Thank you for taking the time to visit our website. I feel that I am taking over the leadership of Denstone Prep at a really exciting time in the School’s history. Not only have we changed our name (although still retaining very strong links with the “Smallwood Manor” of our past) but we are also at the stage of determining how our future is going to be shaped, most notably whether we continue significant developments on our current site or move to a purpose-built prep school in the grounds of Denstone College.
Both options have a great deal to be said in their favour and everyone involved with the School is very much looking forward to the next few months and the significant developments that will be following in due course.
Meanwhile, our commitment to providing the best possible education for all of our children here continues undiminished and has been enhanced by the installation of our canopied outdoor classroom during the summer holidays. The fifty acre site that we occupy in the beautiful Staffordshire countryside lends itself perfectly to outdoor education and I am very much looking forward to developing this aspect of the children’s education at Denstone Prep.
Having the opportunity to work and study outside throughout the year can only enhance what we do so well in the classroom. That our pupils have achieved thirty nine scholarships in the past five years bears testimony to how successful we are, not just in preparing children for their secondary education, but also in encouraging them to fulfil their potential and perform to the highest level.
I have always believed passionately in the importance of the breadth of education that a prep school should provide and this includes not just outstanding classroom teaching, but also opportunities in sport, music, art, drama and technology, together with importance attached to independent learning and the hidden curriculum that covers issues such as bullying, drugs and relationships. Added to all of this are the Christian values that were so important to Nathanial Woodard when he founded his first school in 1848 and all of this combines to create a very busy, happy, purposeful school.
Forest School is a concept that we have really worked on over the past year. We are embracing it with enthusiasm and it is something that we shall continue to develop over the course of this year and into the future. It encourages children to think for themselves, to face up to and resolve practical challenges and gets them outside whatever the weather!
So whilst a child’s education at Denstone Prep is challenging, it’s about not being afraid of making mistakes, but of learning from them. It is about seizing the wealth of opportunities available with both hands. Most importantly it is about having fun!
This applies whether you are a pupil, a parent, member of staff or a governor. The strength of our community lies in the way that everyone works together to encourage each and every child to fulfil and often exceed expectations.
Melanie and I would welcome the opportunity to meet with you and show you around our beautiful site; I am sure that you will not be disappointed!