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Do Boarding Schools Follow the National Curriculum?

Throughout schools in the UK, there’s a core set of subjects that are taught to pupils throughout the years. From Numeracy and Literacy for younger years to more challenging and in-depth areas such as Science, Religious Studies and History for junior and senior years to carry pupils through to their GCSEs and A Levels or BTEC qualifications, followed by their adult careers. Much of this framework revolves around the National Curriculum which was first introduced in England by the Education Reform Act 1988. It sets out a comprehensive programme for all four key stages and maths was introduced for all year groups in September 2016. 

Are boarding schools obliged to follow the National Curriculum?

Unlike state schools and colleges, independent schools do not by law need to teach the National Curriculum. They do, however, have a responsibility to ensure that standards of education and welfare are being met - which is monitored and inspected by officials. Although private schools aren’t legally required to follow the National Curriculum they do need to ensure that a high standard of education and care is on offer, and if it’s not the school will be directed to adjust to a more acceptable curriculum.

What Curriculum do private schools follow? 

On the whole, the National Curriculum or something similar is rolled out across independent schools across the country. Many, including Rendcomb College, choose to follow the National Curriculum but are allowed to tweak it in their own bespoke way to offer a tailor-made level of education for its pupils. For example, some secondary schools and colleges that have more of a focus on performing arts, will delve deeper into areas such as drama, music and dance and are renowned for specialising in these areas. An independent school, therefore, has more freedom to deliver education in a way to benefit its pupils and aims for success in exams. A number of schools also offer the option of taking an international GCSE (an IGCSE) to offer a wider choice of subjects. Private schools also have a greater opportunity to provide more specialist teaching for sixth-form students and can provide alternative subjects that will appeal to pupils looking to invest their future in a certain career industry. With that said, our value-added learning provides great opportunities to explore their passions and hobbies with extra-curricular activities as well. 

How does Rendcomb tailor its Curriculum?

At Rendcomb College we aim to offer a broad and varied programme in keeping with common educational Curriculum to encourage an all-round education. From Nursery and Reception where we deliver the Government’s seven areas of learning as well as fun french and outdoor activities, to Year 1 and 2 where small class sizes are taught subjects from the National Curriculum which is used as a framework. We always like to add value especially at a young age and introduce after-school activities such as Music and PE delivered by our specialist teachers. 

Following this, Year 3 to 6 get to prosper in our leading facilities such as the Science Laboratory, Computing Suite and Art and Design Technology Studio whilst following a balanced curriculum from English Language to History and Geography. Our seamless transition from junior school to senior school and sixth-form prepares pupils for GCSEs, A Levels and BTECs where we provide high-quality teachers who ensure that our Curriculum is challenging and diverse. 

As for international students who enrol with us after a fulfilling time at an international school, we offer a number of bespoke courses including a two-year GCSE programme where ten subject examinations will be carried out, as well as a one-year GCSE programme which dovetails into a number of European education systems. There is also a two-year A Level Programme and English as an Additional Language (EAL) course as well. 

Throughout a child’s and young adult’s time at Rendcomb College we believe that our delivery of the Curriculum prepares students for life after independent school and a successful future ahead thanks to our forward-thinking, dynamic and in-depth subjects on offer. 

To find out more about what’s on offer for boarders at Rendcomb College, look at our dedicated page.