Rendcomb College: 220 Acres of Cotswold Estate
At Rendcomb College, Cirencester we are fortunate to occupy over 220 acres of Cotswold estate. Stretching from the River Churn, across a meadow, through lightly managed woodland and up to the beautiful Top Pitches we enjoy a school site like none other.
What is the effect of this remarkable environment on our students? Rendcomb is a lovely place to learn, live and work, but does this really impact on the education of our students?
A few minutes googling around this subject will produce some interesting results. Some odd stuff for sure, but also some well thought out and reasoned material has been put out the Green Planning lobby at Washington University. They argue that ‘Cognitive function can be improved after exposure to nature.’
Whatever the season it is beautiful here and we make the most of the site. It is not unusual for our youngest pupils in Forest School to be making dens whilst being watched by deer. All children enjoy messing about in their wellies; small children in particular acquire valuable social skills in the relaxed setting of an outdoor classroom and for this reason, we were early adopters of the Forest School programme. Experiential learning comes easily in this environment. We use the River Churn for practical Science and Geography and on sunny days Art and English may be taught outside.
Rendcomb Headmaster, Roland Martin, acknowledges that country living may not be for everyone. He believes that education in a country school gives students the natural ease and calmness which many people seek. As noted in the Good Schools Guide Rendcomb is remarkable for its "Creative buzz fosters dynamic talent", it "has real knack for building pupils’ confidence", it teaches "an energetic mix of old school dry wit, lively discussion subtle encouragement… admirable combination".