Latest News

Themed curriculum days, inter-house and inter-school competitions, sports, choir and music productions, there’s so much going on at Duncombe!


At Duncombe we are proud of our achievements as a school, from the success of our children both inside and outside of the classroom, to the range of activities and events we as a school community take part in and celebrate throughout the school year.

This page is regularly updated with the latest news and highlights from across the school.

A new home ground!

March 9, 2017

At Duncombe School we’re proud of our close links with the local community and so we’re extremely pleased to announce that Hertford Rugby Club is Duncombe’s new ‘home ground’. It’s been a fantastic few weeks of Rugby at Duncombe School. We’ve held 4 home matches and we remain unbeaten on home turf and on […]


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Watch out Beckham

March 9, 2017

A BIG congratulations to our U11 footballers who managed to reach yet another final last week. The team played some quite breath taking football throughout the tournament and the skill, passion and effort that was on show was nothing short of superb. Very well done! Mr Sopher


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The wonders of London town

March 9, 2017

An early start on Monday morning led to Year 6 visiting the Houses of Parliament. The engaging and informative guides told us all about the House of Commons, the House of Lords as well providing us with a whistle stop tour of the history of Great Britain. During the afternoon we explored the […]


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WHAT A WEEK!

March 7, 2017

Over 100 countries took part in ‘World Book Day’ on Thursday 2nd March, but Duncombe went one better and we held our first ‘World Book Week’ and what a success it was! Our Head of English, Miss Micele devised a whole week’s worth of activities that every year group have […]


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Under my umbrella… ella ella !

March 2, 2017

As part of our science work we tested a variety of materials to see which would make a good umbrella. Thick and thin fabric, tin foil, plastic  were all tested. The children were asked to predict, based on their knowledge’ which material would not let the water through. Once predictions were […]


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Hmmmmmmm whats that lovely smell?

March 1, 2017

It’s the beautiful smell of freshly baked cupcake. Yesterday afternoon saw the launch of our ‘Duncombe Bake Off’ and in this first round 9 Upper School children were set the task of creating 6 identically filled and iced cupcakes. It was very difficult to say goodbye to 3 of our bakers, […]


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Spending time with your buddy

February 28, 2017

  We love to read here at Duncombe, but more importantly we love to help each other learn. And so this morning Year 4 did some buddy reading with Year 2 and Year 6 got to catch up with their buddies in Year 1 and read stories to them. Everyone […]


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Move over Jamie – we’ve got new chefs on the horizon!

February 28, 2017

  Our current Year 5 pupils really shone last week when they invited their parents in, and hosted Come Dine with Us. The menu was delicious; beef or vegetable lasagna, accompanied by a crisp, green salad and crunchy garlic bread, all followed by a sumptuous banoffee pudding, of bananas, toffee […]


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Stepping back in time

February 27, 2017

Today our Year 4 children have been transported back in time to the 1870’s to experience what life would have been like as a Victorian school child. They are being taught the 3 R’s Reading, aRithmetic and wRiting, as well as getting to grips with writing on a slate using […]


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Splish splash water everywhere 

February 24, 2017

Science day in Treetops was a very wet affair this year. The children moved around the building to explore and investigate water. Did you know you can make a bubble big enough for a child to stand inside? Well the Treetops children did! And they loved making cube shaped bubbles […]


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Don’t look down!

February 23, 2017

Our Year 5 children are learning the art of climbing in PE this year. Haileybury have very kindly allowed our children to go along and experience their climbing wall as part of this year’s PE curriculum. Who knows we may have the next Alex Honnold in our classroom.


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Roll up, roll up get your freshly made paper here!

February 21, 2017

Our Year 1 children recently had the opportunity to make their own paper. This formed part of the children’s work on Materials. They were all very excited. The paper had been soaking over night and resulted in a delightful mushy paper pulp, rather like rice pudding, one child said!!! All the […]


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Say hello to Speedy

February 9, 2017

Meet Speedy Speedy is 8 years old and has been part of the Duncombe family for a number of years. He’s lived in various classrooms around the school, but his current home is with us in Reception. We have two ‘snail monitors’ each day and we check the temperature and […]


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Superheroes to the rescue!

