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The latest news from Rendcomb College
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Find out all about the events going on at Rendcomb College to celebrate our 100th birthday!
Librarian Mr Corkett selects his top 5 romantic reads this St. Valentine's Day.
Matching the best school to your child's specific needs, wants and goals can be complex. Rendcomb College offers ongoing communication, collaboration and transparency, leading to peace of mind.
The pros and cons of choosing a school for your child can differ from family to family.
For example, the list of awards and accolades held by Rendcomb College could pale into insignificance for a potential student who simply wants somewhere they ‘fit in’.
However, all parents want the best education for their son or daughter, and an environment in which they are safe, well cared for and properly supported in developing life skills.
So, how do you know that you’ve found the right school? Are there ways to evaluate an independent boarding school – especially Rendcomb College – before signing on the dotted line?
Of course, reassurance that you have made the right education choice is needed well beyond enrolment day! Rendcomb College parents are naturally keen to receive regular information to help them assess their child’s level of enjoyment and engagement.
Let us look at some of the ways Rendcomb College informs, enlightens and inspires parents, and communicates effectively day after day.
Online research into top private schools
For many parents and young people, the first step to finding the right independent school is internet research.
It is why Rendcomb College keeps its website constantly refreshed and packed with news about both academic and non-academic life at this leading day and boarding school. This digital information will always include the sort of insights parents need, and answers to the most common questions. Such as, ‘How do I know Rendcomb College is right for my child?”
Matching your child to the best independent school
If the answers you need are not online, then you can be sure they will come from one-to-one direct contact.
The help given to parents who are weighing up private schools is extensive and highly individualised. Questions and requests for additional information are always dealt with swiftly and thoroughly. This includes email exchanges and telephone conversations. Our approachable and friendly team are adept and empathetic when parents seek reassurances of a personal nature.
To support this process of communication and transparency, Rendcomb College also arranges open days and private tours. These enable families to get ‘up close’ to its teaching and pastoral staff; and also the school’s purpose-designed features, modern equipment, stunning environment and palpable ambience.
See for yourself! Ongoing accountability and information.
This level of detailed and personalised interaction with parents is not concentrated purely on your initial decision making. It is all part of Rendcomb College’s ethos of working closely with parents – and other guardians of course.
Your child will benefit from the regular parent-teacher contact you would expect from a superlative independent school. Regular reporting will include both written reports and parent/teacher meetings, though our staff are contactable all through term times.
Rendcomb College offers a very ‘person-centred’ approach to education and care. If each child is to get the best experience and education from their time with us, then ‘joined-up thinking’ and collaborative care are vital. Two-way communication with parents is the core principle of this.
By the way, not all the liaison and social contact between Rendcomb College is focused on moulding education provision around the needs and aspirations of your child. We think its important to have fun times at boarding school, and that includes you!
It is why we have concerts, sports fixtures and events that include our students’ families. We make great memories of school days, not just strong minds.
Independent school reviews from parents and children
There are aspects of a Rendcomb College school experience that are impossible, to sum up adequately online or even during a visit to our lovely premises. The best people to reassure you of our caring and nurturing environment, are the parents and students who have already benefited.
So, should you wish to speak to a alumni, or a parent, then please let us know.
We are confident that their testimony – added to all the other highly individualised information we provide - will help you make this important decision in an informed and contented manner.
No one knows your child better than you do. So get in touch to set up a private and confidential chat and we can plan the best way to answer any and all your questions and concerns.
It is not always an easy decision to board your child at a private school. However, in some respects, it is hardest for parents. Also, there is strong evidence that boarding school can sometimes bring you closer together emotionally.
They say absence makes the heart grow fonder but could sending your children to a private residential school make your parent-child bond even stronger?
This flies in the face of the conventional myth that ‘sending children away to school’ puts your relationship with them at risk. This is the source of many concerns for parents, who struggle with the concept of being away from their son or daughter for days on end.
If you need to work or travel, are your motives for considering boarding school entirely altruistic? It can leave you with a sense of guilt.
Ironically, there is a strong possibility that this anxiety is only flowing from you.
Keeping your child in the loop
The starting point of making the whole experience positive is, of course, involving your son or daughter in the initial decision. When provided them with all the relevant information – and a chance to tour a top independent boarding school - many young people become intrigued and excited by the opportunities presented to them.
Strengthening the ties that bind
Being given the chance to make an informed choice about private education, by supportive parents, can start the whole process off on a great footing.
Then, when they do take up their place at Rendcomb College, your son or daughter will quickly see the ways in which our school community reinforces and extends their family links. This includes regular visits home at weekends as well as during school holidays.
Family also come into the school for events, concerts, sports fixtures and a host of other social contact activities.
Our experience is, that when children and young people do have family visits or home time, many are bubbling with news. Or they are content to ‘chill’ with mum and dad after some time spent apart. Which can make the relationship between parent and child stronger and calmer.
Do children at residential independent schools get homesick?
Students go through a range of emotions, just as any child or teenager would, and yes that can include bouts of missing family. Rendcomb College’s professional Houseparent team are alert to any boarder with the blues, for any reason, including offering support when they need some extra parent contact.
Again, long experience suggests these issues are fleeting and students are quickly back to being happy and content at boarding school. They are often highly aware of how lucky there are to have parents who readily agree to them experiencing the advantages of a private education.
If a student ever did experience any form of long term distress or resentment about being away from home, we would contact parents immediately to discuss robust solutions. Fortunately, this is extremely rare!
The ‘joys’ of parenting adolescents
Truth be told, having older children at a private boarding school can take some of the tension away from parenting adolescents. There are so many temptations and distractions for pre-teens and teenagers in modern society, including over-reliance on electrical gadgets and social media, and of course the terrible spectre of substance misuse.
How many battles over time, priorities and unsavoury activities could be settled, if the young person is being kept occupied and fulfilled at boarding school? They have fabulous friendship circles around them all day, negating the need for roaming around or mixing with the ‘wrong crowd’.
Parents can breathe a huge sigh of relief knowing that their child is safe, busy and provided with abundant leisure and fun activities with like-minded peers.
Many ways to keep in touch
Keep in mind too, that life at a modern boarding school does afford young people and children plenty of opportunities to keep in close contact with family and friends on a daily basis.
The caring staff at Rendcomb College make relevant technology available and provide ample time for video calling and other family communications.
Now ask yourself this. Which would you prefer: a surly early teen sitting on the sofa complaining they are bored; or an animated early teen Skype calling you to tell you about their horse riding, rock climbing or Science Club exploits?
For many children and young people, having a nurturing school life that includes tailor-made learning and leisure support puts them in control of their ‘world’. It is a way to learn independence and self-sufficiency; the sort of life skills that make confident and strong adults.
Parents are provided with various ways to update themselves on their son or daughter’s accomplishments and progress, so they feel connected no matter where they are in the world. This includes not just the tradition parent-teacher liaison, but also a continuous stream of updates and chances to ask questions.
There is another way you can help your child enjoy boarding school and reap maximum benefit, at the same time as strengthening your bond with them. Care packages, letters and emails.
Our school community universally and unequivocally love receiving messages, news and ‘goodies’ from home. It is another great reminder of how much they are loved, and how much they belong to their actual family as well as their school ‘family’.
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).
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.
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.
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 is 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.
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.
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.
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 .
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.