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College aims and boarding principles

Gainsborough and bike

RIC aims to give students an enjoyable and successful experience of school in an international, creative and inclusive environment with small classes and high-quality teaching and pastoral care. The focus is on examination success and preparation for university in a flexible, supportive and informal atmosphere.

We encourage students to search for their own answers, to voice their opinions, to think critically, creatively and independently. We value academic and creative achievements equally. We expect our students to have an honest determination to work hard and behave well.

We aim for students to leave us not only with good examination results but also with enthusiasm for the future and confidence about themselves and their education.

The college ethos is designed to foster respect, challenge prejudice and develop an imaginative and informed attitude. The college aims to play a role in the local community with a particular emphasis on the arts and the environment and to support the growth, welfare and development of its staff.

RIC values


“At Rochester Independent College, the admissions process is refreshingly inclusive and flexible.” Britannia Education 

"The diversity of culture and ethnicities at RIC from Thai to Congolese to Indian to Chinese to Russian eased me into school-life smoothly, and I didn’t feel like an outsider" Hassan

"Inclusivity another strength of the school, according to pupils. No cliques and no ‘casual racism’, they told us – helped by the diversity of cultures, they reckon - and the LGBTQ+ community is well represented." Good Schools Guide 

"Relationships between pupils are totally inclusive, creating a harmonious community of day and boarding pupils. Pupils both respect and value the diversity." ISI 


"Visual arts stand out - ‘another league,’ said a pupil. Drama, housed in the black-box studio, is taken seriously. Flourishing music scene." Good Schools Guide 

"The judges were impressed with the huge range of ways in which Rochester Independent College values, promotes and gives profile to the arts and considered the College an inspiration to the whole sector. The link between an aesthetic appreciation of the visual arts and personal development runs through all aspects of school life and is highly valued by the whole school community.”  Independent Schools Association

Winner of the ISA Award for Excellence and Innovation in Fine Arts. 

"It is one of the best decisions I have made in my life to come and study art in the UK from Hong Kong. I have met lots of brilliant creative arts teachers here at Rochester." Gigi 

"Pupils have a well-developed aesthetic and cultural awareness. Achievements in the visual and creative arts are excellent." ISI


RIC does make the independent school top 50 when looking at the A-level value added tableIn fact, RIC performs so well at helping students surpass their expected A-level grades that it is in the top 2% for all schools in England. All this proves that RIC can take a student of any ability and help them maximise their academic performance. The result is an incredibly varied range of RIC university progressions, from Art school to Med school and everything in-between. Top Schools Guide 

"It’s an excellent stepping-stone between school and university for students who are looking for a more flexible and supportive environment that encourages creativity, critical thinking, and personal growth." Which School Advisor 

“A rigorous testing regime in the sixth form informs teachers’ planning and promotes examination success.” ISI 

"RIC promotes an environment of outstanding academic success and above all doesn’t impose undue pressure and doesn’t foster a gratuitously high-intensity environment. The relaxed, informal atmosphere resulted in me genuinely enjoying the two years I spent in sixth form, ultimately leading to my academic success and a place at LSE to study Law - which I never would have achieved without the help and support of the outstanding tutors at RIC." Emily

"Students' personal development is excellent." ISI


"The sustainability curriculum is what all schools should be doing. My father, Daisy's grandad, joined the class on their trip to the River Stour. I couldn't think of anything more relevant educationally. I am so pleased the College is doing this. The knowledge they are gaining is imperative for the world moving forward." Clare, mother to Daisy, Year 7

“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.” ISI 

Winner of the Dukes Education Sustainability Award


RIC has a unique, slightly bohemian character where small class sizes (average of 8) see smiling students and teachers form close, respectful and productive bonds. Top Schools Guide 

"RIC has been literally transformative. I’ve felt so much happier here. You’re allowed to be yourself, be independent and discover who you are." Lexi

"A real alternative to traditional schools – with no uniform and pupils on first name terms with teachers – Rochester Independent College is a breath of fresh air." Muddy Stilettos


"RIC invests time in preparing students for transition to university. There’s specialist preparation for Oxbridge applications as well as for medical school and other highly competitive courses such as dentistry, vet science, English and law. Students are guided through every aspect of their UCAS application, and offered advice on preparing applications to North American universities and those in Europe, as well as music, drama and art schools and GAP year programmes. The school’s unofficial logo – The Flying Pig – embodies the RIC belief that “everyone can fly and achieve their dreams and ambitions.” Which Schools Advisor 

"‘Have you seen the Tardis?’ our guides asked on our tour, pointing to an original police box in the grounds – a cheeky nod, we’re 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 the school is to heal past results or experiences and whiz them into the future to support their aspirations." Good Schools Guide

"RIC was beyond instrumental for me. It completely reinvigorated my love of learning, and introduced me to my degree subject. I went in completely demoralised, and came out much more confident. It took away all the barriers which had held me back before, and enabled me to be who I had the potential to be." Abigail 

Boarding principles

Our aim in the boarding is that all students are well supported to live in an international environment where the informality of a College is combined with supervision appropriate to the age of the students.

We understand that our boarding students are often far away from home and our aim is to ensure that they:

• Live and learn in a safe and secure environment

• Thrive in a caring atmosphere

• Have clean and comfortable accommodation

• Are well fed

• Are able to talk to a member of staff or an independent contact about any issue or concern

• Receive as much attention as they need

• Are happy and well looked after

• Have the opportunity to express their wishes

• Are respected

The RIC way

School can be different

Welcome to RIC

Good Schools Guide

2024 Review