February 7, 2017

Our Nursery superheroes showed no fear when they faced the rain and a number of superhero challenges to win their superhero medal. The children had to show a range of powers and qualities to gain their medal. They demonstrated supersonic speed, eye sight, bravery, balance and strength. All of the children […]


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Eggiciting times

February 7, 2017

Year 2 had a very eggciting day when as part of their Science topic on materials they had to create a capsule to protect an egg. They were given 7 different materials as a group and had to predict which one would stop their egg from breaking when dropped from […]


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Future Schools Information Evening

February 6, 2017

Duncombe prides itself in the provision and guidance allocated to pupils and parents on the hot topic of secondary school selections and entry. To this end, there was a “Future Schools Evening” held on Thursday 26th January. Parents had the opportunity to hear from the Deputy Head, Head of Learning, […]


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Cakes glorious cakes!

February 6, 2017

It would appear the whole of Duncombe School had their baking hats on yesterday, ahead of today’s animal charity bake sale for ‘Blue Cross for Pets’. We have been amazed by the cake creations from the children and have seen everything from penguin and lambs cakes to unicorns and sausage […]


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Triumphant performance

February 3, 2017

Well done to all our performers today. You all controlled your nerves well, remembering to do everything your teachers taught you. Our year 3 recorders began the concert, thank you to Mrs Sutton Muldoon for her direction. They all played splendidly, keeping in time and reading the music well. Our brass players […]


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Hogwarts have been on the phone…

February 2, 2017

and they want Duncombe’s children! Year 3 are studying English in an exciting new way this term, using Harry Potter and The Philosopher’s Stone as the stimulus. Last week, children were invited to attend ‘Hogwarts’ as pupils and wrote complex sentences about Quidditch! They also looked at non-chronological reports and planned […]


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The Battle of the Brains

January 31, 2017

The annual ‘Battle of the Brains’ competition took place yesterday at Princess Helena College. The battle was extremely well competed by our bright young team. We came away from the competition having won the most amount of rounds. However, when it came to the final we came second to a […]


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This term’s Knebworth charity is …..

January 31, 2017

Blue Cross for Pets This charity provides support for pet owners who cannot afford private veterinary treatment, helps to find homes for unwanted animals, and educates the public in the responsibilities of animal ownership. Our Knebworth representatives have lots of exciting fundraising activities planned, starting with an animal themed bake […]


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Fortune envelopes and tasty food

January 30, 2017

Today we had a special visitor to Kindergarten and Early Kindergarten. Mrs Zhou came in to give our children a special talk about Chinese New Year. Her daughter Serena also modelled a beautiful Chinese outfit. We learnt about the year of the Rooster, and how the animal of the year […]


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Show us those pearly whites

January 27, 2017

This week Kindergarten’s topic has been on the dentist. We have explored tooth brushing in the messy play, sequenced tooth brushing routine, made smiley mouths, talked about healthy eating and how to look after our teeth. We also had a visit from the dentist who shared tips on looking after our […]


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Happy Chinese New Year or 新年好 / 新年好

January 26, 2017

This week in Nursery the children have been learning all about the Chinese New year. They have learnt about Chinese writing, the year of the rooster, the different animals in the Chinese zodiac and they have tasted some Chinese foods, the firm favourite was the prawn crackers!


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Lights, camera, action!

January 23, 2017

Exciting times at Duncombe today as we were shooting for our new marketing material. We’re looking forward to sharing the outcome with you very soon.


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Helping hands in Forest School

January 22, 2017

Learning outside the classroom with Forest School was at its peak on Friday. Year 2 were giving the squirrels a helping hand by making them an assault course, which included a swing and a bridge wide enough for the squirrels to cross in pairs.


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Duncombe Dragons

January 22, 2017

Flying bikes and umbrellas for dogs were just a few of the ideas Year 5 were trying to gain investment for from the ‘Duncombe Dragons’ in class today. Similar to the popular TV show, the children had to research an invention, present to the class (some in rap music form) […]


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Healthy mind, healthy body

January 19, 2017

3C this afternoon have been talking about different types of foods and sorting them into groups of what’s healthy and what’s not so healthy.    


