Our Kids 20th logo
Request a package from:Hampshire Country School

Student Info:

  • required
  • required

Contact me by:


Special request:

Our Kids

This contact form is brought to you by Our Kids – The Trusted Source for thousands of families since 1998.

Send email to Hampshire Country School


Our Kids

This contact form is brought to you by Our Kids – The Trusted Source for thousands of families since 1998.

RSVP for an open house


Our Kids

This contact form is brought to you by Our Kids – The Trusted Source for thousands of families since 1998.

Plan a visit to Hampshire Country School

Connect with Hampshire Country School about visiting the school:


Our Kids

This contact form is brought to you by Our Kids – The Trusted Source for thousands of families since 1998.


Hampshire Country School

28 Patey Circle, Rindge, New Hampshire, 03461, United States

Liberal Arts
Grades (Gender):
Gr. 3 to Gr. 12 (Boys)
US $58,500/year
Main Language:
Avg. Class Size:
Boarding: 22 (Gr. 3 - 12)

School Address
28 Patey Circle, Rindge, New Hampshire, 03461 , United States

About this school:


Hampshire Country School is a friendly, family-style boarding school for boys of high intellectual ability who are filled with good intentions but whose behavior may be too impulsive, intense, and socially immature for most schools, and whose interest in reading, board games, cognitive pursuits, and informal play may separate them from their age mates elsewhere. It is a place where boys can be themselves without behavioral medicines that may have been required in other schools. Usual entering age: 8-11 years old. — Visit school website



User-submitted reviews   (none submitted)

submit a review

Our Take: Hampshire Country School

our takeHampshire Country School began in the 1930s, in a sense at least, when a family brought their son to Henry and Adelaide Patey, begging for help. Henry was a prominent psychologist, and Adelaide was a teacher of languages and music. The boy was given to mood swings and outbursts and, at least given the perspectives available at the time, was seen as a candidate for institutionalization. That’s not the approach we’d take today, thankfully, and that’s not the approach the Pateys offered then. They took him in as a boarder and, between them, proceeded to give the boy, very literally, a new lease on life. There are lots of details about the story that we’ll never know, but nevertheless we know the boy went on to live a full and seemingly very rewarding life; he enrolled at boarding school to complete his high school degree, served in WWII, studied at university, became an engineer and had a family.

Understandably, the success the Pateys had, even early on, attracted the attention of parents with similar children—those who have clear intellectual gifts coupled with significant social and interpersonal difficulties. They arrived and, in 1947, the school was founded. The following year it was moved to the house that occupies Hampshire Country School today.

One of the reasons for the success of the school was that, perhaps without having a word for it, the school was based in a very student-centred approach. The students required a personal approach, and that’s what they found at the school. Temple Grandin’s experience at the school is telling. When she was expelled from school—she recalls her time in grade school as the worst period of her life—her mother enrolled her at Hampshire (it was co-ed at that time) and she began to excel in ways that some might not have thought possible. She was mentored by William Carlock, a science teacher who had worked for NASA, who helped grow her interest in science and build her sense of worth and self-confidence at the same time. Grandin, of course, went on to an inspiring career in science, and is professor of animal science at Colorado State University.

Both Grandin and Carlock are emblematic of the work of the school, both then and now. Even today, electronics are used sparingly, and instruction is based on a very close personal interaction between peers and instructors. All students sit in the front row, so to speak, in classes that are very small, typically between 3 and 6 students. Students are addressed directly in a mentoring relationship. Interruptions are accepted as simply part of the day and if classes need to pause, they do.

Likewise, the school itself, on the more macro level, has also been responsive to whatever needs are demanded of it. The rural location, as well as a very home-like atmosphere, are intentional, and seen as key aspects to the ongoing success of the school. The student population has, at points in the school’s history, been as large as 100. Today the student population is typically less than 30 in any given year and, while girls have been admitted at times in the past, Hampshire is now run as a boys school.

The school has a great story. And, admittedly, it can be a bit hard to get your head around, given that the school is so different in so many ways from what we’ve come to expect of boarding schools. It’s not like any other school. Likewise, the students that it serves aren’t like any others students. And that's what makes it so impressive. Hampshire began from the impulse to provide care, and that impulse remains undiminished. For the families that enroll their boys here, that's exactly what they need.


