Head's Welcome

I loved my school days.  I loved the friendships and the learning, the outdoor space and the school trips, the teachers and the sport.  I squeaked away badly on my violin, I sang with tuneless confidence and loved being on the stage.  In fact the only thing I disliked was the school food.  My education helped to shape me into the person I am today.  It gave me my passions for mathematics and science, the confidence to lead assemblies and staff meetings, my sense of right and wrong and my innate desire to be the best that I can be.  You could say I have never left school, but nor have I ever stopped learning. 

As I write my welcome for the website, we are in the calm before the storm as the school slumbers.  From the first time I visited Danes Hill in 2011 I recognised what a special school it is, I am now delighted to find myself here, as Head.  At the moment the school is quiet, the corridors are empty of children, but there is a purposeful buzz as the team prepare the fabric of the building and the grounds for another term full of laughter and learning, magic moments and lifelong lessons. 

If you are considering Danes Hill as a parent, your children are already incredibly lucky, they have in you parents who recognise the importance of education and the difference that it can make to their lives. Choosing a school is an enormous decision to make.  All three of my children have had different educational routes, but all of them have benefitted hugely from their time in a prep school.  The opportunities they experienced will support them for the rest of their lives. 

All good schools will ensure that your children have an excellent academic experience, they will aim high for your children and support them on their journey, regardless of their individual starting point.  As a school we invest in the very best teaching staff who can engage, encourage and inspire your children to achieve academically. We have children here who will go on to academic excellence at highly selective schools, we also have children who will find the lessons in maths and English difficult, or who may find the intricacies of modern languages perplexing.  Regardless of your child’s academic potential we will ensure that they are supported and extended to aim high and be the best they can be. 

The academics are hugely important but they are only part of school life.  If you think back to your own school days I suspect your memories are unlikely to be of the maths lesson in which you finally nailed quadratic equations, or the French lesson when verb conjugation fell into place.  Childhood is precious and as adults we have a true responsibility to our children to make it as special as possible.  We want our children to have breadth to their lives, to recognise the importance of sport, the arts, philosophical debate, friendships, teamwork … I could go on.  At Danes Hill your child’s emotional wellbeing will be strengthened by this breadth and they will become rounded and emotionally intelligent human beings.  We want them to have great EQ, to learn to be kind and to understand that a Danes Hill education is a privilege that brings with it the responsibility to give back to others.  We want to work with you, as parents, to help your children to become thoroughly decent human beings. 

If you share this philosophy then do come and meet us.  No school is right for every child so come and get a feel for the ‘intangible’.  We have an amazing staff team who inspire as they educate and who model our beliefs to the children on a daily basis.  Most importantly we have amazing children, who are happy and love being pupils at Danes Hill School. 

Mrs Maxine Shaw
Head of Danes Hill School

 

 

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