Frequently Asked Questions
There is no such thing as a typical pupil at Rendcomb because we value the individual. What we do expect however is that a pupil is ‘thoughtful,’ they recognise that they are part of, and contribute to, a school community; they are also ‘thoughtful’ in being inquisitive and questioning about what they learn; they are adventurous in that they are willing to try new things and they are ambitious by making the most of their own talents and abilities while adopting the best possible attitude to learning.
The academic school day runs from 8.15am when pupils meet their tutors until 5.15pm when buses leave. Day pupils can stay until 6pm to complete their homework or they can stay later (dinner costs £2.75) to enjoy the evening activities. We do not have lessons on Saturday morning but do run fixtures and a boarding programme for those not involved in sport so the day usually finished by Noon.
Every pupil has a dedicated tutor who they see every morning of the week. All pupils are also part of a House. Day pupils and boarders are in the same house and these are organised on a horizontal structure. The Houses are organised as follow: Godman Co-educational for pupils in Year 7-9, Stable Girls in Years 10-11, Lawn Boys in Years 10-11, Park Co-educational in Year 12-13 (The 6th Form also have a dedicated 6th Form Centre for the working day.) In addition, we have a Head of each Key Stage to oversee academic progress along with a Head of Welfare and a Pastoral Deputy Head who work together to ensure that the pupils needs are met. Pupils also have the chance to study Mindfulness and in the 6th Form become trained in Mental Health First Aid.
While Rendcomb firmly believes in a holistic, educate the whole pupil approach, academic success is the foundation of what we do. In recent years GCSE and A level results have been some of the best in the county and added considerable value, ie the pupils have done far better than expected because of the teaching and learning at Rendcomb. Our results from recent years can be found here.
SEN and EAL are supported by two teams of specialist teachers. SEN teachers are qualified to assess, diagnose and support students with learning difficulties such as Dyslexia, Dyspraxia and mild Aspergers. Students across the age groups receive support using the latest assistive technology in the classroom, 1:1 teaching and extra study time, in order for them to maximise their learning potential.
Senior School Co-Curricular
Throughout the year there are over 100 clubs and activities on offer at Rendcomb, from Archery to Zumba and everything in between. Pupils can go from the rugby or hockey pitch straight to a lesson in campanology (bell ringing!). We pride ourselves on offering all pupils the chance to try as many different clubs as possible. As well as a pupils two hours of designated sports each week, we run activities from 4-5pm each day. Within this slot pupils are able to partake in other activities and a full list can be found here. Given our setting in 230 acres, outdoor education plays a big part in school life. Junior School pupils take Forest School lessons from Nursery to Year 6 and from Year 7 pupils can continue this education with Bushcraft lessons from our qualified team. All pupils in Year 9 will begin the Duke of Edinburgh Bronze Award to give them a taste of the excellent programme that we offer. Many pupils progress to the Silver and Gold Awards as they progress through the school. The College also runs the biennial expedition society trip to Mont Blanc in the French Alps. https://www.rendcombcollege.org.uk/duke-of-edinburghs-award
Our main sports in the Michaelmas Term are Hockey for girls and Rugby for boys. In the Lent Term this changes to Lacrosse for girls and Hockey for boys and our Summer Term provision centres around Tennis for girls and Cricket for boys. There is also an option for 6th Form to choose to play Basketball and Badminton as well as joining the College’s excellent Strength and Conditioning Programme. We also run fixtures in a multitude of other sports such as Clay Pigeon Shooting, Cross Country, Boys’ Tennis, Girls’ Cricket, Football, Athletics, Touch Rugby and we are hoping to put together a Swimming team in the near future.
Our main grass sports pitches, affectionately known as “Up Top”, are home to five Rugby and Lacrosse pitches, as well as five Cricket squares. Football and Athletics are also played here over the three terms. There is also a Clay Pigeon Shooting ground in operation throughout the year. In addition our astro turf pitch, relayed in summer 2018, hosts hockey matches in Michaelmas and Lent terms before becoming 12 tennis courts in the summer. Four additional hard tennis courts next door to it allow for year round training. Our sports hall hosts a multitude of sports throughout the year and can be transformed into a 4 lane Cricket facility, Basketball court, 4 x Badminton courts, Netball court, Volleyball court, 5-a-side Football pitch and an indoor Tennis court. Our newly renovated (January 2019) Performance Gym allows us to run our excellent Athlete Performance and Development programmes. In addition to the Performance Gym, we also have a Pin Drop Gym for the use of our Students. Also amongst our 230 acres is a volleyball court and miles of cross country running routes.
All of our coaching team are qualified sports coaches having at least achieved a Level 2 qualification in one, or more, of the sports that we have on offer. As well as delivering the normal sporting programme, our coaching team will offer extra co-curricular sporting sessions throughout the year such Academies and Sport Activities. Current extra-curricular Sports on offer include our Athletic Performance Programme, Athletic Development Programme, Cricket Winter Training Programme, Hockey, Lacrosse and Tennis Academies, Golf Tuition (Cirencester Golf Club) Activity, Football, Cross Country, Horse Riding, Sailing, Girls’ Cricket, Clay Pigeon Shooting and Rugby 7s.
All pupils take timetabled music lessons until the end of Year 9. Alongside this nearly 40% of the Senior School body take private instrumental lessons during the school day. Lessons are 40 minutes long but are flexible given individual needs with Grade 8 lessons often lasting an hour. The College hosts regular concerts and receitals, including the very popular Coffee Concerts, which take place every fortnight during morning break. Our Music Department also run a huge range of clubs and bands throughout the week and more information can be found here.
Drama at Rendcomb centres around the fantastic Griffin Theatre in the heart of the campus. During the year we run two senior school productions (this school year it has been We Will Rock You and A Midsummer Night’s Dream). Away from the main performances there are a multitude of drama clubs, including improvisation, dance and physical theatre. Our professional standard theatre also allows us to operate a large selection of back-stage clubs where pupils can be trained in lighting and sound engineering as well as costume and set design. Rendcomb also operates LAMDA throughout the school, from beginners to Medal classes with choices of specialisation in Acting, Musical Theatre, Verse and Prose, Speaking in Public and all are available as an individual or shared lesson. More information on drama can be found here.
The vast majority of pupils head off to university however we support all post school routes and help pupils to find the right choices for them. One of the things we are most proud of at Rendcomb is providing a bespoke education so it is no surprise when pupils follow their passions when they leave. University course have ranged from Motor Racing Engineering to Medicine and Fine Art to Virology. Our pupils have gained places at the top universities in the UK and US including Oxford, Warwick, Imperial and Exeter. More information on our careers and post-school pathway can be found here.
In addition to studying either three of four A levels or BTECS our 6th Form programme incorporates opportunities to develop in other ways and be ready for life after school. All pupils study our C3 course that helps them to develop communication, collaboration and creative skills while others may choose from an additional teaching block that includes the Extended Project Qualification, Arts Award, Enterprise and Duke of Edinburgh Gold Award. Being a small school allows many opportunities to learn leadership skills and all learn the value of service both to Rendcomb and the wider community. 6th Formers get the opportunity to complete work experience and as a final part of post school life, get to live in Garden House where they take on the challenge independent living. In all it is a well-rounded approach and we are confident that Rendcombians leave school ready for their next adventure. Find out more here.
Since most students take three A Level/BTEC subjects, in the Sixth Form students have non-teaching periods in addition to their lessons. At the beginning of Y12 these periods are supervised by a member of staff and take place in the study areas in the Sixth Form Centre, in order to develop a habit of using this time effectively. Over time and as students demonstrate positive approach to learning grades, the number of supervised study periods is reduced and students can choose to study in alternative locations such as the Library, other areas of the Sixth Form Centre or their room in Park House if they board.
