Denstone College


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  • Category: Senior / Sixth Form
  • Pupils: Co-Education
  • Type: Day & Boarding
  • Religious Affiliation: Church of England
  • Roll: 369 (Boys) 248 (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, Maths and Science, 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

2019. Sat. 19th May


2018/2019. All per term.

Day. Years 7-9: £4379. Years 10 - 13: £5293. Weekly Boarding. Years 7-9: £6344. Years 10 - 13: £7134. Full Boarding. Year 7: £6344. Years 8 and 9: £8407. Years 10-13: £9216. 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

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!

Congratulations to Oliver Moriarty who has done superbly well to pass the application, exam and interview stages of The Arkwright Engineering Scholarship application

Oliver has been

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made an Arkwright Associate and awaits news of a company sponsor. This is a brilliant achievement and he should be very proud of this. This is a highly prestigious scholarship with around 160 awards made nationwide every year. The scheme identifies the next generation of leaders in engineering.

After a rigorous selection process, the Chairman and governors of Denstone College are pleased to announce the appointment of Mr Miles Norris to be Headmaster

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with effect from September 2018.

Miles will succeed David Derbyshire, who has led the College with distinction since 1997. Currently Second Master at the College, Miles is in a unique position to build upon the huge strides the school has made under the current Headmaster.

Educated at Cranleigh School, Miles read Geography at Keble College, Oxford, where he gained his Masters before completing a PGCE, also at Keble.  He taught at Haileybury before joining Denstone as Head of Senior School Boys’ Boarding in 2008.  He then became Second Master in 2014. During his career to date he has been involved in most aspects of boarding school life, introducing an inaugural co-curricular programme at Haileybury, coaching all three main boys’ sports at both schools, and holding the post of Commanding Officer of the RAF Section at Denstone. He has successfully completed a variety of endurance events, including the gruelling Marathon des Sables and Thames Meander ultramarathons, and is now working towards his black belt in Judo.

Chairman Kevin Threlfall said, “Our pupil numbers and reputation have grown consistently over the last twenty years, and we are indebted to David Derbyshire for the legacy he will leave behind. Miles Norris is an outstanding candidate and still only 39 years of age. He has an exciting vision for Denstone College as a beacon of excellence, and with age and experience on his side, he is uniquely placed to maintain and develop our wonderful school.”

Miles Norris said, “It is an honour to be invited to lead the College.  It is a remarkable community, blessed with a very special relationship between pupils and staff.  I will work tirelessly to enable pupils to meet their high aspirations through a holistic education underpinned by academic excellence and spiritual guidance.”

Denstone College independent day and boarding school Staffordshire

On the hottest day of the year so far, a group of pupils, staff and governors watched as Headmaster David Derbyshire cut the ribbon and

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opened the College’s magnificent new Maths and Languages block.

Named for the Headmaster, The Derbyshire building is a two storey, 12 classroom building with smartboards and the latest in classroom technology and furniture; an energy-efficient, natural ventilation system, low-emission boilers and intelligent technology-controlled lighting, blinds and zoned heating. Pupils are now enjoying the state of the art flexible seating and desking and benefitting from the very latest in teaching technology.

This is the latest in a series of developments including the Adamson’s Sports Complex, the Threlfall Library and Tookey’s, the home of English and Philosophy & Ethics.  The College continues to invest in new and improved facilities, including a sixteen bed extension to girls’ boarding accommodation and a rolling programme of investment into other boarding areas. Boarding numbers at the College continue to rise gradually.

Mr Derbyshire recently announced his intention to retire in September 2018 after 20 very successful years at the helm, and the College Council has appointed Mr Miles Norris to take over the reins on his departure.(

Denstone College independent school Staffordshire

SAM Lewis was only five when Jonny Wilkinson and co guided England to World Cup glory in 2003. But that day instilled a dream of

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forging a career in professional rugby which has moved a step closer after the teenager signed a one-year contract with Leicester Tigers this month.

The 18-year-old also recently made his first steps to emulating his childhood heroes on the international stage, winning four caps for England under-18s, and has also been placed on standby for the team’s forthcoming tour of South Africa.

The Milwich lock, who played for Stafford RFC from six to 11, said: “Rugby is the only sport that I enjoy participating in.

“I like the fact that’s it’s a contact game.”

Lewis played for England in the Under-18s Five Nations Festival, including in their final match against Wales, which saw them crowned unofficial champions after ending the tournament with a 100 per cent record.

Now he will hope to be on the plane for South Africa in August, having been told to “have his passport and suitcase with him at all times”, should an injury to a team-mate see him called up at short notice.

After Stafford, Lewis played for Stoke until the age of 15, and has since been part of Leicester’s outreach programme, combining playing for the Tigers with studying for his A-Levels at Denstone College.

The former All Saints, Bednall, and Brooklands pupil has been offered an unconditional place to study at Leeds Beckett University, but has deferred that for a gap year which he will spend trying to cement his place in the Welford Road setup.

He said: “If my dream of playing professional rugby doesn’t work out, I hope to study for a degree in sports business management so would like to work in the sports industry from a marketing perspective.”

Lewis has played for Staffordshire under-16s, under-17s and under-18s, Midlands Clubs and Schools under-18s and for Leicester Tigers from under-16 to under-18 level.

He captained Staffordshire under-18s last year and is Denstone’s current captain.

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