Welcome from the Head

Welcome to our school. Abbot’s Hill is a school where one size does not fit all. We know and value everyone: we know that pupils do better when they are happy and so their wellbeing is our central focus. We know that every pupil will find their own path and so we help them to navigate it alongside dedicated and expert staff, committed to ensuring that each individual thrives. 

Having served as a pivotal figure in two prominent secondary schools, I assumed leadership roles within their respective departments, contributing to the academic and personal development of countless students, and know that strong school leadership plays a crucial role in shaping student learning outcomes.  Prior to accepting the post of Head, I was the Head of Senior School here at Abbot’s Hill.  My professional journey is defined not only by my dedication to education but also by the positive relationships I have built with colleagues, students, parents, and governing bodies.

At Abbot’s Hill, academic excellence goes hand in hand with pastoral excellence. We are ambitious for all our students and offer exceptional learning opportunities to stretch, challenge and support individuals in our care. 

Self-belief and happiness, alongside a ‘can-do’ approach to every aspect of school life, enable our students to thrive and succeed. We are especially proud of the confidence which typifies our Year 11 leavers: they are the ‘top’ of the school and this means they have leadership opportunities beyond those of their contemporaries. As a result, they leave us equipped with the skills and confidence to prosper in their future lives.

We believe our pupils enjoy inspirational learning opportunities alongside challenging and enriching co-curricular activities, in a safe environment where they can be themselves and learn to be independent, resilient and confident. Beyond the classroom, our pupils’ experiences are vast and varied. From our many co-curricular clubs to a comprehensive schedule of day trips and residential visits, the opportunities are endless. It is through this wealth of opportunity that each pupils finds what sparks her curiosity and love of learning.

Abbot’s Hill School was founded on the present site in 1912 by sisters Alice, Katrine and Mary Baird, who founded the school to educate young women of character. Set in 76 acres of grounds within easy reach of St Albans, Berkhamsted, Kings Langley and the surrounding villages, and with excellent transport links to the M25 and the Euston train line, we pride ourselves on the broad and stimulating education we provide. One foot is firmly rooted in our heritage but the other strides forwards into the future. 

The school’s founding motto was Vie et Virtute – meaning ‘Strength and Power – and this spirit  lives on through our values, which underpin all that we do. Diverse pupils with wide-ranging talents and backgrounds come together in a close community that is large enough to offer choice and flexibility but compact enough to ensure that no child is overlooked. 

“Fifty or so clubs, from Young Engineers to Origami, are run by the girls wherever possible. ‘Whatever your interest, there’s something for you’, said one cheery student. If there isn’t a club that appeals, there’s no obstacle, indeed every encouragement, to start one.” The Good Schools Guide, 2021

Our growing pupil mentoring and community partnership programmes ensure that each pupil knows she is part of something bigger and develops her sense of self by giving back to others. Our pupils are independent thinkers, have a strong, moral compass alongside a social conscience, and are accepting and respectful of themselves and others. They have been described as ‘authentic, not arrogant’ which perfectly describes an Abbot’s Hill pupil.

The best way to catch the spirit of Abbot’s Hill is to come and visit. We are always happy to show parents around so they can experience first hand the warmth of our community and meet the rounded, happy, down to earth pupils at the heart of our school.

Sharon Schanschieff

View the Senior Leadership Team

Children who thrive on being given the time and space to find their passions and strengths in a strongly supported environment