Roedean School, near Brighton, is a vibrant, dynamic, independent day and boarding school for girls in Years 7 to 13. The School’s impressive 2022 GCSE and A Level results and “excellent” Independent Schools Inspectorate (ISI) outcomes support Roedean’s reputation for offering one of the best educational experiences for girls in the UK.
Roedean understands the importance of a strong curriculum in a student’s academic journey. That’s why the School provides engaging lessons, exciting enrichment activities, and an extensive co-curricular programme.
Roedean School’s Curriculum ─ An Overview
In line with the School’s founding ethos, Roedean offers a quality, holistic education that balances academic achievement with opportunities for personal growth. Each student has the space and support to explore and develop their unique strengths and passions and build a strong foundation for their future.
Roedean ensures all students receive a well-rounded academic grounding. Younger girls have ample opportunities to explore several subjects and holistic learning programmes. Meanwhile, GCSE students receive support and guidance from teachers to help them shape an individual programme of study.
The School recognises the importance of students absorbing knowledge and achieving their target exam results. However, Roedean also empowers girls to think critically and challenge what they’re taught, rather than passively consume facts.
Roedean School’s Key Subjects
Roedean teaches core curriculum subjects at Key Stages 3 and 4, including English, Mathematics, Sciences, Humanities, and Modern Languages.
Key Stage 3 Roedeanians make the most of their early secondary school years by discovering new passions and gaining confidence in newfound skills. Students focus equally on languages, sciences, arts, and mathematics. Meanwhile, the School’s Wild Fridays and Heads, Hearts, Hands programmes complement traditional subjects.
This broad academic approach creates the ideal foundation for students to progress to Key Stage 4. Years 10 to 11 represent a pivotal time for students, involving GCSEs and early decisions about career paths.
Whether students join Roedean Sixth Form or study their A Levels elsewhere, the School ensures its GCSE programme prepares girls for university entrance requirements and higher education. In 2022, 73% of Roedean’s A Level cohort secured the grades for their first-choice universities, which included Oxbridge.
An essential subject for Key Stages 3 and 4, English teaches students to communicate effectively, broaden their vocabularies, and express themselves.
Teachers encourage girls to share their opinions during class discussions, and the study units allow students to engage with topical, timeless ideas. By studying English, Key Stage 3 students become confident readers and speakers with a deeper knowledge of language use.
All GCSE students must take an integrated English Language and Literature course (examined as two separate GCSE subjects). Besides encouraging the development of critical thinking and analysis, English prepares students for A Level study and introduces them to critical concepts such as feminism and psychoanalysis.
At Key Stage 3, Mathematics promotes intellectual curiosity and problem-solving capabilities. Students also learn to experiment with new ideas, seek out patterns, and find solutions to complex problems.
As with English, all GCSE students must take Mathematics. The subject supports the study of other GCSE subjects, including Science and Business, and correlates with a variety of university courses and careers.
Key Stage 4 students grow their knowledge of mathematical concepts, lay a foundation of mathematical skills, and learn to appreciate the importance of maths in many real-world disciplines.
Roedeanians excel at scientific subjects, including Biology, Chemistry, and Physics. In Key Stage Three, students discover these disciplines’ fundamental ideas and receive a grounding in both theoretical and practical, laboratory-based knowledge.
At Key Stage 4, girls must take either:
- The Double Certificate Combined Sciences (which counts as two GCSEs).
- The Triple Certificate Separate Sciences (which counts as three GCSEs and incorporates Biology, Chemistry, and Physics courses).
Roedean offers a rich variety of humanities subjects, including Art and Design, Dance, Drama, Design and Technology, Geography, History, Music, and Religion and Philosophy.
The humanities allow Key Stage 3 students to assimilate valuable knowledge and discover their unique interests. Humanities subjects also provide ample opportunities for self-expression.
At Key Stage 4, girls must study either Geography or History (or both). Students who study humanities at GCSE level embark on deeper journeys of discovery and creativity, developing a range of valuable skills for future learning.
At Key Stage 3, Roedean students learn French, German, Russian, and Spanish. The study of modern foreign languages helps them develop communication and critical thinking skills and provides insight into other cultures and societies.
Roedean teaches students languages in a communicative, challenging, and interactive way that ensures girls develop essential listening, reading, speaking, and writing skills in at least two foreign languages. GCSE students must then choose at least one modern foreign language to pursue further.
Roedean School’s Enrichment Activities
Roedean School complements classroom learning with copious extra-curricular and enrichment activities for all subjects.
From academic lectures and mentoring to trips and national competitions, enrichment activities contribute to students’ studies and expand their understanding of subjects. Through enrichment activities, Roedeanians can challenge themselves, acquire new skills and talents, learn to lead and work as part of a team, build a purposeful social conscience, and have fun.
Roedean shines in its breadth of co-curricular offerings, running more than 130 physical, creative, and intellectual activities each week. Participating in these activities can enrich students’ lives and contribute to their personal development beyond purely academic pursuits.
Differentiation And Personalisation
Lessons at Roedean have a purposeful yet relaxed atmosphere, underpinned by trust-based student-teacher relationships. These dynamics foster productive learning environments that teachers can adjust to suit students’ needs. Teachers also personalise lessons to suit each individual.
Roedean understands that children have individual needs and learn at different rates. Under the Equality Act 2010 and the Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND) Code of Practice, the School commits to personalising and enriching the learning experiences of all students.
The School’s Learning Support Department works with teachers, tutors, heads of year, and house staff to help girls reach their potential through small group support and inclusive teaching.
Where needed, Roedean helps students who require further intervention through a collaborative approach that uses the latest assistive technology.
The School also has a specialist assessor who can evaluate students for access arrangements. This assessor works with external specialists in autism, ADHD, dyslexia, and dyscalculia to ensure Roedean meets the needs of every SEN student.
Assessment And Feedback
Assessments, both formative and summative, support the learning process at Roedean. These assessments allow Roedeanians to demonstrate their understanding of a subject and move forward to embrace new challenges.
The School also encourages students to embrace mistakes as a “natural and essential” aspect of the learning process. Roedean offers feedback to students in a way that identifies key strengths and areas for improvement.
Preparing Students for a Successful Future
With engaging classes, inspiring teachers, and personalised support, Roedean’s curriculum offers students several opportunities for valuable academic and holistic development.
The Lawrence sisters, who founded Roedean School in 1885, envisioned that they would prepare girls for university education and future careers. Today, Roedean’s curriculum builds on this vision, equipping students for successful futures in their chosen fields and empowering them to grow into confident, independent young women.