Denstone College


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  • Category: Senior / Sixth Form
  • Pupils: Co-Education
  • Type: Day & Boarding
  • Religious Affiliation: Church of England
  • Roll: 369 (Boys) 245 (Girls)
  • Age Range: 11 - 18 years
  • Founded: 1868

General Information

The College combines its rich tradition and history with a forward thinking approach to education. We place proper emphasis on academic endeavour 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.


There have been many additions to College facilities over recent years, with a complete refurbishment of boarding accommodation, and three new builds: the Adamson’s Sports Complex, the Roper Music School and Tookey’s, the new home for English, RS and Philosophy & Ethics. The most recent addition, whilst not a new build is a new library which occupies almost the entire South Wing of the main building. The Chapel is central to school life, both spiritually and as a meeting place for the whole school.

Work has just been completed on a brand new classroom block to house Maths and Modern Foreign Languages. Pupils are now enjoying the state of the art flexible seating and desking and benefitting from the very latest in teaching technology.

Outside the classroom pupils now have the benefit of two astroturfs, two pavilions, acres of pitches and plentiful tennis and netball courts, a refurbished swimming pool and our EGU affiliated golf course.

Extra-curricular provision is well-resourced and every week over 40 activities are offered including a full programme of sports, music and drama. A good number of pupils achieve Gold, Silver and Bronze Duke of Edinburgh Award each year and the Combined Cadet Force offers opportunity to develop personal qualities such as leadership, loyalty and team spirit,

Entrance Requirements

Entry into Year 7: Entrance examinations in English and Maths, interview, current school report.

Entry into Year 9: Common Entrance or entrance examinations in English, Maths and Science, current school report.

Entry into Sixth Form: minimum of 16 points at GCSE, minimum of grade B in their chosen AS / A Level subjects, current school report.

Arrangements for international pupils to sit the entrance papers in their own country can be made.


Academic, All Rounder, Art, Drama, Design Technology, Music, Sixth Form and Sport.

Open Days

2020. Open Morning: Sat. 16th May.


2019/2020. All per term.

Day. Years 7-9: £4532. Years 10 - 13: £5478. Weekly Boarding. Years 7-9: £6566. Years 10 - 13: £7384. Full Boarding. Year 7: £6566. Years 8 and 9: £8701. Years 10-13: £9539. Sibling discount available.

For International pupil fees please contact the College


ISI Inspection 2017

School Contact Details

Headteacher: Mr Miles Norris

Denstone College
ST14 5HN

[t]: 01889 590484
[f]: 01889 590744

Location Description

The College is set in beautiful grounds in rural Staffordshire. Three major airports; Manchester, East Midlands and Birmingham are within one hour's drive and the nearest mainline stations are Stafford, Derby, Stoke on Trent and a branch line at Uttoxeter.

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School News

Denstone College independent day and boarding school Staffordshire

Pupils at Denstone College were this morning celebrating an excellent crop of results, where almost half of entries were graded 9 (the highest accolade, created

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last year to denote performance above and beyond A*), grade 8 (previously grade A*), or 7 (previously A) and 29% of entries were graded 9 or 8. This is the highest proportion of top grades at the College since 2010.

In the first year that Denstone pupils received numerical 9 to 1 grades in all GCSE and IGCSE subjects, results were strong across all school departments, with 60% of entries gaining grade 7 or higher in IGCSE Mathematics, and 46% achieving the top grades, 8 or 9. In English Literature, 68% of entries were graded 7 or higher, in Drama 60% were at grades 8 and 9 and in Art 45% were grades 8 or 9.

Exceptional performances include Anthony Vakis’s 7 top grade 9s, and Al Giovannelli, Edgar Webber, Nicola Cooper and Rudraneil Haldar all achieved 6 top grade 9s.  In addition to their 6 grade 9s, Al and Edgar clocked up a further 4 grade 8s, giving them a total of ten top grades. They were closely followed by Hannah Channing with 4 grade 9s and 6 grade 8s.

23 students achieved at least 9 grade 7s or above and 13 students achieved a complete set of grades 7, 8 and 9.

