Milton Abbey School


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  • Category: Senior / Sixth Form
  • Pupils: Co-Education
  • Type: Day & Boarding
  • Religious Affiliation: Church of England
  • Roll: 180 (Boys) 50 (Girls)
  • Age Range: 13 – 18 years
  • Founded: 1953

General Information

Milton Abbey is a traditional yet modern, forward looking boarding school that celebrates excellence, hard work, industry and endeavour. Our environment is inclusive, caring and ambitious for every pupil. Our small size allows for a level of care that is unsurpassed in bigger schools. We want pupils to have big achievements, big ambitions and big hearts.


The School is a Church of England school with a full-time chaplain and the abbey church is the dominant architectural and spiritual feature. We have excellent Art and Design Technology departments with facilities for textile design, sculpture, ceramics, printmaking, photography and computer graphics and a purpose-built DT workshop. Drama and Music play an important part in school life and there is a 370-seat, purpose-built theatre and music technology studio. There are 2 choirs, a variety of informal chamber groups, jazz and rock bands. Over a quarter of students learn a musical instrument.

Entrance Requirements

Lower School: Common Entrance or the School’s own entry papers in English, Maths and Science. Sixth Form: assessment day of interviews and team-building exercises and a good GCSE pass in each of the subjects chosen for A Level.


13+ and 16+: Academic, art, DT, sailing, drama, sport and music. At 16+ an equine scholarship is also available. Some bursaries are awarded, please contact the school for details.

Open Days

2018. Lower School Open Day: Sat. 13th October.

For details of Open Days please contact Diana Morant on +44 (0)1258 882182 or alternatively email


2018/2019. Lower School. Full Boarding: £12,850 per term. Day: £6,750 per term. Sixth Form. Full Boarding: £13,350 per term. Day: £7,250 per term.


ISI Inspection 2015

School Contact Details

Headteacher: Mr Magnus Bashaarat

Contact for enquiries: Mrs Diana Morant, Registrar

Milton Abbey School
Blanford Forum
DT11 0BZ

[t]: 01258 880484
[f]: 01258 880484

Location Description

Set amongst beautiful rolling hills in the heart of Dorset, eight miles southwest of Blandford Forum.

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School News

Congratulations are due to Milton Abbey pupils for achieving a strong set of GCSE and Level 2 BTEC results this summer.

The cohort achieved seven Grade

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9s, plus a number of Grades 8 and 7 across a range of subjects, including Maths, English, Science, History, Photography, French and Spanish.

As a school, GCSE Maths and Science results continue to show impressive improvements year-on-year.

In addition, a number of Distinction and Distinction-Star grades were achieved by pupils following the BTEC Countryside & Environment and BTEC Sport courses.

Milton Abbey pupils and staff are celebrating notable successes in this year’s A Level and BTEC results, with a combined pass rate of 93%.

An increased

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number of A Levels were awarded, together with a strong set of results across the board for Level 3 BTEC qualifications, where Milton Abbey offers the broadest range of subjects on offer in the independent sector.

Pupils achieved combined pass rates of 93% in their A Level and Level 3 vocational qualifications, with 69% of pupils achieving Grades A* to C at A Level or Distinction-Star to Merit in BTEC courses.

Our leavers will be moving on to a wide range of higher education destinations, including Russell Group universities, agriculture courses and a large number of pupils moving on to study Film and Creative Media related courses, both in the UK and overseas.

Milton Abbey School Independent Dorset Friends of Milton Abbey School Summer Fete

Our Friends of Milton Abbey School Summer Fete is now in its fifth year and we continue to use it as an opportunity to raise

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money for the School’s two charities, Julia’s House and SKRUM, and to welcome local visitors to the School for an afternoon of family fun.

This year the sun shone on us and there was lots of entertainment and fun to be had from watching the beagle racing, rides on the steam train, face painting, the ‘Nearest the Pin’ golf competition or sitting outside listening to music played by some of our talented students. The hospitality students displayed their considerable skills with an impressive artisan food stall and each House ran stalls and games which proved very popular. Even our animals behaved impeccably at the School Farm petting area!

Thank you to everyone who came along to support the Fete and to the staff and pupils who put on such a great afternoon for everyone whilst raising money for two very worthwhile causes.

