Oakhill School in Whalley has forged a first-class reputation thanks to its unique approach to learning

Tucked away in the heart of the Ribble Valley is a small independent school with a big emphasis on giving students a real sense of purpose and a passion for learning.

Pupils at Oakhill School and Nursery are confident and self-assured thanks to a robust pastoral care programme that encourages them to take a keen interest in the exciting world around them, as Principal Jane Buttery explains: “We have small class sizes at Oakhill so we can deliver very targeted teaching which translates into excellent academic results. In addition to fulfilling their potential in examinations, we want our pupils to love learning and to be well-rounded, balanced happy individuals.”

The fantastic outdoor spaces in school mean that much learning at Oakhill is done out of the classroom where students are encouraged to discuss and discover: “We are in a fortunate position where we can go beyond what is required by the curriculum so we encourage children to find things they are interested in so they can shape their own learning.”

As part of the Oakhill learning strategy, the school has launched an initiative called the Oakhill Challenge Award. This is now in its second year and encourages children to develop holistically, learning through volunteering in the community, completing their own individual project on a topic that excites them, becoming fully involved in the extensive extra-curricular life of the school and completing a physical challenge, which this year will be their own version of a Tough Mudder race.

“It’s about being independent and developing the skills which will prepare them for life in the 21st century workplace,” adds Mrs Buttery.

Extra-curricular activities at Oakhill are many and varied – outdoor adventure camps and lots of sporting activities are encouraged while even the youngest of pupils are involved in cookery classes after school. Trips out to facilitate learning are also frequent at Oakhill, which has been praised by the Independent School Inspectorate, which noted: “Teaching across the whole school is excellent.”

Oakhill is a real family with pupils of all ages mingling and learning from one another. Being on a single site also allows younger pupils access to specialist facilities that are normally only available in senior school. They are able to use science laboratories, a computer suite and a county standard sports hall and receive specialist teaching in subjects such as music, computing, modern foreign languages and PE. It also means that youngsters have a seamless transition from junior to senior level.

“We are all very lucky. Oakhill is such a warm and friendly place to be. I have never known another school like it and the relationships staff build with students is second to none. They genuinely enjoy each other’s company and students leave here confident, happy and with a sense of self-worth because they have been treated with respect,” concludes Mrs Buttery.

Oakhill School and Nursery is a non-selective, independent day school. To find out more, or to arrange a visit, call: 01254 823546

Oakhill School & Nursery
Wiswell Lane, Whalley BB7 9AF
01254 823546



Tedd Walmsley

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