thai scholarshipsRIC’s Trinity Allstars

RIC’s two top performing students in 2013 are both Royal Thai Government Scholars. Kla Karava and Puthipong Worasaran both netted 4 A* grades in one year of study and have places at Trinity College, Cambridge for Natural Sciences where generations of princes, spies, poets and prime ministers have studied.


RIC + Maths = Oxbridge

Off to study Physics in 2013 at Oxford University is Tal Henke (pictured far left) who joined RIC as an A level boarding student from Monmouth Comprehensive School and went on to gain an A* in Physics, an A* in Maths, an A in Further Maths and an A in German. Tal’s achievement in securing an Oxford place is even more impressive as he joined with a relatively modest GCSE background- (A*s, 1A, 6Bs and 2Cs). As Cambridge say: “Post-16 exam performance is a much better predictor of degree success. Strong performance in Years 12 and 13 can make up for less stellar performance at GCSE.” Tal spent his gap year teaching Maths in Tanzania and says of his time at RIC:

“I found that I enjoyed the nature of study at A level much more than at GCSE . I was particularly inspired by style of teaching because it was very challenging and concept rich. I learnt not just how to answer questions, but to actually understand what the question was asking. I also learnt self-discipline and to organise myself. I enjoyed the international feel of the College, experiencing other cultures,the intensive accumulation of knowledge, breakfast on the weekend and the lovely staff.”

Rethink, Retake And Upgrade Your University Prospects

It’s always a shock to receive disappointing results but it can be the start of a journey to higher grades and better university places than originally hoped for. Even with the abolition of January exams there are options that allow you to achieve the grades you need and even combine this with working or gap year plans.

2013 retake student Maddie Russell from Tunbridge Wells says:

 “Last year my results were CCB and I only got my insurance offer at uni which was Manchester Met. I actually went for one week but felt disappointed because I knew I could have done better and my results didn’t reflect my capabilities. Retaking at Rochester has helped to raise my ambition and realise my potential – my previous school told me I would never get into a Russell Group university. It has also helped me become more confident. The quality of teaching is noticeably better than at previous schools with small class sizes and plenty of discussion. The teachers have made me truly interested in my subjects and see their relevance in the world.”


As well as retaking English and Geography Maddie took two complete A levels from scratch in Sociology and World Development. Combining retakes with intensive one year A levels is an effective way of ensuring the good universities are impressed – and making a retake year more interesting.

Maddie got five Russell group offers this year and secured a place at her first choice – Exeter for Geography.

Exeter is the top choice for RIC’s 2013 retakers. Boarder Angus Henderson from King’s School Canterbury, Jaspar Sawyers from Cranbrook School and Jonathan Carrington from Fulston Manor, Sittingbourne all have places at The Sunday Times’s University of the Year. Abigail Pile and Martha McGuinness both from Tonbridge Grammar, successfully retook their A levels at RIC, winning undergraduate spots at Durham for Archaeology and Leeds for Maths and Management respectively.

Charlie Comet who joined RIC from Cranbrook School was one of the last January retake students and he won a place at Newcastle for Chemical Engineering. His classmate in the famous RIC maths shed Rory Mawdsley from The Judd School is off to study Civil and Structural Engineering at Leeds. Emily Mann who joined as a one term boarder from Middlesborough has a Vet Science place at the RVC.

Other retake success stories are Joseph Molloy from Tonbridge who joined from Skinners’ School is off to Southampton to study Biomedical Sciences. Matthew Collinge  joined  St Gregory’s Catholic Comprehensive to retake, was an RIC boarder and is heading to Sussex for a Physics degree.

Efosa Osaghae from Essex says:

 “Last year my grades were low because I was lazy. When I got my results I knew I needed to retake but wanted to home study using notes from school. My parents stepped in as they knew it would not work. Smaller classes at RIC make it more personal and you get a lot of support. I have pushed myself to work hard, the significant factor is that my Dad’s paying for it. I want to do the best I can.”


