Abbotsholme, in Staffordshire, has a tangible warmth.
Pupils and staff are relaxed and focused. The school has its own farm and children can stable their own horses at the school. Abbotsholme caters both for very academic children and those who are less so. Like Gordonstoun, it is part of the round square group, so children jet off to Peru to participate in community projects and improve their languages. One sixth form pupil, when showing us round, told us that she didn’t need to take a gap year, because involvement in round square had meant that she had had ample opportunities to broaden her horizons in term-time and school holidays, she had been to Peru and was planning a trip to.
Every year, a sixth form pupil is allowed to run the farm, with younger students helping at lambing time. Staff are not involved, unless requested. Very few schools offer this level of opportunity and we feel that it is excellent for sixth forms to be stretched and explore their capabilities in this way.