A level results 2014

A*-A 40% (national average 26%)

A*-B 75% (national average 52%)

A level results 2014

“We were absolutely delighted with the results Edward got today for his A levels. They were better than we ever dared hope for and such an achievement. We know that a lot of this is down to you and all your staff who over seven years have given so much of your time and expertise to guide him on his way. To receive a confirmed offer from KCL this morning was wonderful. It was a huge leap of faith moving him at the age of 11 but the best thing we could have done for him. He has been so happy since joining you and you have given him so much in addition to purely academic knowledge. ” Sarah Smyth

A group of the first students to join RIC as Year 7 students at the start of their secondary education and go right through the school are celebrating A level success and places at first choice universities. Edward Smyth’s grades of A*A*A won him a place at King’s College London for Film Studies. He will be joined by Theo Halpern at KCL who has a place for History. Their classmate Sam Costelloe has won a place to study Politics at Sheffield. Harry Taylor (pictured below) from the same year group is the star Creative Arts student of 2014. His grades included A* in Graphic Design and A* in Photography. Harry has a place on one of the top rated Graphics courses in the country at Falmouth University. Head of Graphic Design there, Bryan Clark says: “At Falmouth it is becoming commonplace to accept high calibre students directly from A levels if they can obtain the specialist insight and an introduction to the fundamentals of the design process and a strong sense of passion for the subject. RIC delivers this, with not only top grade students but also those with a depth of experimentation and energy that you will also find with more traditional foundation student entry.”

best A level photographyEdward, Theo, Sam and Harry were all at a local preparatory school together before becoming some of the first students to join RIC’s Lower School for their complete secondary education.

Students at RIC often excel on one year A level courses where both AS and A2 are covered from scratch intensively. One of the star performers in 2014 was Arielle de Lacy whose results of A*A*A (English Literature, History of Art and Philosophy)were achieved after only 9 months of study.

I would like to thank you and your staff for enabling Hannah to get the grades she needed for University. You took a girl in pieces after the disappointment of her A level results and turned her into a confident and successful young woman.  She has now been accepted to study Zoology at Bristol in September, her dream University, and she would not have done it without you all. Gill Gower, mother of Hannah Presdee, A level retake student from King’s School, Canterbury. 
We are so happy that Emily’s difficult decision to change school last year, and all her hard work this year has paid off. Her grades last year of BCC (and E in physics!) were raised by 4 grades. There is no question that if she had remained at her old school, she would not have been in a position to take up a place at Exeter University. We are all absolutely delighted and relieved that she has achieved so brilliantly at RIC this year. I have had a couple of conversations with friends whose children are in a similar situation to Emily last year. I’m having no difficulty at all in recommending RIC! Best wishes, Sue Labrum, mother of Emily,  from Walthamstow Hall, Sevenoaks


ric medic makes the grade

Aspiring doctor Conor McManaman celebrates grades of AAAA (Biology, Chemistry, Maths and English Literature) and a place at Newcastle, the only UK university to start life as a medical school in 1834.

“I really enjoyed being at my grammar school up until GCSEs and I got good results in year 11 -4A*, 6As and 2 Bs.  I started sixth form and everything changed. I got to February by which time I was told that if I was the hardest worker in the world I would only get Bs. Then I received a report card and was predicted Ds. That was the point when I knew I had to make some radical changes. I told my Mum that I would come to RIC, I may get the grades but I won’t enjoy it. How wrong was I! I’d argue with Mum and Dad because I wanted to go on rugby tour and I wanted to have a shot at being Head Boy. I cried my eyes out saying goodbye to Gravesend. It took me three days to stop calling the teachers at RIC Sir. I know that after my time here I’m less one dimensional and the College has helped me think about different things in different ways.”

Conor’s mum commented on results day:

“The most interesting thing about Conor’s move was that he went for the results but the College was actually less of an exam factory than many schools are. RIC is about the development of students as a person which is a much more significant thing.”

cambridge olympians

Top RIC performer in 2014 was Methawi (Amy) Chomthong who notched up an astonishing FIVE A STAR grades in only one year of study. Before coming to RIC Amy was a Gold Medallist at the 23rd International Biology Olympiad held in Singapore. Amy’s results saw her awarded A*s in Biology, Chemistry, Maths, Further Maths and Physics, dropping only 120 of the 5000 UMS marks available. She has a place at Trinity College, Cambridge, top of the Tompkins table that ranks the Colleges and former academic home to Isaac Newton, Charles Babbage and Niels Bohr. Cambridge students score an average 567 UCAS entry points so with a record 700 Amy met her offer comfortably. Amy will be joined at Trinity by fellow academic Olympian Peerasak Sae-Ung (Tom) who won a Gold at the 44th International Physics Olympiad in Denmark last year.

