Founded in 1889 by Dr Cecil Reddie, a progressive educational reformer, Abbotsholme lies in a beautiful estate of some 140 acres on the banks of the River Dove in rural Derbyshire, on the borders of Staffordshire. Co-educational since 1969, the school is Christian but non-denominational. Current numbers are in the region of 285. Class sizes are deliberately small and although the School caters for a broad ability range, academic standards remain high with the majority of sixth formers going on to their first choice university, including Oxford and Cambridge. A strong Learning Skills unit provides a high standard of support for children with Specific Learning Differences including children with Asperger’s Syndrome, Autism, dyslexia, dyspraxia, dyscalculia hearing and visual impairments.

Great emphasis is placed on providing an educational experience beyond the classroom, which is achieved:

  • In the natural world, through involvement in an extensive programme of Outdoor Education, which has taken pupils and staff to all corners of the world; in addition, all pupils participate in running the school’s farm, where animal husbandry and crop management are experienced as is caring for the environment by tending to the needs of the estate
  • In the arts, through involvement in theatre work, music and the visual arts
  • In an international dimension, through membership of the Round Square Conference; we welcome overseas pupils of various nationalities on an exchange basis, in recognition of the importance of fostering global relationships and understanding other cultures

Much has changed in the world since the school was founded. However, we believe there has never been a greater need for a school to provide a genuine and distinctive alternative where young people are given the opportunity to discover themselves and where they are valued for the individual contribution they make.