After Rendcomb College welcomed students back to the school post-lockdown, its Sixth Formers are finally getting the chance to settle into their impressive new Sixth Form Centre.
SoGlos spoke to two Rendcomb College Sixth Formers to see how they’re getting back into the school routine, what life is like at Rendcomb – and to get their thoughts on their new place to study.
Molly and Ellie are both Sixth Form students at Rendcomb College near Cirencester – a prestigious co-educational independent school welcoming Sixth Formers on a day and boarding basis, with the option of occasional and flexi boarding too.
Ellie has been at Rendcomb since nursery, her favourite subject is history and she’s a member of the U19 National England Lacrosse Academy. Molly joined the Sixth Form in September 2020, loves to study French and counts her GCSE results as her proudest achievement so far.
For more information, visit rendcombcollege.org.uk.
Molly: I normally wake up at about 6.45am, occasionally at 6am to run, and then have breakfast. I then get ready, pack my bag and set off to school at 7.45am arriving for about 8am. I then spend some time at the Sixth Form centre, chatting and maybe getting more breakfast before tutor starts at 8.15am. My first lesson starts at 8.30am.
Ellie: I set my alarm for 6.15am every morning and the first thing I do is get my phone and AirPods and play music (probably too loudly) this wakes me up and gets me motivated for the day. Next, I go downstairs to eat breakfast with my brother then after that I head back upstairs and get ready for school, this involves getting dressed, packing bags, tidying my room slightly etc.
We usually leave the house between 7.30am and 7.40am because I like to be in school nice and early. When I arrive at school I like to get my books ready for the day and put all my bags where they need to be so I can essentially sort myself out before school starts. I then wait for people to arrive and I love greeting people as they do and chatting as well, like having mini catch ups. Then it gets to 8.10am and it’s time to go to tutor and so school officially starts.
Ellie: Challenging, interesting and enjoyable lessons, relaxing and chill break times, study periods where you can take a break but also carry on working hard, a lovely long lunch time where we can all enjoy the food and sit on one table and just chat and laugh.
Most days have sport, which I find amazing as it is such a good release for any stress and time to just forget about schoolwork and exams and things like that. Some form of after school activity whether that is an actual activity such as choir, play, lacrosse, football or enrichment or just chilling in Old Rec socialising with your classmates or working quietly.
Molly: My timetable can vary greatly at Rendcomb and we have many extra activities throughout the week, such as community links and C3, to keep the days interesting.
Typically, however, I will have three to four classes and about one to two supervised study periods. Mondays and Wednesdays are always enjoyable as we have two hours of games in the afternoons, a great way to unwind after a morning of classes. The day ends between 4pm and 5pm, depending on whether or not you have an activity in the last hour.
Molly: I have always loved running as a way to improve both my mental and physical health; I run about four to five times a week and am a member of Cirencester Athletics club. I also do yoga classes once a week to improve flexibility. In terms of school sports, I enjoyed hockey and lacrosse last term and we’ve just started tennis, which I’m really looking forward to playing.
I recently stopped doing piano lessons, having completed Grade 6 last summer, and now play just for enjoyment and to relax. During lockdown last year, I started reading as a hobby and now do that before bed every night.
Ellie: I go to Cirencester Lacrosse Club on Monday 7pm to 8pm, play matches on Sunday and am a member of the U19 National Academy Lacrosse; I take clarinet lessons and play in clarinet ensemble every Tuesday; I’m part of chamber choir on Thursday; I act as stage manager whenever there is a play on and I am currently stage managing an A Level drama students piece and the lower school play of Skellig; I take part in the athlete development programme on Fridays; and play tennis for the school on Saturdays.
Molly: I was definitely pleased to be back at school when it reopened due to the social aspect and the welcome separation between school and home life. It was great to be back to in-person lessons, particularly French and English, where communication is vital for an enjoyable lesson.
However, I did find aspects of the transition back quite stressful. For example, there was a lot more time to focus on academics during online school as we weren’t doing the extra activities we would normally do at school. This meant the weekends were often completely free from work which was very enjoyable.
Despite this, I believe the variety of the school is very important for staying motivated so I am very happy to be back.
Ellie: Settling back into the actual school routine compared to the online school routine hasn’t been really easy, but it also hasn’t been super hard and in the end we all helped each other and the teachers made it a lot easier for us too.
The biggest differences would have to be the shift from home clothes to uniform, what time you would wake up and go to bed, how much energy you would need to put in as online school, in my opinion, is much less tiring than being back at school.
Nevertheless, I am extremely happy to be back at school. I am very much someone who loves being constantly surrounded by people and I am also very sociable and sporty so being back at school was such an exciting thing for me and something I now will never take for granted.
Ellie: The new Sixth Form Centre is gorgeous. Very open and clean and welcoming, a perfect working environment. It isn’t too hot or cold and has the right amount of comfort and homeliness to it as well as being a place for learning, focusing and challenging yourself. All the facilities I very much appreciate especially the kitchen and the quiet music room and pool room upstairs.
Molly: When I was given a tour of the centre whilst considering which Sixth Form to apply for, I was instantly impressed and it really attracted me toward Rendcomb. It feels very comfortable and relaxed and has a great atmosphere for studying and socialising.
There is a lovely kitchen and sitting room where we can spend break and lunchtime. Upstairs in the Sixth Form centre, there are smaller rooms, like the music room and games room, where you can go with friends to chat more privately and detach a bit as well.
Ellie: I have been at Rendcomb since nursery and then I left for a year in Year 3 to go and live abroad for a year in Singapore. Then I came back and re-joined in Year 4 and have carried on here ever since.
When I came back from Singapore, my parents gave me the option to go to a different school, and again when starting senior school, GCSEs and A levels – I was also always given the option to look at other schools and potentially move, but I never wanted to.
Rendcomb is like my second home and I think offers one of the most amazing and beneficial educational journeys that a child could ask for, as well as a community and family that will stick with you for life.
Rendcomb focuses on the whole student. As well as preparing its pupils to pass exams, get good grades and make the most of school life, I think that Rendcomb prepares its students for life which I believe many other schools fail to do.
Molly: I joined Rendcomb at the start of Sixth Form in September. The setting of Rendcomb was a big reason for wanting to go there and I feel so lucky to be at such a beautiful place every day. I particularly love my English classroom that looks over the front lawn.
At an open evening I attended last year, I talked to many of the teachers and they were all so passionate about their subjects and seemed like they would take an interest in every student. This has certainly been the case due to the small class sizes at Rendcomb.
I instantly loved the atmosphere there and left the open evening excited about the prospect of joining the school.
Molly: My favourite thing about Rendcomb is simply the community feeling here; students and teachers alike are so friendly and I have felt very welcome here since starting. If I ever have an issue or am just having a difficult day, there are always people to talk to.
Ellie: My favourite things about studying at Rendcomb are the campus and how lucky we are to have such a beautiful place to learn and grow as people; the teachers who will always go the extra mile to help you in any way they can; and the general family feel of Rendcomb which I strongly believe is so unbelievably special – and something that I know Rendcomb cherishes as it is probably the only school in the entire world that also feels like a family and a home.
For more information about Rendcomb College, visit rendcombcollege.org.uk.
Monday 24 May 2021
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