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Frequently Asked Questions

General School Day & Structure

What is the structure of the week in the Senior School?  

The academic school day runs from 8.15am when pupils meet their tutors until 5.15pm when buses leave. Before heading to their tutors pupils will drop their things in House.  All pupils are attached to one of our four houses, depending on age (See Pastoral Structure below for more information on the Houses).  After the school day finishes, day pupils can stay until 6pm to complete their homework or they can stay later (dinner costs £2.75) to enjoy the evening activities.  We do not have lessons on Saturday morning but do run fixtures and a boarding programme for those not involved in sport so the day usually finished by Noon for those involved.

What is the pastoral care structure?  

Every pupil has a dedicated tutor who they see every morning of the week. All pupils are also part of a House. Day pupils and boarders are in the same house under the pastoral guidance of their Houseparents and a team of tutors. The Houses are organised on a horizontal structure as follows: Godman Co-educational for pupils in Year 7-9, Stable Girls in Years 10-11, Lawn Boys in Years 10-11, Park Co-educational in Year 12-13 (The 6th Form also have a dedicated 6th Form Centre for the working day.)

In addition, we have a Head of each Key Stage who oversees academic progress and our Pastoral Deputy Head who works closely with the Houseparents, Medical Centre and Head of PSHE to ensure that the pupils pastoral needs are met. 

All new pupils will be given a buddy to help them settle into school life and who will show them how things work.  In addition all Year 7 pupils are given a Year 13 mentor who they meet with regularly and who help them settle into life in a busy senior school.  To improve their well-being pupils also have the chance to study Mindfulness and in the 6th Form become trained in Mental Health First Aid.  


What does the Curriculum look like for Year 7-9? 

Pupils in KS3 follow a broad and balanced curriculum, including the full range of academic subjects. This provides the opportunity to develop a wide range of knowledge and skills keeping doors before focusing interest on GCSE choices in Years 10-11. Pupils study all the subjects listed below, with the exception of the languages, where they are able to select two of our three languages on offer (French, German and Spanish) and may continue with these to GCSE:

  • Art & Design
  • Computing
  • Design Technology
  • Drama
  • English Language
  • English Literature
  • French
  • Games
  • Geography
  • German
  • History
  • Mathematics
  • Music
  • Personal, Social & Health Education
  • Physical Education
  • Religious Studies
  • Spanish

Every pupil has a member of staff who acts as their tutor and they meet with their tutor and tutor group every morning for 15 minutes and once a week for PSHEE. The form tutor is the first person that students turn to for academic and/or pastoral support and is the first port of call for parents too. Parents and pupils will get the chance to meet tutors at the welcome event before the start of term in September.  Houseparents and house tutors also have a significant pastoral role to perform and they are likely to be the first point of contact for boarders and their parents.

Year 7 students are set one piece of prep per night, which should not take longer than half an hour. They will occasionally be set a prep for a subject such as Geography, which is not on the prep timetable; however, they will be given a longer time to complete this. Year 8 pupils are set one or two preps a night and Year 9 are set two or three preps a night. A prep timetable will be given out at the start of term. Occasionally the prep timetable is flexed to accommodate events such as the internal exams but every effort is made to help manage pupils’ workload. Tutors should be told if students are spending considerably more or less time than expected on their prep.

Approximately twice a term in each subject, KS3 pupils are given a grade for attainment from A to E. An ‘A’ grade is the top grade.  They will also be given a grade for their approach to learning from 1 to 4, where 1 is the highest grade. The dates that grades are reported will be in the school calendar and on the parent portal, as will parents’ evenings and the dates that written reports will be sent out. There is an exam week for all years in the second half of the Summer term. Pupils will also be given semi-formal assessments in lessons towards the end of the Michaelmas term.

What does the Curriculum look like for Year 10 and 11? 

We understand the importance of making the right choices and at GCSE level (Key Stage 4), pupils are nurtured every step of the way. We undertake a thorough consultation with each pupil and hold an options event where students and parents have the opportunity to discuss choices with subject teachers and with the Deputy Head Academic.  In addition to a pupil’s GCSE/IGCSE subject lessons, they will also undertake non-examined weekly Careers lessons during their tutor period.

