Danes Hill School Recognised for High-quality Provision for More Able Learners

19th January 2022

In November 2021 the National Association for Able Children in Education (NACE) named Danes Hill School the 134th school to be accredited for the second time with the NACE Challenge Award. The award is given in recognition of school-wide commitment to high-quality provision for more able learners, within the context of challenge for all.

Danes Hill School is widely recognised as one of the leading co-educational day preparatory schools in the country. Situated in 55 acres of landscaped ground in the village of Oxshott, Danes Hill provides boys and girls aged 3 to 13 with a broad and balanced curriculum. They were first awarded the NACE Challenge award in 2018 before being reaccredited in November this year. They are one of only three school in Surrey to hold this prestigious award.

Improving provision for the more able children remains a priority for many schools and has been highlighted by Ofsted and the Department of Education as a key focus. The experience and evidence gathered by Challenge Award accredited schools, likes Danes Hill, also shows that effective strategies to improve provision for the more able have a positive impact on the achievement of a much wider group of learners.

The award is based on the NACE Challenge Framework, which sets out criteria for high-quality provision for more able learners within a wider ethos of challenge for all. The framework is available as part of the NACE Challenge Development Programme – a suite of resources developed by NACE to help schools evaluate and improve their provision for more able learners.

NACE CEO Rob Lightfoot said:

“Danes Hill School has worked hard to attain reaccreditation through the NACE Challenge Award. It has displayed a continued commitment to develop an environment in which all learners are challenged and supported to be the best they can be.”

To attain the Challenge Award, schools must complete a detailed self-evaluation using the NACE Challenge Framework, submit a portfolio of supporting evidence, and undertake assessment by a NACE associate. The assessment process includes examination of school data and key documents; lesson observations; and interviews with school leaders, children, parents and governors.

NACE’s assessor reported

“Leaders and staff are committed to the best for every child. Provision across the curriculum and wider aspects of school life provides challenge for more able and talented learners. Behaviour is exceptional. Learners listen well, answer confidently and manage their own learning and emotions well. They are polite, considerate and friendly. Relationships between staff and pupils are warm, caring, mutually, respectful, and hugely supportive. Pupils are confident and aspirational individuals who are extremely well-supported and celebrated. They are eager learners and very proud of their school and speak about it with great sincerity.”

Danes Hill School will now remain part of the international community of Challenge Award accredited schools which have demonstrated a sustained and effective commitment to meeting the needs of more able learners, and an interest in sharing expertise for the wider benefit of the education community.

Mr Rob Andrews, Acting Head said:

“I could not be prouder to work at Danes Hill School following our very successful NACE inspection in November. I would like to thank all the teachers, children and parents for their hard work and dedication in ensuring the success of this important award which provides external recognition of school-wide high-quality provision for more able learners.”

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