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Aiming Higher, Switching Schools and Retaking A levels

Rochester Independent College describes why some students choose to switch schools for sixth form or sometimes just for their Year 13 or a one year A level resit courses. Over half of the College’s intake is from Kent grammar schools. The average class size is 8.

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Previous students perhaps sum it up best. One said: "Studying at RIC raised my confidence and ambition - my previous school told me I would never get into a Russell Group university." Another adds: “At RIC the teachers prepared me for the exams, inspired me and made me love English Literature again. I went from a D to an A.”

The Good Schools Guide, reviewing RIC said: “Many students transfer here after poor progress at AS or A level and the effect can be dramatic. Parents all speak highly of the pastoral care and the growth in confidence witnessed. It’s a sound investment- among the retakers all got into university and three-quarters won Russell Group places.” 

Students sometimes choose to revisit their options, changing subjects completely or opting to combine retakes with one year intensive A levels.

Do RIC offer normal two year A level courses or just retakes?
We welcome about 70 new Year 12 students each year, both from local schools and boarders from further afield. We offer a wide range of traditional academic A levels as well as more creative and applied options such as Music Technology, Film Studies, Computer Science, Graphic Design and Photography.

Former student Laurence Routledge who studied Maths, Further Maths, Physics, Geography and Theatre Studies at the College says: "I joined RIC after GCSEs at Gad’s Hill. After leaving, I spent 4 years studying for my Masters in Astrophysics at Sussex, graduating with 1st class Honours. I am now in my first year studying for my DPhil at Oxford. Studying at RIC was great fun; I met a lot of good people and still keep in touch with many of them. I'll never forget the Rochester's Got Talent competitions and our rendition of The Village People's greatest hits."

Entry to Year 12 at RIC is non-selective and it is sometimes possible to start sixth form while retaking a few GCSEs alongside A levels.  Sometimes students have narrowly missed the GCSE grades needed for grammar school sixth form entry and opt for RIC as an alternative.

RIC 6th 3

Is RIC just a crammer or an exam factory?
Absolutely not, we welcome children from the age of 11 although we are clear that in later years the focus is on exam-oriented tuition to make sure students have the best chance of getting to where they want to go.

Natasha Alford who joined RIC from The Judd School says: “Although I attended Rochester to gain good A levels what I actually gained during my time there was so much more." Conor McManaman who joined from Gravesend Grammar says: I know that after my time here I’m less one dimensional and the College has helped me think about different things in different ways.” Becky Dolman who was at Invicta Grammar until the end of year 12 says: “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 spoon feed.” 

The Good Schools Guide adds: “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 more here. ‘I worried a lot at my old school, here it’s a better environment,’ said one. ‘At my old school if you improved, they didn’t notice,’ said another.”

What about preparation for Medicine?
It’s very difficult for students who need to retake A levels to get medical, dental and vet school places. A small number will consider you and RIC students in this position are successful each year but it’s even more competitive than applying first time.

Students who transfer into Year 13 or join us for Year 12 are often doing so to help ensure they have the best chance of securing the top grades they need for medicine and related subjects within the normal two years of sixth form. The UCAS support given is carefully tailored to students aiming for these courses.

RIC student Abi Wong who joined from Simon Langton says: “Having set my heart on medicine, I was devastated when I fell short of the grades I needed for the offer I held at Bart’s. I soon realised that if my dream was to become a reality, I needed to keep at it and resit. This year has only better prepared me for university and I now feel fully equipped to take on the new challenge. With the fantastic help of RIC, I was over the moon to achieve two offers for medicine.”

What do you need to know about retaking A levels or switching to sixth form at RIC?
Abi continues: “Small class sizes mean you get to know people very quickly and I always felt well supported. The staff are so dedicated and passionate, they make A levels as easy and enjoyable as possible. I couldn’t have asked for a more supportive and encouraging community and here I am at the other end excited and ready to start at Exeter Medical School in September.”
Is RIC, where there’s no uniform, just too relaxed for school?
The Independent Schools Inspectorate judged that the personal development and behaviour of RIC students was “excellent,” saying: “The use of first names and informal attire generate a relaxed environment. Sanctions are few in an atmosphere which values respect highly, and rudeness is not tolerated.”

At RIC students adopt a formal approach to their studies and treat exam preparation seriously. Oxbridge offers are received every year, this year for subjects ranging from Psychology at Oxford to Natural Sciences at Cambridge. Exeter University is currently the most popular choice for RIC students, 30 students have won places there in the last five years.

