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Denstone College Prep School was given an “excellent” rating for the quality of the pupils’ personal development, in an Independent Schools Inspectorate report undertaken last term.

Pupils at Denstone College Preparatory School are ‘exceptionally kind, caring and respectful and make good progress because teachers help them to focus on their next steps in learning by knowing their strengths and weaknesses and offering constructive feedback’, independent schools inspectors find.

The report says that “the school is a close-knit community where pupils and teachers work closely together in an atmosphere of mutual respect. Pupils are exceptionally happy and well balanced, successfully reflecting the school’s aims of ensuring that every child enjoys school and develops spiritual, cultural and physical maturity.” The ethos of the school, which has 164 children, aged from 2 years to 11 years, aims to help each child gain happiness and confidence from their achievements and relationships.

Mr Jerry Gear, Headmaster said “I have always passionately believed that a good prep school should be like an extended family where the children receive as broad an education as possible. The report comments really positively on the range of opportunities that are available to the children and gives us a tremendous platform from which we can build for the future.2

The children’s performance and music skills came in for particular praise, with the inspectors describing them as “outstanding”. Academic progress, public speaking, sport and drama were all commented on very favourably, as was the School’s commitment to taking lessons outside the classroom, where the inspectors recognised the teachers’ passion for outdoor learning.

The report is divided into two sections; a compliance and regulation section which the school passed fully. Secondly, in the educational quality inspection the pupils’ academic and personal development was assessed. This part of the inspection resulted in the ‘excellent’ rating for the quality of the pupils’ personal development – the highest grade available.

As part of the Woodard Group of schools, DCPS is inspected by the Independent Schools’ Inspectorate. ISI is the body approved by the Department for Education for the purpose of inspecting schools belonging to the Independent Schools’ Council (ISC) Associations and reporting on compliance with independent school regulations.