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The latest news from Rendcomb College

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  • Open Mornings at Rendcomb College

    Published 10/02/20

    Register to attend our next Open Event at Rendcomb College.

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  • Top 5 romantic reads - selected by Librarian Mr Ian Corkett

    Published 14/02/20

    Librarian Mr Corkett selects his top 5 romantic reads this St. Valentine's Day. 

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  • Two Old Rendcombians and a Space Shuttle

    Published 07/02/20

    It is always great to hear about Old Rendcombians meeting up with each other around the globe, making new connections. 

    Two former Rendcomb College pupils met at the California Science Centre in Los Angeles recently; Old Rendcombian (OR), Vajresh Balaji (2015-16) met up with OR, Doug Ellison (1992-97).

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  • New Sixth Form Centre opens at Rendcomb College

    Published 03/02/20

    Rendcomb College, the co-educational day and boarding school for children aged 3 to 18 has opened a new Sixth Form Centre marking the start of the school’s 100th anniversary year.

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  • How could virtual reality be used in classrooms?

    Published 31/01/20

    Virtual Reality (VR) was once only seen in science fiction films. Today it really is a reality that is used in many different ways for both leisure and work purposes. What is most exciting is that the world of VR could now be used in the classroom to enhance learning. So, how can VR benefit the learning process? How can it be incorporated into a lesson and what subjects would benefit from VR? Below we take a closer look at VR in the classroom to answer these questions and explain how it will benefit learners.

    Why use VR in the classroom?

    So, why should teachers use VR in the classroom? Well, the answer is that this technology has so many wonderful benefits. Google, Samsung and Microsoft have already created virtual reality software that can be used in the classroom. Here we look at some of the advantages to VR.

    A new way of learning

    VR puts a different spin on learning in the classroom. Instead of the student sat reading a textbook or watching a DVD, they are involved in visual learning and the interactive classroom environment. It's a new way of learning that is exciting for students which helps to boosts interest.

    Engages with students

    VR engages directly with the student as it is literally right in their face. This is especially useful for the student who lacks enthusiasm or who finds it hard to learn in the traditional classroom way.

    The lived experience

    When a lesson involves VR then the student will be immersed in the virtual world, as if they are living and breathing in that world. What this can encourage is lively debate, discussions and empathy towards the people or situations that they encounter.

    In depth learning

    The classroom will always have books, paper and other media such as video for learning. But, what VR adds to this learning experience is another level that can create deeper meaning and understanding.

    What lessons would benefit from VR?

    VR can be used for any subject. Here we share some ideas on how it could be used for specific subjects.

    Science lessons

    VR can really bring those science lessons to life. When learning about molecules and atoms in Chemistry, then instead of looking at a 2D image you could view a molecule in the VR world, rotating it and getting a real sense of how it looks.

    When learning about the human body in biology, then instead of looking at pictures of a skeleton or organs, you could view them as a VR image, seeing in real-time how these organs work and connect with each other. It's such an exciting prospect.

    English and drama

    Bring the theatre to life by being part of the audience while watching a Shakespeare play at The Globe. Take a tour of the stage and backstage, admiring the views from the stage.

    When having to read a set text, then this can also be done in the VR, reading to a VR audience as opposed to classmates, or even in a VR setting such as a beach, helping to create a soothing and restful setting.

    Geography

    The world of VR was made for those geography lessons. We can all use Google Earth to see an image of anywhere in the world, but VR makes you believe that you are really there. Students can go on that exciting virtual field trip to see the pyramids, visit the Alps or even to explore the canals of Venice. Schools are already embracing the VR technology from Google Expeditions.

    Learning a new language

    We are all aware that the best way to learn that new language is to immerse ourselves in the language and culture. VR allows students to do exactly this. When learning Spanish the student could visit Spain, go shopping and practise their spoken Spanish with the use of VR simulation. This way of learning is also more desirable than simply reading from a fact sheet or book.

