Information Book 2013/2014
Contents of Booklet
Abbotsholme Pre-Prep School
Prep School Curriculum: Early Years Foundation Stage
Prep School Curriculum:Years 3 – 6
Prep School Activities
Senior School Academic Programme
Senior School Curriculum:Years 7-9
Senior School Curriculum: GCSE & A Level options
Testimonials from Pupils about their GCSE & A Level results
A Level results
Activities & AXs
Farm and Equestrian Centre
Sport at Abbotsholme
English as an Additional Language (EAL)
Support for Children with Specific Learning Differences
Scholarships and Bursaries
Admission to Abbotsholme
Abbotsholme Pre-Prep School
Abbotsholme Pre-Prep is outstanding. Set in its own secure area, it benefits from
all the facilities on site.
The Pre-Prep welcomes and provides funded sessions - sessional, extended day
and full day care - for children from age two to five, and is open from 8.00am until
5.00pm Monday to Friday, term-time only.
We aim to ensure that each child:
● is in a safe and stimulating environment;
is given generous care and attention because of our ratio of qualified staff to
children, as well as our volunteer parent-helpers;
has the chance to join with other children and adults to live, play, work and learn
is helped to take forward her/his learning and development by building on what
she/he already knows and can do;
has a personal key-person who makes sure each child makes satisfying progress;
is in a Pre-Prep that values parents as partners in the process of helping each child
to learn and develop; and
is in a Pre-Prep in which parents help to shape the service it offers.
Children’s development and learning
The provision for children’s development and learning is guided by The Early Years
Foundation Stage (DfE 2012). Children start to learn about the world around them
from the moment they are born. The care and education offered by our Pre-Prep
helps children to continue to do this by providing all of the children with stimulating
and interesting age appropriate activities.
Learning through play
Play helps young children to learn and develop through doing and talking. Our
Pre-Prep uses the Development Matters in the Early Years Foundation Stage guidance
to plan and provide a range of play activities. Within the daily routine, we also
offer sessions which include: Gymnastics, Exploring and Investigating, Science and
Modelling, Music Workshops, Dance and Movement, Fun with French and Creative
Snacks and Lunchtimes
The nursery makes snacks and meals a social time with children and adults eating
together. Snack time is a “Cafe Style” snack, where children are encouraged as with
lunchtime to make their own healthy choices and become independent.
We assess how our children are learning and developing by observing them
frequently. We believe that parents know their children best and we ask you to
contribute to assessment by sharing information about what your children like to
do at home.
Prep School Curriculum: Early Years Foundation Stage
The Prep School is where the foundations are laid for an education for life. In our
small, secure family unit, we pride ourselves on our knowledge of each child and our
ability to recognise and develop individual talents. Our school is characterised by its
warmth and friendliness; codes of conduct encourage courtesy and consideration as
well as thoughtfulness for others. This sets the standards which pupils follow.
In the Early Years Foundation Stage (Reception class), the curriculum is planned
around the seven areas of Learning and Development specific to the first stage of
Primary Education. The Prime areas are: Communication and Language, Physical
Development; and Personal, Social and Emotional Development. These three
Prime area are strengthened by the four Specific area of Literacy, Mathematics,
Understanding of the World; and Expressive Arts and Design. All areas of Learning
and Development are important and are inter-connected.
The children in Years 1 and 2 are mainly taught as one class for all subjects. The work
is tailored to suit the needs of the individual, with the emphasis on Numeracy and
Literacy. We believe that the foundations for excellence in Literacy are laid down
here with a fully structured, personalised phonics programme which is delivered
daily. Numeracy skills are developed through the practical and investigatory
activities which focus on experiential learning and having fun, whilst developing their
‘Our unique education for life begins with allowing children to be children first.’
There is a great emphasis on learning outdoors, and the Early Years’ children use
their specially designed outdoor learning area daily.
This varied learning environment explains why we have such lively pupils in our
school who are self motivated and committed to taking responsibility for their own
Prep School Curriculum:Years 3 – 6
In the junior years, the children enter the next phase in their learning journey at
Abbotsholme. Here we ensure we build upon the secure foundations created in
the Early Years.
We aim to make their learning so enjoyable that they don’t notice the increasing
formality of the classroom. They respond well to our insistence on high standards
of attainment and good work habits.
