Register to attend our next Open Event at Rendcomb College.
Register to attend our next Open Event at Rendcomb College.
The latest news from Rendcomb College
Register to attend our next Open Event at Rendcomb College.
In an unprecedented academic year, Rendcomb College are very proud of the class of 2020 and a strong set of results.
The upcoming celebrations of Rendcomb College's Centenary have had to be postponed due to the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Find out about the events that are planned at Rendcomb College, to celebrate our 100th birthday! The dates for these events will be rescheduled at later dates in 2020-21.
Rendcomb College have done it again!
The elegant regency town of Cheltenham is conveniently close to Rendcomb College. Our five Cheltenham heritage highlights show why families will love exploring the town, on visits to this leading independent school in the Cotswolds.
Are you already familiar with Cheltenham, nestled on the edge of the beautiful Cotswolds in England? If you have already heard of it, there’s a good chance it’s due to the town’s connection to the noble sport of horse racing. Especially the Gold Cup National Hunt Festival held annually in March, which attracts competitors and fans from around the Globe.
Did you also know that the town – often referred to as the ‘Western Gateway to the Cotswolds' - has a superb antecedence as a seat of learning? Something that sits nicely alongside the fact that it’s the nearest big town to Rendcomb College.
Being so close to Cheltenham provides our students with abundant cultural, sporting and leisure opportunities. However, it also gives visiting families an inviting place to stay, particularly if they enjoy quintessentially English locations and heritage experiences.
To tempt you to linger, here are just five fascinating historical facts about Cheltenham.
For such a peaceful and pretty market town, Cheltenham has a remarkably long and illustrious history.
The fact it’s surrounded by rich agricultural land made it the ideal place to hold a market. By the 18th century, it was also a fashionable place to stay for health purposes. The town’s official crest features three pigeons, the species of bird believed to have peaked away at local fields exposing salt crystals at a local spring. This discovery led to Cheltenham being classified as an English Spa town and attracted a visit from King George III to treat his ailments.
By 1850, Cheltenham had become the most prominent town in the county of Gloucestershire. Since then, its development has been closely nurtured and protected, to retain its heritage and beauty while adding modern features of interest and value.
One of the most recent developments in Cheltenham’s history is its connection to the world of espionage.
Post-world war I, it became the location for a secret surveillance centre called the Government Code and Cypher School (GC&CS) Now it’s widely known, and renamed GCHQ (Government Communications Headquarters). Due to the shape of this vitally important intelligence building, you will also hear it referred to as ‘The Doughnut’.
The golden era of development in Cheltenham was undoubtedly the Regency Era. This has left a wonderful architectural legacy for today’s visitors to our popular boarding school. Admire noble sweeping terraces, the lovely Neptune Fountain and the superb parks for parading in.
Why not follow in the footsteps of the town’s devoted early 19th century visitors by sampling medicinal waters at various Cheltenham sites. Especially the blue-domed Pittville Pump Room by the lakes of Pittville Park; the only source of natural alkaline water in England!
As Cheltenham has such a colourful heritage, it also offers a well-curated museum. In fact, ‘The Wilson’ is Gloucestershire’s best art collection and museum.
It’s named after Antarctic explorer Edward A. Wilson and houses a fascinating archive of material on this local man’s contributions to natural history and discovery geography. As well as his artistic endeavours.
Cheltenham is home to famous British people, including Zara Phillips (the Queen's eldest granddaughter) and her husband Mike Tindall.
However, it’s a fictional character that adds family appeal to visiting this lovely town. The stories of Alice in Wonderland and Alice Through the Looking Glass are believed to be based on Alice Liddell. She often visited her grandparents at Charlton Kings, which is a suburb of Cheltenham. She became acquainted with Charles Lutwidge Dodgson (author Lewis Carroll) in Oxford, but he visited her family in Cheltenham.
Cheltenham is clearly a lovely place to visit. If you time your stay right in 2021, you can join in with a myriad of festivals and events in the spa town, including ones dedicated to literacy, food and drink, jazz and music in general; as well as world-famous horse racing challenges of course.
Rendcomb College maximises on its glorious location to the benefit of its students. We also love hearing about family adventures when visiting the locality. If you need places to stay near Rendcomb College, we are happy to help with recommendations.
With over 60 entries in The Innovation & Entrepreneurial Thinking Challenge, our Rendcomb Business Studies team fought off some strong competition
Strengthening our commitment
A major advantage of going to boarding school in the UK is that it’s a great way to transition to university more smoothly. This is not just about gaining better grades with private education. It involves preparing for life at university, naturally.
The best way to prepare young people for university is to give them as many opportunities as possible to ‘self-manage’ the process themselves. After all, when the big day comes, they are largely on their own!
Transitioning to living and studying at university means becoming far more independent from parents, Undergraduates will also leave behind their existing support network, such as school friends. Added to that, life at uni entails seamlessly taking charge of your own study goals and methods. No more teachers watching over your shoulder!
There's been much written in recent times about mental health and Higher Education. How can university students enjoy good mental health? The key is to develop resilience, resourcefulness and strong interpersonal skills throughout the teenage years. This goes a long way towards being happy and having coping strategies that last a lifetime not just at university.
