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Transfer into Year 13 at Rochester College, Kent

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Switching schools for direct entry to Year 13

Every September up to 60 students join RIC directly into Year 13 for their final year of sixth form as either day or boarding students. Students also move directly into RIC’s sixth form after the first year of the IB Diploma programme or in cases of family relocation. 

Less formal than a traditional independent school but more structured than a further education college RIC has a real academic focus. 

We prepare our students for success: their hard work and first-class results mean they go on to win places at a wide range of top UK universities. 


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Transferring to RIC means that you will be able to take a fresh look at your subjects and maybe switch one or two, taking our successful one-year A level courses. The aim of moving half way through an A level course is of course to aim for higher grades and a wider choice of university at the end of year 13. 

Our tutors and UCAS advisors are often able to quickly make credible grade predictions based on assessment of potential over the year here rather than prior achievement elsewhere.

If you need to stick with your original subjects you’ll revise everything from your first year carefully alongside the second year material. You’ll catch up, consolidate and be back on track to realise your potential and achieve your academic ambitions.

International students looking for direct entry into Year 13 will find themselves studying alongside students from all over the world.

Parents recognise that this confidence-boosting approach also fosters motivation. “My son moved from his grammar school after the first year of A levels, changed subjects, and achieved A*AC on a one-year course” said one parent. “RIC delivers what other schools can’t. Its unique blend of expert tuition, student engagement, constant focus on the application of knowledge and feedback with continuous communication from tutors, all lead to a level of motivation to succeed that delivers results.”

Will I still be able to aim at a top university if I move schools for a one year A level course or for my Year 13?

Absolutely. That's the point of the making the move. Winning a place at a top university is challenging, but our programme of tailored support gives students the best chance of success. 

Rochester’s Year 13 transfer students have often been told by previous schools to lower sights, repeat Year 12 or sometimes drop favourite subjects. Having a change of scene can reinvigorate the mind and allows students to turn a new leaf, settling down to really focus on their academic studies. With the support given by members of staff, students find new interest in subjects and set to their studies with renewed vigor that shows in the College’s continued success in students gaining places at top universities.

You can move schools successfully half way through an A level course and make it work as students who switch schools or colleges to RIC prove each year. 

A more individualised approach means that disappointing results in Year 12 can be dealt with without university plans being wrecked. A change of environment at this stage of a two year A level course is a highly successful way of ensuring good results without the need for a retake year. You might have chosen the wrong subjects first time around or simply want to be taught in smaller classes with more exam practice and individual support. You might be looking for an environment that is different to a traditional school and will prepare you effectively for university. 

Switch school for exam success

Georgia Crean got a grade A in Biology in one year from scratch along with an A*A in Chemistry and Maths after transferring from Sir Roger Manwood’s Grammar as a boarder. Georgia’s A grade in Biology is particularly impressive given previous advice she had been given: “When I was choosing subjects in year 11 I was told Biology A level would be too hard for me. But I came for an interview at RIC at the end of year 12 and was inspired to transfer and take Biology from scratch in a year. It didn’t really feel like a big decision – I think I needed a change.” 

Georgia went on to secure a place to read Biochemistry at Merton College, Oxford. She wrote to us again this year: “I got my degree results yesterday, frustratingly close to a first but I am delighted. I wouldn't be where I am now without my tutors at Rochester, I can't begin to express my gratitude.”

Originally from Nigeria, Nono transferred from Queen Ethelburga’s School for the final year of her A levels. Nono pursued two additional A level subjects in Year 13 in Politics and Global Perspectives from scratch, alongside continuing English Literature. 

Nono achieved her academic ambitions by securing a place to study Law at Lancaster University something she and her family are not confident would have happened without switching schools and subjects. 

What is learning like for direct entry to Year 13 students at RIC?

Teaching is similar to a seminar or tutorial at university. Rather than individual desks, students gather around a table while tutors encourage them to discuss different aspects of a topic critically.

Classes are an average of just eight in size, and students have at least eight hours of contact time per subject per week. Students can choose from 40+ subject choices, with no restrictions on subject combinations.

All students in Sixth Form have a Director of Studies who they meet with regularly to discuss progress, targets, and future aspirations.  Students also receive one-to-one tutorials and study support sessions, where they can address any areas for improvement. 

Formal reports are regularly sent to parents, and Directors of Studies can be contacted via phone or email with any questions or concerns.

For those aiming for high level universities such as Oxbridge or Medical School with their early October deadlines, Rochester Independent College is also on the ball as regards making grade predictions and writing references. 

Our  UCAS advisors are often able to quickly make credible grade predictions based on assessment of potential over the year here rather than prior achievement elsewhere.  Students who transfer into Year 13 are often doing so to help ensure they have the best chance of securing the top grades they need for medicine and related subjects within the normal two years of sixth form. 

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