Curriculum Liberal Arts

Primary Curriculum: Liberal Arts

What Hampshire Country School says: HCS provides a traditional liberal arts education but with the flexibility that is possible in classes of only 3 to 6 students. Everyone sits near the teacher, and classes can move ahead or take extra time to adjust to individual students' interests and needs. This doesn't guarantee good grades, but it does mean that every student is always within the teacher's focus. Secondary students (7th grade and above) change classes and teachers for each subject: English, math, science, history, foreign language, and elective mini-courses. Elementary students spend the school hours with one or two teachers who have considerable flexibility to adapt to students' attention, energy, interests, and difficulties. While classes themselves are taught traditionally, HCS is a boarding school, so a great deal of non-traditional education takes place throughout each day and weekend as teachers and students interact during activities, sit-down meals, reading together, exploring the environment, and playing games.

  • Approach:
    Focus Special needs
    Academic Gifted, Special needs

  • Pedagogies and subject courses:

  • Mathematics Traditional Math

      Traditional Math typically teaches a method or algorithm FIRST, and THEN teaches the applications for the method. Traditional algorithms are emphasized and practiced regularly: repetition and drills are frequently used to ensure foundational mastery in the underlying mathematical procedures. The traditional approach to math views math education as akin to building a logical edifice: each brick depends on the support of the previously laid ones, which represent mastery over a particular procedure or method. Traditional Math begins by giving students a tool, and then challenges students to practice using that tool an applied way, with progressively challenging problems. In this sense Traditional Math aims to establish procedural understanding before conceptual and applied understanding.
      Learn about the different mathematics approaches  

    • What Hampshire Country School says: Math education is based on traditional math teaching, but classes of 3-6 students enable teachers to change the pace or to supplement coursework with enrichment, remediation, or new ideas as appropriate for particular classes or students.

    • Textbooks and supplementary materials: This information is not currently available.

    • Calculator policy: Flexible. Paper and pencil work is common in all math classes, but some drills may be done with calculators, and calculator skills are taught in higher grades.

    Early Reading Balanced Literacy

      Balanced reading programs are typically Whole Language programs with supplementary phonics training. This training might be incidental, or it might take the form of mini-lessons.
      Learn about the different early reading approaches  

    • What Hampshire Country School says: Most HCS students, including young ones, are accelerated and voracious readers. Young students who are weak readers are helped and immersed in reading in every way possible, usually successfully because reading is so much a part of school life. HCS is not skilled in teaching beginning reading or overcoming severe reading disabilities.

    • DIBELS Testing: This school does not use DIBELS testing to assess reading progress.

    • What Hampshire Country School says: This information is not currently available.

    Writing Equal balance

      Programs that balance systematic and process approaches equally likely have an emphasis on giving young students ample opportunities to write, while providing supplementary class-wide instruction in grammar, parts of sentences, and various writing strategies.
      Learn about the different writing approaches  

    • What Hampshire Country School says: Despite being voracious readers, many HCS students are far behind in writing skills. This may have started as poor motivation or stubbornness because writing was "too hard" and then become a severe problem because of avoidance and lack of practice. Basic writing skills grow at HCS because of constant practice: most classes include small amounts of handwriting, such as short answer questions, handwritten math problems, and practice on foreign language vocabulary. Lengthy written assignments are rare in elementary and middle school. Longer written assignments in older grades are usually done on a computer; and English classes emphasize multiple drafts to improve writing skills.

    Science Expository

      Expository science is the more traditional method of teaching science: students learn scientific facts, theories, and the relationships between them through direct instruction by the teacher. These programs still incorporate hands-on experimentation and “live science”; however, relative to inquiry-based programs, expository science tilts towards content mastery and knowledge acquisition. Direct instruction ensures this acquisition process is efficient. Textbooks are emphasized (starting in earlier grades than inquiry-based programs), as are knowledge tests: students are asked to demonstrate they have thoroughly learned the content of the course, and can apply that knowledge to novel and challenging problems or questions.
      Learn about the different science approaches  

    • Teaching approach: Science instruction is traditional, but classes of 3 to 6 students enable teachers to be flexible in order to match the needs and interests of particular classes and students. HCS is a very small school with only a few high school students, so lab facilities and opportunities are limited. HCS would not generally be a good school choice for an older student seeking a strong science program. Typical science courses offered are biology, physical science, general science, Earth science, environmental science, and perhaps chemistry.

