We aim to stretch and challenge all of our pupils; to foster a lifelong love of learning and to develop the ability to overcome challenges. This may be through our academic departments developing inquisitive minds and encouraging a deeper subject knowledge or by providing pupils with the opportunity to extend themselves beyond the classroom.

Trips and Tours

Departments arrange both day and residential trips to enrich the curriculum and provide a wide variety of educational benefits. These have included academic conferences and lectures, Duke of Edinburgh’s Award expeditions, language exchanges, a CCF tour to the USA, ski trips, geography trips to Iceland, band and cultural tours to South Africa and Canada, choir tours to South Africa, Barbados and Malta, sports tours, a classics trip to Italy, an art trip to New York and a volunteering community support trip to Uganda

Riddle Society

The Riddle Society is named after two distinguished headmasters of the Royal Hospital School: Edward Riddle who was headmaster in the 1840s and his son, John Riddle, who succeed him in 1851. Both were astronomers, mathematicians and teachers of navigation. The Society showcases our programme of academic stretch and challenge in the Lower School (Years 7 to 9) and meets twice a term to discuss topics as diverse as "How to tackle the problem of inequality?", "How to reinvigorate our High streets" and "Using inspiration from the Roman world to design and build an aqueduct".

Studd Society

The Studd Society is named after a former pupil of the Royal Hospital School, Professor John Studd, who pioneered the use of Hormone Replacement Therapy and continued to be involved in the forefront of menopause treatments into later life. The Studd Society seeks to stretch and challenge our senior pupils (years 10-13) through a series of collaborative problem-solving activities, such as creating their own language, as well as pupil-led talks with titles such as "How does the representation of women in classical myth reflect the presentation of women in modern media?" and "Why the propensity for conflict has declined between Western nations.

Model United Nations

Model United Nations (MUN) is an academic simulation of the United Nations in which pupils play the role of UN Member States to debate current issues on the Organisation's vast agenda. Serving as 'Distinguished Representatives' of their State, pupils prepare draft resolutions, negotiate with supporters and adversaries, resolve conflicts and navigate the UN's rules of procedure in the interest of mobilising international cooperation to resolve multinational problems. Model United Nations (MUN) educates participants in civics, world current affairs, effective communication, globalisation and multi-lateral diplomacy.

All Year 7 pupils are introduced to MUN at the end of their first year and those that continue can take part in around twelve inter-school conferences each year around the country including ROYMUN held at the Royal Hospital School.


Debating and Public Speaking

The School has an enviable reputation for debating and public speaking, with pupils involved in competitions both internally and against other schools. There is a junior debating society which meets weekly as well as a whole school debating society, the de Leybourne, run by Sixth Form pupils. Pupils who want to pursue these skills further can receive weekly training for external competitions such as the Rotary Club Public Speaking, the ESU Mace and schools’ debating competitions run by universities such as Oxford, Cambridge and Bristol.

Academic Clubs

Departments also offer academic clubs and societies to help pupils further explore their intellectual curiosity. Whether it is Classical Greek, MedSoc or STEM, there is something for everyone.