Roedean – the girls’ view
An all-embracing approach Roedean provides girls with an all-embracing education which goes far beyond excellent academic results, and they flourish in an environment which is challenging and supportive. Not every girl can achieve success on a national level, but every single girl is valued as an individual and given the opportunities to develop her talents, and perhaps even discover some that she did not know she had. “Girls all - unconsciously - smile when asked about life at school. Endorsement doesn’t come much more authentic.” (Good Schools’ Guide 2014). With the English Channel a few hundred metres away, there can be few schools with such an impressive backdrop. However, even when the weather is poor, there is something magical about Roedean’s location, and the girls often talk about the beauty of sun, rain and clouds over the sea.
A star outside the classroom is often A* within it We know that girls who are happy in their environment will be successful in a variety of different spheres of school life, and we are justly proud that visitors to the school all comment on the happy and purposeful nature of the girls they see. At Roedean, the girls do achieve exceptionally high results in public examinations, but the school is certainly not driven only by the pursuit of top grades. The wide range of co-curricular activities on offer at Roedean complement the girls’ academic work, and successes in one area often build the confidence to be successful in another.
A beautiful and safe environment to grow up in Roedean is a warm and lively home for over 490 girls, all of whom are fully integrated into boarding houses which have recently undergone a multi-million pound refurbishment, and recent articles in the Sunday Times Style magazine and in Tatler have likened the boarding houses to a boutique hotel. We hope that they feel like a home away from home. The on-site facilities include a beautiful chapel, secluded cloisters, a swimming pool overlooking the sea, a multi-gym, professional theatre, café, dance studios, libraries, tennis and netball courts, hockey pitches, football and cricket pitches, golf course, and 45 acres of grounds.
Developing talents The girls at Roedean are encouraged to push themselves to develop personally, as well as questioning what they learn and do. By developing their talents and honing their skills during their time at school, we aim to prepare girls for life in the twenty-first century, where they can make a difference; Roedean girls will be the leaders of the future. Girls at Roedean are determined to do it all, and excellently. They understand that challenge leads to success, and they relish it.
‘Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire.’ At Roedean, the girls are taught by passionate and dynamic teachers who do not simply provide information for the girls to learn, but rather make them think and challenge what they hear and read, helping to produce young women with multifaceted interests and skills who are curious, confident, and open to new ideas. Roedean focuses on kindling the every girl’s passions, giving her the space to cherish the excitement, freedom, and wonder which comes with youth.
Annabel in Year 9 joined Roedean from another girls’ school in Eastbourne.
Holly is in Year 7 and is a day girl from Brighton. “I love arriving at the House each day and always feel welcome. I have friends in different years and the older girls are like my big sisters.
‘We all want to learn and get good grades at Roedean. The teaching is really enjoyable and it’s cool to do well.
I chose this school because everyone is so nice and you always get listened to. I felt that everyone looked out for each other and had a good relationship with the teachers.”
I love the cookies at Horizons Café too!”
Flo joined Roedean in Year 9 from a local secondary school.
Clara is a London weekly boarder and has been at Roedean nearly 3 years.
“The range of sport is fantastic! Alongside my netball, hockey and swimming, there are loads of other things like dodgeball, scuba diving, gymnastics, horse riding, football, archery, cricket, trampolining – the list goes on and on!”
“I have changed so much, growing and flourishing and found a love of sport. I have a real sense of belonging to a very special and unique community. I know lots of girls across all year groups and it feels like an extension of my family.”
Eleanor joined Roedean from a local co-ed prep school as a drama scholar.
Nancy joined Roedean from a girls’ school in Brighton. “I am so happy since I came to Roedean. My favourite lessons are Biology and the Sciences. Because I go home at 6 o’clock, there are more opportunities to try new things. I am learning about mindfulness at the moment and really enjoying it.”
