GCSE studentelliot, year 10, joined ric from tunbridge wells grammar school for boys

RIC is very different from my previous school. It’s less structured and pressured but it works really well. The people who run the school are really good at working together and they all want to achieve the same goals – a good education for everyone. Keeping it less formal makes it a much more pleasant place to learn. I enjoy the freedom, we are not confined to certain areas, there aren’t too many rules and regulations and there is a lot more trust in us as people. The subject I enjoy most is probably maths because my confidence has really grown. I prefer the way they teach here – they don’t just teach the class in general, they focus on me as an individual. I think that this is helping me to realise my potential. The best thing about school is doing DofE. I’ve already done my bronze and I’m now working on silver. For the service section we are building an outdoor classroom in one of the college gardens in association with the Kent Wildlife Trust. I’ve even been learning bricklaying!

lucinda, year 10, joined ric from combe bank school, sevenoaks

I came from an all girls school so I really like the fact that this school is co-ed. It’s good to learn and socialise in mixed groups. Also it’s great because from where I live I can get the college minibus to and from school. This school is much more relaxed and less formal. The teachers are easy to talk to which therefore makes it easy to ask for help, whether during or after lessons. They are always willing to give up their time for you. I particularly like languages, I’m studying French and Spanish. I’m enjoying learning the vocabulary and conversation in class. I think I’d like to do something with these for a career but I’m not totally sure yet.

GCSE studentsharry, year 10, joined ric from king’s prep school, rochester

It’s such a friendly environment at RIC. I like the teaching methods – we get more attention as there are fewer students in the classes.  Plus we see the teachers outside lessons so can relate to them more. My favourite subject is Art – I am quite a creative person and always have lots of ideas. I’d like to either be an architect or work in advertising. I’m doing my work experience at The Wow Factory, a Design, PR and Advertising company in a few weeks. I love buildings, especially commercial ones. I’m particularly inspired by the Guggenheim in Bilbao and the Burj in Dubai. At college I’m in a band with some other students called Dead Zone but the real highlight of my year so far has been learning to do a backward somersault on the trampoline in sport!

GCSE studentalyson, year 11, joined ric from cornwallis academy, maidstone

RIC is a small school and, as it says in the name, it encourages you to be ‘independent’ with your thinking and treats you as an individual. I love RIC because it’s ‘arty’. Of course we all study the core subjects but there is a really wide range of creative subjects too. The theatre trips are brilliant – they do so many here. I’ve been to see productions including Vernon God Little, Educating Rita, War Horse and School of Rock. As I study drama it’s amazing to go to the theatre in London so regularly and analyse the performances afterwards in lessons. I think my Maths teacher is the best ever. I find the subject really difficult and he finds different ways of making it understandable for me. In the future I’d love to work in publishing, perhaps as a photographer. Recently I did my work experience at the Kent Messenger which hasn’t put me off – it has actually made me even more determined.

jack, year 11, joined ric from valley park community school, maidstone

It’s a good school community at RIC. Everyone knows everyone and there is lots of support both in and out of class.  It is so much smaller than my previous school which makes a huge difference. I absolutely love art. I spend as much time as I possibly can in the art room both during and after school. I’m studying ‘self image’ at the moment and am particularly impressed by the work of Jenny Saville and Frieda Kahlo. Right now I’m making my own self portraits in both paint and pastel. The highlight of my year so far was when the artist Billy Childish came in to do a painting and printmaking workshop at our school. He is a visiting tutor here. We started by making simple outline self portrait monoprints then began to work back into the images with pastels. He taught us so much; colours that complement one another and how they affect the mood of the piece, the importance of capturing the most obvious parts first before developing the work and most importantly how to know when to stop. It was inspiring, the day has completely influenced my work. My aim is to do A levels then go on to study Fine Art at university.

GCSE studentlouis, year 10, joined RIC from bethany school

When you think of school you usually imagine school uniform, lots of organisation, homework, ticking boxes, rules and regulations. These are important but there can be other ways of doing it. A more relaxed environment can benefit the school atmosphere and give students a wider perspective. Learning in a traditional way seems too confined, the more open way of teaching at RIC broadens our understanding and makes subjects more relevant to current affairs and the wider world. The most enjoyable thing about this school is the interaction – not just with other students but we are also able to talk openly with the teachers. I’m really into films – my taste is very varied but if I had to choose a favourite director at the moment it would be Stanley Kubrick.

GCSE studentmichaela, year 10, joined ric from trinity School, rochester

Trying to describe RIC is very personal – it’s a different experience for everyone. I think I am really lucky to be here, there is so much more choice. There’s a huge variety of subjects to choose from and different teachers in each department. My friends at other schools don’t seem to have as much interest in their school as they are not so involved. Here they listen to us, there is a student council where we can put our ideas forward. If we want something changed the teachers work with us to find a solution. I tend to enjoy the more creative subjects where I have more opportunity to express myself. I particularly like English. Recently we went to London to an event called ‘Poetry Live’ where there were readings and poets talked about their work and answered our questions. These trips really bring the subject to life for me. The best thing about school are the lunchtime clubs – film club is my favourite. For the future I’d like to keep my options open – I know I want to study A levels and then I’ll see what happens.

GCSE studentajibola, year 11, joined ric from chatham south school

This school is different. Teachers are more “we’re here to help” – it’s like they put up signs! It’s a huge contrast to my previous school. I had to change exam boards when I came here which was tough but I’m learning over again. The subject I like best is history. Here it’s not just what’s in the text book – the teacher makes it fun, he re-enacts and ‘does the voices’. It has challenged my perceptions on certain issues such as the Boer war – which makes me want to do my own research. I think the highlight of my year was retaking Chemistry and achieving a C grade. I play basketball outside school and listen to grime and urban music. I’d like to study business or perhaps marketing in the future.

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