This all illustrates why spending formative years at boarding school is the best preparation for university.
This article explores this in more depth and shows why living in at a top independent school in the UK can enable Higher Education students to do better, and maximise on uni life.
Equipping young people with independence
Setting aside the superb level of teaching and academic support at boarding school, Rendcomb College students learn rich life skills too.
As previous blogs and articles have highlighted, many of our young people find their ‘best selves’ in the nurturing environment of an outstanding UK boarding school. They try new activities, develop strong social and communication acumen and fill their days with new interests and positive friendships. In other words, avoiding many of the negative aspects of being young in today’s society!
Instead of spending hours on electronic gadgets and social media, or complaining of boredom, they fill 'out of classroom' time at boarding school with sports, arts, crafts, drama, environmental work and a diverse range of other activities. They even learn to cook for themselves, especially in our sixth form house designed for independent living.
In fact, our former students go off to university already knowing the basics of ‘housework’, budgeting for the week and other tasks than could stump an ill-prepared 18-year-old!
Self managing life!
Much of what you learn at boarding school is hard to measure. It's not just independence in terms of being able to carry out daily tasks confidently. It’s a state of mind. Time spent as a boarder at an independent school proves that you can ‘stand on your own two feet’.
Yes, of course, skilled staff and caring Houseparents provide valuable support. However, studying away from home and all the wonderful experiences at boarding school ensure that new university students are more self-aware, confident and ready for anything.
This includes being ready to manage their own time, balancing academic goals with optimising enjoyable pastimes and interest-related clubs. They have learnt to make the most of every day at boarding school, without sacrificing excellent grades.
So of course, they continue that at university!
Which is why former boarding school pupils tend to be ambitious, high achievers, across a wide range of different measures, not just degree levels.
Boarding school and Higher Education entry requirements
Does boarding school prepare you for university better when it comes to academic levels?
This is another strong yes. Not just ensuring the ablest and most academically brilliant pupils achieve superb A-level results either.
Whatever your child’s ability level and final exam outcomes, boarding school nurtures their individuality and stretches their minds. This creates an excellent bridge to meeting university criteria.
Seeing the name of a leading UK Independent school on an application shows that this student has already gained self-managed study skills and hunger for knowledge. That’s because our sixth formers are provided with such a wonderful learning environment, and given space and support to become ‘master of their own destiny’.
That’s the sort of thing that universities want to see in students!
Smoothing transition to university or other paths
Attending a top boarding school is an excellent launchpad for university. The advantages of spending sixth form at Rendcomb College are numerous, including the quality of teaching and peer support.
However, we are all about the individual.
So, for some students, it may not be about the best way to prepare for University. Instead, enrolling at boarding school provides ample opportunity to find an alternative future pathway. One that still starts from properly nurtured independence, confidence and focused ambition.
Rendcomb College’s sporting activities are designed to capture the interest and enthusiasm of as many students as possible. They are also an ideal platform to take part in competitions at boarding school boarding school, for all ages and ability levels.
Involvement in competitive sports can be highly beneficial to children and young people. Especially age-appropriate games and races that match their own particular level of ability and preferred sport.
A young person’s self-worth and confidence grow with each personal or group success. They learn the value of perseverance, good discipline and investing time in training.
Competitive sports at a top boarding school also provides them with a chance to appreciate teamwork and team spirit. With their Rendcomb College peers, they enjoy a friendly rivalry with other independent schools in the south of England.
This, in turn, can lead to acceptance of defeat, or the thrill of competitive achievement. As well as an appreciation of ‘playing by the rules’.
Not that every student at Rendcomb College takes part in competitive sports. Some prefer to aim for personal bests in various physical pursuits while others channel their leisure time into more cerebral pastimes or one of the arts for example.
However, competitive sports at boarding school are a long-standing tradition and can provide wonderful memories for our alumni.
Sports at top boarding schools
As you might expect, the most popular sports in the UK feature in PE lessons and out of classroom activities at Rendcomb College. Our students love slotting into ability appropriate teams and benefiting from the superb coaching we offer.
However, one of the advantages of boarding school is access to coaching in sports that state schools often don’t cover. For example, basketball, clay pigeon shooting, rugby league variant ‘Touch’ and Lacrosse.
A sports genre with a larger number of teams at Rendcomb College is hockey. We have 17 age and gender groupings for general hockey and 10 teams for hockey sevens. All enjoying a packed programme of fixtures throughout the English summer and winter hockey seasons.
Below are some other competitive sports opportunities delivered by our leading UK independent school.
Cricket – As you would expect from a boarding school at the heart of the Cotswolds in rural England, cricket figures high on our sports choices.
We currently have 10 cricket teams, to create age and ability appropriate competitions. for both boys and girls of course.
Teams are helped to prepare for and attend fixtures throughout the cricket season, at our home ground and cricket pitches at other regional independent schools.
Rugby – Rendcomb College teams cover the whole spectrum including Rugby Sevens (two teams), Rugby Union (seven teams) and Touch (one team).