The Preparatory School broadly follows National Curriculum requirements
but is not constrained by them. In academic terms this means that Literacy and
Numeracy are taught every day. The remaining subjects, Science, RE, PSHE, ICT,
History, Geography, Music, Art, PE, Games and Modern Languages (KS2) are taught
throughout the week, ensuring that each individual receives a broad, balanced and
relevant education. All pupils have the opportunity to experience horse-riding
lessons and outdoor education, and to access the farm and estate.
Year 1 andYear 2 (KS1) are taught most subjects by their class teacher. Others, namely
Music and PE are taught by specialist teachers. Pupils have access to all facilities
and resources throughout the whole school, which provide many opportunities for
enhancing their learning.
In KS2, for certain subjects such as Art, Drama, ICT, Modern Languages, Music, PE,
Games and Outdoor Education, pupils use Senior School facilities with specialist
Prep School Activities
Abbotsholme School provides our youngest pupils with facilities that few primary
age children have access to, and our 140 acres of beautiful countryside provide the
ideal setting for a wide range of outdoor pursuits.
The children have access to a farm, with many of them getting involved with morning
feeding, and the care and nurture of the farm animals. The equestrian centre
provides an excellent start for young riders, and the school gardens with allotments
give the opportunity to experience where foods come, ‘from earth to plate’. The
children just step outside their classroom each week to take part in activities such
as orienteering, climbing, abseiling, walking and even den-building.
The highlights of each year are the autumn hikes and the summer camps. In autumn,
the whole school sets off to explore the beautiful Derbyshire Dales and experience
the joys of hiking and overnight stays in Youth Hostels. In the summer term, hiking
and other pursuits such as kayaking add fun to the camping experience, staying away
from home under canvas.
Specialist sports staff begin instruction in basic skills from Year 3 and develop pupils’
abilities throughout the junior years. There are many opportunities to take part
in team fixtures throughout each year in netball, hockey, football and rugby. In the
summer term, and the early part of the autumn term, children are taught swimming
in our outdoor pool and take part in the annual swimming gala.
The outdoor package is extensive and serves to enrich the Abbotsholme curriculum.
It gives our children the opportunity to take risks, learn how to work as part
of a team and also to develop their leadership skills whilst having an absolutely
Abbotsholme Senior School is made up of pupils aged between 11 and 18, and we
find that most of our Prep School pupils automatically move up to Year 7. They are
joined by a growing number of new pupils to Abbotsholme, mainly at age 11 and
again at 13. Over the next few years, our seniors are introduced to a wonderful
array of learning experiences and development opportunities both within and
beyond the classroom.
In Years 7-9, one afternoon per fortnight is spent with the equestrian team or on
the farm. From conservation to lambing, hoof-clipping to hay-baling, damson-picking
to egg collection, our youngsters are developing their sense of responsibility for the
land around them and the animals upon it. Alternate afternoons each fortnight are
spent experiencing the great outdoors in our Outdoor Education programme. One
week it could be raft-building and floating (or sinking) their makeshift vessels on the
River Dove; another week it might be learning how to cook safely using a camping
stove. Pupils particularly interested in O.Ed look forward to an expedition abroad
in Year 9.
From Year 9, pupils get involved in the Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme; the wide
range of activities on offer at Abbotsholme ensures that all of our children are able
to work through the Bronze, Silver and Gold levels.
The school day has been organised to allow for free time for activities in the middle
of the school day when pupils are fresh and can gain the most from these valuable
lessons. During this time, the emphasis is on activities such as music, minor sports,
philosophy, drama, ethics and practical life skills, which broaden pupils’ personal
development and understanding.
Despite the busy school week, there’s still time to pursue hobbies and other activities
with friends. Clubs and societies include chess, drama, singers, art, magazine club,
bookworms, model-making and Warhammer. After supper, there are organised
assignments between 5.10pm and 7.00pm each evening.
Whatever their age, as they progress through the years, our pupils find there’s
always something new to look forward to at every stage.
Senior School Academic Programme
Abbotsholme caters for a broad ability range. Academic standards are high with
the majority of Sixth Formers going on to their first-choice university, including
Oxford and Cambridge.
The curriculum at Abbotsholme aims to encourage critical and creative thinking and
self-discipline. We help our pupils to develop their own strengths and preferred
methods of learning within a structured and supportive framework.
A staff : pupil ratio of around 1:15 enables teachers to give the attention each
student needs. In addition, the tutorial system at Abbotsholme ensures that each
pupil’s progress is continuously monitored, in terms of effort and achievement, with
regular communication between tutor, pupil and parent.