What are the creative and visual arts like at RIC?
The Good Schools Guide says “it’s hard to imagine better provision for an artist.” We were one of the first independent schools in Kent to receive an Artsmark back in 2008.

There’s an art college atmosphere and teachers are all practitioners in their own right. Students have use of the fully equipped darkroom; ceramics studios with potters’ wheels and kiln; textiles studio with computer-aided embroidery machines; two large dedicated art studios; and two mac labs for design work. History of Art is a popular A level.

RIC 6th 4

A high number of students leave RIC each year for fine art, design, fashion, film and photography courses at university with recent destinations including Central Saint Martins, UCL’s The Slade, UCA, London College of Fashion, Edinburgh and Falmouth.

Is RIC really just for international students?
One of the elements of the winning formula at RIC is the dynamic mix of local students from a variety of backgrounds with inspirational young people from overseas.

The College is though only 15% international alongside 85% from the local area or the rest of the UK. We have 300 students on roll each year.

Having an international Gold Medal Olympian
in the class can be a real advantage, as
aspiring Canterbury Medic Joe McManners who was previously at Tonbridge School can attest. He gained A*A*A
in Chemistry Biology and Physics, all completed in one year from scratch, having shared a Chemistry class
with Jiratheep ‘Boom’ Pruchayathamkorn.

Boom came to RIC on the Thai Government Scholarship programme and achieved the feat of 5 A* grades in Chemistry, Physics, Maths, Further Maths and Statistics in one year. He won a place at Merton College, Oxford to read Chemistry while Joe joined him at St Catherine’s to read Medicine.

Where can people get more information?
To find out more about retaking A levels, switching to Year 13 or joining Year 12 at Rochester Independent College, visit their website here:

Right Tuition Company logo

Rochester. Tunbridge Wells.  Sevenoaks

The Right Tuition Company (formerly The Rochester Tuition Centre and Bright Young Things Tunbridge Wells) maintains the value of a traditional philosophy of teaching centred around skills and knowledge. We aim to set a precedent for learning that allows children to become curious learners who challenge themselves to go beyond the textbook and possess the core fundamentals that make them productive learners for the long-term. 

Our small class sizes encourage children to ask questions, develop an inquisitive mindset and accelerate learning at their own pace. Learning is made to be stimulating and fun, through which children are able to take new skills, enthusiasm and confidence back into the school classroom. 

We are specialists in helping children to prepare for exams: eleven plus, thirteen plus entrance and scholarship, GCSE and A Level. We do this through high quality education, based around the two key components of inspirational teaching and a calm and professional guidance through what can otherwise be a difficult process for both pupil and parents.

When a new pupil arrives at our tuition centre, we invest time in establishing a relationship: understanding their interests, characteristics and overall aims in terms of subject improvement. We offer an assessment with full analytical feedback. This enables us to develop a systematic programme geared towards each pupil's future progress. 

We are delighted to announce that we are Ofsted registered as an education provider. Importantly, childcare vouchers can now be used to meet the cost of the excellent lessons that we provide to local pupils. We are exceedingly passionate about extending the benefits of small group supplementary learning to an ever wider audience. Through childcare vouchers, more and more parents will now be able to consider the reality of having a tutor for their child. Small group learning is all about a more personalised and tailored approach to education. Through our teacher-led classes, we achieve the most effective blend of collective learning, in addition to each child receiving that essential individual attention from the teacher. Here at The Right Tuition Company, we wish to be the catalyst for turning a good education into a great education.

  • 11+ specialists – over 90% success rate for Medway and Kent selective schools
  • Maths, English, Verbal Reasoning and Non Verbal Reasoning lessons
  • Science for primary and secondary pupils at Tunbridge Wells
  • Many languages are available at or Tunbridge Wells centre from primary Latin to Mandarin!
  • Exclusive learning materials
  • Free assessments are offered at our Tunbridge Wells and Sevenoaks centres
  • Small class sizes 
  • Inspirational teachers
  • Regular consultations 
  • Childcare vouchers accepted


Mum of Amelia (8), Tunbridge Wells

Amelia came out of her first class at R.T.C Tunbridge Wells, grinning from ear to ear. "I loved it, mum. Arthur makes Maths fun!", she exclaimed. Her confidence has soared and she has been stretched further than she is at school. We are very happy parents! Thank you Arthur.

