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GCSE retakes

RIC History0840a
One Year GCSE retakes at Rochester Independent College, one of the UK’s top specialist boarding schools

Do you need to retake your GCSE courses, either to improve grades for university entry or to move on to A level study? If so, RIC can help. 

GCSE grades matter. Entry to college courses, selective school sixth forms and access to some A levels depend upon them. Universities use GCSE results, which are declared on the UCAS form, to judge academic performance and potential. Some courses such as Law and Medicine specify the number of top grades applicants must offer. RIC can help you get back on track after a disappointing Year 11. If your GCSE grades don’t cut it contact RIC and we will help you plan a way forward that works.

Since GCSE were reformed they've got tougher and it's not unusual for students to need to retake. Retaking at RIC can help you reroute and steer towards success

The top GCSE subject for grade improvements is English where upgrades are often dramatic. Justin who joined the College to retake his GCSEs from Hong Kong went from an E to a 6, Oliver and Malika who both boarded at the College went from 3s (D equivalent) to 8s (A* equivalent). One retaker writing to her English teacher said: “I am over the moon after retrying 5 times in 3 different places.” The success of students like this demonstrates that one bad year is not the end of the world and that retakes can result in improved grades, restored confidence and a wider range of options for the future. Small classes (average 8), heaps of exam practice and lots of individualised support are all part of the RIC retake formula. 

GCSE retake course students benefit from a more adult, sixth form environment, small group teaching and a structured revision and exam preparation programme. While most students on GCSE retake courses have failed to pass at Grade C equivalent level first time around RIC is also able to offer GCSE resit courses to students who have Bs and Cs at GCSE but who need to improve these to As and A*s for competitive university courses or highly selective school sixth forms.

Students needing to retake most of their GCSEs join a one year intensive course where subject content is retaught and coursework and practical work redone. While resitting core GCSEs it is possible to start new GCSE subjects which are taught on one year courses. Some GCSE resit students join RIC intending to apply to other independent schools for sixth form following an intensive GCSE resit programme. Others proceed to our own sixth form. If you need to resit your GCSEs RIC's retake program is the road map that'll help you reach your destination. 

A flexible timetable means that RIC can offer the possibility of starting A level courses while improving GCSE grades. English and Maths GCSEs can often be reset in November or January. It is quite usual for example for students to start A levels in sixth form, say in arts, humanities or social science subjects while still retaking GCSE Maths. At RIC you're an individual, not a GCSE points score. We don't have set grades you have to achieve at GCSE to be permitted to start particular subjects at A level or a set number. 


Five reasons why retaking your GCSEs is not the end of the world

There are many reasons to retake after disappointing GCSEs but rebuilding confidence is probably the most important.

There are so many pressures on teenagers nowadays that can easily crush even the most resilient young person.

At RIC we help rebuild faith in yourself.

Often this starts with looking at possible underlying causes and then helping students to address them.

We can’t do the work but we can provide a really constructive environment.

GCSE retake students can go on to achieve really competitive university places.

One bad year is not the end of the world and starting to accept the need to retake shows a positive approach to dealing with adversity – a very valuable attribute in any future occupation.

In a different environment, you may find that you discover new strengths or rediscover ones you thought you had lost.

On a one year GCSE course it is often core subjects that students retake, but at RIC you can add subjects you may not have thought about before such as Computer Science, Film, Graphics, or Photography to make the year a more interesting and fulfilling experience.

At RIC you can retake some GCSEs alongside starting your A levels. 

Not only does this save time but sometimes doing GCSE retakes helps with your A levels as it gives a firmer foundation to higher level study.

Improving grades widens the range of A Level options. Most sixth forms require you to achieve minimum grades at GCSE in order to take the subject on to A level.

RIC does not exclude students from A Level choices based on their GCSEs but of course we will want to make sure you have the right foundation in some subjects, particularly in Maths and the Sciences. 

Admissions tutors are human beings. They understand that problems happen.

If you deal with problems in life constructively, that makes you stand out from the crowd, it doesn’t put you at the back of it.

At RIC we will help you to make that positive change and help you to use your time retaking to begin to take charge of your own future: another valuable attribute for future employers to consider in your favour.

So why retake my GCSEs at Rochester Independent College?

RIC has been offering retakes and one year courses since 1984 and our staff are experts in helping students through the difficult patches.

We want students to see their year of GCSE retakes as a positive thing. They are treated as young adults on first name terms with their teachers and there is no uniform.

We aren’t just trying to churn out identical students with a string of letters or numbers, but to help people regain a confidence and love of learning.

We have a very diverse intake and students often make friends for life with people they would never have met otherwise.

As well as offering boarding for students aged 13 and over we operate minibuses to Tonbridge, Sevenoaks and Maidstone.

We also have excellent rail links to London and Canterbury.