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Harrodian School - as naff as its name?

(66 Posts)
fridayschild Thu 12-Apr-07 12:33:15

So far I know I don't like the name, fees seem to be just always slightly higher than other schools and they have an OFSTED report.

That said, we are not happy with the state primary school where DS1 has been allocated a place, were thinking about private school from age 7 anyway, and the Harrodian does have the advantage (for us) of being close. Obviously they will sneer at me for applying so late and tell me they are full, when they deign to answer the phone. I think I can put up with all that, but wondered if anyone had kids there, or friends?

suejonez Thu 12-Apr-07 12:39:07

harrodian is relatively a much newer shcool than others in the area (I assume SW london?) and used to have a reputation for taking the childrne that the other private schools wouldn;t resulting in quite a bullying problem. that was about 5 years ago though. Lots of people drop out as they have names down for several schools so not impossible to get a place. Is there a bad state primary shcool in the area - I thought they were all OK?

nappyaddict Thu 12-Apr-07 12:40:21

looked on the website and i don't like the naff music either!! also i know its a small thing but they only do swimming in autumn and summer?

when i had swimming lessons at school we only did it every other half term and i always forgot how to swim inbetween!

suejonez Thu 12-Apr-07 12:46:13

I was told it was good for sporty, less academic, more confident children but as I say that was some years ago now

Kitsilano Thu 12-Apr-07 12:49:48

I've put my daughter down as it is very close and we are not happy with the local state otpion. I was concerned about the less than academic reputation but the school has changed in recent years I think and it has a good review in the Good Schools Guide.

fridayschild Thu 12-Apr-07 13:19:29

Kitsilano, are we both avoiding Lowther?! And is your DD actually starting in September, or is she younger than that?

DS1 is not actually terribly academic, in so far as one can be academic at 4 years old - he prefers active things to sitting with a pencil, so the less than academic reputation of the place doesn't concern me this year. Might change my mind later!

suejonez Thu 12-Apr-07 13:20:27

I also hear that the "rougher" aspect of the school tends to be at the 11plus end rather than the littlies.

fridayschild Thu 12-Apr-07 13:35:51

If I ever get through on the phone and manage a tour I will ask them about the school bullying policy - or should that be anti-bullying? Must be hard for a new school though, to get the first children in through the doors.

Kitsilano Thu 12-Apr-07 19:29:29

Yup - that's it Friday's Child! My dd is actually only 2 so I know I have a fair amount of time but my friends who have older children have been getting me in a panic!

Alos waiting for a new OFSTED report for Lowther to come out - you never know it might be really good...

fridayschild Thu 12-Apr-07 21:39:57

Kitsilano Thu 12-Apr-07 21:59:17

LOL! I live in hope.

Davidddd Thu 06-Sep-07 18:39:34

Message withdrawn

CountessDracula Thu 06-Sep-07 18:42:44


straight from the horse's mouth there!

DD has a friend who has gone there, they are very happy with it

It always looks a bit barren and windswept to me!

NDPHasAKittenOnTheKeyboard Thu 06-Sep-07 18:57:48


Sole reason, surely ?

<bog standard state-educated mner emoticon>

WordsofWarning Thu 06-Sep-07 19:21:57

If you are seriously considering going private at 7, then you must be thinking of the Prep schools in South West London - Colet, KCS, Latymer etc. In that case - you do not want the Harrodian!

Read the post from the post-GCSE student - unfortunately it's full of grammatical errors that private schools would not accept in their 11+ entry exams.