The Headmaster, Miles Norris, said “This is an excellent set of results, and whilst GCSEs have changed significantly over the years, we cannot ignore the fact that this is the best performance for almost a decade.  To have almost half of all entries gaining the top grades is testament to the hard work of our pupils and staff. Whilst there have been some fantastic individual performances, we must also remember that achievement throughout the cohort has been admirable. A Denstone all-round education caters for all abilities and our impressive track record for value – added performance at GCSE continues.”

The College achieved the top ISI rating of ‘Excellent’ for both possible categories: the quality of pupils’ academic & other achievements and pupils’ personal development (November 2017).

Denstone College independent day and boarding school Staffordshire

Denstone College pupils are today celebrating some excellent achievements following the release of A level examination results this morning. These results are particularly impressive given

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the reforms to A Level, which meant that students sat linear exams after two years’ study in the Sixth Form.  This is a significant challenge which pupils and teachers have risen to, and once again the vast majority of leavers are bound for their first choice university or course.

37 students have achieved the top grade in one or more of their subjects, and 15 have gained a complete set of A*/A grades.

There were some particularly pleasing individual performances, including Captain of School Jess Harding leading the way with A*A*A*A*. Jess leaves us to study Medicine at Downing College, Cambridge.  Also bound for Cambridge are Dan Jones, (A*A*A*A), Natural Sciences (Downing College) and Heather Jones, A*A*A*, Medicine (Jesus College).

Alice Copestick also goes on to study Medicine (AAA) at Sheffield, as do Meg Dent (A*AA) at Glasgow, Isabel McManus at Newcastle and Morgan James (AAA) who is off to his parents’ Alma Mater, Cardiff.

Other notable performances include Ollie Rylance (A*A*AA), Oscar Dale (A*AA), Ben Bourne (A*A*A), Laura Evans (A*AA), Millie Frost (A*AA), Rob Gray (AAA), Lexie Linnell (AAA), Max Webber (AAA) and Captain of School, Ollie Bailey (AAA).

23 students gained the Extended Project Qualification (EPQ) and 13 of these achieved A*A grades.

Headmaster, Miles Norris said “ We are proud of this year’s leavers who are to be congratulated on such excellent individual achievements with five pupils off to study Medicine, three pupils headed to Cambridge, five to Durham and five to Bath not to mention many other leading universities. More importantly however, they leave Denstone independent, resilient and confident, ready to take on the challenges of university and beyond.”

Denstone College independent day and boarding school Staffordshire

2019 was a ground-breaking year for Denstone Drama, as we introduced our exciting new initiative: the Junior School play! Replacing the third form plays, this

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activity allowed all the students from first, second and third forms an opportunity to rehearse and perform a large scale production.

The chosen production of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory captured the imaginations of our junior pupils, and a host of brilliant talent came to audition for Mrs Phillips, helped out by some of the 5th form drama team. Every student who auditioned was given an exciting role to play in our Denstone re-work of the classic tale, which involved many new characters and sections of script. Additionally a number of original songs were written in collaboration by our talented student musical director Joseph Thompson, his father Ashley Thompson and director Mrs Phillips. This made for a truly one of a kind show, exclusive to Denstone!

In rehearsal Mrs Phillips was delighted with the creativity and imagination of the junior cast. She commented ‘as a director I find it really important that the cast offers ideas and takes ownership of the show and characters. I can’t claim credit for some of the best moments of this show- it came from their brilliant imaginations, discussions we had, games we played together and I think you can see that energy running throughout our interpretation!’

The show was truly an ensemble effort, where each and every cast member shone bright at various moments. The iconic characters (Wonka, Charlie, the naughty Children, Grandpa Joe and the Oompa Loompas) we’re expertly conveyed. Additionally the characters of the chorus, Charlie’s family and the chocolate lovers added a wonderful dimension. There was a sense of fun, enjoyment and surprise in every scene that really showed the particular energy of our Denstone juniors.

The original songs were delivered beautifully and made for a sometimes very comic, at other times incredibly touching element. The comedy songs such as ‘Telly’ and ‘Give him Food’ had the audience in stitches, whereas the central ballad ‘Rich of Heart,’ which conveyed the production’s theme of helping those in need, had our audience humming thoughtfully for many days afterwards.

The technical team led by Mr Pearson and band shone with their artistry and audiences were particularly amazed at the impressive skill of Joseph Thompson, taking on the role of composer and musical director when only in 4th form! The maintenance team and Miss Lea created a spectacular set, which was enhanced variously with ‘show snow,’ confetti and a host of hilarious and inventive props created by maintenance, volunteers and the cast themselves.

