Danes Hill School


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  • Category: Pre-Preparatory / Preparatory
  • Pupils: Co-Education
  • Type: Day
  • Religious Affiliation: Christian
  • Roll: 516 (Boys) 356 (Girls)
  • Age Range: 3 - 13 years
  • Founded: 1947

General Information

At Danes Hill we seek to prepare children not only academically, but morally and socially for the rest of their lives. We develop in our children an appetite for the challenges of life, an energetic curiosity for knowledge and an interest in, and respect for other people. We also think that it is essential that our pupils should enjoy their time at school.

“Danes Hill was deemed excellent in all areas in our ISI Inspection report. We consider excellence to be an attitude of  mind and habit rather than a singular act or skill. It is only through constantly raising expectations and striving for excellence that we can enable our children to reach their full potential. They are our future.”
Willie Murdock, Headmaster.


Separate Pre-preparatory and Preparatory buildings, 2 ICT suites, interactive whiteboards, wireless network laptops, new art studio with kiln, state-of-the-art design & technology rooms, 420 seat theatre, new drama studio, 3 choirs, orchestra, jazz band, string ensemble, individual instrumental lessons, science laboratories, lessons in French, Spanish and Latin, extensive playing fields, swimming pool, facilities for all main sports as well as sailing and cross-country.

Entrance Requirements

From 5+ : informal tests, Taster day in school.


57 Senior School Scholarships awarded in 2019. All Common Entrance pupils successfully gained entry to their chosen senior school.

Open Days

To book a personal tour, please contact Carolyn via phone 01372 849203, or by email registrar@daneshill.surrey.sch.uk


2019/2020. £2,327 - £6,780 per term.


ISI Inspection 2020

School Contact Details

Headteacher: Mr W D Murdock

Contact for enquiries: Mrs C. Ward, Registrar. registrar@daneshill.surrey.sch.uk

Danes Hill School
Leatherhead Road
KT22 0JG

[t]: 01372 842509
[f]: 01372 844452
[w]: www.daneshillschool.co.uk

Location Description

55 acre campus, close to M25 jctn 9.

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School News

Year 4

Year 4 spent a wonderful week immersed in outdoor learning activities, set to the backdrop of the stunning Dorset countryside and coastline. The children

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enjoyed a range of activities including raft building, high ropes courses, beach games and the ultimate water park. Despite a few days of rain, spirits were certainly not dampened and morale remained high. Teachers and instructors were impressed by how well the children worked together in team tasks; old friendships grew stronger whilst new friendships were forged and blossomed. The sun did finally appear and what a way to end the week! Taken back in time to a bygone era by a glorious steam train, the children arrived at Corfe Castle and were treated to a Horrible Histories style tour. Truly exhausted by the end of the week, we can confidently say that much fun was had, lessons learned and unforgettable magical moments are now etched in memories for years to come.


Year 5

We departed at 5.30am after last hugs and tears, mainly of happiness from parents that had 4 days of peace and quiet ahead, reaching Caen without incident at 3pm French time. The museum and talk at Pegasus Bridge, the starting point for the D-Day operations, really set the scene for the week. Although we had been on the move for over 12 hours the children were excellent and listened and contributed very well. After a short drive to the Chateau and the first of countless baguettes, we enjoyed some free time and settled into rooms. Bayeux is a charming and picturesque town with market, tapestry and cathedral. We enjoyed a morning exploring and spending vast amounts of money on souvenir items, many of which did not survive beyond lunchtime. The audio guided tour of the tapestry is excellent and brought to life what we had learnt at school on Monday. The goat farm provided a change from historical venues and the kids enjoyed stroking the kids and tasting a variety of cheese. Maisy Battery is a recently unearthed German fortification a few miles inland from the beaches. It is owned by a very enthusiastic young man and his father who entertained us with stories of its role in the war and, more recently, its role in blowing up the local farmers and their animals with hitherto unexploded ordnance. The 360 cinema film at Arromanches leaves no doubt as to the scale of the D-Day operation and the terrible losses incurred on the beaches. We had a talk from a fascinating local guide who added other interesting details and showed us the remains of the Mulberry Harbour. The American Cemetery is soberingly beautiful and contains nearly 10,000 graves, a few of which a guide talked to us about. The children behaved with a maturity well beyond their years and really seemed to take on board, and understand, the weight of history and level of sacrifice made. We were lucky enough to take part in a mock ceremony that involved putting Omaha Beach sand into an engraved name, similar to that carried out by relatives of the deceased visiting the cemetery. We finished the week with a lovely afternoon of games and paddling on Omaha Beach before returning to the Chateau to pack, have a BBQ and the much anticipated disco. After another early start, and the ubiquitous packed baguettes, we arrived safely back to school, tired but happy. It was an excellent week; the children had a fantastic time and were a real credit to the school and to their parents. Many thanks indeed to all of the staff that joined us, their enthusiasm made the week what it was.


Year 6

On Monday Year 6 set sail from Southampton for the IOW. Arriving in Cowes in glorious sunshine we had a short walk to UKSA. The children were soon in wetsuits, playing team games and getting to know the instructors. Each morning started with a full English breakfast, fruit and cereals- the food was a big hit.

Throughout the week the children took part in kayaking, dinghy sailing, stand-up paddle boarding, windsurfing and learning to sail a keel boat. A full set of evening activities included human board games, orienteering, crabbing, beach games and a celebratory disco.

There were a lot of highlights from this trip, and now the pupils have recovered from a fun and busy week. I am sure most of the stories told to parents were how they pushed their teachers off of their kayaks!


