Four Features That Make Roedean School Unique

Choosing a secondary school for your daughter can be difficult, especially when many schools’ offerings are similar. Meanwhile, Roedean, a sought-after girls’ boarding school in Brighton, is a standout choice for families across the UK and beyond. 

Several factors set Roedean School apart from others, as highlighted in its outstanding ISI results. Many of these unique features lie in Roedean’s stand-out offerings and historic backdrop.

These are four of the features that, under the direction of headteacher Niamh Green and former Head of School Talia Keller, make Roedean School unique.

1. A Holistic, Student-Centred Education

Headteacher Niamh Green explains that when the Lawrence sisters founded Roedean School 125 years ago, they set an intention to give girls a truly holistic education. Roedean upholds the Lawrence sisters’ mission to this day. 

When girls embark on the most important years of their development at Roedean, they receive all the support they need to thrive physically, emotionally, and academically. They receive an education that:

  • Inspires and challenges them.
  • Allows them to find and pursue their passions.
  • Prepares them for their futures as resilient, strong, young women.

Each member of Roedean’s pastoral team undergoes thorough Safeguarding training so they can best support the girls. Thanks to the work of former Designated Safeguarding Lead Talia Keller, students can access Pastoral Managers whenever they need support, advice, encouragement, or care.

Although many girls’ schools are seeing a decline in student numbers, Roedean has seen 100% growth in student numbers and 200% growth in UK students over the past decade.

Much of this growth is down to Roedean recruiting local families, many of whom didn’t otherwise know that an education at the girls’ private school was accessible.

2. Roedean School’s Royal Charter

In 1938, King George VI granted Roedean a Royal Charter of Incorporation, highlighting the School’s status as a leading girls’ private school. 

At the time, Sir Paul Lawrence, the brother of Roedean’s founders, explained that the Royal Charter “proclaims to the world that [Roedean] is a first-rate school in every respect.” 

Roedean Governors — Old Roedeanians and Council members — have worked alongside staff like Niamh Green and Talia Keller (who has now left the School) to uphold this standard ever since.

3. An Education That Spans Beyond Academia

While academia is important to any education, Roedean goes beyond the classroom to help students spark their intellectual curiosity. 

From presenting the findings of their Academic Projects in lectures and assemblies to exploring their individual interests in the Extended Project Qualification (EPQ), students enjoy countless opportunities to pursue interests outside the core curriculum. 

Other beyond-the-classroom opportunities include:

  • The chance to enter national literary competitions, such as the Newnham Essay Competitions and Stephen Spender Poetry Prize.
  • Access to discrete Mathematics modules at the University of Sussex. These modules are particularly popular given that Mathematics is the most chosen A Level subject at Roedean.
  • Key Stage 3 research projects.
  • The Heads, Hands, Hearts Programme.
  • The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award.
  • Weekly academic lectures.
  • Sixth Form electives and pathways.
  • Wild Fridays. Year 7 spends Friday afternoons outside, enjoying activities like land yachting and archery. They also learn the names of indigenous plants, how to make a fire, and how to clip a sheep’s hoof.
  • 130 co-curricular activities, including sea swimming, trampolining, farming, Lego engineering, astronomy, and house competitions.
  • Lessons on 22 instruments. Roedean hosts 264 instrumental lessons a week. Over the past 5 years, 30 students have achieved Grade 8 level on their instruments.
  • Six styles of dance lessons, including ballet, jazz, and modern.
  • Performance examinations from LAMDA, RAD Dance, ABRSM, and Trinity Guildhall.
  • The chance to perform in concerts, productions, and recitals.
  • The chance to display creative work in Art shows.
  • Practice sessions for 26 sports, over 800 sports fixtures, and the chance to represent Roedean in county- and club-level sports.
  • The annual International Women’s Day Festival. 83 speakers have given insightful talks at this festival over the past 5 years.
  • The annual Careers’ Fair. More than 50 contributors from several professions help students consider potential career routes at this event.

4. Individualised Preparation for Elite Universities

Students receive the personalised academic, emotional, and practical support they need to secure places at prestigious universities all over the world. In 2021, 85% of students secured places at their top-choice universities.

The diverse range of degrees students select reflects the broad interests they pursue at Roedean. Students have gone on to study Oxbridge degree courses like History, Information Engineering, Law, Medicine, and Anglo-Saxon, Norse, and Celtic.

In 2020-21, 74% of Year 13 Students secured places at Russell Group universities. Over the past 3 years, 12 medics have won competitive university places. And over the past 6 years, 16 students have won Oxbridge places.

The most popular university destinations for students include Oxbridge, Durham, University College London, Bristol, Warwick, Imperial College London, Loughborough, and Manchester.

Learn more about what makes Roedean School unique.