“The teachers seem to really care that I succeed and enjoy their lessons. I don’t feel geeky when I get good grades. My friends are happy for me.” The scholars’ programme makes me feel stretched and challenged.” Atlanta is a weekly boarder in Year 9. “Roedean is a school where I can be independent, have freedom of speech and take part in leadership activities which has meant my confidence has increased. The school community is like a big family.”
Jemma joined the school in September 2015 in Year 7. “Every day when I arrive at the school, I look at the sea and sky and think how beautiful it is. My mum tells everyone that I go to Roedean and that makes me feel very proud.”
Holly joined Roedean from a local primary school in Year 7.
Mwaba is from Zambia and is a full boarder in Year 7.
“There is always someone to talk to and I am enjoying meeting girls from other countries and learning about their cultures. I love spending time in the House even though am a day girl. House 1 is the best!”
“I think when you are a boarder, you bond with lots of more people. I have boarders and day girls as friends. I don’t worry about anything and I am very happy and busy. The House feels like home.”
Eva is in Year 7 and joined Roedean from a co-ed prep school in Brighton.
Eden is in year 7 and joined Roedean from a co-ed prep school in Brighton.
“I picked Roedean because of the close relationships between staff and students and small class sizes. I really felt that because of the opportunities available I would be able to express myself better than at other schools.”
“I knew Roedean was the school for me, when I realised it allowed me to be me.”
Bonnie in Year 7 joined Roedean from another girls’ school in Brighton.
Sophia is in Year 7 and joined Roedean from a co-ed independent school in Brighton.
“I chose Roedean for the high standard of competitive sport and the brilliant sporting facilities.”
“I chose Roedean because I loved the fact that everyone knew each other and it was really friendly. I loved the fact that it was a single-sex school, as I knew I could focus more on school, my friends and the many opportunities open to me, rather than impressing boys.”
Tatiana joined Roedean from a local primary school.
Rachel is in Year 9 and joined Roedean from a co-ed school in Lewes.
“The view at Roedean has become very important to me and I miss it when I don’t see it. It has amazing people and feels like a second home.
“My teachers inspire and encourage me in lessons which helps me to exceed my expectations and reach new horizons.
I like that the teachers support us individually and encourage us to think outside the box.”
Roedean challenges and stretches me academically, and I am happy I made the change.”
Scarlett is in Year 7 and joined us from a local primary school.
“The classes are smaller and teachers are more focused on the students. My highlights so far are the House competitions which demonstrate both the friendly rivalry and House spirit. I love the fact that the House is somewhere I can go and not just a badge on my blazer.”
“There are lots of things that make Roedean special, and the most important are the co-curricular activities and the spectacular music department. There are also lots of things that make Roedean different, including HHH, the amazing facilities, the architecture, the sea views and the food!”
Pippa is a day girl in Year 9.
Tatum is a day girl and comes from Hove.
“The teachers encourage me to push myself and I have lots of individual attention when I need it.
“I love all of the sport on offer at Roedean, especially the Cross Country. Before I came here, my sister used to tell me how great the school is and I really enjoy the relaxed atmosphere between the teachers and the girls. I love school and look forward to every day.”
I love netball and play in the A team. I want to pursue a career in sport teaching and Ms Robins is helping me with ideas for leadership and gaining umpire experience.”
Rosie is in Year 9 and joined Roedean from a girls’ school in Brighton.
A Monday in Year 7
A Year 9 boarder’s weekend
I meet my friends at the bus-stop and jump on the Roedean minibus at 7:45. As always, Mr Costello is smiley and cracking jokes, so the short journey goes by really quickly. We register with our tutor and then go to Assembly together. My tutorgroup led it last week, and we talked about whether we could manage a day without technology and that maybe we don’t communicate as well as we used to. My friend Mary’s doing it this week – it’s funny to see my friends up on stage, but interesting too. We always talk about the topic of Assembly more in tutor-time tomorrow, as well as looking at the BBC News Channel on the board with Miss Maguire. After Assembly, I have English, then History – Mr Chamberlain is great and he loves History so much that it makes me love it too! It’s taken a while to get used to lessons that last 55 minutes – it seemed like forever at first, but now it’s okay, and you can get lots done.
