Abbots Bromley School

Abbots Bromley School
Motto That Our Daughters May Be as the Polished Corners of the Temple
Established 1874
Type Independent day & boarding
Religion Church of England
Founder Canon Nathaniel Woodard
Location Abbots Bromley
WS15 3BW
Coordinates: 52°49′03″N 1°52′46″W / 52.817438°N 1.879474°W / 52.817438; -1.879474
Local authority Staffordshire
DfE number 860/6013
DfE URN 124470 Tables
Staff 21 full time, 16 part time[1]
Students 165 [1]
Gender Girls; Boys (3-11)
Ages 3–18
Colours Red & Blue
Affiliation Woodard Corporation

Abbots Bromley School (formerly known as the School of S. Mary and S. Anne, Abbots Bromley before becoming "Abbots Bromley School for Girls") is a boarding and day independent school for girls aged 3–18 and for boys aged 3-11 located in the village of Abbots Bromley, Staffordshire, England. It is one of the original Woodard Schools — and the first Woodard School for girls — and is therefore an Anglican foundation that historically reflected the Anglo-Catholic ethos of the Woodard Foundation. It is affiliated to the Girls' Schools Association.


The School of S. Anne

With the foundation of the School of S. Anne, Nathaniel Woodard's project to provide education for the middle classes was extended to girls. Woodard had been reluctant to start a school for girls, but some of his closest friends strongly disagreed. Edward Clarke Lowe, in particular, believed that university education should be open to women. These friends eventually prevailed upon Woodard and secured his blessing and his enormous fund-raising skills to found the School of S. Anne in 1874. Even after its opening, Woodard continued to express the view that his foundation might be wasting its efforts in promoting the education of women.

The school was established at Abbots Bromley partly because it was near Denstone College, another Woodard school which had been founded a few years before. Its location in the Anglican diocese of Lichfield also helped to secure for it the goodwill of Bishop Selwyn.

Alice Mary Coleridge, Lowe's sister-in-law, played a central role in the evolving vision that led to the foundation of the school. Alice Coleridge, who had been greatly influenced by Anna Sewell and her godmother, Charlotte Yonge, became Lady Warden of S. Anne's in 1878 and instituted a spartan regime and a broadly based curriculum.

The School of S. Mary

Given the missionary ethos of the school's foundation, Alice Coleridge also tried to make some educational provision for girls from families who were unable to afford the fees required by the School of S. Anne. As a result, the School of S. Mary was founded in Abbots Bromley in 1880 to educate more cheaply 'the daughters of clergymen and other professional men of limited means and of the agricultural and commercial classes generally'. The School of S. Mary was built on a site immediately opposite the School of S. Anne.

S. Mary's did not prove to be viable, so the schools were amalgamated in 1921.

S. Mary's has currently been reopened for the Upper Six Boarders of Abbots Bromley School of Girls, as a Boarding House. The Upper six is using the upper floor of the Building, which has been refurnished in summer 2010, it is meant to give them a closer feeling of what their lives are going to be like at university.

The school today


The school currently has 300 pupils, of whom over eighty five are boarders.[2]

The school is not academically selective but achieves academic results that are generally regarded as outstanding for a non-selective school.[3]

Its academic, social and sporting provision is normal for most independent schools for girls in the UK. However, it does have two specialities in addition to the norm: it has a well-developed equestrian centre, and it incorporates a dance school (Alkins School of Ballet).

The school occupies 53 acres (210,000 m2), split between two sites on either side of the village High Street.


Historically, the school was a boarding school, but for some time now the majority of pupils have been day pupils. However, the school has restored its boarding ethos which offers a range of boarding alternatives – full, weekly, flexi and occasional boarding. The School currently takes boys and girls from Reception through to Year 6 and then girls Year 7 till Year 11. The 6th form is co-educational and has a brand new facility for its International College.

Academic teaching takes place from Monday to Friday. There is a full range of activities at weekends for all boarders.

In 1991, Roch House Preparatory School opened, catering for girls between three and eleven years of age.[4]


Abbots Bromley Prep School:

House Colour
Argyle Green
Benets Red
Duttons yellow
Stretton Blue

Abbots Bromley Senior School:

House Colour
St Anne Blue
St Chad Burgundy
St Gregory Steel Grey
St Mary Red

Commemoration Day: "Jerusalem Heights"

Perhaps one of the most enduring images of the school — and one of its most public manifestations — is that of its traditional Commemoration Day Procession, which takes place every Summer Term. The pupils process from the school to the Parish Church of St Nicholas, down the centre of the high street, in height order wearing white veils (officially called "hoods", unofficially called "tea - towels") fringed with light blue, carrying beautifully embroidered banners and singing (unaccompanied) the hymn "Jerusalem my happy home". Members of the school choir wear an additional ankle-length white veil (officially known as "cloaks" and unofficially as "tablecloths"). The service traditionally concludes with the singing of "Forward be our watchword".

Notable former pupils

See also


  1. 1 2 "ABBOTS BROMLEY SCHOOL FOR GIRLS". Independent Schools of the British Isles. Archived from the original on 27 September 2007. Retrieved 2007-08-23.
  2. "Abbots Bromley School for Girls". Current information on schools. Independent Schools Council. Retrieved 2007-05-06.
  3. "Abbots Bromley School for Girls". League Tables. BBC News. 2005-10-19. Retrieved 2007-05-06.
  4. "Nursery Education Inspection Report: Roch Pre-preparatory School; Inspection Number: 1156173". Ofsted Reports. Office for Standards in Education (Ofsted). 2000. Archived from the original on December 4, 2007. Retrieved 2006-04-19.

External links

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