Year 7

Year 7 spent an exciting five days camping in Dorset. Despite the occasional rain shower, we all had an amazing time trying new and adventurous activities. These included coasteering, bushcraft skills, woodland walks and a mud run. One particular highlight was eating fish and chips in Swanage followed by some very successful mackerel fishing. In the evenings, we spent time playing group sports and sitting around the campfire. We all had a fantastic time and thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. Thank you to all the staff who accompanied Year 7 on the trip.


Year 8

On Sunday 16 June, the 2019 Leavers said ‘Arrivederci’ to England and set off for the beautiful town of Ponte di Legno  in the Italian Alps. Fuelled by some fabulous Italian hospitality, and the occasional ice cream, the children enjoyed a week of walking, climbing, swimming, cycling and the odd snow ball fight!! This was a well-earned opportunity for Year 8 to relax and spend time together prior to setting off for pastures new in September.  The week was an unqualified success and a fitting trip on which to end their time at Danes Hill.

Danes Hill independent preparatory school Surrey

Danes Hill held their annual Grandparents Day on Friday 14 June, with grandparents visiting from all over the world, some travelling from South Africa, others

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from New Zealand and even South America. The Danes Hill children were so pleased to have their grandparents in school for the morning to celebrate the wonderful work of our students.

At Bevendean Mini Transition, Transition, Reception and Year 1 welcomed their Grandparents with a concert of beautiful singing. Afterwards the children showed their grandparents their classroom, desk and some of their schoolwork. At the Main School grandparents enjoyed performances from the Lower School followed by the Middle and Upper School. Year 2 performed their space song from their recent Space themed show whilst Year 3 provided an early preview of a song from their upcoming production ‘Mystery at Magpie Manor’. The Middle School choir performed Don’t Stop Believin’ and Ain’t No Mountain High Enough whilst the jazz band performed the Peter Gunn Theme and various children showcased their Lamda monologues and duologes. This variety of talent was greatly enjoyed by the grandparents who sang the praises of all the peformers involved.


Following the performances, grandparents enjoyed tours of the school by the grandchildren, seeing some of their work and achievements. Followed by a delicious spread of afternoon tea and Pimm’s on the Headmaster’s Lawn. We are so grateful to all the grandparents who came to visit us from far and wide, what a brilliant day!

Danes Hill was blessed with sunshine this year for Sports Day. Well done to all the children who took part; it was great to see

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the team spirit on the sports fields as the children competed for house points.

Well done to the Saxons who were the ultimate winners of the Sports Day events.

Danes Hill independent preparatory school Surrey

Bevendean pupils enjoyed a fun French Day. They came to school dressed in French colours and enjoyed a super day.

Transition enjoyed a story about animal

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noises, Reception joined in traditional French dances, planting cabbages and doing a duck dance. Year 1 practiced their boules skills and all of Bevendean ate “un pain au chocolat” at breaktime.

An exciting day with plenty of activities linked to French culture  taking place in and out the classroom.

Danes Hill independent preparatory school Surrey

On Friday 15 June, Year 8 received their long-anticipated Common Entrance results. Students were called one-by-one into Mr Murdock’s office to receive these in person.

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After congratulating one another, the children rang their parents to share their news.

Year 8 was rightly ecstatic with their results – Many even shed tears of joy! Not only are we delighted to announce that 57 students gained scholarships to their senior schools, but this year’s achievement of 84% A*-B result has thrilled staff. Year 8 should be proud of themselves as they near the end of their time at Danes Hill.

Danes Hill independent preparatory school Surrey

Fifty years ago, in 1967, Graham Hill and Michael Bolan commenced their headships of Danes Hill. In honour of their Golden Anniversary, the school held

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a reunion for pupils and staff who had attended the school between 1967 and 1984.

In his current guise, Graham Hill is Director (Headmaster) of The English School of Mongolia and he joined 150 members of the 1967-1984 dynasty with 50 staff and pupils from his school.

Following a picnic lunch on the Headmaster’s terrace, where old friends were reacquainted, the guests were treated to a taste of Mongolia with a vivacious performance containing Mongolian dress and dance. In addition, the guests were afforded the opportunity to sit back and enjoy a performance of the opera Hector Macdonald, which is an adaptation of Tchaikovsky’s Eugene Onegin.

A big thank you must go to Mrs Sandra Collard, Danes Hill School Governor, for organising this wonderful event. The guests were spoilt by some glorious weather and everyone commented on how special it was to come back to Danes Hill, meet old faces and see how much the school has change in the past 40-50 years.

Danes Hill independent preparatory school Surrey

A huge cohort of 191 children played their part in a simply scintillating Summer Concert in the Ark this week.

There was a wonderful variety of

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talent on show with just about every musical group at the school having the chance to shine, including the Orchestra, Chamber Choir, String Orchestra, Middle School Choir, Jazz Band, Brass Ensemble, Flute Ensemble, Double Reed Ensemble, Clarinet and Saxophone Ensemble, Wind Quintet. The instrumentalists were also very ably supported by selected soloists.

The highlight for the sizeable audience, who also enjoyed some glorious sunshine with some refreshments before the performance, had to have been the finale when the choirs and orchestras joined forces in a medley of the spirit of the eighties. Well done to everyone who took part. As ever, this event proved to be one of the highlights of the annual calendar.

A team of 27 budding volcanologists ventured into the largest lava tube in Europe on the Northern Coast of Tenerife.
They were able to go swimming

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in pools carved out from Lava, jumping off some high cliffs into the refreshing Atlantic sea.
Tenerife has the least light pollution in Europe and they were able to see Jupiter and Galileo’s moons along with Saturn and another galaxy in detail.
The trip finished in style with the party observing a school of pilot whales and three different types of dolphin.

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