Roedean School school offers a mix of weekly and full-time boarding. Day girls are welcome to stay for tea and prep and even have their own dorm, making them very much part of the boarding community. The girls gave the food mixed reviews, but I thought it tasted pretty good (and definitely much better than some of the food at other schools we reviewed!)
The atmosphere was calm and relaxed, perhaps partly because of the schools proximity to the sea! The girls were all very welcoming and friendly. I was impressed with the art studios and the newly built dorm rooms were some of the best I’ve ever seen.
The school is academic but also offers a wealth of extra-curricular activities. Glorious grounds, set in the countryside mean there is ample space for horse riding in the South Downs nearby, sailing and other sports like golf and tennis.
Instead of an over-riding ‘school identity’, Roedean is a school that fosters individuality and gives the girls the opportunity to explore their talents. Staff instil a framework of ‘principles and purpose’ within their students in a supportive and caring environment.
I was told a particularly charming story, by the 6th former who showed me around the school. Her father, a local taxi driver, was giving the headmistress a lift one day and told her his daughter had missed out on the local state school she wanted to get into. He said other schools in the area were not very good and he wasn’t sure what to do. Upon explaining that his daughter was a brilliant violinist, the headmistress decided to interview her immediately. The young girl has now been at Roedean for her entire upper school life. She is a day girl and stays at school until 8 or 9pm to work on her violin practice. I felt this story was very telling of the type of school Roedean is and the types of pupils it nurtures.
Roedean is also delivering a new Pre-A level course for international students from September 2013. Students will live in Roedean’s boarding houses and participate fully in the life of the school. Upon successful completion of the course, students will progress to their A level studies at Roedean.