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City of London Academies Highgate Hill (Islington) and Shoreditch Park (Hackney)

So I recently heard about these new sixth forms opening which are backed by both the NCS and the City of London School (Private).

Their first cohort will begin in September 2022 and it looks like a really modern and capable sixth form, providing elite prep for universities like Oxbridge and even the Ivy League.

I was basically just wondering if anyone has also applied to these sixth forms and what you think about them!

Thanks

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Original post by DanyTeasing
So I recently heard about these new sixth forms opening which are backed by both the NCS and the City of London School (Private).

Their first cohort will begin in September 2022 and it looks like a really modern and capable sixth form, providing elite prep for universities like Oxbridge and even the Ivy League.

I was basically just wondering if anyone has also applied to these sixth forms and what you think about them!

Thanks


HCS seems less academic to me and they seem less on it with emails. ICS seems really good, the interview was challenging though. I was asked like degree level questions about my essay lol. The offer holder induction was really good, they got professors from UCL in.
Original post by aaaaaaaaaabb
HCS seems less academic to me and they seem less on it with emails. ICS seems really good, the interview was challenging though. I was asked like degree level questions about my essay lol. The offer holder induction was really good, they got professors from UCL in.

Yep I totally agree! ICS seems incredible. I've confirmed my offer and am looking forward to joining the cohort!

If you have also decided to enroll, would you mind sending me your discord or another form of social media? I'd love to chat!
Original post by DanyTeasing
Yep I totally agree! ICS seems incredible. I've confirmed my offer and am looking forward to joining the cohort!

If you have also decided to enroll, would you mind sending me your discord or another form of social media? I'd love to chat!


I am on the reserve list because I left it too late trying to chase other places :frown: but if they accept me I think i'll join. I'll message if I get in so we can chat. But I have 9s and 3 8s so hoping I am high on this list. I have offers from LAE and other places so I have some good alternatives
Original post by aaaaaaaaaabb
I am on the reserve list because I left it too late trying to chase other places :frown: but if they accept me I think i'll join. I'll message if I get in so we can chat. But I have 9s and 3 8s so hoping I am high on this list. I have offers from LAE and other places so I have some good alternatives


LAE is exceptional and I also received an offer, but I preferred ICS. Best of luck with the reserve list and hopefully you get a place! I've fully enrolled and it our induction week looks super fun so hopefully you'll be able to join by then :smile:
Does anyone know much about HCS or ICS?
Original post by Newbie68
Does anyone know much about HCS or ICS?

I go to ICS atm and am loving it! Lmk if you have any questions!
Original post by DanyTeasing
I go to ICS atm and am loving it! Lmk if you have any questions!


Thanks, afaik it’s fairly similar to the NCS but both ICS/HCS are much smaller. I heard STEM is strong at ICS but how about other subjects?

Aside from a levels, how would you describe the overall vibe? Do you feel that sense of academic pressure? How strict?

one thing I don’t know much about is the pastoral care. How much support is there?

Is the sixth form linked to the secondary much?

What do you like and dislike most about it? What sixth form is it most like if you had to compare it?

how is HCS different from ICS do you know? For ICS there is an essay but nothing for HCS.
what’s the essay for?


im confidently on track for 8s pushing for 9s and plan on applying to a top uni and I have Latymer as a given.

Sorry for all the questions but idk much about it so trying to learn as much as I can.

Doing my hw FTW
Original post by Newbie68
Thanks, afaik it’s fairly similar to the NCS but both ICS/HCS are much smaller. I heard STEM is strong at ICS but how about other subjects?

Aside from a levels, how would you describe the overall vibe? Do you feel that sense of academic pressure? How strict?

one thing I don’t know much about is the pastoral care. How much support is there?

Is the sixth form linked to the secondary much?

What do you like and dislike most about it? What sixth form is it most like if you had to compare it?

how is HCS different from ICS do you know? For ICS there is an essay but nothing for HCS.
what’s the essay for?


im confidently on track for 8s pushing for 9s and plan on applying to a top uni and I have Latymer as a given.

