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Monday, 01 March 2021 16:47

Rochester Independent College: Advertising Article


A personal View by  Leighton Bright Head of Lower School

Non-selective & high performing Rochester Independent College offers a truly unique Secondary School experience for students from Year 7 upwards. We welcome students at any point of their educational journey and offer a variety of different educational pathways to suit each individual.


The last 12 months have been some of the toughest I can remember as a teacher. At Rochester Independent College we have now twice seamlessly moved to our ‘RIC Without Walls’ provision, by which students have been able to enjoy their full timetable, taught face-to-face by our specialist teachers online. All of our students have adapted extremely well to this new way of working and are continuing to demonstrate their dedication, curiosity and love of learning. Our teachers have also developed a number of new skills and trialled new digital programmes in order to make their lessons as engaging and inspiring as possible, which has been great to see.

That said, as a father of three children between the ages of 4 and 14, I’ve also witnessed first hand the difficulties, frustrations and challenges of homeschooling for both students and parents. This second period of national lockdown has felt tougher than last; the novelty of all being at home together has truly worn off! There has been much coverage in the Media regarding the significant challenges faced by exam groups and clearly the uncertainty caused by the Pandemic has caused significant anxiety and stress to students due to take A Levels and GCSEs in 2021. To a certain extent this uncertainty remains today, yes, students will not be taking formal exams, but the exact process to be adopted is far from clear.

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Amidst the speculation it would seem to me that Year 6 has been largely overlooked. This is a group of students who will shortly be making one of the most significant educational transitions of their lives; I think that the first day at Secondary School is something we all remember whether this was in the 80s or 90s. In a normal year, Year 6 students who have had ample opportunities to visit a range of schools in person, to interact with existing students and teachers and generally get a feel for the school in which they might very well spend the next 7 years of their lives. This process has been extremely limited this time around and we have all had to choose schools for our children without the face to face reassurance we would normally require.

I think it is really important to stress that we are lucky in Kent and the South East to have a wide range of good Schools, both selective and non-selective; Independent and state funded, from which to choose. As parents, we can be pretty safe in the knowledge that, whatever school has been allocated to us on the 1st March, our children will get a good education and be looked after; this is no time to panic.

From our point of view at Rochester Independent College, our admissions process will continue throughout the rest of the academic year and indeed throughout the Summer. We are happy for students and parents to visit our College site when current restrictions allow and will have appropriate and robust Covid protocols in place to ensure that everybody is kept safe.

Over the last 35 years we have earned a reputation as a College which achieves the very best outcomes for its diverse range of students. Our small classes (average of 8 per class), mean that every student enjoys a truly personalised educational experience. The fact that students are able to wear their own clothes and are on first name terms with their teachers, results in a more inclusive environment; a school where children are not afraid to make educational mistakes and ask questions. Whether a student has passed the 11+ or not, RIC will give students the opportunity to thrive and be part of a diverse cohort of both UK and International students, broadening horizons and cultural perspectives which can be difficult to find elsewhere.

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This student experience means that we regularly and successfully help students apply to top universities in the UK and beyond for courses such as Medicine, Psychology, Maths and many more. This all starts In the Lower School, where we aim to academically challenge all students who join us and enable them to achieve educational outcomes that go beyond their expected levels of progress. Whilst we are a non-selective school, we require all of our students to approach their studies with enthusiasm and curiosity, and to demonstrate kindness and empathy to their classmates.


No less important is the wide range of creative subjects available for all students at the College. Whether students are interested in Graphic Design, Photography, Fine Art, Textiles or Ceramics, every young person who walks through our doors will have the opportunity to fully investigate their creative talents. For those students looking for further creative outlets our Film and Media Department offers students the chance to further explore the visual arts, with Music Technology offering a broad curriculum of both composition and technical knowledge. Our Drama and Theatre Studies team will encourage and inspire confidence with any student looking for a career in the performing arts. We genuinely believe that all students have the capacity to engage with the creative arts, regardless of their previous experiences in other educational settings.

Click here to learn more about Year 7 and the Lower School at RIC or visit our Virtual Open House. Please contact our admissions office with any questions

Why not book a place at our Lower School Virtual Open Morning on Saturday 6 March 2021 to find out about how secondary school can be different at Rochester Independent College.

By Leighton Bright

Head of Lower School

Rochester Independent College

Last modified on Monday, 01 March 2021 17:18

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