A flexible system of sets and options ensures that all pupils are taught in small
classes, and progress at a pace which is appropriate to them. By the time they
enter the Sixth Form, students have developed a self-motivated academic discipline
and a balanced approach to broader aspects of learning. As a result, the transition
to Higher Education is, for many, a natural progression, with the foundation of
independent study already in place.
Senior School Curriculum:Years 7-9
Abbotsholme broadly follows the requirements of the National Curriculum at Key
Stage 3 but broadens the academic provision by covering supplementary topics
which stimulate interest and provide a wider and fuller understanding.
English, Mathematics and Science are taught as core requirements. All pupils in KS3
are taught Geography, History, Art, Music, Religious Knowledge, Personal and Social
Education, Information Technology, CDT, Cookery and Drama.
In addition, there is a significant time commitment to PE and Games, the farm, the
estate and to Outdoor Education. French is introduced as a second language in
Senior School Curriculum: GCSE options
At GCSE level, Abbotsholme provides a variety of courses which allow a significant
breadth of study. All pupils take a core of English Language and English Literature,
Mathematics and 21st Century Science, covering the key elements of Physics,
Chemistry and Biology. Each of these subjects is taught in sets, enabling pupils to
progress at a pace which is most appropriate to them.
Beyond this, there is a range of optional subjects: Art, Business Studies, Design
and Technology (resistant materials and food technology), Environmental and Land
Based Science, French, Geography, History, Music, Performing Arts, Physical Education
and Spanish. Pupils take four of these subjects.
In addition, all pupils attend sessions in Games, Physical Education and Religious
Knowledge. Pupils for whom English is a second language take an iGCSE in English.
Any required learning skills teaching is arranged in accordance with individual pupil’s
timetables, which may result in a slightly reduced number of GCSE options.
Senior School Curriculum: A Level options
In the Lower Sixth, students typically choose three or four AS subjects but there is
flexibility. Subjects offered include: Art, Biology, Business Studies, Chemistry, English
Literature, Film and Photography, French, Further Mathematics, Geography, History,
Mathematics, Music, Physics, Spanish, Technology (product design) and General
Studies. Additional courses include the BTEC National Awards level 3 in Agriculture
and Sport. A Diploma in Horse Care and Management is also available. In general,
Upper Sixth students continue with three subjects to A2 level.
Overseas pupils are prepared throughout the Sixth Form for the IELTS examination,
which is recognised as a qualification for entry into UK universities.
Booklets detailing GCSE and Sixth Form options can either be downloaded
from our website or obtained in hard copy format from the Admissions
Nick Fisher,Year 13
“Before starting at Abbotsholme in Year 9, I had only
achieved 48% in English, and 10% in Maths. A year later
I got 77% in maths - my best grade (and previously worst
subject!) - and 74% in English. At GCSE, I got a B in English
and English Literature, and a C in Maths. All this has been
due to the support from the Learning Skills department
and the teachers at Abbotsholme.”
Katie Edwards,Year 13
“Since arriving in Year 8, Abbotsholme has given me
a personalised education, allowing me to focus on
additional activities like Art and Music. I took Art GCSE a
year early and got 100%; I got straight 12 A*s at GCSE
and I am doing Maths, English Literature, Spanish, Art and
Chemistry for A Level, and got all A’s at AS Level.”
Ben Miller Smart,Year 13
“Abbotsholme is different to every other school I know
– being part of the Abbotsholme Electric Car team and
getting to race at Silverstone proves that! I am dyslexic and
the support I have received since I arrived in Year 7, along
with the small classes, have really helped me. I started as a
C / D grade pupil, and at GCSE, I got A’s and B’s, and I have
just got all A’s and B’s at AS Level.”
Max Bettson-Burdett,Year 12
I joined in Year 8 needing Learning Skills support. I was told
previously I was not going to pass English, but I got a C at
GCSE. I also got one A*, 3 As, 5 Bs and a C. Additionally
Abbotsholme for me has lots of opportunities to get
involved with including Duke of Edinburgh and Outdoor
Charlotte Bishop, OA 13
I joined in Year 9 starting my Abbotsholme life in the
Netball team. Now, five years on I have experienced Round
Square trips, extreme outdoor experiences, Gold Duke of
Edinburgh and the Devises to Westminster International
Canoe race. I have also just achieved A, B and D at A Level
in English, History and French. I am now off to Leicester to
Annabel Gill, OA 13
I came to Abbotsholme in Year 9. I chose Abbotsholme
because I love animals. I have just finished A Levels
and achieved an A and two B’s in English, Spanish and
Biology. I am off to do English Literature and Spanish at
GCSE results 2013
Design and Technology
A Level results 2013
Today, more and more universities and employers are looking beyond academic
results. They want to hear about a student’s interests and see his or her passion
for the things that they do. They want to know that applicants have developed as
individuals. Abbotsholme helps to do this in the Sixth Form.