Photo: Hospitality students and some of the produce at their Capability Artisan Food Stall.


Milton Abbey independent day and boarding school Dorset

Milton Abbey School is delighted that pupil Aly (Alexandra) Geldard  has won the 2018 Wessex Area Championship in the Pony Racing class for

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ponies up to 148 cm. The race was held at Little Windsor on 7th May.

Aly already had wins in the 138cm class at Godstone and Wincanton under her belt and was named Most Improved Rider (Pony Racing Authority) in the South East in 2015.   A boarder at Milton Abbey School, she rides out for Mark Gillard Racing in Hilton, Dorset before school every  day and wants to be a professional flat jockey.

In December 2017 Aly teamed up with Shotgun Minnie, a 147.7 cm thoroughbred mare with whom she has gone from strength to strength.    Aly and Minnie will be running in the National Pony Racing Championship at Bratton Down on 3rd June.

At Little Windsor Aly rode an excellent race, holding onto Shotgun Minnie until she saw an opening in the field.  Aly and Minnie delivered a nail-biting finish, beating the runner-up by half a length.  Aly is currently ranked 8th out of more than 250 children competing in Pony Racing in 2018.

Mark Gillard of Mark Gillard Racing said,  “Aly has phenomenal determination and personal drive for someone so young and it is a joy to see her succeeding in the way that she is. We at Mark Gillard Racing are proud to have been a part of her journey.”

Aly’s mother, Justine Elmendorff, said,  “I am very grateful to Magnus Bashaarat and his staff at Milton Abbey School for the support they have given Aly over the past three years, helping her pursue a career goal so far removed from the usual GCSE curriculum.  No other school I know of would have allowed Aly out of school before lessons to work on a racing yard six mornings a week!”

Milton Abbey independent day and boarding school Dorset

Milton Abbey School is delighted to announce that Annoushka Ducas MBE, the co-founder of Links of London and more recently the jewellery brand

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Annoushka, will be our next Entrepreneur in Residence for 2018/19.

Annoushka Ducas co-founded Links of London in 1990 with her husband John Ayton. The premise was simple and in many ways ahead of its time: that if women liked jewellery, they might actually want to buy it for themselves, rather than wait to receive it as a gift.  The chain expanded rapidly and was sold in 2006.  Annoushka then founded her boutique firm Annoushka, selling fine jewellery, mainly for women, featuring 18-carat gold and semi-precious and precious stones.    There are two stores in London, one in Hong Kong and a very healthy online business as well.

Annoushka said, “I have benefitted so much from the privilege and freedom of running my own business. It’s fantastic that Milton Abbey is working so hard to promote entrepreneurship and I have no doubt that their mentoring scheme will help to instil a real sense of confidence and self-belief into many budding entrepreneurs.”

Milton Abbey’s Entrepreneur in Residence scheme is now in its fifth year.  It brings a successful business leader into the school to adjudicate in a ‘Dragons Den’ style competition, in which £500 of seed funding for a business idea has to be developed into a fully-fledged business proposition. Business surgeries with the entrepreneurs are a golden opportunity for the teams to get advice about strategic marketing, financing and pricing from a business leader well known on the high street.

Headmaster Magnus Bashaarat said, “We are delighted that Annoushka Ducas has agreed to be our Entrepreneur in Residence for the coming year.   Annoushka’s story cannot fail to inspire our budding entrepreneurs.  In addition her energy, eye for business and design together with an uncanny knack of understanding what consumers want will be hugely beneficial for any of our pupils who are considering starting their own business.”

He continues, “Our scheme is about mentoring and advice.   In my view the biggest dividend is the encouragement that the budding entrepreneurs receive; someone believes in their idea and in their ability, and they feel able to breathe life into their business.”

Milton Abbey’s first Entrepreneur in Residence was designer Anya Hindmarch and subsequent entrepreneurs who have led the scheme include Cath Kidston, Johnny Boden, David Ross and most recently Nick Wheeler, founder and CEO of Charles Tyrwhitt’s Shirts.  The Entrepreneurs in Residence deliver a keynote address to the whole school that describes their business journey, often detailing the mistakes they made, the pitfalls they fell into and the ideas that didn’t get off the ground.   Many pupils have benefited from the scheme over the past few years.  This year’s successful short listed candidates included Henry, who designed an invention to keep showers running continuously, Luchino, whose business involves importing Sicilian olive oil and Amelia (the eventual winner) who has created bespoke sponge bags from recycled fabrics.

