Explore Rochester Independent College: A Comprehensive Review

Welcome to our comprehensive review of Rochester Independent College, an educational institution renowned for its innovative approach to learning. Nestled in the vibrant city of Rochester, this college offers students a unique and enriching educational experience tailored to their individual needs. Join us as we explore the diverse offerings and distinctive characteristics that set Rochester Independent College apart in the realm of education.

Rochester Independent College Review

Table of Contents

Key Features of Rochester Independent College

  • Local authority: Medway
  • Pupils: 380; sixth formers: 206
  • Age: 11-19
  • Religion: None
  • Fees: Day £15,600 – £22,800; Boarding + £12,660 – £18,000 PA

Rochester Independent College Results

GCSE Results (2023):

    • 30% achieved grades 9-7.

A Level Results (2023):

    • 25% achieved A* or A grades.
    • 49% achieved A* to B grades.

GCSE Results (2019):

    • 25% achieved grades 9-7.

A Level Results (2019):

    • 29% achieved A* or A grades.
    • 60% achieved A* to B grades.
Besides being the top 2% in the UK for student progress, they are also the winner of the ISA National Award for Fine Arts. 

Boarding Experience in Rochester Independent College

The boarding experience at Rochester Independent College offers a unique blend of comfort, community, and flexibility, catering to the diverse needs of its students:

Boarding Demographics:

    • Approximately 40% of students board from the age of 13 onwards.
    • Three-quarters of boarders are full-time, while the rest opt for weekly boarding.


    • Accommodation consists of eight refurbished terrace houses on campus, with an additional six self-contained houses off-site for Year 14 students.
    • Supervised by dedicated houseparents and two nurses, the boarding houses foster a relaxed and supportive atmosphere.
    • Communal areas offer spacious settings with a relaxed ambiance, providing students with comfortable spaces to unwind and socialise.

Activities and Excursions:

    • Daily activities are available for students, ranging from group movie nights to more leisurely pursuits like crochet.
    • Students can also participate in a variety of extracurricular activities such as life drawing, pottery, chess, and even a unique ‘rat club’.
    • Weekend excursions to London and other destinations are popular among older students, providing opportunities for cultural enrichment and exploration.
    • Formal day trips to iconic locations like Oxford, the Harry Potter studios, and the Houses of Parliament are organised, offering students a broader perspective beyond the campus.
    • In lower school, mandatory trips during the autumn term and regular excursions throughout the year ensure a well-rounded educational experience.

Year 14 Independent Living:

    • Year 14 students (aged 18+) enjoy the independence of living in self-contained accommodation off-site.
    • This arrangement allows students to focus on their studies while still being able to engage with school life as desired.
    • Some Year 14 students even leverage their independence to run their own businesses, showcasing the college’s commitment to nurturing entrepreneurial spirit.

Extracurricular Activities in Rochester Independent College

Extracurricular activities at Rochester Independent College offer a vibrant array of opportunities for students to explore their passions and talents:

Visual Arts:

    • Renowned for its excellence, the visual arts programme at Rochester Independent College is in a league of its own. Taught by practising artists with exceptional qualifications, including master’s degrees from Central St Martins, students benefit from a rich and immersive artistic environment.
    • From sustainable textiles to fine art, graphic communication, photography, and fashion, students engage in a diverse range of artistic pursuits. The college ethos fosters creativity and talent, producing artistically literate individuals who excel in their chosen medium.
    • Specialist ceramics sessions further enhance students’ skills, ensuring a well-rounded artistic education.

Drama and Film:

    • Drama is a serious endeavour at the college, with students delving into ensemble work, character studies, and captivating musical productions.
    • Film and digital media are also thriving, with students exploring the intricacies of filmmaking and digital storytelling.


    • The music scene at Rochester Independent College is flourishing, with around 50 students participating in instrumental and vocal lessons.
    • Specialist workshops and visiting artists enrich the musical experience, while students have opportunities to perform in various ensembles and bands.
    • The college also embraces music technology, with a recording studio where students learn both creative production and marketing skills.

Other Activities:

    • The Duke of Edinburgh Award programme offers younger students opportunities for personal development and outdoor adventure.
    • Student-led clubs cater to niche interests such as creative writing and astronomy, supplementing the curriculum with diverse experiences.
    • Regular trips to theatres, art galleries, and cultural events provide enrichment beyond the classroom, with recent excursions ranging from Cornwall residencies to international trips to Japan and Sweden.

Sports and Fitness:

    • While not primarily a sports-focused institution, Rochester Independent College offers a range of sporting activities for students, including mini-golf, orienteering, basketball, netball, football, quidditch, korfball, and softball.
    • Dodgeball is particularly popular, with the college being shortlisted for the British Dodgeball secondary school awards.
    • The college fosters links with local sports clubs, providing opportunities for students to engage in community sports and develop their athletic abilities.

Admissions Process: Entering Rochester Independent College

At Rochester Independent College, the admissions process is refreshingly inclusive and flexible. Unlike many institutions, this college adopts an academically non-selective approach, welcoming students into any year group at any point throughout the academic year, subject to space availability. Prospective students undergo an informal one-hour Zoom meeting with the principal, followed by a taster day (or week, or even two weeks) tailored to suit the individual child’s needs. The emphasis is on ensuring that students fully understand and align with the ethos of the college before committing to enrolment. 

Remarkably, students can even join in Year 11 for the one-year GCSE course or opt for an intensive one-year A-level course in Year 14, catering to diverse academic paths and timelines. Sixth form entry doesn’t require specific GCSE grades, fostering inclusivity and opportunity. While student numbers may start smaller in lower years, they burgeon later on, with around 200 students typically in the sixth form. The college is keen on maintaining a welcoming environment and ensures that each student is the right fit for the institution, sometimes turning away applicants to maintain this ethos. Additionally, Rochester Independent College extends its reach to boarders from the age of 13 onwards, fostering a diverse and enriching student community.

Rochester Independent College Testimonials and Reviews

George Clark

Went on the GCSE easter revision course and it helped so much in gearing me up for the exams and pushing my final grades to at least two grade boundaries higher. Thanks RIC!


Good school teach a lot

Ritadecassiaalmeida Almeida

Frequently Asked Questions

Boarding schools in the UK are educational institutions where students reside on campus, away from their homes. These schools offer full-time boarding options, where students live and study during term time, typically returning home during holidays.

Boarding schools offer a nurturing and immersive educational experience. Benefits include a structured environment for academics, access to a wide range of extracurricular activities, the development of independence and life skills, and a close-knit community that fosters lifelong friendships.

No, boarding schools in the UK welcome students from all over the world. Many schools have a diverse student body with students from various countries.

Boarding schools prioritise the safety and well-being of their students. They have trained staff, supervision protocols, health services, and designated staff members to address students’ emotional and social needs.

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