Located in Rugby, Warwickshire, the school is known as the birthplace of the sport of rugby and is where the first rules of the game were written down by three of its pupils. It was originally founded in 1567 and is one of the oldest independent schools in Britain. It accepts both boys and girls ages 11-16 and has a mix of boarding and day pupils. The school is easily accessible from East Midlands, Birmingham, London, Luton and Stansted airports by car and is located on the main West Coast railway line between London and Scotland.
In the Lower School, the curriculum aims for a balance of a variety of subjects for pupils to follow before they begin their GCSEs. Lessons in philosophical thinking are interwoven into the curriculum at this stage in order to encourage deeper and more critical thinking. Training in study skills is also provided. International students may select English as an Additional Language as one of their options in order to fully integrate into the School’s academic and social life.
Students moving on to the next part of the Lower School have a wide range of GCSEs to choose from as well as IGCSEs in seven subjects. The humanities, social sciences and creative fields are well-represented, but the school prides itself on a long tradition of excellence in the sciences. English as an Additional Language is also available for international students.
In the Sixth Form, students may choose either the traditional A levels or the new, more rigorous Cambridge Pre-U subjects (Maths, Physics, Chemistry, Art and Photography). The focus at this level is on preparation for university through independent, scholarly work. Pupils may also complete an Extended Project as an addition to and extension of one the regular subjects. These require more intensive research, are evaluated through dissertation or performance and are considered to be excellent preparation for university work.
A wide range of activities are available. The school prides itself on a long tradition of excellence in sport and variety of sports is available, ranging from traditional team and individual sports to Clay pigeon shooting, polo and golf. Music is also strong with many opportunities to join ensembles for both instruments and voice. The creative arts are also well-represented with a wide variety of music, drama and workshop events and performances as well as many opportunities for artists to display their work. Students can also participate in the Combined Cadet Force, the Duke of Edinburgh Award and Young Enterprise, and many students become highly involved in community service and charity work. Academic trips are also organised as well as sports tours and other recreational excursions.
A major feature of the school is its excellent sports centre which contains a fully refurbished fitness centre, a six-lane swimming pool, a large sports hall, 32 outdoor tennis courts, two outdoor AstroTurf pitches and courts for netball, squash and Rugby Fives. Located around the campus are additional pitches and courts, full size polo grounds, a gymnasium and an indoor shooting range.
The music facilities were upgraded in 2011 and contain over 40 teaching/practice rooms, a large classroom, two technology classrooms, a recording studio, a seminar room and a small concert hall. There are a variety of areas for musical performance throughout the campus with some housing organs and pianos. All boarding houses have pianos and some also have practice rooms.
Facilities for the creative arts include several excellently equipped performance spaces with seating for audiences ranging from 100-700. The Design Faculty is housed in its own building with ample space for projects and exhibitions.
Boarding and pastoral care
There are a variety of single-sex houses for boarders and a few for day students, but what they all have in common is a warm and family-oriented environment. Each house is unique but generally there are small dormitories and separate shared studies in the First Year, shared or single study bedrooms for the next two years, and single study bedrooms for the following year and for the Upper School. Each House contains a dining room, catering facility and small kitchens for student use. Houses also have TV rooms, games rooms and outdoor quad play areas. Each House is overseen by a resident Headmaster or Mistress and an Assistant Headmaster as well as Matrons, Tutors and other staff. There is extensive medical support including doctors, nurses and physiotherapy. A school counsellor is also available.
International students are welcome at Rugby and make up a significant minority of pupils. The application procedure for international students applying to Years 9 and 12 is the same as for UK residents. For Year 9 this includes current school reports, a verbal reasoning test (which can be administered by a Headmaster or Mistress if the candidate’s school does not provide one), an interview and several entrance examinations. The entrance examinations may be arranged overseas under appropriate supervision, but interviews must be held at Rugby in Year 7. For Year 12, satisfactory grades are required at GCSE or a foreign equivalent, as well as references, the Sixth Form Entrance Examinations and an interview. In this case, all examinations and interviews will be conducted at Rugby. If possible, interviews for Scholarship applicants will be conducted the day after the entrance tests.
Students whose parents live overseas must have a guardian in the UK appointed for them. If necessary, the guardian will act on behalf of the parents and make arrangements for time away from School and travel. A deposit of one term’s fees in advance in addition to the first term’s fees is required for pupils whose parents live outside of the UK.