Virtual Open Day

Welcome to Gad’s Hill School

We are absolutely delighted that you are considering Gad’s Hill School for the next stage in your child’s education and would like to welcome you to our Virtual Open Day.

The Virtual Open Day is designed to offer you the opportunity to take a virtual journey with us around the 12 acres of Gad’s Hill. You will be welcomed by our Headmaster and Heads of School and visit our on-site Forest School and Combined Cadet Force.

You are then invited to enter our interactive map which will take you to each of the areas of the school site to give you a further insight into what we are able to offer.

We sincerely hope you enjoy your tour.

In order to assist you further, we have developed a number of FAQs which we hope will answer some questions that you may have but please feel very welcome to contact Mrs Marks our Admissions Manager with any other questions.

There is however no substitute to visiting the school in person and we’re excited that once again our school doors are open and our confident pupils are eager to share their own experiences of the school whilst taking you on a tour of the school’s excellent facilities and extensive grounds.

Forest School

Forest School is an inspirational place that offers children regular opportunities to appreciate and enjoy woodlands.

At Gad’s Hill School we have our very own Forest School in an area of the school grounds that is a truly magical spot. It is just right to cultivate an understanding and respect for natural places from a young age.

We are passionate about nurturing children’s creative talents; we encourage children to express themselves and to get muddy.

Through Forest School sessions the children develop a host of skills including team building, overcoming challenges and discovery of the outdoors. We embrace the weather and children are able to observe the seasonal changes. Nursery, KR and K1 have weekly Forest School sessions with our Forest School leader. A session may include den making, toasting marshmallows or hunting for bugs. It varies and is child-led.

The other areas of the school use the amazing facilities at every given opportunity.

Gad's Family

Above all else, the mark of a successful school is the strength of its community and the Gad’s Family is a defining feature of ours.

New pupils are warmly welcomed into a nurturing and supportive environment where, very quickly, their strengths and interests as an individual will be known and encouraged by all our staff. Pupils are friendly and conscientious and it is very common to see children from several year groups playing together during break times. A mentoring system in the Upper School helps our newest members to feel part of school life.

Parents too are very much part of our community and we welcome your involvement in school life: our teachers make themselves available as often as possible for informal or formal conversations in support of your child’s progress and wellbeing. Beyond that, we have a calendar full of events at which we hope to see you, from Mothers’ Day celebrations in the Kindergarten to our annual Carol Service in Rochester Cathedral.

The Friends of Gad’s Hill – our parent association – do an amazing job of hosting a number of balls, fairs and other activities to provide funds for the benefit of the children and they are the hub of family life in the school. They even run a wonderful café in the school car park where parents can stop for a coffee and a chat every morning or afternoon.

Combined Cadet Force

The CCF curriculum is one of the most popular within the school with children learning a whole range of skills, from expedition navigation through to weapons handling. CCF is compulsory for children in L4th (Year 8) through to U5th (Year 11), with all children studying a BTEC qualification in their later years. The department run a number of field days which allow children to participate in a number of adventurous activities such as zorbing and field craft. There are also range days throughout the year, where children take to the shooting range to fire weapons on both the 25m and 100m ranges, alongside paint balling activities. Weekends away and annual camps are always very popular with the children here, with many experiencing time away from home for the first time, building skills such as resilience, teamwork and independence.

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Kindergarten (Lower School)

The Kindergarten is comprised of the Early Years; Nursery (KN) and Reception (KR), and our Key Stage 1 classes; Year 1 (K1) and Year 2 (K2). Our smaller class sizes and skilled staff mean we have more time to teach, discuss and support, whilst also being able to plan and implement changes and ideas swiftly.

Your child’s learning journey is recorded in the Early Years using an online journal called Tapestry which is shared individually and securely with parents to track their progress.

 

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Music studio

Music is an integral part of life at Gad’s Hill, from Nursery to the Upper School.  All pupils are given the opportunity to learn an instrument and take part in the varied musical activities on offer, which include ensembles, clubs and concerts.

Our children benefit by being taught by dedicated teachers in specially built music classrooms and can take advantage of private tuition from visiting peripatetic specialists in piano, drums, violin, cello, guitar and singing.

 

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Juniors (Lower School)

Here at Gad’s Hill Juniors, we are guided by our overarching ethos, which focuses on educating children holistically and ensuring we maintain a broad and balanced curriculum throughout their time with us. Whilst academic success is integral to what we do, we place high emphasis on developing our pupils’ personal qualities and extra-curricular skills so that they move on to the Upper School as articulate, confident and motivated young people, ready for the next stage of their education.

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Sports Hall

At Gad’s Hill School we’ve constructed a truly inclusive sports curriculum which makes full use of our excellent on-site facilities. Our modern sports hall is exceptionally versatile and can host a range of indoor sports such as badminton, fencing, basketball, netball, handball, indoor football and gymnastics. Additionally at one end of our sports hall we have installed a fully functional rock climbing wall.

