The atmosphere at RIC is vibrant and the tutors were immensely influential in making me more independent and efficient. They were always there to help and guide but also gave me space to help myself grow. RIC gives you the safe space to explore your youth and find independence and maturity.
With university entrance becoming increasingly competitive it’s clear that sixth form is more than ever becoming the educational make or break time. With a degree now far more of a common currency and the cost of a university education increasing it is even more important for students to ensure they aim to secure entry to good courses at respected institutions. RIC though is a nurturing sixth form where you’ll get the results you need but be looked after as a person as well.
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. Our students achieve outstanding academic success within a non-pressurised environment. We have an unrivalled record of placing students at their first choice university. Classes are small, contact time is high, individual help is plentiful.
University places won by students at RIC recently included Oxford for Chemistry, Cambridge for History, Economics at KCL, Physics at UCL, Biological Sciences at Durham, Medicine at KCL, Law at Bristol, Economics at Edinburgh, Palaeontology at Bristol, Computer Science at Warwick, Business Economics at Loughborough and Aerospace Engineering at Bath. The most popular university destinations over the last few years for RIC students have been Exeter, Bristol and UCL.
We are a non-selective sixth form, our students range from those working at an extremely high academic level, typically pushing the boundaries of their A level curriculum to those who might need more help and support than is usual in sixth form. Thanks to our partnerships with the Dukes Education higher education consultancies including The Medic Portal, The Lawyer Portal, A-List Applications (the UK's experts in US university admissions) and Oxbridge Applications we offer our students world-class support as they make their career choices, identify target universities and prepare for the next stage of their individual educational pathway.
A rigorous testing regime in the sixth form informs teachers’ planning and promotes examination success. 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 sixth form with flexible entry requirements
Entry to selective school sixth forms depends upon GCSE grades. At RIC though we find GCSE results are not the best predictor of sixth form success and offer a more flexible approach. We do not have minimum GCSE grade requirements for starting A levels in particular subjects. It is not unusual for students joining us from other schools to start a two-year A level programme while resitting key GCSEs. Others choose to restart their sixth form studies after completing their first year elsewhere, or to transfer directly into our Year 13. One bad year doesn’t have to mean the end of higher education dreams. For information about our admission procedures click here.
A sixth form where you will have a dedicated personal tutor, providing one to one support and guidance
You’ll be taught by specialist teachers who are experts in their fields. Every RIC student gets the support of a dedicated personal tutor ensuring students are keeping constant track of their own progress. Our expertise in advising students and guiding them through their university applications is unmatched.
Teachers, Personal Tutors and careers advisors work together at RIC with all students to help them to approach the future. As students develop their ideas, the personal tutor system also helps in other ways, notably with ensuring that each student is studying the correct subjects for their chosen career path and that they are achieving at a sufficiently high level. The Personal Tutors work closely with the UCAS Advisors to ensure that students are properly supported and guided through the university application process.
The College has a great deal of expertise in preparing students for Oxbridge applications as well as for medical school and other highly competitive courses such as Dentistry, Vet Science, English and Law.
Students are guided through every aspect of their UCAS application. Students often seem to find filling out an application form for University even more daunting than their actual A levels. Extensive individual advice not only helps students to remember all the salient points they should be using to make the best application possible, it also can help them to be absolutely sure they are applying for a course they really want to do, rather than one they to which they have simply drifted into.
RIC tutors are also able to advise on preparing applications to North American universities and those in Europe as well as music, drama and art schools and GAP year programmes. We offer interview training and guidance for students who need to take additional entrance tests such as the LNAT for Law and the UCAT for medicine.
I went to a local grammar school but when I reached the sixth form I did one term before starting to have anxiety attacks. It was such a pressurised environment, I always felt that I was doing things wrong. I decided to look for a school that could offer me a one year intensive A level course and a fresh start. I started at RIC and I was very, very nervous. I don’t think I concentrated properly for the first few weeks but I was much more comfortable with the very small classes. I thought that trying to do everything in one year would be really difficult but the teachers were inspiring. I loved the debates in history, I felt really involved and it really helped my confidence. My personal tutor was great but all my teachers showed an interest and checked I was OK.
Michaela’s personal tutor at RIC said: “It has been a privilege to watch Michaela grow from a school phobic, shy girl to a mature, confident individual. She is proof that for conscientious and enthusiastic students these courses can often lead to grades that students had previously been told were beyond them."
