Ambleside School

Ambleside School


Love seeing the final product.
My photos being used for an Ambleside ad.
Ambleside School
Encourage your child to learn a skill of painting ! It’s a 2 hr event wherein we will draw a painting using oil pastels !! Come join us
👉👉👉👉it’s free

Do share this post with your friends and family
Our client the Ambleside School in McLean, Virginia is looking for a new Head of School. If you are interested, please view the application and job description here.
What a joy to experience a living education. Charlotte Mason left a great treasure for us! In the Ambleside home and school classroom, teachers and students partake of a plentiful and nourishing feast for the mind in the texts we read. "Benjamin West and His Cat Grimalkin" is an historical fictional book about the first great American painter. A little back story...Benjamin was part of a devout Quaker community that did not believe in making graven images of anything on earth or in heaven. So, when Benjamin demonstrated his exceptional artistic talent, a conflict arose within his community needing reconciliation. A former Ambleside student, who has returned to teach at Ambleside School , shared a child's profound connection with a text full of living ideas--ideas worth pondering and reflecting upon...ideas Mis Mason believed come from Holy Spirit: "This morning in Literature class my 3rd graders encountered the following quote: 'Benjamin, dost thou not know that the colors with which thou paints are not necessary for thy wellbeing?' I asked the students their thoughts on this idea, and one child replied simply: 'The colors we paint with may not be necessary for the wellbeing of our bodies, but I think they are important for the wellbeing of our hearts.'" --Image "The Expulsion of Adam and Eve from Paradise" by Benjamin West
Over the last 9 years we have enjoyed watching our kids exhibit character qualities and habits that exceed most expectations. Ambleside has a strong supportive community and we feel blessed to be a part of it.
"The truth she saw was simply this, that all that is great and beautiful in literature, art, music and nature can make an appeal not only to the well-to-do, but to the very poorest of our people. It seems so extremely easy to say this, but it required great courage and faith to do it, and I would like to make this public acknowledgement of the debt we all owe to Miss Mason, who by her courage and faith brought into the poorest schools of the country and to the most neglected children the opportunity of seeing and feeling and believing in beauty and in truth."

G.F. Husband, Headmaster of Lower East Street Boys School, Middlesbrough, England. Circa 1920.

Ambleside School is a K-8 school in N. VA that applies the teaching philosophies of Charlotte Mason

Operating as usual

Photos from Ambleside School's post 07/07/2023

The 2022-23 school year ended on a high note, with many special events and celebrations, including the school wide 8th Grade Blessing. Congratulations to the 8th Grade class of '23! Our hearts are with you as you move on to high school!


Teachers: tired of the ever-changing face of education? Tired of changing teaching philosophies every other year?

There is another way.

Learn more about a timeless Charlotte Mason education at Ambleside:


Third grade students started crocheting scarves way back in December. Almost 6 months later, after lots of hard work and collaboration, they placed their last stitches! Each scarf is the work of an individual student, but each and every one of them both gave and received at least some help. They all shared yarn with one another so that their "scarves of many colors" will forever remind them of the friends who helped them on the way!


Our Shakespeare Festival starts at 3pm today. We can't wait for our students to show you all their hard work over these last weeks and months. See you soon!

Photos from Ambleside School's post 05/25/2023

Time and careful attention produced these beautiful creations by our 8th grade students. Have you heard of the art of quilling?


We're excited to offer three camps this summer, run by our very own staff! The camps are open to both current students and students not enrolled at Ambleside. Click the link to register and learn more:

Ladies of the Arts (6th-12th)
Camp Thrive (1st-3rd)
Science Camp: Sea Creatures (4th-8th)


7th grade students took part in an outdoor dissection lab last week. The subject of examination: grasshoppers!

Photos from Ambleside School's post 05/15/2023

A huge thank-you to everyone who supported our 2023 Spring Fundraiser! We are very grateful for each one of you who attended the event, golfed in the rain, bid on auction items, donated funds and materials, served countless volunteer hours, and helped make this event a success!


On Wednesday, Ambleside teachers and staff were blessed with a beautiful Teacher Appreciation Luncheon, put on by Ambleside parents. Our heartfelt thanks to you, parents, for all you do to support the school, the staff, and all the students!

Ambleside School Alumni Gathering — Ambleside School 05/10/2023

All Ambleside Alumni are invited to join us on May 19 for this special alumni gathering. Please tag in the comments or share this event with other alumni!

Ambleside School Alumni Gathering — Ambleside School Hear from special guest speaker, Charles Ikitiminu—Dallas pastor and father of two Ambleside alumni—at Chapel beginning at 8:20am followed by a coffee reception and optional school tour.