Sorry for all the questions but idk much about it so trying to learn as much as I can.

Doing my hw FTW

1. I take Maths, Further Maths, History and Economics, so I cover both areas I guess haha. Maths, History and Psychology are absolutely incredible here. I really cannot stress enough the excellence of the department, as well as the dedication of the teachers. Although there are slightly more STEM students, I'd certainly say that both STEM and Humanities are really good here. You'll also probably get a smaller class size if you take a humanities, which is really good for 1 to 1 help!
2. The overall vibe is very unique. As our current cohort is so small (30), we're like one big family. Everyone talks to everyone, and we all chill together which is super nice. Academic pressure certainly is there - we are regularly reminded that we are an academic 6th form - but I'd certainly say it's manageable. To be honest though, almost everyone here is self-driven, so external pressure isn't really that adamant. We all chose to be here for a reason! It's not that strict at all because the teachers and students have a really high level of respect for one another. As long as you adhere to the rules, you're fine. The rules are pretty calm as well, and it's pretty nice that our teachers focus on understanding, rather than just forcing stuff. I.e. they try to understand why you broke a rule, rather than just giving you a detention. Nobody breaks rules though so it's very very rare. If you were to break the rules, other students would probably get a bit annoyed though - "year 6 behaviour"
3. The pastoral support is genuinely incredible. I came from an all boys comprehensive where pastoral support wasn't really a thing, but I can absolutely say that this school goes above and beyond. Our Head of 6th form is excellent, and you'll probably end up developing a good relationship with her if you opt to join. Contextualisation is very important here so, if your grades start to drop, you'll have a meeting with the Head of 6th, and you'll basically diagnose the situation - what's going on at home, and how can she help - and create an action plan. The advantage of having so few students in the sixth form is that everyone is cared for thoroughly! You won't get left behind.
4. Sixth form and secondary are quite separate. We're basically ICS Sixth Form, at Highgate Hill. We share teachers and a site - and occasionally we tutor or mentor some of the lower school - but that's mostly it.
5. The thing that I like most here is how innovative this place is. As I mentioned above before joining, I was shocked that a state school was providing Ivy League support, and I was a bit sceptical too, but I'm flying out to the USA in a few weeks, for free! At my old school, you pretty much got out what you put in - fair enough. However, over here, there's a sort of multiplier effect - you get out 2x what you put in. That's the only way I can think to describe it. The Oxbridge support here is absolutely insane. We are partnered with City of London School for Boys (& the Girls School) which means that we get a ton of support from them - mock interviews etc - as well as Newham Collegiate Sixth Form. The partnerships are super cool icl - we got invited to a talk by a Harvard Dean at CLSG for free! The students have a lot of say in the 6th form because we are so new. For example, at the end of each term, we have a wellbeing week wherein we do activities as a year group each day! I'll link this to another point later, but it's honestly so fun. In our most recent week, we did a bake off, movie night, quiz night, sports night, and murder mystery! I don't think you'll get that anywhere else haha. We also do stuff like codebreaker courses which break down corporate secrets and etiquette and I've personally found that to be really informative - it's the sort of "unwritten laws" we are taught about within those sessions. We get given UpLearn (an AI Revision Platform - google it!) for free for the two years, and that's really helped a ton of students. I could go on, and if you'd like me to in another post, I will, but that's just a bit about what I like.
6. So, for me, there are two main things which could be better: size and location. In terms of size, 30 students has a ton of advantages for sure, but there are also disadvantages that I would be naïve to ignore. At my old school, I had a group of friends who were very very similar to me, and that was pretty nice as we were quite close knit. Here, given the small number of students, you are a less likely to find students who are on your exact wavelength. I guess it's more realistic and reflective of the real world, but it was a little bit annoying at first. However, nowadays, I've come to find that students are like you/do become like you, you've just got to look for who. I thought I'd mention it because it would be a lie if I didn't say I struggled with that at the start. Nowadays, I'm loving it though! Honestly, the people here are INCREDIBLE. The other thing is location. I phrased this location as I didn't really know what else to call it? Students travel from quite far to get to school in some cases (East London, South London, etc) and that means that going out with friends - to the cinema for example - can be quite tricky. However, we sort of countered this by launching well-being week, so it's not that deep. No matter where you are coming from, you'll probably have at least one or two students coming from the same area anyway! Judging from the fact you applied to Latymer too, I'm presuming you're from North London, so you'll be fine as the majority of students are too.
7. Good question about sixth form comparison! I guess I could compare it most to King's College London Maths School, just without the excessive Maths. They're a small cohort of super bright students and it's really chill over there. Everyone knows what they want out of their education, and therefore they'll do their best to achieve their potential. The support is excellent, with great teaching, and really good university admissions support. They lack the US Universities support, as well as the diversity of subjects, but overall it's an ok comparison. Once again though, ICS is VERY unique.
8. Yeah so HCS is one of our partner schools. The students there are really chill, and the cohort is even smaller! They have a nice building and stuff, but I think most of them are internal, which would be a little annoying. I can't say much, but I'd like to think that ICS is top tier, so take that as you may. The essay is a pretty crucial part of your application! I applied late, and apparently it was one of the only reasons why they let me in... They use it to assess a few skills like articulation, critical thinking, etc. Spend time on it! Applications close soon though I believe, so consider that too. Have you already applied?
9. 8s and 9s are very good. However, if you are currently at a normal state school, remember that ICS is very much a level playing field as everyone smashed their GCSEs. A-Levels are no joke too haha. Also, be prepared to meet a few actual geniuses here. I thought I had met some before coming to ICS, but you really don't know until you know!
10. Latymer is a lot more traditional. I can say that, going there, you will probably do fairly well. I personally didn't apply because I didn't want to go to a sixth form where everyone already knew each other, where teachers already knew everyone besides you, and where I thought I was likely to receive less support. I also just preferred the innovative nature of ICS. Once again, it's definitely a great option, but I wholeheartedly suggest ICS. I've had the pleasure and privilege of being here for a few months, and I am super grateful for it! It's been one of the best decisions I've ever made, and it really is paying off.