Amelia, picture attached, said of the competition, “I am thrilled to have won the Entrepreneur in Residence competition. I started to make my wash bags last summer, the whole idea of the recycled fabrics came from my Granny’s and Mother’s old fabrics which they used for wedding dresses and curtains. I entered my idea because I thought it would be fun to improve them and also have the opportunity to sell them. It was nerve-wracking but exiting at the same time to meet Nick (Wheeler) but it was so helpful getting his ideas and thoughts about what I should do and how to improve my product. All in all it was such a great experience and I’m glad he liked my washbags!”

Enterprise and Entrepreneurship teacher, Rebecca Barton, added ‘This year’s competition saw a range of business ideas being presented by students from several year groups across the school. Amelia demonstrated enthusiasm and confidence about her winning idea from the outset and had researched her market in depth, as well as having fantastic creative skills for the designing and making of her handmade washbags. Congratulations Amelia!”

Milton Abbey School Independent Dorset Milton Abbey’s Prep School Cross Country Competition sees local schools triumph!

Milton Abbey School’s annual Prep School Cross Country competition took place on Tuesday 20th February on a gloriously sunny winter’s afternoon with the Abbey providing

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a stunning backdrop for the many youngsters taking part from nine local Prep Schools. The Milton Abbey cross country course is well known for providing quite a challenge for competitors with its off track route around the school grounds and up in to the woods – however the views of the stunning Capability Brown landscape more than make up for the exertion needed and muddy trainers! The schools taking part were Sandroyd, Hanford, Knighton House, Leweston, Forres Sandle Manor, Sunninghill, Salisbury Cathedral School, Castle Court and Chafyn Grove.

The children competed both individually and as teams and three schools came out as clear winners across all the age group individual and team categories: Hanford, Sandroyd and Forres Sandle Manor. Many congratulations to all who took part!

Milton Abbey School Independent Dorset Milton Abbey School announces new Girls’ House

Milton Abbey School will open its second girls’ day and boarding House in September 2018 in response to the high demand for girls’ places at

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the school. This is very exciting news for Milton Abbey and a clear endorsement of its unique educational offer and the move to full co-education five years ago.

Magnus Bashaarat says, “It is now over eleven years since girls first joined Milton Abbey in the sixth form and five years since our move to full co-education. Over the past few years the numbers of girls joining the School has increased to such an extent that Hodgkinson House, or Hughies as it is more commonly known, is now full and we are having to turn away prospective pupils. This is testament to the huge success of co-education at Milton Abbey and in no small part to the happy, supportive and nurturing atmosphere that has been created in Hughies. Girls are contributing at the highest level across all areas of school life in a way that would have been inconceivable only ten years ago.”

Milton Abbey’s unique educational offer is attracting record numbers of inquiries from prospective parents. Magnus Bashaarat continues, “Milton Abbey offers a truly bespoke education for each child. Pupils can choose to follow the traditional GCSE/ A Level route in to higher education and the world of work or they can opt to follow a more vocational route to the same destinations taking BTECs.”

The range of courses offered at Milton Abbey is “epic” in the words of Head of Sixth Form, Dr Josh Bradbury. “We are leading the way in offering pupils a huge range of courses from which to choose – 15 A Level subjects and 11 BTEC courses in the sixth form alone. No other independent school comes close to us in this regard.”

Mrs Emma Williams has been announced as the Housemistress for the new girls’ House, Damer House. Emma currently teaches French and Spanish at Milton Abbey, helps with the School’s Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme and is an Assistant Housemistress. She has a First Class Honours degree from Newcastle University in French Studies and a PGCE in Modern Foreign Languages at University of Buckingham. Before coming to teaching, Emma worked for World Association of Girl Guides and Girlguiding (WAGGGS) for a number of years, delivering international events aimed at giving girls and young women a voice and enabling them to develop to their full potential.

