Change for Year 13
Switch schools after Year 12 for a successful year 13 and a top university place
Every September up to 60 students join RIC directly into Year 13 for their final year of sixth form. RIC is able to offer teaching on all exam boards for most subjects so switching schools can be done with ease.
“I would just like to thank you so much for everything last year, helping me completely change my situation! I remember being told by one of my old teachers after receiving my AS-levels to just ‘apply to do BTECS or get a job’ because maybe university ‘wasn’t for me’. I was in a hopeless situation (I thought!) and genuinely believed I had insufficient skills to pass my A-levels. But just out of pure luck I found Rochester Independent College on the internet and my mum encouraged me to give A-levels another shot. I am so grateful for everything and want to thank everyone at Rochester for helping me jump back onto the path I was told I shouldn’t take. ” Patrick Cooper 2015
Just a brief note to say that we are pleased with Tom’s results and delighted that he has been accepted at Manchester. Clearly the hard work put in by Tom, and the exemplary support given by the academic staff, has paid off and vindicates the decision to change schools for year 13. We would have no hesitation in recommending RIC to others in a similar position. Please pass on our grateful thanks to all of Tom’s teachers and to the boarding staff whose support was equally important – not least for putting up with all that muddy rugby kit! The experience of being away from home has also been a maturing one for Tom and a great stepping stone to university life. Chris & Angela Fidler 2015
Do you feel disappointed with your AS grades but don’t want to start Year 12/Lower Sixth again?
Have you completed your first year of A levels at an international school but want to spend your final year of sixth form boarding in the UK before university?
Have you missed lots of time in Year 12 so need to catch up in Year 13/Upper Sixth?
Do you want to change direction after Year 12 and maybe change some of your subjects, taking some one year intensive A levels, in Year 13?
Do you need to retake your AS modules alongside studying for A2 but need support in doing so effectively?
Do you want to apply for Medicine, Dentistry or Vet Science but after Year 12 are worried about achieving AAA within two years?
Is your school or College unable to let you continue with the choice of A level subjects you need for university?
Have you started the IB Diploma in Year 12 but think you would be better suited to A levels?
Do you need to study specialist subjects such as Further Maths or Cambridge STEP papers in Year 13?
Are you ready to board away from home for the first time for the last year of your sixth form to focus on your studies and help prepare for university?
“Thank you for getting Josh to university. I am sure that had he remained at Wellington College for Upper VI he would not have achieved his university place.”
Martin Craddock, former parent
Theodora Penney from Chatham this time last year had grades CDE in her AS exams and was worried that she would not fulfill her ambition to study Economics at a top university. After switching for Year 13 from a local grammar school she is now celebrating grades of AAB and a place at Sheffield University for Economics.
Ella Halpern-Matthews switched to RIC after the first year of the IB Diploma at a local grammar school. Finding A levels a better route for her, Ella completed three subjects intensively in only one year, making her grades of AAA in History, English Literature and Film Studies even more impressive. Ella has a place to study History at SOAS, University of London, the world’s leading institution for the study of Asia, Africa and the Middle East.Another high flying one year A level success is Henry Barten from Cranbrook School. Henry joined the College with CDDD at AS, switched all of his subjects and took three one year A levels in Psychology, Sociology and Film Studies. His grades of AAB have won him a Psychology place at KCL.
Increasingly, students choose to move schools for year 13/Upper Sixth and switch to Rochester Independent College after completing the first year of their A level studies elsewhere, allowing them to be re taught comprehensively and then retake all AS modules necessary alongside the A2 material.
A more individualised approach means that disappointing results in Year 12 can be dealt with without university plans being wrecked. A change of environment at this stage of a two year A level course is a highly successful way of ensuring good results without the need for a retake year or to go back and restart.
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! Sue Labrum, mother of Emily, from Walthamstow Hall, Sevenoaks
It’s not just students who have disappointing AS results who transfer directly into year 13. Some move to change direction and add extra A levels intensively in one year. Others are seeking a more stimulating academic environment or wish to spend the last year of their secondary education boarding.
Year 13 entry means an intensive year- no bank holidays, no study leave and often teaching over half terms and Easter. The average class size is 8 and individual attention in one to one tutorials is plentiful.
When students change schools for Year 13 our tutors and UCAS advisors are often able to quickly make credible grade predictions based on assessment of potential over the year here rather than prior achievement elsewhere.
The College is academically non-selective but we are not able to offer places to every student wishing to transfer directly into Year 13. We only do so where the programme proposed is realistic and likely to succeed. Options are explored at interview but there are circumstances, depending on subject choice and AS module grade starting point where we can only offer places to to restart Year 12.
“Many students are hardworking and committed to their studies yet still find the top grades elusive due to poor revision techniques, inadequate examination preparation and practice as well as a general lack of confidence. Teaching at RIC is designed to remove these barriers and help students realise their potential at GCSE, A level and beyond.”
Dr Todd Dedman, head of sixth form
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
Nadine 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 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
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 Destination: Classical Civilisation, Nottingham University
“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”
Becky 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.”
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
Ben Sharma left St Olave’s Grammar School in Orpington after his AS results. Ben says: “Moving schools for Year 13 allowed me to retake modules where I needed to and focus on achieving the grades for my first choice university- Architecture at Nottingham.” While studying hard, Ben also found time during the year to run the London marathon and exhibit his photography at a local Pizza Express.