All in all the feedback from audiences, including the junior school who all watched it during activities, was that the new Junior school Show is on its way to becoming a hotly anticipated highlight of the Denstone Summer term!

Denstone College independent day and boarding school Staffordshire

Thomas Kelsall took part in the Magic Marine Easter Regatta at Lake Brassemereer in the Netherlands.

This is an event for juniors up to the age

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of 15 who sail a boat called the Optimist.This is an international event with teams from the Netherlands, Great Britain, Germany, Turkey, Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Finland, France, Italy and even as far as the USA. There were around 240 sailors competing in the event overall.

Thomas was invited to participate (effectively as a result of various selection events in 2018) as part of team GBR.

They have a day and a half of training initially, followed by 2 days of racing. Thomas qualified for the final 2 days of racing in the silver fleet (there is Gold, Silver and Bronze). There were 70 sailors in his fleet.

His final position was 14th and 1st GBR boat in the silver fleet.

We hope you had a fantastic time, well done Thomas

Denstone College independent day and boarding school Shropshire

It has been a hugely exciting time for Denstone College Rugby as two current and three former pupils have received outstanding news regarding their future

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careers. Current members of the highly successful 1st XV Joe Browning and Tom Manz have been selected for the full England Under 18 team for their upcoming 6 Nations Championship. This is an amazing achievement for both boys, who only entered the Leicester Tigers Pathway relatively late on in their junior careers.

Morgan Jones, who left in 2016, has also received international recognition with selection for the Wales Under 20 squad. This is his second consecutive season. Morgan is balancing his studies at Swansea University with playing for Pro 14 side, Scarlets, as he works his way through their ranks. It’s an immense achievement to play at this level two years running.

Sam Lewis and Ben White were thrilled to have signed their first long term contracts with Leicester Tigers. Both have played in the Premiership for Tigers this season, demonstrating the incredible amount of work that they have put in to secure their future in rugby. Both players represented England last year at Under 20 level with Ben being captain of that side as well during the Under 20 World Cup

These individual successes demonstrate Denstone’s commitment to high quality coaching and giving each of its pupils the best possible experience of rugby and sport in general. Ten former or current pupils have now represented their country in the last four years. With our very strong junior programme, it is hoped that there are far greater successes to come in the future. If you would like more information about sport at Denstone College please contact Assistant Head: Co-Curricular Thomas Williams at

Denstone College independent day and boarding school Staffordshire

Jessica Harding, Heather Jones, Daniel Jones and Oliver Rylance have all received offers from the University of Cambridge

All were thrilled to learn that they had

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received conditional offers to study in their chosen fields.
Jess Harding – Downing College, Cambridge – Medicine.
Heather Jones – Jesus College, Cambridge – Medicine.
Daniel Jones – Downing College, Cambridge – Natural Sciences.
Oliver Rylance – Magdalene College, Cambridge – Engineering.

Headmaster, Mr Miles Norris has congratulated them all saying ‘This is a fantastic achievement, of which they should all be very proud. The hard work now continues for all our pupils receiving offers in order to realise them’.

Well done to pupils, and of course the staff that have taught them!

Photo: l-r – Ollie Rylance, Heather Jones, Jessica Harding and Daniel Jones

Denstone College independent day and boarding school Staffordshire

On Friday 9 November, Denstone College pupils, parents and staff took part in a moving and emotional Remembrance Day service, which took place in the

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College chapel

During the service the whole school and more than 130 parents and visitors, went outside to the War Memorial and planted crosses in the gathering dusk, while the names of 272 Old Denstonians who fell in the two World Wars were read by the Captains of School, Ollie Bailey and Jess Harding. As the congregation left the Chapel they were showered with poppies from the balcony. It was a very atmospheric moment in the Service.

The Service was led by School Chaplain, Father Ruben Angelici. The Vice Captains of School, Morgan James and Emily Wagstaff, read an account by a young Old Denstonian of a visit to Bethlehem just after the end of the First World War. The young soldier contrasts the beauties of the city with the horrors of a bombardment that he has experienced.

The Last Post was played by Roscoe Cooksey, Charlie Edwards, and Harriet Pickering and Father Ruben gave the sermon. On the centenary of the end of the First World War, the service was a thought provoking and moving reminder of the terrible impacts of war.