    So, VR really does look set to become a firm fixture in the classroom. It has so many benefits for the classroom, including offering a new and exciting way in which to learn, enables students to interact and engage in a subject in greater detail, while enhancing the entire learning experience. VR can help to boost learning and encourage interaction and lively discussion. VR really is here to stay.
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  • What are SATs exams?

    Published 31/01/20

    What are SATs exams? If you have a child then you need to know what they are, how many exams they will take, what they test for, and what this means if you wish your child to attend a boarding school or academy. Below we answer all these questions.

    What are SATs?

    SATs stands for Standard Assessment Tests. and children will take these tests twice during their time in primary school. These tests always take place in May. The first SATs tests happen in the second year of primary school during Key Stage 2, so in Year 2. A child will then take further SATs tests in year 6, the last year of primary school.

    These tests in Year 2 are usually carried out in the classroom in an informal setting. Children are not given a set time to complete the tests in Year 2 but do have a set time of 45 minutes per paper in Year 6. The class teacher will be responsible for setting the tests which are then sent away for marking.

    What do they test?

    Children sit SATs exams in English and Maths. During the English SATs a child is tested on their writing, reading, handwriting and spelling. During their Maths SATs a child will be tested on shape, number, measurement and skills and knowledge.

    The results will show what level the child is learning at and if it is below or above the average standard. It is important to know that a child does not pass or fail a SATs test.

    How many SATs exams do students sit?

    So, as already stated a child will sit SATs in Year 2 and Year 6.

    Year 2 SATs are fairly informal with a child having to sit two test papers in the classroom. These papers are on maths and reading. Additional assessments will also be carried out by the teacher on the subjects of listening, speaking, science and writing. These assessments will help to guide learning as the child progresses into Year 3 and the next Key Stage in learning.

    A child taking Year 6 SATs exams will sit six papers. These usually take place over the course of a week and are more formal than Year 2 SATs. Each paper usually takes around 45 minutes. Children will sit papers on English grammar, English reading, spelling, punctuation and maths. As in Year 2, the teacher will also carry out their own assessments in listening, speaking, science and writing.

    How do SATs results affect your choice of educational establishment?

    Parents will receive their child's Year 6 SATs results in July. This is usually when they also receive their end of year report. The results will state if they have reached or exceeded the national standard in that subject. So, once you have received the SATs results, does this have an impact upon your choice of educational establishment?

    The reality is that a child's SATs results will have very little impact, if any, on your choice of school. If you are wanting your child to have a place at a boarding or private school, then your child will usually have to sit an entrance exam set by the school or they made need to take the 11 Plus. SATs are used by a secondary school to assess a child's learning progress and to place them in the right stream or subject group. They will not look at SATs results during the secondary school placement process.

    To conclude, SATs exams test your child when they are in Year 2 and in the last year of primary school. SATs focus upon English and Maths, assessing the child in basic reading, writing, punctuation and grammar in English, and number, space, measurement and shapes in Maths. SATs do help schools to assess the progress of a child and these results are reflected in Ofsted results. However, SATs also help to find a child's strengths and weaknesses in a subject, helping to pinpoint any problems a child may be experiencing in a subject so that additional help can be given. They are also used in placing a child into the correct learning level or set when transitioning to secondary school.

    We hope that you now have a clearer understanding of SATs exams and how they will impact your child's learning and future education.

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  • Reusable water bottles given to all Rendcomb pupils as a gift from the Parents’ Association

    Published 17/01/20

    Rendcomb College, the independent co-educational school in Gloucestershire for children aged 3 to 18 is passionate about the environment. All pupils, staff and parents are very keen to help reduce waste and maximise sustainability wherever they can. Rendcomb’s Eco Committee quickly identified that the use of plastic bottles in school was an area of the College which could easily be improved upon, as a result, water bottles which used to be issued for trips and fixtures were phased out last term. Rendcomb College Parents’ Association then came up with the initiative to give every child at the school a reusable water bottle . 