Students have moved directly into Year 13 at Rochester Independent College from a range of local schools. Those from further afield are able to take up places in the College’s boarding accommodation. If a student is aiming for something very competitive such as medicine or dentistry a move at this point can be a shrewd one as it can maximise the potential of the right A level grades being achieved first time round.
“The reason for my move from Rochester Grammar was that I felt that Rochester Independent College (RIC) would give me more of an opportunity to extend my studies, learn more independently and re-enthuse my passion for biology and chemistry, with their specialised environment for the sciences.”
Moving directly into the Upper Sixth/Year 13 at Rochester Independent College also gives students the opportunity to take a fresh look at their A level options, sometimes choosing to change academic direction and their subject choices. Our teachers can offer all examination boards and options, making it possible to switch schools with ease.
Priya Sethukumar for example took her GCSEs and AS exams at Highsted Grammar School and joined Rochester Independent College for Year 13, continuing A levels in Physics, Chemistry and Biology and starting a new A level, Sociology from scratch. Priya won a place at Imperial College to read medicine.
A similar story was Roshni Patel from Gravesend Grammar School who crashed in Year 12 but after transferring into Year 13 won a place to study Medicine at St George’s. Her parents, Mr and Mrs Patel comment:
“We are extremely happy with Roshni’s results. This is our second daughter to attend Rochester Independent College after disappointing results elsewhere. Our older daughter Sarina is in her final year of Dentistry at Queen Mary.”
Switching schools for year 13- profiles
“I decided to change school after year 12. I was at Gravesend Grammar School for Boys and was disappointed with my AS results. My results were not what I wanted or needed for university. I’d been at my previous school for 6 years and consequently there were lots of distractions. I came to RIC to take Biology, Chemistry, Geography and Government and Politics, it’s a much more academically focused college. In fact it was my parents who came in to see Alistair and have a look around as I was working, it wasn’t until my first day that I saw the college for myself! It has been a really good year, I’ve worked really hard and the support from the teachers has been excellent. My personal tutor gave me lots of help and advice with my university application and I now have 5 out of 5 offers for university. Warwick is my first choice and I know that I’ve done all I could have this year to get the grades.” Destination: Warwick
“I was so happy with my GCSE results but then my AS year did not go as well as planned at Bennett Memorial. I got BDD in Maths, Chemistry and Physics. I was lucky, my parents gave me the opportunity to come here for year 13 and retake some of my AS modules. Environment change has been the key. I think I was just too buddy with my friends at Bennett which affected my work. At RIC I am here to work hard and get the grades I need for Engineering. It is great having the college minibus service from Sevenoaks. I feel so much more confident now and am much better prepared for the exams. We do loads of past papers and the teachers give us fantastic insights into how to answer questions to achieve our potential. There is a real enjoyment of learning, the teachers are passionate about their subjects and we don’t just work from text books. Maths lessons are quirky in the shed in the garden! I’m hoping to study Chemical Engineering next year.” Destination: Bath
Tim Turvey– who lives on the same Sevenoaks street as Alex-transferred to RIC from TWGSB, disappointed with his AS grades of CDD. Tim benefited from the college’s expertise in Maths and Science, finally achieving AAB, securing his place at Nottingham to read Mechanical Engineering. His brother, Rob Turvey joined RIC’s Middle School in year 10 and takes his GCSEs next year. Seb Lundberg joined RIC after his year 12 at Colfe’s and went on to gain AAA in History, Politics and English Literature. Seb is also set for Nottingham and a Theology degree where he is joined by Sophie Dunk, resident RIC lab rat and formerly of Gravesend Grammar school for Girls who will be reading Zoology there.
Matt Swain from Leybourne is celebrating winning a place at Hull and York Medical School and 4 top Grade As at A level. His success is even more astounding as he made the decision to switch schools half way through his A levels to maximise his chances of a place at Medical School. He joined the Upper Sixth at Rochester Independent College after six years at Maidstone Grammar School. Matt says: “My previous school said I was a solid grade B student and wouldn’t make the A grades required for Medical School. I was determined to realise my ambition to become a doctor.” Matt’s application was helped not only by a good portfolio of work experience but by taking an additional A level- Sociology- from scratch in a year.
“Changing schools after year 12 and coming to the College for year 13 was a completely different experience from grammar school at Rochester Maths. I had no idea a “teacher” could be any more than a face spouting information – the personal and caring atmosphere you have in place nurtured me into the young man that was so stifled in the image conscious and controlling institution that I spent 5 years suffocating in.” After securing AAB at A level Josh studied English at Sussex University.
Danni Jennings from Maidstone celebrated a dramatic turn around in academic fortunes and a place to study Theatre at one of the UK’s top rated universities for the subject. She was devastated after receiving her AS results at Invicta Grammar School which were graded EEU. Determined to improve on these Danni moved school and joined RIC for her Upper Sixth, switched subjects and celebrated results of AAB and a place at Royal Holloway, University of London. Danni’s achievement is even more remarkable as she completed her A level Theatre Studies in a year from scratch whereas most people take two years over it. Danni also secured a Silver Medal in her LAMDA Speech and Drama exam during her time at Rochester.
Danni says: I think when you fail first time it gives you a kick up the backside. I was determined to get good grades. Danni is pictured with Caitlin Wynne who joined RIC from Dartford Grammar at the end of her Year 12 with very low AS grades and after a year’s intensive study raised these to AAC and won a place to study English Literature at Hull.