Danes Hill School in Surrey 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 children aged 3 to 13 with an exciting and dynamic curriculum. In recent years, Danes Hill has become one of the last remaining 13+ co-educational Nursery, Pre-prep and Prep School in Surrey. This unique educational environment gives pupils a chance to develop academically and socially before embarking on their Senior School journey.
“My daughter has always loved Danes Hill. Her ten years at the school have definitely given her a great start in life, building up her confidence, stimulating her can-do attitude. She has totally benefited from the Danes Hill experience in every aspect.”
Ethos and Expectations
The school encourages children 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 pupils 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.
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 Junior School establish the primacy of these subjects, both of which are set from age 6 to ensure the best possible pupil-teacher ratio. The school regularly achieves outstanding results in national Mathematics Challenge competitions.
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 the Nursery pupils visiting a local farm 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 Pre-Prep 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.