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【The Standard:Boarding Insider】Embrace the great outdoors

Boarding 101


“I saw that Stover School visited Britannia Study Link in March. What does it have to offer?”

Situated in glorious countryside on the fringes of Dartmoor National Park in Devon, Stover School delivers a unique education to pupils aged three to 18. Since its establishment in 1932, it has strived to offer pupils a supportive community based on the Christian ideals of respect, encouragement, kindness and responsibility.

Stover is a non-selective school with a friendly and homely atmosphere. It very much believes in the power of togetherness and community as evidenced by inspiring whole-school assemblies which members of charities and local clergy often lead. There is also a small farm, two orphan lambs and a purpose-built apiary to care for bees, all of which serve to bring children together outdoors.

It is admirable that Stover has found ways to get pupils outdoors whatever the weather.

From field trips in coastal areas in February, to bush craft (where pupils learn concepts such as water purification and shelter building), there is always something to keep children stimulated.

Clay-pigeon shooting and golf are also embedded into the timetable.

Pupils also enter the Ten Tors competition, which involves hiking up to 88 kilometers over Dartmoor in two days.

Academically, Stover has overseen an outstanding turnaround of results in recent years.

For instance, the percentage of pupils gaining C grades and above at GCSE level has risen by around 24 percent in the last two years.

Changes in teaching methodology and philosophy at Stover should be acknowledged more than the results themselves. A research-based learning program, for instance, was introduced to get teachers away from the board and to enable pupils to question, discover and solve problems together.

With mathematics among Stover’s strongest subjects, the school has partnered with Plymouth University to offer The Excellence in Mathematics Scholarship to international students.

This initiative includes a 25 percent remission of fees at Stover for a two- year A-level course and a 10 percent reduction at Plymouth University for an undergraduate degree at the School of Mathematics, Computing and Engineering.

All in all, Stover is a thriving school with its heart in the right place.


Mabel Chan is a principal consultant at Britannia StudyLink.