Why Danes Hill


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, Surrey, Danes Hill provides boy and girls aged 3 to 13 with a broad and balanced curriculum. 

Pupils are encouraged to realise their fullest possible academic potential, and each year a large number of scholarship and exhibition awards are achieved at a wide range of day and boarding Senior Schools. Danes Hill children are characteristically self-confident and outgoing and, in addition to the emphasis on academic work, they have plenty of opportunity to develop sporting, musical, dramatic and other non-academic interests.

Ethos and Expectations

The school encourages boys and girls to become confident, articulate individuals by providing them with values, skills and a desire for learning ready to take on the challenges of the next stage of their education and life beyond.

The school aims to provide a broad-based education, with sufficient support and resources available for those at both the stronger and weaker ends of the spectrum to achieve their full potential. Danes Hill children are also encouraged to take every opportunity to develop sporting, musical, dramatic and other non-academic talents and interests. The school is divided into four houses and inter-house competition in sporting, artistic and academic spheres is encouraged.

The school aims to guide children so that they become independent and confident individuals who enjoy succeeding and making a contribution to both the school and the wider community.

Children are expected to have the fullest possible involvement in the life of the school, and the flourishing school council meets regularly to discuss issues and influence decisions affecting pupils’ welfare.

Pupils are always encouraged to be tolerant and supportive of others, and there is a strong emphasis on charitable giving and fundraising which might range from support for an individual child’s fund-raising efforts, to a major event such as a sponsored walk, involving the whole school.

School Strengths

Music, drama and dance are given an exceptionally high profile at all levels of the school, and opportunities abound for boys and girls to develop their performing talents. Every year group has its own major annual production in which all the children are involved, and drama and music lessons are popular with all pupils.

Sport plays a major part in the life of the school and all pupils are encouraged to develop their skills and participate to the full. A dedicated team of over a dozen specialist games teachers provides expert coaching in a wide variety of team and individual sports, and the greatest possible opportunity is provided for boys and girls to represent the school in competitive fixtures, as well as performing at county and national level.  

Computing is an integral part of every pupil’s experience at Danes Hill. All children are taught computing by specialist staff, and they are encouraged to develop confidence and ability in a wide variety of software applications.

Languages are a major strength of the school, with even our youngest pupils being encouraged to develop an awareness of the fundamentals of French and Spanish through weekly sessions of songs, games and puppet work. Such specialist French and Spanish teaching continues throughout the Main School, where some pupils also study Latin, whilst Classical Greek is also an additional option for those requiring even greater challenge.

Maths and English are the bedrock of every child’s education, and the daily Literacy and Numeracy hours in the Lower and Middle School establish the primacy of these subjects, both of which are setted from age 6 to ensure the best possible pupil-teacher ratio. The school regularly achieves outstanding results in national Mathematics Challenge competitions.

Educational Trips

Educational trips are a vital part of life at Danes Hill, extending every child’s experience, and augmenting topics being studied in the classroom. From Mini Transition pupils visiting a local farm park to seniors enjoying an evening at the theatre, an extensive programme of day, evening and residential trips, runs throughout the year each carefully tailored to the particular age group.

The highlight is the annual Trips Week each June, which sees over 500 pupils from Years 4 to 8 attending a range of residential courses in England and abroad.


Emphasis is laid throughout the school on the importance of good communications both amongst staff and between school and home. The comprehensive weekly and end of term newsletters, together with regular updates to the school website and parent portal are essential conduits of information.

Parents receive a comprehensive written report on their child twice each year. In November and early summer a Staff-Parent Conference for Years 2-7 allow face-to-face feedback in all subjects. There are additional parents’ evenings for Year 8 scholars in November after their mock exams and twice yearly for CE pupils at the end of the Autumn Term and after their mock exams in February. There are two Staff-Parent meetings for Bevendean pupils in October and June. Heads of Section institute a comprehensive round of parental interviews over the course of the year. There is regular formal and informal contact between school and home at all levels, not only from Heads of Section but also from individual form and subject teachers.

Rowena Cole
Rowena Cole, Head of St John's School, Leatherhead

"Our 13+ children offer an injection of new enthusiasm as they join our existing pupil body in Year 9
and as such, we view this entry point as a very positive addition to our school."