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It’s hard to describe the very special atmosphere at Rye without making it seem like an anachronism (it’s not at all) but something of the pioneering spirit of its founders, Elizabeth Rendall and Ivy King, lives on. On the wall in Miss Jones’ bay-fronted study is the most wonderfully evocative black and white photo of Miss Rendall, the school’s first headmistress, sitting thoughtfully at her desk, cigarette in hand. Miss Rendall and Miss King started the school in a house on the Woodstock Road in 1930...

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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


Since September 2018, Sarah Ryan, previously deputy head of Mayfield School in Sussex. She is married to Paul, also a teacher, and they have a daughter.

The pre-prep and prep departments are headed by Emma Coode, a relative newcomer 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 plethora of academic superpowers that populate the local school scene – but that’s just fine with them. And with their pupils’ families, for that matter. ‘We value the mix of ability’, said one earnest sixth former; ‘it’s not judgmental and we all help each other’. ‘Very nurturing’, say parents. ‘What you see is...

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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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