    • Topics covered in curriculum:

      Subject = offered
    • Treatment of evolution:

      Evolution as consensus theory
      Evolution as one of many equally viable theories
      Evolution is not taught

    Literature Traditional

      In traditional literature programs students focus on decoding the mechanics of texts: plot, characterization, and themes. These texts tend to include a balance of contemporary and “classic” literature. When studying a past work, students investigate its historical context -- but only insofar as this adds understanding to the work itself. Past works are therefore studied “on their own terms”, and not merely as historical artifacts to be deconstructed: traditional literature programs are firmly rooted in the humanities, and carry the belief that great literature can reveal fundamental and universal truths about the human condition. These programs emphasize class discussions and critical essay writing, and aim to develop in students critical thinking, communication skills, and a cultivated taste and ethos.
      Learn about the different literature approaches  

    • What Hampshire Country School says: Classes of 3-6 provide flexibility within a traditional format. Secondary English classes read a variety of literary genre, study grammar, and practice writing. Elementary grades focus on the development of reading and writing skills.

    Social Studies Core Knowledge

      Usually focused on teaching history and geography at an early age, the core knowledge approach uses story, drama, reading, and discussion to teach about significant people, places, and events. Breadth of content and knowledge is emphasized. The curriculum is often organized according to the underlying logic of the content: history might be taught sequentially, for example (as students move through the grades).
      Learn about the different social studies approaches  

    • What Hampshire Country School says: Social studies is generally a fun subject for elementary school students, encompassing some textbook learning and lots of interesting projects.

    Humanities and Social Sciences Equal Balance

      These programs represent an equal balance between the perennialist and pragmatic approach to teaching the humanities and social sciences.
      Learn about the different humanities and social sciences approaches  

    • What Hampshire Country School says: History is viewed as an interesting set of stories and events to be learned, studied, and discussed. While there may be work involved, most HCS students enjoy reading, discussing, and stating opinions; so history classes are often favorite subjects.

    Foreign Languages Equal Balance

      These programs feature an equal blend of the audio-lingual and communicative styles of language instruction.
      Learn about the different foreign languages approaches  

    • What Hampshire Country School says: HCS is such a small school that it has only one foreign language teacher and teaches only one foreign language. If the language teacher leaves and is replaced by a new teacher, the language taught may change. Currently all students in 7th grade and above study German. The course emphasis and instructional approach may vary for different students because this is a subject that some students learn easily and others find particularly difficult.

    • Studying a foreign language is required until:   12
    • Languages Offered: • German

    Fine Arts Creative

      Creative arts programs are studio-driven. While historical works and movements may still be taught to add context to the program, students mainly engage in making art (visual, musical, theatrical, etc). The goal is use the actual practice of art to help educate students’ emotions, cognition, and ethos.
      Learn about the different fine arts approaches  

    • Program offers:

      Subject = offered
      Graphic Design
      Visual Arts
    • Visual studio philosophy:

    • What Hampshire Country School says: Elementary music, art, and drama are important aspects of life at Hampshire Country School through afternoon and weekend activities. However, they comprise only a small part of the formal curriculum, through elective mini-courses. Many students take piano, voice, and/or brass instrument lessons on a beginning or intermediate level. Small theater productions may occur from time to time during the year. Some students engage in movie making. Many students learn and enjoy basic drawing, painting, and pottery. Participation in fine arts is done for the experience itself, as a recreational activity providing pleasure (and modest learning) for the artist/performer and the audience.

    Computers and Technology Light integration

      Computers are used in the classroom from time to time, but integrating technology into everything students do is not a dominant focus. Digital literacy is understood to be a legitimate skill in the 21st century, but not one that should distract from teaching the subject at hand, or more fundamental skills and literacies. The idea is today’s students, being “digital natives”, are likely exposed to computers and new media enough outside the classroom: the role of the school, rather, should be to develop competencies that may otherwise get missed.
      Learn about the different computers and technology approaches  

    • What Hampshire Country School says: Almost all teaching at Hampshire Country School is by live teachers. The most common uses of computers are as word processors for lengthy written assignments and for some drill work in elementary school classes.

