The Royal Hospital School seeks to stretch and challenge pupils of all academic abilities both in and out of formal lessons. We actively differentiate in class and our mobile learning and e-learning initiatives provide innovative teaching methods and opportunities to learn both co-operatively and independently. There are 66 x 55-minute periods over each fortnight and a large range of academic co-curricular activities across the year groups including debating, public speaking, Model United Nations, academic societies and Young Enterprise.
On joining the School in Year 7, each pupil is assessed using the MidYIS test. This is designed to measure, as far as possible, ability and aptitude for learning, rather than achievement. The test comprises four sections (Vocabulary, Maths, Non-verbal and Skills) and the results can be used to identify pupils' strengths and weaknesses, inform teaching and learning, and to identify gifted pupils and those with special educational needs.
This information is used to help set pupils a Challenge Grade or personal goal in each subject. Throughout the year, pupil performance in each subject is then tracked using attainment grades compared to the Challenge Grade. This provides a performance indicator ie Blue (exceeds expectation), Green (on target), Amber (some concerns) and Red (specific concerns), shown in interim and end-of-term reports.
This careful monitoring of academic progress and early intervention to resolve any difficulties ensures that each and every pupil achieves his or her personal best.
At the Royal Hospital School we refer to homework as ‘prep’ which falls into one of three categories: ‘Preparation’, ‘Consolidation’ or ‘Stretch’. Examples of ‘Preparation’ may be learning vocabulary for a future test or undertaking a research project for the next lesson. ‘Consolidation’ might involve writing up notes from a topic covered in a lesson or practising exam questions. ‘Stretch’ tasks are aimed at pushing pupils beyond what they have already learned and encouraging independent learning.
Prep for Year 7 and day pupils in Year 8 is timetabled and takes place after lessons in a classroom environment, supervised by a member of the teaching staff. This helps our younger pupils to organise their time and plan ahead. As pupils progress through the year groups, they are encouraged to develop regular independent working habits and time management skills as the amount of prep increases. The day houses hold daily monitored prep sessions after school and the boarding houses provide quiet working time after supper for boarders.
The reporting system exists in order to set pupils realistic, yet stretching, targets in each subject and to keep parents informed of their son’s or daughter’s progress in relation to those targets. It aims to provide precise and clear information for both pupils and parents using Challenge Grades and Performance Indicators in each subject and reports and assessments are issued at regular intervals throughout the academic year.
Good work in the classroom is recognised through the departmental reward systems. For outstanding work there are formal Distinction presentations made by the Headmaster; pupils who gain four or more in an academic year are rewarded. In the House there are rewards offered for a variety of activities, ranging from achievements on the sports field to those who have done particularly well in the half-termly assessments.
Every pupil has a dedicated house-based tutor who meets with his or her tutees on a regular basis and keeps in touch with parents regarding academic progress.
Tutors are focused on helping pupils make the most of their education. Every child will meet with his or her tutor formally at least once week, they are able to provide guidance and support on an informal basis in between these meetings. Tutors will set goals, highlight achievements and, where necessary, ensure additional help or resources are provided. Through baseline testing, targets are set against quantifiable national data, giving each pupil the opportunity to fulfil his or her academic potential.
When a pupil enters the Sixth Form, alongside formal classroom teaching, there is an emphasis on important study skills and independent thought with the invaluable support of a Tutor. Each pupil's Tutor is their mentor and guide. They will meet with him or her every week, both individually and as part of a small group. During these meetings their progress is reviewed, ideas are shared and matters of concern, pastoral or academic, can be raised. It is our ultimate objective to make sure that every pupil has the opportunity to choose from a wide range of university degree courses and is prepared for successful employment in whatever career he or she chooses. The pupil's Tutor is therefore closely involved in the critical matter of university entry, giving assistance with completing personal statements and UCAS forms.
Further support comes from the Head of Sixth Form, Heads of Department, specialist academic societies and the well-resourced Careers Department and the Higher Education Co-ordinator. Alongside this, the Learning Support Department offers individually tailored specialist teaching in one-to-one lessons for pupils with dyslexia or similar learning difficulties. This might cover study skills, revision techniques and improving literacy.
Pupils take part in physical education, including swimming, as part of their timetabled lessons and have two (Year 9) or three (Years 7 and 8) games sessions each week, one of which is on a Saturday afternoon.
Year 10 and 11 pupils have one PE lesson and two games sessions each week, one of which is on a Saturday afternoon.
Our sixth formers have a wide range of sporting activities to choose from. These include team sports such as rugby, hockey, netball, cricket, but there are also opportunities in individual sports such as swimming (including lifeguarding qualification), tennis kickboxing, golf, training in the School's brand new, state-of-the-art gym, kayaking, table-tennis, trampolining, cross country, athletics, sailing, use of the new indoor climbing wall and horse riding.
For elite sportsmen and women, RHS provides strength and conditioning coaching with qualified coaches, in addition to tailored coaching in the sport of their choice.
Great importance is placed on balancing academic work with interests and achievements outside the classroom and every pupil is encouraged to become fully involved in School life, to challenge themselves and to try something new. This involvement helps to produce interesting, well-rounded individuals who will contribute to society in life beyond school.
Music, art, design and drama form an important part of the core curriculum and through three games sessions per week and class-based PE lessons, children gain confidence, build physical fitness and benefit from healthy competition. All Year 7 pupils complete a week-long sailing course in their first term with the option to gain RYA qualifications.
In addition, all junior pupils are encouraged to take part in the co-curricular opportunities after school. As well as music lessons and working toward drama qualifications, there is a wide range of organised activities and societies each day between 17:00 and 18:00.
All Year 9 and 10 pupils take part in the Duke of Edinburgh's Award Scheme and Combined Cadet Force and many continue through until the end of the Sixth Form.
In addition, pupils are encouraged to take part in the co-curricular opportunities after school. As well as music lessons and working toward drama qualifications, there is a wide range of organised activities and societies each day between 16:00 and 18:00.
All pupils have the opportunity to get involved in voluntary work, leadership and service, as well as balancing their academic commitments with sport and physical activity (two games sessions each week, one of which is a Saturday afternoon), creating an excellent all-round Sixth Form Education preparing our pupils for life beyond school.