Abbotsholme School pupils took centre stage on top BBC show ‘Countryfile’


Abbotsholme School was featured on Sunday night favourite BBC Countryfile last night.

Abbotsholme School hosted Countryfile at the school on Friday 5th February with Sixth Form Agriculture pupils taking centre stage with presenters Matt Baker and Ellie Harrison.

BTEC Agriculture Year 13 pupils Rachel Hames (Farm Manager) aged 17 from Derby, Ben Collier from Stone, Staffordshire, Gregory King from Belper, Derbyshire, Tara Witcomb from Rocester, Staffordshire all aged 18, and Year 12 pupils Alice Wood from Chesterfield, Derbyshire, and Adam Wright from Lutterworth, Leicestershire both aged 16 were central to the filming on the school farm with Matt Baker and Ellie Harrison two of the presenters from Countryfile.

Abbotsholme School featured for about 12 minutes, across two films. The first film included a history interview with Steve Fairclough, the Headmaster, and Matt Baker. The feature cut to the farm and joined Sixth Form pupils sorting out the shed with an interview by Matt with joint Head of School, Greg King. During this scene, all the Sixth Form pupils – including Rachel Hames, the Sixth Form farm manager - are filmed preparing the hurdles, as well as Prep School pupils feeding the goats.  This scene was followed by local vet Robert, from Glenthorne Vets, showing Alice and Adam (Year 12 Agriculture pupils) how to do vaccinate pregnant ewes against clostridial diseases which they then had a go at under his watchful eye.

The second film on Abbotsholme was all about the tractor driving training and included some shots of Ben and Tara driving followed by Ellie Harrison. The film also included a brief chat with Christina Liddle, Head of Rural Estate Education at Abbotsholme about what the pupils are learning regarding the tractors.

A number of images taken around the School from over 100 years ago also appeared throughout which were taken from Abbotsholme’ archives. These images show that Cecil Reddie’s vision of a new School which valued practical learning alongside academic learning is still in evidence today.

Steve Fairclough, Headmaster, said of the episode, “I am very proud of Abbotsholme and its history, and proud to be able to call myself Headmaster of this wonderful school.”

“I am especially proud of the pupils who featured in this episode, showcasing an important part of Abbotsholme’s balanced education, in fact the heart of what makes Abbotsholme such a unique place to be a part of – a key outdoor classroom.”

He concluded, “Every moment really does matter here from the birth of a lamb, to a sporting success, and from seeing pupils gain confidence to being part of individual academic achievements; Abbotsholme is a very special place.”

BBC’s Countryfile is currently one of the top rated shows on TV and pulled in a record 9.5 million viewers in one of its most recent broadcasts. 


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ISI inspection report

ISI inspection report

Abbotsholme School provides a richly diverse and distinctive educational experience in which individual pupils are well-known, very well cared for and enabled to flourish both personally and academically.

Click here to view the full reportISI inspection report

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