    • Program covers:

      Subject = offered
      Computer science
      Web design

    Physical Education
    • What Hampshire Country School says: HCS does not have a formal physical education program, but all students are physically active through scheduled activity periods on weekends and school days plus lots of outdoor play during free times. Among the most popular scheduled physical activities are walking/hiking, informally-played sports, Frisbee golf, canoeing, and downhill skiing. Examples of non-scheduled active play are many kinds of hiding and chasing games, building snow forts, sledding, tossing balls and Frisbees, and fishing.

    Sex and Health Education
    Topics covered in sex and health education: We don’t cover any topics in sex and health education

    What Hampshire Country School says: We do not have a sex education curriculum or course. Topics related to sexuality are dealt with as they come up in life science courses, farm activities, and residential life.

    Mostly value-neutral

    By and large, we teach sex education free of any particular moral or ethical standpoint. We try not to impose any particular values or value systems (such as social, political, or ideological values) on our students when teaching sex and related issues.

    Fairly value-based

    Sex education is sometimes taught from a particular moral or ethical standpoint. Sometimes particular values or value systems (such as social, political, or ideological values) are invoked when teaching sex and related issues.


    This includes a range of positions. A traditional approach might, for example, go as far as emphasizing the nuclear family and complete abstinence from sex before marriage. Alternatively, this approach might simply involve placing less emphasis on sex outside of the context of marriage and more emphasis on abstinence. Or finally, it might just involve focusing less on sex outside of the context of marriage.


    This might mean more emphasis is placed on the importance of such things as social equality, diversity, and choice in sex education.

    What Hampshire Country School says: This information is not currently available.

    Curriculum Pace Student-paced

    • Standard-enriched
    • Accelerated
    • Student-paced

    The main curriculum pace is non-standardized and is HIGHLY responsive to the pacing of individual students, (via differentiated instruction, differentiated assessment, etc). In theory, some students outpace the default/normalized curriculum, while others spend periods "behind schedule" if they need the extra time.

    Flexible pacing:

    Flexible pacing style = offered
    Subject-streaming (tracking)
    Multi-age classrooms as standard
    Ability-grouping (in-class) as common
    Frequent use of cyber-learning (at-their-own-pace)
    Regular guided independent study opportunities
    Differentiated assessment

    What Hampshire Country School says about flexible pacing: Traditional courses, but with the extra support and flexibility possible in classes of 3-6. Students may have superior skills in some aspects of a course (e.g., reading) and weaknesses in others (e.g., writing) which may affect their grade but not their opportunity to participate fully and learn.

    Academic Culture Supportive

    • Rigorous
    • Supportive

    A school with a “supportive” academic culture focuses more on process than short-term outcomes: academic performance is a welcomed side-benefit, but not the driving focus. This does not mean the school lacks standards, or has low expectations for its students: a school can have a supportive academic culture and still light the fire of ambition in its students. It does mean, however, the school provides a less intensive culture than schools with a “rigorous” academic classification, and is focused more simply on instilling a love of learning and life-long curiosity.

    What Hampshire Country School says: The entire Hampshire Country School culture, in and out of class, is designed to be supportive for students who are bright and have good intentions but need repeated reminders, corrections, nagging, tolerance and encouragement.

    Developmental Priorities Balanced

    Primary Developmental Priority: Balanced
    Equal attention is paid to a balance of priorities: intellectual, emotional, social, and physical.

    What Hampshire Country School says: It is hoped that HCS students will become kind and respectful individuals who enjoy scholastic learning, have some strong interests, and have high enough respect for themselves that they are ready to take care of others before themselves. The goals might not be unusual, but HCS is unusual in that the behavior of most HCS students, when they were young, was characterized by such severe hyperactivity, immaturity, mood swings, and/or rigidity that few outside Hampshire Country School recognized their potential both as citizens and scholars.

    Special Needs Support Special needs school

    Special needs school

    Full-time programming is offered for all students which is exclusively focused on one or more special needs.