If you have any further questions, be sure to let me know! I can ask other students for input too. If you get an offer - and don't take it for granted as it's quite competitive - then you'll be invited to an event, and you'll probably meet me there too! Best of luck once again.
This is insanely detailed. Real insight. So thank you. Will every year be 30 students? That’s a good point actually. What is the internal/external ratio?

I want to be around students who want to do well so that doesn’t really scare me lol. The older headteacher of the NCS left but sounds like the standards are still really high which is good
Original post by Newbie68
This is insanely detailed. Real insight. So thank you. Will every year be 30 students? That’s a good point actually. What is the internal/external ratio?

I want to be around students who want to do well so that doesn’t really scare me lol. The older headteacher of the NCS left but sounds like the standards are still really high which is good


No worries at all. When I was making my decision to join ICS, I got quite lucky by stumbling across a really kind internal, who quite literally changed the trajectory of my life... It's only right that I pass on the torch!

Each year the size of the sixth form will increase. I can't give a set number for your cohort, but I would guess 60? Take that with a grain of salt though.

The internal external ratio is 50:50 here, but, in all honesty, it's quite indistinguishable nowadays! For you cohort, I'm pretty certain there'll be more externals than internals, something which is probably better for you. It doesn't matter much after a month though.

Glad to hear that you have the right mindset for this sixth form. A growth mindset is certainly what you should have if you're hoping to succeed.

Yeah, the previous Head Teacher of the NCS really is incredible - he even got an OBE recently! At the start of the year, I was unsure which degree path to pursue, so I was lucky enough to have a quick call with him wherein he gave me some advice. Overall, the partnerships we have with the other schools apart of COLA are really nice. Especially with the private schools, because we get such high quality support, for free! I'm looking to study in America for University, and I was provided with a mentor who's currently at Harvard. Not a joke. Absolutely mental.

We also collaborate with the NCS quite regularly: we have an upcoming history debate which I'm really looking forward to.

