At St Helen’s all students are encouraged to live fully beyond the classroom and to give anything that interests them a go, regardless of subjects studied. We aim to provide the best possible opportunities for this with our Beyond programme which offers a wide range of sports, clubs, and societies, music, drama and art activities, educational visits, lectures and expeditions.

Sixth Form students play a leading role in many clubs and societies, organising activities and inspiring younger students. They seek personal challenge and external recognition through awards and competitions such as the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award, essay writing competitions and the Model United Nations. Joint debates and conferences with Abingdon School and Radley College also bring students together to share ideas.


Physical recreation, representative team sport, elite performance programmes – students can continue their competitive aspirations as well as enjoying additional fitness-based activities in Sixth Form. The Head of Athletic Development works with individuals and groups to support our goal of creating a fitness culture that will stay with students long after their time at St Helen’s.

There are swimming, tennis, netball, lacrosse, gymnastics and rowing clubs available to all as well as private tennis lessons from our tennis professional all year round. All clubs are run by sporting specialists to ensure that your experience and progress is exceptional.

A designated recreational yoga club has been developed as a result of feedback from School Council to enhance student well-being. Fitness opportunities are designed to support recreational and elite participation – the Fitness Suite can be used in free periods to work out during and after the school day. We also have ergo and cycle suites which are open to all students who wish to participate in these activities.

Sports scholarships are available for Sixth Form and the programme comprehensively supports scholars in their chosen sport.


Musicians in Sixth Form can participate in the full range of extracurricular activities which offer a huge variety of auditioned and non-auditioned ensembles that perform all styles and genres of music. Some groups are run jointly with Abingdon School and Sixth Form musicians also have the opportunity to perform on stage or in the band for joint productions. Leadership roles are also on offer and scholarships are available at 16+. Most excitingly, Sixth Form students are also able to set up, run and coach their own musical ensembles.

  • Sixth Form musicians have had great success in festivals and competitions – including as a category finalist in the BBC Young Musician of the Year Competition
  • Sixth Form musicians have participated in music tours to France, Italy, Belgium and Germany
  • An Upper Sixth Head Chorister is appointed each year – a position of responsibility which includes running @shskchapelchoir on Twitter!
  • Lower Sixth Music Assistants are appointed each year – they assist at concerts and are involved in the running of the department


We recognise that students at St Helen's may have all sorts of reasons for wanting to participate in art sessions. As such, we offer a wide range of extracurricular activities, aimed at those who want to progress in the subject, as well as those who find it recreationally beneficial. Sixth Form students are offered:

  • Tutored life drawing classes each week for two hours
  • The opportunity to complete Bronze or Silver Arts Awards
  • Access to the art studios in study periods during the day
  • Various school initiatives throughout the school year, such as submitting work for the Scholars exhibitions at Christmas and Easter.
  • The Art Department is always excited to work with those who would like to pursue a creative idea as an extracurricular project.


Drama in Sixth Form offers a range of extracurricular opportunities, many jointly with Abingdon School. Each year there are two main senior productions, a musical and a play, with one taking place at St Helen’s and the other at Abingdon School. There are also backstage opportunities to get involved with stage management, lighting, sound, costume or set. Student led productions and smaller theatre performance projects also take place, and there are many opportunities to get involved! Watch the short video to find out more about the student experience of drama in the Sixth Form.

“There’s so much on offer for extracurricular at St Helen’s. I’ve been involved in performances throughout my time here as well as directing my own piece of theatre in Upper Sixth, with students of all ages. It’s been really interesting exploring being a director.”
“When I came to St Helen’s I was really shy, reserved and didn’t want to talk to anyone else but now that I’ve started doing drama and I’ve started doing productions I feel much more confident about myself and my ability to act.”

Extracurricular drama: student interviews

Extracurricular drama: senior productions


Duke of Edinburgh's Award

Thank you for visiting Beyond