The most important measure of the College’s success is the number of ex students who keep in touch and return for regular reunions. Most of our students come to us through personal recommendation. However, like all schools we are inspected by a range of independent bodies who provide regular and objective checks on the quality of the education we provide.
Rochester Independent College is accredited by the ISC (Independent Schools Council) and a member of the ISA (Independent Schools Association).
We are also members of the Boarding Schools Association, CIFE (the professional association of independent sixth form colleges) and AEGIS, the Association for the Education and Guardianship of International Students.
RIC is a Good Schools Guide School.
Rochester Independent College’s last full inspection by the Independent Schools Inspectorate was in March 2012.
Key findings were:
- A highly flexible approach to planning the sixth- form curriculum, with choice from a very wide range of subjects, helps to meet the needs of each student. Students in Years 7 to 11 benefit from a strong emphasis on creative aspects of the curriculum.
- A rigorous testing regime in the sixth form informs teachers’ planning and promotes examination success.
- Students’ personal development is excellent. Students relate exceptionally well to one another. They are aware of the impact of their actions on others and show high levels of self-control. They are courteous and appreciate the support they receive from their teachers. Behaviour is excellent. Students’ spirituality is well developed. The use of first names, and informal attire worn by students and staff, generate a relaxed working environment.
- Personal sixth-form tutors are highly effective and play a key role in maximising students’ development.
- Boarders are well cared for and thrive in the caring, pleasant environment. They greatly enjoy their boarding experience.
- Students’ attitudes to their work and learning are exemplary. The warmth and relaxed college atmosphere give students the confidence to participate in lessons without fear of being labelled a failure. A number join the college having had negative experiences at other schools, yet they settle quickly and experience success in the small classes, responding to the highly supportive college ethos. At the core of the students’ positive attitudes is their enjoyment of college life.
- Relationships between staff and students, and amongst students, are extremely positive and help to raise students’ motivation and enjoyment. They commented on how accessible staff are and how the additional help they receive outside lesson time is instrumental in improving their understanding. Students feel valued by teachers and this enables them confidently to contribute in lessons and seek further advice when needed.
- Students show a mature understanding of each other’s feelings and situations and a clear moral sense in describing their own needs and the effect of their actions on others. They feel that there is little bullying or unkindness and attribute the happy atmosphere to the fact that ‘everyone knows everyone’.
- Throughout the college the students show an excellent level of social maturity. Girls and boys in the lower school have strong friendships and celebrate each other’s achievements and strengths.
- A very strong sense of cultural awareness exists in the college. Boarders from other countries are warmly welcomed and feel integrated and supported. Great care is taken to facilitate every student’s entry into the college and to ensure that they feel at ease with the community’s traditions and systems. Students enjoy a wide range of healthy and nutritious food almost entirely prepared on site.
The full report, and the 2015 Regulatory Compliance Inspection report, can be read at the ISI website: www.isi.net.
Ofsted last inspected the College’s boarding provision in December 2009.
Key findings were:
- Helping children to be healthy – outstanding
- Helping children achieve well and enjoy what they do – outstanding
- Helping children make a positive contribution – outstanding
- Achieving economic wellbeing – outstanding
- Promotion of equality and diversity – outstanding
Rochester Independent College’s educational provision was last inspected by Ofsted in January 2008.
Key findings were:
- The quality of education is outstanding
- The quality of teaching and assessment is outstanding
- The quality of provision for students’ spiritual, moral and cultural education is outstanding
- Behaviour is outstanding and classes are conducted in a mature learning environment
- The quality of discussion and questioning during lessons is outstanding
- Provision for the welfare, health and safety of students is outstanding. This high standard of care contributes well to students’ outstanding personal development.
- The quality of the curriculum is good with a number of outstanding features.
- Working relationships are very good and teachers and students enjoy each other’s company. Teachers and students work within an atmosphere of mutual understanding, respect and consideration.
- The good exam results achieved by students at both GCSE and advanced levels reflect their progress and the effective structures of support. The tutor system makes a significant contribution to students’ educational guidance and underpins their rapid progress.
- Also praised were the College’s well maintained listed premises and accommodation, its policies and procedures and the website, described as in many respects a model of good practice.
The full report can be read on the Ofsted website: www.ofsted.gov.uk.