Aspiration. Action. Achievement. These are three core values that the Shaftesbury School upholds, along with their vision: “For everyone to be the best they can be.” Parents and students alike can see for themselves how that philosophy is reflected in its personalised curriculum to support needs of each child. Constantly striving to produce high achievers, this is the place to be for students from all around the world to receive a holistic education.
Shaftesbury School is where you’ll get a quintessentially English boarding experience as well as an excellent education. The broad and balanced school curriculum is built on a strongly held belief that effective learning takes place when literacy, curiosity, challenge, and feedback are apparent. Pair this with a skilled faculty that encourages students to be independent learners, with high aspirations, and students are set to develop the key skills to be successful in life.And many are successful! Armed with superb exam results — the school has seen exceptional success in a wide range of subjects — graduates set off for Russell Group and other top universities.
Boarding at Barton Hill House
Shaftesbury School is where students learn well and live well. Nestled amongst the rolling green hills of Dorset, Shaftesbury School is one of only a few state boarding schools in the UK, where families only pay for the boarding element as educational costs are all covered for students who are UK passport holders or meet the other criteria. This, therefore, makes for a very affordable option for many families who want the stability of a boarding setting for their children.
The school is located less than an hour from the world-famous Jurassic Coast, and the boarding house – Barton Hill House – is a home away from home for many students as they strive to be the best they can be. With a long history of boarding at the school, the supportive boarding staff and house parents here know what they are doing — cultivating a true “family-like” feel. Staff know the students well, while students build lifelong friendships across different age groups.
What’s more, an emphasis on student well-being creates a well-rounded environment for students to not only be productive but to also enjoy their passions and interests outside of academic study. The ground floor of the boarding house provides a wide range of recreational activities for students, including a computer suite, a TV area, gaming, and a pool table. Outside, beautiful grounds and a wide range of sports await.
International students can get extra support through the English as an Additional Language programme. Staff in school and at the boarding house offer guidance such as private English tuition (fees negotiable), structured supervised reading programme with house staff, discussion groups extending vocabulary and comprehension, supervised small group prep-sessions to support English skills, IELTS (International Language Testing System) and one-to-one support in core subjects, among others. These ensure students not only excel in class, but form enduring connections with boarders, making friends for life.
Shaftesbury School is one of only 10 schools in the country to have a Future Classroom. At this innovative learning space, amazing things happen.
Picture students tackling contemporary and challenging concepts such as climate change, or the future of food as they explore the “what if?” alongside the “what is?” Where students work in teams to solve complex problems — each team has a leader, a scribe, a researcher, and a presenter. Where there are no desks, 13 whiteboards fixed to the walls and a motherboard for teams to create and present their ideas. That’s what the Future Classroom is like.
Even a subject like maths gets a fresh approach at Shaftesbury School. “The Maths Futures Programme is aimed at students with a passion for mathematics looking to study A Level mathematics and further mathematics in an environment that balances both academic excellence and a broad love of mathematics and its application,” says teacher Keiha Dhruev. “In addition to taught lessons students benefit from fortnightly individual or two-to-one tutorials with specialist teachers. These tutorials provide students with an option to seek guidance and advice on their studies whilst also getting support in considering options after the programme. Regular problem-solving clinics also run to encourage students to work collaboratively on mathematical problems. These are often linked to national competitions.”
The school provides dedicated support lessons to help prepare students for the entrance exams now required to pursue mathematics and similar subjects (such as engineering) at the most prestigious universities. This includes the MAT exam used for admissions to Oxford University and the STEP exam used for Cambridge admission.
That’s not all. “During the two-year programme, students have the opportunity to go on a range of trips and visits to see prominent mathematicians speak, visit universities and see mathematical exhibitions,” says Dhruev.
When asked what his favourite sessions are, Dhruev says he enjoys tutorial times when a student comes to teachers with a problem. “In this situation, the dynamic changes. Student and teacher work collaboratively, discussing mathematical approaches and possible strategies. This gives students a real flavour of collaborative mathematics, reminds them of the fallibility of their teachers and keeps the teacher on their toes,” says Dhruev.
Secure your child’s future as a high achiever with Shaftesbury School. Click here to learn more about admissions.