It is so nice to wake up a little later on a Saturday morning. Last night was brilliant because we had a movie and pizza night in House 2 – it was fun having everyone together, all my friends, and some House Staff too, having some down time in front of a good film and eating pizza and garlic bread. Saturday breakfast runs from 9 till 10, and we can just get up and put on some casual clothes, and then go down to the ODR. Although ODR stands for Old Dining Room, this is about a close as it gets to a dinner, because it’s really just a common room, but there’s nice atmosphere and the smell of toast. After breakfast, Grace normally goes horse-riding, but I love to have a little time to relax and take it easy. But it all changes after lunch, and every Saturday Alex and I jump on the minibus that takes us into Brighton for shopping. It’s good if you need to buy a birthday present for someone or need some shampoo, and I like the hustle and bustle of the city for a bit too. In the evening there are trips sometimes, like last weekend, when some older girls went to see the London Philharmonic Orchestra performing at The Dome.
Lunch is in the Main Dining Room, which is right by my House, so I drop my bag off, then go straight in. It’s nice that my year-group all sits together with our tutors and Head of Year. Feeling relaxed at school and having so many friends is what makes Roedean so fantastic. In the afternoon, I have Drama with Miss Dobbs (she’s my Head of Year too), and we’re doing Musical Theatre at the moment. We are preparing for a show which is coming up soon by learning the lyrics of ‘Like the Sunshine’. When we know the words, we’ll start to work as a group on the dancing. It’s going to be amazing. I’m really looking forward to tomorrow – I’m doing debating club in my HHH programme at the moment, which is interesting because we cover some really juicy topics. Mary’s doing Sign Language and says it’s great, so I think that I’ll choose that or cookery next term. After registration at 4:15, I go to Hockey Club with my friends on Mondays. Our coach, Miss Crawley, is teaching us different ways of hitting the ball, and dribbling too. My hockey’s got so much better recently, and I really hope that I get into the B team this week for our away fixture. Sometimes after school I try to get ahead with my homework, and I can always go to a clinic at 4:30 to speak to my teacher if I don’t quite understand something. Being in senior school has really helped me to manage my time better, and every day I have to decide whether to do one of the afternoon activities or get my work done instead. All that sport makes me really hungry, and it’s chicken and sweet potato chips for tea, my favourite. The school buses leave at 6, and I’m home by about twenty past, with all my homework ticked off in my planner, so I can just relax for the evening with my family. I’m really loving my first year at Roedean, and I’ve made so many friends – it’s brilliant!
What Sunday looks like depends on whether I choose to go on one of the trips or not. If not, there is brunch till 11 which is fantastic. The afternoon is a good time to finish off some homework, so three or four friends and I normally get together in the Hobbies’ Room and work on the big table in there. I like it because you can take a quick break and just look out of the window at the sea – it’s really calming! In the middle of the afternoon, we have cakes, fruit, and sandwiches in the ODR, and that keeps me going till tea. Sunday trips leave at about 8:30 in the morning, depending how far away they are. Next weekend is Harry Potter World, and I actually cannot wait till Sunday. It will be amazing, and four or five of my friends who are day-girls are coming back into school to go on the trip too. I know that we are going to have a fantastic time. I went on the same trip last year, and I loved walking on the sets from the films and seeing props and costumes – I’m so excited and really can’t wait to see it again. The big trips take the whole day, but it’s really worth it, and I know that I wouldn’t have gone to half of the places I’ve been to if I wasn’t a boarder. The last thing to do is to get myself ready for next week, so I get organised and make sure that I’ve done all the prep I have. It’s not long before the weekly boarders from London arrive back with Miss Boobis, and then we can catch up on what’s been happening.
roedean.co.uk Roedean School, Roedean Way, Brighton, East Sussex, BN2 5RQ Tel: +44(0)1273 667500 Registered Charity 307063