Which A-Levels are you looking to study? What sort of school are you at now? Why are you hoping to move? What are your future aims? It'd be pretty cool to hear more about you!
Original post by DanyTeasing
No worries at all. When I was making my decision to join ICS, I got quite lucky by stumbling across a really kind internal, who quite literally changed the trajectory of my life... It's only right that I pass on the torch!

Each year the size of the sixth form will increase. I can't give a set number for your cohort, but I would guess 60? Take that with a grain of salt though.

The internal external ratio is 50:50 here, but, in all honesty, it's quite indistinguishable nowadays! For you cohort, I'm pretty certain there'll be more externals than internals, something which is probably better for you. It doesn't matter much after a month though.

Glad to hear that you have the right mindset for this sixth form. A growth mindset is certainly what you should have if you're hoping to succeed.

Yeah, the previous Head Teacher of the NCS really is incredible - he even got an OBE recently! At the start of the year, I was unsure which degree path to pursue, so I was lucky enough to have a quick call with him wherein he gave me some advice. Overall, the partnerships we have with the other schools apart of COLA are really nice. Especially with the private schools, because we get such high quality support, for free! I'm looking to study in America for University, and I was provided with a mentor who's currently at Harvard. Not a joke. Absolutely mental.

We also collaborate with the NCS quite regularly: we have an upcoming history debate which I'm really looking forward to.

Which A-Levels are you looking to study? What sort of school are you at now? Why are you hoping to move? What are your future aims? It'd be pretty cool to hear more about you!


I’m at Latymer right now. Hence the easy option is to stay. I’m thinking Maths, Further maths, biology and maybe psychology - although I should probably do chemistry instead as im interested in human sciences but maths is my strongest subject and I really enjoy it. NCS is too far for me so that’s why im considering ICS and I’ve heard some good things about how it’s run from a mutual friend who has applied. It’s just really hard to pick somewhere. I emailed and they said there are taster days in June so I hope to go to that to get a feel for it. I’m definitely going to apply.
Original post by Newbie68
I’m at Latymer right now. Hence the easy option is to stay. I’m thinking Maths, Further maths, biology and maybe psychology - although I should probably do chemistry instead as im interested in human sciences but maths is my strongest subject and I really enjoy it. NCS is too far for me so that’s why im considering ICS and I’ve heard some good things about how it’s run from a mutual friend who has applied. It’s just really hard to pick somewhere. I emailed and they said there are taster days in June so I hope to go to that to get a feel for it. I’m definitely going to apply.


Oh right fair enough.

I can say first-hand that Maths and Further Maths here is incredible - I was actually part of the team who came 9th in the country a week or so ago in the Team Maths Challenge! - and our teachers are super dedicated. Psychology is also exceptional, but you'll learn more about that in due course.

Best of luck for your GCSEs, and once again be sure to reach out if you have any questions. Make sure you produce a high-quality essay too! Speak soon.
Original post by DanyTeasing
Oh right fair enough.

I can say first-hand that Maths and Further Maths here is incredible - I was actually part of the team who came 9th in the country a week or so ago in the Team Maths Challenge! - and our teachers are super dedicated. Psychology is also exceptional, but you'll learn more about that in due course.

Best of luck for your GCSEs, and once again be sure to reach out if you have any questions. Make sure you produce a high-quality essay too! Speak soon.


Sorry another question. Everyone keeps telling me to go to Woodhouse. Were you considering there?
Original post by Newbie68
Sorry another question. Everyone keeps telling me to go to Woodhouse. Were you considering there?


Woodhouse has become a sort of gag at ICS. I did consider there, but chose not to go. This was for a few reasons.

Ultimately, I think that woodhouse is for a certain demographic of students.

I would recommend Woodhouse if:
- You prefer independent study
- You are quite self-driven
- You are quite social
- You aren't too easily influenceable: this is a big one

I'll leave it at that for now; given that I don't go to Woodhouse, I'd recommend talking to students who have. We currently have a student at ICS who did a year at Woodhouse, hated it, and came to ICS to redo Year 12. However, of course I am bias towards ICS. Take what I am saying with a grain of salt - do your research!