Let me know if you want further advice - it's my 'specialist subject'!

carparkmum Wed 26-Sep-07 20:19:59

Message to "WordsofWarning" - Positive name by the way!
I have a son who started at The Harrodian last year (aged 11) For various reasons, including family illness, he has had a really hard time settling - to the point where he was in such panic he was unable to enter a classroom - although he says he loves the school and has no desrire to change. The school has been absolutely fantastic. We could not have wished for more support and their "open door" policy has been the one thing that has seen him through this blip - they have allowed me to be there through all of his insecurities and supported me with every step. He is a very bright child and we had been advised to send him to St Paul's, King's or Dulwich but that is not what we wanted for him - let's just churn out another lawyer or accountant shall we?!
Your comments offended me. You clearly didn't see the message behind the post GSCE students posting. All you saw where the "gramatical errors" not how happy he had been or how he felt he had been guided. We are living in a time where, sadly, kids and adults are short of time and also text regularly so sometimes spelling isn't up to scratch. Also, as an adult literacy tutor, I am more than aware that not everyone is a fantastic speller - does that make them a bad person?
The Harrodian doesn't claim to churn out endless academics - in my opinion no school should - but it will see the good in all students and cater to their individual needs. It is a school full of love and very happy students and teachers - what nicer way to educate.I'm really interested to know what your "specialist subject" is?

annabg Thu 06-Mar-08 15:29:33

I have just stumbled upon this site, and having a child at The Harrodian, I thought I would share my thoughts with you.
There are so many schools who state that they "cherish the individual" however very few can really deliver this package. The Harrodian is an exception.
The ethos of Respect underpins this establishment, in fact, you can almost feel it as you wander around the school. The children grow in an amazing and beautiful environment, the teachers are carefully chosen and relate to the students on an admirable level. The grounds are extensive and sporting facilities are enviable.
There are no "dark corners" within this school therefore any student behavioural problems are spotted very quickly and dealt with in a very positive manner. In fact, students are treated as young adults rather that just children. It seems, to me, that the teachers truly understand that the students are a measure of their success.
Any school can take A* students and achieve A* results. The Harrodian excels in taking students of all abilities and guiding them towards their own potential - a D student gaining A/B results is far more admirable.
Education is far more than academic results, and The Harrodian offers an enviroment in which the students grow in every aspect.
The fees for this school are high however if you want exceptional teachers, fabulous buildings and facilities, small classes - it has to be paid for ! You certainly get great value for the fees.
The Harrodian is quite unlike anything else in our area, and has cornered a "niche market". I do hope that the school remains confident in their abilities and never feel they have to compete in the Rat Race of league tables.
If you are considering this school, take a tour. Just look at how comfortable, confident and happy the students and staff are. Looking ahead, when the difficult teenage years arrive, and your child spends more time at school than with you, what sort of environment do you want them in.
I do hope this missive is of some benefit.

branflake81 Thu 06-Mar-08 15:52:13

I thought Davidddd's post was very eloquent....ok, so there were a few errors but come on, this is the internet where most of us just type without too much thought. I think his post was very encouraging and his school should be proud.

MrsGuyOfGisbourne Thu 06-Mar-08 18:49:04

I have a friend with two children there who opted for it instead of Lowther and both are very happy. A girl who was in DS1's primary class ledt last year to go there ( ie to join in Year 4) bacuase she was dyslexic - her mother is delighted with the level of suport she get there. Someone else took her daughter to 11+ exam there - vastly oversubscribed so her daughter did not get in but went to Ibstock. it has a reputation for having lots of offspring form rock/media/acting royalty.
FWIW re Lowther, a child form there recently went to Colet Court (highly slecetive school) at 11+ so would presume the teaching is pretty good?

fridayschild Fri 07-Mar-08 09:13:56

Lowther is a great school, and I'd like to eat my earlier posts! DS1 is in reception and DS2 is in nursery there.

It's in the top 100 nationwide for value add scores, has indeed just had a fantastic OFSTED report, and I think a child or two from the school gets into Colet Court each year, either at 11+ or 7+. Not bad considering most of the children are from council houses/ housing association houses where paying the CC fees is not an option.

