Not only is the Royal Hospital School one of the few remaining schools in the United Kingdom to offer full seven-day-a-week boarding, it nurtures academic excellence and provides an unrivalled choice of extra-curricular activities and opportunity. Every pupil has the chance to pursue a huge range of interests, to discover new passions and develop values that will last for life.
The Royal Hospital School is a leading independent co-educational boarding and day school in East Anglia. The School has a roll of around 700 pupils aged 11-18, 500 of whom are boarders with the rest being day pupils or day boarders. The School occupies a magnificent site on the banks of the River Stour in the Suffolk countryside, a few miles south of Ipswich.
The Royal Hospital School provides an outstanding all round education for its pupils. Academic standards are high and the school has a very wide-ranging programme of sport, music and extra-curricular activities. The School’s Combined Cadet Force (CCF) is the tenth largest in the country and many pupils participate in the Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme. Sailing is a particular strength and it is usually the case that the School’s top sailors are competing at international level.
The main points of entry are at 11+ (mostly from primary schools), 13+ (mostly from prep schools) and 16+, although the School does admit pupils at all other ages. 90% of the School’s departing Upper Sixth Form pupils progress on to higher education, and many of them secure places at the UK’s leading universities, including Oxford, Cambridge, Bristol, Durham, Edinburgh and other Russell Group institutions.
Having just completed a five year programme of building development, which included the creation of a new music school at a cost of £3.6million and a complete refurbishment of boarding accommodation, the Royal Hospital School now has outstanding facilities.
Staff Trained in Mental Health First Aid as School prepares to re-open
As the RHS prepares to re-open, staff are being trained in Mental Health First Aid so that they can support young people on their return after such a long period of time away from school.
22nd August 2020 — The last six months have been extremely unsettling for all young people as schools shut, public examinations cancelled, team sports and group activities stopped, extended family and friends distanced and all semblance of leading a normal teenage social life disappeared. It is therefore no surprise, that some children are struggling with the thought of returning to the new normal.
As the Royal Hospital School, Suffolk, prepares to re-open this September, robust Covid-19 health and safety measures have been put in place to reduce the risk to the whole school community but the School is also equipping its staff to support young people on their return after such a long period away from school.
Zoë King, Deputy Head (Pastoral) explains:
"We have trained 25 teachers and 13 pastoral and support staff in Mental Health First Aid with the aim of empowering them to notice signs of mental ill health, and encourage them to break down barriers, listen in a non-judgemental way, and signpost vulnerable young people towards professional support either at school or from home. This is one the largest number of staff to be trained in this way in any school in the country and I believe it will heighten awareness and knowledge about mental health issues.
In addition, I will be running staff workshops just prior to the beginning of term to focus specifically on supporting both day pupils and boarders coming back into the school environment and dealing with complications associated with the Covid-19 pandemic. With 500 full boarders, some of whom are a long distance from home, we feel that this extra layer of support and awareness is vital".
The training was provided by Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) England https://mhfaengland.org/
Headmaster praises pupils for their hard work and resilience in unsettling times
• 96.4% 9-4 pass rate (A*-C equivalent)
• 45.4% 9-7 pass rate (A*-A equivalent)
• 41 pupils achieved at least six 9 to 7 grades
• 16 pupils achieved at least 9 to 7 in every subject
20th August 2020 — The Royal Hospital School is pleased to announce a 96.4% 9-4 pass rate in this year’s GCSE results based on Centre Assessed Grades and a year on year improvement for the School. In addition, there was a 45.4% pass rate for 9 to 7 grades (the equivalent of the old A*/A grades), 41 pupils achieved at least six 9-7 grades and 16 pupils were awarded a 9 to 7 in every subject studied.
