Danes Hill School Oxshott

(32 Posts)
lumpasmelly Tue 22-Jun-10 15:10:08

Just wondering if anyone out there had any information on this school?...My husband and I had a tour yesterday and were very impressed by the teachers, students and facilities.....it came across as a very well rounded school with plenty of opportunities to try things out and discover your childs talents. I was also quite impressed with the fact that they were able to stream the kids into up to seven streams in english, math and science (as opposed to just three which can sometimes lead to labeling i.e. clever, average and stupid!!!)

However, we have heard some negative comments about the school - i.e. it's too cold and pushy, the parents are all super rich or footballers and therefore a nightmare etc. Keen to know if this is just rumour or if there is any truth in it all!

We have three children - DS1 (6), DS2 (3) and DD1 (2 months). DS1 is currently at Parkside which is lovely and he is happy there despite it being a very sporty school and him not being particularly sporty...if we had had just boys I would have been happy to keep them all at Parkside, but now we have a girl, the logistics of the school runs and holidays are going to be very tricky and to be honest, I really want them all together.....I am also not too keen on all girls schools (having been to one myself, I know how bitchy they can get and feel that having boys around can dilute it a bit). I'm very torn about moving DS1 from Parkside as we like the school and have made lots of friends but I need to do what it right for all of them. If we move DS1 at the end of pre -pre, it is a natural transition point and he won't be the only new boy at a new school - DS2 and DD1 can then start there from the very beginning.

Any thoughts on Danes Hill would be much appreciated. I would hate to put DS1 through all the upheaval to discover I have made the wrong choice! BTW, DS1 and DS2 are very outgoing, and I expect DD1 will be too....as I know personality is a big factor when choosing schools!

HSRC Mon 05-Jul-10 21:41:08

Hi I am a 13 year old student who is leaving this year. And let me answer your first question first well yes 95% of the parents are super rich or footballers and that is definitely true but they are generally nice people. I my life at Danes hill I have had many problems with pupils and both teachers and the problems were delt with very poorly by both head teachers and the headmaster. Since our last headmaster passed away a couple of years ago he was the life of that school and he was a great headmaster. Now the school has gone down hill big time since the take over of the school by willy Murdock who has a been the worst headmaster I have seen for a loon time. At the school there are a few incompetent teachers, but the majority of them are veery good teachers. The sports department I feel is one of the best in the country and it offers lots things to do. The academic side of Danes hill life is also very good as there are normally at least 5 or 6 people in the year who achieve straight A's and as long as I have been at the school there have been no fails in CE which was very reassuring. But if you were going to conceder going to the school I would recommend that you wait until there is a new headmaster as the current one is well putting it nicely an idiot. Who cant control the school.

I hope this has been helpful

Regards

HSRC

mike1969 Mon 05-Jul-10 22:07:20

Oh dear, I bet that message has put a spanner in the works. Good to get an inside picture though : )

I do not know Danes Hill but I had to respond as I am in such a similar position to you. I have one boy who is in pre-prep and reasonably happy but I also have two girls (3 and 18 months). I did consider Cranmore (all boys) but really want co-ed partly because of logistics but also I want them to be together, like you. It just seems sad separating them at such a young age.

So we are actively seeking a good co-ed school around here and are failing miserably. Heard about Felton Fleet but keep hearing about bullying problems. And did consider Daneshill very seriously but kept hearing about bullying problems, and the rich parents (we are ok but certainly not rich) and also it is just so expensive.