Pupils take up to 10 GCSEs/IGCSEs during the two year programme, including the following core subjects:

  • Biology
  • Mathematics
  • Chemistry
  • Physics
  • English (Language & Literature)

In addition to the core subjects, pupils can choose four more subjects of the following:

  • Art
  • Business Studies (BTEC Level 2) - available from September 2020
  • Computer Science
  • Design Technology - Product Design
  • Drama
  • English as an Additional Language (EAL)
  • French
  • Further Mathematic
  • Geography
  • Germa
  • Histor
  • Musi
  • Physical Education
  • Spanis

Every pupil has a member of staff who acts as their tutor and they meet with their tutor and tutor group every morning for 15 minutes and once a week for PSHEE. The form tutor is the first person that students turn to for academic and/or pastoral support and is the first port of call for parents too. Parents and pupils will get the chance to meet tutors at the welcome event before the start of term in September.  Houseparents and house tutors also have a significant pastoral role to perform and they are likely to be the first point of contact for boarders and their parents.

What does the Curriculum look like for Year 12 and 13? 

In addition, studying either three of four A levels or BTECS, our 6th Form programme incorporates opportunities to develop in other ways and be ready for life after school. All pupils study our C3 course that helps them to develop communication, collaboration and creative skills. A variety of options for stretch or additional support are available including the Extended Project Qualification, Arts Award, Enterprise and Duke of Edinburgh Gold Award.  Students will have some non-teaching periods in addition to their lessons. At the beginning of Y12, these periods are supervised by a member of staff and take place in the study areas in the Sixth Form Centre, to support students in developing a good study habit. Over time, and as students demonstrate a positive approach to learning, the number of supervised study periods is reduced and students can choose to study in alternative locations such as the Library, other areas of the Sixth Form Centre or their room if they board.  Being a small school, there are many opportunities for leadership skills and service, both to Rendcomb and the wider community. Year 12 students take part in a programme of community service. Year 12 students are supported in arranging a period of work experience and get a taste of what life is like post-school by living in Garden House where they take on the challenge independent living. In all it is a well-rounded approach and we are confident that Rendcombians leave school ready for their next adventure. Find out more here

How does the SEN and EAL provision work?

SEN and EAL are supported by two teams of specialist teachers who you will meet in the first couple of days when you arrive.  Our fabulous SEN teachers are here support students with learning difficulties such as Dyslexia, Dyspraxia and mild Aspergers. Students across the age groups receive support using the latest assistive technology in the classroom, 1:1 teaching and extra study time, in order for them to maximise their learning potential.  The EAL department has three teachers who will assist with all areas of English language development and also help more senior students work towards their IELTS exams and other English language qualifications.

What IT equipment will each pupil require?

We provide IT Support for both College and pupil owned computers. Before arriving and connecting to the Rendcomb network we ask that all operating systems, software and media contained on them are fully licensed and legal. Any illegal software or pirated media must be removed prior to admission to the network.  We provide support for the following operating systems: Microsoft Windows 8 and 10, Apple OS X 10.9 Mavericks and upwards, iOS 9 and above, Android 6 and above.  We actively encourage pupils to bring and use their own personal computers where appropriate and we recommend that pupils and parents choose the device that is right for them. It is an expectation that pupils in the Sixth form have a device that they can bring to lessons. Microsoft Office is provided free of charge for both Windows and Mac computers through the College’s Office365 scheme. Especially with the success of our Remote Learning Strategy which is in operation this term, teachers are increasingly using computers in the majority of subjects and all have resources stored online via Microsoft Teams and our Firefly Virtual Learning Environment (VLE). We recommend that devices have a physical keyboard and touch screen where possible and recommend the following devices:

  • Microsoft Surface Pro
  • Dell XPS laptop
  • Apple iPad Pro

All devices should have anti-virus software installed and be fully updated to protect against all known viruses. All anti-virus applications are welcome; however we do ask that they are fully licensed. The IT Department recommend AVG Free, available from the AVG website. 

All pupils will have a full IT induction in their first couple of days at the College in the Michaelmas Term. 

Senior School Co-curricular 

What co-curricular offerings are there?

Throughout the year there are over 100 clubs and activities on offer at Rendcomb, from Archery to Zumba and everything in between.  Pupils can go from the rugby or hockey pitch straight to a lesson in campanology (bell ringing!).  We pride ourselves on offering all pupils the chance to try as many different clubs as possible.  As well as a pupils two hours of designated sports each week, we run activities from 4-5pm each day.  Within this slot pupils are able to partake in other activities and a full list can be found here.

Given our setting in 230 acres, outdoor education plays a big part in school life.  Junior School pupils take Forest School lessons from Nursery to Year 6 and from Year 7 pupils can continue this education with Bushcraft lessons from our qualified team.  All pupils in Year 9 will begin the Duke of Edinburgh Bronze Award to give them a taste of the excellent programme that we offer. Many pupils progress to the Silver and Gold Awards as they progress through the school.  The College also runs the biennial expedition society trip to Mont Blanc in the French Alps.  