Life in the Sixth Form is a continuation of the family atmosphere and aims to develop
a sense of belonging and responsibility both to self and others. Many pupils who
enter the school at an early age continue into the Sixth Form, to be joined by a
number of new peers from other schools.
Sixth formers have a brand new Sixth Form Centre for independent learning, as well
as self-contained, purpose-built log cabins for boarders, in a peaceful setting within
the school grounds, to prepare our young people for university and life itself.
Everyone is allocated a personal tutor to supervise progress. The Head of Sixth
Form, in partnership with the Headmaster, Houseparents, tutors and parents takes
responsibility for the overall progress of students throughout the two years.
Prefects are nominated each year by staff and pupils to cover a number of areas of
responsibility. Each new group continues to provide excellent role models for their
fellow pupils within the Sixth Form and wider school.
Sixth Form students wear a smart business suit. They also run their own social
committee, which organises a host of events including a number of formal dinners.
Responsibility and privilege though go hand in hand. Sixth formers at Abbotsholme
have a greater flexibility to pursue both academic and personal interests, all the
while having access to the support, advice and guidance that they need – both on a
daily basis and in planning for their future.
This ensures they are well prepared for future adventures, whether this is a gap year
opportunity, direct employement or a university degree course.
Since more than 35% of our pupils are boarders, boarding is a way of life at
Abbotsholme, where pupils live as part of a community, and develop friendships that
last a lifetime. Our boarders develop independence and time management skills, and
with guidance and support from houseparents, they learn how to balance academic
work with social time.
In response to the challenges of increasingly busy family lives, Abbotsholme provides
a flexible and caring second home. Pupils are able to board in a number of different
ways, from flexi-boarding once or twice per week to weekly boarding four or five
nights per week, to full boarding seven nights per week during term time. Day pupils
also benefit from a flexible end to the day, which allows them to take advantage of
the academic and recreational facilities that are open during the evening, and to join
in with the numerous activities and events taking place. In fact, we are finding that
more and more of our day pupils are keen to start boarding so that they don’t miss
Our boarding houses provide small, comfortable and happy homes for all ages,
each having their own character and personality. Each of our boarding houses is
staffed by caring and dedicated adults. Our houses have a full time non-teaching
house mother, as well as teaching and pastoral staff. Younger pupils will usually
share bedrooms, whilst older pupils have single or shared study-bedrooms. Each
house has ample recreational space as well as opportunities to use the wide range
of facilities and extensive school grounds. All the boarding houses are situated on
the main school campus.
The recent increase in boarding, especially at the senior school level, has resulted
in our adding dedicated Sixth Form boarding accommodation by way of a log
cabin complex. The concept of log cabins fits perfectly with Abbotsholme’s ethos,
reflecting a long-held belief and enduring commitment to the sustainability of, and
harmony with, the natural environment. Built in a peaceful setting within the school
grounds, yet only a stone’s throw from the school’s central facilities, these selfcontained, purpose-built cabins provide a wonderful opportunity for Abbotsholme’s
Sixth Form students to experience a greater degree of independence and privacy.
A resident member of staff is on hand in a central cabin, but our belief is that this
development will play a significant part in preparing our young people not only for
university but, more significantly, for life itself. They will have independence and
responsibility whilst remaining under the same caring pastoral umbrella enjoyed by
all who live and work in the Abbotsholme community.
Abbotsholme was founded on the belief that what happens outside the classroom
is as beneficial in contributing to education as what happens within it. We have held
true to our founder’s legacy, and the co-curriculum at Abbotsholme is one of the
most extensive and enriching in the world.
