In a quiet rural idyll on the outskirts of Whalley lies Oakhill, a school where pupils are thriving

Under the guidance of school principal Carmel Crouch, Oakhill School and Nursery in Whalley continues to retain its strong nurturing ethos, its academic excellence and its traditional approach to educating pupils.

While Oakhill may be traditional in the sense of its core values, it is by no means old fashioned – from the board of governors through to the teaching staff and student councils, they are constantly looking to the future so they can provide an education that propels students into the world with confidence and enthusiasm.

Set against a leafy tranquil backdrop, the atmosphere at Oakhill is calm yet industrious. Indeed, children no matter what their ability, are encouraged to work hard and reap the rewards.

“Each pupil at Oakhill gets the attention and guidance they need,” explains Mrs Crouch. “We have a strong, stable teaching team who know all the children.”

With around 300 pupils, including those in Oakhill’s Nursery, class sizes are kept small with each student getting individual attention and support.

As a result Oakhill’s academic record continues to flourish with the Independent Schools Inspectorate rating Oakhill as ‘Excellent’ in its latest report.

Not surprisingly one of its former pupils has gained a place at Magdalen College, Oxford, to read Bio Medical Sciences after gaining 10 A* at Oakhill. His father wrote to the school, saying: “He could not have done this without the support of the teaching staff at Oakhill.”

“Oakhill is transformational,” adds Mrs Crouch. “Children who may not thrive in other educational environments will thrive at Oakhill. It is not a pressurised environment, it is a nurturing, caring one where pupils are surrounded by honesty and integrity. This is who we are.”

Along with first class sporting facilities including a dance and fitness studio plus sports pitches and sports halls, Oakhill also has an exciting and engaging extra-curricular programme with pupils able to learn anything from Medieval Cookery to Modern Greek. There is also a popular running club and a cycling club that embarks on an annual coast to coast challenge – last year the students raised funds for their Mission to Peru where they helped build classrooms. This year students have chosen to raise funds for a charity closer to home – Derian House.

With students being at the heart of Oakhill, the school is exceedingly proud of the work carried out by the school’s Senior and Prep Student Councils that enable pupils to introduce initiatives that, last year, saw them make a presentation to the local community about soldiers who had fought in the Great War.

Always endeavouring to broaden pupils’ horizons by presenting them with many and varied opportunities, Oakhill runs annual activity holidays to Wales and the Lake District as well as annual ski trips and this year the school is planning to visit Copenhagen, France and Spain.

Looking to the future, exciting times are ahead with new school developments, expansions and initiatives that will add to the strong all-encompassing education that this independent Catholic day school provides.

Wiswell Lane, Whalley BB7 9AF
01254 823546



Tedd Walmsley

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