The Abbey Qualities

1. Unrivalled breadth, depth and excellence of provision

We are a passionate, enthusiastic, questioning community motivated by the rewards and excitement of academic excellence and of co-curricular opportunity.

Our range of subjects is broad and our range of opportunity still broader. Every year students go on to extraordinary success in a range of academic disciplines and in art, textiles, music, drama, sport and much more. That is wonderful to see, but what matters to us above all is that every single student gives a huge range of subjects areas and co-curricular activity a try. Every club, society, team, ensemble, choir and talk – and indeed every lesson – represents a chance to discover a passion that will stay with them forever.

2. Excitement and delight in discovery

At the heart of what we do is the lesson experience. There is nothing like a room full of engaged and curious minds, led by a teacher of unparalleled subject expertise, exploring far beyond the constraints of the syllabus: with serious purpose but light touch and full of laughter.

Exceptional exam results are a by-product, not a target. The work our students undertake is dazzling in its range and exuberance and founded on a fearlessness about making mistakes as an integral part of progress. We encourage all students to step off the beaten track and explore ideas for their own sake. That fosters a self-belief, ability to cope with challenge and love of learning that brings benefit throughout their lives.

3. Innovation and international outlook

We are committed to innovation in outlook and in learning and an international focus in all we do. We offer the International Baccalaureate programme at our Sixth Form, alongside the best in A-level provision. Whatever route our students take we want them to engage with and care about the wider world and know they have the chance to make a difference in it.

We offer the very best of a vibrant city environment: modern, technologically aware, diverse, and lively-minded. We are determined to help our students embrace changes in work and society and to know that they can contribute to and to lead that change with assurance and generosity.

4. Exceptional individual attention and care from truly remarkable staff

Underpinning everything we offer, and our first priority is to know and value each student for who they are. We believe in co-operation, collaboration and fellowship built on active kindness. Individual excellence is admirable; communal excellence is transformational.

Our outstanding pastoral care is as much about open discussion of challenges to help students build resilience in facing them as about providing the right support quickly when it is needed. Every single student should feel celebrated and cherished for what they offer. It is not about coming first. It is about everyone running their own race: being motivated by the joy of what they do and the support of staff and peers to go further than they would have imagined possible.