Many students transfer here after poor progress at AS or A level and the effect can be dramatic. One pupil told us he was predicted to get Ds and Es; he moved from his grammar to the college in February, and in July he achieved three As at AS and an A at A level. Another student moved after getting a U at AS and she says, ‘In my first two weeks here I learned more than I had in the whole previous year.'
Thinking of moving schools for Year 13?
Unable to continue your chosen subjects at your current school?
Don't want to go back to Year 12 and start sixth form again?
Completed your first year of A levels but want to spend your final year of sixth form boarding?
Missed lots of school in Year 12 so need to catch up in Year 13?
Want to apply for Medicine, Dentistry or Vet Science and worried about achieving the required three top grades?
Want to change direction in Year 13 and change some of your subjects?
Started the IB Diploma in Year 12 but think you'd be better suited for A levels?
Need to study Further Maths or Cambridge STEP papers in Year 13?
RIC can help with our tried and tested switch for Year 13 programme
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.
With reformed A levels you may not be entered for the new AS exams at the end of Year 12. However it is still the case that you may benefit from a fresh start in Year 13.
Transferring to RIC means that you will be able to take a fresh look at your subjects and maybe switch one or two, taking our successful one-year A level courses.
If you need to stick with your original subjects you’ll revise everything from your first year carefully alongside the second year material. You’ll catch up, consolidate and be back on track to realize your potential and achieve your academic ambitions.
Students move directly into Year 13 at RIC from a range of local schools. Those from further afield including London are able to take up places in the College’s boarding accommodation. Harry Bradshaw from Hackney completed his Lower Sixth at Forest School and moved to Kent for his Year 13. He says: “During the week I was able to focus completely on my studies and improving my grades and even picked up two new subjects- Media and English. As the train back to Stratford takes only half an hour I never felt too far away.”
Students often look at moving from state or traditional private schools to independent sixth form colleges, attracted by smaller class sizes, university admissions expertise and a wider range of subjects with fewer option block restrictions. Sometimes however there are other, less obvious advantages.
Conor McManaman who joined RIC after GCSEs at a local grammar and is now at Newcastle University’s Medical School says:
“Passionate and engaging tutors encouraged me to take a mature approach to learning making A levels enjoyable, but also equipping me with the skills needed to tackle the challenges I have faced at university. RIC’s use of regular exam practice and reflection mirrors medical school.”
Conor’s mum, Julie McManaman adds: “The most interesting thing about Conor’s move was that he went for the results but the College was actually less on an exam factory than many schools are. RIC is about the development of students as a person, a much more significant thing.”
Transferring mid A levels is also an option, particularly if disappointing results have knocked confidence or students want to change direction and not lose a year.
For aspiring actress, Elizabeth Brown, who converted disappointing AS grades into top A levels, it is a move she will never regret: “It really was the best decision I have ever made. Over this year, I have grown as a person, I’ve discovered that I don’t just fit into one box. RIC helped me regain my confidence in drama and essay writing too and has shown me other interests to be passionate about. I am really excited about the course at E15.”
Pupils have come from grammars where they felt under too much pressure, or from large schools where they felt overwhelmed, and all say they are learning better and enjoying school much more here.
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.
I had attended one of the leading Grammar schools in Kent, and did relatively well. I had always enjoyed learning and school but often felt restricted and uninspired. Asking questions about work seemed to be a bit of an inconvenience. I felt pressured, not supported and encouraged. When I got my AS results I was in complete shock and confusion. I had a dream of attending Exeter to study law, but with grades EEC that dream seemed over. But then RIC told me I wasn’t a failure. I knew that this was the school that I wanted to attend, because it wasn’t just a place to learn, but somewhere that truly believed in me, encouraged me to persevere and be resilient. I will never forget the moments of reassurance and dedication that my teachers have offered me. For me, Law at Exeter is now reality and not a pipe dream.
I had always been an A grade student, but after GCSEs I was due to leave Invicta Grammar School with CCCD. I was disillusioned, deeply unhappy, not working, not motivated and completely disengaged with school and work. Looking around RIC and being told there were only 3 rules, show up, work hard, and be nice, is a moment that will stay with me forever after so many constricting rules previously. Grammar school made you feel that unless you had achieved an A or A* you weren't good enough. RIC was the best year, I'm eternally grateful to my parents for finding it and sending me there.
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.
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 after living in Muscat and a great stepping-stone to university life.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
Jack 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 looked 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.
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.