Please would you pass on my thanks to all the staff at RIC who have given Isabella so much help, advice and support with her A Levels – what a difference a year makes!  We are absolutely thrilled that she will be starting her vet medicine course in September. Kind regards, Charlotte DeRosa 

easter revision coursesyear 13 transfer success

Rochester Independent College students are celebrating places at their first choice universities and, for some, finally achieving their dreams of higher education after disappointments last year.

Students each year transfer from RIC after receiving their AS results or GCSE results at other schools. They combine retaking AS modules with A2 study in a way that is far more focussed than in a mainstream school environment. Students switching schools for Upper 6th often change their subjects as well as retake key modules to allow them to target first choice universities.

RIC students who transferred for a two year A level course after GCSEs or directly into Year 13 won places including: Law at Sheffield, Economics at Birmingham, Geography at Exeter, Biomedical Sciences at KCL and Computer Science at Leeds.

“Success! Thank you Rochester Independent College. From the first minute, we and Adam felt that RIC would be a good choice, Adam had his confidence crushed and felt deserted by his previous fee paying school after performing poorly in his A2 exams. The staff at RIC immediately assured Adam and us that he could achieve his goals. Today he passed three completely new A levels that he only started last September. We are both so proud of him and we are really appreciative that the staff were able to advise and support Adam and drive him to work hard to achieve what he wanted to do, he is in a much better place today, due to, not only his efforts but also largely to all his tutors and staff. We all as a family strongly recommend RIC. ” With many, many thanks, Chris, Wayne and Adam Dooley.

Particularly noteworthy achievements from Year 13 transfer students in the class of 2014 include:

Katie Taylor, joined after Year 12 from Dartford Grammar. AS Grades: ABBCD. A2 Grades at RIC: A*AA. Destination: Durham University, Geography

A level retakes 2014Nadine Muncey, joined after Year 12 from Mayfield Grammar. AS Grades BDD. A2 Grades at RIC: A*A*A*

“I’ve got the Muncey perfection streak and was determined to improve on my AS results. I have though really exceeded my expectation and can’t believe my results. I really like the relationship between teachers and students here. In class there was lots of banter as we sat around tables in small groups.”

Nadine is pictured with Fergus Stewart from Rochester Maths School who is a celebrating a coveted place at university to study Physiotherapy.

Louis Ellingworth, joined after Year 12 from Bryanston School, Somerset. AS Grades BCD. A2 Grades at RIC: ABB Destination: Sociology, Manchester University

“Louis got ABB plus a B for history AS. We didn’t quite believe you could pull it out of him. How wrong we were. You should hear us recommending you! Thank you to the team. In Louis’ words “the place I was in this time last year was dark. Look where I am now!” Amanda Ellingworth


David Hawes, joined after Year 12 from Central Sussex College. AS Grades DEU. A2 Grades at RIC: AAB Destination: International Politics, Aberystwyth University

Sasha Miles, joined after Year 12 at Simon Langton. AS Grades ABCD. A2 Grades at RIC: A*AB

“I hated English at my old school but at RIC the teachers prepared me for the exams, inspired me and made me love English again. I went from a D to an A. It was really easy to get here on the train from Selling and even better as there were lots of us travelling to College.”

A level results 2014Becky Dolman, joined after year 12 at Invicta. A2 Grades at RIC AAAB Destination: Law and American Studies, Sussex University.

“The moment we came to the interview at RIC I knew it was the right place. When I came there were lots of people in the same boat. All the teachers have been brilliant. If you get something wrong they make you see how you can change and improve it yourself. They make you think and don’t spoonfeed. I really liked the two hour lessons as there was so much time for debate. At my old school there was only one type of person and it was cliquey but at RIC there are people from all over the world- my best friend was from Sierra Leone.”

Lizzie Blenkinsop, joined after Year 12 at MGS. AS Grades BBDD. A2 Grades at RIC: A*ABB Destination: Orthoptics, Sheffield University

Jack Hinchcliffe, joined after Year 12 at Greenacre School. AS Grades CCDU. A2 Grades at RIC: AAB. Destination: Business Management, Surrey University

Thomas Hinchcliffe, joined after Year 12 at Greenacre School. AS Grades CCUU. A2 Grades at RIC: ABBC. Destination: Finance, University of East Anglia

Twins Jack and Thomas, after their disappointing AS results, even considered giving up on school altogether and entering the job market. They were keen not to go back a year and stay in their own year group hence the appeal of a one year course at RIC that allowed them to retake their AS modules alongside their A2 studies. It was soon clear that they were capable of much better grades than their Year 12 results suggested and both now have places at top rated universities.

