Rendcomb College is the Cotswolds' leading independent school, welcoming students on a day and boarding basis, with a particularly impressive offering for Sixth Form students.
From its unique opportunity to learn how to live independently, to the valuable life skills pupils can acquire alongside their academic subjects, SoGlos rounds up just some of the reasons to consider studying at the prestigious college.
State-of-the-art Sixth Form Centre
Rendcomb College's impressive Sixth Form Centre opened in 2020, after it transformed its Grade II listed Old Rectory into a state-of-the-art learning environment for Sixth Form students.
Providing students with a beautiful blend of original features, like cosy chairs next to fireplaces and sympathetically restored architectural features, it's also full of modern comforts like a fully-equipped kitchen with coffee machine; a boardroom; modern study areas; a games room; and more, providing a dedicated, grown-up space for Rendcomb's oldest students.
Sixth Form can feel like the gateway to adulthood, so while academic performance is crucial for those wanting to go onto university, Rendcomb College also understands that there are lots of other valuable life skills that can benefit pupils long after they've finished full-time education — with leadership skills being one of the most important.
Rendcomb's Sixth Formers have the opportunity to act as leaders in a variety of situations, from applying to become a prefect to sitting on school committees like the School Council, as well as taking part in its in-house leadership programme which covers rights and responsibilities; communication; accountability; decision making; the Myers Briggs personality profiling tool; and themes of living as an adult.
The mental health and wellbeing benefits of spending time in nature are well-documented, so Rendcomb College is ideally placed within a stunning 230-acre parkland campus set in the heart of the Cotswolds countryside.
Its verdant surroundings provide lots of opportunities to unwind in nature, while the local village of Rendcomb has plenty of amenities, including the newly-opened Rendcomb Post Office and Stores selling locally-sourced goods as well as coffee and cakes, providing a cosy place to grab a brew and study off-campus. The bustling towns of Cirencester and Cheltenham are just a short bus journey away, too.
Unique independent living experience
Sixth Formers boarding at Rendcomb College have a unique opportunity to get a taste of independent living before going it alone with its independent living week. While boarders usually get breakfast, lunch and dinner included, they get two opportunities to spend a week living in its Garden House, where they'll have a budget per head to buy their own breakfast and dinner provisions — and will be responsible for doing their own cooking, cleaning and laundry. They'll even get to host a dinner party for a member of staff on one of the evenings, too!
This experience gives them the chance to practice essential life skills like shopping, cooking, cleaning and budgeting to prepare them for living independently. Rendcomb College also hosts Moving On Week, where pupils learn additional skills like personal safety techniques, as well as taking part in a community project and networking with local businesses, to help them really get to grips with the world outside of school.
Exciting co-curricular activities
From staging plays and musicals in its impressive Performing Arts Centre; mastering musical instruments from classical piano to electric guitar; to playing sports like lacrosse, tennis, hockey, rugby and cricket, Rendomb's diverse co-curricular programme lets pupils explore their own personal passions while they study, with a huge range of options to choose from.
Sixth Formers can also take part in the Duke of Edinburgh's Gold Award, embarking on expeditions to the Black Mountains, Dartmoor and Exmoor to really push themselves out of their comfort zone and learn valuable new skills, as well as getting to visit a royal palace and meet a member of the Royal Family to receive their Gold Award.
Rendcomb Sixth Formers develop a strong, tight-knit community where they can learn and thrive together both inside and outside of the classroom. For boarders, living together with classmates means there are always opportunities to bounce ideas off each other, talk through problems, revise together and support each other, in a way that's not always possible when living at home with parents. While day pupils and boarders being fully integrated throughout the wider school means everyone supports and looks out for each other, regardless of whether they stay on-site or head home at the end of the school day.
Sixth Formers also buddy up with a Year 7 student, acting as a mentor and role model to help them integrate into school life. Many Rendcomb students say that their peers become like family and they end up forming lifelong friendships with the people they study alongside — with the college's homely feel and empathetic pastoral care adding to this home-from-home environment.
Oxbridge preparation programme
Over half of Rendcomb College's pupils go on to study at prestigious Russell Group universities — and academically-minded Sixth Formers who aspire to study at Oxford and Cambridge in particular benefit from specialist support to help them secure a place at one of these exclusive UK universities.
After being identified early in Year 12, candidates are allocated a subject mentor in their specialist area to help them extend and challenge their skills, as well as receiving support via the Morgan Group. They'll also have the opportunity to visit Oxford to get an insight into the university; take part in a mock interview with an outside expert; and receive full support throughout the applications process from their mentor and the head of Sixth Form.
Similarly to aspiring Oxbridge applicants, students looking to pursue a career in medicine or veterinary science also receive specialist support through the MedVet Society.
Students can explore and discuss hot topics in the NHS, ethics and the role of media in medical communication as part of the society; as well as taking part in mock interviews; and preparing for BMAT/UKCAT entrance tests and UCAS applications.
Providing its Sixth Form students with a well-rounded and culturally diverse experience, Rendcomb College's enrichment programme sees guest speakers visit the college to share their skills and experiences, to present pupils with intellectual and cultural challenges outside of their familiar academic disciplines. Recent speakers have included the likes of the director of the National Film and Television School and former BAFTA chair, Nik Powell; professional golfer John Hoskison; endurance adventurer Sean Conway; and author Diana Darke, who spoke about the Syrian revolution.
Celebrating its community of international students, Rendcomb College also hosts an International Celebration Day where pupils from overseas put on displays; wear traditional dress; and share food, customs and entertainment from their home countries, with the latest event featuring around 20 different countries. Students also get to celebrate international holidays from home, such as Thanksgiving and Chinese New Year, too.