    • Academic Support:
      Support Type = offered
      Learning strategy and study counselling; habit formation
      Extra support and minor accommodations for children experiencing subclinical difficulties
    • Mild but clinically diagnosed ADHD
      Support Type = offered
      Extra support
    • What Hampshire Country School says: The entire Hampshire Country School culture, in and out of class, is designed to be supportive for boys who are exceptionally bright and have good intentions but need repeated reminders, corrections, tolerance and encouragement. It is anticipated that student behavior will include impulsivity, hyperactivity, low frustration tolerance, and so forth; but HCS is designed to accommodate and respond to such behavior without it significantly interfering with the student's thriving and being liked. It is a place where boys can stop taking behavioral medicines they may have needed elsewhere and put the extra energy into playing, laughing, and learning.

    • Support for moderate-to-severe special needs:
      Special needs
      ADHD (moderate to severe)
      Learning disabilities
      Dyslexia (Language-Based Learning Disability)
      Auditory Processing Disorder (APD)
      Language Processing Disorder
      Nonverbal Learning Disorders (NLD)
      Visual Perceptual/Visual Motor Deficit
      Asperger's Syndrome
      Down syndrome
      Intellectual disability
      Williams syndrome
      Behavioral and Emotional
      Troubled behaviour / troubled teens
      Clinical Depression
      Clinical anxiety
      Suicidal thoughts
      Drug and alcohol abuse
      Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD)
      Multiple sclerosis
      Cerebral palsy
      Muscular dystrophy
      Spina Bifida
      Dyspraxia (Developmental Coordination Disorder)
      Cystic Fibrosis
      Multiple physical
    • Forms of support delivery:
      Support Type = offered
      A regular class with indirect support
      A regular class with resource assistance
      A regular class with withdrawal assistance
      A special education class with partial integration
      A full-time special education class
    • Additional Support:
      Support Type = offered
      Social skills programs
      Occupational therapy
      Speech-language therapy
    • Summary: Hampshire Country School is a tiny (about 20 students), rural boarding school designed to provide lots of extra attention, support, and tolerance for bright likable boys with good intentions but a tendency to be too active, intense, bothersome, sensitive, or disruptive for most schools. Because of small classes (about 4), lots of outdoor space, a wholesome environment, and a genuine liking for the students who come, students find a place where they can grow and thrive. This is not a special education or therapeutic program but just a good, child-friendly environment that fits the particular students who enroll and successfully absorbs irritabilities and excess energy while celebrating their many successes.

    Gifted Learner Support Dedicated gifted school

    Curriculum delivery: Enrichment (The main focus is on enrichment. This means that while students may work at a marginally quicker pace than public school peers, the primary aim is to study subject in broader and deeper ways.)

    In-class adaptations:
    Practice = offered
    Custom subject enrichment (special arrangement)
    Custom curriculum compacting (special arrangement)
    Guided independent study (custom gifted arrangement)
    Cyber-learning opportunities (custom gifted arrangement)
    Formalized peer coaching opportunities (specifically for gifted learners to coach others)
    Custom subject acceleration (special arrangement)
    Career exploration (custom gifted arrangement)
    Project-based learning (custom gifted arrangement)
    Mentorships (custom gifted arrangement)

    What Hampshire Country School says: Not all gifted children are easy to teach. HCS is for boys who have high ability but may be impulsive, intense, sensitive, or unfocused. The curriculum may be "ordinary," but there is something special about the school’s ability to enjoy teaching such boys and focus on their high ability rather than on their difficult behavior. Although exceptionally bright, many HCS students have gaps in their scholastic abilities, especially in writing, math, or organization.

    Gifted education: If you want to learn more about gifted education, check out our comprehensive guide. It’s the first of its kind: it covers different kinds of gifted schools and programs, and a whole host of issues parents face in finding the right option for their gifted child.

    Homework Policy

    In grade 12, Hampshire Country School students perform an average of 1 hour of homework per night.

    Nightly Homework
    Hampshire Country School 30 mins30 mins30 mins30 mins45 mins45 mins60 mins60 mins60 mins60 mins
    Site Average24 mins29 mins34 mins40 mins53 mins57 mins69 mins80 mins95 mins108 mins

    Report Card Policy

    How assessments are delivered across the grades:

    Lettered or numbered grades3 to 12
    Prose (narrative)-based feedback3 to 12
    Parent-teacher meetings3 to 12

    Class Sizes Not available

    This information is not currently available.


