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Independent schools in Hertfordshire(27 Posts)
Hi, my eldest daughter is in year 1 at a local state school and our youngest is in the local preschool. I have recently come into some inheritance which would make it possible for us to afford to send them to private schools. We are clueless as to which independent schools are good around the Hertford/Welwyn Garden City areas? and have heard mixed opinions. Just hoping someone has some helpful advice as it would be really appreciated.
Don't know Hertford/Welwyn, but have a look whether Habs is too far. The bus network stretches out a long way, certainly to Harpenden and St. Albans and the bus details are on the school website.
Is Letchworth too far? If not St Francis College
Thanks for the replies. Habs looks a bit too far for us. Letchworth is a possible though. What are peoples thought on St Christophers in Letchworth and St Josephs in the Park in Hertingforbury? We have heard very mixed things about Sherrardswood in Digswell.
I don't know much about them, but my son has classmates from the Welwyn Garden City area who were at Heath Mount, near Watton-at-Stone, and Duncombe, in Hertford, for primary, whose parents were impressed with both. I know people who have been very happy with the junior school at Sherrardswood, though we decided it was not sufficiently better than our good local primary. St Francis is well regarded and quite a few go there for secondary. It would be quite a way for primary, though I think you can use the bus from year 2 and I know one girl who moved there in year 2. I think there was a thread on here recently about St Christopher's.
Haileybury is 11+ only. I've assumed that St Joseph's in the Park is a common feeder to it, but that might be nonsense as I know no-one who's been to either.
Two very good independent schools within the Axis area of Hertford inot yet mentioned nclude:
Bishops Stortford College
St Edmund's College, Ware
With Bishops storford being the most academic of the main 3 in those area, fab results and not overly selective. Fab facilities.
St Edmunds being a slightly gentler school, results are very good considering they are only slightly selective, beautiful grounds.
Both have their own prep although the the surrounding prep schools e.g Heath Mount, Duncombe, St Joseph's in the park etc all send children to Bishops story ford regularly both at 11+ and 13+.
My daughter went to Haberdashers (Elstree) from age 4 - 18. Brilliant school. She had a lovely time. Most children who apply don't pass to get in but worth a shot if she's bright. They have an extensive coach network from lots of parts of Herts. She took a school coach from age 5. I'm not sure how far it is from Welwyn to Elstree though.
I went to Duncombe many many years ago. I have nothing to add to the thread - sorry - I'm just excited it's appeared on an MN thread!
Just read throught the thread. i was considering st joseph in the park for my sn and rang them this morning. i was if they cater for SED and she asked what it was. i told her my son is on the autism and she said 'we don't take those type of children' which was quite shocking. i expected her to as least ask question as this is a very broad spectrum. my son is in a main stream school ast the moment and is just borderline autistic. he is very good in maths but struggles with english as he is not patient enough. so needs some support. i thought that was a very exclusive statement and doesn't speak well of the school at all.
I explained this to her and she offered us an apointment but i declined as i was totally put off by that attitude.
st edmunds were much friendlier and could not welcome us enough. they see the child as an individual and not a number
Omoge my son is high functioning ASD he is doing very well at St Christophers.
I wouldn't go for Sherrardswood beyond age 11 but I believe its ok up to then, How about St Albans? The prep bit of the girls school is in Wheathampsted so its only 15 mins from Welwyn.
bit expensive tho...
I was at Queenswood and had a fantastic time.
Also Stormont in Potters Bar is a good prep school and feeder for St Albans, Queenswood, Habs etc.
My choices would be heathmount or st edmunds.
Heathmount - nr ware all the children I have met from Heathmount come across very well. Upto 13+ yrs offers flexible boarding, I don't think boarding numbers are high but nice option for when kids get older. Mix off parents and kids
Duncombe - Hertford I have also heard good things. No boarding. Up to 11+ years. Younger years looks good.
At Josephs in the park - nr Hertford up to 11+yrs. I understand larger class sizes are disappointing parents at the moment. Worth asking about class sizes now and in future if you go see?
Hi I'm currently looking at Duncombe, Heath Mount, Manor Lodge and Lochinver House for my DS. Would anyone have any opinions on these? We are looking for somewhere with solid academics and sports, with a good track record of helping pupils get into the local independent secondaries. Thanks.
When you say 'local schools' I'm assuming you mean, Saint Albans, Merchant Taylors, Habs etc. The most academic out of the ones listed would be Manor Lodge. Heath Mount and Lochinver House are 13+ schools and that's where their focus Lies.
If you are planning on transfering to an academic school at end of year 6, these schools will do very little preparation for your dc. Duncombe tends to send children to the local state schools which are partially selective plus other less academic indies (this is not necessarily a bad thing) so if that's the plan then its a good option, these will include, Haileybury, St Edmunds and bishop stortford, all good senior schools but if you're looking for very academic e.g Habs, Westminster, City boys/girls, then Manor Lodge is your best bet.
Hi. Thanks so much for the information. As Duncombe was given an "outstanding" rating at its last inspection, I had assumed that it would be the more academic and so had this as our first choice, with Manor Lodge as a reserve option. I will certainly revise this in light of your advice. It is too early to say if DS is going to be academic, but as we would like to choose a prep with a good reputation for pupils going onto Habs, St. Albans, Bishop's Stortford College etc as a starting point.
Ofsted ratings for independent school do not really reflect academics in the way it does in state schools. The only way to tell if an independent is 'academic' is by looking at their 'leavers destination'. A big tell tale sign of the non academic indies is that they tend to simply list all the schools they have ever sent a child to rather than showing exact numbers of students against their destinations year by year. The ofsted ratings tell you very little of what you need to know about an indy, better would be to read 'The Good Schools guide'.
Duncombe to my knowledge sends very very few to very academic schools. Bishops Stortford is a very good school, its the most academic out of the 3 in its areas i.e Haileybury and St Edmund's and I'm sure Duncombe has a good relationship with them due to proximity, but if you're thinking of senior schools outside of the local indies mentioned, I would opt for Manor Lodge or Radlett prep even.
agree with bulletpoint.
first step - decide whether you are going to want an 11+ or a 13+ secondary school. I know it seems far away but it's critical to the decision around prep school.
if you're after 11+ and to day schools like st albans, merchant taylors and habs then manor lodge is fine. it's basically a 'feeder' of sorts to these schools and will drill them academically to pass the test. no problem. radlett prep is similar but ML has a better reputation.
If you're after 13+ then it's a different story I think. the world is your DS's oyster at this point and some of the country's best public schools open up to him, and there are a range of prep schools that will prepare him. Lochinver, Lockers Park, Heath Mount, Edge Grove are all different and in different parts of Herts - they'll offer more of the wrap-around care that your're after along with flexiboarding and the much wider range of extra curriculars that open up compared to the 11+ schools. I've also found from my own experience that these more traditional preps produce a more rounded boy, rather than one just focussed on the academics and they go to senior schools that value both
Thanks so much for your advice. We had never considered a prep school that kept boys until 13, but after some research can really see the advantages. Just hoping the competition for schools such as LH isn't too high, as they only take a very small number of boys at age 4.
Have you looked at Aldwickbury in Harpenden? This year they got boys into St ALBANS, HABS, Merchant Taylors, Berkhamstead, Bedford and the like.
I hadn't but will definitely check them out, thank you!!!
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