District - Tonbridge and Malling Borough Council
Headteacher - Mrs Katy Joiner
Designation - Independent
Sixth Form - No
Gender - Co-Ed
Religion - None
Founded in 1919, Hilden Oaks is a co-educational preparatory school and nursery offering excellent independent education for children from 3 months through to 11 years. At Hilden Oaks, they nurture and protect the friendly, welcoming and family-oriented culture that is an integral part of the School’s personality. Their Values-based Education initiative has helped them create a framework that they believe reinforces and underpins what makes them a wonderful and successful school. Hilden Oaks is one of only two schools in Kent to be awarded a Values-based Education (VbE) Quality Mark from the International Education Trust (IVET), in recognition of its implementation and use of Values-based Education, to enhance academic attainment and develop pupils’ lifelong social and relationship skills. When recommending Hilden Oaks for the VbE Quality Mark, the inspector remarked: "Spiritual, Moral, Social & Cultural education flows through the school. The links between values and social and emotional behaviour are extremely strong and the maturity the children have in linking these areas to their academic learning is impressive. The overall atmosphere of this highly achieving, successful school is one of nurturing and care for the whole school community.”
Hilden Oaks subsequently received a prestigious Gold SMSC Quality Mark by the Citizen Foundation, one of only a handful of schools, nationwide. Spiritual, Moral, Social & Cultural (SMSC) development is at the heart of Hilden Oaks and is evident across the whole curriculum. It is also one of the required elements of any Independent Schools Inspectorate (ISI) or Ofsted inspection, and at the last inspection by the Independent Schools Inspectorate in December 2017, Hilden Oaks was awarded an ‘Excellent’ rating in all areas and ‘Outstanding’ for the under-two’s provision, which are the highest ratings ISI give.
From their first day in this caring environment, children enjoy school, learn well and develop their strengths to help them reach their full potential. Children benefit from specialist teaching throughout their school career. From Reception – where subject specialists teach computing, French, games and music – the number of subjects taught by specialist teachers steadily grow. When it’s time to move on to the next stage of education, they arrive confident of their capabilities and secure in their individuality. This means that almost without exception, pupils gain entry into the senior school of their choice, both state grammar and leading independent schools, where they compete successfully for academic, sport and music scholarships.
Faced with unprecedented challenges at the start of lockdown, Hilden Oaks’ staff and pupils made a swift and successful transition from physical to virtual learning. From day one, children had a full timetable of lessons delivered through the school’s intranet. Lessons were a blend of live on-line teaching and guided self-learning. Throughout, they continued to offer all pupils a nurturing, family-oriented school experience hand-in-hand with teaching that maintained its ‘Excellent’ standards. Across the school, pupils showed high levels of progress and attainment.
With the on-going COVID-19 pandemic, Hilden Oaks are continuing to focus on ensuring that they can supply a first-class educational experience, whether the pupils are in school or at home. The school has invested heavily in technology to ensure that teaching can continue, whatever happens. Every pupil has been assigned an iPad and access to the full suite of Microsoft learning software. Every staff member has been equipped with a portable computer, and the teaching staff are receiving on-going training to ensure that they can deliver the curriculum and support the pastoral needs of pupils. This Hybrid/Blended learning model is usually aimed at secondary schools and further education but because of the on-going COVID-19 pandemic, Hilden Oaks is successfully applying it to primary-aged children.
Hilden Oaks Prep is currently registering children joining Reception in September 2021 but also has a limited number of places available in the current Reception and Years 1 - 3. At the present time, the School is unable to hold physical open mornings to welcome prospective parents. Instead, they are offering personalised virtual tours with the headmistress, Mrs Katy Joiner, who will converse directly with parents as she guides them around the school, answering questions along the way. If you would like to find out more about how Hilden Oaks can help your child reach their full potential and/or to arrange a virtual tour of the school, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01732 353941.