Abbeyfield School, Chippenham

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Abbeyfield School
Abbeyfields School - - 3050692.jpg
Stanley Lane

, ,
SN15 3XB

Coordinates51°27′07″N 2°05′34″W / 51.45197°N 2.09266°W / 51.45197; -2.09266Coordinates: 51°27′07″N 2°05′34″W / 51.45197°N 2.09266°W / 51.45197; -2.09266
MottoBig enough to make a difference, yet small enough to know each child
EstablishedDecember 2001
FounderWiltshire Council
Local authorityWiltshire
Department for Education URN131969 Tables
Co-HeadsMr Nick Norgrove
Staff100 (approx)
Age11 to 18
Enrolment956 as of January 2020
HousesAlfred (Blue), Brunel (Green), Neeld (Red), Talbot (Yellow)

Abbeyfield School is a mixed comprehensive school and sixth form in Chippenham, Wiltshire, for pupils aged 11–18.


The school was built to serve the needs of the expanding population of Chippenham and the large estates of Pewsham and Cepen Park. In 1998, while the land was being cleared, two unexploded bombs were found on the site and the British Army carried out a controlled explosion.[1] However, other delays occurred due to the nature of the Private Finance Initiative and building did not start until 2000.

The new school was officially opened in December 2001 by The Duke of Edinburgh.[2] Abbeyfield achieved Business and Enterprise Specialist School status in September 2005. In 2008, a new building was built to accommodate the growing sixth form.

Many changes were implemented after James Fox became headteacher in 2010, including a new uniform which featured blazers. Four houses were introduced, named after local and historical dignitaries: Alfred, Neeld, Brunel and Talbot.


The school is on the east side of Chippenham in Stanley Lane, near the Pewsham estate, off London Road and surrounded by fields. It is set in over 27 acres of landscaped grounds, playing fields, tennis courts and playgrounds.[3]


Each year the school admits children – up to 180 in 2019[4] – from local primary schools. These children come from the Chippenham area (which is also served by Hardenhuish and Sheldon academies) as well as from surrounding towns such as Calne, Melksham and Corsham.

Wiltshire Council's school places strategy for 2017–2022 identified a need for "significant expansion" of the school, at a date to be determined.[5]

List of headteachers[edit]

2001 – Patricia Shubrook[6]
2010 – James Fox[7]
2011 – David Nicholson
2014 – Ian Tucker[8]
2019 – Nick Norgrove and Ralph Plummer (co-headteachers)[9]

2020– Nick Norgrove


Ofsted inspection judgements include:

  • 2002: "A very effective school, it has the capacity to improve even further"
  • 2006: "An effective school which provides a good quality of education for its students who enjoy their learning and achieve well"[10]
  • 2009: the report was not as positive, being only "satisfactory"
  • 2012: Good
  • 2017: Good

Link with the Gambia[edit]

Since 2006, Abbeyfield School has been twinned with Maahad School in The Gambia. It is traditional every year for Year 12 and 13 students to travel to the Gambia to visit the school, help with lessons and spend time with local people. jole rider, an education organisation and registered charity, worked with Abbeyfield to supply refurbished, donated second-hand bicycles and classroom equipment to the school, to help young Gambians gain an education as many live far from the school and need transport in order to get there.[11]

UK Aerospace Youth Rocketry Challenge[edit]

Since 2010, Abbeyfield School had taken part in the UKAYRoC competition. In the first year only one team was entered. The team passed qualification flights and proceeded to the finals, finally coming 9th overall. The following year, two teams were entered, Quantum and Enigma. Both teams made it to the final, but Enigma suffered from an engine misfire, and only came 15th. Quantum, had a successful launch, and came 5th overall.[12] In 2012, three teams were entered Enigma, Quantum and Omega. Both Omega and Enigma qualified for the UK finals with both teams managing successful launches that placed them in 3rd and 4th positions respectively.[13] All three teams made it to the 2013 finals.[14][15] In 2015 a team from the school came second, and in 2016 one team came second and one won first overall. The team that came first in the UK finals then went on to finish second in the world during the world final at the Farnborough International Airshow, only losing due to the US team very marginally.[16]


  1. ^ "Wiltshire Community History". Wiltshire Council. Archived from the original on 12 August 2011. Retrieved 3 April 2011.
  2. ^ "Duke of Edinburgh officially opens Abbeyfield School". Wayback Machine. 10 December 2001. Archived from the original on 11 October 2007.
  3. ^ "Abbeyfield School, Chippenham". Wiltshire Council.
  4. ^ "Admissions". Abbeyfield School. Retrieved 17 October 2019.
  5. ^ Medland, Clare (December 2017). "School Places Strategy 2017–2022: Executive Summary". Wiltshire Council. p. 20. Retrieved 17 October 2019.
  6. ^ Bond, Katie (29 July 2010). "Proud head of Chippenham school says farewell". Gazette and Herald.
  7. ^ Winter, Alex (28 June 2012). "Angry school governor resigns as Abbeyfield School head's departure finalised". Gazette and Herald.
  8. ^ Armstrong, Julie (29 April 2014). "New headteacher of Chippenham's Abbeyfield School announced". This Is Wiltshire.
  9. ^ "Two heads better than one as new double act takes on Chippenham school". This Is Wiltshire. 28 May 2019. Retrieved 7 June 2019.
  10. ^ "2006 Inspection Report" (PDF). Ofsted.[permanent dead link]
  11. ^ "bikes 4 Africa". jole rider. 29 June 2009. Archived from the original on 10 January 2011. Retrieved 12 February 2011.
  12. ^ "The 2011 final positions". UKAYRoC. 27 June 2011. Archived from the original on 21 April 2012.
  13. ^ "The 2012 final positions". UKAYRoC.
  14. ^ "Team Entries 2013". UKAYRoC. Archived from the original on 2 March 2012.
  15. ^ "The 2013 final positions". UKAYRoC. 9 May 2013. Archived from the original on 15 October 2013.
  16. ^ "Previous Winners". UK Youth Rocketry Challenge. Retrieved 8 November 2016.

External links[edit]