A Catholic School that Welcomes All
The maxim of the Rosminians is “Charity is the Fulfilment of the Law” and although the College is a Catholic school, that spirit of charity embraces students of many other denominations. Ratcliffe is a College for all those who appreciate the values of a Catholic education.
Our resident Rosminian priests work closely with the teaching staff to provide both spiritual and pastoral support for students. The subject of Religious Studies is taught throughout the school as a faith experience as well as an academic subject, with Sixth Formers learning and debating moral, ethical and philosophical issues on a more informal basis.
School life provides an atmosphere which enables individuals to develop their faith and grow in the light of the Gospel at their own pace. In order to provide a level of care appropriate to each age group, Ratcliffe is organised on a Year basis. Individual Year Groups are supervised by a senior member of staff (Head of Year) assisted by a team of tutors. All students, boarding or day, are assigned to a tutor who oversees their day-to-day academic and pastoral progress. Each Tutor Group has its own room and there are Common Rooms which act as social bases for Years 9 and above.
Parents and children often comment on the happy ‘family atmosphere’ at the College, a strong indication of the quality of our exceptional pastoral care arrangements. At Ratcliffe, we see it as vital to provide support, care and guidance for all our boys and girls. We believe that progression through the Year system gives our students the opportunity to form a close knit community with their contemporaries and also to have a wide choice of friends. It enables each Year to be treated in a manner appropriate to its own degree of maturity by Year staff experienced in dealing with the pastoral needs of students of a particular age.
A World Beyond the Classroom
Extra-curricular activities are the life blood of Ratcliffe College, complementing our academic programme. A broad range of sporting, musical, dramatic, artistic and special interest activities are available to all students as lunchtime or as after-school activities, providing them with the opportunity to pursue interests beyond the classroom.
All students are encouraged to participate in a range of activities each week and to suggest, or lead activities in areas where they have a special interest or expertise. The teaching staff also take the opportunity to develop their other interests and to share their enthusiasms beyond their academic subjects. There are clearly many benefits to be gained from both taking part in and leading school activities, including the development of new skills and interests, making new friends, and inculcating qualities of teamwork and leadership, ensuring that Ratcliffe students get the best of both worlds, inspired teaching within the classroom complemented by an outstanding extra-curricular programme.
A Wealth of Opportunities
Musical ensembles, such as Senior Choir, Orchestra and Brass Ensemble, perform at concerts, participate in the liturgical life of the school and also contribute to the ever-popular dramatic productions. Indeed, Ratcliffe has a flourishing Drama Department, giving our students many and varied opportunities for creative expression in acting as well as stagecraft, technical direction and musical performance. Several productions are staged each year, involving students of all ages and abilities.
Ratcliffe is proud of its sporting tradition. Team games such as rugby, hockey, netball, cricket, rounders and individual physical pursuits such as athletics and tennis play a significant part in the development of our students. Our spacious grounds and enviable specialist facilities, including a modern Sports Centre, magnificent floodlit all-weather pitch, indoor Swimming Pool, squash court and golf course, enable a variety of sports to flourish. We also aim to offer extra-curricular opportunities in a range of recreational and individual sports, including football, basketball, trampolining, badminton, golf, fencing, squash, fitness training, crosscountry, tae kwon do and modern dance.
Every student is also a member of one of four vertical Houses; throughout the year a keenly contested Inter-House competition takes place involving a plethora of activities.
In addition there are a number of Sixth Form clubs and societies that meet throughout the term such as Culture Club, Science Society, History Society, Rosmini Society and Mother Teresa Group, which further enrich their educational, cultural, aesthetic and spiritual experiences.