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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?

voodoothatyoudo Mon 26-Jan-09 15:46:01

Why do people seem to get more worked up about the Harrodian than any other school?

Carrington, I am glad you're happy with the school. Personally, I was distinctly underwhelmed when I looked round and even less impressed when I took my 3yo dd for a completely shambolic (and meaningless as it's not selective at reception level) assessment.I turned the place we were offered down. She will be going to Lowther. So CashintheAttic I am very pleased your ds is thriving there. I'd still be interested in knowing why you decided you'd never send a child to the Harrodian "in a million years." That's a very strong stance.

existingpupil Wed 11-Mar-09 11:13:08

I am a member of the Harrodian’s sixth form and stumbled across this page over the weekend. Showing it to my peers we were all shocked at the way a lot of you perceive our school and the way it has been judged. More than any other school, the Harrodian seems to be judged unfairly from an outside in perspective. Hopefully I can give you the opinion of someone inside the school.

Firstly, the Harrodian takes in a wide variety of students- maybe not from a socio-economic view- but certainly the range of personalities, skills and interests of the pupils is greatly diverse. Although it sounds like meaningless copy, the Harrodian really does cherish the individual and encourage its students to achieve their best in what they are good at and what they enjoy. This may be why the Harrodian has a reputation as not being particularly academic. Rather than focusingonly on academics, the school encourages students to work on their personal strengths- be that maths, music, drama, art, or sport. Having just applied to universities, students in my year group have received places at medical school and got on to architecture courses as well as places at the New York Film Academy , UCL, Cambridge and the Chelsea College of Art. Producing a year group strong in so many areas I think is quite an achievement.

The Harrodian also puts emphasis on the development of students on a more personal side. After a few years at the Harrodian most pupils find themselves becoming more confident, eloquent and able express their views. I think this is one of the most positive aspect of this school- it helps pupils become more rounded individuals, with not only the grades to make it in the adult world but also the communication and life skills that students develop at the school, not through any structured sessions but just from existing in a friendly environment where everyone is valued and heard.

Of course there is bullying at the school- its impossible to find a school without it- but compared to elsewhere bullying is a rare occurrence. Not only do the teachers enforce a strict zero tolerance policy, but the pupils actively try and stop it. There is no social divide between older and younger pupils and students will step in if they see something unpleasant going on between their younger counter-parts. Also, the schools mentoring program assigns selected pupils with an upper sixth former who meets with them once a week to help with any personal or academic problems. This helps demonstrate the unity between students and younger and older pupils are frequently seen chatting and having lunch together.

As for having ex-students with “drink and drug problems” this is simply not the case. Any small incident has been blown up into something bigger than it ever was. This is all rumour mongering spread by websites like this that encourage this kind of exaggerated gossip. The title “Harrodian- as naff as its name?” initiates a discussion of the negatives rather than the positives. The Harrodian may not be for everyone but it has supported me brilliantly and does do the same for many others. I find it saddening that people like WordsofWarning and NDPHasAKittenOnTheKeyboard felt the need to poke fun and criticise a former pupil who took the time to try and give you a more rounded view of the school (see David Urban’s previous comments) and cannot help but wonder why such a “naff” school could have prompted pupils to sake so much pride in it.

Finally, I wish you all well with the your school choices and urge you not to overlook Harrodian on the basis of some of these negative comments.

Amey Wed 11-Mar-09 16:10:44


Your post tells far more about your school than any number of 'Barns dinner party chatter' based posts.

I recently watched ds play rugby at Harrodian and found the school and grounds lovely and the children polite and friendly.

Good luck with your A'levels and don't worry too much about what is said here about your school. Anyone who is put off taking a look around a school based only on what they read on here is a fool.

sevenfiftysix Sat 28-Mar-09 08:15:39

I stumbled across this web site when trying to find out the 2010 term dates for Harrodian and was disappointed to see such negative comments about the school.

My children attend Harrodian having started in Sept of 2008, both in pre prep. I was concerned about the reputation of the school but to be frank my son was failing badly in our local state school, no way would he pass any sort of entrance exam and Harrodian agreed to take him. I might add that Ibstock was so rude about him they reduced me to tears basically writing him off at age 6 as being too behind to attend their school! So I took the Harrodian place, crossed my fingers, heaving a sigh of relief that he had somewhere to go until age 18 even if we moved him on somewhere else further down the line. I am soooo thankful that I did this. My son has flourished - I cannot believe how he has come on during the last six months. His improvements in reading and writing really are amazing. The school made him comfortable and he has settled in beautifully. He has been encouraged and is blossoming. My little boy is loving reception - the enviroment is genuinely nurturing.