We work to provide opportunities for pupils to develop life skills and lifelong
interests. Our pupils can choose from a wide variety of activities, enabling them
to develop confidence, self-awareness, self-sufficiency, self-respect, determination,
social skills, leadership and courage. We believe that our unique education helps give
our pupils the skills and attributes necessary to grow and become effective in their
careers, happy in their relationships and fulfilled in their ambitions. Abbotsholme’s
co-curricular programme includes:
Abbotsholme Expectations (AXs): a
variety of life skills, which all pupils
follow as part of their weekday
Wednesday afternoon activities: a
comprehensive programme of physical
and other activities which pupils
choose from, including activities such
as fencing, farming, fishing, basketball,
dance and climbing.
Outdoor Education (OEd): timetabled
lessons for Years 7-9 on one afternoon
Weekend activities: these include
induction weekends for Years 7 and
12, adventurous outdoor trips, cultural
visits and leisure activities.
Clubs and activities: musical groups,
drama productions and sports team
practices during lunchtime and
The Duke of Edinburgh scheme: all our
Year 9 pupils undertake the Bronze
Award, and the majority go on to opt to
undertake the Silver and Gold Award.
Our programmes are supported by some superb facilities, such as our theatre,
indoor climbing wall, sports centre, school farm and equestrian centre. The diversity
and extent of our programmes means that there really is something for everyone; all
pupils can find something that fires and excites them and enables them to shine and
grow, developing respect for themselves and the respect of others.
Abbotsholme Expectations (AXs)
In the Senior School, there is a comprehensive programme of life skills which comprises
a diverse range of activities enabling pupils to meet many of the demands placed upon
them after school. 2013/2014 activities are shown below:
ICT, Domestic skills, Round Square Ideals
ICT, Environmental awareness, Bushcraft
ICT/Enterprise, Estate, First Aid
SRE, Teamwork and leadership, Careers
Triple Award Science, Public speaking/LAMDA, Seven Habits of Highly Effective People,
Programme of tutorial activities, talks, debates and short-module activities including information
on finance; visiting speakers, study skills, team building, UCAS support and careers advice
Farm and Equestrian Centre
Abbotsholme School is one of the very few schools in the country to have a working
farm and British Horse Society (BHS) approved equestrian centre. Integrating the
farm and estate into pupils’ daily lives helps us to deliver our vision of providing a
genuinely broad education, a living library where lessons for life are learnt.
Our 74-acre farm is an important learning resource, linking food production to
environmentally responsible farming, a major aspect of modern agriculture. The farm
itself includes cattle, sheep, horses, pigs, chickens, ducks and pygmy goats.
All pupils from the Prep School to Year 9 have part of their timetable allocated to farm
activities. The Agriculture Department also offers two courses: GCSE Environmental
and Land Based Science which involves the study of environmental science, agriculture
and horticulture, and in the Sixth Form, a BTEC level 3 course in Agriculture is offered,
a vocational course preparing pupils for further education or direct entry into the
Pupils aspiring to become vets, for example, can spend as much time on the farm as
they can fit into their timetable, and are taught how to handle livestock, perform some
minor veterinary tasks and assist in lambing of the ewes. Lambing duty at the end of
February/beginning of March is generally a very popular option, as pupils want to be
involved with bringing new life into the world.
Abbotsholme’s Equestrian Centre offers full, working and DIY liveries to our pupils.
The school has horses and ponies available for pupils to ride and compete on externally,
although many pupils choose to keep their own horse at school. Pupils learn to take
responsibility for their horses, as well as progressing through the BHS qualifications
using our all-weather manège. All instructors are qualified to a minimum of AI.
Pupils have the opportunity to take riding as part of their GCSE PE course, and Sixth
Form pupils can study for their Diploma in Horse Care and Management alongside
their other A Level subjects. We also offer training for BHS stages one and two, and
the PTT. We also offer horse owners certification at levels 1-4.
Abbotsholme also runs its own Pony Club every fortnight for children aged between
eight and eighteen, aimed at both pupils and the wider community. Members are
able to work towards attaining the Riding and Road Safety test, and the C, D and D
plus tests. We also provide a choice of residential or non-residential ‘Summer Pony
Camps’ alongside regular demonstrations and clinics.
The pioneering principles of outdoor education established at Abbotsholme have
inspired such organisations as the Outward Bound Movement, the United World
Colleges and the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Scheme.
Outdoor education is an integral part of school life at Abbotsholme, providing
excellent opportunities for developing bonds between pupils and staff and encouraging
co-operative involvement. It has a part to play in every young person’s development,
whatever their level of ability and experience. A combination of inspirational teaching
and positive role models raise aspirations, and help with learning and achievement.
