Education news - January 2014

PUBLISHED: 12:33 10 January 2014 | UPDATED: 12:33 10 January 2014

Holme Grange: children of all abilities are challenged to do their best

Holme Grange: children of all abilities are challenged to do their best


Catch up with the news from our local schools and colleges

Rachel Dent to lead The Abbey

The Abbey School in Reading will have a new headmistress this year when Rachel Dent takes over from Mrs Barbara Stanley, who is retiring after a dozen years of outstanding service. Mrs Dent has been First Deputy Head at the selective day school for girls from ages three to 18 since 2010. She will assume her new role in September.

Dr Debby Reynolds, Chairman of Governors at The Abbey School, said: “We have been impressed by Mrs Dent’s achievements, strong leadership skills and her innovative ideas which will build on both the academic success and the caring ethos of The Abbey School that Mrs Stanley has placed at the heart of our community. We believe she will continue to inspire pupils and staff alike, and take The Abbey School confidently into its future.”

Mrs Dent said: “I am excited about leading The Abbey School over the coming years and very much intend to continue to develop The Abbey philosophy of educating the ‘whole girl’ with all that is needed to meet the challenges of the 21st century. Under my leadership I intend this school to remain a happy, vibrant community where all are encouraged to flourish.”

The new head began her career in 1992 as a teacher of English in Alexandria, Egypt. She then became a teacher of English at Wisbech Grammar School, before joining Cokethorpe School, Oxfordshire in 1995 where her career quickly progressed to Head of Department of English and Drama, and ultimately Head of Sixth Form. Mrs Dent joined The Abbey School in 2006 as Director of Sixth Form. She was promoted to Assistant Head before assuming her current role. Mrs Dent also serves as a Governor of St Andrew’s School, Pangbourne.


Top accolade for Holme Grange

Holme Grange School in Wokingham has achieved the prestigious NACE Challenge Award for Able, Gifted and Talented Pupils. Only a few schools nationally reach this high standard and Holme Grange is the only Prep School in East Berkshire to attain this status.

The award is given for high quality work by the whole school, teachers and governors, in challenging all pupils, including those with high abilities, to achieve their best.

It’s the result of three years of planning at the school and Headteacher Claire Robinson says; “I am delighted that our provision for our very able pupils has been recognised in this way. This award supports an ‘excellent’ judgement of the quality of teaching and outcomes in the school. This emphasises how well we cater for the full range of ability at Holme Grange.”

The Award is given by NACE, the National Association for Able Children in Education, the UK’s leading national education organisation and registered charity established for 28 years, and is recognised by external bodies, such as Ofsted and ISI, as a mark of quality provision.

The Association provides advice, training and resources for teachers, including The Challenge Award Self-Evaluation Framework which Holme Grange School has used to audit and plan what it provides for able, gifted and talented pupils. Assessors spent a day in the school and were impressed by strong leadership and management of provision which keeps the needs of more able learners at the forefront of the school’s work and the good support and challenge provided by the Governors.


Don’t we look bright sparks!

Children at Berryfields Church of England Primary School in Aylesbury have enjoyed a bright start to the darker winter months, courtesy of builders Taylor Wimpey.

Taylor Wimpey, which is building new homes at its New Berry Vale development, has given the school fluorescent slap bands for children to make them more visible to drivers on their journey in each day. The donation was made as part of Walk to School Month, encouraging children and parents to make walking to school part of their daily routine, so enjoying a healthy lifestyle and minimising car journeys.

Latest from the Berkshire Life