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Star students: Tonbridge’s Upper Sixth achieve excellent 2023 A-level results 

Some of Tonbridge's Upper Sixth, pictured in the Library Gardens

Tonbridge’s students have put in outstanding performances in this year’s A-levels. In results made public on Thursday 17 August, 43 per cent of all grades awarded to the Upper Sixth cohort are at the very highest grade of A*.

In total, 80 per cent of all grades awarded are A* or A, while nearly all grades (97 per cent) achieved by Tonbridge students are either A*, A or B.

In addition, 96 boys achieved nothing lower than A*/A grades at A-level, with 29 boys making the ‘clean sweep’ of an A* in all their subjects.

Some members of the Upper Sixth are pictured, right, in the Library Gardens.

Tonbridge’s Donald Chui received the top score in the country from examination board OCR for its A-level Mathematics B (MEI) qualification: he was the top performer from approximately 6,500 candidates.  

James Priory, the School’s Headmaster, said: “I offer my congratulations to the whole cohort on today’s outstanding A-level results. We are proud of the character and motivation the boys have shown throughout their Sixth Form studies. 

“At the same time as continuing to enjoy co-curricular pursuits and contributing to the wider leadership of the School, our Upper Sixth have shown tremendous intellectual creativity, worked hard and achieved impressive academic results.”

Mr Priory added: “I wish our leavers every happiness and success during the next chapter of their educational careers.”

This year’s leavers become the second Tonbridge cohort to have completed the School’s Sixth Form Curriculum. Launched in 2020, this was inspired by the skills which The World Economic Forum identified as having the greatest value in today’s workplace including complex problem-solving, critical thinking and creativity. 

The Sixth Form Curriculum gives students the opportunity to develop high-level specialism in their A-level studies whilst also sustaining breadth through options such as the Extended Project Qualification and additional language courses. 

The very large majority of Tonbridge’s leavers have once more secured their first-choice university destination and are heading to many leading universities across the world, including Oxford and Cambridge (see our Upper Sixth Leavers’ profiles).

In the US, the School’s leavers have gained places at Princeton, Columbia, Chicago, Duke, New York University Abu Dhabi and the University of Southern California. They also have places at Waterloo (Canada) and Delft (Netherlands). 

This year, Tonbridge’s Upper Sixth received a record number of offers – more than 670 – from a wide range of top universities. More than 65 per cent of boys received four or more offers, which is well above the national average.

As reported earlier this year, a total of 27 students (representing 17 per cent of the Upper Sixth) received offers for places at either Oxford or Cambridge.

Other leading UK universities which will be welcoming Tonbridge boys include LSE, Imperial College, Bristol, Bath, Edinburgh, Leeds, Nottingham, Exeter, Manchester, King’s College London, UCL, Warwick and York.

Tonbridge was ranked as the 8th best school in the country in Parent Power, The Sunday Times Schools Guide 2023, which is based on A-level and GCSE performance. Tonbridge was also the country’s top performing boys’ boarding school.

While traditional degree courses such as Politics, Philosophy, History, Business, Geography, Engineering, Languages and Economics continue to prove popular, some Tonbridge leavers already have a particular career focus. 

One student will be going straight into the city, working for Barclays as part of a highly sought after degree apprenticeship. From this, he will gain a degree in Economics & Finance from a London university, a full-time position with a salary and a guaranteed job following graduation.

Another will be going to Central St Martins on an Art Foundation year: places for this are hugely competitive, with students needing to demonstrate great ability and passion for the subject.

‘Tonbridge Portraits’: Some of our Upper Sixth leavers (also pictured below) reflect on the past five years and look forward to the next stage in their lives.

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