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One parent told us ‘there’s a little bit of magic at Rye’, and we definitely sensed a special and unique ‘girls own’ atmosphere – an inexplicable feeling of sisterhood that can clearly be traced back to the founder and very first headmistress, Elizabeth Rendall, of whom a wonderfully atmospheric photographic portrait (complete with packet of cigarettes in foreground) presides over the entrance hall. She and Ivy King started...

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All-through school (for example 3-18 years). - An all-through school covers junior and senior education. It may start at 3 or 4, or later, and continue through to 16 or 18. Some all-through schools set exams at 11 or 13 that pupils must pass to move on.

What The Good Schools Guide says

Headmistress

Since September 2018, Sarah Ryan, previously deputy head of Mayfield School in Sussex, and only the fifth head in the school's history. English degree from Oxford and MA from Goldsmiths. Began teaching at King's School Bruton, became head of department, then moved to The Oratory. Returned after a career break to the post of director of boarding at Leweston. She is married to Paul, also a teacher, and they have a daughter.

Head of the pre-prep and prep departments: Emma Coode, who joined the school in 2012. The inclusive philosophy of Rye starts from the get-go: 'everyone here is valued for who they are', she says.

Academic matters

You won’t see Rye hovering around the top of the league tables alongside the academic superpowers that populate the local school scene – but that’s...

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Independent schools frequently offer IGCSEs or other qualifications alongside or as an alternative to GCSE. The DfE does not record performance data for these exams so independent school GCSE data is frequently misleading; parents should check the results with the schools.

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Special Education Needs

The school has a Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator and a team of five learning support teachers, of whom two are teachers of English as an Foreign Language. The department also supports specific learning difficulties, examination skills, and counselling. Learning support tuition is available, at an extra fee, for any pupil, whether for help in a specific area or with wider study skills needs.

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