Emma says of her appointment, “Working at Milton Abbey has been an eye-opening experience for me; in educational terms its range of both academic and vocational courses which allows pupils to create an educational package tailored to their needs and interests is unique. Added to this is the ‘full-boarding’ offer with a plethora of activities and sports available seven days a week. Delivering such an offer is not for the faint-hearted and the last three years I have spent here have proven that every day brings a new opportunity, a new experience for both pupils and staff. I am thrilled to be appointed as the Housemistress of Damer House at a very exciting milestone in the future of Milton Abbey.”

A new era for the mental and emotional wellbeing of young people  –  Milton Abbey School, Dorset

We at iCAAD are proud to announce a ground-breaking

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new initiative – at a time when so many are calling for more prevention and interventions for mental health issues in general, and particularly for young people, our “Courageous Conversations” event recently brought our conference style and expert presenters on mental and emotional health to Milton Abbey School in Dorset. We took over the whole of Milton Abbey School for this cutting edge one-day event bringing students, parents and all of the Milton Abbey teaching staff together. The event was open to any other interested parents, professionals and establishments.

Milton Abbey Head Master, Magnus Bashaarat is sensitive to these issues and dedicated a full day out of the school calendar to talk about mental health well-being. He worked alongside iCAAD to develop this unique event.

He comments ‘Young people’s mental and emotional wellbeing is seldom out of the news. As parents and educators we are all too aware of the pressures and difficulties facing teenagers who are trying to cope with the relatively new phenomenon of 24/7 social media and the reality of their day to day lives being constantly ‘shared’ and commented upon.  Whilst long term research has yet to be done on the impact of this, the short term impact is there for all to see.’  He adds ‘The hope is that those parents who attend ‘Courageous Conversations’ will leave feeling better informed and prepared to engage with their children on these delicate subjects and better able to prevent problems before they arise.’

Running throughout the day was an ‘Adults’ and a ‘Students’ programme. Pupils, parents and teachers heard from leading expert healthcare professionals and engaged in panel discussions, presentations and workshops across a wide range of pertinent topics including: Self-Harm & Eating Disorders; Sex, Love & Relationships; Social media; and Mental health, Depression & Anxiety. More information on the sessions and speakers below:

  • Self-Harm and Eating Disorders presented by Dr Shruthi Guruswamy (Psychiatrist and Consultant at the Priory) and Satveer Nijjar (Founder of Attention Seekers Training).
  • Sex, Love and Relationships presented by Noel McDermott (Psychotherapist, Executive Coach, Trainer and Speaker) and Evelyn Callahan (Non Binary Transmasculine PhD Student studying Trans Healthcare).
  • Mental health Depression and Anxiety presented by Jonny Benjamin MBE (award-winning Mental Health Campaigner, Film Producer, Public Speaker, Writer and Vlogger) and Andy Dunn (ThinkWell)
  • Guest Speaker – Mandy Saligari (Founder and Clinical Director of Charter, Harley Street and regular media spokesperson and expert contributor to Channel 5’s ‘In Therapy’).
  • Guest Speaker – Dr Owen Bowden-Jones (Consultant Psychiatrist and author of The Drug Conversation).
  • Guest Speaker – Jan Willem Poot (Founder of Yes We Can Youth Clinics in the Netherlands).
  • What is it, with Social Media? presented by Chris Martin (CEO, The Mix).
  • Drugs and Alcohol presented by Rosie Johnston (Addictions Counsellor, Author and Journalist)


Dr Shruthi Guruswamy became a full-time Consultant Psychiatrist in the Independent Sector in 2014 and alongside her private practice she was appointed Consultant in the Priory Hospital. She is additionally trained as a Dialectical Behaviour Therapist (DBT) with an interest in self-harm behaviour which alongside eating disorders will be her focus point for the conference.

Satveer Nijjar is passionate independent trainer who has used her lived experience of self-harm and mental ill health, combined with academics, to create and deliver CPD Accredited Stef-harm Awareness training to professionals nationally. She started her career with the ‘Better Services for People who Self-harm Project’ (RCPsych) in 2006 and from this her passion to destigmatise self-harm and mental ill health ensued. Satveer’s primary passion is within schools and delivering PSHE sessions to students alongside  self-harm awareness sessions to parents and staff.