This benefits other areas of their education and personal life, in terms of confidence,
self-esteem, social awareness and decision-making. Not only this, it is real fun, and can
be truly life-changing.
From Years 7-9, outdoor education forms a specific part of the school curriculum.
Each pupil does a whole afternoon of outdoor education every fortnight, which
present pupils with personal challenges, and teaches them the importance of taking
responsibility for themselves and for others.
The whole school (staff and pupils) participate in a three-day expedition every
autumn term called ‘Hikes’ when all pupils take part in a variety of journeys
throughout the UK. In the summer term, all year groups except Year 11 and Upper
Sixth have a summer camp when pupils are presented with a varied and progressive
outdoor programme of new challenges as they advance through their school years.
As well as the timetabled outdoor education lessons, there are regular weekend
trips within the UK featuring activities such as caving, walking, climbing, canoeing,
sea-kayaking, and mountain-biking. There are also opportunities to participate in
adventures abroad. Recent examples include rock-climbing in the Alps, an expedition
to Everest Base Camp, and trekking in the High Atlas Mountains of Morocco.
The Outdoor Education Department also supervises the training for the expedition
element of the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Scheme which all pupils in Year 9
undertake. Most pupils continue with the award and complete their Silver (Year 10)
and Gold (Year 12) expeditions.
The school has an excellent safety record, supported by careful planning, wellqualified and experienced leaders and thorough briefing and training of pupils.
Sport at Abbotsholme
Abbotsholme Sports Foundation is a brand new initiative for Abbotsholme. Starting
in September 2013, it aims to encourage and empower pupils with sport, and
develop leadership qualities for pupils to use in all aspects of life.
It comprises of five main areas of sports’ activities and pupil development available
to all pupils at Abbotsholme.
1. ‘Sportastic’ has been set up to offer a full range of sports and activities
throughout the winter months with evening coaching sessions in addition
to our holiday activity days. Our aim is to develop and channel individual
sportsmen and women to achieve and succeed in their chosen sport.
2. There are a number of Sports Experiences throughout each academic year such
as training sessions, weekends and mini tours against other schools and clubs.
This all aims to work up to either European or International playing tours. As
pupils progress through the school these experiences help focus each child on
their personal programme of development.
3. Sports Disabilities: We are currently working in partnership with a few Special
Needs schools. Our BTEC pupils offer the Special Needs pupils of varying
abilities an organised programme of activities. They plan and deliver these
programmes of activities with staff support. Our BTEC pupils benefit not only
from supporting less able pupils, but also delivering strategic programmes and
4. We are building up relationships and Sports links with Inner city schools, where
we can offer these schools the use of our facilities and to get involved with our
current activities, or to take advantage of one of our pupil led programmes.
5. Leadership awards and qualifications available to pupils in Year 7 to 13. These,
along with the previous four areas listed, enable pupils to develop independent
learning skills, self esteem, confidence, responsibility and a sense of personal
Sportastic Activity Days
In addition to the evening coaching sessions, Abbotsholme runs activity sports days
throughout most school holidays. These run during:
– Every half term on a Wednesday, Thursday and Friday,
– One week during the Easter holidays
– Four weeks during the Summer holidays.
Children from the age of four to thirteen are welcome to come and enjoy a wide
range of activities and sports such as Cricket,Tennis, Football, Hockey, Horse Riding,
Indoor Climbing and Kayaking.
We have fully qualified coaching staff and we operate with all our staff holding an up
to date CRB. Sportastic is a way of enabling children to try different experiences
through the holidays in the outdoors.
Abbotsholme is a member of Round Square, a worldwide association of schools
which share a commitment to personal development and responsibility through
service, challenge, adventure and international understanding as part of a fundamental
objective - the full and individual development of every pupil into a whole person.
Kurt Hahn, the founder of Round Square, who took many of his ideas from
progressive schools like Abbotsholme, had six ideals for schools beyond academic
education and preparation for university: internationalism, democracy, environment,
adventure, leadership and service. He felt these opportunities would give pupils the
skills and abilities to be the leaders and guardians of tomorrow’s world.
Membership of Round Square offers numerous exchange opportunities enabling
pupils to experience other languages and cultures. We regularly welcome overseas
pupils of various nationalities to Abbotsholme, recognising the importance of
fostering global relationships and respecting the diversity of culture, religion and
language. Service Projects are organised to countries all over the world, by taking
pupils as far afield as Africa, India and Thailand, and helping under-privileged residents
of villages by installing clean water systems and by building school accommodation.
