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Rugby School
Rugby, CV22 5EH Warwickshire
01788 556216

Head Master's Welcome

Patrick Derham

Patrick Derham
Head Master of Rugby School

Academic distinction is important, but more important are the values that go with it. At Rugby, pupils explore their own identities and strengths, and find the sympathetic expertise that helps them to transform individual talents into accomplishments - accomplishments which will make them valued and respected in an increasingly complex world. This kind of humane wisdom is what Dr Arnold believed in, and it is still a key aspect of what makes Rugby distinctive today. 

Stephen Fry who played Dr Arnold in the most recent adaptation of Tom Brown's Schooldays wrote to me after speaking to the pupils during the filming to say:  

"I can't tell you how delighted I was by the naturalness, friendliness and all round bright-eyed charm of your pupils.  So easy to think of all teenagers as glum, awkward, rude lumps who can't meet your eyes or engage in conversation without shuffling and scowling.  Your boys and girls reflect great credit on you, your staff and the school."

Schools are all about people and I think Stephen Fry captures the very essence of what makes Rugby School special - its pupils.

Enjoy looking at the website but it is no substitute for a visit.  We look forward to welcoming you to what is undoubtedly a remarkable and innovative institution that has every right to be seen as the leading co-educational boarding school in the country.

About the School

Rugby School is an educational community whose philosophy embraces the challenges of academic excellence, spiritual awareness, responsibility and leadership, friendships and relationships and participation in a wide variety of activities.

The Community
Walking from chapel
Boys, girls and staff come to Rugby School from a wide range of backgrounds and from home and abroad. The staff, collectively, have very considerable experience and wisdom. The boys and girls have vast potential. All have curiosity and ability.
Whilst we have collective aims, everyone is treated as an individual: all boys and girls are encouraged to develop their talents and gifts and to use initiative to achieve this.
As an individual everyone is part of a larger group – a year group in a House, the House itself, a class, a team, the School community and Rugby town. We wish all members of the School to think of others at least as much as they do of themselves, giving as well as receiving, including all, trusting others, being tolerant of those who have different views and habits, respecting all around as individuals and caring about them, and always being prepared to help when needed.
These are demanding expectations, but within the Rugby School community there is much support towards these ends; we believe that a friendly and happy atmosphere brings out the best in all of us and we shall endeavour to treat all in this way and in a spirit of co-operation and generosity.
Above all, members of the School should treat those around them as they themselves would like to be treated. Any unpleasantness directed at any member of the School or the wider community will not be tolerated.
Academic Excellence
Marshall House Science lesson

One of the on-going challenges is the achievement of the highest academic standards. You are stretched and you will be surprised by what you can achieve. Hard work is expected as a matter of course; there will be pressure and you have to take sensible initiatives not only in doing the work but also in managing when it is to be done. The more you become involved the more you enjoy it. This requires commitment and determination to stay the course when you are stretched to your limit.
Spiritual Awareness
To be a well-balanced individual we need a sense of spiritual awareness along with academic achievement and physical ability. The experience of holiness, an understanding of right and wrong, and respect for the worth of each human being; these are the invisible strands that hold our community together. These values are learned in every part of our lives but the School Chapel and the activities connected with it are a particular focus for our spiritual growth.
Responsibility and Leadership
In a community every individual bears significant responsibility. Setting a good example is a major part of this responsibility and ultimately this is one of the hallmarks of good leadership. Good discipline should come from members of the School themselves and should not always have to be imposed by the School. All boys and girls need to develop their self-awareness so that they can examine themselves critically and be aware of any shortcomings and, being aware of such, to admit them and rectify them.
For those coming to the school, you enter the School as a child and you leave newly adult. Increasingly we expect all boys and girls to shoulder responsibilities for their work, for those around them who are younger and for the freedom they are given. We expect boys and girls to be articulate but able to listen, to be forthright but courteous and to be extremely busy but always ready to help others when needed.
Friendships and Relationships
One of the greatest gifts we can receive is that of friendship – being received into a group openly and willingly. For most adults, one of the best memories of School was the forging of friendships, many of which last a lifetime. Friendships spring up within Houses, between those in different Houses, within classes, within teams and within other extra-curricular activities. It is natural that in moving through a co-educational School degrees of relationship will develop too. This is part of the awareness of adult life to follow.