Noel McDermott has been a Psychotherapist, Executive Coach, Trainer and Speaker for over 20 years. He will be offering his expertise on Sex, Love and Relationships at the conference, benefitting both young people and adults’ understanding of the crucial part sex, love and relationships play in a young person’s life.

Evelyn Callahan is a Non Binary Transmasculine PhD Student, currently studying Trans Healthcare at Brunel University. Evelyn will be assisting Noel McDermott in speaking of Sex, Love and Relationships but will focus on issues related to gender.

Jonny Benjamin is an award-winning mental health campaigner, film producer, public speaker, writer and vlogger from London. He has been awarded an MBE for his services to mental health and suicide prevention in the Queen’s New Year’s Honours List. Jonny will speak at the conference about living with mental illness and aims to educate and break stigma, encouraging young people to speak out.

Andy Dunn is the author of Feeling Lost and Finding Your Way, a story that shares his journey through different stages of life, and the struggles he faced with his mental health and navigating big decisions. He has over ten years’ experience working with young people and encouraging their potential. His heartfelt mission is to help young people develop their self-awareness, confidence and personal resilience.

Mandy Saligari is the founder and Clinical Director of CHARTER Harley Street, founded ten years ago. Using her pioneering model of care to break the mould in addiction treatment, Charter has earned a solid reputation for clinical excellence and sustained recovery outcomes successfully treating addiction solely in an outpatient setting.

Dr Owen Bowden–Jones is a medical doctor, psychiatrist and researcher with more than 20 years’ experience of helping people with mental health and substance misuse problems on their journey to recovery. He works in both NHS and private practice, with expertise in substance misuse problems, depression, anxiety problems, Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), obsessive-compulsive disorder and trauma.

Chris Martin is the CEO of The Mix, the UK’s leading support service for young people. Chris is passionate about digital for social good, and will be offering his expertise on the phenomenon that is Social Media, and the effects it can have on young people.

Jan Willem Poot is the Founder of Yes We Can Youth Clinics, a private residential clinic in Europe which specialises in treating young people (13-25 years old) with complex behavioural disorders, addictions and related behavioural problems. Jan Willem will host two interactive sessions (Adults and Students) with the aim to determine their understanding of the issues that young people face today, such as, cyber bullying, gaming, drugs and alcohol.

Rosie Johnston is a recovering alcoholic and addict, with copious experience in bad decision-making, terrible consequences and living to tell the tale. Rosie is a trained Addictions Counsellor, author and journalist. She currently works with Young Offenders in West Suffolk, and mentors teenagers across a spectrum of issues including anxiety and depression, peer-pressure, social media and addictions. She will cover all topics related to teenage peer pressure, drink and drugs.

Milton Abbey School Independent Dorset Milton Abbey Announces New Head

The Chair of Governors, Mr Ian Bromilow, with the unanimous support of Council, is pleased to announce that Judith Fremont-Barnes, who is currently Head of

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Duke of Kent School in Surrey, will be the next Head of Milton Abbey. Mrs Fremont-Barnes will take up post on 30th August 2018 to coincide with the current Head, Mr Magnus Bashaarat, taking up the post of Head at Bedales.

Mrs Fremont-Barnes was educated at Kingston Grammar School and Christ Church, Oxford where she read English Language and Literature. Her first teaching appointment was at James Allen’s Girls’ School and then in 1993 she moved to Japan (her husband took up an academic post) returning to the UK in 1998. While in Japan, she lectured at Kobe Kaisei College for Women and Kobe University, as well as bringing up a family. Mrs Fremont-Barnes returned to the UK in 1999 and joined King Edward VI School and then Radley College where she became Head of English, was involved in boarding and a member of the school’s academic planning group. In 2008, she was appointed Deputy Head at More House School, a small all-boys’ boarding school catering for special educational needs, with responsibility for the academic offering and then in 2011, moved to her current position at Duke of Kent School tasked with increasing pupil numbers and leading strategic change.