We're so excited for our upcoming Alumni Gathering on Friday, May 19 as we welcome guest speaker Charles Ikitiminu, Dallas pastor and father of two Ambleside alumni. All Ambleside alumni are invited to join us for this special Chapel service Friday morning at 8:20am, stay to relive old memories with a tour of the school, and then gather again with other alumni friends in the evening for dessert at the Wilcox home.

RSVP at [email protected]


The Ambleside Online Auction is live now, and the bids are coming in! You can bid on a variety of items, large and small, including a trip to Hawaii, Students' Corporate Art, Community Art, Entertainment, and local Virginia wines! Click the link to join the fun.


"At Ambleside, we read books together from cover to cover. At funny parts, everyone laughs together, at suspenseful parts, all are on the edge of their seats, and at sad parts, people cry. In these moments, we are all building memories together, and many a class, at the conclusion of a book, has been known to break out in spontaneous applause.

Pure joy.

When a class opens a living book together and reads it all the way through, not alone as homework, but together, they are bonding over something that is worthy of their time, attention, and affection. This is but one example among a thousand in an Ambleside classroom where we are everyday discovering the world around us with enthusiasm and curiosity.

And sometimes, spontaneous applause."

(Quoted from Head of School Krise Nowak's most recent blog post: )


What's blooming now? Golden Ragwort, or "Packera aurea," is the first plant to bloom in our butterfly garden this spring. After a generous grant from the National Audubon Society enabled us to buy the native plants, Ambleside students planted the butterfly garden in the fall of 2021.

Spontaneous Applause — Ambleside School 04/21/2023

What could be different from classroom to classroom? Paint color? Aren’t all schools basically the same?

Head of School Krise Nowak explores this question in her most recent post.

Spontaneous Applause — Ambleside School Charlotte Mason wrote in A Philosophy of Education that one result of the common pursuit of knowledge is shared joy.

Photos from Ambleside School's post 04/17/2023

Baltimore was the subject of an all-day field study last week for seventh grade students. The class visited Fort McHenry, the Baltimore Museum of Industry, and the historic ships in Baltimore’s Inner Harbor as part of their multi-year study of American history.


Ambleside's Spring Fundraiser - Golf Tournament, Art Show, Dinner Reception, and Online Auction - are right around the corner! Sign up now to join us on Friday, April 28th!


During the dinner reception at our Spring Fundraiser on April 28, you'll have the opportunity to enjoy and purchase charming local art pieces like this one. You won't want to miss it!

Get your ticket here:


Chicks have hatched in the 1st Grade classroom!


Classes have been working hard on their group art projects for the Spring Fundraiser. The online auction will feature each of their beautiful pieces, handcrafted by our students! (Pictured: Felt Leaves, by 1st Grade)

Get signed up on our website:


Affection for art is contagious. Our kindergarten students recently traveled on a field study to the National Gallery of Art in Washington DC.


Attention golfers! How would you like to win a 2023 4WD Ford Explorer XLT? Start sharpening your skills now for our April 28 Golf Tournament hole-in-one competition!

Learn more:

The Wide Universe Beyond — Ambleside School 03/23/2023

Is education's only purpose to prepare children for jobs and means to pay their taxes? What of joy, the discovery of beauty, growth in self-awareness, development of character, service to others, the building of relationships? Our Head of School answered this question in her most recent post.

The Wide Universe Beyond — Ambleside School What do you hope your children will get out of their many years of sitting in a classroom? Is it just to pass from one grade to the next, or do you desire something more?


We'd love your help. Right now, many parents around our area are deciding where to send their young children to school for the first time. Would you tell them about Ambleside? We currently have room in our Kindergarten classroom and are offering new scheduling options for students. Parents can learn more at .


In 7th Grade Science, the students are learning coding concepts, writing Arduino sketches, and assembling and programming Parallax robots. In this way they learn to be thoughtful creators, rather than consumers, of technology.

Education, the Science of Relations: We are Educated by Our Intimacies — Ambleside School 03/16/2023

Dr. Bill St Cyr, founder of Ambleside Schools International, recently shared his thoughts on the role of habit formation in education. Habit formation is essentially placed in partnership with the other foundational pillars of education -- atmosphere, discipline, and life. Read his thoughts on how that partnership plays out in his most recent article.

Education, the Science of Relations: We are Educated by Our Intimacies — Ambleside School Habits are essential tools, tools which must be given to a child if he/she is ever to be well educated. But a sculptor who is overly fixated on his tools rather than focusing on the object of his creation, will fail to bring forth the beauty latent in a piece of marble.


Each of our classes has begun work on corporate art projects, which will be available for auction during the Spring Golf Tournament Fundraiser on April 28. The pieces are shaping up beautifully already, ranging from textiles to paintings and other home décor. Be sure to attend the Art Show (at Westfield, during our Spring Fundraiser on April 28th) and check out these precious pieces of your students’ artistic journeys.

