Developing High Achievers

We work closely with the National Association for Able Children in Education to provide excellent teaching and learning for able and gifted pupils

Very bright and talented children have needs of their own and need appropriate challenges if they are to push at the boundaries. At Duncombe this does not mean more of the same but a personalised approach to provide exciting opportunities for them to excel.


If your child is able, gifted or talented this will be quickly identified through their English and Maths ability and through art work and music. In the Lower School the children will be stretched through extension work in class and we also provide twice weekly booster sessions to challenge the most able. From the age of eight they will be in ability sets.

We work closely with NACE, the National Association for Able Children in Education, a charity that helps teachers provide excellent teaching and learning for able and gifted pupils. NACE has recently named Duncombe School the 409th school to be accredited with the NACE Challenge Award. There are over 24,000 across the country and Duncombe School are now placed in a select group of just 1.6% of schools across the UK, achieving the NACE Challenge award.

Our teachers are trained to provide additional depth and breadth for the fastest learners. If children have already solved a puzzle, maybe they can make up their own? Perhaps they could turn their story into a play or find more applications for the results of their laboratory experiment?

The recognition of this award to Duncombe School is a significant achievement. It recognises the full experience of Duncombe pupils across the curriculum both inside and outside of the classroom, through subjects such as Latin, a voluntary timetabled class, advanced mathematics and creative writing and through our wide range of extra-curricular activities. This was acknowledged within the report stating “lessons were engaging and motivating with well planned resources which were used very effectively. The appropriate use of modern technology is second nature to the pupils and staff and it is used to enhance learning.”

Children are encouraged to take part in inter-school heats and have won the Haileybury Science Challenge, the Haileybury Creative Arts and Writing Competition, the Cognita Festival of Sport and the Princess Helena College’s “Battle of the Brains” general knowledge quiz.

Sport is an important part of Duncombe life and we have supported pupils on both the county and national excellence programmes for tennis and gymnastics. We have also had the privilege to support pupils on the books of Premiership football teams and were proud to host a visit from Arsenal Ladies, the women’s football team.

Jeremy Phelan


We always look to encourage and challenge our pupils, creating opportunities to grow independence and think creatively. Our academic, sporting and creative arts programmes ensure that if your child has a specific talent we will help to develop that further.