Florence, Mum of Levi (12, Malachi (11), and Omara (9), Rochester

My children have been going to R.T.C Rochester for about 5 years since we moved from London. When they started at their new school, I realised that they were ahead of their peers, and weren't being stretched enough at school. The sessions have increased their confidence, and enabled them to build upon what they had already learnt and work at a higher level. The kids really enjoy it, and are always talking about what they've learnt. The teachers are excellent and very dedicated, even offering private one to one tuition too. The value is second to none, I only wish they had more things on that the children could go to!

Contact us:

For more information on the ways we can support your child contact us:

R.T.C Rochester:


16 Union Street, Rochester, Kent, ME1 1XZ


R.T.C Tunbridge Wells: 

01892 800 492

3 Calverley Street, Tunbridge Wells, Kent, TN1 2BZ


R.T.C Sevenoaks:


Donnington Manor Hotel, London Road, Duncton Green, Sevenoaks, Kent TN13 2TD

LOGOWe would like to welcome you to Greenacre Academy, a single sex secondary boys school in Chatham, with a highly popular joint sixth form in partnership with the neighbouring girls school. Following many years of strong results and great outcomes for students, the academy has been successful in gaining multi academy trust status, offering many more opportunities across our trust as it develops.

greenacre group photo

Our students have demonstrated consistently strong improvements over a sustained period of time and we are always keen to innovate to deliver the very best education for our pupils. Our motto is “Skills for Life” and we are passionate about giving students the tools they will need for life in the real world. The vision of the Greenacre Academy Trust is to make the Academies the first choice for parents wishing their children to learn vocational and personal skills for a productive and successful life. To make the secondary academies the first choice for employers when looking for apprentices and trainees.

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“Skills for Life” permeates through our schemes of learning, extracurricular activities, expectations of students and our daily work in the classroom. Our impressive links with local, national and international businesses give students opportunities unavailable to other academies. The advice given through our careers assemblies by numerous business leaders has inspired many students towards previously unknown areas of employment, followed up with the links to make their new ambition a reality.


Greenacre Sept 15 72

Our recent OFSTED in March 2014 resulted in a GOOD rating and commented that,

“Leadership of the academy is strong. The Headteacher, together with senior leaders, governors and staff, is ambitious for students’ success and has worked hard to raise standards by improving the quality of teaching. As a result, achievement is improving rapidly and students are well prepared for the next stage of their lives.”



Our website and newsletters showcase the many achievements of our students.

Please visit our website at

Greenacre Academy: 157 Walderslade Road Walderslade Kent ME5 0LP  Tel: 01634 861593


 RIC Photo 2

        Rochester Independent College - Year 7 to Sixth Form

Lizzie Bradshaw
“We never contemplated private education until we heard about RIC, then we were shown around & it has worked out very well for Lizzie. She’s really flourished at RIC, & that’s due to the ability & dedication of the teachers, as well as her own hard work.”
John and Helen Bradshaw


The whole procedure for entrance to secondary schools in Kent can be a difficult one for both children and their parents. Every year RIC students, whose primary schools told us they were unlucky not to have been offered grammar school places, finish after seven years here with confidence about the future, top A levels and places at some of the country’s top universities.

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   RIC 2 

Our only entrance qualifications in Year 7 are a willingness and ability to work hard and behave well. At RIC our Lower School offers children from the age of 11 a world of difference from traditional secondary schools and a chance for them to continue to grow in confidence, develop academically and mature as they have often done so well at primary school. Children’s needs are more clearly recognised and focused upon in a smaller school. In class sizes that average 8, relationships between teachers and children prosper. A smaller school size allows more opportunity for our teachers to work closely together and share information, as well as allowing us to provide an unparalleled level of feedback to parents. The curriculum offered is a full academic one with an additional focus on the creative arts.

The Good Schools Guide review quotes one RIC mother saying:
That playground talk, everyone wanting their child
to be in the top set, you don’t have that”
but makes the point that this lack of
“school gate competitiveness” and traditional
formality is not at the expense of academic results
or “artistic high flying”.

caitlinTop performer in 2015 was Caitlin Borowsky who joined RIC from a local preparatory school in Year 7 at age of 11. Caitlin achieved 7A* grades and 4 As. Caitlin’s dedicated and committed approach was rewarded with a set of GCSE results that are the first step towards fulfilling her ambition to study Medicine.


Head of Biology Katharine Lang says:
This year’s results demonstrate that students
at non-selective independent schools can achieve results
that are just as outstanding as the
super-selective grammar schools.


Next Open Days 2020

Lower School Open Morning (Years 7-11): Saturday 7 March 10am – 12.30pm

Lower School Taster Day: Thursday 12 March 10am-3pm

Lower School and Sixth Form Taster day: Thursday 25 June 10am-4pm


Booking is open for both the March dates via our website 

Of course people are always very welcome to visit us at any time if they make an appointment with our admissions office.

