Denstone College is an 11–18 mixed, independent, boarding and day school in Denstone, Uttoxeter, Staffordshire, England. It is a Woodard School, having being founded by Nathaniel Woodard, having also Christian traditions with it. It is a member of the Headmasters' and Headmistresses' Conference.
Nathaniel Woodard founded the school, originally called St Chad's College, as his flagship school in the Midlands, following earlier foundations in southern England. Work on the school began in 1868 and it opened in 1873 with 46 boys, under the direction of Edward Clarke Lowe, provost of the Midland district of the Woodard Corporation. The buildings were designed by William Slater and Richard Carpenter in the Neo-Gothic style. The school buildings, hall, chapel and war memorial are all Grade II listed.
Denstone College opened a preparatory school in 1902, which moved in 1938 to its present site of Smallwood Manor. From 1959 to 1964 the headmaster was W. P. C. Davies. The school became co-educational and opened a pre-school department in 1983. It also provided boarding accommodation until 1997 but now is a day school for ages 2–11.
Denstone College welcomes overseas pupils from a range of countries within Europe and further afield. They bring with them valuable cultural diversity. Their international students are fully integrated into Denstone and as full boarders they are an important part of their boarding school community.
Students from overseas have particular and special needs and requirements and they have been complimented many times on the standard of care they provide. Above all they need to be assisted with the demands of boarding school life so far away from home. To begin with pupils miss family and friends; there are new expectations and often language difficulties. All students have a personal tutor who specialises in their age group, to offer support and guidance, and to keep in touch with the family.
Pupils are encouraged to share cultural events, for example Chinese New Year celebrations and international evenings, where pupils showcase their countries. In return, every day brings with it a taste of British school life.
Denstone aims to prepare students for the world beyond school and part of this is helping them achieve high grades and develop a lifelong love of learning. All subjects are taught within specialist departmental areas providing first class facilities for pupils and staff; the recently completed Derbyshire classroom block is the most recent addition to the site, providing specialist accommodation for Mathematics and Modern Languages. A fair and flexible setting system, relatively small set sizes, regular formal assessments of academic progress across all subjects and a highly qualified and committed teaching staff all play their part in the continuing academic success of their pupils. Support for pupils with specific needs is provided through a thorough and highly effective pastoral system as well as tailored programs such as that for potential Oxbridge applicants in their Sixth Form. Their learning support staff also works hard to provide appropriate support for those pupils who have specific learning needs.
Academic success requires high standards, and none less so than in the requirement to enter the full ‘A’ level program in their Sixth Form, which currently stands at 14 points for pupils at Denstone and 16 points for pupils wishing to join the College in their Sixth Form. A significant number of Denstonians achieve top grades, but for others this is an entry target that spurs them on. What supports them in these efforts is an environment which applauds success, excellent teaching by committed subject specialists, and a level of academic and pastoral mentoring that genuinely cherishes the individual.
The number of scholarships awarded in any one year will depend upon the number and quality of applicants. Potential students are invited to visit them, at an Open Morning or for a personal tour, and they hope they will then register. Once registration is complete, they ask for a reference from a candidate’s current school. Assessment for Sixth Form Scholarship usually takes place in November before entry the following September, and dates are found on the website and in the Admissions Booklet you will receive upon enquiry to Denstone. Scholarships and Exhibitions at Denstone are fiercely contested and carry respective fee reductions of up to 20% and 10%.
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