one year gcse intensive“I never thought I could stay on at school for GCSEs, let alone 3 A levels. The extra help you receive at the College makes it very achievable. I love it here and am treated on equal terms. I never could get on with the petty rules of school and the big classes.”
jay patel, joined from temple school, strood with no gcse passes. left ric for university with 6 gcses and a levels in english, media and graphic design

One Year GCSE, Day or Boarding

As all subjects on this programme are taught intensively over three terms moving from another school directly into Year 11 can be done with ease. Students joining the College at this stage in their education are often doing so to enhance their GCSE grade prospects. One Year GCSE programmes are also suitable for those forced to move school due to illness, family circumstances such as relocation and those needing to retake their GCSEs after disappointing results first time round.

Our flexibility of approach means we are often able to help in uniquely difficult or exceptional educational circumstances.

Students have joined our One Year GCSE classes directly from international schools, including those where they had been following IGCSEs or the International Baccalaureate Middle Years Programme in Year 10.

fast track gcse boarding2016 Fast Track GCSE Success

Ayodeji Afolayan attended RIC after his family moved back to the UK after living in Toronto, Canada. During his time at RIC he studied such subjects as Graphic Design, Photography and Media Studies alongside the core academic ones and he achieved 8 GCSE’s at grades A*-B. Having travel from the Greater London area each day Ayodeji intends to enrol at one of the highly selective grammar schools in his local area.

Harry Gale came to RIC from St Edmunds, Canterbury at the beginning of Year 11. He achieved 9 GCSE’s A*-C in a variety of subjects on intensive one year courses including History, Film Studies and Drama. During his time at RIC Harry was one of our boarding students where he was able to benefit from the study sessions run by our specialist teaching staff.

one year gcsegcse retakesone year gcseA Fresh Approach On a One Year GCSE course

Some students at Rochester Independent College enjoy GCSE success after just one year of study. Year 11 students Robby Cross and Katy Gee both joined us in September and have each gained eight GCSEs  grades A* to C. Robby missed most of years 10 and 11 at his previous school and came to RIC to take his GCSEs in a year. Although seeing his friends moving onto sixth form was dispiriting, Robby found a way to turn this to his advantage, by writing a story for his English coursework about his illness and his time out of school, called ‘The Nurse’s Parrot’. Robby achieved 8 A to C grades. Katy had lots of absence at her previous school and missed nearly all of year 10. She found the thought of returning to education difficult, but she has had an excellent year at RIC, achieving 8 GCSEs, all A* to C, including an A* in Photography and As in Maths and English. Both Robby and Katy are continuing on into the sixth form as boarders where they will be building on their success this year.

best boarding school gcse fast trackIt is common for international students join a one year GCSE course directly from overseas schools, including those where they have been following the International Baccalaureate Middle Years Programme in Year 10. Celebrating success this year are Grigory Didur from St Petersburg and American student Juliet Mains who joined RIC from The British School of Brussels. All subjects are comprehensively retaught and we do not depend on coursework completed or syllabus material covered at other schools in Year 10. Because of this changes in examination board are possible. The speed of delivery is intense and more focused on the demands of the exams than is common in many schools. The One Year GCSE course also allows students to take a fresh look at their options, perhaps starting one or two subjects from scratch. It is sometimes possible to add a subject at AS level to prepare for A level study.


Only English, Mathematics and Science are compulsory on a one year GCSE course. Most students take both English and English Literature GCSE and at least GCSE Core and Additional Science although we are also able to offer Biology, Chemistry, Physics and Astronomy as IGCSE Single Sciences. Students will be guided and advised during the admissions process as to the most appropriate combination and number of subjects to take- anything from 5 to 12 is possible depending on individual circumstances. With the exception of Modern Foreign Languages any subject can be taken as a one year course from scratch without the requirement for the student to have studied it previously. Students at the end of a one year GCSE programme at Rochester Independent College are well placed to proceed to A levels either in our sixth form or at one of the local selective grammar schools.

profiles of 1 year gcse students

Sam Partner: “I grew up in East London before moving to Kent a few years ago.  School was tough and I got in with the wrong crowd. I couldn’t read or write properly until I was 13. RIC has been a lifesaver. My parents knew I could do it but socially I was a horrible person. I refused to do GCSEs at Westlands in Sittingbourne, my old school. When my Dad and I looked around the college we thought ‘no way will I get in.’ We wondered if it was even worth going. I was so pleased when I was invited for a taster day – I couldn’t believe it. I came for 8 months of year 11 and GCSEs and achieved AA in English and English Literature and 7 more passes.  RIC has completely turned me around. I found that I wanted to come to school. It’s so relaxed but it brought me out of myself. I actually couldn’t wait for parents’ evening! I never thought I was the sort of person to go on theatre trips but now I really enjoy them and go whenever I can. My Dad is so pleased. After this I threw myself into A levels, I’m hoping to study History at University. The highlight of my year was going on the History trip to Lenin’s house and sitting at his desk. I was the only one brave enough to ask!”

Chris Cox cheerfully admits that Year 10, the first year of GCSEs at St Bede’s, an independent school in Eastbourne was not characterised by much diligent hard work! He and his parents had concerns that this would lead to underperformance in Year 11. He joined our one year GCSE programme and with a fresh start was able to look again at his options, choosing new subjects like Media and Photography alongside his traditional academic subjects. Two of 2010’s top performers at GCSE  last year were in fact both one year GCSE students. Freddie Wallis from Colfe’s School and Rob Byrne from Bishop Challoner School, Bromley.  Both stormed to a row of grade As at GCSE last summer.

Sisters Alice and Faye Lawson both joined the College in Year 11 from Chapter School, Strood on a one year GCSE course with a view to improving grade prospects. Fay proceeded to a two year A level course at RIC after GCSEs, read law at Warwick University and is now at Harvard!


RIC is an international community and this makes for a very vibrant and colourful atmosphere. Vicky Zhang from China, Elena Ebner from Germany and Konstantin Yun from Kazakhstan are amongst our recent Overseas students following GCSE courses. Middle  School students have come to RIC from as far afield as Malawi, Mozambique, the USA and Canada, Latvia, Germany, Nigeria and Russia. A one year GCSE course at RIC is the perfect way for international students to integrate into the UK system. We offer summer English courses to prepare students for their one year GCSE programme.

Richard de Fazio came to the College from King’s School Rochester at the age of 14 and opted to skip Year 10 and the first year of his GCSEs! He followed an accelerated programme, taking 11 GCSEs a year early. Richard achieved 3A*s, 4As, 2Bs and 2Cc and proceeded to storm through 3 full A levels- German, English and Art History- in his Year 11! His sister Sarah was similarly prodigious, completing four full A levels in a year at RIC!

Joe Pasquale, young magician of the Year , started working in magic at the age of two. While studying at Rochester Joe appeared on the Des and Mel show and hosted our talent night. He says of the College: “You feel very relaxed here. There’s always a teacher on hand and everyone gets on well.” Joe’s A grade in Drama gave him a head start at the Italia Conti Drama School in London where he secured a place after a one year GCSE course at RIC. Joe is now starring in Channel 4’s Hollyoaks!

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