Easter Revision Courses

We are also running our Easter Revision Courses as usual – this is our 34th year of teaching these courses supporting students at local schools. Details here.  Please scroll down our webpage to find all the info including fees etc. 


Please call 01634 828115
or email
for more information or to book a place.



TA logoTuition Academy

We Offer All Sorts!


11+ Preparation

Primary Support

Key Stage 3


A Levels


Contact Medway

Contact Maidstone

TC All Sorts



tick   Classes for children aged 6-18

tick   Key Stage 1, 2 & 3

tick   GCSE, AS & A2 Level

tick   11+ Preparation

tick  English, Maths & Science

tick   Chemistry, Physics & Biology

tick   SATs preparation for years 2 & 6

tick   Homework set and marked by teachers

tick   Small class sizes

tick   Experienced, specialist teachers

tick   All staff are DBS checked

tick   Exam preparation & revision classes

tick  Average teacher student ratio of  just 1:4 

tick   Superb standard of education

tick   After school & weekend classes



Our small classes (average of just 8 students) are taught by experienced, specialist teachers who have a real passion for their chosen subjects.

TC Enrol nowBy engaging with their students as a group and individually, our teachers are able to create an extremely effective and enjoyable back to basics learning environment which is adapted to suit the needs and learning objectives of the students. 


Quality Tuition At Affordable Prices

Our classes help to boost our student’s confidence and academic knowledge as we reinforce the fundamental building blocks of their education. With our teachers being supported in class by teaching assistants where required we are able to provide an average students teacher ratio of just 1:4.


TC PrimaryPrimary Support

Our Primary Support classes strengthen and reinforce our student’s numeracy and literacy skills.  With our teachers concentrating on students reading, writing, spelling, times tables and number work, these classes really will help your child to accelerate with their schoolwork and gain in confidence. 


11+ Preparation


Our specialist teachers take our students through every step of the 11+ syllabus to ensure that they are well prepared and confident before taking their exam.

The Mock Exams will include revision aids and cover exam techniques and accuracy under pressure.

Summer Intensive Courses also available to ensure that your child is well prepared and confident before sitting their 11+ test.

Key Stage 3


Strengthen your child's core skills with our English, Maths and Science Classes to ensure that they are in the best position possible for choosing their GCSE options.


gcseEnglish, Maths, Science, Physics, Chemistry and Biology GCSE classes are available, taught by specialist experienced teachers.


A Levels


We provide advanced level tuition in a range of core subjects, covering both AS and A2 level exams across a variety of examination board syllabus’.

We Don't Coach, We EDUCATE!

For further details or to discuss your child's educational needs, please contact your local Tuition Academy centre: -


01634 714 449


01622 685 600

This service is available from 1st July 2015, so I anticipate that the number of advertisers will build steadily from that date.

If you wish to advertise on this website:, my basic offer is as follows:

I am accepting approved advertisements for educational services, which may include: tutoring; sale of test materials; adverts for individual establishments; etc.

On the right hand side of each page, where there are currently advertisements, I will provide a rotating button advert to your design, linking either to the page on which your main ad is displayed, or your website, by choice. These will each measure 250 pixels wide by 400 pixels deep. At the beginning, clearly these will receive greater coverage whilst there are fewer adverts to show. 

On the main advert page(s) you will have an advertisement measuring 570 pixels wide by 180 pixels well signposted from my home page although, if and as demand is sufficient I will split it into separate pages covering different geographical areas of Kent and Medway or by category to ensure that each advert and category is properly displayed. Advertisements placed by that time will show on as many of the appropriate pages as you wish at no extra cost in the first year. This advertisement can either stand alone, or else provide a link to a webpage of your design or website of your choice. For those who have no website, I can arrange for a webpage to be added for an additional fee, to your design.

I will be happy to increase the size of advertisements by arrangement, when there are sufficient to keep a balance.

In addition, I reserve the right not to accept advertisements or, at any time, to cancel advertisements and refund the proportion of your annual payment outstanding.

The website attracted 193,432 certified visits from 116,376 users in the past year, 57% of which were new visitors   so every one of these will see at least the button adverts once or more.

The annual cost will be payable in advance. Please let me know if you wish me to quote you, providing a brief outline of the services you offer, or ask if you have any further questions.

To find more detail about an advertisement, please click on the advert to be directed to  a webpage on this site or to the publishers own website.

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