    What Hampshire Country School says:
    • The 1700 acre rural campus offers multiple opportunities for hiking, canoeing, and exploring,

    • Sports OfferedCompetitiveRecreational
      Ice Hockey
      Track & Field
    • Clubs Offered
      Chess Club
      Outdoor Club

    Tuition & Financial Aid


    Boarding US $58,500

    Need-based financial aid

    This information is not currently available.

    Merit based Scholarships

    This information is not currently available.


    Total enrollment 22
    Average enrollment per grade2
    Average class size4
    Gender (grades)Gr. 3 to Gr. 12 (Boys)
    Boarding offered Gr. 3 - 12
    % in boarding (total enrollment)100%
    % in boarding (grade-eligible)100%

    If you want to learn more about boarding schools, check out our comprehensive guide.

    Student distribution:

    Boarding Enrollment12234442



    Admissions Assessments:

    Assessment = requiredGrades
    Interview3 - 7
    SSAT (out of province)
    Entrance Exam(s)
    Entrance Essay
    Application Fee 

    Application Deadlines:

    Boarding students:

    What Hampshire Country School says:

    Applications usually begin with a lengthy phone call from the parent to discuss the student, the school, and the possibility of a good match. This is followed by submission of any records and reports which will be helpful in understanding the student, his interests, and his needs.  Examples may include school records, summer camp reports, test scores, psychological reports, and medical records. The final step is a campus visit of several hours. Most openings are for boys 8 to 11 years old.


    Acceptance Rate:


    Type of student Hampshire Country School is looking for: HCS is for a specific and unusual group of boys who have high intellectual ability and want to please adults, but who have had difficulty in other settings because of impulsivity, immaturity, and a need for too much adult attention. Difficulties may have been severe in other settings and may have led to such diagnoses as ADHD, nonverbal learning disability, autism spectrum disorder, and executive function problems; but the behaviors are, in the opinion of the HCS admissions staff, aspects of the child's high ability to be nurtured and guided, not disabilities to be squelched or "cured." Some typical HCS characteristics: 1. A boy who loves to read but resists reading school assignments. 2. A boy who can't learn without moving around. 3. A boy who is so sure he is right that he explodes when others disagree with him or when he is frustrated. 4. A boy who has needed medication to function in other schools but who would be more alert and energetic in a school that can enjoy and teach him without medication. 5. A boy whose spirit may be broken in a large middle school where life is too complex and where everyone else is too grown up. HCS is NOT for students who have ever used or experimented with alcohol, tobacco, or illegal drugs.

    Student Entry Points

    Student Type3456789101112
    Boarding Acceptance
    (Acceptance rate)
    1 - 2 (50%)1 - 2 (50%)1 - 2 (50%)1 - 2 (50%)1 - 2 (50%)00000

    University Placement

    Services = offered
    Career planning
    Mentorship Program
    University counseling
    Key Numbers
    Average graduating class sizeN/A
    *Canadian "Big 6" placementsN/A
    **Ivy+ placementsN/A

    *Number of students in 2015 who attended one of McGill, U of T, UBC, Queen's University, University of Alberta, or Dalhousie University.

    **Number of students since 2005 that attended one of Harvard, Yale, Princeton, University of Pennsylvania, Dartmouth, Brown, Columbia, Cornell, Stanford, University of Chicago, Oxford or Cambridge (UK)

    What Hampshire Country School says:

  • HCS is primarily an elementary and middle school. Most students transfer to other public or private schools in their early high school years.

  • Notable Alumni

    Alumnus Graduation Year Accomplishment
    Temple Grandin 1966 Internationally prominent authority on livestock management and autism.

    In the News


    December 5, 2017 - Soccer schools announce holiday program

    With the holidays just around the corner, the Montreal Impact Soccer Schools unveiled the activities to come at the end of the year. ...

    June 29, 2017 - Montreal Impact Soccer Schools’ summer camps beginning!

    The Montreal Impact Soccer Schools’ summer camps, presented by Nutrilait, has begun on June 26, 2017. But registrations are still open! ...


    • The National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS) Associations

    Next Steps

    The most direct action you can take is to plan a school visit. This is the best way to learn more about a school, and requires no obligation.

    Our Kids 20th logo
    Hampshire Country School