Discover The Difference

The dictionary tells us that for something to be truly described as exceptional it must have elements of brilliance, atypicality and uniqueness. DESC is dedicated to everything out of the ordinary. The attention to detail, the innovation and the creative spirit that drives DESC staff truly provides an exceptional experience for our students.


Competitive universities invariably tell us that they are seeking curious students who are passionate about their subject. Exam-orientated curricula do not always foster this: firstly, content heavy syllabuses can discourage wider reading and, secondly, the importance of coursework and project work has diminished in recent years.

DESC recognises that the key to academic enrichment is to encourage students to explore specialist fields. We refer to this as our "super-curricular” provision, providing students with the opportunity to extend their learning beyond the syllabus and, in so doing, experience the kind of independence that characterises undergraduate study. This is part of our culture of seeing education as a living entity that requires careful cultivation and nurturing.

Each society has its own unique structure of leadership, but the common feature is that they are driven by students. Each week societies host presentations, workshops and discussion forums that allow students to hone their public speaking skills, extend their knowledge and exercise leadership. Often students bring insights from their Extended Project Qualification (EPQ) research and are able to discuss and refine their ideas with like-minded peers. Visitors to the College are invariably impressed by the vibrant atmosphere of the societies and the self-regulated learning that goes on within them.

At present we have 20 societies. Many of these are subject specific such as Law and Chemistry, whilst others are more skills based like Debating and the Investor's Club. Not only do these serve as forums to develop knowledge and expertise, they are also spaces in which students develop into young adults who will make a genuine contribution to the world.

Each lunchtime a society is taking place in some are of the Sixth Form Campus!


A weekly element of every student’s Sixth Form timetable is an hour spent in a LIFE class. An hour dedicated to important issues that do not feature in a traditional curriculum but would feature on every adult’s list of things that are necessary to know. From everyday procedures like how to manage a credit card to life skills including self-defence, the DESC LIFE curriculum explores a range of topics and focuses on ensuring our students are ready to live an independent life. Alongside skills and tips, the curriculum also carefully delves into sensitive areas, delivered in a transactional manner intended to inform rather than debate. Parents have control over exposure to these topics but typically agree that the College takes this part of their responsibility seriously and have been historically grateful for this initiative.



Turning 18 is a key moment and one that signals the start of adulthood.

Most of us can pull on our time-stamped memory of this event in our own lives and recall where we were and who we shared this rite of passage with. With a dedication to creating a strong community the Thursday Birthday ritual ensures that every student celebrates their special day with their peers and is presented with a personalised key to treasure as a keepsake for years to come. The weekly event serves as reminder of the importance of celebration, of supporting one another and brings the Sixth Form together in song and laughter at the end of another busy week.



Another momentous occasion distinct to students of Sixth Form age is the opportunity to learn to drive and obtain a license. Believing this to be a key skill for all adults, DESC supports its students’ securing lessons and celebrates each student that passes. Having your polaroid picture posted on the ‘Driving Test Wall’ has become synonymous with success and is yet another addition at DESC that drives our culture of community, care and family. Once again students are presented with a keepsake of their achievement in the form of a DESC keyring which adorns many Sixth Form fobs and inspires yet more to complete this important life skill.



After two momentous years with us we work hard to ensure that all students leave DESC Sixth Form knowing that they are always welcome back but also with memories and friendships that will last well into adulthood. A committee dedicates itself to planning events for the last few weeks of Year 13 and prepares events including, A Morning of Sport, The Gown Shop, The Gifting Suite, Shirt Signing Day, Graduation, SSLT Lunch and other memorable events to ensure that every DESC student leaves feeling part of something special.



‘Like a DESC student please’ is a phrase used throughout the College to positively challenge behaviour. Knowing that these young people in our care will soon be attending interviews and interacting in an abundance of social settings we actively and consistently remind our students of the importance of manners and emotional intelligence. Saying ‘Good Morning Sir/Miss’ whilst maintaining eye contact is just one very small example of the daily routines embedded in DESC school life to instil what we refer to as the DESC Demeanour. Opening assemblies are dedicated to the ideal that DESC students will be recognised by others for their impeccable manners and maturity, and this is something that is actively reinforced on a daily basis.



A personnel innovation at DESC Sixth Form is to employ two full time, non-teaching, Student Managers whose sole responsibility is to take care of the academic and pastoral welfare of the students. Unlike a traditional Sixth Form structure, DESC’s commitment to being student-centred affords its pupils ample opportunities to seek professional help for any areas in which they may be struggling. With the counter- intuitive goal of making themselves redundant, the student managers mentor and counsel the students providing them with the skills and strategies to no longer need them. Offering 1:1 or group sessions, the managers guarantee that even with a large cohort, every student has access to someone to help care for their wellbeing, mental health and long-term goals.



