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Sands School

Sands School

Greylands, 48 East Street, Ashburton, TQ13 7AX, Devon

01364 653666



Sands School
School type Coeducational Day
Founded 1987
Administrator Sean Bellamy
Date Appointed 1987
Co-ed Age Range 11-16
Number of boys 36
Number of girls 29
Day fees per annum £10,710
Average Class Size 15 max
Teacher/Pupil ratio 1:10
Associations IFDS

Sands School is an Independent day school for students aged 11-16, situated on the edge of Dartmoor National Park in Ashburton. We have direct access to the rugged coastlines and wild moorland of Devon, both of which we make frequent use of to extend our educational horizons beyond the limitations of a classroom.

The heart of Sands is the School Meeting. Once a week every member of the school is invited to discuss any day-to-day issues that affect our community. If decisions need to be made - which might be anything from painting the Common Room to employing new staff members, or offering a place to a new student – a discussion will be had and a vote will be taken. Every member of Sands has an equal vote, regardless of age, experience or perceived status. Of course, democracy has its disadvantages: it is often inefficient, and we sometimes make mistakes. But we strongly believe that humanity is yet to find a better, fairer system of government, which is why we put it at the centre of our educational life. If children are to grow to become responsible citizens, how better to learn than by practising democratic engagement in real terms?

We offer a full and varied curriculum of both academic and practical subjects, and students are able to gain qualifications and experience in all of the usual traditional subjects, as well as some more unusual ones. We build as much flexibility as possible into everything we do, enabling students to create their own individual pathways through their educational journey.

Personal, individual well-being is essential to the success of any community. Each student at Sands chooses their own personal academic tutor whose job it is to help guide and advise them through the vagaries of adolescence. Our staff are committed to supporting each other, and encouraged to look after their own needs. When we care for ourselves we are able to care for each other. When we care for each other, we flourish.

At Sands School we do things differently: we have no bells, we have no uniform, we have no head teacher. When students ‘forget’ to do their homework, they will not be given a detention; rather, we will encourage them to understand how independent study might benefit them. When students break a rule, they will not be automatically punished; instead, they will work with a small group of their peers and/or tutors to understand where they have gone wrong and work out how they can put it right. When students challenge a teacher’s authority, they will not be silenced; they will be encouraged to do so in a respectful manner so that everybody feels that their opinions are valued, and that everybody has the opportunity to gain new perspectives.

If you are still reading, Sands might well be the place for your child. We understand that education is not just about exam results, although for many they are, of course, of the utmost importance. Education is about learning how to carve out your own unique niche in life and to contribute positively and actively to your environment, your local community and your wider society. Only when a person is happy in their own skin are they able to seek to extend their potential. Education is not something that is done to you; it is something each of us can do for ourselves. And it doesn’t stop at the classroom door.

To find out more, visit our website, or call to arrange a visit. It is impossible to describe exactly what we do at Sands, or how this kind of education can work for your child: you have to see it to believe it.