfil the requirements of four sections which are to encourage -

  • Volunteering - service to others
  • Skill - the discovery & development of personal interests, social & practical skills
  • Physical - participation in physical recreation and improvement of performance
  • Expedition - a spirit of adventure and discovery.

For the Gold Award, participants also have to complete a residential project. 


Most students in Sixth Form go through the formal process of submitting a letter of application and attending an interview for a position of responsibility in Study One, the team of senior prefects. This is a valuable experience whether or not they are awarded a position. Leadership training is provided both for Study One and for all Sixth Formers.

Leiths Certificate in Food and Wine

This is a five term cookery course which has been devised for schools by Leith’s School of Food and Wine in London. We are privileged to be one of a small number of schools in the UK offering this course – in fact; we were one of the first two schools to pioneer the course.

The course concentrates on excellent skills of food preparation and presentation, and the students prepare two or three dishes every week. You will very quickly build up an extensive repertoire of dishes using recipes from Leith’s new cookery book: “How to Cook”. Skills covered include bread and baking, soups and sauces, meat and fish, and pastry and desserts. You will have your own set of professional knives – as well as a chef’s jacket, chef’s trousers and a Leith’s apron and hat. Chefs and tutors from Leith’s visit us each term to conduct assessments and share their skills. The wine appreciation classes are taught by a Master of Wine. 

You need an interest in food, a basic level of skill competence and a desire to make even the simplest things look and taste as good as possible.

The course is examined by a series of coursework assignments, theory exams, and a final practical examination, which, on successful completion, gives you a professional qualification. If you wish to develop your food knowledge and skills further, this course provides entry to the 2-term diploma at Leiths in London. This can open doors to a wide range of opportunities within the food industry. A former Westonbirt student did just this and now runs a highly successful catering company offering event management and catering to private and corporate clients alike. You will also take, and need to pass, your Level 2 award in Food Safety in Catering. Once you have achieved your Leiths certificate, you can use Leiths List – their job agency for cooking jobs. Two of our ex-students have actually worked at Leiths School of Food and Wine in London, and job opportunities, both short and long-term, exist all over the world.

This is an excellent opportunity to acquire an additional qualification while working for your AS / A2 exams. I hope the weekly practical cookery lessons will give you something of a break from your intense studies. You will still be working hard – only you won’t realise it. You’ll be learning skills of time management and multi-tasking – you will be using your brain in quite a different way to all your other courses. 

Young Enterprise

Young Enterprise is a national scheme which provides a structured environment for young people to learn about setting up and running a business. It is open to all Year 12 pupils.

Pupils can sample positions of responsibility - they could be elected to act as a director of the company, perhaps in the areas of finance, personnel, marketing, production, sales or become the company secretary or even the managing director! However, the experiences gained are much broader than this. As well as learning new skills there are opportunities to put into practice problem solving, team work and how to handle people in the real world of business and commerce.  

Throughout the years, Westonbirt companies have had numerous successes.

In 2015, Westonbirt ’s Young Enterprise Team were the overall winners in Gloucestershire for their business venture ‘Crazy Creatures’.

Awards won include the Best Stand at the Trade Fair, Best Financial Position, Best Company Report, Best Presentation and Best Overall Company in Gloucestershire. Previous companies have included Sudosolve, which designed and made a magnetic travel version of the popular game of Sudoku, ‘Snappy Sticks’ which won the award of Best Manufactured Products for their attractive roll up picnic sets.  La Lumiere, made candle products and won an award for best financial results. Last year’s company “Bright Lights Mini City” produced a range of city skylines illuminated by colour changing lights. The team presented their product, where they received positive feedback and useful business advice, to a panel of business advisors at Cisco’s London Innovation Centre in Shoreditch. This was arranged by one of our business advisors, Simon Herbert, development manager of Cisco Systems.

Running a Young Enterprise company provides numerous opportunities for gaining Key Skills in problem solving, working with others, numeracy and communication. Young Enterprise adds value to the A Level Business Studies course and provides useful material for CVs and personal statements.

If you are looking for a challenge and want to try your hand at making a fortune, join Young Enterprise!


Year 12 students have the opportunity to fly to South Africa in the Autumn to attend the challenging Warriors Programme. The programme teaches survival skills and self-defence, including outdoor activities such as night navigation in the bush, sky diving, abseiling and hands on interaction with rhinos, cheetahs and reptiles. Everyone gets the chance to work in an orphanage. The programme will provide an exceptional opportunity for you to learn and develop important qualities which will serve them well in the future. 

Book Club

The Book Club meets every term with “nibbles and wine” to discuss books you are currently enjoying. We are fortunate to have had several distinguished authors attend our club, notably Katie Fforde and Candida Lycett Green. We usually read from our own list of favourites and bring along ‘good reads’ to recommend to each other.

Film Club

We regularly get together to showcase International films and explore cinema history whilst enjoying the obligatory popcorn and pizza!

Current Affairs

Our Study One (Senior Prefects) run a weekly current affairs group, covering topics ranging from local and international news stories to the latest fashion for the ‘dog who has everything’. This year we hope to extend the current affairs programme with the younger students.