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Theatre

Our theatre is the beating heart of the school community: not only as the on-site venue for a diverse programme of musical concerts and dazzling drama productions, but also as the place where our children come together for morning assemblies. The theatre benefits from a large, curtained stage, mezzanine seating, state-of-the-art lighting and beautiful acoustic panelling, but is at its finest when children gather together to sing and to celebrate collective and individual successes at the start of each day. Honours boards hanging on the walls show the names of Head Boys and Girls dating back to the school’s foundation in 1924 – another reminder of our proud history, and something for each new pupil to aspire to during their time at Gad’s Hill School!

Gad’s Hill works with The London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art (LAMDA) to offer students tuition in Acting and Devised Drama.

LAMDA is the largest statutory speech and drama awarding body in the UK.  Its examinations are designed to equip learners, whatever their age or aspirations, with a range of transferable skills that will serve them throughout life.  The examinations enable candidates to showcase their talents and at the higher levels gain recognised UCAS tariff points for entry into university.

 

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Refectory

Gad’s Hill School’s catering team prepares a choice of healthy home-cooked hot meals, such as cottage Pie, fruit crumbles and roast dinners, every day, for the school’s 3-16 year-old students.

Freshly prepared and varied vegan and vegetarian menus are provided, as well as gluten-free alternatives. Children with special dietary requirements are catered for and supported by Gad’s Hill’s Catering Manager, Mr Craig Burgin, and his team.

Kindergarten, Junior and Upper School peers dine in three separate sittings and can help themselves to salad and fresh fruit throughout the day.
Gad’s Hill maintains the maximum five star national food safety and hygiene rating.

Menus run on a 3 week cycle, please click here to see a sample menu

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Upper School

We are a small school and with an average of 16 pupils in each tutor group, and many GCSE classes being below a class size of 10. It is our ambition here in the Upper School to provide a safe and enjoyable learning environment for our children, whilst looking for academic success by the end of year 11. Our broad curriculum values practical and vocational subjects alongside the more traditionally academic, with pupils able to follow a pathway to GCSE in Art, Design Technology, Drama, Food Preparation & Nutrition and PE in addition to Mathematics, English, Science, History, Geography, Spanish and Computer Science. Music BTEC is also available. At the same time, our innovative Combined Cadet Force programme offers a suite of qualifications, including Institute of Leadership and Management, BTEC, Duke of Edinburgh and First Aid awards that we believe deliver the vital life skills to equip our leavers for adult life.

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Charles Dickens' House

One of the great privileges of studying at Gad’s Hill is to know that you are learning in the former home of one of our very greatest writers, Charles Dickens.  The creator of David Copperfield, Ebenezer Scrooge and Oliver Twist lived here from 1857 until his death in 1870, and his spirit is felt by our pupils, even now, whether it be through the ornately stencilled staircase or his book-lined study.  There is something magical about studying in such a historic and special place.  After all, how many children can boast that they are taught English in Charles Dickens’ bedroom?

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Sports Grounds

Our main outdoor facility is our large grass sports field which is again very versatile and enables us to include a wide range of sports on our curriculum such as rugby, football, athletics, cricket and cross country. Both our sports hall and outdoor playing field are large enough to host sports fixtures and events such as football tournaments, athletics meets, cross country running events and many more.

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Hewlett Pavilion

The Hewlett Pavilion houses most of our specialist classrooms which are actively used throughout the Juniors and Upper School curriculum. These include our Art and Design department comprising a fully equipped Design and Technology workshop, a specialist Art room and a student kitchen for the practical study of Food and Nutrition. The pavilion also houses two computer suites used for the teaching of Computer Science, as well as providing ICT provision for a variety of other departments in the school such as Mathematics, Spanish, and courses in Teamwork, Personal Development, Leadership and Management. Also housed in the pavilion is one of our three specially equipped science laboratories.

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Nursery (Lower School)

Our Nursery is set in Charles Dickens’ orchard, providing a unique and inspiring setting for children’s education. The orchard and surrounding grounds and outbuildings provide the backdrop of an educational experience rife with opportunity and adventure. Exploration of the outdoor environment is very important for our children and we offer opportunities for free-flow play in our orchard area.

Children may commence KN/Nursery after their 3rd birthday. 

 

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Combined Cadet Force

In L4th Year 8) all students join the Combined Cadet Force. It is very popular among students as it allows them to develop teamwork skills through taking part in a wide range of activities, including annual camps and adventure training expeditions. Cadets will also obtain a BTEC First Diploma in Teamwork and Personal Development, starting the qualification as they begin U4th (Year 9). This will be obtained alongside a number of other qualifications to recognise the children’s achievements, including a First Aid at Work qualification and the potential to achieve Duke of Edinburgh bronze and silver awards.

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Forest School

Set in a substantial space, next to the sports field, Forest School offers a natural outdoor educational environment where younger pupils can take part in creative hands-on learning experiences in a relaxed and safe setting.

Nursery and Kindergarten children in the Lower School are free to investigate and find their own way of gathering and processing information encouraging independence.