Catherine Stevens, Deputy Head (Academic), said “We had high expectations for this year’s cohort based on their accomplishments over the past two years and their continued hard work right up until the day that it was announced that examinations would not take place. The Centre Assessed Grades they have been awarded are an honest and rigorous assessment of individual performance and I would like to congratulate the whole year group on a set of results that they should be proud of, despite all the uncertainty in the run up to today.”
In a personal message to the Year 11 of 20219/20, Headmaster, Simon Lockyer, said “I am enormously very proud of you all. The last six months has been extremely unsettling, and you have shown resilience, determination, and strength of character. Uncertainty generates anxiety and I am sad that many of you will have felt this as such an important time in your school careers. It is now time to look forward. Every one of you who has worked hard, remained focused and risen to the challenges presented, should be pleased with what you have accomplished and I look forward to welcoming the majority of you back for Sixth Form at RHS. Those not returning, I wish you the very best in the next stage of your education and please do keep in touch”.
Excellent A Level results for The Royal Hospital School
The Royal Hospital School has seen A Level and BTEC results continue to improve year on year as the school achieved an 87% A*-C pass rate despite the impact of national standardisation.
14th August 2020 — The Royal Hospital School (RHS), in Suffolk, has seen A Level and BTEC results continue to improve year on year as the school achieved an 87% A*-C pass rate despite the impact of national standardisation. These results and the A*-B pass rate are better than the average for the previous three years. Taking into consideration Awarded Grades and potential mock adjustment, the School is hopeful that it will achieve its best performance at A*/A grade since 2011 with a 34% pass rate.
Of the 108 pupils studying A Levels and BTECs this academic year, 23 pupils have been awarded the points equivalent of three A grades or more.
87% A*-C pass rate which is in line with what was expected before lock-down
31.4% A*-A grades which should rise to 34% when mock results are taken into account
23 pupils achieved the points equivalent of three A grades
Results at A*-B and A*-C are better than the average of the previous three years
80% of BTEC pupils achieved at least one Distinction grade
Outstanding results for Music, Latin & Classics and BTEC subjects.
Catherine Stevens, Deputy Head (Academic) said: "It has been an incredibly anxious time for young people nationally and, in the circumstances, I am really pleased for the vast majority of our pupils who have gained grades which have enabled them to move on to the next stage of their education or employment. However, there is bitter disappointment for some where the national standardisation has resulted in a less positive picture. It will take some time to fully understand how the standardisation has been applied and we are currently working to support those pupils as best we can. Whilst the recent introduction of the 'Triple Lock' with mock grades is extremely controversial and scant in detail, we hope it will provide protection for pupils who have been affected by standardisation."
She continued: "Our most academically able pupils have continued to achieve top grades, and we are delighted by our BTEC results: predominantly completed before lock-down commenced, these extremely strong results demonstrate that RHS continues to provide a broad curriculum that successfully caters for all our pupils. Results from our Music department continue to be exceptional, and this year Classics and the Sciences have gained particularly pleasing grades, with significant numbers of pupils studying those subjects gaining a raft of A* and A grades. The overall grades that the School has achieved are in line with what we expected for this cohort should examinations have taken place as normal, making them some of our best results on record. This reflects the ability and the strong work ethic of this cohort, and I am extremely pleased that the hard work of our staff to continue the academic trajectory of the school has not been diminished. We are now focusing on providing the highest level of support for our pupils to help them understand the context of their grades and assist them moving on to their next stage."
Simon Lockyer, Headmaster, said: "Despite the confusion and speculation over A Level results and in the context of national standardisation, I am delighted to see the hard work and potential of this cohort reflected in most areas and this has contributed to the continued upward trend of improved results at RHS. For some pupils, however, there will have been frustration and anxiety over the process of awarding grades and the inability to demonstrate their ability under exam conditions. We recognise that there will be those who will feel a sense of injustice in the grades they have been awarded and the lack of recourse to challenge their grade. It is therefore our priority to help each and every one of them make the best choices so that they can move on to the next stage of their career, be that educational or otherwise."
