Interview with Judith Fremont-Barnes - Head at Milton Abbey

January 28th 2021

In this video, Diana Morant of William Clarence interviews Judith Fremont-Barnes, the Head of Milton Abbey school. Watch the video and read the below summary to find out more about this fantastic independent senior school, and how to apply for a school placement for your child.  

An introduction to Milton Abbey 

Milton Abbey is an independent senior school situated in Blandford Forum, Dorset. Known as one of the most beautiful schools in the country with a total of just over 220 students, its focus is “not only on what a student needs to learn, but on developing the attitudes and habits for lifelong success.” 

In fact, as stated by Judith, the school’s real beauty lies in the relationships that are built between its students and education staff.  

Frequently asked questions about Milton Abbey: 

1. What are the advantages of Milton Abbey being such a small school? 

Due to the school’s small-by-choice size, all its students are known not only by their name, but by their individual interests, passions and abilities. What’s more, the school has been able to build powerful connections with local businesses and higher education establishments to enable their students to nurture those interests off-campus. 

2. What is meant by the school motto, “Learning Differently”? 

Every student is acknowledged as having a different personality, a different brain, and a different set of experiences. While the rest of the country places great importance on examination results, Milton Abbey emphasises the need for its students to learn in their own way. 

As expressed by a current student, “If I can’t learn the way you’re teaching me, you should teach me differently.” This is reflected in the school’s teaching style, which centres around tailoring teaching to the specific needs of its individual students. 

Ultimately, Milton Abbey’s goal is to ensure their students not only have shared experiences and common values, but are respected for their uniqueness, and can leave the school as “more themselves than they would have done in any other establishment.” 

In short, there is no such thing as a “Milton Abbey student”! 

3. What qualifications are on offer for students at Milton Abbey? 

The school offers a mix of academic and vocational courses, including A-Levels and BTECs. Students are encouraged to learn in practical, physical ways as well as from behind their desks; just a couple of examples of the BTEC courses on offer are Fashion and Hospitality. 

As a result of their excellence in this area, Milton Abbey was awarded BTEC School of the Year!  

4. How can students apply for a school placement at Milton Abbey? 

While the school defines itself as “inclusive but not non-selective,” there are no specific entrance benchmarks at Milton Abbey.  

Children are assessed via an interview (both with and without parents), a reference from their prep school, and an assessment from an Educational Psychologist if they have particular learning needs. Information on the school’s open days can be found here

5. What is Milton Abbey looking for in a student? 

Milton Abbey is an educational establishment abuzz with activity, sometimes even more so at weekends than during the week.  

They are therefore looking for students who are willing to get stuck in and be involved with these activities, rather than those who would prefer to blend into the background. 

6. What is the boarding arrangement at Milton Abbey?  

Milton Abbey solely offers day schooling and full boarding; weekday boarding is not available. This is to provide students with a continuity of care and learning. However, parents are welcome to see their children partake in school activities should they wish.  

Looking to apply for a school placement at Milton Abbey or another independent senior school? 

If so, do not hesitate to contact one of our education consultants at William Clarence, who will be happy to arrange a consultation to discuss you and your child/ren’s requirements in more detail and how we can support them in their applications. 

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