We may end up moving just to find the right school. Be interested to know where you end up going. : )

HSRC Mon 05-Jul-10 22:37:46

Danes hill is a very expensive school but the education you get is very good despite the problems with the school. You could also consider downsend my friend next door goes there and the parents there aren't known to be super rich and it's co-ed and the fees aren't as expensive as Danes hill. But at Danes there are definitely bullying problems that the headmaster and the school can't control.

willali Tue 06-Jul-10 14:19:52

My daughters school is full of Daneshill refugees having left because of bullying and general pushyness

It has a reputation locally for being for the super rich set (including many footballers) and being very pushy generally

I second the vote for Downsend

hmm at 13 year old posting on Mumsnet - assuming parental permission given??!!

willali Tue 06-Jul-10 14:20:47

Oh, and allegedly one of the parents is the porn star formally known as Ben Dover should that influence your decision in any way wink

HSRC Tue 06-Jul-10 17:08:34

Yes my parents do know about this and are fine about what I have posted as we are in a disagreement with the school now. And yes the parents of tiger drew honey who is on outnumberd were porn stars.

basildonbond Tue 06-Jul-10 18:14:18

one of ds1's friends was badly bullied at Downsend - school dealt with it appallingly

loobyloo62 Sun 11-Jul-10 18:40:32

My daughter was at Danes Hill for 4 years, moving there from Feltonfleet. It was a fabulous school and we all miss it greatly. The staff are superb, the teaching superb, the sports superb, and the facilities superb. The cost is comparable to other private schools in the area.

Despite what the 13 year old above has said, Mr Murdock is a fantastic headmaster. He had a hard act to follow as Mr Parfit had been strongly at the helm of the school for years and was well-loved by all, but parents and staff were thrilled when Mr Murdock was officially appointed headmaster (having been acting headmaster for some time already) and the school continues strongly under him. Staff loyalty is very apparent.

We didn't come across any bullying when our daughter was there. Any difficult children were dealt with quickly, firmly and fairly.

We thought the teaching was excellent. As in any school, your child is bound to come up against a teacher that they don't get on with particularly well here or there, but, despite being a big school, there is a very clear structure for talking to staff about problems and it worked for us. The school has really excellent results - outstandingly so. The headmaster of our children's senior school commented that their results are head and shoulders above the other schools, so if your children are bright you should consider Danes Hill very seriously.

In the years that our daughter was there, we only heard about 2 unhappy parents. The first had just moved from Hong Kong and their children struggled to fit in and were behind academically. They thought Danes Hill was too big. And some other friends of ours felt that the school was too academic for their boy, who struggled in lessons but excelled in sport.

As regards the "super-rich" parents, I think that if you are considering any schools in the area you are just as likely to come up against them as you are at Danes Hill. The vast majority of parents are just hard-working, well-off parents who want to send their kids to a good school. You will find all types at the school gates, just as you would at Parkside or Feltonfleet.

Finally, I just wanted to say that I am appalled at the comments above about the porn star parents. Why on earth would someone need to bring that up in a discussion about schools? The boy certainly doesn't deserve to have his name bandied about here just because his parents chose that particular career over another. He's a nice young lad, a good actor, and he's done nothing to be ashamed about. Shame on you.

lumpasmelly Thu 22-Jul-10 16:02:59

Gosh - thanks for the feedback. Since I originally posted I have done lots of digging around and i
think I've come to the conclusion that you can find out rotten things about all the schools in the area. Even parkside, which i feel is very nurturing has
tails of bullying and also of dreadful academic performance in math ( which I know are not true!). I would really like them all to be together and feel our quality of life would be better with them all at the same school though.... As feltonfleet is impossible to get into and Claremont fan court is rubbish (sorry - but I've looked around and seen the results they get) the only choice is really Danes hill.....I'm
surprised about the headreacher at Danes hill's bad rep from the thirteen year old
poster - I had heard that the original head was my children are anything like my husband and myself they won't be shy and retiring - they will be loud, competitive and eager to get involved.....so maybe the school will suit them well. Bullying is horrible and it can happen anywhere - one can only hope that it is dealt with appropriately....on balance, I think I will probably go for it...btw, we have footballers at parkside too and if rumours were to be believed their kids win all the awards because the school is desperate to keep kids with sporting talent as the schools usp is the fact it wins so many sporting tournaments.... And the best way to keep parents is to give the kids prizes!!! Not sure if this is true, but it just goes to show how many rumours there are floating around!!!