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Nothing stops us learning

January 18, 2017

The icy wind and a sheet of snow may have forced PE lessons inside today but it certainly did not stop learning at Duncombe School. Pupils in Year 6 could be found inside busily discussing the principles of leadership as they continued to work towards their Sports Leaders Award.


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Red and yellow and pink and blue, purple and orange and green!

January 18, 2017

In Kindergarten they not only sing about rainbows, but they can make their own rainbows with an amazing science experiment!


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Bonjour from Treetops!

January 18, 2017

Our 3 and 4 years olds welcomed each other in French and shook hands. we believe it is so important to get children trying out a variety of languages as early as possible. Our nursery children love their weekly French lessons.


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A Merry Duncombe Christmas

December 15, 2016

With this being our last day of term, today is Duncombe’s ‘Christmas Day’. The day started with the children (and staff) laughing so much their tummies hurt, watching some of our wonderful members of staff perform their take on ‘The Night before Christmas’. Then as with any Christmas Day, there […]


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Bringing festive cheer to the elderly

December 13, 2016

Our Year 4 choir have been practising extremely hard over the last few weeks in preparation for their carol service at ‘The Dell Residential Home’ in Hertford. The children visited ‘The Dell’ along with their Music teachers Mrs Turner and Mrs Sutton and sang an assortment of traditional Christmas carols […]


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Rocking around the Christmas tree

December 13, 2016

Seeing your child take part in their first Christmas sing-along show at school always brings a tear to the eye. So there were tears of Christmas happiness over in Duncombe Treetops this morning. With our children in Early Kindergarten dressed as Christmas Puddings, Stars and Snowmen and Kindergarten rocking their […]


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Off to see Santa

December 13, 2016

On Monday, EKG, KG and Nursery headed to Springtime Nurseries to visit Father Christmas. An extremely excited coach of children were treated to a magical train ride around the Christmas displays, where we saw a Polar Bear band, Santa’s elves and much more before arriving at Santa’s grotto. The children […]


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Taking Self Defence seriously

December 12, 2016

Duncombe’s Self Defence coach, Mr Boddy attended our assembly this morning. He handed out awards to an array of children for progress, focus and concentration and for a willingness to be committed to learning whilst attending the Self Defence course at our after school club. Mr Boddy has been part […]


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Movie stars in the making

December 12, 2016

We could not be more proud of our budding thespians. Nursery and Reception told the story of Christmas this week. They performed firstly to the whole school and then to their parents and grandparents and they didn’t show any nerves at all. They sang beautifully, remembered their lines and most […]


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Watch out J K Rowling!

December 8, 2016

Back in September, Year 6 wrote some exciting animal adventure stories after visiting Paradise Wildlife Park. The stories were entered into a competition which was judged by a large panel including local author, Tamsyn Murray. Both Mrs Galaska and Miss Micele from Duncombe were extremely impressed with the high standard […]


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Learning outside the classroom

December 8, 2016

Year 6 had a fantastic visit to the Natural History Museum in London. They took part in an Evolution workshop and were incredibly confident with their knowledge. The Scientist taking the workshop commented to both myself and Mr Le Tissier how amazed he was at the children’s advanced Science thinking and […]


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Shaking Up Shakespeare at Duncombe

December 8, 2016

Anthony Glenn, the one man show of ‘the Nutcracker’ entertained Duncombe’s Years 3 to 6 pupils with the enchanting tale. The show proved to be a resounding success, as budding Duncombe performers assisted him in retelling the story. A cracking start to the festive season! Here are some comments from […]


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Duncombe Choir getting into the Christmas Spirit

December 8, 2016

On Monday, Year 5 and 6 Choir went to sing at the Mercury and Observer Community Awards Ceremony at Hanbury Manor. It was great fun and we sang many songs. The soloists sang beautifully and everyone listened intently. Alastair Readman sang a beautiful version of Silent Night in German and […]


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Interview with Danny Granville, ex-professional footballer turned Games Teacher

November 11, 2016

Lottie G and George M from Year 6 are this years sports captains and they recently interviewed our very own Duncombe Games Teacher, sports star and ex-professional footballer Danny Granville. Name: Danny Granville Job: Arsenal Youth Coach, Duncombe PE & Games Coach. Ex-Professional Footballer. Nationality: English. Premier League Football Teams […]


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A President Elect and a pineapple numbers discussion!