I do believe Harrodian is dedicated in developing what your child is good at. It may not be the most academic school but I want my children to have a rounded happy education. For us it was the best thing and when I look at my friends almost having heart attacks trying to find secondary schools for their children, who I might add have been coached to within an inch of their life, I am so glad I took the decision when I did.

We are not rich or in the media. We are a family who will be living in London for the duration. As far as we are concerned there is no state secondary education worth speaking of unless you are catholic so at some point you have to bite the bullit and pay. I say to Harrodian, thank you for taking him on and turning a boy who hated reading and writing into a boy who now enjoys learning.

Sophieilovetheharrodian Tue 19-May-09 20:44:56

Hi everyone, I'm 12, I go to the Harrodian and love it to pieces. It took a while to settle in at first but now I'm proud when I say to my friends that I go there, and I get enjoyment from going into school everyday. It may not be as academically pressured as St. Pauls for example, but it will push you if you want to be pushed and any motivated person can become a successful student there. (My sister is 18 and is going from the Harrodian to an Ivy League with four As at A-level.) The image of well-rounded individuals who can tackle problems and face down fears, isn't hollow. I'm sure there are people who would disagree and say that the school gave them nothing useful, but if you are willing to work and to try, anyone can develop into a happy individual there. I'm not saying it's easy but to those parents who judged it simply because of pretentious piano-playing on opening the website, should not judge it so ignorantly. The Harrodian is a new school and I'm sure for many people it's not the right school, but I wouldn't say there's a wrong school for anyone. As for "WordsofWarning," I don't understand why you hate it so strongly or why you are so certain that you've got it figured out, it must be a pretty good reason because I don't know anyone who hates a school so much that they'd stoop to the level where they'd make fun of a child's spelling. Yes, that cruel comment concerning David was not needed, obviously the Harrodian is not the school for you if you think that that comment made you look superior or funny in this debate. No, it made you look patronizing and mean as I don't think David really appreciated having you mock him. As I said the Harrodian obviously isn't the school for you, but I'd like to know why you hate it so much or why you're an expert on the subject. I don't think it's any of my business but I'm just interested. When my Mum saw what you'd written she was shocked by how harsh you were about the school and she was angry when she saw just how down-right mean you'd been about David. Anyway I love the school and my siblings love it also. We have all flourished academically and socially in the Harrodian and it's great school with none other like it in London. Thank you, Sophie Steyn.

rosie11 Fri 22-May-09 14:59:57

How amazing to see that all the positve comments about the Harrodian School come from either children who are at the school or their parents. All the negative comments are purely based on hear say. Not one person who is actually connected with the school has anything bad to say. I have been around the school and as a teacher with 10 years experience and a mother with less experience I think it is a wonderful school and I will move heaven and earth to try to get my children in.

The petty chit chat of the local mums who clearly no nothing about the school is rather pathetic to read.

MrsGuyOfGisbourne Fri 22-May-09 16:00:51

I definitely agree that you need to hear from poepl actually connected. My son goes to anotehr local independent and initially we were put off applying because of negatitivity locally from people with no connection to it... When we actaully met parents, teachers and children at the school it bore no resemblace to the 'received ideas'

kgoatley Fri 27-Nov-09 12:42:18

I'd just like to clarify my earlier post. Whilst I'm thrilled I sent my son to Lowther, The Harrodian, in its own way, was a brilliant school. I loved teaching there and I adored the kids I taught. I loved the fact that lunch time was spent sitting WITH pupils and not "at a teacher's table," apart from the students. It has its' faults but then, what school doesn't.
What I'm trying to say is, whilst I knew it wasn't right for MY son - that doesn't mean it won't be for others'.
I have nothing but the fondest of memories of The Harrodian and btw...David Urban...I remember whwn you started....don't let the nasty comments get to you. I remember you as a lovely, curly-haired, mischievous little imp. Hope you still are!

HectorCrean Thu 01-Jul-10 23:01:58

While reading the comments of others on this page, I feel faintly sick to see whining complaints of a few people who i get the impression like to boast about the fact that their child goes to Malborough. I would like to convey to everyone what a fantastic experience i have had at the school.

I have been at the Harrodian for the past 8 years and i would undoubtedly say it was the best starting school i could have dreamed for. Leaving the school will be a very sad moment and i will miss everyone very much.

The atmosphere of the school is undoubtedly a place that allows oneself to flourish in whatever discipline that one wants to venture into. It promotes individuality, and the ethos of the school creates a extremely friendly atmosphere. I have never experienced bullying at this school and indeed i believe it is a school that creates well balanced people who are full of confidence as they leave school.

