School Type:
Abbotsholme School, Rocester, Uttoxeter, Staffordshire ST14 5BS
ST14 5BS
01889 590217
330, Upper sixth 65
£3120-£5750 (Day), £7280-£8440 (Boarding), £5600-£7070 (Weekly)
the Registrar

Founded in 1889 by Dr Cecil Reddie, the originator of a movement which led to the foundation of Bedales, Gordonstoun and similar schools; the pioneering methods have since been widely adopted. In 1969 it was one of the first boys’ schools to become fully co-educational. Its handsome and well-equipped buildings lie in a beautiful 140 acre estate on the banks of the River Dove, in rural Derbyshire close to the Peak District. Facilities include a working farm, equestrian centre (BHS-approved), a multi-purpose sports hall, art, music, design and IT centres and a purpose-built studio theatre. A small, friendly school, with a progressive approach based on balance – an educational philosophy where academic, personal and social developments are given equal standing. It aims to give all pupils knowledge to facilitate success and achievement, commitment to nurture and care for the environment, challenges to build strength and test courage, cultural enrichment to widen perspective and responsibility for the needs of others. Boarding is in small friendly homes run by resident house parents as family units until the sixth form, when boarders live semi-independent lives in a log cabin complex in the school grounds. A staff:pupil ratio of about 1:8 ensures small classes and individual attention so that, by the sixth form, pupils have a solid foundation of independent study. Examination results are good and most sixth-form leavers go on to degree courses. Music, drama and art are all vigorously supported. A comprehensive range of activities is integral to the curriculum, including an outstanding outdoor education programme, which has taken pupils to all corners of the world. Membership of the Round Square provides a strong international perspective.

School Head:
Head: Steve Fairclough, appointed 2003. Teaching staff: 35 full time, 6 part time.
GCSE: 30 pupils in Year 11. 87% gained at least grade C in 5+ subjects. A-levels: 22 in upper sixth, achieving an average final point score of 288.
82% of sixth form leavers go on to a degree course (30% after a gap year). 35% take courses in maths, science and engineering, 30% in business and social sciences, 35% in arts and languages. Others typically go on to further education, training or into employment.
Music: About 60% of pupils learn a musical instrument; instrumental exams can be taken (pupils regularly achieve grade 8). Many musical groups including orchestra, choir, jazz band. Drama: GCSE drama and AS/A-level theatre studies offered. Many pupils involved in major school productions. Art and design: Popular at both GCSE and A-level. Engineering and pottery also popular.
Sport: Rugby, soccer, cricket, tennis, swimming, athletics, netball, hockey, rounders, badminton, squash, volleyball; all optional to some extent from Year 11. County representatives at cricket, rugby, hockey, netball and riding. Activities: Outdoor education a particular feature; large numbers take bronze, silver and gold Duke of Edinburgh’s Award. Community service compulsory for a term at age 14, then optional. Conservation has a high profile (recently won a national Queen’s Anniversary Award). Many clubs and activities such as film-making, cooking, art, clay-pigeon shooting, riding, electronics, pot holing, abseiling, Warhammer.
10% have own study bedrooms; 90% share with 1-3 others. Single-sex houses of 18-25. Qualified health advisor on site. Pupils can provide and cook own food. Flexible weekend exeats (arranged with house parent). Visits to the local town arranged twice a week for all ages – younger ones only in a group.
(The Abbotsholmians Club) run by Mr Derek Sederman, c/o the school