I personally preferred ICS as:
1. Much smaller cohort - everyone knows everyone, and you get personalised support: you will never get left behind
2. Demographic - Woodhouse, as far as I am aware, mainly consists of middle-class students from very similar socio-economic backgrounds, though this is quite an overgeneralisation. ICS is much more diverse - representing almost 25 separate countries! - and I preferred that. I really didn't want to be in a bubble.
3. Culture - The Woodhouse stereotype involves smoking and drinking, they even have a dedicated smoking area. Once again, though this is a generalisation, I didn't really like that sort of environment. There was too high a chance to get distracted during A-Levels, something which I know a few students in the years above me had unfortunately fallen victim to.
4. Structure - I really prefer a structured environment because it ensures you can't fall behind. You are held accountable, and I am personally preferred that.
5. University - Given the smaller cohort size, your support for uni applications here is of course going to be significantly better. We even get the chance to do a university research project as part of The Brilliant Club, which was an incredible opportunity. On top of that, I was quite intrigued by the support for applying to American Universities, so that sold it for me. You also get tons of support from our partner schools (including private schools) which means you have everything you really could ever need to get into Oxbridge and other top unis: now it's up to the students.
6. Enrichment - courses like the codebreakers course which breaks down corporate etiquette and the general secrets that you don't really get taught about normally was a huge deal for me. It's really quite interesting, and goes a longways in increasing cultural capital. I think there's a section on the prospectus about it.

I got rather lucky with insight from previous students, but overall, that's my take. Once again, any other questions, certainly ask.
Original post by DanyTeasing
Woodhouse has become a sort of gag at ICS. I did consider there, but chose not to go. This was for a few reasons.

Ultimately, I think that woodhouse is for a certain demographic of students.

I would recommend Woodhouse if:
- You prefer independent study
- You are quite self-driven
- You are quite social
- You aren't too easily influenceable: this is a big one

I'll leave it at that for now; given that I don't go to Woodhouse, I'd recommend talking to students who have. We currently have a student at ICS who did a year at Woodhouse, hated it, and came to ICS to redo Year 12. However, of course I am bias towards ICS. Take what I am saying with a grain of salt - do your research!

I personally preferred ICS as:
1. Much smaller cohort - everyone knows everyone, and you get personalised support: you will never get left behind
2. Demographic - Woodhouse, as far as I am aware, mainly consists of middle-class students from very similar socio-economic backgrounds, though this is quite an overgeneralisation. ICS is much more diverse - representing almost 25 separate countries! - and I preferred that. I really didn't want to be in a bubble.
3. Culture - The Woodhouse stereotype involves smoking and drinking, they even have a dedicated smoking area. Once again, though this is a generalisation, I didn't really like that sort of environment. There was too high a chance to get distracted during A-Levels, something which I know a few students in the years above me had unfortunately fallen victim to.
4. Structure - I really prefer a structured environment because it ensures you can't fall behind. You are held accountable, and I am personally preferred that.
5. University - Given the smaller cohort size, your support for uni applications here is of course going to be significantly better. We even get the chance to do a university research project as part of The Brilliant Club, which was an incredible opportunity. On top of that, I was quite intrigued by the support for applying to American Universities, so that sold it for me. You also get tons of support from our partner schools (including private schools) which means you have everything you really could ever need to get into Oxbridge and other top unis: now it's up to the students.
6. Enrichment - courses like the codebreakers course which breaks down corporate etiquette and the general secrets that you don't really get taught about normally was a huge deal for me. It's really quite interesting, and goes a longways in increasing cultural capital. I think there's a section on the prospectus about it.

I got rather lucky with insight from previous students, but overall, that's my take. Once again, any other questions, certainly ask.


You are so nice. Thank you. I plan on coming to the taster day so hopefully I get to meet you all.
Original post by DanyTeasing
Woodhouse has become a sort of gag at ICS. I did consider there, but chose not to go. This was for a few reasons.

Ultimately, I think that woodhouse is for a certain demographic of students.