Denstone College independent day and boarding school Staffordshire

Current Upper Sixth former Jack Redman (H) has recently been honoured by being named as Derbyshire’s Academy Player of the Year at a recent awards

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dinner. Jack was in scintillating form for the College 1st XI scoring 1033 runs at an average of 64.56 and took the most wickets in the team with 30 wickets at 17.6. He has had a successful season representing Staffordshire’s 1st XI and Porthill Park’s League winning team.


Denstone College Independent Staffordshire Denstone College Celebrate Formal Installation of Headmaster

On Friday 28th September 2018, a special service was held in the Chapel to celebrate the formal installation of Mr Miles Norris as Headmaster of

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Denstone College.

The service was led by the Provost of Woodard Schools, The Revd. Canon Father Brendan Clover. During the course of the service, the Chairman of Council, Mr Kevin Threlfall, presented Mr Norris to the Provost for his blessing, before pupils from Heywood House led the school in prayer. Hymns included two of the new Headmaster’s personal favourites: Be thou my vision, and Dear Lord and Father of mankind.

Mr Norris said “It will be an honour and privilege to lead and serve such a wonderful school. Ours is a special community and to be installed as Headmaster, in their company, is a memory I will always cherish.”

Denstone College Independent Staffordshire Old Denstonian Harvey Hosein to remain with Derbyshire until the end of the 2020 season

Congratulations go to Harvey on signing a two year contract with Derbyshire, where he will now remain until the end of the 2020 season. Since

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his debut with Derbyshire in 2014, Harvey has scored 1,259 first-class runs, with a top score of 108. In the Specsavers County Championship he averages 29.97 runs, having tucked under his belt one century, nine half-centuries and 75 catches behind the stumps.

Harvey has also appeared in four List A matches and five Twenty20 games for Derbyshire.

Harvey left Denstone College in 2014 having represented the school with distinction both on the pitch and off. We offer our congratulation on this, his latest achievement. Said Simon Guy, Director of Cricket Performance at the College “Harvey clearly has a very bright future in Cricket”.

Denstone College Independent Staffordshire Ian Murphy – Sixth Form Art Workshop at Denstone College.

Ian Murphy is an experienced, successful Artist and Educator who has been firmly established internationally over the last 30 years, and his working practice fits

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within the 2D parameters of drawing, painting and printmaking. His experience crosses all the recognised art awards; GCSE, A Level, International Baccalaureate and National Diploma to name just a few.

Ian Murphy’s natural enthusiasm and passion for drawing and painting is evident in his approach, making his work both exciting and extremely accessible to students and teachers alike, and is the main reason he is very much in demand within the educational arena.

An expert in both drawing and painting, Ian’s workshops are set up to inspire, challenge, and support every individual. During the workshop his fast-pace and focus is on extending not only creative thinking but also to extend students skill set.

The very foundation of the workshop is to empower students with the latest thinking and technical strategies, incorporating new technologies such as laser cutting machines with traditional drawing techniques.

All the techniques and approaches to media which the students will experience during the workshop have been part of Ian Murphy’s programme for many years. Pupils will have first-hand experience of his techniques and processes as well as an insight into his sketchbooks showing the preliminary stages of his studies.

The 2 day workshop on 10-11 October, held at Denstone College, will fully equip students with methods and realistic skills to enhance their daily practice.

Denstone College Independent Staffordshire Denstone College pupil raises funds for Macmillan Cancer Research

Upper Sixth pupil Megan Cappa organised a Summer Fair during the holidays to raise awareness and money for a charity that is very close to

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her heart. Megan and her family had a huge amount of support from Macmillan during her father’s treatment, which is continuing after he sadly passed away.

The event, which was held at Denstone Village Hall, included a variety of stalls, raffles, tombola, refreshments and a visit from Ashmore’s ice cream.

The day was a huge success for Megan with £531.00 being raised on day and the amount still climbing. Megan has said she is extremely grateful for all those that attended and supported the event, allowing her to give back to a charity that have given her family so much support.

If you would like to donate to Megan’s charity please go to the link below.