What Sports can you do in the Senior School?

Our main sports in the Michaelmas Term are Hockey for girls and Rugby for boys (although with the current COVID-19 outbreak we are reviewing our sports provision for September 2020).  In the Lent Term this changes to Lacrosse for girls and Hockey for boys and our Summer Term provision centres around Tennis for girls and Cricket for boys. There is also an option for 6th Form to choose to play Basketball and Badminton as well as joining the College’s excellent Strength and Conditioning Programme.  We also run fixtures in a multitude of other sports such as Clay Pigeon Shooting, Cross Country, Boys’ Tennis, Girls’ Cricket, Football, Athletics, Touch Rugby and we are hoping to put together a Swimming team in the near future.

What are the sports facilities? 

Our main grass sports pitches, affectionately known as “Up Top”, are home to five Rugby and Lacrosse pitches, as well as five Cricket squares. Football and Athletics are also played here over the three terms. There is also a Clay Pigeon Shooting ground in operation throughout the year. In addition our astro turf pitch, relayed in summer 2018, hosts hockey matches in Michaelmas and Lent terms before becoming 12 tennis courts in the summer.  Four additional hard tennis courts next door to it allow for year round training.  Our sports hall hosts a multitude of sports throughout the year and can be transformed into a 4 lane Cricket facility, Basketball court, 4 x Badminton courts, Netball court, Volleyball court, 5-a-side Football pitch and an indoor Tennis court. Our newly renovated (January 2019) Performance Gym allows us to run our excellent Athlete Performance and Development programmes. In addition to the Performance Gym, we also have a Pin Drop Gym for the use of our Students.  Also amongst our 230 acres is a volleyball court and miles of cross country running routes.

What is the music provision?

All pupils take timetabled music lessons until the end of Year 9, with the option to study the subject for GCSE and A-Level.  Alongside this nearly 40% of the Senior School body take private instrumental lessons during the school day.  Lessons are 40 minutes long but are flexible given individual needs with Grade 8 lessons often lasting an hour.  The College hosts regular concerts and recitals, including the very popular Coffee Concerts, which take place every fortnight during morning break.  Our Music Department also run a huge range of clubs and bands throughout the week and more information can be found here

How can I get involved in Drama?

Like Music, all pupils from Year 7 to 9 take place in timetabled drama lessons during the school week, with the option to continue onto GCSE and A-Level study.  All drama at Rendcomb centres around the fantastic Griffin Theatre in the heart of the campus.  During the year we run two senior school productions (this school year it has been We Will Rock You and A Midsummer Night’s Dream).  Away from the main performances there are a multitude of drama clubs, including improvisation, dance and physical theatre.  Our professional standard theatre also allows us to utilize the theatre for pupils less keen on acting. We operate a large selection of back-stage clubs in the technical aspects of the theatre including lighting design, lighting and sound engineering to set and costume design. 

Rendcomb also operates LAMDA throughout the school, from beginners to Medal classes with choices of specialisation in Acting, Musical Theatre, Verse and Prose, Speaking in Public and all are available as an individual or shared lesson.

More information on drama can be found here


Do i need to return all forms to admissions?

No, only the Insurance Request form if applicable and the Medical form if not returned to us previously. All other forms should be returned to the named contact on the form.

What if there has been an update to my child's medical history?

Please request a new Medical Form from and return the updated form to Admissions who will then pass it to our Medical Centre to ensure all records are up to date for the start of term.

When will i recieve the updated insurance forms and leaflets?

The forms and leaflets which were not included in the joining instructions mailing are still under review by the insurance companies due to the current pandemic. As soon as we have received the updated information we will circulate this to you for completion.

When will i be able to access the second hand uniform shop? 

The second hand uniform shop is not open at present. If you are interested in second hand uniform items, please send your child’s measurements and a list of the desired items to before 27 June. Availability will be checked and confirmed within two weeks and items will be bagged ready for collection from outside Rendcomb College reception. The cost will be added to the next fees bill.  The Admissions team will contact you once these items are ready for collection.  We apologise for the unusual process we are having to operate at present.

When will bus routes be confirmed?

When we establish what school bus service can be offered from September, pending Government instructions, the routes will be published in advance of the start of Michaelmas term. You will then be able to sign your child up for this service.

Further Questions

If you have any further questions and would like to get in touch with a member of staff from a specific area of the school please go to the submit a question function, ask your question and a member of staff will be in touch.