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What academic subjects are available to Juniors at Rendcomb College?

The best education for children and young people is one that adheres to the national curriculum, while still offering opportunities for exploration, free-thinking, and cultivating genuine interest. How does our boarding school support this for Junior students?

Rendcomb College is fortunate to have both a high-quality infrastructure and well-developed timetable, which enable us to meet academic targets while building (not stifling) the natural curiosity of our vibrant student community.

Junior pupils receive quality teaching at boarding school, to cover all the core subject areas. Our Seniors progress to focusing on their chosen fields of study. However, our aim is to ensure they carry with them insights into a wider range of topics, as well as excellent GCSE results.

In other words, helping our Juniors to find their best and preferred subjects for further study is very different from ‘turning them off’ some curriculum areas!

It’s also important to note that not all state schools can provide the depth of educational experience available at a successful independent school like Rendcomb College. For instance, Drama is sometimes only taught to older pupils, while we feel it develops important life skills in our Juniors too.

Here are five typical subjects taught to Juniors at boarding school.

1 - Design Technology

Teaching DT in schools can provide important creative stimulus and practical insights. All students benefit, irrespective of whether they go on the focus on essay-based topics as Seniors.

It enables them to explore the world around them in a highly tactile and logical way, including researching different structures, mechanisms, materials and methods of electrical control.

Taught well, Design Technology is also fun, especially any lessons involving food! This means students have their minds and creativity opened up, in a way that improves their whole learning experience at boarding school.

2 – Drama

Why is drama important in schools?

It is certainly not about nurturing future stars of stage and screen. We develop in our students an appreciation and understanding of the arts. This enriches their enjoyment of live theatre for example. Drama at a top boarding school will also develop presentation and critical analysis skills. The benefits include greater confidence in public speaking and an ability to understand and use body language.

Clearly, these and other creative learning experiences are all part of moulding resilient adults as well as stimulating a lifelong appreciation of the arts.

3 – Science

There is now a substantial drive to stimulate more Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics graduates globally. We hope that our superbly equipped, purpose-designed science labs are the starting point of a stellar career in this field.

However, we fully recognise that STEM subjects are not for everyone!

The aim is to open up science to all Junior pupils at Rendcomb College. Not simply to gain an understanding of core physics, chemistry and biology principles. We want them to have important safety insights while developing confidence and curiosity to explore and question their world.

4 – Computing

With the rampant rise of technology, any future career – or indeed Senior studies at boarding school – will rely on computer dexterity.

Many students at our independent school already have a fascination with technology of course. Within the framework of national teaching standards, we aim to channel this interest into maximising confidence in computer science. Pupils can develop important IT skills at boarding school that will have lifelong value.

5 - Physical Activity

If PE at school suggests to you shivering in shorts and T-shirts as you reluctantly run around a draughty playing field, think again.

Rendcomb College offers a superbly equipped gym and sports hall, and well-shielded sports fields in our extensive grounds. We also provide an enviable standard of coaching and highly diverse timetabled and leisure pursuits.

Of course, traditional sports are available. Though Junior boarders and day pupils can also take part in games lessons and extracurricular activities such as badminton, basketball, gymnastics, dance and swimming.

There are ample opportunities for team sports and competitive endeavours to secure positive affirmation, at all levels of ability and fitness. Rendcomb College also encourages Juniors to enjoy personal challenges and to benefit from improving their individual physical skills.

After all, good physical health is an excellent source of support for good mental health.

Breaking open pigeon holes

The way boarding schools teach curriculum topics to Juniors is just as important as the breadth of subject matter we provide.

Smaller class sizes and focused learning support are woven into our classrooms, as well as study groups and additional tuition outside the classroom. Also, by recognising and encouraging individualism in our students, we give them the tools to self-manage the way they acquire knowledge for the rest of their lives.