Competition between Rendcomb College and rival independent schools in the region is fierce. However, it is also the source of wonderful camaraderie between all players in all teams; as well as colourful anecdotes from former students!
The standard of rugby coaching and officiating at cross-school competitions is high.
Football – There are eight ‘soccer’ teams at Rendcomb College, providing a chance for both boys and girls to compete throughout the football season in the UK.
Football tends to be one of the many sports that often occurs ‘naturally’ in our extensive grounds too, as groups of friends gather for a ‘kick around’ during relaxation time.
Netball – Our four netball team are all provided with chances to take part in competitions with other independent schools. In common with other team sports, the older students enjoy a busy programme of challenging tournaments.
Clay Pigeon Shooting – This is one of the sporting activities only found at boarding school, generally. It's an activity anyone can try during their time with us, just for fun. However, our team take their training and competitions seriously, in pursuit of more items for our trophy cabinets.
Athletics – track and field events, including ever-popular cross-country competitions, are held throughout the year at Rendcomb College. We have a rich tradition for achievement in various athletic endeavours. It’s the perfect way for students to set goals for both competitions and personal bests (PBs).
The value of competitive sports at boarding school
Not all competitive sports opportunities at boarding school take place in our own well-designed sports hall and playing fields. For example, Rendcomb College supports the equestrian pursuits at external venues, enabling students to attend competitions of various kinds.
What is not so obvious in our promotion of competitive sports at boarding school, is the ‘spin-off’ benefits. We often find that students who are challenged within team sports become more readily accepting and open to vibrant learning environments and peer study support.
In other words, everyone is a winner, no matter what level or type of sports they get involved with!
The value of internet-based learning has never been more widely appreciated. Massive numbers of parents and students had to turn to digital teaching aids and credible education websites when the COVID-19 pandemic shut schools and colleges.
However, as there are now so many websites and apps geared towards mainstream curriculum subjects, it can be challenging to pinpoint the right digital learning tools. Students can unwittingly start to assimilate outdated or skewed information from sites that appear educationally relevant.
Rendcomb College has always promoted ‘self-managed’ studies alongside quality teaching. This includes signposting Juniors and Seniors to verified education tools online.
Having a list of boarding school approved education tools for Juniors can be particularly important. It helps to focus the attention of younger students on websites that teachers have thoroughly tested and found merit worthy.
Here are our five best education tools for younger students.
1 – Beanstack
This tool for Junior pupils supports their exploration of the wonderful world of literature. With Beanstack, you can join as a family or school, and it enables you to take part in digital reading events and challenges.
Children can be inspired to not only read age-appropriate books but also prepare book reviews that develop important literacy skills. Milestones and digital ‘badges’ spur them onwards.
Parent company Zoobean offers other sites that students can access via computers or smartphones too. This includes the Lerner Sports Database, which curates biographies of current and past athletes.
Stimulating independent reading via an app or website can support a lifelong love of books!
2 - Boddle Learning
Boddle Learning is a digital tool for mathematics that uses playful characters and adaptive techniques to engage students at all levels. It’s all about having fun while you learn and also building maths confidence and motivation, as well as an understanding of basic numeracy building blocks.
It has been proven to be a great way for children to fill in ‘gaps’ or to catch up with classroom topics, as well as a way for more able pupils to challenge themselves in maths.
3 - Adventure Academy
A great online learning tool to explore a wider range of topics, Adventure Academy uses highly attractive characters to help its young users to combine gaming fun with education.
Junior students can take part in interactive projects covering numeracy, literacy, science and social studies, as part of an online adventure.
You get to choose your own virtual ‘Player’ and design a home for them, as preparation for fun, educational quests.
4 - Code Monkey
Code Monkey is an online tool that teaches young students a new language. The language of computer code!
Taking part in fun interactive games, Juniors can pick up basic coding skills without even realising it. This is not just valuable for future software developers. Many of our young people will be using computer language as part of their future use of technology for many career paths.
Helping Rendcomb College pupils feel comfortable and confident with hardware and software, is part of our commitment to creating universal skills for boarding school students.
5 - Netflix educational shows
Netflix has become woven into everyday life in the UK and is much discussed. What is perhaps less appreciated, is how well it curates educational programmes, documentaries, and films.
The trick is to make sure that young children and pre-teens only have access to interesting and merit worthy viewing, rather than the more dubious aspects of Netflix's vast digital library!
The link above takes you to a diverse age-specific list of high-quality Netflix shows that can expand young minds, and underpin classroom learning.
More advantages of digital learning tools
Focusing your child’s attention on fun, interactive ways to learn online can be a great way to support their formal lessons. It’s also a great introduction into how to use their much-loved electronic gadgets for research and learning.
This will equip them well to either reach their exam goals or enrich their general understanding of the world and their individual interests.
Using the best online tools for Juniors also prepares them for independent studies in later years, including a smooth transition from boarding school to university!
For now, knowing which websites help young minds to develop can simply be about providing fun educational activities with less friction for parents to cope with.
We are looking forward to welcoming the first students back to school on Tuesday, 2 June. In making the decision to re-open we have undertaken the following steps: