Rendcomb College is one of the Cotswolds' leading independent schools — and it prides itself on encouraging students and staff to embody its three virtues of being thoughtful, adventurous and ambitious.
SoGlos chats to Year 7 students, Lara and Zara, about what life is like at Rendcomb; how the new school year is going; and how the school encourages them to embrace these virtues every day.
Tell us a bit about yourselves. What are your favourite subjects?
Lara: Biology is my favourite subject so far! I joined in Year 4 — the same time as Zara — and I really like it. I’ve made lots of friends.
Zara: Physics is my favourite subject so far, I’m enjoying having extra science classes compared to junior school. I remember joining in Year 4 with Lara, we came from the same school before!
We had a nice group of friends by the time we went into Year 5. It was hard to get to know people at first, but then we became better friends with each other and made new friends. We played outside and rolled down the hills a lot!
What does a typical day at Rendcomb College involve for you?
Zara: Normally we have a science class and a maths or English class. We have our breaks which are long and quite fun! Well, not too long, but they feel long even though they’re only half an hour.
Then we normally have
games in the afternoon. I’m really excited to start lacrosse. We’re doing hockey right now as our main sport and football as our second. I’m
looking forward to tennis too. We will also get to try netball and cricket this
Lara: I enjoy playing table football when we are on break, but the boys hog it! I get to see my friends in the riding stables a lot, we walk around campus a lot for classes so we cross paths and then I see them at breaks. I get to see them even more if we share some classes.
We’ve made even more friends since starting Year 7 as the classes are bigger. It’s been nice meeting new people.
What is your favourite part of the school day?
Lara: Lunch is my favourite part! Then biology, then carousel. In carousel you can choose food and nutrition or music which is fun. The trumpet is my favourite instrument so far.
Zara: After lunch, carousel is my favourite, too. I like to play the clarinet in music, I find it a really fun instrument. I also like physics and maths classes.
Rendcomb College encourages pupils to be thoughtful, adventurous and ambitious — what do these qualities mean to you?
Lara: All or most of Rendcomb pupils use the three virtues because
they are really important. They guide you to help yourself and others.
Zara: They are useful in a lot of different settings. In all lessons you have to be creative, even in maths you may think creatively with your answer. They are important qualities for learning new skills, sometimes you don’t even realise you’re using the virtues throughout your day until you look back.
Would you describe yourselves as thoughtful, adventurous and ambitious?
Lara: I would describe myself as all three, but more
adventurous. I got a sportswoman award last year which shows my
adventurous quality. The logo for the virtues has all three overlapping in the
middle, which reminds me you use all three qualities, even if you don’t
Zara: I am mainly ambitious, but I would also describe myself as all three. I received a maths award last year, as well as the ambitious award. I think it was because I always try extra hard in my classes. I try and get onto the extension work and push myself.
Can you tell us about a time when you’ve felt encouraged to be thoughtful at school?
Lara: When someone else is sad or not feeling like they
are using the three virtues, you can be sympathetic and help them.
Lots of people helped me in class with setting up my computer, which was thoughtful and very helpful.
Zara: In senior school they encourage you to help others when you are finished with your work, which is quite good. But you’re also meant to help others to learn how to do things themselves, so in the future they have the skills do to it by themselves.
How have you been encouraged to be adventurous at school?
Lara: In junior school we went down to the river on the
school grounds, which was really fun and adventurous! Some people didn’t want to
go in because they don’t like the fish, but in the end most people did.
Zara: I don’t like fish so I didn’t want to get in the river! But eventually I did go in, which I felt quite proud about. I felt I had been brave — and I realised once I was in, I would have a good time, so it was worth risk.
What are you hoping to achieve in the next school year?
Lara: I would like to do hockey and all the sports without injuring myself! For context, I broke my arm cycling in the holidays and I don’t want to injure myself again because I miss getting to play sports!
And I would like to get good effort scores. I want to be proud of myself
at the end of the year.
Zara: I want to make sure I try my best in all my lessons, even the ones I’m not very good at, like art. I just want to come out at the end of Year 7 with something I’m happy with. I want to be proud of myself at the end of the year, too.
How does Rendcomb College help you work towards your ambitions?
Lara: It teaches us new things we didn’t know
before and helps us understand things we struggle with.
Zara: It gives us opportunities to try new things and teaches us how to help ourselves with our school work, such as learning how to find the answers ourselves when we are stuck. You need some support but you also need to learn how to help yourself, which they teach you how to do. I also love the range of clubs the school offers!
Both: Ms O’Donovan is a really nice teacher and is really helpful. She isn’t overly strict but everyone respects her. She’s really kind and lets you have fun, but she also makes sure you are doing your work correctly.
She’s one of the reasons we like biology and physics. Miss Bell is also really nice, she’s a great games teacher! Both teachers help us towards our ambitions.