Magnus Bashaarat writes “I am really pleased that Milton Abbey has been able to appoint such an impressive and well qualified Head as Mrs Fremont-Barnes who understands small schools and how they run. She has a clear understanding of and empathy for Milton Abbey’s ethos and will continue to develop Milton Abbey’s unique and broad academic offer.” Ian Bromilow fully endorses these words and adds “Mrs Fremont-Barnes will be the first female Head of Milton Abbey which is fitting as the school has been fully co-educational for six years and we are now moving in to our second decade of having girls at Milton Abbey.”

Mrs Fremont-Barnes is attracted to Milton Abbey through its vision, ambition and unique offering: she fully endorses inclusive education and the setting of standards that encourage every pupil to achieve their potential. She adds: “It is a great honour to be appointed to succeed Mr Basharaat as Milton Abbey’s Head. The warmth and individuality of the place are clear from the moment you walk through the door. We were also struck by the spark and ambition of the students; their pride in Milton Abbey School is very evident. The School provides exceptional choice for its students, truly tailoring education to each one and enabling success. I am excited by the prospect of working with the dynamic team of staff and Governors to build on its already strong reputation for nurturing the whole person and developing an enterprising spirit. Milton Abbey School is ideally placed to be a sector-leader both in terms of educational innovation and of promoting wellbeing. My husband and I are very much looking forward to our move to Dorset and to getting to know you all in the months ahead.”

Mrs Fremont-Barnes, who has a Master’s degree in Education, maintains a lively interest in a wide range of educational issues, in particular the role of technology in education and the promotion of pupil welfare. She will shortly complete training with Mental Health First Aid England to become a MHFA instructor and is also serving as the Continuing Professional Development officer for her local association of prep schools.

Mrs Fremont-Barnes is an active supporter of the visual and performing arts, being a patron of the National Theatre and Cheltenham Festivals and a member of various literary and artistic societies, including the Royal Society of Literature, the National Gallery and Victoria and Albert Museum. She is a member of her local Church of England and is now looking forward to Chapel life at Milton Abbey. Her chief respite from the pressures of headship comes from the company of friends, long walks with her border terrier and time spent with her family: her husband Gregory of 24 years, a military historian, and their two grown up sons.

Milton Abbey independent day and boarding school Dorset

Milton Abbey celebrated Harvest Festival on Sunday 8th October, one of many Christian communities doing so around the country, however this year our focus

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was supporting a local Dorset based charity, the Bus Shelter.

Last year pupils successfully collected and donated food, clothes, camping equipment and toiletries for those living in refugee camps in Europe.  This year pupils decided to focus on supporting vulnerable people closer to home.

The Bus Shelter Dorset is a charity that has raised money to buy and renovate a double-decker bus so that it can provide rough sleepers in Dorset with somewhere safe to stay.   The aim is to break the cycle of homelessness and give rough sleepers the chance to regain their dignity and place in society by providing a much needed safe, secure and warm place to stay, where they can access the support they require to move on.

Donations from pupils and staff were piled up at the front of the Abbey and included clothes, food and toiletries.   Liz Reeve, a trustee for The Bus Shelter Dorset, attended the service and talked to the Milton Abbey community about the progress of the Weymouth bus so far.  Liz also spoke about life and homelessness, asking pupils to imagine lining up dominoes for every important factor of their lives, such as family members, favourite possessions, health, self confidence and feelings of self worth. She then explained that one life event, such as a marriage breakdown or the loss of a job can push over the first domino, and that can be all it takes for the whole line to start to implode.

In the midst of an otherwise busy weekend of hockey and rugby matches, CCF training exercises, a visit to Messums Wiltshire to see their latest exhibition and trips to the cinema and to Weymouth, the Harvest Festival service was an opportunity for Milton Abbey pupils to reflect quietly on the fragility of life and the importance of supporting people at vulnerable moments in their lives.

Milton Abbey School Independent Dorset Capability Bakehouse, Kitchen And Smokery

This term Milton Abbey School Lower Sixth form Hospitality pupils have been studying a Business Enterprise unit as part of their

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Level 3 Hospitality BTEC qualification.  In previous years events such as the School’s Cabaret evening were used to enable the pupils to plan menus and publicity.  This year we decided to set them the challenge of having a stall at the Friends of Milton Abbey Summer Fete, and so idea of the Capability Bakehouse, Kitchen and Smokery was born.    Individually or as teams the pupils were asked to come up with ideas for artisan products to create, package and price.

