DCHS Presents… Ticknall Village May Day Fete!

Join us for a day of celebrating springtime with an array of activities at Ticknall Village, as we will be hosting a May Day Fete on Bank Holiday Monday 6th May, 11- 3pm. This will be the first year that the Fete will be held and event organisers are going to bring you a day of fun and entertainment. A small group of parents and staff from Dame Catherine Harpur’s school decided that the Village needed an event that was going to celebrate Ticknall and wanted to do something that would be about getting together as a community, a fete seemed like it would be perfect. So with lots of planning and talking to different parts of the community and parish council the Ticknall May Day Fete has been created.

We want to bring together the whole local community and celebrate what was a tradition springtime festival. We are hoping to bring a bit of the traditional into the fete, as we will be crowning our own May Queens and Kings and the children from the local school will be May Pole dancing. We are also bringing a touch of the nostalgic country fair to the fete by having ‘welly wanging’ competitions for a variety of age groups. We really want to make it a fun day for all.

fete stalls
Traditional Fair Games

There are going to be lots of activities and events including crafts, children’s activities, games, old style fair games, live music, competitions, bouncy castles, character appearances, stalls, raffles, homemade refreshments and lots more including a dog show.

Everyone from the village is getting involved including the WI, Church, Chapel, Army Cadets, Dame Catherine Harpur’s School, St George’s bell ringers, all the different clubs and societies as well as support from the Harpur Crewe Estate and the National Trust. There will also be a variety of different stalls offering a multitude of goods for sale, including, crafts, plants, cakes, books, toiletries, preserves, dog treats & toys, as well as tombola’s, raffles, games etc. The dog show will be a fitting end to the day and we have lots of great categories that hopefully will suit everyone. Dog show registration commences at 12 noon, with the show starting at 2:00pm. We have lots of categories so bring your canine friend along for the chance to be a winner! Entry forms can be accessed online and filled out before the event, or alternatively can be filled out on the day and submitted.

Dog Show

For further information on the Fete please go to the Dame Catherine Harpur Primary and Nursery facebook page. The Fete will take place around Ticknall Village Hall, DE73 7JX


Dame Catherine Harpur’s School and Nursery Presents… Ticknall Village…

Dame Catherine Harpur’s School and Nursery Presents…

Ticknall Village Fete - 6th May 2019

Join us for a day of celebrating spring time with an array of activities. From traditional maypole dancing to a dog show! We have something for everyone. Celebrating with us will be local vendors and community groups making it a true village event!

  • Maypole Dancing
  • Dog Show
  • Welly Wanging
  • Cafe
  • Face Painting
  • Stalls & Games
  • Craft Activities
  • Second-hand books
  • Hair-Braiding
  • …and MUCH more!

Dog show registration commences at 12noon, with the show staring at 2:00pm. We have lots of categories so bring your canine friend along for the chance to be a winner!

Ticknall Village Hall, Ingleby Lane, Ticknall DE73 7JX

Parents' stories

Parent’s Story

My 8-year-old daughter, Ava, joined Dame Catherine’s in September 2017, attending their home educator sessions on Tuesdays and Thursdays.  Prior to this she was at small state primary school and has just finished KS1. What these simple statements don’t convey is the enormity of making such a leap of faith; I always thought it was the right change to make, but a year later I can now write about our experiences, with absolute conviction – it was the right decision.

I’ll keep the whys and wherefores brief as we all have our own educational philosophies.  This is not a lecture on how to live your life, or that of your child, it’s more a call to arms if you have any uncertainty about the education your child is currently receiving; to show that there are many ways for a child to engage with education.  To be clear – I have no complaints about my daughter’s previous school, within the constraints of current systems and ideologies they did their very best and my daughter was happy there. Yet having trained as a primary school teacher and more recently having worked at a secondary school I have always had my doubts about whether Ava was receiving the best possible educational experience or not.  Having also worked in mental health services for over 10 years my viewpoint is far more holistic than perhaps it used to be.

That said I never felt a burning desire to home educate completely, I have always believed that schools offer lots of positive experiences and opportunities; I just didn’t want this 5 days a week for Ava.  I also liked the idea of having some input into Ava’s formal education and to be able to share in the wonder of learning alongside her.