November 11, 2016

Ahead of the American Presidential Election, some of my Year 6 pupils were discussing who would win. Freddie declared, rather confidently “If Donald Trump wins, I’ll give Mr Le Tissier a pineapple!” True to his word, on Thursday morning Freddie presented me with a pineapple. In class I thought I […]


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Welcome Home DB!

November 4, 2016

What an exciting morning for all, with rapturous applause to welcome home the returning hero that is our very own Duncombe Bear, Space Explorer!  Pupils and staff then sang a rousing chorus of  “Ground Control to Major Ted, Take your sandwiches and put your wellies on . . .    Can […]


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Ground Control to Major Ted

October 21, 2016

‘Ground Control to Major Ted’… School Mascot launches into space! It was mission control at Duncombe this week as our school mascot was launched into orbit and then tracked by video on a tour of space. Duncombe Bear or DB as he is being affectionately called, headed to the outer stratosphere […]


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Music, meditation and maha-mantras.

October 14, 2016

This week Year 5 visited Bhaktivedanta Manor near Watford as part of their Religious Education studies on Hinduism. The Temple was established in 1973 by His Divine Grace A.C.Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada.  Our pupils had a fun packed day; touring the main house including the temple, theatre and the founder’s quarters […]


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Nature deficit disorder? Not on my watch!

October 7, 2016

There has been much written in the press about ‘nature deficit disorder’ and the benefits of children learning in a variety of environments is plain to see; last week Year 6 pupils visibly flourished as they performed outstandingly in their class assembly and I put this down to a particularly congenial […]


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Dem bones, dem bones, dem Duncombe bones.

October 7, 2016

Nursery were very lucky to be visited by Megan’s Grandma this week. She worked for many years as a radiographer and came and spoke to the children about her job. We learnt all about the human skeleton, x-ray machines and we even met a ‘Granny with no bones’ (a balloon […]


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The Time-travelling slide

September 30, 2016

How lucky are we at Duncombe to have the wonderful sunken outdoor space that is the Dell.  And, what a fabulous assembly “The Time-travelling slide”, held in the Dell this sunny morning by 6LT all about what their futures might hold… “stand on your left leg, hold your nose with […]


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What will your futuristic ideal home look like?

September 30, 2016

UPPER SCHOOL ART COMPETITION  We have been invited by local estate agent Steven Oates to draw, paint or colour, using your wildest imagination, on A4 landscape what your futuristic house would look like.   A Prize of a £50 gift voucher with the winner’s  artwork to be featured on the […]


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Master Chef

September 22, 2016

You should all be receiving a copy of the eagerly awaited Master Chef entry form attached to this weeks newsletter, or download a copy here. There are two categories which are Lower School (Years 1-3) and Upper School (Years 4-6) with 12 children in each group going into the first […]


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A bang, splash and wooosh!

September 20, 2016

Duncombe pupils started their Year 5 experience with a bang, splash and wooosh!   Off they sailed to the very sunny Isle of Wight on the 12th September as part of their enrichment/ sport program. This trip is aimed to encourage them to gain in confidence, to participate and experience life away […]


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Outdoor learning ‘boosts children’s development’ – BBC News

September 9, 2016

On Speech Day Jeremy spoke of the development of the Duncombe Forest School learning experience and how this is going to expand through KS1 and 2 over time. We know, as a school that has used Forest School learning with our youngest pupils for quite a while, that there are […]


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100% pass rate LAMDA results!