I would recommend Woodhouse if:
- You prefer independent study
- You are quite self-driven
- You are quite social
- You aren't too easily influenceable: this is a big one

I'll leave it at that for now; given that I don't go to Woodhouse, I'd recommend talking to students who have. We currently have a student at ICS who did a year at Woodhouse, hated it, and came to ICS to redo Year 12. However, of course I am bias towards ICS. Take what I am saying with a grain of salt - do your research!

I personally preferred ICS as:
1. Much smaller cohort - everyone knows everyone, and you get personalised support: you will never get left behind
2. Demographic - Woodhouse, as far as I am aware, mainly consists of middle-class students from very similar socio-economic backgrounds, though this is quite an overgeneralisation. ICS is much more diverse - representing almost 25 separate countries! - and I preferred that. I really didn't want to be in a bubble.
3. Culture - The Woodhouse stereotype involves smoking and drinking, they even have a dedicated smoking area. Once again, though this is a generalisation, I didn't really like that sort of environment. There was too high a chance to get distracted during A-Levels, something which I know a few students in the years above me had unfortunately fallen victim to.
4. Structure - I really prefer a structured environment because it ensures you can't fall behind. You are held accountable, and I am personally preferred that.
5. University - Given the smaller cohort size, your support for uni applications here is of course going to be significantly better. We even get the chance to do a university research project as part of The Brilliant Club, which was an incredible opportunity. On top of that, I was quite intrigued by the support for applying to American Universities, so that sold it for me. You also get tons of support from our partner schools (including private schools) which means you have everything you really could ever need to get into Oxbridge and other top unis: now it's up to the students.
6. Enrichment - courses like the codebreakers course which breaks down corporate etiquette and the general secrets that you don't really get taught about normally was a huge deal for me. It's really quite interesting, and goes a longways in increasing cultural capital. I think there's a section on the prospectus about it.

I got rather lucky with insight from previous students, but overall, that's my take. Once again, any other questions, certainly ask.


One more question. What are the staff like?
Original post by Newbie68
One more question. What are the staff like?


Once again, highly bias, but there's a reason I am bias: they are genuinely incredible.

My Maths teacher frequently stays late helping whomever is struggling, even if they aren't in the same class. My Head of Sixth Form is always arriving early and leaving late, having meetings with students, and generally helping out wherever is needed. I can't say too much, but my Assistant Principal is basically a sociology case study: genuinely the most dedicated, altruistic, benevolent, supportive, inspiring, hard-working and all in all excellent staff member I've ever had the pleasure of being supported by. Now, this is a little cringe so I certainly hope she never sees this, but yes, the staff are incredible.

Maths & FM: Teachers are top tier. Can't say much else tbh. My Further Maths teacher - who basically single-handedly got us 9th in the country in the team maths challenge - is the one who I referred to earlier as staying late etc. She clearly cares about her students, loves maths, and wants us to succeed. We really did luck out.

Psychology: You will likely be taught by the aforementioned assistant principal. As you can probably infer, as long as you put the work in, you are basically guaranteed an A*. She has years of experience, has marked for exam boards, has a great degree from a top uni, etc etc. Don't be fooled: classes are intense! But, there's a reason why the results are so high.

Biology: I don't know too much, but I know that the teaching is great. We use teaching resources from Newham Collegiate Sixth Form, so they're tried and tested. We have a strong medicine society here, and they all seem to be succeeding. The subject community is also quite nice: the students often stay late at school (open from 7am to 7pm so students who can't revise at home aren't as disadvantaged) to revise together. If you'd like, I can ask a student for more information.

Hope this helps. Any further questions, do ask.
Ohhh this makes sense. Someone else from ICS spoke about psychoanalysing. Hahaha. I’m really excited about 6th form tbf. Listening to you makes me want to start now lol. Thank you.
Original post by Newbie68
Ohhh this makes sense. Someone else from ICS spoke about psychoanalysing. Hahaha. I’m really excited about 6th form tbf. Listening to you makes me want to start now lol. Thank you.


I was super excited too haha - we had an Oxford residential on our first week. Such a memorable experience!

No worries at all. Glad I could help :smile:

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