ENGAGING THE MIND | FORMING THE HEART | INSTRUCTING THE WILL. Ambleside is a Christ-centered K-8 school located in McLean, Virginia, that applies the philosophy of British educator, Charlotte Mason.
In partnership with the family, we encourage children to discover and embrace God`s truth, to link knowing with doing and to love learning.

Quick Stats (2022)

School Overview

Religious Affiliation
Grades Offered
Grades Kindergarten-8
Year Founded

Student Body

Total Students
130 students
Student Body Type
% Students of Color
State avg.: 30%
Students by Grade
Ambleside School Student By Grade

Academics and Faculty

Total Classroom Teachers
9 teachers
Student : Teacher Ratio
National avg.: 13:1
Average Class Size
14 students
List of Courses Offered
Matriculation DataMatric. Data
Classroom Dress Code

Tuition and Acceptance Rate

Admission Deadline
None / Rolling
Tuition Notes
Kindergarten: $8,600 Grades 1-5: $11,140 Grades 6-8: $11,414

School Notes

  • At Ambleside School, we believe that God creates each child with a natural hunger for knowledge and that the mind is fed by ideas more than by facts and information. These ideas, which inform our conscience and the choices that we make, find their source in God Himself, and are communicated to us through His Word, through people of the past and present, and through His creation.
  • Education properly understood is not merely the assimilation of data and technique; it is the mind feeding on ideas given expression in God`s creation, great art, beautiful music, and "living books." Real learning occurs when students engage with novelists, poets, philosophers, scientists, mathematicians, artists, musicians, historians, and explorers; they wonder, asking why and how.
  • Our aim is to train students in the habits of learning so they can acquire knowledge for themselves and to fuel their God-given hunger for ideas.
Profile last updated: 07/22/2021

School Reviews

  5.00 out of 5  (5 reviews)
We love Ambleside because it is a safe place where we know our children are being nurtured and cared for by teachers that love teaching and love Christ. We have also come to believe that the teaching method that Ambleside employs is the most excellent available.The Charlotte Mason teaching methodology, which Ambleside uses, is unlike anything we have seen, and it is superb. Our children are not treated like information receptacles, sitting in desks eight hours a day to be stuffed with as many facts as possible, all towards the great, universal goal of increasing test scores. No, Ambleside is totally different. From the earliest age children at Ambleside are exposed to great and important art, literature, music, and ideas. They are not just taught about these things; they are taught the things themselves, by being fully immersed in them. They grow not simply in their knowledge of facts, information, and formulas, but as full humans, with minds and souls that need to be fed.Beyond the pedagogical method and the curriculum, we also love the Ambleside community. The classes are small and the children spend much time together learning and playing. They are forming great friendships that we hope will be lasting. We know the teachers and administrators personally. There is a vibrant parent volunteer community at the school. Our children are flourishing at Ambleside, not simply as students, but as people. We are very thankful for this school.
- Posted by
Our two daughters (2 years apart) were students at Ambleside through 8th grade, then went on to public HS and are now both at selective universities. The school delivered on its promises: they really are "lifetime learners", joyful, mature, engaged with many subjects, genuine in their faith, and committed to serving. Our youngest has had a more difficult journey, both emotionally and academically. We always felt like we had a real partner in the school though, and through the patient and loving attention of the teachers and staff our son has made great gains in maturity and learning. We came to Ambleside after reading its website, which in our experience accurately describes the school. It's a wonderful school where Christ is modeled and learning is encouraged every day.
- Posted by
Amazing Charlotte Mason philosophy based education. Encouraging environment where a child can really learn and not just regurgitate information. Small class sizes enable teachers to know each student as an individual.
- Posted by
We are so grateful for Ambleside school and the Ambleside community. We knew almost nothing about the Charlotte Mason philosophy when we joined the school but were drawn to the joyful attitude we found in the staff and the kids. We've since discovered how impactful the CM teaching style is and how much our kids have thrived in this environment. We've watched them learn to take control of their own behaviors as they feel supported and encouraged, as well as challenged, in their school relationships. It's a unique place and we're so grateful to have found it. We know it's going to shape our kids learning experiences for the rest of their lives.
- Posted by
Excellent Charlotte Mason school, focusing on love of learning, character and spiritual development. Parent community has been a highlight. Highly recommend.
- Posted by

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Did You Know?

The average private school tuition in Fairfax County, VA is $18,824 for elementary schools and $20,825 for high schools (read more about average private school tuition across the country).
The average acceptance rate in Fairfax County, VA is 85% (read more about average acceptance rates across the country).

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