Roedean School

Roedean School: A well-rounded education that paves the way to top universities

Amelia spent the most important years in a girl’s development at Roedean School. At this independent day and boarding school for girls aged 11 to 18 in Sussex, England, she gained a holistic education and experiences that prepared her for the opportunities and challenges of 21st-century life.

Amelia is currently a Year 13 student and has been offered a place to study Land Economy at Newnham College, University of Cambridge. She brings with her lifelong lessons from her time as sports team captain, form representative, house captain and head of school. Her worldliness sets her apart from her peers — Amelia has visited Roedean’s sister school in South Africa, taught underprivileged pupils from St Marks School, undertaken a Duke of Edinburgh Gold Award, completed a Sport’s Leader Level 3 qualification, and taught English to Ukrainian refugees in Moldova.

“Roedean School places emphasis on achieving personal excellence, but this is not solely measured by academic success,” she says. “Roedean provides an ideal environment for girls to follow their own path and become confident, well-rounded individuals prepared for the challenges of university life.”

Roedean School

Source: Roedean School

Genuinely holistic: Balance of academics, co-curricular activities and pastoral care

Like Amelia, all Roedean students are encouraged to explore their passions and develop a balanced skill set that will serve them well in their future endeavours.

Grades and preparing for university are important but academics are not the sole focus of Roedean. Instead, the goal is to develop intellectual curiosity and a love of learning in each girl. “Seeing the girls at Roedean find an interest they are passionate about, research it, and become involved in sharing it with others, is the most enjoyable aspect of life here,” says Dr. John Hobbs, Deputy Head, Academic.

In Years 7 to 9, girls pursue a broad, balanced and bespoke curriculum that readies them to find their passions and turn them into their best subjects at GCSE. The A Level programme has various subjects supported by multiple programmes and an array of Olympiads, Maths Challenges, Community Action Programmes, Extended Project Qualifications, Sports Leader’s Programmes, and opportunities to enter national essay competitions to develop and evidence research and analytical skills.

This year, the school added four more subjects to the Sixth Form offerings: Computer Science, Media Studies, Dance and Philosophy. These pair well with the school’s extended academic provision to support university pathways, which include preparation and support for apprenticeships as well as universities in the UK and abroad.

“The vast majority of A Level options offered are academic and recognised by all top universities, including Oxford and Cambridge, as demonstrating an appropriate and high level of Sixth Form academic study. The Roedean Symposium, Academic Research Project, Academic Lectures and EPQ all provide opportunities for students to engage in, and talk about, independent research within a specific academic area,” says Helen Boobis, Assistant Head, Futures.

“Events throughout the year, including the Higher Education Evening, Careers Fair, International Women’s Day, Roedean Ambassadors, Pathway Lectures and Life Skills programme all enable preparation for university pathways. These are supplemented by careers advice from an in-house team and independent careers advisors, and the CAP programme, which provides volunteering opportunities that are useful for applications in the clinical and caring sectors.”

Roedean School

Source: Roedean School

At the same time, Roedean runs over 160 thriving arts and sports programmes each week. This is when girls develop existing talents, discover new ones and build a portfolio of experiences. There are clubs, societies, and activities for every taste: whether it’s exerting yourself (Squads / Fencing / Dance Fitness) expressing yourself (Life Drawing / Technical Theatre / Junior Drama) enjoying the great outdoors (Farm Club / Sea-Swimming) performing (Orchestra / Choir / Junior Dance), serving others (a variety of community engagement programmes, locally or abroad), taking up a new skill (Sewing / Karate), or exploring your academic interests in greater depth (Junior STEM / Debating / Philosophy). There are even co-curricular options specifically tailored for university success, for example, MedSoc, Oxbridge Club, and Top University Programme.

Amelia has been a Chair of the Economics debating society, an Economics and STEM Ambassador, a school representative in chemistry competitions, a Financial Times Ambassador, a member of the school’s hockey team who was put forward for England’s Under-16 hockey trials, to name just a few. “Roedean provided a framework that made sure that extracurricular activities were included as part of the weekly timetable and encouraged me to develop as an individual in a safe, supportive and inclusive environment,” she says.

Fundamental to this success is Roedean’s approach to pastoral care. There is a large team of dedicated staff — Tutors, Heads of Year, House Mistresses, Pastoral Managers, Health Centre, Counsellors, Chaplain — all of whom are Mental Health First Aiders and trained to the highest safeguarding standard. They understand, care about, and prioritise each student’s well-being, especially during key transition points of Year 7, Year 9, and Year 12.

It’s this combination of academics, co-curricular activities and pastoral care that supports the transformation of girls into successful young women with character. They gain admission to top universities worldwide, setting them on a path towards fulfilling careers. Many of the current Year 13 students have received offers for some of the most competitive courses and universities in the world. To date, students applying through UCAS have received eight offers to study Medicine (with one  unconditional offer) and six offers to study Veterinary Medicine at prestigious institutions such as UCL, Leeds, Aberdeen and the Royal Veterinary College. Additionally, one student has received an offer to study Medicine in Hong Kong at HKU.

“My thought of studying veterinary medicine started when I first joined the Farm Club in year 11,” says student Belle. “From that day onwards, feeding the animals on the farm became a routine I have been dedicated to. I believe that the knowledge and skills I have gained from my time on the farm helped my application to study vet med at university a lot.”’

Six students also received Oxbridge offers – the highest number ever –others have received offers to study Psychology and Applied Medical Sciences, both at UCL, Photography at Kingston, History at Exeter, and Business and Management at Durham, to name but a few. None of these would’ve been possible without their school’s 360-degree support from day one.

“I received personal advice along with tailored entry exam preparation and individual interview coaching,” says Amelia. “Invaluable practice interviews were provided, not only with Roedean teachers, but also with external subject experts. There is no denying that the Oxbridge application process is demanding – the chance to share the experience with other students in the programme was hugely beneficial, and the overall experience was rewarding.”

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