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.
We place proper emphasis on academic rigour, but a Denstone education is an all-round education, packed with opportunity and challenge, so enabling pupils to discover their true potential.
Achievement, confidence and happiness are the foundations upon which our pupils build their success and they are at the heart of our aims for every child, along with the values we seek to instil; honesty, endeavour and kindness.
The school week is filled with lessons, sport, music and drama, Duke of Edinburgh, CCF and many other activities. Pupils are encouraged to be productive, to challenge themselves at every opportunity, and to make the most of the excellent facilities they enjoy.
Pupils show a high level of emotional maturity, develop self-knowledge, self-discipline and resilience.
- ISI 17/18
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.