Efosa last year had a place at Bolton University. After retakes at RIC he is now off to study Film at King’s College, London, ranked first in the UK for the subject and home to such academic stars of the discipline as Richard Dyer and Ginette Vincendeau.

Off to train as as a vet is former King’s School Canterbury student Elizabeth Royce who after a one year intensive A level course in Chemistry is off to study at Bristol University. Special congratulations go to Georgia Burt from Maidstone who joined RIC with no GCSEs two years ago and now has ABB at A level and a place at Sussex to study History. Lily Willard who joined RIC from Strood Academy is celebrating grades of ABB and a place at Canterbury Christchurch to study Media and Film production. She says:

“I’d never have got these grades if i’d stayed at my old school. My personal tutor Todd helped me through my UCAS application brilliantly.”


RIC has always attracted students who juggle busy high achieving academic and sporting lives. Matt Cammish who joined from Maidstone Grammar School played both football and cricket for Kent and is this year celebrating a place at The University of British Columbia in Vancouver and the Chancellor’s Scholarship for outstanding academic achievement. UBC constantly ranks in the world’s top fifty universities and UK students are increasingly looking worldwide when considering their higher education options.

Gastro Whizz Danny Goes To The Top of The Class

RIC Cook Danny Cheung has been awarded a First Class degree in Mechanical Engineering from City University.

Danny came to RIC from Hong Kong in 2004 to study English and work in our kitchens. Under the careful mentorship of cook Floss Hatton his traditional roast dinners and baking skills were quickly appreciated by staff and students alike. RIC awarded Danny a full scholarship to allow him to study at university. Danny will be starting his Masters degree in September and plans to train as a teacher after finishing his studies and join RIC’s award winning Maths department.

a level retakesRetake for A Clear Round

Journalist and contrarian Charlie Brooker writing about disappointing exam results recently pointed out that “your grades are not your destiny: they’re just letters and numbers which rate how well you performed in one artificial arena, once.”

Laria Collister from Stockbury demonstrated that it can sometimes pay not to accept your first time grades and to retake. She says: “My A levels last year were disastrous and I thought there was no hope. I was in tears when I came for interview at RIC but decided to give it another shot. I do struggle a little with memory recall and the teachers at RIC gave me the confidence to overcome this. The emphasis is on examination technique. I would have been happy with 3Cs this year so ABB is amazing. I’m going to UWE’s Hartbury College for Bio Veterinary Science”

Hartbury College is one of the UK’s centres of excellence for equine studies, develops riders to the highest levels of competition and hosts an annual festival of dressage. Keen eventer Laria whose aim is to compete in the Rio 2016 Olympics gets to take her home bred mare Holly with her to College.

RIC’s Slade Diptych

Two RIC students have won places on one of the world’s most prestigious Fine Art degree programmes at UCL’s The Slade School of Fine Art.  The Slade has spawned a number of well known artists including Wyndham Lewis, Paul Nash, Stanley Spencer, YBA Rachel Whiteread and film maker Derek Jarman.

Ginte Barzdaityte who joined RIC in Year 9 from Lithuania starts the course after completing her foundation at Central Saint Martins. Tom Wynne Owen from Tonbridge who will be joining her at UCL’s Gower Street quad did his GCSEs at the Judd School before opting for an RIC two year A level programme. His success is even more extraordinary as he was offered a place on the degree course straight from sixth form without the normal requirement to complete a foundation year.

Tom says he chose RIC as it was “the only place that would let me do all the subjects I wanted and did not make me wear a suit. I have met the most exciting people here.” Asked about his favourite things about being at the College Tom said: “RIC has helped me to learn a lot in subjects I really enjoy with awesome teachers I get on with. A very good atmosphere and lot of help available for work. Good trips – cool plays in London, and the art trip to Paris was excellent.”

Tom took A levels in Fine Art (A*), History of Art (A), Music Technology (B) Philosophy (B) and Photography (B).

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