He continued: "Of course, the most disappointing part of this situation is the time these pupils have lost in the final year of their school career. They have all made a remarkable contribution to school life through leadership roles, sport, music, service and participating in the many co-curricular activities on offer, despite the disruption. I am incredibly proud of what they have achieved, and we look forward to following their progress, in whatever path they follow."
School’s Virtual Art Gallery attracts over a thousand visitors in two days
Disappointed that her A level and GCSE students were unable to hold their usual end-of-year show, Harriet Barber, Head of Art at the Royal Hospital School, Suffolk, decided to create a Virtual Art Gallery.
23rd June 2020 — With over 200 pieces of work that need to be photographed and uploaded, it was no small undertaking and took over 20 hours to complete. However, over the weekend alone, the galleries welcomed over a thousand visitors between them since opening on Friday.
Commenting on the success, Mrs. Barber said: “Our GCSE and A level students have worked so hard these past two years to produce an impressive body of work, I did not want Covid-19 to rob them of their chance to shine. RHS has its own fantastic exhibition space, the Atrium Gallery, where pupil’s work would normally be put on show at the end of the year, with family and friends invited to come along. We normally expect between 40 and 50 visitors, so we are overwhelmed by the response to our 3D gallery.”
The galleries will remain open until the end of July, so anyone is welcome to enjoy the work of the pupils.
800 Lockdown Letters Sent to 800 80-year-olds by the Royal Hospital School
Pupils at the Royal Hospital School (RHS) in Suffolk have handwritten 800 letters to be sent to elderly alumni of the school to help combat loneliness in lockdown. The initiative was a joint effort by the Compass Programme and the Alumni Association.
19th June 2020 — The initiative was a joint effort by the school's Compass Programme and the Alumni Association to help build a bridge with elderly alumni during self-isolation. The school’s Compass Programme provides Lower School pupils with citizenship skills and, in this case, to develop curiosity by asking alumni questions whilst keeping alive the disappearing art of the handwritten letter. The initiative also formed part of the school’s remote curriculum which has meant all 750 pupils the world over being able to continue their studies via online teaching.
The hope is that these pen pal friendships continues into the future enabling very different generations to form a connection through a common bond.
Commenting on Lockdown Letters, Andy Redwood, Vice President, RHS (Alumni) Association said: “Older alumni remember waiting for their name to be called to receive letters from home during their days at RHS. By reimagining the tradition of ‘Letters Home’ today’s pupils are reaching out to older alumni at a time when they need human connection the most."
Pupils Joining Royal Hospital School Sixth Form Get A Head Start
As schools take a break for half-term, nineteen pupils who are joining the Royal Hospital School’s sixth form this September have already enjoyed a taste of academic life at their new school, albeit remotely.
22nd May 2020 —
As well as preparing in advance for sixth-form life, they have met their teachers and peers by joining a series of remote lessons. These have been devised for the Royal Hospital School’s Year 11s in advance of their A level or BTEC studies next academic year.
The nineteen pupils come from schools across Suffolk and Essex as well as throughout the UK. The process of involving them was straightforward for RHS as the school has been running a full curriculum of remote lessons for each of its year groups since lockdown began in March.
Commenting on their experience of remote lessons, the parents of one pupil joining RHS in September said:
“Since RHS took our daughter under its wing, she has fully integrated into the pre-sixth form classes and identified with her peers. This opportunity has helped cement her sixth form subject options and she is thriving from the effective content delivery by her expert teachers. She has been captivated, inspired and is raring to go. If virtual learning is as good as this, what will face-to-face lessons be like?"
Head of RHS Sixth Form, Chris Graham, commented:
“By being able to meet their sixth-form teachers and future classmates, it makes the transition to a new school a lot easier. They have enjoyed the experience and better understand the scope of their chosen subjects and the change in teaching and learning style that comes with a move up the school. For some, it has been the first time they have been able to get back to their studies since lockdown.”