The staff are really good at valuing each child as an individual, and it feels like a friendly school with a clear ethos.

annabg Fri 07-Mar-08 10:26:49

Dear Fridayschild
I am so pleased to read that your children have settled in and are happy at the Lowther School. Choosing schools can be a nightmare however you do live in a catchment area where it would be difficult to find a "bad" school. Parent power and support goes a long way in making any school great so enjoy the next few years helping to make this school even better.
Now you can relax, until the next stage (guaranteed to ensure you will lose sleep) - Secondary Education.
I wish you and your little ones, all the very best.

vivan Tue 16-Dec-08 10:47:53

Re The Harrodian School

My son went to this school . He was severly bullied but the school did nothing to help him nor inform us as parents as all they were interested in to was to make money

It is no surprise that a few yeas later the science teacher Martin Carson was found to be a pedophile . The School did not care to check before employing staff

There were other techers that were behaving in an unproffessional mannner during my sons time at the school. At one parents evening I overheard a techer branding a child of 8 as evil

Out of the class that my son was in 15-20 kids , he still have contact with some of them and quite a few of these kids have gone throgh drink and drugs problem and there are 2 former pupils that blam alot of thir problems on what happened in this school

BoffinMum Tue 30-Dec-08 18:14:15

This school has a very chequered past indeed, and there is no way I would consider it in a month of Sundays for my children (I am an educationalist).

Considering the fees it is charging and the class sizes it is not adding much value to children's education. Any idiot can take a bunch of affluent middle class kids and get them through a few GCSEs. That is not the mark of a good school.

CashInTheAttic Mon 26-Jan-09 14:35:22

I have experience of both The Harrodian and Lowther.
I am a teacher myself and taught at Harrodian from virtually the day it opened its doors through to the birth of my son - five years later. In that time I saw good and bad things about the school. The grounds etc were brilliant and a lot of the teachers were inspiring and dedicated. Not hard when there are less than a hundred children in the entire school. Towards the end of my time, just after the birth of my son, I realised it was a place I would never, in a million years, send my own son. Instead, I ended up sending him to Lowther.
My son is currently at Lowther Primary and absolutely loving it. He is incredibly bright, academically and is probably going to look at doing 11+ for Colet Court or Tiffins. The teachers and Pat Henchie, the head, are all incredibly supportive and willing to go the extra mile to help him achieve this. The bullying policy is impressive and firmly enforced and the school has very much a "family" feel to it. I give thanks, ever day, that I sent my son here instead of The Harrodian.

Carrington Mon 26-Jan-09 14:56:10

Cash i the Attic, While I am delighted that Lowether is working for you, I am equally delighted that my girls are at Harrodian and will therefore take the liberty of posting in this tread as well.

You see I am both amazed and saddened that so many choose not to read and take in the positive comments - but prefer to focus on the negative and rumour.

Don't get me wrong. Because of the Barnes dinner party chatter I initially rejected Harrodian for my girls even though I live two minutes walk away.

However having put them into one of those very fine SW London schools that many here seem to think ARE socially acceptable, when my eldest daughter was 8 I moved her and her 5 year old sister to Harrodian.

Why? Because not only was hot housing beginning in socially acceptable prep school to make sure my little cherubs wouldn't let the side down by failing to get into equally acceptable senior school but, perhaps far more importantly, I made it my business to find out first hand about Harrodian ... not make a decision based on gossip.

Which meant I talked to the pupils, the staff and the parents. What I discovered was that yes, we have our chi chi brigade (and no I am most deffo not one of them), yes we have our Russians (incredibly friendly and at least you know your children are safe with them!) and yes we have our famous people (show me a private SW London school that doesn't!)

But there are far more 'normal' parents as well. Parents who make sacrifices to pay the fees, feel threatened by the recession and who fight the homework and uniform battles as well.

Because while Harrodian is not, on the face of it, as academic as schools like St Pauls or Godolphin it is not an easy ride either. It achieves great things for its children - including university entrance - and indeed has become far more academic since we joined five years ago.

But it doesn't forget there is more to life than academia alone. The children are encouraged to develop all their skills ... not just their brain matter ... and the fact that my girls look forward each and every day to going to school is I believe the best advert a school could have.

So before anyone makes a judgement I would suggest you talk to the people who are there now.

Is Harrodian perfect? No of course not, no school is.
Am I glad my girls are there? ABSOLUTELY.

Caroline Spurgeon
Mother to Annabel and Zoe

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