English as an Additional Language (EAL)
All overseas pupils’ English ability is assessed before and on arrival at Abbotsholme.
Overseas pupils follow the full curriculum with their year group, and in addition they
are coached in both English Language and learning techniques in EAL classes.
Students work towards the Cambridge ESOL suite of exams: KET, PET, FCE and CAE.
Abbotsholme has a 100% pass rate (grades A to C) in these exams.
Years 10 and 11 overseas pupils may follow the GCSE course for English (as a first
language) or the IGCSE in English as a second language.
Abbotsholme prepares all overseas pupils for IELTS, the university access exam in
academic English. All Abbotsholme international students have gained entry to their
chosen universities, with many currently studying degrees in the UK, Australia, the
United States and Canada.
As well as occasional meetings with overseas students from neighbouring schools,
Abbotsholme offers frequent excursions.These trips allow the students to experience
and enjoy many different aspects of British culture.
We enjoy including our foreign students into our community; through projects,
presentations, social occasions and everyday interaction, we encourage our British
students and our overseas students to learn from each other.
Support for Children with Specific Learning Differences
Abbotsholme is a school for pupils who are able to follow an academic programme
but we can admit a small proportion of pupils with appropriate levels of intellectual
ability who also need some specialist help to overcome their specific learning
differences. Many may well have previously experienced difficulties which have
caused a lack of confidence and other secondary problems. In line with the school’s
ethos, we look to the strengths in our pupils, so self-esteem and confidence are
raised accordingly. However, we do not accept children with primary emotional or
We have a team of qualified and experienced specialist teachers, who are able to
provide help at all stages. The department provides a well resourced, attractive
environment in which learning takes place. All other teaching staff are also aware of
the needs of pupils with specific learning differences.
Prep School pupils
Our pupils follow an individualised programme in small groups of 3 or 4.Tuition is in
close co-operation with the class teacher. Assistance given at this early stage, before
the experience of repeated failure has built up a lack of confidence and perhaps a
learning block, can make all the difference.
Senior School pupils
Pupils are carefully assessed to determine their particular strengths and weaknesses.
They follow flexible, individual programmes on a small group basis to help them
cope with and overcome their specific difficulties. There is a continued emphasis
on building up confidence and a sense of achievement until the pupil is able to cope
independently. Learning Skills lessons are typically in place of a language at KS3 and
an option at KS4 and KS5.
All pupils with Specific Learning Differences will receive appropriate concessions for
public examinations in accordance with JCQ regulations.
Pupils are given a range of standardised tests (reading and spelling) on a twice-yearly
basis. Teaching staff and parents may request an assessment where there is concern
about a pupil’s rate of progress, and where there may be an indication of a specific
learning difference. This allows problems to be identified at an early stage so they
can be addressed. We are also able to call upon the expertise of an Educational
Psychologist who spends time in school each term.
The dress and appearance of pupils must at all times reflect well on the individual
and the school. School uniform should be worn while attending school or school
functions or travelling to or from them.
Uniform is available from the uniform shop at Abbotsholme. After accepting a place
at the school, a uniform list along with a web address, log in and password will be
given to parents to purchase uniform online, if they prefer.
There are five bus routes operated on behalf of Abbotsholme School by four
- Derby (Warringtons)
- Eccleshall (Z-Carz)
- Leek (Leon’s)
- Alrewas (Travel Wood)
- Ashbourne (Warringtons)
You can view the timetable and pricing for each of the bus routes on the website
Scholarships and Bursaries
Abbotsholme caters for a broad ability range and although Abbotsholme is
academically non-selective, we reward outstanding talent by offering a number of
scholarships every year, available for entry to the school in Years 7 and 12 (Sixth
Scholarships are offered for academic excellence, and exams are held in November
of the year preceding entry in Year 7,Year 9 and Sixth Form.
Candidates must have been registered and have had an assessment day prior to
sitting the scholarship exam. Internal candidates may be considered for these
Sixth Form scholarship awards are based on actual GCSE grades, but candidates will
be asked to sit the scholarship exam in the preceding November to assess their
general ability level and suitability for an award of a scholarship at this stage.
Abbotsholme gives out a number of means-tested bursaries to pupils each year.
We also have forces’ bursaries available. Please contact the Admissions Co-ordinator
on 01889 594 265 for more information.
