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Gainsborough and Visitors' Entrance

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Gainsborough is the first building you will visit as it's also our visitors' entrance. It houses some of our Maths department used by both Lower School and Sixth Form students as well as a boarding house. 

Northbank Campus - Boarding

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New for 2025 will be the Northbank campus, home to a dedicated boarding student village and the Gowers Visual Arts Centre, a new art college style base for our award winning visual arts teaching. 

Gowers Centre for Visual Arts

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New 'state of the art' visual arts centre opening in September 2024.

Finland House

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Finland House is one of RIC's on-campus boarding houses located next door to Gainsborough which is our main visitors' entrance. The building is called Finland House as it is the old Finnish consulate building from the days when Chatham was a thriving dockyard. 

Underhill Hall

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Underhill Hall is home to RIC events such as the Great British Economics Olympiad, Renaissance Scholars, performances and art exhibitions. It is also our examinations hall. The copper canopied roof, and space above, Overhill transforms into an open-air auditorium with productions from visiting theatre companies and students.

Overhill - Sustainability

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This area of the garden and classroom are central to sustainability in the RIC curriculum. There is a garden teaching space, stream, pond and composting area. Students construct bird feeders and bat boxes and work with local eco organisations to learn about and make positive contributions to the environment in the area.

Garden

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The picturesque campus of RIC, an urban oasis in the heart of a designated conservation area, has been called Kent’s best-kept educational secret. It’s a very special learning environment that will quickly become a home from home. ‘Have you seen the Tardis?’ our Good Schools Guide tour guides asked on the tour, pointing to an original police box in the grounds – a cheeky nod, they were told, to the fact that practically every visitor uses the word to describe the school site. The time machine metaphor doesn’t go amiss either as a key aim of RIC is to heal past results or experiences and whiz them into the future to support their aspirations. 


 

Sports pitch

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The college campus features a newly refurbished multi use games area (MUGA) which is always busy at break times. The facility was designed specifically for the location and utilises state of the art sports turf to provide a superb playing surface for hockey, football, basketball, netball and even pickleball! Oscar, the College dog is sometimes seen zooming around the MUGA.

Gym

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Our fully equipped gym enables our students to keep fit at lunchtimes and break times. These facilities are also available after school for boarders and should students wish to exercise before going home.

Computer Science

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At RIC the Computer Science courses offer a vibrant mix of theory and hands-on learning that keeps students ahead of the curve. We have excellent facilities from state of the art apple macs to retro computers and gaming consoles.

Music Hub

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A suite of teaching and practice rooms equipped with a wide range of instruments for musicians of all abilities.

Gordon House (Boarding)

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Gordon House is one of our boarding houses. RIC's boarding is on-campus and our students have their own study bedrooms and common rooms. 

Musical gates

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The giant, gleaming stainless steel gates and railings of Rochester Independent College are an impressive sight and one of the most instagrammable spots on campus for visitors. RIC takes as its unofficial mascot not an emblem of classical myth but a flying pig, originally a riposte to the cynicism that greeted the College's chances of success when it was founded in 1984 and now celebrating the idea that anything is possible for our students.

Labs

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There are eight fully equipped labs at RIC used by both Lower School and Sixth Form students. 

Star Hill

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Many of our academic lessons take place in Star Hill. a terrance of elegant Georgian townhouses. 

New Court sixth form study centre

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A dedicated sixth form hub 

New Court and library

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This area of New Court is home to our library and teaching rooms including those dedicated to Sociology, Politics, History and Film. Our teaching and pastoral staff are pro active, identifying where students are having difficulties and offering practical help and solutions and encouragement. 

Our library has a collection ranging from 100 must read Penguin Classics that break boundaries and challenge conceptions to graphic novels like Heartstopper and Maus and even vintage Marvel comics. Books suggested by members of staff include His Dark Materials Trilogy from Danielle, Jeanine Cummins’s American Dirt from Carmel, One of Us Is Lying by Karen M McManus from Vici, Camus’s The Stranger from Kamila, The Virginian by Oscar Wister from Michael Daks and Varjak Paw by S F Said from Maeva.

With a policy of shopping locally RIC books are sourced where possible from Rochester’s Store 104 run by former student Libby. The High Street shop offers quality yarns, fine books and speciality coffee.

Maths shed

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The maths shed is one of several subject hubs and alfresco classrooms that have sprung up in the college gardens over the years.

Garden Classrooms

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These tranquil garden rooms are home to modern foreign languages. These leafy teaching spaces are perfect for quiet concentration in lessons.

Dome

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Our geodesic dome is a real focal point in the RIC gardens. It's used for a wide range of activities from art lessons to yoga and as a breakout zone.

New Road House- Lower School

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Small by design, we're able to get to know everyone well but large enough for good friendships to be formed. The lower school is based in New Road House for students in years 7-11. 

Dickens house boarding

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The former Dickens Hotel is a Grade II listed building that offers 34 high quality single rooms, many of which are en-suite. The premium boarding facility features a striking ground floor Tuscan Doric veranda of 8 columns.

Rochester & surrounding area

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Rochester Independent College is in Kent, just south east of London. Kent is known as the garden of England but is also close to great beaches and home to historic cathedral cities. Rochester itself is a small town, with a rich heritage and a flourishing contemporary arts scene. There’s a vibrant student buzz.

"The campus is as unique as the school." Good Schools Guide

The picturesque campus of RIC, an urban oasis in the heart of a designated conservation area, has been called Kent’s best-kept educational secret. It’s a very special learning environment that will quickly become a home from home.

The historically distinctive site with eye-catching listed buildings linked by award winning wildlife gardens creates a special sense of place to explore and in which to live, study and work.

The buildings and gardens feel more like a rural haven than an urban school, and both students and teachers quickly become smitten with their tranquil allure. 

The College is set in mostly Georgian, listed buildings that have been tenderly restored and jazzed up with contemporary design touches. Noteworthy features of the site include a student allotment, an inspiring Geodesic Dome used as a classroom and hangout spot, a Tardis lending library, outdoor classrooms, and a charming garden studio for teaching award-winning math geniuses, which has even made headlines in national papers

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Gardens

Wildlife and well-being have always been at the centre of planning for the garden. Our students, many of whom are engaged by the climate change action movements, have been asking us to do even more as a school. Leaving spaces for nature and wildness is becoming more crucial for carbon sequestration and the garden is our own small contribution to that. Students have made bat and bird boxes to encourage biodiversity and sustainability is central to our lower school curriculum.

The huge contribution made by the garden to student welfare was recognised in our ISI inspection: “Pupils demonstrate an excellent aesthetic appreciation of the visual arts and their natural surroundings. They appreciate the peace, greenery and wildlife of the surroundings within an urban setting and enjoy the gardens for relaxation and personal reflection.”

Dr Matthew McFall is an education consultant and practitioner with an interest in puzzles, games, mazes, labyrinths and escape rooms. He says: “Two words sum up what schools should do more of to raise achievement- culti- vate wonderment.” Inspired by this, and the idea of the cabinet of curiosity, we are transforming our garden Tardis into a wonder box of extraordinary things. Think weird artefacts from nature, the arts, science and history which will hopefully provoke some why what where when and how questions and a few wows. We’ll be inviting prospective year 7 students to discover it when they visit for campus tours.