September 2, 2016

We are delighted to announce all ninety-seven candidates from Years 3 – 6 have passed their LAMDA Speech & Drama examinations.    Pupils in Years 3 and 4 achieved healthy Merits and some exceptionally high Distinctions. Indeed, all 33 year 4 pupils gained Distinctions which is a record across any one […]


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Mayze and Josh, meet Yeti with Spaghetti and Hairy McLary!

June 24, 2016

Yr 5 Mayze and Josh enjoyed their visit to the Leaf Cafe on Wednesday 22nd June. They expressively read some fun tales to some very interested and attentive toddlers. Some of their favourite stories included the exciting Yeti with Spaghetti and the fun adventure Hairy McLary-Sit. Both parents and children were very […]


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Year 5 Science Group success

June 21, 2016

Year 5 Science Group came a brilliant 4th out of 24 schools at the Science Challenge Day at Haileybury Thursday 16th June.  They competed against 23 other schools in three challenges Physics, Biology and Chemistry.  The Physics challenge involved investigating thermal energy, the Biology challenged involved finding out how much […]


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Toddler Reading Time

June 10, 2016

On Wednesday morning, Maddie and Max Yr5 visited The Leaf Cafe. They were faced with the challenge of reading out loud and remembering to show the toddlers the illustrations! Both did a fantastic job, using plenty of expression and sound effects in their delivery to engage their audience. Some of […]


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Duncombe singing from the Royal Festival Hall rooftops

May 19, 2016

Duncombe Senior Choir performed at the Barnardo’s Young Supporters’ Concert at the prestigious Royal Festival Hall in London on May 18th.  A beautiful massed Choir concert of some 600 primary aged pupils, with dancing and solo performances thrown in.  As is tradition for these events, artwork is submitted in advance […]


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New Appointment of Deputy Head Pastoral for September 2016

May 18, 2016

I am delighted to announce that Miss Nicola Sands has been appointed as Deputy Head Pastoral from September 2016. Miss Sands joins us from Brighton College Prep School, Abu Dhabi, where she is currently the Deputy Head Pastoral. As shared earlier this term, the field was exceptionally strong and I […]


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Picnic to celebrate the Queens 90th Birthday

May 13, 2016

We have greatly enjoyed a Picnic in honour of the Queen’s 90th Birthday today with traditional sports day games and activities along with a cake, ice cream or lolly we toasted Her Majesty’s good health in a fine fashion. Each pupil has been given a commemorative bookmark in recognition of the […]


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Reception Trip to Mill Green

April 22, 2016

Before the Easter Break, Reception had a lovely visit to Mill Green Mill and Museum. The children were very excited to see a working waterwheel and took part in the Little Red Hen Workshop, listening to the story and joining in with the animal noises while wearing masks. They also […]


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From Old Hall into outer space

March 18, 2016

Thursday saw the arrival of the Science dome which took up the whole of the Old Hall.  Children from Nursery through to Year 6 experienced a wonderful journey through space, learning about our solar system and beyond. The excited chatter from all the children was lovely to hear and has inspired […]


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Easter Toddler Party

March 11, 2016

Here at Duncombe we are getting EGGs-ited about Easter and invite our Toddlers to our EGGs-taordinary Party where they are sure to have an EGGs-ellent time!  


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Check your Recycling Bin and help us to win a new school garden

March 4, 2016

We have registered to enter the WIN A GARDEN competition being run by Van Hage and Mercury and Herts Observer this month.  Please do collect the tokens and hand them into the school office – please ask neighbours, grandparents, aunts, uncles, friends, colleagues  . . . . to collect on […]


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Duncombe School Pupils reach the heights again!

