Upper School

Maturity and responsibility to prepare for the demands of higher education

Ready for take-off.

Students prepare for their final examinations and entry into universities and colleges across the world.

“The bond between the school, the teachers and the students is outstanding.”

Mr Shah

“Da Vinci is bringing out my son’s full potential.”

Mr Vaughan

Our Upper School curriculum offers a challenging and balanced academic education, equipping students for the opportunities and demands that they will meet in the future. Our committed teaching staff utilise a range of teaching styles to deliver a broad-based curriculum, with most students taking 9 GCSEs and going on to take between 3 and 5 A-levels.

We work closely with educational and industrial partners to provide students with a broad and varied perspective, in addition to their academic work. Class sizes are restricted to ensure that all students receive individual support. All Upper School students are personally mentored through careers advice sessions in selecting and applying to universities and colleges around the world.

Click here to read about our examination results.

GCSE subjects

GCSE subjects are examined by one of the following three examination boards: AQA, CIE or Edexcel.

  • English Language
  • English as a Second Language
  • Mathematics
  • Combined Science: Synergy (double award)
  • History
  • Geography
  • Dutch First Language
  • Dutch Foreign Language
  • French First Language
  • French Foreign Language
  • Creative Computing & Digital Media – school-based assessment
  • Physical Education – non-examined
da vinci upper school computer
da vinci upper school inbev

A-level subjects

A-level subjects are examined by one of the following four examination boards: AQA, CIE, Edexcel or OCR.

Upon successful completion of their GCSEs, students follow the A-level curriculum in Years 12 and 13, choosing a minimum of 3 and a maximum of 5 subjects. Students are able to select subjects from the list below:

  • Business
  • Dutch
  • English Language
  • French
  • Geography
  • History
  • Information Technology
  • Mathematics
  • Media Studies
  • Science (Biology, Chemistry or Physics)
  • PE – compulsory non-examined subject

The range of subjects may change, depending on the needs and interests of the students. Please consult the school for further information.


Why A-levels?

A-levels are recognised throughout the world as being the Gold Standard for entrance to university. University life can be both exciting and challenging. Studying A-levels prepares students well for this transition and ensures that they have the tools they need for success in the wider world. Today, A-levels continue to be the most popular route to university for international students.

“We believe that the A-level curriculum best meets the requirements of our individual students and puts them in a better position when it comes to applying for their chosen university course.”

Capitalising on students’ interests and strengths

Students are able to pursue their own interests and capitalise on their own strengths when selecting their A-level subjects. This ensures a greater chance of success and gives students an unrivaled depth of knowledge which is internationally acknowledged by universities around the globe. This approach offers a combination of subjects that bests suits each individual student. At Da Vinci, we build our timetable around the option choices that our students make, ensuring that most get the combination that they want.

“A-level courses examine subjects in depth, which is a definite advantage prior to studying specialist academic subjects at university.”

Facts about A-levels:

  • The majority of international students still take A-levels and university admissions tutors and employers understand the system well.
  • A-levels allow students to specialise in subject areas that are relevant to their chosen Higher Education courses. They can also drop subjects that they are weaker at. Year on year, the vast majority of our students choose A-level options that are specific and related to their chosen university degrees.
  • There is more breadth at A-level than there used to be; students can take a fourth AS Level which can complement their main three A-level choices.
  • There is also more stretch and challenge; the recently introduced A* grade is now harder to achieve.
  • A-level courses cover subjects in more detail, which is a definite advantage prior to studying specialist academic subjects at university.
  • North American universities offer students who have done A-levels university credits in their first year.
  • Universities normally base their offers of a place on just 3 A-level subjects and typical offers from prestigious universities are in the range AAA to ABB. To specialise in 3 subjects is a rigorous, proven preparation for the challenges of university study which also offers a level of academic and intellectual challenge.
  • A-levels give students an opportunity to specialise which in turn helps their applications to universities that demand evidence of skills in a specific subject.
  • The A-level system allows the school to have a high degree of predictability about a student’s eventual exam performance, which helps to inform decisions about university choices.
  • In fact, our A-level students have a 100% success rate for being accepted by one of their chosen universities.

Ready for further study

At Da Vinci, our A-level programme is supplemented by additional learning and extension opportunities that are flexible, current, topical and challenging. All our A-level students receive personal guidance for university applications and all are obliged to perform in-school community service.


Beyond A-levels

Over the years our A-level students have gone on to study in many higher education institutions including the following:

  • University of Aberdeen (UK)
  • Royal Academy of Fine Arts Antwerp (BE)
  • University of Antwerp (BE)
  • University of Birmingham (UK)
  • Free University of Brussels (BE)
  • Concordia University (CA)
  • University College Cork (IE)
  • University of Dublin (IE)
  • University of Edinburgh (UK)
  • University of Eindhoven (NL)
  • University College of Karel de Grote (BE)
  • IDC Herzilya (IL)
  • University of Central Lancashire (UK)
  • University of Leuven (BE)
  • University of Milan (IT)
  • University of Greenwich (UK)
  • University of Hull (UK)
  • City University of London (UK)
  • Kings College London (UK)
  • University College London (UK)
  • London Metropolitan University (UK)
  • London School of Economics (UK)
  • University of Maastricht (NL)
  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology (USA)
  • Middlesex University (UK & UAE)
  • University of Surrey (UK)
  • Utrecht University (NL)
  • University of York (UK)


da vinci upper school teacher


Our young scholars and aspiring professionals experience the wider world through company visits and field trips.

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