A sixth form where you can specialise in Maths and the Sciences or the Creative Arts
Having come from a large school in Dubai where the teaching, for the most part, felt very impersonal and uncaring; the teaching at Rochester Independent College has been fantastic, the small class sizes and first name basis between students and teachers makes the classes seem much more personal and it is much easier to address any problems we have with the course content. When I first arrived, I was incredibly worried about how my time here would unfold, as I'd never been to a boarding school before and I'd never even been to school in England having grown up in Italy and the UAE. However, all of my fears were completely unjustified as the boarding staff are a very friendly team and they instantly make you feel comfortable. Whilst being a full boarder is difficult at times because we don’t get to go home on a regular basis; the weekend activities that are set up are always a great way to enjoy yourself, we most recently went go karting. As well as the weekend activities we also have trips to the cinema at least once a week where all boarders can go and see the latest films. Overall my experience as a boarder has been a truly positive one and I would recommend Rochester Independent College to any local or international students.
A sixth form with exceptionally small classes that are more like university tutorials
Students work around tables in lively, stimulating and productive groups. The average class size is 8. Teaching is focussed on the demands of the examinations with regular testing and exam practice. Click here for more information.
An academic sixth form with a flexible and engaging choice of A level subjects and a focus on exam success and university entry
You’ll be free to choose the A levels that suit you rather than ticking subjects in option blocks. University entrance is increasingly competitive and we liaise with admissions tutors closely, ensuring you choose the right combination of A levels and develop the strongest possible profile. Click for our full subject list.
As someone with dyslexia, studying English at a top university seemed like quite a long shot. I am delighted to be going to Exeter and couldn’t have done it without Rochester Independent College.
In 2019 three RIC students won places at Oxford and Cambridge. Students aiming at these universities benefit from our partnership with Dukes Education's Oxbridge Applications and attend their personal statement and interview prep workshops.
RIC + Maths + Physics = Oxbridge
Nationally, for every four boys who study Physics there is only one girl. At RIC, however, the proportion of successful female Physicists is doubled. This year, one of these attained not only an A* but full marks: 600/600, an almost unheard of achievement. Fittingly for such a science star, Phattharaporn Singkanipa, who is sponsored by the Royal Thai Government, is passionate about the night sky as she demonstrated during her Cambridge interview presentation.
RIC’s university destinations list is dominated each year by entries to the older and more prestigious Russell group universities. Currently studying Physics at Oxford University’s St Catherine’s College is Tal 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 University 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
An unstuffy, lively sixth form
There is no uniform, no petty rules, no assemblies and students and teachers are on first name terms.
If you’re looking for somewhere where they will treat you like you are at university, a place where you can choose your own subjects which aren’t confined to blocks so you can create the A level course and experience you want and be surrounded by a positive hard working but fun vibe, then go to Rochester Independent College
A sixth form where half the students are new to the College each year and you can join at different points for courses of different lengths
RIC is one of the largest boarding school sixth forms in Kent and so it is easy to join and make new and interesting friends. Although most of our students are between 15-19, we also welcome more mature students who may be returning to education after a period of work or travel.
A modern, flexible sixth form boarding school
Residential students at RIC are from all around the world but we also welcome weekly boarders from elsewhere in Kent and the UK. The atmosphere is more like a university halls of residence than a school. We don’t impose supervised prep and our study bedrooms all have telephones and internet connection. Boarding at RIC
A happy, co educational sixth form that is about so much more than examination results
Students benefit from what Ofsted describes as our students’, “outstanding spiritual, moral and cultural development.” They enjoy a colourful range of sports and clubs. They are served great school meals and help plan their own exciting events, parties and innovative trips. 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. At RIC though all non-academic activities in the sixth form are optional and students are free to make their own choices about what to take part in.
A sixth form that is easy to reach from different parts of Kent and beyond
RIC runs its own minibus services from Tonbridge, Tunbridge Wells, Sevenoaks, Maidstone, West Malling and King’s Hill. We are a short walk from Rochester railway station and 25 minutes from Bromley South, 20 mins from Stratford and 40 mins from St Pancras or Victoria, offering a real alternative to London day schools. Find us.
I started my A levels at a local comprehensive 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 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. 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.
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.