The College, which was founded by Nathaniel Woodard combines its rich tradition and history with a forward thinking approach to education. For instance, we were one of the first schools to introduce the concept of boarding in age groups, rather than the vertical 4 – 18 house approach usually adopted by public schools, and parents tell us that this is often key in their decision-making.
Building of the College begun in 1868 and was completed five years later as the flagship independent boarding school of the Midlands. The school is set in a site of more than one hundred acres of rolling Staffordshire countryside, close to the Derbyshire border. According to Pevsner, the building is Victorian Gothic "with sweeping composition" and is built on an 'H' principle with longer wings to the back and shorter to the front of school.
Denstone began life as a school in 1873, with 46 boarding boys as pupils, organised into eight houses named after benefactors. Numbers remained small until the First World War, when they swelled to 314. Expansion between the wars was limited although a classroom block opened in 1926. During the Second World War playing fields were ploughed up to provide for vegetable growing. The two wars took their toll of pupils with 272 pupils losing their lives: they are commemorated at the College Remembrance Service and there are memorials in Chapel, the Library and the Lonsdale Quadrangle.
Denstone College (and the Prep at Denstone College) is a mixed school offering full, weekly or flexi Boarding. Typically the school has less than 20% international students and the College has 735 students in total, of which just less than 100 are boarders.
English as an Additional Language (EAL) lessons are offered to overseas students who require help with English in order to access the College curriculum. All such students are assessed upon arrival to establish their standard of English in order to help teachers plan for future teaching and learning experiences. EAL lessons take the place of a modern foreign language in the curriculum.
The College has a Learning Support Department with a team of specialist teachers, in-house assistants and external professional support. The work of the Learning Support Department is overseen by the College’s Head of Learning Support (SENCO). Students are offered 1:1 or small group lessons within the department in the areas of Literacy / English, Mathematics and Study support. To reduce curriculum disruption, this provision usually takes place in prep periods, lunchtimes and during activity sessions.