“The tutors teach imaginatively and energetically and give freely of their time; the students are challenged, stimulated, supported and guided towards examination success and university entrance. The staff-student ratio at Rochester is unparalleled.”
Dr Rachel Woolley, senior UCAS advisor
30 years of Kent’s top independent sixth form college
Rochester Independent College offers a distinctive alternative to a conventional sixth form and a stepping stone between school and university. Very small classes lead to a far more active involvement by students in their education and almost inevitably to excellent results.
We are co educational, academically non selective and welcome day and boarding students.
“RIC’s use of testing and reflection mirrors a lot of what I use at medical school and I am particularly thankful that I learnt these techniques when sitting my A levels. Passionate and engaging tutors encouraged me to take a mature approach to learning that not only made A levels, dare I say it, enjoyable, but also equipped me with the skills set to tackle the challenges I have faced in my first year at Newcastle. Dr Rachel Woolley at RIC also offered me constant, personalised and quality advice, guidance and support when applying for medical school, ensuring my personal statement and interview preparation was the best it could be. For this I am very grateful. Moving from Gravesend Grammar to RIC was a fantastic decision and one I’m very happy I made.” Conor Mcmanaman, RIC class of 2014
The best grades at A level in core academic subjects remain an excellent passport to higher education. As a result, RIC’s university destinations list is dominated each year by entries to the older and more prestigious Russell Group universities. RIC has one of the largest private school sixth forms in Kent and our expertise in advising students and guiding them through their applications is unmatched. Frequent meetings with their Personal Tutor ensure that students are keeping constant track of their own progress. 38 A level subjects are offered with no subject combination restrictions. The College was founded on excellence in Maths and Science and this success continues with students gaining places at medical, vet and dental schools.
“Chloe has never been happier than she is at Rochester – you have all helped her regain her confidence & self esteem in supporting her throughout AS & A levels.”
“I came from a single sex grammar school which was very different. Here at RIC the atmosphere is really enjoyable and the teachers have just been fantastic, always there to help. I am now much more independent and motivated. Hard work really does pay off, I’m off to study Medicine at St George’s in September.” Roshni Patel
In 2013 RIC won Good Schools Guide Awards for its A level English Literature, Mathematics, Chemistry and Film Studies results. Click here for the full review. Read an article from ‘The Independent’ newspaper here and a feature piece from the Independent Schools Council here.
RIC + Maths + Physics = Oxbridge
Off to study Physics at Oxford University’s St Catherine’s College 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 that would not have won a place in the sixth form at some of Kent’s super selective grammars. 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.”
The atmosphere is refreshingly adult and student individuality is encouraged. The informality of the sixth form is underpinned by high quality pastoral care, an emphasis on hard work and examination practice and a supportive network of personal tutors.
“Going to Rochester Independent College for A levels was like going to university before going to university.”
David Thornthwaite, former RIC student, Warwick graduate and RIC head of English
80% of our 280 students are local. Our urban campus of 13 listed buildings opposite Rochester station includes an award winning wildlife garden, an underground theatre and an all weather sports pitch. Two year A level students also follow an enrichment programme including work experience and a series of university application guidance seminars. Students are encouraged to participate in extra curricular activities such as the Duke of Edinburgh Award and Chartered Institute of Management courses.
Tom Wynne Owen from Tonbridge did his GCSEs at the Judd School before opting for an RIC two year A level programme, taking A levels in History of Art, Philosophy, Music Technology and Fine Art. Tom won a place at UCL and says he chose RIC’s sixth form 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.”
James Montgomery: “I started my A levels at Axton Chase School and I quickly realised that I had made the wrong choice of subjects and the school couldn’t offer the ones that I really wanted to do. In year 12 at my previous school I studied Double Applied Science but what I really needed to get into a good university were Biology and Chemistry as separate subjects. I searched the internet, found Rochester Independent College, and restarted sixth form. As soon as I started I saw the change immediately. My motivation was transformed as I knew I had a year to catch up and didn’t want to waste time. The very small groups and teachers allow me to go at the fast pace that I need. They push me but are patient and really seem to care at the same time. I start my degree in Chemistry at St Andrews University in September. I love golf and have a handicap of 9 so it couldn’t be more perfect.”
Julia Foxon joined RIC after completing her GCSEs at Folkestone School for Girls. Initially her plans were to study engineering at university. During her time at RIC however Julia changed direction, dumped the Maths and Physics at AS and decided to follow a Creative Arts route, taking A levels in History of Art, Fine Art and Graphic Design and an AS in Textiles and winning a place at Central St Martins College of Art and Design in 2010. During her time at the College Julia also won the UK entry for the Development Youth Prize with a poster on the theme of focus on Africa. As part of her prize Julia travelled to Stockholm with Head of Art at RIC, Kelly Flatman and then to Ghana.
Aisha Hasan from Bromley joined RIC after completing her GCSEs at Langley Park School for Girls. Aisha says: “I wanted to be in a sixth form where everyone has a good work ethic and was aiming to do well. Since moving I feel a lot more positive about my studies. I’m studying English Literature, Biology, Sociology and Film at A level and am hoping to study Law. I have a twenty minute train journey each morning from Bromley South but the difference in teaching makes the journey well worth the commute.”
Harry Neilson:”My GCSE grades from Maidstone Grammar last year were not quite as good as I was expecting, I just didn’t try hard. I could have stayed at school but came to RIC for sixth form to study A levels in Politics, Philosophy, History and Sociology. This school has invigorated me! The teachers enjoy teaching which has made me become much more of an active participant in lessons. I’ve been helped by the small classes; the teachers are passionate about their subjects and really know their stuff. I hope to study Philosophy at uni in the future, I’ve been interested since I was in year 9 and enjoy having discussions with my brother who is currently studying Ancient History at university. The most exciting experiences of the year so far have been the trips but specifically the History trip to the Marxist Library in London. It’s the first time I’ve been and it was amazing.”
“I can’t tell you how much I have enjoyed my time here. It was the best decision I ever made to come to the College and I have learnt so much from you all- not only in the educational way but lessons in life I will take with me wherever I go.”
Abi Fleury, former student
“Our main worry is that whichever university she goes to needs to have inspirational and humorous tutors if it is going to carry on the good work that has been started at Rochester.”