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Amherst School
Witches Lane, Riverhead, TN13 2AX, UK Sevenoaks
+44 (0)1732 452577


Welcome to the Amherst School!

The aim of this site is to exchange information with parents about the school.  It includes details about school life, the people involved and the club activities at Amherst.

You'll also find information about activities and events in which the children are involved as well as some examples of their work.

Amherst`s History

On the 13th of September, 1759, General Wolfe was killed when English troops in Canada took the French city of Quebec.  Wolfe's second in command Jeffrey Amherst, then captured Montreal, the next town up the River St. Lawrence.

His military life and the governorship which followed being over, he returned to Riverhead where he had lived as a boy in a small house called 'Brooks' overlooking the square.  He later acquired the house and estate to the south west of the village and called it Montreal.  Here his family lived and descendants continued to live until the first quarter of the last century.  Thus, under the patronage of the Amhersts, our village was developed.  To house the estate workers, houses were built on which the family crest can still be seen (see image opposite).  Lord Amherst gave money for our parish church of St. Mary's, and this was completed in 1831.  So the village can be thought of as a family village.  In 1871 the Amhersts built the school.  The tuition fee was a penny a week.  Prior to the opening of the Amherst school, there had been a dame school in the village and this continued for some time as a second place of learning.

The school was organised to cater for children of all ages and was divided into three sections - infants, senior boys and girls, with a teacher responsible for each section.  We have in school Log Books which go back to 1892 and until quite recently there were elderly people in the village who were pupils in those days.  They have produced evidence in needlework and basic subjects of a very high standard.


The children and staff were answerable for their work and behaviour to Earl Amherst.  It was regular practice for children to walk from school, through the estate to the 'big house' to receive suitable rewards and punishments.  Teachers' registers were inspected and the Log Book was signed by the Earl.  One of the daughters of the family taught in the school.  At Christmas time the whole school was entertained at a big party given by the family in Montreal House.  To this day the tea party is one of the main features of our Christmas festivities - a pleasant link with the past.  A present day link with our heritage is to be found in our top class where children have penfriends in the town of Amherst in Nova Scotia, Canada - a town renamed after Jeffrey Amherst.

The original Amherst School was once The Riverhead Primary School.  It has been enlarged and continues to grow.  We hope that as it grows it will absorb new ideas without losing touch with its proud past and the village it was built to serve.


The Governors and teaching staff encourage and promote high academic achievement and aim to ensure that every child makes the best possible progress while at Amherst.  Individual talents are explored and supported, with additional resources allocated both to help those with special needs and to extend pupils with exceptional talents.

As pupil numbers have increased, several additions have been made to the original buildings and the Schools' resources have been continually updated and enhanced.

A substantial new extension was opened in early 2000 providing a specialised ICT (Information and Communication Technology) room, enhanced facilities for SEN (Special Educational Needs) and music, a much improved reception area and administrative offices.

There are twelve well-equipped classrooms, a spacious hall and a newly updated library.  We have an excellent sports field for lacrosse, football, cricket and athletics, and an extensive playground for netball, hockey and general recreation.  The outdoor heated swimming pool is used from May until October.



The educational experience of each child is enriched through a wide range of extra-curricular activities.  There are many opportunities to take part in sport and music beyond National Curriculum requirements.

Parents and staff run football and netball leagues after school and on Saturday mornings.  A swimming club meets weekly at the Sevenoaks Swimming Centre.  In all, staff and parents together run over thirty
Clubs before school, during lunch break and after school.

The Chess Club, Gym Squad and Cricket Team are particularly strong.  In chess, Amherst pupils are regularly selected to play at county and national level.  The School team won the 1999 Kent Primary Schools Championships and finished third in the UK Chess Challenge in 2002.  The Gym Squad finished sixth in the 2002 British Championships, and the Cricket Team has won the Kent Primary Schools' Championships three times in the past four years.

Educational visits and outings are arranged each term and Year 6 pupils enjoy a one week residential programme in their last term.



Our aim is to provide a broad and balanced curriculum which :

  • Develops competence in the core and foundation subjects of the National Curriculum.
  • Promotes enjoyment of learning.
  • Encourages participation in creative and physical pursuits.
  • Develops an awareness of cross-cultural and community issues.
  • Encourages moral and spiritual development.
  • Encourages the children to develop a healthy lifestyle, through healthy eating, exercise and walking to and from school.
The content of the curriculum follows the National Curriculum and Kent County Council Guidelines.  English, mathematics, science, information and communication technology, design technology, the humanities (including environmental studies, history, geography and religious education) art, craft and music are all taught systematically, using a cross-curricular approach where appropriate.  Physical education, including swimming and games is given great importance.

Delivery of the curriculum is enhanced by regular contact with the local community, educational visits and excursions, and the imaginative use of educational resources, including our well-stocked library.  Emphasis is placed on presentational skills, encouraging pupils to develop creativity and take pride in producing work of high quality.

Teaching takes account of the children's differing abilities and aptitudes.  Individual progress is monitored through the standard processes of profiling, planning, recording, assessment and evaluation which form part of National Curriculum statutory procedures.
Children leaving Amherst should feel confident in themselves and their abilities.  Our aim is to help every child obtain a place at the secondary school that will best meet his or her particular skills and needs.


The wearing of correct uniform is one way in which the school promotes its sense of community and high standards of self-discipline and tidiness.  Children are expected to take pride in their appearance and to look after their clothing and possessions.

Some items of the uniform can be purchased through the School Office, but most are standard purchases that can be made in any high street store.  Second-hand uniform sales are run by the Parent Teacher Association.

Boys School Uniform Girls School Uniform
  • Short grey trousers (long trousers optional in Year 6)
  • White shirt
  • V-neck navy blue jumper
  • Navy blue blazer (optional)
  • School tie
  • Grey socks
  • Black school shoes (not trainers)
  • Navy pinafore dress or skirt
  • White blouse
  • Navy cardigan or V-neck jumper
  • Blue check/striped dress for summer (optional)
  • Navy blue blazer (optional)
  • School tie
  • White, grey or navy socks (tights optional in winter)
  • Black school shoes (not trainers)

Games Saturday Morning Football (optional)
  • Plimsolls
  • Navy blue shorts
  • Plain navy blue T-shirt
  • Short socks
  • Swimming costume and cap
  • Football boots
  • Shin pads
  • Football shorts (any colour)
  • Football socks (any colour)
  • Football shirt (any colour); NB Team shirts are provided

The wearing of earrings and other jewellery is strongly discouraged for safety reasons.

Cold/Wet Weather Clothing
Style of coats for cold and wet weather is at parents' discretion but we request that coats are coloured blue, navy or black.  In extreme weather children may wear long trousers on their journeys to and from school and in the playground but must wear correct uniform in school.

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Editorial office:
tel. + 48 (094)