We are a small independent school in a lovely little village called Ticknall. We are surrounded by fields and woods, with a beautiful school garden for endless fun and adventures... our children love it here, wouldn’t you? We like to keep things small, no more than 15 children in a class, and only 30 in the entire school (and 8 little ones in the nursery). We find it keeps things personal, our children feel safe and secure, and we know every child like they’re our own. We are totally independent, so we can decide how we deliver the curriculum and what is the best way for our children to learn.
We don’t teach our children to test them, we find it gets in the way of being true learners (and causes undue stress). We teach our children to be curious, independent, intelligent thinkers. After all, isn’t that what life’s all about.?
We believe every child is different. That’s why we love not being restricted by the national curriculum, we tailor every child’s education to fit them perfectly, so they’ll be the best ‘them’ they can possibly be.
We believe size matters, that’s why we insist on keeping our classes small, and we always have lots of help on hand. Every child has a voice, gets all the attention they need, and nobody ever slips through the net.
The world is our playground
We believe the world’s our playground, not just the classroom. That’s why you’ll always find us out and about on trips and adventures.
For nearly 30 years, Dame Catherine's has been developing a unique learning environment for children aged 3-11 years. Incorporating Steiner, Montessori and Forest School principles, we ensure that each of our children becomes the best they can be. Our small, friendly and supportive setting in Ticknall village values play and fun as an integral part of our educational approach, with no tests and less stress.
Why isn’t our Ofsted rating better?
Our rating from Ofsted does not reflect the pupil experience and quality of teaching in the school. At our most recent inspection (March 2015) it was noted that: "Teaching is consistently good, including in the early years. Staff create a stimulating and exciting environment which inspires pupils to try their best." But unfortunately we hadn’t got recently amended procedures and paperwork in place and, as a result of this we were graded overall as inadequate. The majority of the issues were resolved before the inspector left the school and subsequent correspondence from Ofsted in October confirmed that all outstanding matters had been addressed. We are now awaiting another visit so that we can be re-graded but, due to recent cuts, Ofsted cannot confirm when that will be. A more detailed review of our inspection, and a link to the full report can be found here:Ofsted
More to come...
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