Admission to Abbotsholme
The best way to find out more about Abbotsholme is to visit the school.
The Headmaster encourages anyone who expresses an interest in Abbotsholme to
make a personal visit to the school to see it in action. Please contact the Admissions
Co-ordinator, on 01889 594 265, or email [email protected] to book
Abbotsholme operates a rolling admissions system, and pupils can join the school at
any time from Nursery to Year 13. Should you decide that Abbotsholme is the right
school for your child, you will need to register his or her name with us. You will find
a Registration Form within this booklet which should be completed and forwarded
together with the £60/£100 registration fee.
Where possible, prospective pupils attend a Taster Day as part of the admissions
process. A Taster Day allows a child to visit the school as a pupil for a whole school
day during term time. There’s probably no better way of finding out whether your
child will fit in well, than doing a trial run as children are able to gain an understanding
of the school’s ethos and routines. Care is taken to find out as much as possible
about a prospective pupil’s strengths and interests beforehand, so that he or she can
visit on a school day that includes the lessons and activities of particular interest
to the child. During the Taster Day your child will sit tests in Maths and English,
and if Dyslexic, or with other learning difficulties, he or she will also be assessed
by the Learning Skills Department. Overnight Taster Days are also possible so that
students whose families are considering boarding can experience a full visit.
As far as possible, all entrants are interviewed by the Headmaster. In addition,
references may be obtained from the present school, along with previous exam
results, in order to ensure that we can properly meet the needs of all children
During the run-up to your child becoming a pupil at Abbotsholme, your family will
be invited to various school events so that by the time your child experiences
his or her first day, the school will already be very familiar, and the transition to
Abbotsholme will be as smooth as possible.
We are firmly committed to providing our pupils with a rich and rounded experience.
In doing so, we endeavour to operate an inclusive fee structure. This means that the
more your child participates, the greater value they will receive from their time at
Deposits (Refundable at end of pupil’s school career):
UK - £500
Other Countries - £1000
Registration Fee (Non refundable):
* This is for a full time place in Abbotsholme Reception. We now accept Early Years Funding
(EYF) / Nursery Education Funding for pupils up to age five which can reduce this fee.
Currently 570 hours per year will be funded by the EYF.
At Abbotsholme we endeavour to ensure our fees are as fair and inclusive as
possible. All items listed below are provided to Abbotsholme parents and pupils as
part of the basic fee:
- Extra curricular activities
- Text books
- Most UK based visits and trips
- Personal Accident Insurance
- Meals and snacks
- Exam fees (re-sits chargeable)
- Curriculum based riding lessons
- Personal effects insurance
- Morrisby Careers Test (Year 10 pupils)
- Membership of Abbotsholme Parents’ Association
- Membership of The Abbotsholmians’ Club (Year 10-13,Year 10-12 to have
completed a year at Abbotsholme to receive free membership)
- Laundry (boarders only)
Payment of School Fees
a) Fees are payable in advance or on the first day of term. Should fees remain
unpaid, late payment and administration charges will be raised, and the Governors
reserve the right to request the withdrawal of a pupil.
b) Monthly payment by Direct Debit is available through Holmwoods Termtime
Credit. Details can be obtained from the Finance Manager.
c) Advance Fee Payment Discount Scheme: parents or fee payers can pay annual
fees one year in advance at a discounted rate of 3%. Details can be obtained
from the Finance Manager.
A full term’s notice in writing (or a term’s fees in lieu) must be given by parents or
guardians before a pupil is withdrawn. This notice in writing should be received by
the Headmaster on or before the first day of term.
Please note that a full term’s notice is required in writing to discontinue any optional
Flexible and occasional boarding are dependent upon availability of places.
Music Lessons/Hire of Instruments: Charged per term (invoiced at half term)
Specialist Sport Tuition/Riding Lessons (extra-curricular): Charged per term (invoiced
at half term)
School Transport: Charged per term (in advance)
Overseas Trips: Charged on an individual basis
Flexible Boarding: Charged per term (in advance)
Occasional Boarding: Charged per night (in arrears)
If you have reviewed the prospectus and information booklet and feel
that Abbotsholme is the right school for your child, please complete the
registration form at the end of this booklet and return to the address on the
back with a £60/£100 registration fee. This form is required for assessment
days and scholarship entry.
Rocester Uttoxeter Staffordshire ST14 5BS
Telephone: +44 (0) 1889 590217
Email: [email protected]