It’s a state school that rivals some leading UK independent schools with one of the highest number of Oxbridge year on year. In less than a decade, this London-based secondary school has become a beacon for state school students aiming for top UK universities.
The school is located in one of London’s poorest boroughs, Newham, and offers a traditional – and academically ambitious – education for children aged 11 to 18 years. The sixth form, which opened in 2012, has become a leading provider of college education with outstanding A Level results (in 2022, nearly 90% of its students achieved straight A* or A grades) and a high success rate for students achieving offers at both Oxbridge and Russell Group universities.
Brampton Manor is a selective sixth form with academy status that enrols 300-400 students a year, with many prepared to make a two-hour commute to get to the school,
The school motto ‘success through effort & determination’ underpins its mission that no child should be left behind. There’s a passion and drive felt there to see more disadvantaged students getting into top UK institutions, and it’s working. It’s a school that believes “real effort and determination” are the key to success, so students coming here should expect to work hard, and adapt to working in a competitive learning environment.
As the school says:
“Nobody's a natural. You work hard to get good and then work harder to get better.”
Executive Principal Dr Dayo Olukoshi OBE is said to demand high standards from his students, many of whom are from ethnic minority backgrounds and are in receipt of free school meals. He is a very disciplined head who has seen the school make huge progress from when its first cohort of A Level students received just one Oxbridge offer in 2014.
While the school day starts officially at 8.15am, students are encouraged to work in the study centre from 6am – and many apparently do. There’s a strict dress code for sixth formers (plain black suits for both boys and girls), and teachers are most certainly not on first name terms with their students.
The school was rated Outstanding by Ofsted in 2012 and 201.
As you’d expect at a state school, Brampton follows the National Curriculum for England. Year 9 students are encouraged to take the English Baccalaureate (EBacc) combination of GCSE subjects – English, Mathematics, at least two Sciences, a Modern Foreign Language and either Geography or History. There’s a varied choice of GCSE options, including art, business studies, psychology, economics, photography and PE; students can continue with these subjects at A Level as well as new options including sociology and politics.
The sixth form at Brampton is the real talking point of the school. As mentioned previously, it has an outstanding reputation for A Level results and was ranked fifth in the world for Oxbridge offers last year; in 2021 it sent 55 students to Oxford and Cambridge and in 2022 that number was an even higher 89. For a non-selective school that cannot match the budget and investment of fee-paying independent schools across the UK, this achievement is particularly outstanding.
It’s a success that can be attributed to the school’s enrichment programme, excellent teacher recruitment (Dr Olukoshi focuses on recruiting high-quality graduate teachers), impressive facilities and a very strong university preparation programme. Students learn within a purpose-built Sixth Form Centre, which is very well-resourced with technology and reference materials.
There is a bespoke Oxbridge preparation programme, and the school has established some excellent links with the local community to support students on a variety of pathways; these include Newham Hospital, HSBC and Simmons & Simmons, who each run bespoke programmes for Brampton students.
While Brampton is a high academic achiever, it is a strong believer in broadening students’ horizons – and wants them to leave the school with more than just their A Levels (even if these are mainly A and A*).
Students are stretched and challenged in timetabled enrichment sessions, with the choice currently including badminton, basketball, book club, chess, debating, dodgeball, Duke of Edinburgh, film making, football, fitness, French culture, global society, handball, netball, social issues, table tennis and yoga.
In addition to after-school clubs in curriculum subjects such as science, drama and dance clubs, we offer a wide range of sports clubs such as netball, football, rugby and basketball. A popular club is basketball, where students are trained by professional basketball coaches in the areas, and there’s a thriving rowing club that has links with London Youth Rowing.
The school tops the league tables for A Levels year on year. Due to the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, 2019 data is the latest available exam results data released by state schools.
The last published A Level results (for 2019) show that more than two thirds of grades were awarded A* to A, and more than 100 teenagers achieved A* or A in all their subjects.
Leavers’ destinations are, as we know, impressive. As well as sending several students each year to Oxbridge, the majority of Brampton students’ study at Russell Group of universities (around 85%).
The school is able to deliver such a broad range of academic and vocational qualifications because it is so well-equipped to do so, particularly for a state school. Facilities include theatre, TV and recording studios, outstanding sports and fitness facilities, as well as modern, large classrooms, workshops and laboratories.
It’s a state school, so there are no tuition fees to pay.
To be considered for a place in the Sixth Form, students must have a 6.5 Average Points Score across all GCSEs and Grade 5 in GCSE Maths and English Language.
Good for: It’s one of London’s best sixth form colleges in terms of academic excellence – and the fact that an education here is free means that places are highly valued – and highly sought after. Called the East End’s Eton by the press, Brampton offers a well-rounded and rigorous education to disadvantaged students living in one of the UK’s poorest boroughs. Students at Brampton Manor should expect to work hard, apply themselves, and meet the high standards expected by Principal Dr Dayo Olukoshi – and then reap the reward of achieving high grades, successful university applications and a CV full of interests and experience.
Not for: As a state school, priority for places is given to students living in the local area, so it can really depend on where you live. It cannot match the large campuses and extensive facilities of a fee-paying independent school, but it can match the grades and university offers.
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