To support the pupils and provide an insight into the world of business we asked Rose Prince to work with the group.  Rose is an author and food writer who has been writing and campaigning for good food for over 20 years and writes a column for the Daily Telegraph; she also set up and ran her own business for three years, the Pocket Bakery in 2010. She is the author of five cookery books and guides to good shopping.

Pupils began by researching a range of different items that they could cook to sell at the Fete.  Through a process of elimination they arrived at a wide ranging list of products:  sourdough breads, pizza pockets, fudge, parmesan shortbread, peppermint creams, chili jam, macaroons and dog biscuits.  

Perhaps most challenging was Charlie and Archie’s decision to smoke locally sourced trout from Winterborne Houghton fish farm which is run by Hans Hoff.  This required careful planning on their part as they had to weave the time to remove pin bones, cure and smoke the trout into their school day.  They also had to consider appropriate packaging and devise an attractive label to include both price and information about the ingredients used to cure the trout.

Hospitality teacher Elka Charlton worked with Rose and the pupils on branding, ensuring an overall cohesiveness for the stall and products.  They decided to use the school colours of black and gold in their labelling; use of brown paper and raffia, baskets and wooden boards also gave an authentic artisan feel to the stall.

On the day of the Fete the pupils worked throughout the morning to ensure the stall was ready on time, with all the products arranged in clearly defined areas across the tables. On the previous evening several of the group worked on shaping the sourdough loaves, preparing for the overnight fermentation. 

The effect was truly impressive and the stall was a great success with many items selling quickly, whilst other products which had been produced in bigger quantities, have continued to sell to school staff in the weeks following the event.   All proceeds from the stall will be donated to Julia’s House and SKRUM, a charity working in Swaziland bringing life changing education to children about HIV/AIDs.

The Bill Ainscough Award for Artisan Food Enterprise will be awarded to the pupil or pupils who showed sustained effort throughout the project as well as a willingness to support others in their endeavours.  Bill has over 30 years house building and property experience and has been a Director of a number of public companies. He is also involved in many youth projects, setting up youth clubs in Merseyside and London. 

Rose Prince said of the venture, “It has been a fascinating experience to work with the Lower Sixth form pupils, and I think we had an overall outstanding result. The pupils worked really hard to ensure their different products were of a professional standard and displayed great creativity – any one of these products would be commercially viable.”

Milton Abbey School Independent Dorset New Weekend Activities Programme

Milton Abbey School has always been an interesting and fun place at weekends but this year under the direction of Fergus Wilson, Housemaster of Tregonwell,

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the weekend activities programme reached dizzy new heights.

When so many boarding schools can be almost empty at weekends, we thought the level of take up from pupils, and the sheer range of activities on offer, warranted some recognition. We’ve been totting up the number of pupils who have been involved in different activities this academic year and the results surprised even us. So here goes, the numbers relate to the number of pupils who took part in each activity:

1208 Internal Social/ Fancy Dress Parties / DJ nights

656 House BBQs

520 Inter School Socials

514 Meal Trips

326 Cinema Trips

318 Town visits – Bath, Bournemouth etc.

250 Inter-House Music nights

245 Open Mic night

245 Inter-House Sport

200 Quiz Night

120 Paintball

118 Bowling

96 Pizza making

89 Water Park

81 Laser Tag

75 Trampoline Park

67 Surfing

55 6 Nations @ Twickenham

54 Climbing

53 Fireworks

50 Kayaking

40 Point to Point

28 Skate Park

25 Summer games

22 Dry ski slopes

12 Sea Fishing

10 Touring car

10 Kite Surfing

Max Thompson, who is in the sixth form, says “Weekends at school are far from dull, mainly because everyone is always around, even the day pupils come on trips over the weekend and get involved. Regardless of whether you are doing one of the extensive activities on offer or just relaxing at the end of a busy week it is a happy, energetic and enjoyable environment to be in with your friends”

Phoebe Taylor, also in the sixth form, says “Weekends at school are amazing. You’re always off with your friends whether it’s a fancy dress party or an open mic night on Saturday, tie dye-ing on a Sunday…or making s’mores! We have such a variety of activities to pick and choose from.”

