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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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  • Introducing our new Sixth Form Centre opening January 2020

    Published 18/12/19
    It’s an exciting year for Rendcomb College in 2020, as we celebrate 100 years as a leading independent school. How wonderfully fitting it is that we will start this milestone year with the official opening of our new sixth form centre! It
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  • How technology is helping students at Rendcomb College

    Published 16/12/19
    Technology provides children and young people with invaluable tools and aids to support traditional methods of learning. By offering a broad spectrum of these options – including the latest software to support education – Rendcomb Co
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  • Junior School Christmas Party

    Published 13/12/19

    The Junior pupils at Rendcomb College thoroughly enjoyed their Christmas Party, with so many fun group activities and challenges to take part in. Thank you to the RCPA (Rendcomb College Parents Association) for organising and running such a brilliant party. The pupils really loved walking up to our forest to meet Father Christmas in his woodland grotto. 

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  • Martin Brown, Horrible Histories illustrator writes a special poem for Rendcomb‚Äôs Year 4 class

    Published 11/12/19

    Junior pupils at Rendcomb College were lucky enough to go and see Martin Brown at the Cheltenham Literature Festival. Martin Brown is the illustrator of the hugely successful Horrible Histories series, which have sold over twenty-five million copies worldwide. The pupils went to find out more about Lesser Spotted Animals, the first book he has both written and illustrated.

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  • Merry Christmas from all at Rendcomb College

    Published 09/12/19

    See below our festive e-card for 2019.

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  • The Otters and Nursery perform their Nativity

    Published 09/12/19

    The Otters and Nursery performed their fantastic 'Higgledy Piggledy' Nativity in the Griffin Theatre. This was the first time that they had performed their Nativity in the theatre. All the pupils performed beautifully on the stage in front of all their parents, grandparents and friends. Mr Roberts, the Junior School Headmaster joined the children on stage, dressed as a giraffe for the last song! 

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  • When is the best time to start at a private school?

    Published 04/12/19

     

     

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  • Keeping older students occupied and happy

    Published 04/12/19
    What have horses, the Ukulele and foraging for food in a forest got in common? They are all examples of the busy programme of activities at this leading independent school! The list of things that our students do in their free time keeps expanding
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