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  • From NASA to Rendcomb - Mars Rover expert and former pupil to return for school’s 100th birthday

    Published 16/01/20

    Rendcomb College, the independent co-educational school in Gloucestershire for children aged 3 to 18 has today announced who their guest speaker will be for their 100th birthday celebrations in May this year.

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  • Should my child learn a musical instrument?

    Published 14/01/20

    There’s been a national upsurge in efforts to finance music lessons in public schools. It’s become apparent that lack of access to tuition and equipment was creating a significant void in education.

    However, providing students with diverse enrichment is something that independent schools have held firmly to for centuries! We have continued to offer excellent arts programmes, unaffected by political opinion, budget cuts or the current ‘flavour of the month’.

    Investment in musical instruments and coaching at Rendcomb College is certainly unfailingly high.

    This is not just to enhance the way music is taught in the classroom (though that is important, as this article will explore). Rendcomb College’s expansive music programme is also designed to provide students with music tuition and performance opportunities in their free time too.

    The advantages of this are numerous and the perfect answer to the question ‘Should my child learn a musical instrument?’.

    The effect of music on young minds

    There is a long list of benefits wrapped around the process of learning to read and play music. We will come back to those. First, let’s look at the effect music has on learning and relaxation in general.

    Numerous studies have shown that music has a calming, relaxing effect. Which is why music therapy is so important in many medical areas. It can positively affect mood, stimulate nostalgia and encourage involvement.

    For these reasons and more, every generation has its own music culture and preferences; an intrinsic part of their social life and ‘chill time’. Giving our students the opportunity to expand their musical horizons - and make their own music - can be an exciting adventure for them. Particularly as we don’t ignore their tastes or restrict them to classical genres!

    The hidden extras of learning a musical instrument

    The discipline and concentration required to play an instrument - or perfect a new melody - bring with them wide-ranging additional advantages. This includes improved memory and listening skills. Playing a musical instrument also develops hand to eye coordination and stimulates perseverance and a great sense of achievement.

    Of course, being part of a group of music makers increases social contact and confidence too, particularly when they get opportunities to perform in public. The sense of belonging and team spirit from being in an orchestra or band can be highly formulative. This is especially true for shyer young people, who can experience big steps forward if they perform with more confident peers.

    However, even as a solitary pursuit, practicing musical skills can be important. It can boost self-worth and the feeling of gaining mastery over their instrument of choice.

    The diversity of learning musical instruments

    One of the keys to success in stimulating a healthy interest in music – and the arts in general – is choice!

    Top private schools like Rendcomb College make sure that students can explore different music genres and instruments. We certainly do not expect all students to sit playing Frère Jacques with a recorder and call that a music lesson!

    Both in the classroom and in their free time, students have the chance to ‘play around’ with music and fully realise their own tastes and preferences, as well as studying the way music has shaped and reflected the society we live in.

    It’s important to note that musical tuition and practice outside the classroom is not mandatory! Rendcomb College provides an extensive range of extra-curriculum options for boarders. If they prefer to ride a horse, learn French or rock climb, that’s fine with us!

    Choosing a private school

    However, when you have such a rich and diverse arts programme at residential school, it becomes tempting to experiment and learn new skills. This is why so many of our pupils add musical prowess to the list of accomplishments.

    Having access to wonderful opportunities such as these is just one of the reasons some parents choose private schools. Every child should have access to the arts, without relying on political winds and school postcode lotteries!

    So, if you are wondering ‘should my child learn a musical instrument’, we believe the answer is loud (but melodious) YES! Especially if it is part of an extensive and inspiring arts programme at an independent boarding school.
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  • 10 ways to get the most out of an independent school

    Published 14/01/20

    One of the abiding myths attached to attending private day or boarding school is that it’s largely for gifted and academic young people.

    This is certainly not the case at Rendcomb College, which offers diverse and inclusive opportunities for all students to find their ‘best selves’. Each student is helped to reach their full potential not just in exams, but in life!

    The outdated elitist concept of private schooling is also linked to the over-emphasis on ‘league tables’. Are educational achievements higher in the state or independent sector? They are often equitable!

    In a nutshell, we offer young people a wealth of opportunities for personal enrichment, and a happy, stable learning environment. We grow hearts and minds, not just academic grades!

    Independent schools are autonomous seats of learning, with high calibre boards and management teams who make responsive decisions according to the needs of their current student population.

    Rendcomb College’s educational and care provision – including our attentive and nurturing staff – can be moulded to the needs of your son or daughter. They will never be pigeonholed or overlooked!

    Here are ten ways that students can gain the most from this highly fertile environment.

    Advance academically

    Individualised learning support can help students to expand their curriculum abilities. This is not just about achieving high grades. It’s about achieving better grades than they would reach, in a less personalised education setting. It's also about carrying learning with them rather than passing exams.

    It is often ‘average’ students who get most overlooked, but small class groups at private schools are one reason that this pitfall is avoided.

    Learn new skills

    An authentically rich education should include non-traditional topics as well as core subjects. Attending an independent school means having options to learn new skills, and freedom to explore new hobbies and interests.

    Take a look at our ever-growing list of extra curriculum activities to see some of the possibilities for students to expand their horizons.

    Develop an appreciation of the arts

    Many state schools are currently playing ‘catch-up’ after Arts funding cuts left them with serious deficits in education provision. Rendcomb College invests in Arts tuition, equipment and performance opportunities without fail. We understand how beneficial this is to stimulate young minds and imaginations.

    Use fabulous facilities

    Equally, investment in the physical learning environment at Rendcomb College continues without interruption or influence.

    Attending independent school means having all the equipment and materials you need readily available, alongside well-stocked libraries and advanced tech. Sports equipment and other items are constantly updated too.

    See the world!

    As a boarder or day pupil in private education, students have opportunities to see more of their world than in state schools. This is not just in terms of international trips, but the wonders of what is on their own doorstep!

    The perfect illustration is our Forest School trips, enabling students to get ‘up close and personal’ with the natural environment and explore the sustainability agenda.

    Grow a warm, inclusive social network

    This can be a big advantage of boarding school! You’re constantly around like-minded young people, with the facilities and support for communal fun.

    Forget all the tales of isolated teenagers glued to gadgets. You will have a long list of great things to do with your friends, in your free time.

    Additional academic support as standard

    Being around other people your own age in the evenings brings another important opportunity to grab hold of. It's amazing how much easier homework is with 'study-buddies' and general peer support.

    The encouragement of other students runs alongside the additional mentoring and teaching assistance provided by Rendcomb College staff outside the classroom.

    Map your own time

    Though other students and caring staff are always on hand, you can find plenty of time and space for solitude and private relaxation at Rendcomb College.

    Our residential accommodation is designed to give students dignity and privacy – especially the Senior House. Our extensive grounds also offer places for safe but quiet contemplation and relaxation.

    Freedom from negative distractions

    Many young people spend hours on social media or gaming out of boredom. They can also be tempted to engage in risk-taking behaviours to ‘fit in’.

    At independent school, you don’t have to fit in as your individualism is celebrated. However, you do have a massive range of positive things to do with your friends, outside the classroom.

    Safe exploration and experimentation

    Young people are naturally curious and look for new challenges. Sadly, its why so many bored and under-supported teenagers get into trouble.

    In independent schools, young people are provided with ample support to direct that curiosity – and ‘thrill-seeking’ – in the right direction.

    For example, the offer help with the Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme and other projects to stretch young people mentally and physically.

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  • 7 great places to live near Rendcomb College

    Published 14/01/20

    Rendcomb College’s reputation as a leading private day and boarding school is spreading far and wide. So, we are often approached by international and UK-based parents willing to move closer to our wonderful buildings and grounds.

    Some are keen that their son or daughter benefits from high calibre education and personal development but prefer that they attend independent school as a day pupil. Or, they are families seeking places to live in the Cotswolds to make weekend and holiday trips home easier for our boarders.

    Possibly, you may be considering moving to the Cotswolds anyway, and being close to a top-performing independent school is a happy additional benefit!

    Investing in Cotswold property makes sense

    Fortunately, this whole area is one of the best places to buy a home in England.

    This long-held view was cemented in a survey by the Halifax, announced in 2019. Their research into health, wellbeing, life expectancy, employment, crime rates and even the weather found that the Cotswolds scores highly across all measures!

    The area’s popularity as a place to live is being further enhanced by increasingly swift journey times to London, Bath, Bristol, Oxford or Birmingham for anyone who needs to commute while enjoying village life.

    The Cotswolds are scattered with pretty rural hamlets and unspoilt countryside, gently undulating hills and lush woodland. Yet, it does offer a reassuring degree of sophistication in its larger market towns, such as Cirencester and Tetbury, and in its proximity to Cheltenham, Gloucester and Stroud. This provides ample retail and cultural opportunities, as well as access to mainline transport.

    Choosing a location to be near to the Cotswold’s leading independent school largely pivots on what you most desire in a property to buy or rent.

    Here are seven great places to live near Rendcomb College.

    Bourton on Water

    This pretty village has been given the nickname ‘Venice of the Cotswolds’ due to its meandering waterways, low bridges and picturesque buildings.

    It is a popular place for holiday rentals too, as it is home to such tourist attractions as Cotswold Motor Museum, the Model Village and the fabulous Birdland.

    Burford

    This is another lovely location situated on the beautiful River Windrush. One of its distinctive features is a much-photographed medieval bridge across the river.

    The town is also blessed by stunning 17th and 18th-century buildings along its characterful streets, and Burford is considered one of the best antique hunting grounds in Central England!

    Cirencester

    Village life is not for everyone. You may be looking for a livelier place to live to in the Cotswolds to benefit from the area’s abundant beauty and proximity to superb private education!

    Cirencester is the ‘capital of the Cotswolds’ but still retains a wonderfully calm atmosphere as well as its own rich heritage. It was built where three Roman roads meet and is still a popular place to gather for shopping, café culture and leisure time in abundant green spaces such as the Cirencester and St. Michael's Parks, and the lovely Abbey Grounds.

    Coln St Aldwyns

    This is another thriving village that can be lively and welcoming, but also the perfect location for a quiet and peaceful way of life.

    As it boasts a wide range of highly sought-after properties in the Cotswolds, prices tend to be on the high side in and around Coln St Aldwyns.

    Painswick

    As with other locations in this list of places to live in the Cotswolds, Painswick has a nickname. It is known as ‘Queen of the Cotswold’, possibly due to the regal nature of its splendid properties and timeless beauty.

    Painswick is a popular place to put down roots for anyone who enjoys the great outdoors, as you are on the doorstep of some of the best rural walks in England.

    Rendcomb Village

    The rural area around our stunning, historic buildings and extensive grounds has much to commend it as an excellent place to buy property in the Cotswolds.

    Rendcomb village enjoys uninterrupted views of the area's breathtaking countryside, yet it is only 6 miles from Cirencester and 12 miles from Cheltenham.

    Tetbury

    As with many others in the list, Tetbury is one of the best places to buy second homes in the Cotswolds, if you want to be surrounded by like-minded property owners!

    Yet, it has still managed to retain a lovely community atmosphere, largely thanks to independent shops, eateries and pubs in the heart of the village. It is also a beautifully maintained and stunningly attractive place to put down roots.

    If you want to live – or buy a second home – amidst rolling hills, and the timeless flow of Cotswold village life, the office team at Rendcomb College would be delighted to assist you with further advice and support.

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  • What do private schools offer over government schools?

    Published 26/12/19
    A child’s education is vital to their future career, but also to moulding their character, confidence and life skills. Not surprisingly, choosing the right school for your son or daughter can be one of the biggest dilemmas parents face! For
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