We’d like to know if any other boarding school, especially one of our size, can offer such an extensive range of activities and such high take up – we think this is one area where we have an unrivalled offer.

Milton Abbey School Independent Dorset Brownsea Open Air Production Of 'As You Like It'

The cast of this summer’s Brownsea Open Air Theatre (BOAT) production of ‘As You Like It’ will include two members of the Milton Abbey School

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community. School Counsellor Harry Susser and fifth form pupil Bobbie King both successfully auditioned in January and are busy rehearsing in preparation for the opening night on 24 July.

Harry has acted in many productions on the island but for Bobbie this will be her debut on stage with the theatre company. Harry plays the enigmatic, philosophical Jacques, whose famous speech ‘The Seven Ages of Man’ will be familiar to many in the audience whilst Bobbie plays a young archer who has retreated to the idyllic Forest of Arden to join the court of the banished Duchess Senior.

The Brownsea Open Air Theatre is a registered charity which has donated more than £200,000 to the National Trust, proceeds from their annual Shakespeare productions, since 1964. ‘As You Like It’ runs from 24 July 24th to 12 August and Director, Brian Woolton, is no stranger to the island as he has played major roles in BOAT productions since 2009. However, this is the first time he has directed for BOAT and it promises to be an exciting debut as his creative vision takes shape.

For the audiences, performance evenings start with a ferry trip from Poole, followed by a picnic in the island’s idyllic setting and then the play itself which is held in an open air auditorium. For the actors, being part of BOAT is a unique experience: from Sunday set building days on the island, indoor and outdoor evening rehearsals at Pelhams Park and Brownsea itself, to being able to watch the wildlife at close quarters once the daytime visitors have left.

The production has powerful and imaginative lighting and sound effects, carefully choreographed fight sequences, live music, colourful and elaborate costumes and a magical set.

Harry says of the production, “This is my tenth production with Brownsea Open Air Theatre and I am very honoured and a just a little bit scared to have the famous speech, ‘All the world’s a stage, and all the men and women merely players…’”

Bobbie adds, “I have really enjoyed the rehearsals for my first full production of a Shakespeare play with such a well established company. I am looking forward to performing in front over 500 people a night and having my family, friends and teachers in the audience.”

Milton Abbey School Independent Dorset Summer Fete For Julia's House And SKRUM

The Friends of Milton Abbey Summer Fete is now in its fourth year and last Saturday, 24th June, once again the School community came together

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to raise money for Julia’s House as well as SKRUM, a children’s charity working in Swaziland providing life-saving education on HIV/AIDS.

It was a great morning with beagle racing, miniature steam train rides, bouncey castles, the School Farm petting area, live music from pupils and storytelling by drama students for our younger visitors. In addition our hospitality pupils had been working hard with food writer and Telegraph columnist Rose Prince on an artisan food stall. Their hard work paid off and the stall proved a huge success with sourdough bread, locally sourced smoked trout and other delicious treats selling out quickly to appreciative punters.

Milton Abbey School Independent Berkshire

On Friday 12th May pupils and staff at Milton Abbey School had a ‘Hunger Lunch’ to support the Oxfam East Africa Famine Appeal and

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the upcoming World Hunger Day on 28th May.   Instead of the normal Friday lunch, the ever popular weekly fish and chips or a range of salads which are enjoyed in the school’s medieval Abbot’s Hall, our chefs made a simple lunch of soup and a bread roll.

The aim was to raise awareness of global famine; the previous day at our Chapel service the prayers, hymns and readings were all themed around ‘hunger’.  The school community spent time reflecting on the truly staggering scale of global hunger, where hunger kills more people than AIDs, malaria and tuberculosis combined, and the relative comfort of Milton Abbey school life.  Staff and pupils were asked to consider if they had really ever experienced hunger, and what real hunger might feel like.

The savings made from this modest lunch will be donated to the Oxfam appeal along with additional donations from staff and pupils.   We hope that in some small way this will help the 795 million people experiencing hunger around the world and remind pupils that food is something that many people cannot take for granted.

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