Denstone College Independent Staffordshire SUPERB GCSE RESULTS AT DENSTONE COLLEGE

Fifth Form pupils at Denstone College, near Uttoxeter, are celebrating after achieving a number of excellent results in their GCSE and IGCSE exams. Most exams

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taken were of the new, reformed style whereby candidates are numerically graded. 25% of these new GCSEs resulted in the top grades, 8 or 9, which equates to an A*. Indeed the new grade 9 has been designed to recognise the very highest achievement, above and beyond the old A*. The top two students in the year group were Luke Stride and Priya Toor who each achieved six grade 9s, the grade viewed as an outstanding A*, along with a further 2 A*s in IGCSE English Language and Literature; this is a tremendous achievement.

Over 40% of the reformed GCSEs taken were graded as 9 to 7 (equivalent to A*/A) and 99% of candidates achieved a pass in both Maths and English IGCSE. There were other noteworthy, individual successes: nine students achieved a clean sweep of grade 9 to 7 (or equivalent) in the exams that they took. They are Isabelle Carter, Lottie Fitzpatrick, Amber Harrison, Oliver Macara, Charlotte Mountford, Matthew Pepper, Charles Plummer, William Thowless- Reeves, and Priya Toor.

Girls and boys had success in a broad range of subjects. Creative Arts fared especially well: in Drama over half the pupils who took the subject attained grades 8 or 9, while in Art, 33% of the students attained those grades and for Music it was a fantastic 66%. In History, 65% of students achieved a grade 7 or above. In Maths IGCSE, 61% of those who took the summer exam attained a grade 7 or above.

Headmaster, Miles Norris said: “There are a great many successes to celebrate here. With the Government reforms that have been made to GCSEs for this cohort, pupils have faced tougher content with more demanding final examinations. Our pupils have performed extremely well and should be proud of their achievements.”

Denstone College Independent Staffordshire Denstone College Receive Fantastic 2018 A-Level Results

Denstone College pupils of 2018 are celebrating some fantastic A Level results yet again. There have been notable successes with 10 pupils attaining 3 or

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more A* to A grades.

“With 16.4% of the results at the top A* grade or equivalent, our pupils have achieved the best results in 6 years at Denstone by this marker. They will go on to study at some of the top universities as a result including Oxford, Cambridge, Durham and Warwick. I am delighted for our pupils and staff that their collective hard work has been rewarded,” said David Derbyshire, who retires after 21 years as Headmaster of the College.

Archie Gardner topped the results at the College attaining 4 A* grades and will go on to study Maths at Warwick. He will be joined by Sophie Barlow who achieved 3A*s and 1A, as did Caitlin Buckley who will study Natural Sciences at Durham. Max Davis will take his place to study Earth Sciences at St Edmund Hall, Oxford. Tom Cox has realised his offer to study History at Robinson College, Cambridge.

New Headmaster, Miles Norris, commented: “Tom has been a House Captain, an NCO in the Cadet Force, a key choir member and played the lead in Jesus Christ Superstar, the start of which was delayed to give him time to travel back from his Cambridge interview! We have a phrase here – Denstonians are participators and not spectators. Tom is living proof of that and he is not alone. The pupils have capitalised on the plethora of opportunities inside and out of the classroom here at Denstone College and are now ready to go out and make their mark.”

With the new linear A level exams, and a desire by government to make the process more academically rigorous, the results at Denstone have been very strong across the board with 38% of all exams resulting in A* to A grades or equivalent and 88% A* to C or equivalent. Andy Wray, Head of UCAS and Careers at Denstone said “With such strong results, we see our pupils taking up offers to study a wide range of subjects from Medicine to Product Design, from Law to Veterinary Sciences and from History to Marine Biology. Whilst most of our pupils are heading to university, others are choosing other paths such as pursuing apprenticeships or careers like the armed forces straight from school. There are many opportunities out there and these results open the door.”

In May three First Form pupils were successful in the ‘Youth Speaks’ event, a public speaking competition between local schools, organised by Uttoxeter Rotary

Caitlin Amos,

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Tristan Hood and Henry White all performed speeches on a topic of their choice in a convincing and compelling manner. They explored the future of electric cars, the nature of absolute morality and whether the NHS should be privatised. Audience members were impressed at their complex subject matter, their eloquent presentations and their engagement with the audience. The performances were even more impressive considering that their talks were entirely memorised. Tristan received the first prize in the event, and Caitlin secured second prize.

All three students should feel very proud of their powerful presentations. Well done!

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