lumpasmelly Thu 22-Jul-10 16:08:09

Sorry - seem to have deleted a chunk
of my post! Wanted to also
say that the ben Dover thing doesn't bother me.....by all accounts the child (who is now at Epsom college) is a super kid and the parents are very pleasant despite their colourful professions.... Each to their own...

daisydoflower Tue 10-Aug-10 13:16:21

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

bracciano Mon 30-Aug-10 14:56:00

Lumpasmelly, I am sorry to hear your opinion on Claremont Fan Court as my experience of it is the complete opposite. Two of my children went there and did very well both academically and creatively. We liked the high pupil-teacher ratio and the strong pastoral/mentoring system. The staff couldn’t be more caring, ensuring that every child is doing their personal best. It's a relatively small school in huge grounds with masses of space and activities for play and sport. Most of the children are busy in lunch breaks with clubs, sport, music and activities like Duke of Edinburgh, the school play, film club and so on. Don't let the relaxed atmosphere fool you into thinking that anything goes, as the pastoral system is rigorous, with very quick responses to children and parents when things don't go well. There's a strong moral value programme integrated into school life, which appealed to us. The staff offer daily clinics for catch-up and re-doing work that isn't up to standard. One of my children, for example, went quite voluntarily to a weekly after-school clinic, an hour and a half at a time, to improve a subject. The Head is lovely with the children and very much respected & liked. Have a look at the website. The subject pages show some of the children’s work & it’s not ‘rubbish’ nor are the exam results. Pupils get into Cambridge & all the other universities.

oxycow Wed 29-Sep-10 19:23:27

Great school for the cream of Surrey - rich and thick or for football fans who want to go to school with the Terry's, Redknapps or bump into Gary Linneker on the school run. You need f**k you heels, designer handbag and and a Range Rover to survive.
If your child is average and you only aspire to send them to board at Epsom/Cranleigh or go to St. John's, Leatherhead it's perfect.
If you have a very bright girl choose Rowan - 10 girls got places at Guildford High in 2010 - Danes Hill got zero places.
School is fine when everything is going well for your child however, bullying is a real issue. Pastoral care is also poor. Murdock is a weak head and few have respect for him - especially the heads of future senior schools which is increasingly becoming an issue.
Children inadequately prepared for 11+ exams, most parents pay for extra tuition. The emphasis is entirely on outdated common entrance exams, which are impossible to fail!
If your child excells at anything the other highly competitive parents hate it.
It used to be a good school but i am sad to say standards have rapidly declined.

arizonagirl Wed 29-Sep-10 20:21:39

Oh dear, Oxycow, I take it you aren't a fan. Have to say I'm glad we dismissed this school a while back or your post would have definitely put a spanner in the works. Good or bad thing I don't know, but you always dwell on the 1 bad thing rather than the 10 great things (although I don't think we reached double figures for the 'good' things about Daneshill above). I can't comment - didn't go for our tour in the end - it was so much more expensive than all other schools in the area.

"Children inadequately prepared for 11+ exams, most parents pay for extra tuition. The emphasis is entirely on outdated common entrance exams, which are impossible to fail!"

To be fair this is a challenge faced by most co-ed preps in the area. Girls tend to do the 11+ and leave at 11 whilst boys do CE and leave at 13. Different time scales and different exams. A school needs to be well organised to manage both effectively.

But I agree if anyone plans for their dd to sit for Guildford High - then Rowan is probably a better bet.

