Life Outside the Classroom

Outdoor learning experiences are often remembered for a lifetime. Integrating learning and outdoor experiences, whether through play in the immediate grounds or local adventures further afield, provides relevance and depth to the curriculum in ways that are difficult to achieve indoors.

The core values of Abbotsholme resonate with long-standing key concepts of outdoor learning. Challenge, enjoyment, resilience, courage, connecting with the environment and an adventurous approach to learning are at the core of outdoor education. The outdoor environment encourages staff and students to see each other in a different light, building positive relationships and improving self-awareness and understanding of others.

Our aims are to provide adventurous and challenging outdoor experiences for pupils, in order to develop skills, qualities and attitudes that will contribute to the development of the whole person and make for a more fulfilled life. In doing so, due regard is taken for the individual learning needs and abilities of pupils and their safety and welfare.



Timetabled Lessons

Years 7-9 Tuesday afternoons for two half terms within the academic year.

Activities are: team building, mountain biking, canoeing, kayaking, bushcraft, rock scrambling, orienteering, caving and climbing. Some of the activities are on the school site, but often we visit fantastic sites in the nearby area.

Senior Hikes

Every October for three days the whole school goes hill walking in various areas of the U.K. (Peak District, Yorkshire Dales, Snowdonia and Lake District)

Senior Expeditions

The senior school pupils will complete a mini expedition each year during the Summer Term.

  • Year 7 – Mountain bike across the Peak District, 2 days
  • Year 8 – Canoe down the River Severn, 3 days
  • Year 9 – Bronze DofE Assessment Expedition, 2 days
  • Year 10 – Canoe, bike and hike 30 miles across the Lake District, 4 days
  • Year 12 – Gold Duke of Edinburgh Assessment Expedition (on foot, by boat or by bike), 5 days


Weekday Activities

Rockholme Climbing Club – Monday after school

Weekend Trips

There are outdoor trips for all years involving a wide variety of activities:

  • Year 7 – Adventure Weekend
  • Year 8 – Mystery Adventure Weekend
  • Year 9 – Wild Night in the Mountains
  • Year 10 – Wild Night in the Woods
  • Year 11 – Wild Night, The Power on One (24hr solo experience)

Open to all are Orienteering, Mountain Biking, White Water Kayaking, and Sea Kayaking trips too.

Holiday Trips

Abbotsholme has an incredible history in going to amazing places across the planet in search of adventure. Trips within the holidays tend to be for Year 9 and above, and include trips such as sea kayaking in Sweden, mountain biking in Scotland, sailing across the Channel to France, trekking in the Himalayas, cross country Skiing in Norway, and canoeing in the Canadian wilderness.



Realising extraordinary potential to fuel students creative individuality and professionalism through artistic performance and process.

The Performing Arts make a major contribution to Abbotsholme’s enriched curriculum inside and outside the classroom environment. Inside the classroom the Key Stage 3 Performing Arts programmes have been developed in-house and follow a half termly modular approach with performance skills and individual creativity integral to the units. At KS4 students have chosen to study a BTEC First Award in Performing Arts or Music. There is also a healthy interest in the Performing Arts at Post 16 with Musical Theatre being delivered by industry professional specialists. We have developed well-attended after school dance, drama and music clubs which regularly perform at local events throughout the year. We also have an excellent reputation for providing first class entertainment with school concerts, plays and musical theatre. All of this is achieved with industry leading resources including a state of the art theatre, fully equipped Performing Arts studios and a dedicated ICT room in the Performing Arts curriculum area with access to professional recording equipment.

Performing Arts have a busy year of professional events planned annually including half termly showcases, full scale productions and events celebrating the work of our students. In the spring term we are performing Brass the musical. There will also be a variety of events throughout the year to share the range of opportunities on offer featuring Abbotsholme Musician of the year, Dance exchange, An audience with, Battle of the bands and many more.



Abbotsholme has its own 70 acre working farm, an equestrian centre and country estate. All pupils up to Year 9 play an active role in rural life at the School. In Year 10 and above pupils can choose to study Agriculture and Estate Management or Equestrian as part of a tailored programme.

The curriculum provides invaluable opportunities for the teaching of environmental sustainability for all pupils through outdoor education, working with animals, clay pigeon shooting, bee keeping or gardening within the walled garden. These hands-on opportunities provide pupils with the chance to foster their understanding of the natural world and the environment. Pupils are also aware of the ‘farm to fork’ journey and the importance of animal welfare. Our kitchens provide healthy meals from produce directly from our own farm.

From Year 7 - 9 pupils are studying towards a Level 1 BTEC in Agriculture. In years 10 and 11 they can study Level 2 and in the Sixth Form they can achieve a Level 3. All work on the farm is practical and purposeful. Pupils are involved in every task and senior pupils, including the Sixth Form, take full responsibility for overseeing lambing.



Sport is the best tool to learn about yourself. How do you deal with pressure, are you an effective team member or gracious opponent, can you make the correct decisions quickly, are you a good leader or official? Sport gives you a springboard to gain a huge number of essential life skills that can be transferred to everyday life, or used to achieve greatness and become an elite sports person.

We fully believe that there is a sport for everybody, it is merely a case of applying ourselves to various skill sets and game situations in order to find and nurture our strengths. Our coaching staff are on hand to not only develop and strengthen skills, but instil desire, motivation and passion to achieve and strive to be the very best we can be, while having fun along the way. We support and nurture individuals with our high staff to pupil ratio whatever level they are representing at Sport.

Sport plays an essential role in supporting our school ethos. Sport teaches us how to respect, our peers, our opponent, our coaches and the officials. Sports teaches us humility and cheerfulness in the face of adversity, it gives us the want to do better. Sport gives us courage and integrity. Sport at Abbotsholme encompasses all of this.

Lessons are split in to PE and Games sessions. PE lessons focus on offering a broad and balanced curriculum, while focusing on basic skills which can then be transferred to a Games situation. Games lessons are an opportunity for the school teams to train and work together, those not in the team will receive support and coaching to further advance their skills, allowing them to strive towards being in the team with time and practise, without knocking their confidence but building each individual up so that they can be placed in a competitive situation against an equal opponent and achieve success.

We believe in ‘Sport for all’ and ‘High Performers’. Engaging and challenging all pupils at every level, yet at the same time fostering, nurturing and developing pupils to aspire and achieve excellence in Sport. We also believe in having fun and the need to laugh. Enjoyment of Sport is crucial and essential in order to make it a long standing hobby for after school life. Abbotsholme School has built links with many local clubs in a range of different sports and we work closely with them to allow our pupils to engage and reap the benefits of being part of a club setting as well as school sport.

Every pupil is unique and so is their personality. This is respected and recognised by the coaching team so that each pupil can be coached in a way which is appropriate to their learning, making the session most effective to them.

Wednesday afternoons are dedicated to Sport and this is when our teams play competitive sport against other schools with great success.

Sports offered on a Wednesday afternoons include hockey, football, netball, cricket, rounders, tennis, swimming, strength and conditioning, table tennis, cross country/athletics, basketball, badminton and equestrian.