“You cannot imagine how grateful we are to you for having turned Alex around. He is so happy with his results and the fact that he has been accepted to read History at Reading. We couldn’t have hoped for anything better. Please do not hesitate to use me as a reference should you ever wish to. In the meantime I shall be one of RIC’s promoters in Gibraltar. With many thanks, James.”

A level retakesa level retake success

RIC students taking an extra year of sixth form study and retaking A levels won places in 2014 including: Zoology at Bristol, Maths, Business and Finance at Exeter, Law at Sussex, Vet Science at Liverpool, Music at Newcastle, History of Art at Warwick, Actuarial Mathematics at Leeds, Philosophy at Southampton, Chemical Engineering at Sheffield, and Modern Languages at Nottingham. Retake students joined RIC from many schools including King’s Canterbury, King’s Rochester, Gordonstoun, Sutton Valence, the Judd School, Tonbridge, Cranbrook and Woldingham.

Typical of RIC resit students in 2014 is James Baker from King’s Canterbury who joined with two A levels- a C in Geography, a D in English and a D in AS Economics. After a one year course at RIC James celebrated ABB at A level in three brand new subjects (media, World Development and Sociology)- all taken in a year from scratch. James received offers from Bristol, Cardiff and Oxford Brookes but has opted to take up a place studying Sociology at his first choice- Exeter University to study Sociology.

Retake students often combine topping up key modules and adding new subjects to both impress universities and make their academic gap year more interesting. Isabella de Rosa from the Judd School took AS and A2 Sociology alongside her Chemistry and Biology retakes. She gained three A* grades and a coveted place at London’s Royal Veterinary College, the oldest and largest veterinary school in the UK and one of only seven in the country where students can study to become a vet.

a level repeatsAdam Dooley joined RIC last September from Sutton Valence. His story is typical in demonstrating that subject choice is often crucial in determing success. He left SVS with EUU at A level in Business Studies, ICT and Sports Science. He took three fresh subjects at RIC (Media, Film and Graphic Design), all in one year, and ended up with BCC at A level and a place at Leeds Metropolitan University to study Sports Marketing.

repeating a levelsHallam Dyckhoff joined RIC as a weekly boarding student from King Edward VI Grammar School, Chelmsford (KEGS), one of the top performing state schools in the country. Hallam’s entry grades were CDE in Economics, Philosophy and Maths. After a year at RIC combining retakes with one year courses Hallam’s grades were an impressive AABB in English Literature, Film Studies, Economics and Philosophy. These grades won Hallam a place at Southampton University to study Philosophy.

Farshid and I were thrilled with Cameron’s A level results which have allowed him to take up his first choice place at Aston. Thank you both for all your patience and support for Cameron during his 3 years at Rochester, please pass on our thanks to Cameron’s other tutors as well. I know that Cameron has not always been the easiest of pupils, however this last year he really did seem to mature and take control of his studying and we feel that the extra year has been essential in preparing him to tackle university. The good results this summer have given him confidence in his abilities and shown him what he can achieve if he focuses and works hard. He has thoroughly enjoyed his time at Rochester and always speaks very highly of the teaching and support he has received. With best wishes. Marina and Farshid Fariba.

i need to retake my gcsesTwo year A level student Michael Morrell became interested in the idea of studying Physics at university after taking a GCSE in Astronomy at the age of 13. Before joining RIC he was homeschooled.

Flexi schooling and home education is increasingly popular in the UK. The flexibility of the College’s timetable allows for home educated students to join GCSE, AS or A level courses part time according to their ability rather than school year group age.

Some previously home educated students have joined the College full time, finding the atmospheric difference and adult environment a more comfortable and productive place in which to study than their previous schools.

Michael is celebrating AAAB at A level in Physics, Maths, Philosophy and Chemistry and a place at KCL to study Physics where he will be able to use the department’s new rooftop telescope on the Strand in central London to observe everything from planets in our Solar System to distant galaxies.

“Can I just take the opportunity to say that we are so grateful for all the staff at Rochester – this year has been fantastic for Sophie, I wish we had known more about the school and made the decision to move Sophie there years ago.. I am sure more time at Rochester would have helped Sophie develop herself and her confidence.The grammar school was definitely not the right school for Sophie – we learnt too late and also, I don’t think the (majority of) state schools provide the extra support and character development that independent schools do which is very much what we expect from education. We are most definitely very happy with  Rochester Independent College and are very grateful for all the help from all the teaching staff.”
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