Why Choose Duncombe School?

Outstanding Private School in Hertford


The early years in your child’s school journey create firm foundations and are critical to their future educational success. At Duncombe, we strive to provide a vibrant and happy environment where pupils feel safe and secure, offering them the very best start in life. We offer a varied curriculum, which challenges and stretches our pupils, allowing them to become happy, confident and independent individuals and preparing them for their journey to secondary school.


There are a number of compelling reasons for you to choose Duncombe School for your child. Here are just a few:

100% Outstanding education

Duncombe was rated as Outstanding and fully compliant across all areas in our most recent ISI and SIS School Inspection Reports and we regularly exceed Early Years national scores. Duncombe has an excellent heritage of preparing children for the rigorous entrance tests of selective secondary schools.

Strong foundations in core subjects

Pupils achieve excellent outcomes for English, Maths and Verbal and Non-Verbal Reasoning in an environment of exceptional heritage for preparing children for entrance exams; gaining 13 Scholarships in 2018 and some 30+ scholarship and awards in the past three years.

Broad and challenging curriculum

Duncombe is a non-selective school and we are proud of our established reputation for high academic standards. We have a varied curriculum, which includes English, Maths and science, two modern foreign languages, music, sports, history, art, religious education, geography and Forest School. Duncombe children also work towards the Duncombe Diploma, which focuses on five core values of Determination, Excellence, Respect, Inspiration and Courage.

The only co-educational private prep school for children aged 2-11 in Hertford

We are the only co-educational private school in Hertford offering education for children aged 2 to 11 years. Children begin their Duncombe journey in Treetops, our purpose-built Pre-School before progressing to the Main School building from Years 1 to 6.

Flexible wraparound care 48 weeks of the year

We understand that family life is very busy, which is why we have excellent and flexible wrap around care available and holiday clubs available between 8.00am and 6.30pm, 48 weeks of the year for all year groups

Educating the whole child

At Duncombe, we believe that education goes far beyond the curriculum. That’s why inspectors described our extra-curricular activities as “exceptional”, stating they “made an important contribution to the overall development of pupils”.


Duncombe is an accredited Forest School, offering outdoor education for all children in our large sunken woodland area known as The Dell. In addition, our Treetops Pre-School is built with the EYFS curriculum in mind. Add in a floodlit Astroturf pitch with tensile all-weather roof, 75m athletics track, Science Lab and bespoke music and dance studio, and you’ll see that our pupils experience exceptional facilities that enhance their learning opportunities.

Sporting achievement 

We believe that sport is an invaluable part of a child’s holistic education, and P.E. and games plays an important part in the life of a Duncombe pupil. Athletics, football, tennis, netball, cricket and rounders are regularly played in games lessons, and we are very proud to have pupils who are National Champions in the 2018 IAPS (Independent Association of Prep Schools) clay pigeon shooting and fencing competitions. In team sports, our U11 football and netball teams are both regional ISFA (Independent Schools Football Association) and IAPS champions gaining rankings of 5th and 10th place in the national finals, respectively.




“Forest School has been a firm favourite of both of my children. They love that it’s dedicated time to be allowed to get dirty, and also a chance to explore in the woods and trees, and eat marshmallows! They would both come home with various objects they had made such as hedgehog houses, ladybird stones and stick dogs, and all were proudly displayed in our own garden.” – Parent, Duncombe School