“I came to RIC in year 13 with grades CEEE at AS. In a year this went to AAC and I left for university with these grades and a great dollop of self confidence.”
caitlin wynne, joined ric for year 12 from dartford grammar school

Increasingly, students choose to 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.

Year 13 entry means an intensive year- no bank holidays, no study leave and often teaching over half terms and Easter.

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.

Students also move directly into RIC’s sixth form after a disappointing first year of the IB Diploma programme. A level successes in 2016 include:

moving schools for year 13Theodora 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.

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.

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

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.”


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


Priya Sethukumar 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 at place at Imperial College to read medicine.

rochester tutorsA 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 in 2009. 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.”



a level studentJack Weston: “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 focussed 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.” After CCC at AS Jack improved to A*AB at A2 and won his place. His parents comment: “We are absolutely delighted – as is he!” It is particularly special for us because we met at Warwick University – and got there with lower grades than Jack!”

Alex Alford: “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. The travelling is strenuous but 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.” Alex secured AAB and leaves for Bath University in September.

as retakesTim Turvey– who lives on the same Sevenoaks street as Alex-transferred to RIC from Tunbridge Wells Boys Grammar, 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.

retakes for medicineMatt Swain from Leybourne is celebrating winning a place at Hull and York Medical School and 4 top Grade As at A level. His 2008 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.

Josh Thompson: “Coming to the College for the Upper 6th 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 E E U. Determined to improve on these Danni moved school and joined RIC for her Upper Sixth, switched subjects and celebrated results of A A B 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.

“Thank you to you and your staff for helping to get Josh to university. I am sure that had he remained at Wellington College for Upper VI he would not have achieved sufficient to get him a reasonable university place.”
martin craddock, former parent
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