Learn more about the event here:

Spring Fundraiser — Ambleside School 03/07/2023

For our Spring Fundraiser, we've planned a day of fun and relaxation with a Golf Tournament, online auction, and Art Show on April 28 at the Westfield Golf Club in Clifton, Virginia.

We hope you will come and gather with other parents, alumni, friends, and local business leaders to enjoy a joyful and peaceful time together. Click our link for more details and to register for the golf tournament or purchase a ticket for the Art Show.

Spring Fundraiser — Ambleside School Even if you do not play in the Golf Tournament, please join us at the evening reception! Our online Silent Auction will feature some great gifts and other valuable items. This year’s Art Show will feature the work of professional artists from the DMV as well as our own Ambleside students’ painti...


Students at Ambleside are known. Not just by their teacher.


Last week, many of our classes had the opportunity to visit the National Museum of Art in DC. Here, students from 7th grade look at one of Rembrandt's self portraits, which was used by James McNeill Whistler as inspiration.

This practice of studying original pieces of art by original artists, even for our youngest students, is part of our commitment to give students the worthiest of subjects for their attention.


There is no place like Ambleside.

At Ambleside, our students work in journals that represent work begun and work completed. We do not use photocopies and loose leaf paper that lack connectedness and overarching purpose, with no beginning and no end.

Our students are provided with a large and varied curriculum that enriches their lives with both the concrete and the abstract. They daily encounter beauty, inspiration, and most importantly, ideas.

Instead of being sent home with hours of homework, special projects, and extra credit points to chase, Ambleside students are encouraged to get outside, pursue their own hobbies and interests, enjoy dinner with their families, and settle in with a good book.

Our teachers never tell students that they need to pay attention to certain facts that will be on a test. All that we do is worthy of our attention. Our students are not sent home to cram only to forget the next day. They attend in class and then tell what they know both orally and in writing. Through that daily practice, they grow in knowledge and gain composition skills to boot.

Our students aren’t pitted against each other in pursuit of the top student ranking, best at this or best at that. Weak and strong are in our classes together, learning from one another in a way that is relational and natural. We don’t need to moralize and give lectures on this dynamic because its intrinsic value is “in the air.” Our teachers see students as having capacities that are limitless, instead of defining them by their weaknesses.

We remember at Ambleside that children have requirements of the mind that need tending: intellectual food in the form of ideas. We feed them, if you will, from a vast buffet—some taking more of this and some more of that, but all leave satisfied, enriched, and inspired; not bored, stressed, and indifferent.

Students at Ambleside thrive. They are not just passing time; they are not just passing from one grade to the next. They are learning to live well through the pursuit and acquisition of knowledge and the development of habits that will serve them for the rest of their lives.

Students at Ambleside are known, not just by their teacher, but by the administration, their classmates, their buddies, nay, the whole school.

We deal with issues relationally instead of resorting to a demerit system. In word and deed, we strive most earnestly to come alongside parents in pointing children to the creator of the universe, God Almighty, and His Son, their savior, Jesus Christ.

Charlotte Mason said, “Not to be good, nor to be happy is the chief thing, but to know, to possess the knowledge of God… For this is life eternal, to know Thee, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom thou hast sent.”

There is no place like Ambleside.

(For more on this from Head of School Krise Nowak, go here: )

There’s No Place Like Ambleside — Ambleside School 02/20/2023

Head of School Krise Nowak recently shared her thoughts on what an Ambleside education is and how to share it with others. In this season in which parents around you are considering where to send their kids to school next year, this is a useful read. And a very shareable one!

There’s No Place Like Ambleside — Ambleside School The best way to understand an Ambleside education is to see what Charlotte Mason’s philosophy looks like in practice.

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We are Ambleside School

Ambleside School is a Christ-centered school committed to providing a Charlotte Mason “living education.”

In partnership with the family, we guide and empower each student to think with the mind of Christ and to author a life rich in relationship to God, self, others, ideas, and all of creation.

Ambleside is a warm and inviting community where children discover ideas that open their imaginations and challenge them to observe closely and think deeply. We train students as scholars, but Ambleside is about much more than academic achievement.

Videos (show all)

Why Ambleside?
Ambleside's Community Celebrates 20 Years
Excerpt from Community Reading ~ Much Ado About Nothing
20 Years of Ambleside
Learn More at a Virtual Open House
We miss our students! Feeling nostalgic for our classrooms filled with the curiosity and care of Ambleside students. Che...
“Juliet and Her Romeo” performed by the 5th-8th grades at Ambleside School’s Shakespeare Festival. Visit us at ambleside...
Kindergarten lessons this morning!
5th Grade Rehearsal for As You Like It!




8980 Brook Road
McLean, VA

Opening Hours

Monday 8am - 3:30pm
Tuesday 8am - 3:30pm
Wednesday 8am - 3:30pm
Thursday 8am - 3:30pm
Friday 8am - 3:30pm
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