DESC students perform on the biggest stages and at the most prestigious events. DESC sports teams compete at the highest level both Nationally and Internationally whilst being coached by ex-professionals on pristine grass pitches and show netball courts. In Performing Arts, our students can take advantage of our links with Arts Ed in the UK, perform in competitions held at locations including Dubai Opera and star in our yearly, high-budget musical.



DESC Students try new things. For example, in Public Speaking, students can choose from Debate, World Scholars and Model United Nations competitions and residencies throughout the year to hone their skills and fill their trophy cabinets. The opportunities and experiences truly are extraordinary, creating students with unique Personal Statements worthy of any prestigious University.


DESC values and creates leaders. Surrounded by staff with post-graduate qualifications in Leadership, DESC students are well supported in understanding theoretical approaches and provided with multiple opportunities to apply their knowledge.

Sixth Form students are expected to lead in some capacity and are encouraged to take an active role in the DESC community.

With a range of tiers and positions available, student leadership helps shape the future of the College.

The idea of leaving a legacy is a phrase used frequently to ignite the passion of our students and to empower them to realise their leadership potential.



In Term One of Year 12, all students are encouraged to apply for the role of Prefect. With a culture of saying ‘yes’ and wanting to be involved, nearly all do and submit incredible applications outlining their plans for DESC’s future or philanthropic ideas in a bid to make the final interview process. By October thirty are carefully chosen, of new and existing DESC students who are then trained to lead tours, attend events and build a leadership portfolio under the mentorship of a Senior Prefect.



DESC’S Senior Prefects typically grow from the Prefects of the previous year. Their role is to mentor the Prefects whilst also undertaking prestigious ambassadorial tasks and building lower school connections. They are only superseded by the DESC SSLT.



The SSLT, or Student Senior Leadership Team, are a team of eight leaders with incredible drive, passion and potential. The group spearhead large initiatives are mentored by the Head of Sixth Form and called upon by any member of the SLT (Senior Leadership Team) to fulfil tasks and roles. They are led by our Head Boy and Head Girl.



To be appointed Head Boy or Head Girl at DESC is an incredible honour. The selection process is fair yet rigorous and testament to the extensive exposure to leadership that those that make it to the final stages have already encountered. They form the pinnacle of leadership at DESC.



Student Leaders 2023/2024
  • Head Boy - Harry
  • Head Girl - Muskaan
  • Deputy Head Boys - Adrian and Faisal
  • Deputy Head Girls - Liya and Ruby


Get to know our Student Senior Leadership Team (SSLT):

Message from our Head Boy and Head Girl

DESC is not just a school for us, it is a place that fosters an environment for intellectual curiosity and growth. In the classroom, we have been provided with a plethora of opportunities for collaboration, innovation and creativity. DESC prioritises its students – throughout their journey through secondary school – to delve into their passions and discover their potential. Outside the realm of academics, we have been grateful for the several sporting and musical experiences that have been provided to us here at DESC. It fills us with pride to be members of SSLT (Student Senior Leadership Team) as well as a part of the wider DESC community.

We both have had varied experiences at DESC, with different timelines and perspectives. However, our journeys hold one similarity – our strong approach to immersing ourselves school community. We made sure to hit the ground running and take advantage of every opportunity available to us. Exploring our true interests and passions we were apprehensive about – from debate to rugby, from the fine arts to the sciences, and from international trips to local adventures – we are beyond grateful for the exposure to such a wide array of exciting activities. The extracurricular choices available here at DESC are rich and vast. These experiences have not only made our journey enjoyable but have helped us grow into the strong, confident leaders we are today.

Coming out of the COVID-19 pandemic, the unwavering support and dedication of our faculty has been instrumental in us being able to grow as individuals. Their passion for our education is complemented by the exceptional facilities. The Twickenham standard rugby field; Anfield quality football pitch; and international grade netball courts have all been host to countless competitions and tournaments. The DT and food technology facilities have ignited a love for hands-on learning for countless peers of mine. Our state-of-the-art Sixth Form facilities foster a sense of independence and get an early taste of universities. The community and environment allow us and every student at DESC to excel.

We have struggled to find the words to express our gratitude for all that the DESC has been able to offer us over the years, and how much it means to us to be representatives of the College by holding the honour of being Head Boy and Head Girl. We feel that the experiences we have prepared us terrifically well for the challenges we will face when moving into our life beyond sixth form. The DESC environment will always nurture the growth of a well-rounded young adult.

Harry & Muskaan