Rye St Antony – Educating Women of the Future for 86 Years
"We want to educate our girls to be the ones to lead the way"
At Rye St Antony, an Oxford based day and boarding school, we believe the sky’s the limit for our female pupils, helping them to reach for the stars if they so wish, whilst equipping them with the skills and knowledge to become pillars of their own community once they leave ours.
On the other hand, we don’t believe in a one size fits all approach to education – every one of our pupils is an individual whose talents and interests should be identified and fostered.
This philosophy is not something we have devised overnight, our values in educating girls to achieve their ambitions and dreams, whilst recognising the needs of others, go back 86 years when our school was founded by two lay Catholic Oxford women Elizabeth Rendall and Ivy King.
They may not have known it then, but these two Oxford teachers created a school which is unique – a girls’ independent Catholic school founded not by a religious order but by lay people. It is this legacy which is highly valued in today’s school community where our pupils are taught to respect one another and themselves, contribute to the community, show a commitment to charity and justice and be aware of the wider world.
Our girls leave Rye at Sixth Form with a very special set of skills and a character which prepares them for a life in which they can be whoever they want to be. They can achieve their ambitions and dreams without trampling on others along the way and whilst understanding how to help others – as part of the Rye family this is inherent. In a world where fewer and fewer people are taught what are known as ‘soft skills’, this takes them a long way.
On the academic side, standards are high and a lot is expected of our pupils who understand that their hard work pays off. With these high standards comes confidence – there is no such word as can’t but rather ‘how can we solve this?’
You only have to look at the destinations of our Sixth Form leavers to see how this bears out. Our Head Girl for 2014/15 Rose Kirtley was awarded an Excellence Scholarship to study Computer Science at the University of Birmingham after achieving A*s in Mathematics, Further Mathematics and Physics.
Other Sixth Form leavers’ destinations for 2015 included Imperial College London (Mathematics), University of York (Mathematics, Operational Research, Statistics and Economics), University of Birmingham (Biomedical Science), Cardiff University (Politics) and University of Sussex (Engineering). In our own small way (we are a small school with approximately 350 pupils), we are standing our ground in the male dominated subjects such as Computer Science and Engineering.
But again, girls can be who they want to be and if they want to go on and study what are known as traditionally female dominated subjects, such as fashion, ballet and creative writing – then this is encouraged too.
Most importantly of all, a pupil’s own interests and talents should be utilised to the full – it is not up to the teaching staff to tell them what they should do, we are here as educators, advisors, supporters and confidence givers.
In a world where the gender pay gap still stands at 20% and a glass ceiling still exists in enterprise, we want to educate our girls to be the ones to lead the way, break through and create a bright and exciting future for themselves and female generations to come.
Come and see our girls in action for yourself at Rye St Antony by booking a visit. Our next Open Day is on Friday 16th September 2016, but every day is an open day. For an appointment, contact our Registrar, Fern Saxton, on 01865 762802.
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