March 1, 2016

An outstanding THIRTEEN scholarships and awards have been offered this year to pupils at Duncombe. In addition, all Duncombe’s Year 6 pupils who sat entrance examinations have secured a place at the Independent school of their choice.    This is a real testament to the hard work and commitment of the […]


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Internet Safety Day

February 12, 2016

  We held Internet Safety Day this week and an informative talk to parents, thanks to all that could attend. We were pleased to receive this feedback from Mrs Brady who attended the evening: “I thought the session was interesting and informative. It was extremely helpful to get some tips on how […]


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Breakfast Concert

February 5, 2016

Once again the Old hall was full to the rafters with budding musicians, anxious but proud parents all eagerly anticipating a glorious music concert. We were not disappointed with recorders, pianists, a cornet, flautists, violin, guitarists and some beautiful vocals. A huge thanks to all who were involved


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Celebrating Chinese New Year

January 29, 2016

1D took us on a wondrous journey through the Chinese New Year. A cultural trip that was both colourful and exciting!  The props, storytelling and pupils’ art work really made for a wonderful experience. As ever, the pupils projected well and the growing sense of self confidence was extremely evident.


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Treetops are all Eyes!

January 19, 2016

Treetops classes were fortunate to have a special visit from one of our parents, Mr Choudhry, on Wednesday. Mr Choudhry is an optometrist and, as part of our topic on ‘people who help us’, he came in to talk to the children about the importance of looking after our eyes, […]


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Nursery and Reception Christmas Performances

December 11, 2015

This week Nursery and Reception put on their Christmas performances. Nursery performed ‘The Angel Express’ and were all in full chorus. We all enjoyed the news clips and hope we have some budding reporters in the making! It was clear to see the progress the children make when moving through […]


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National Nursery Rhyme day

November 13, 2015

Treetops enjoyed a day of nursery rhymes today to celebrate ‘National Nursery Rhyme Day’. We all dressed up as our favourite nursery rhyme characters from Little Miss Muffett to a Bakers Man, A fun day was had by all.


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Road Safety in Treetops

November 11, 2015

Reception and Nursery children were very excited to have a special visit from Hertfordshire County Council who came to talk to the pupils all about road safety. The pupils enthusiastically named all the different types of vehicles they need to look out for on the roads. We learnt the STOP, […]


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Happy Diwali

November 11, 2015

Early Kindergarten and Kindergarten celebrated Diwali on Wednesday with a special visit form Mrs Pettengell. We spoke about the story of Diwali, the festival of light , lanterns and Divas, offerings of gifts, outfits and traditions. The children enjoyed looking at the special clothes; which were model so beautifully by […]


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Foodbank Thank You

November 9, 2015

We have had a thank you letter from the Hertford and District Foodbank saying how grateful they are for our very generous food donations. You will be pleased to hear that the food totalled an amazing 492.72kg which is enough to feed approximately 31 people for 3 days. The clients […]


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Headmaster’s Awards

November 6, 2015

Mr Phelan was delighted to welcome pupils to his office this afternoon to celebrate their successes having been nominated for a Headmaster’s Award. Well done to Leah, Louie, Edward, James and Rupert D. A lovely moment and one which we will continue to look to celebrate over the coming weeks […]


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Welcome back!

November 2, 2015

Welcome back to all our children and parents, we do hope you all had a lovely half term break and took the opportunity for some rest and relaxation. We’re looking forward to the second half of the Autumn Term and as always we’ll be extremely busy, but we already have […]


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Golfing Success – Oliver Barnes

November 1, 2015

To Oliver who played in a competition for Essendon Golf Club on Sunday 1st November with nearly 30 other children and won! Oliver beat much older children including his brother Jack! Well done Oliver.


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MasterChef… THE FINAL!

August 20, 2015

The last week of term saw our finalists go head to head to claim the 2015 Duncombe’s MasterChef title. For the first time in the history of Duncombe’s MasterChef we saw three  Year 3 children competing for the Lower School title and three Year 6 children for Upper School. Guest […]


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Reception Graduation

August 20, 2015

Treetops was home to a very special celebration today, ‘Receptions Graduation’. Wearing graduation hats, each of the children came up to the front of the stage to be presented with their graduation certificate by Mrs Copeman in front of friends and members of staff. The children will move over to […]


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Celebrating with Year 6

August 20, 2015

As we come to the end of another school year we’ve been looking back at all the wonderful things everyone here at Duncombe has achieved and been part of this year. We’ve shared the amazing celebrations of our 75th anniversary, various charity events raising thousands of pounds, sports days and […]


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