RIPON Grammar School is opening its Sixth Form doors to prospective students from all over the region to give them a taste of the broad and inspiring range of opportunities on offer.
Named top state school in the North by The Sunday Times for the sixth year running and rated outstanding for both its education and boarding by Ofsted, the school now has around 50 additional sixth form places for students from other schools, starting in September 2019.
Current fifth formers and their parents are invited to the Open Evening on January 21 to meet sixth form students and staff, who are keen to demonstrate how much more there is to Ripon Grammar School than outstanding exam results.
As well as discovering more about RGS’s exceptional academic programme, prospective students will be able to explore a wide range of enrichment activities, from charity work, volunteering and business enterprise to sport, music and drama.
Frank Morgan, from Northallerton, joined RGS last year from St Francis Xavier School in Richmond, which doesn't have a sixth form. The 18-year-old, studying biology, maths and economics at A-level, said: “It was a really big step to move here from my previous school. But it wasn’t hard to make friends. Once you settle in, it feels like you’ve been here the whole time.”
Frank, who hopes to study countryside management at university, added: “The level of interaction with teachers is great, alongside more discussion-led lessons it gives you a deeper understanding of your subjects.”
Lucy Bourdais, who joined RGS last year from Sedgefield Community College, agreed. The 17-year-old, studying history, classics and biology at A-level and planning to read ancient history at university, said she soon settled in: “The buddy system here really works and everyone is very friendly and welcoming. I am really enjoying it.”
While the school is consistently placed among the top in the country for results and the progress students make, with the majority going on to study at elite Russell Group universities, head of sixth form Terry Fell stresses that Ripon Grammar School is far from an academic ‘hot house’.
“We encourage independent learning, with exceptional academic and pastoral support but students are also encouraged to take on leadership roles and develop wider skills and confidence through involvement in a broad range of other activities,” he said.
“We also offer students the chance to gain a sense of independence within our thriving boarding community, which provides a unique preparation for university life.”
Mr Fell advises: “Choosing the right sort of post-16 school or college for you is as important as selecting the right courses. There is no need to book a place at our Open Evening, why not come along and discover whether Ripon Grammar School might be the right school for you?”
“Our subject and pastoral staff will be able to offer you advice and guidance on subject choices, whilst our current students can tell you about their experiences of our sixth form.”
Since RGS is a state school – and the only state boarding school in Yorkshire - education is free, with boarding costing around a third of most independent school fees.
*Ripon Grammar School’s Sixth Form Open Evening, which runs from 6.30pm to 9pm on January 21, includes a presentation by headmaster Jonathan Webb, tours of the Sixth Form and a chance to talk with teachers and students. Deadline for applications to RGS sixth form is Monday February 4, 2019.
Welcome to Ripon Grammar School: Front and above, Frank Morgan and Lucy Bourdais outside Ripon Grammar School. Top, head of sixth form Terry Fell and sixth form co-ordinator Emma Griffiths with students in the Sixth Form Centre