Happymum22 Mon 04-Oct-10 18:19:20

Rowan is definately a better option in terms of guildford high- rowan has recently joined the united church schools trust so is a sister and one of the main GHS and surbiton high (also UCST) feeder schools now.
I have to say as a parent of GHS girls, the girls who have joined my youngest daughter's year from Danes Hill tend to be the much louder, richer type. But the same can be said for many from private prep schools but there are also many parents who work their socks off or generally are very successful but also very down to earth. But definately Rowan for any church schools secondarys (Guildford and Surbiton High)

Blau66 Fri 18-Jan-13 19:16:46

Oxycow clearly has some underlying issues and the picture she paints is nothing like the school I have known as a parent for eight years! My two children have loved it there (don't own Range Rover or designer shoes) and thrived in a stimulating environment. All schools have pluses and minuses and there are pros and cons to most in the area, but none of them are poor.

I suspect the bitchy comment "if your child is average and you only aspire to send them to board at Epsom/Cranleigh" says more about the ambitions of an overly pushy mother than it does Danes Hill.

I am delighted Oxycow and her children went elsewhere as she clearly is.

mina253 Wed 06-Mar-13 20:43:45

Hi

Just wondering what is the latest insider view on Danes Hill, Downsend or Feltonfleet ? Any advice greatly appreciated

Mother727 Thu 08-Aug-13 03:02:57

Hello,

Can anyone let me know what the supposed 13 year old said?

Unexpected Thu 08-Aug-13 09:32:14

Doubtful! He made those comments three years ago! This is a zombie thread.

LouisSurrey Mon 12-Aug-13 08:59:20

His son is now 17, a lovely boy and got an academic Scholorship at his next School and is also a very famous actor. The truth about Danes Hill is that it is very mixed, a lot of super rich footballers kids, a lot of normal families that don't want to drive too far . It is a School that would really suit a bright sporty confident child and not for a shrinking violet. For a co ed really lovely School I would choose Downsend every time . A fantastic new head arriving in September.

LouisSurrey Mon 12-Aug-13 09:00:01

His son is now 17, a lovely boy and got an academic Scholorship at his next School and is also a very famous actor. The truth about Danes Hill is that it is very mixed, a lot of super rich footballers kids, a lot of normal families that don't want to drive too far . It is a School that would really suit a bright sporty confident child and not for a shrinking violet. For a co ed really lovely School I would choose Downsend every time . A fantastic new head arriving in September.

Benjamin1 Tue 10-Sep-13 14:51:45

As a mother who has had 3 children pass through Danes Hill I write as I found. I am not one of the 'super rich', not something you need to be i might add to be at Danes Hill. We are a hardworking couple who just wanted a good school for our children and we looked at many before deciding on Danes Hill. As another mother previously said you will be hard pushed to find a private school in Surrey that doesn't have a large band of very wealthy parents...and this in no way should detract from what the school is all about and how good or bad it is !
Danes Hill is a wonderful school. All my children (who are all very different I might add) thrived at the school. Maybe not for the shrinking violet if i'm totally honest but even children who I have seen arrive shy have blossomed quickly into very confident very happy children, who want to contribute and enjoy all the school has to offer.
I feel very lucky to have found Danes Hill. It is a wonderful environment in which to learn and succeed . There is something for every child and a true indication of how good the school is, is to watch how your child grows through the years and then leave to their senior schools with an
amazing sense of ambition and confidence. The scholarships gained to an amazing array of senior schools is incredible and the levels attained at common entrance is very very impressive. But even more importantly in my book is what fabulous kids they turn out year after year.
I have only praise for Danes Hill. As have my children. But you need to take a tour, speak to parents past and present from Danes Hill if you can and most importantly ..make your own mind up once you have done those two things !
....and I may not be a 'footballers' wife but the ones that were there when I was, were absolutely charming, with very well brought up children !
Don't listen to everything you hear..go and see for yourself !

LouisSurrey Sat 09-Nov-13 16:33:46

The School is quite arrogant, hence the newly arrived "Outstanding in Everything" permanent signs that have just been placed outside the School on the Main road. Most parents that don't have children at Danes Hill are laughing at the sign but it really does sum them up. I think they do produce extremely confident children who genuinely believe they are "Outstanding in Everything" let's hope that proves to be the case.

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