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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.

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Since February 2020, Joanne Croft. Previously deputy head and has also held other posts at the school including head of languages and head of sixth form. Before that she taught in a range of selective girls’ and co-ed schools. With a degree in French and Italian, followed by MA (Maîtrise) in French literature at Université des Sciences Humaines in Strasbourg, Francophone literature remains her big passion.


For entry into all year groups, parents and prospective pupils are interviewed together. It would be ‘hypocritical and silly’ not to admit all girls from the prep school. So parents can happily buy into Rye safe in the knowledge that it is a genuine all-through offering. About two-thirds of girls of the 30 or so moving into year 7 join from a mix of local state and independent schools...

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Please note: 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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