I came across DCHS through an internet search, divine intervention you might say, potentially the missing piece of the puzzle for us as a family.  The website held a mirror up to my doubts and I just had to see for myself. So in the summer of 2017 I visited and fell in love with the place, I could write endlessly about all the reasons why, (starting with the warmest reception I’ve ever received when visiting a school) teachers who are allowed to teach, children who are encouraged to be children, topics and activities that inspire, an ethos that nurtures and celebrates individuality and a sense of flexibility that is sadly lacking in so many educational settings.  Academic arguments aside it came down to a gut feeling that is so hard to put into words but I just knew this was where I wanted Ava to be. Incidentally we live over an hour away from DCHS, the travelling is worth it as there is nowhere else that offers this unique educational environment.

A year on, I have a very different daughter, she has grown in ways that I could never have anticipated.  The confidence she has begun to develop and the peace that she emanates are of immeasurable value, those are the traits that will underpin all her future achievements, academic or otherwise; those are the parts of the puzzle that I now realise were lacking in the state system.  Ava is valued for who she is, not berated for what she has yet to master, she is treated with kindness and respect and is HAPPY, who could ask for more?

Parents' stories

Parent’s Story

Making the right choice of nursery or school is a massive step for any parent.

The decision to send my son Luciano to Dame Catherine’s however was one of the easiest things we have done so far.

Luciano started nursery with Fay as soon as he turned 3 years old and lucky for him being a September baby he has been able to access two full years at Nursery. He loves it so much and we are happy in the knowledge that he is not only relishing every minute he is there but also that he is constantly learning and engaging. His vocabulary is amazing and he is continually being challenged through constructive play and experiential learning.

Classes are small so he has so much time with Fay to support his learning and to ensure he is progressing and developing. Sessions are structured but informal so learning is fun!

Playing and having fun

Science becomes experiments with thermometers, magnets and insect hunts. Growing their own potatoes each year shows them how nature works and they get the rewards of eating the harvest!

Luciano loved a television programme called ‘Number Blocks’ and Fay made him his very own characters out of connecting colour coordinated blocks that included eyes and he would play with his number blocks at nursery everyday. I don’t know if anyone else would do that, cater specifically so much for one child, giving so much time and effort, she is amazing.
Image of the muddy kitchen
The village setting of the school also makes it very special with the garden to play in, equipped with its very own ‘mud kitchen’, slides and climbing frames. We really love the fact that the links with nature are encouraged and that learning is flexible and responsive, which means that every child is catered for and allowed to progress at their own pace.

We would say that Luciano is ahead of where we thought he would be before starting school. He loves his numbers, he is inquisitive, confident, engaging, sociable but most of all happy. We can’t wait until our little girl is able to start nursery next year. She already loves it very much and we struggle to bring her home when we drop my son off.

Ready to get messy and have fun!

We are so happy and pleased that we made the best decision, to allow our son to grow, be happy and enjoy these precious first years.

Claire, Fabio, Luciano & Cecilia Read more “Parent’s Story”


Primary and Infant School Open Day – Saturday 21st…

During the open day, there will be a range of activities for children to try and examples of pupils work to give you an idea of what we do at the school.

We welcome you to join us to find out more about school places, home-school sessions and nursery funding – or just pop in for a cup of tea, a slice of cake and a look around our lovely school.

There will also be the opportunity to talk to parents, staff and governors, and to meet current pupils in the environment that they love to learn in.

For directions, or any other information please don’t hesitate to contact us via the website or on 01332 862792.


Revised open day : New date is Saturday 27th…

Our next open day will be Saturday 27th January, 10-1pm.

At Dame Catherine’s we believe every child has potential, and has something to learn and teach others in their class. We don’t group by ability, instead, children work to their own pace and abilities within our KS1 (4-7) and KS2 (7-11) classes.

We also don’t do SAT tests because we believe that learning is a journey and not something you can easily put a number on. Of course, this means our pupils do not have the stress of performing to a test so we have a happy and meaningful classroom experience which values creativity and curiosity.

Please feel free to come along to see the school, meet parents, teachers and pupils. Both the nursery and school will be open.

No booking necessary, please just come along. For directions, or any questions, please contact us.