Sixth formers have two games sessions (Monday and Wednesday afternoons) which they share with Y11. However, sixth formers are able to opt for 'minor games' instead of the major team sport for the term if they want to, and engage in other sporting activities such as badminton, basketball or attending the gym. Fixtures take place on Wednesday afternoons and Saturday mornings across a number of sports. In the last year Rendcomb has competed against other schools in hockey, rugby, lacrosse, cricket, tennis, football, basketball, badminton, clay pigeon shooting and cross country.
Lessons finish at 4pm. On a Monday games runs for all sixth formers through until 5pm. On other days activities run until 5pm and we encourage sixth formers to sign up for at least one of these and even run their own activities for younger students. This can also count as 'volunteering' for students taking the Duke of Edinburgh Award and has led to some great choices for our younger students such as decoupage, bushcraft or dance. The Thursday activity slot is reserved for our Sixth Form Lecture Series where visiting speakers share their expertise and experience with sixth formers on such diverse topics as spying in the Cold War or working in finance.
An EPQ (Extended Project Qualification) is one of the options we offer after the Michaelmas Term of Y12 to allow students to gain additional UCAS points and broaden their portfolio. The Arts Award is another of these options. Both are projects that are designed to develop research, organisation, presentation skills and independence. More information about these can be found in the Sixth Form booklet found here.
Absolutely. We are very fortunate to be able to combine the family ethos which is evident in a good village primary school with access to some first-class facilities. The Junior School shares the use of the sports hall and sports pitches as well as having access to the school gym, astroturf and tennis courts. Furthermore, we share coaching resources with our highly qualified sports coaches working across both sections of the College. The College Chaplin holds a weekly assembly for Junior School pupils and we visit St Peter’s Church for a short assembly every Tuesday afternoon. We are delighted to be able to use the Griffin Theatre for our Junior School performances thus offering our pupils the opportunity to be able to perform on the ‘big stage’ in a facility which is of a professional standard. Our Visiting Music Teachers work across the College and teach pupils from Reception – Year 13 and Junior School pupils take part in a variety of informal musical performances in specially designated spaces. here.
One of Rendcomb’s major strengths is the sense of family and community we are able to create. The simple purpose of the Junior School is to ensure that, when they finish their time at primary school, our pupils are ready to move on to the next stage in their education. Our small class sizes enable us to genuinely know each individual child and to recognise their strengths and the areas in which they need to develop. As a result, we are able to help all of our pupils to grow in confidence and to develop a strong sense of character where they are very ‘comfortable in their own skin’. The number of boys/girls across the Junior School is very close to a 50:50 ratio but, in individual year groups, the gender balance does of course vary. Our timetable often offers opportunities for different year groups to work together; for example, we always have two consecutive year groups together for Games which enables us to complete a full fixture list in all of our major sports for boys and girls. There is a strong emphasis that we are all part of one Rendcomb Family and this is highlighted within our weekly Distinction Assembly when all pupils from Reception-Yr6 gather together to celebrate each other’s achievements.
Between 80-90% of Junior School pupils continue onto the Senior School. All Junior School pupils who have been with this since Yr4 or earlier are entitled to a 10% loyalty discount off their Senior School fees and the vast majority of Senior School scholarships are open to our current pupils as well as those from external settings. In the last three years, pupils from our Junior School have been successful in gaining Academic Scholarship awards as well as scholarships in Sport, Music, Art and Drama.
