The Rugby School

Education Aug 25, 2022

Rugby School was founded in 1567 by Lawrence Sheriff, purveyor of spices to Queen Elizabeth I, as a Free Grammar School for the boys of Rugby and Brownsover.

Rugby School’s greatest Head Master, Dr Thomas Arnold (1828–42), is famed for emphasising subjects that were a good ‘preparation for power'. He treated his senior boys as gentlemen, increasing their power and duties so that they shared responsibility for moral tone and discipline with him

The Rugby School is also the birthplace of the sport rugby. It was born in 1823 when William Webb-Ellis, with a ‘fine disregard for the rules', picked up a football and ran with it. This philosophy is still one of the driving principles of Rugby School, which believes that true learning cannot be standardized and ideas cannot be controlled. It propagates the idea that reciprocity triumphs over command and control, and that it is shared interest rather than authority that binds us together. These forward-thinking ideas are the reason why the school remains a leading co-educational boarding school.

Founded in 1567, The Rugby School achieves a unique status: unpretentious, untaggable and excellent. Their motto is simple: The Whole Person: The Whole Point. They maintain that the road to wisdom is one of collaboration and partnership, not deference and acquiescence. Their philosophy of education is to contest ideas, constantly improve upon what is already there, engage wholeheartedly in things and discover excellence.  

Building upon their policy that new technologies and networks help us to prevail, they began the Rugby School Online. What started as a consequence of the global pandemic transformed into a valuable toolkit that enabled teachers to demonstrate and explain concepts to students in a more effective manner. Now, they are expanding to a wider audience: students around the world. Partnering with animation studios, they have produced several hours of video content and asynchronous resources for A-level STEM subjects to help students prepare for their exams. Their focus is to break down abstract, complex concepts into the basics and then rebuild them to facilitate a deeper understanding for students. They believe that a thorough understanding of the concept and complete knowledge, not just on the surface, will help a student perform better.

The material helps students consolidate their learning and also work through the concepts at their own pace. Each video explaining a concept is followed by a few questions that deepen comprehension. The students can either move on to exam-style questions or move on to past paper questions. Ilia Kurgansky, the academic director of Rugby School Online also talked about how students can use this material in their learning journeys.

"Students can watch the videos, and they can then engage with the questions we've written for them that follow each of the small videos so they can test themselves and validate that they are understanding the right thing from the lesson they've just witnessed. We're not trying to replace all of their exam preparation, we're trying to supplement it with a good understanding or perhaps with an alternate perspective to what they were taught previously. "

The concepts remain agnostic in the sense that they are applicable to exam boards globally. They do not focus on a specific exam board and do not cover the entirety of the syllabus requisites but instead cover a few select key topics that have the largest impact on the student's engagement with the subject. It is essentially the fundamentals of a subject, that are inevitable in every exam board.

The Rugby School also offers subject preparation courses live, both offline and online. They take place before the exam season and offer students the opportunity to work with the Rugby School teachers and prepare effectively for their exams.  With centuries worth of pedagogical experience to share, The Rugby School hopes to reach a far wider audience. They are now partnering with schools locally and developing programs that offer licenses for the material at a subsidized rate to students who cannot afford all the material.

At ZNotes, we're extremely excited to be partnering with The Rugby School Online! We offer this material to the ZNotes community at a discounted rate and also provide licenses for disadvantaged people who cannot afford the full cost of the material explicitly.


Tara Nair

Along with Zubair Junjunia

A level student, bibliophile and aspiring psychologist.