Maximising Potential

Girl working in study bedroom
The Academic Curriculum is of central importance. Considerable emphasis is placed on helping pupils achieve their best and we expect in return a good work ethic and a desire to do well. Pupils in the Lower School are streamed or put into sets according to ability, enabling us to maximize the effectiveness of the learning process. We have an experienced Learning Development Department which offers support to many pupils including those with specific learning difficulties and those who have problems in getting to grips with particular aspects of their studies. The tutorial system underpins both pastoral and academic support ensuring that each pupil is treated as an individual, encouraged and supported as appropriate. Every member of staff has around ten tutees spread across all the year groups in a particular boarding or day house. Tutorials are held at least once a week to discuss how things are going. Regular internal reports form the basis of these tutorial conversations and of target setting. The school monitors pupil progress with care and parents are informed if concerns persist. 

Independent Learning

Academic facilities are excellent with most classrooms now fitted with interactive white boards and a fully resourced ICT network available across the campus via wireless connections. We have a state of the art language laboratory, newly fitted out in 2006 and recently refurbished Science Schools. The Temple Reading Room (library) is an outstanding resource and is much used by pupils and teachers alike. A strong emphasis on engaging pupils in their own learning and in making the academic experience a creative and enjoyable one is underpinned by a range of societies and lectures for pupils of all ages. Debates, language days, “book week”, brains trust discussions, science forums, subject based societies of all sorts provide opportunities for pupils to develop their own research, communication and thinking skills in a lively and challenging environment.

We emphasize the development of individual skills. The importance of communication is self evident. Facility in presenting ideas cogently, in speaking in public and in producing well reasoned arguments are central to success in almost every walk of life. The ability to work in groups or to research and plan individually are universally prized as is competence in problem solving, self motivation and creativity. Skills are developed across the curriculum and in many other aspects of life at Rugby, culminating in a sixth form Management Conference in the Trinity term in which our pupils team up with sixth formers from a number of neighbouring schools in a series of challenges. The final task is judged as a competition by local Head Teachers. Numeracy is developed through a well taught course in IGCSE mathematics in the Lower School. Those whose skills are relatively weak are given extra lessons in Year 9 (the F Block) to ensure competence in key areas. Mathematics remains one of our most popular subjects at AS and A2. Competence in ICT is encouraged across the curriculum at all levels with possession of a laptop compulsory for everyone up to GCSE and strongly recommended thereafter. 

Well Rounded Individuals

We place considerable importance on PSHE (Personal, Social and Health Education). Pupils are encouraged to discuss all aspects of their welfare and are brought to think carefully about their own principles and attitudes. Talks by visiting speakers and small group discussions form the core of our delivery with topics of all sorts addressed in a supportive environment. Respect for oneself and for others is the dominant theme with the emphasis on encouraging pupils to develop as well rounded and caring individuals, capable of making reasoned judgments and able to deal positively with the challenges that will face them as adolescents and adults. 

Forward Looking and Innovative

There is much that is innovative about our curriculum. With growing emphasis on active learning, pupils are engaged as much as possible in their own learning. Links with IBM make our sixth form IT course one of the most up to date in the country with pupils working alongside a Master Inventor to create devices applicable to the modern world. Perspectives on Science, a new and pioneering course in philosophy, ethics and science invites pupils to develop high level research skills in an AS Level examined solely through a research thesis and presentation, now accepted by QCA as a model for the sixth form extended essay which will be made available to all schools from 2008. An Oriental Studies course invites pupils to broaden their understanding of China, its cultural, political and historical roots and the inspiration behind its economic resurgence, a course more likely to equip pupils for contact with the Orient than the relatively low linguistic skills imparted through a study of Mandarin to GCSE. We are closely involved in developing the Cambridge Pre-University Qualification which aims to replace A Levels with more academically rigorous programmes of study. Although we remain open minded in our attitude towards the new A Levels we are nonetheless determined to give our pupils the best of the academic courses on offer. 

Excellent Value Added

Our academic results are excellent with the raw data masking impressive Value Added figures. We challenge and cajole by turns with the ultimate aim of equipping our pupils with intellectual curiosity and the skills to move forward in life with confidence.

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