Learning Support within the College is co-ordinated from Nursery-Yr13 by our SENDCO, Mrs Cheryl Hossle. This enables us to have an excellent understanding of our pupils’ strengths and weaknesses and we will make every effort to support the need of an individual if we are able to do so. We use dyslexia screening for our Junior School pupils when they reach Yr2 and we regularly make use of formative and summative assessments to track our pupils’ progress. The school operates an ‘open door’ policy and we recognise that a strong working relationship with parents is of paramount importance – teachers are also ready and willing to listen to any parental concerns. For pupils who require them we offer a number of ‘catch-up’ programmes in literacy and numeracy at no additional cost. Should a child require additional 1:1 support then this is available at an additional cost and is co-ordinated by our Learning Support Department. I would encourage any parent who feels that their child may require additional support to inform us as soon as possible so that we can arrange for them to meet with or SENDCO.
The number of different teachers a pupil has increases as they move through the Junior School. Every child has a Form Tutor who they see every day and who will closely monitor their wellbeing. Subjects such as PE, Games, Music, Art, Drama and Languages are always taught by specialist teachers. In addition, pupils in Yr3-Yr6 are taught Maths and English by subject specialists and pupils in Yr5 and Yr6 are taught Science by a subject specialist.
In short, as often as we possibly can! All of our pupils, from the very youngest in Nursery to the oldest in Yr6 love to make the most of our fantastic surroundings. The College sits within approximately 240 acres and we do our utmost to make as much use of this space as we can. We endeavour to get outside as frequently as possible and, unless the weather is extreme, all pupils will spend their recreation time outside in the fresh air. On any given day, you are likely to find Junior School pupils taking part in a lesson outdoors: they may be on the Games field, orienteering, conducting a river study in Science, exploring their local area in Geography or even studying the history of Rendcomb itself. The highlight of our outdoor learning is of course our fabulous Forest School facility. We have 5 members of staff who are fully-qualified Forest School leaders as well as an Outdoor Education specialist and qualified Bushcraft leader. As a result, we are able to offer our Nursery and Reception pupils two Forest School sessions each week and our pupils in Yr1-Yr4 attend Forest School once a week. For our older pupils in Yr5 and Yr6 we integrate aspects of Forest School into their curriculum; for example, Yr6 use OS maps to plan a route and then walk it and Yr5 make use of the fire pit rather than the Science lab to study some chemical reactions. Finally, Forest School is also available as a co-curricular activities for all pupils in Yr3-Yr6. Find out more about our Forest School here.
In order to register your child for a place in either the Junior or Senior School, you need to complete and return the College’s Registration Form, which is available from the Admissions team. As well as the form you will need include your son or daughter’s most recent two reports, a copy of their Passport or Birth Certificate as well as the Registration Fee. You child will then sit an assessment, which will vary slightly dependent on age of entry. In the Senior School all pupils sit an entrance test including an English and CEM Test. For Sixth Form their offer may be dependent on GCSE grades achieved at the end of Year 11. In the Junior School pupils are not required to sit a formal assessment but must attend a Taster Day at the College. Full information is available from the College’s Admissions Team. More information can be found on our Admissions page here.
We offer a range of scholarships at Rendcomb across both the Junior and Senior Schools. All the scholarship application forms and details can be found and downloaded from the scholarships page of our website, which can be found here. In keeping with the Founding aims of the College, we offer a number of bursaries. Parents wishing to apply can request a Financial Circumstances Form from the Admissions Team and more information can be found here.
From September 2018 Rendcomb ceased Saturday morning lessons. In their place we run our programme of sports fixtures, including hockey, rugby, lacrosse, cricket, tennis, basketball and badminton. For those not involved in a fixture there is a programme of activities on a Saturday morning which allows pupils to learn a range of new skills, including cookery, skiing, yoga, archery, canoeing and music. In the afternoon pupils are able to catch the local bus or a taxi into Cirencester or Cheltenham and Houses run minibuses to supermarkets and local shops. On Sundays there is a full boarders programme which includes cultural trips to Oxford, London, Bath and Cardiff amongst others. There are also trips to local attractions and entertainment facilities. Boarders are able to request trips and activities through regular boarders forums. Since September 2019 we have ceased to hold Exeat weekends (excluding May Bank Holiday) so boarders are able to stay on site.