Through Forest School sessions the children develop a host of skills including team building, overcoming challenges and discovery of the outdoors. We embrace the weather and children are able to observe the seasonal changes. Nursery, KR and K1 have weekly Forest School sessions with our Forest School leader. A session may include den making, toasting marshmallows or hunting for bugs. It varies and is child-led.

 

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FAQs

When can we visit the school and take a tour of the facilities?

Our next whole school open day is planned to take place on Saturday the 8th of October 2022.

In the meantime, please contact our admissions manager who will be happy to answer any questions that you have by emailing: admissions@gadshillscool.org

How can I obtain a prospectus?

Please complete our prospectus request form by clicking here and we will happily send you a prospectus pack.

Are there spaces available for this autumn term, September 2022?

If you are still hoping to apply for a place for your child starting this autumn, please contact our Admissions Manager Mrs Marks at admissions@gadshillschool.org and she will be very happy to help you.

How do I apply for a place for my child?

To register your interest in obtaining a place for your child at Gad’s Hill School please click here. Our Admissions Manager, Mrs Marks, will be in touch to discuss the next steps in your application which will include an interview with the Headmaster and a taster/assessment day.

What are the school’s admissions criteria?

Our full admissions policy can be accessed here which outlines the selection process and application procedure.

My child is currently in Year 5 and we are interested in applying for a place in the Upper School, Year 7 2023, how do we go about it?

There are two main channels of application for applicants wishing to apply for a place in Year 7.

Direct Registration
Parents interested in applying for a place in the Upper School for their child can register at any time prior to the academic year of entry. To register your child please click here.

At the beginning of the autumn term of Year 6 we will invite those candidates who are already registered to attend the Charles Dickens academic scholarship although it is not compulsory. Those not wishing to sit the academic scholarship exam will be invited in for a taster and assessment day.

Scholarships

At Gad’s Hill School we are proud to offer a number of scholarships for Senior School students.

Once again we will be offering a number of academic scholarships, which will see fees reduced by up to 100%, for pupils who wish to enter our Upper School at Year 7 (current Year 5). These scholarships are open to any pupil from any school, independent or public sector.

To qualify for the Charles Dickens scholarship students are required to attend Gad’s Hill for a scholarship examination and assessment, which will take place on Saturday 24th September 2022. The examinations are similar to the Kent and Medway 11+ tests and students will be tested in English, Maths and non-verbal reasoning. Students who show a high academic ability may subsequently be offered a place in Upper Shell (Year 7) here at Gad’s Hill School with an accompanying scholarship which will see fees reduced by up to 100% for the duration of that child’s secondary education here (subject to the usual conditions attached to any scholarship award).

If you would like the opportunity to be a potential recipient of this prestigious award then we would like to encourage you to register for the scholarship examination session.

Candidates who are registered will be contacted early in September to inform them of the logistical arrangements for the testing itself.

In addition to the Charles Dickens Scholarships we are also able to offer a small number of non-academic scholarships, please click here to learn more.

What are the school fees?

For information regarding the tuition fees and other costs please click here.

I am interested in applying for more than one child, do you offer a sibling discount?

The school is able to offer fee assistance toward tuition fees for families with more than one child attending the school.

Does the school offer Scholarships?

The school is able to offer a number of academic and non-academic scholarships which are available in the Upper School. Please click here to learn more about our scholarships.

Does the school offer Bursaries?

The school is able to offer a small number of bursaries, however, we are unable to accept any new applications for the current academic year or the year starting autumn 2022.

Is there a school bus service?

The current bus timetable with costs can be accessed by clicking here.

What GCSE options do you offer for Key Stage 4?

Further information regarding our Upper School Curriculum including the GCSE option blocks available at KS4 can be accessed by clicking here.

What age do you accept children in the nursery from?

Children may commence KN/Nursery after their 3rd birthday with intakes in September, October, January or February.

How can I find out about nursery session times?

Information regarding the nursery sessions and Early Years Funding can be found by clicking here.

Do you have before and after school care available?

We offer pre-school care from 7.30am and post-school care until 6pm.

For further information including costs please click here.

Do you offer learning support?

Pupils of all ability levels receive Quality First Teaching, being supported and challenged through a rich curriculum with diverse enhancement opportunities, including those aimed specifically at AGT pupils. Following termly assessment meetings, provision maps are created to ensure that, where required, pupils receive targeted intervention to ensure good progress. Where appropriate, the Inclusion Department provide a range of specialist provision, either small group or 1:1, that is flexible and reactive to the individual’s needs; please click here for information on the relevant costs.

What pastoral care do you offer?

Our school offers a wonderfully happy and vibrant community to enable pupils to learn and flourish. Our small class sizes ensure that teachers know each child as an individual so that they can build on their strengths and easily identify any areas for development. To read more please click here.

What extra-curricular activities are available?

We are proud to offer a comprehensive timetable of extra-curricular activities, many of which are run after school by teaching staff and are free of charge.

The timetable is refreshed at the start of each term to enable us to offer greater variety of activities and seasonal sports.