Physical Education 

You will attend one double lesson of PE each week with the choice of lacrosse, swimming, fitness, golf, badminton, volleyball, tennis and, at a charge, Yoga or Zumba.

Along with curricular PE, we encourage you to take responsibility for your own health and fitness. As a member of the Sixth Form, you are given a membership to our on-site leisure centre.

Senior teams are selected for inter-school and county competitions, with a number of students going on to represent the county and attending Centre of Excellence training camps. There are lacrosse teams, netball teams, tennis teams, a swimming team, a golf team and a basketball team. All teams have open training sessions so all who wish to can participate. Commitment to these teams is essential and pupils thrive on the team-work and enthusiasm that accompanies these team sports. There is further opportunity to improve skills in certain sports, as the school employs a fully qualified and experienced tennis coach and golf professional. These extra lessons are organised into timetables and charged to the end of term account. 

Street Proofing and Well-being

As part of the Life Skills programme all students take part in a series of workshops provided by a martial arts expert to make you more aware of personal safety. In addition you will also attend workshops aimed at wellbeing and at achieving a good work-life balance, which is key to thriving in the Sixth Form!

Skills for Life

This programme is timetabled for sessions on a Thursday morning and a Friday afternoon in the form of tutorials, workshops, lectures and discussions. However, much of what we actually do is practised across the whole of our school day and becomes real skills for everyday life.

Sessions deal with:

  • Promoting independent learning
  • University paths and careers (IAG) advice
  • Careers advice and guidance through the UCAS process, apprenticeships and the real world of work
  • The life beyond school
  • Leadership and responsibility
  • Work in the community and charity fundraising

Personal Financial Management

Managing money is a necessary part of life and Westonbirt School believes it should be an essential part of education too. The IFS has developed a range of Financial Capability qualifications for 14-19 year olds at four levels.

  • Level 1 Award in Personal Finance 
  • Level 2 Certificate in Personal Finance
  • Level 3 Certificate in Financial Studies 
  • Level 3 Diploma in Financial Studies 

The four qualifications have all resources provided online and with all students having their own login and on demand examinations, they provide very flexible courses that can be delivered in a combination of ways. CeFS & DipFS both can attract up to 60 UCAS points each.

Level 1 Award in Personal Finance

The Award in Personal Finance (APF1) has been designed to equip students with the knowledge and skills to be able to manage their own money.

APF1 consists of two mandatory units:

  • Unit 1 – The Principle of Money
  • Unit 2 – Money Management

Students will gain knowledge of the influences on how we spend or save money, and of the tools available to become competent at managing their own money.

All students are expected to pass this course during Year 12, and will be given the option of continuing in Year 13 with the Level 2 certificate. 

Level 2 Certificate

The Certificate in Personal Finance (CPF2) has been designed for people who are, or who will shortly be, reaching a life stage when they no longer depend on others for their financial provision. Students will gain knowledge about the practical and legal constraints on the sources and uses of money, the methods of organising their money through personal budgeting, the considered use of appropriate bank and building society accounts and the concepts and consequences of overspending or payment default.

St John's Memorial Prize Essay

During the last war, St John's College, Oxford, used the cellars of Westonbirt School to store their art treasures in case they should be damaged by enemy action. As a mark of appreciation, the College donated a sum of money towards an Essay Prize which was to be awarded annually.

Originally, a topic was set, then researched by each candidate and finally written out under formal examination conditions. Nowadays, however, the subject is decided upon by the students themselves. The essay must be completed by October half term and be ready for handing in to the selection committee.  This committee consists of the Headmistress, Mr Mew and English staff, who represent a broad spectrum of interests and disciplines.

Recent prizewinning essays have been written on a very wide range of subjects - from Archaeology to UFO's - and it is often the enthusiast or original thinker who is in the final shortlist. Although the essays should contain some factual material and must be well researched, (not short stories), they should also be as interesting as possible with some positive input from the authors themselves. The essays should be between 1000 and 2000 words in length.

You can discuss titles with your subject teachers/tutors at the beginning of the Autumn Term and should research topics thoroughly. The titles of essays are to be handed in via tutors by the first Exeat in the Autumn Term, so they can be approved in good time. If the exact title cannot be given, the general subject area should be indicated.

There is one major prize winner, who will receive a cheque for £100 and a £50 prize for an essay written by a student with English as her second language, though runners-up should be encouraged to put their achievement on application forms, such as UCAS. The subject matter could be the catalyst for a useful discussion with an admissions tutor.

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Sixth Form

Westonbirt Schools

Tetbury, Gloucestershire

GL8 8 QG

Prep: +44 (0)1666 881400 Senior: +44 (0)1666 880333

Westonbirt Sports Centre

Tetbury, Gloucestershire

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Westonbirt Schools

Tetbury, Gloucestershire

GL8 8 QG

Prep: +44 (0)1666 881400 Senior: +44 (0)1666 880333

Westonbirt Weddings

Tetbury, Gloucestershire

GL8 8 QG

+44 (0)1666 881338