The Harrodian has somewhat gained a reputation of taking in people who could not get into other schools. I must inform you that this is not the case. Indeed there are many extremely bright people in the Harrodian-in my year, 100% of people getting into the school they wanted at 13 plus. the admitance is not based on marks but on the quality of the person-anyone can be crammed to get into a school-allowing a truly unique situation. A situation where a diverse society is formed. Furthermore, I must point out the fact that schools such as St Paul and Westminster only achieve their good reputations due to the number of very bright people at the schools. Thus the teaching is not better, only the fact that the schools have more academic students. However, the Harrodian is very intelligent as well, teaching people to be able to communicate better with different people. indeed when The Harrodin performed a debate against collet court, the Colletains were not confident at speaking to girls and introducing themselves to more people. This leads me onto my final point. Both debates were won by the Harrodian by a clear margin. you may think that students at this school are, like double cream (as collet court people say), rich, white and thick, but all of the students are kind and indeed bright, a student i know recieving the best scholarship into Saint Pauls.

so if you want your child to be well balanced, confindent, intelligent yet individual and most importantly happy, i am sure you will know where you chold must go.

ampere Fri 02-Jul-10 08:55:10

Blimey- don't think I've ever seen one school get such a MN treatment! What with half the pupils weighing in as well!

SqueezyDiva Sat 10-Jul-10 14:42:10

Message withdrawn

SignoraLola Wed 21-Jul-10 17:45:21

My son has been at the Harrodian for many years now.

The bad side.

In the beginning I found the pre-prep far too exacting e.g. in year 1 his teacher wanted to keep him in 3 lunchtimes a week to improve his handwriting. I refused. Another year - he underwent bullying which the class teacher did not see and refused to recognise when pointed out to her. After that a new teacher gave him a ridiculouly hard time over something which was not his fault. All of these teachers left within the year as they did not fit in. Proper anti-bullying procedures have been set up now.

The owner does appear to be driven by money.

The celebs are not a problem. The most annoying parents are the snotty Barnes non-working mums who live to score points off each other!

The good side.

The Headmaster, J. Hooke, does appear to be genuinely passionate about producing a happy and productive atmosphere. Unfortunately, his hands sometimes appear to be tied by the fact that the owner has the last say.

In recent years, the teaching quality does appear to have improved immensely.

My son loves the place.

They cater well for children with mild learning difficulties.

They also are very good with children who get stressed by school.

There are very many normal people who struggle to pay the fees.

There are loads of children from other countries which gives the school a great international flavour.

The reason that there is swimming only in summer and autumn is because the pool is outdoors.

I am a teacher who has worked in some of the top schools including one frequently mentioned in the above posts.

deaddei Thu 22-Jul-10 12:23:36

And what about the gorgeous head?????

nicola1234 Mon 04-Oct-10 22:02:53

I can't comment on the school, but it took guts for Davidddd to post his message (knowing that he would be an easy target for someone to shoot down) so hats off to him.

wabesaro Sat 20-Aug-11 13:23:31

Just stumbled upon this whilst looking for the Harrodian's term dates and am vaguely amused! To all you nittering Mummies out there, this is your children's lives! How academic their school is will NOT necessarily mean they make anything of their lives. I have friends from state schools who have been extremely successful and others who went to Eton and struggle to put bread on the table. Are you looking to elevate yourselves or educate your children, because their are many ways to skin this cat...I for one wouldn't change The Harrodian for any other school. In fact it was always been my first choice!

JaneH99 Tue 23-Aug-11 13:14:29

Well there is something you may also wish to consider as it can happen at any school, but it is the way it is dealt with that separates a good school from the rest.

In November 2001 a teacher was discreetly arrested from the class he was taking at the Harrodian. Following this he pleaded guilty at Aylesbury Crown Court in April 2004 to charges of child abuse committed at another school.

One of the victims of this teacher tried to make contact with the Harrodian having been informed by friends who had children at the school, of the explanation given by it for the teacher's sudden departure. This is explained in the BAFTA award winning documentary Chosen which is available online by following the link provided.

The subject is challenging but the documentary received critical acclaim, and great praise from experts in the field. The Harrodian was invited by the production company to reply to Alastair's comments made in the film about his attempt to speak with the head master. It did so through its lawyers. In light of the Alastair's story told throughout this extraordinary documentary, the reply is most interesting. It is for you to reach your own conclusions.

wabesaro Mon 29-Aug-11 22:45:32

I have just watched this documentary - thank you very much for directing me to it - and found it most devastating. I can say, however, that I see the impossible situation in which the innocent institution (in this occassion The Harrodian) at which the offender was working is placed. As each of the men in this amazing documantary agreed, EVERY school will wish to distance themselves from this blight on their name. What choice do they have? After all, they will have been as amazed as anyone else to hear of it. There are many paedophiles out there and the most successful of them are never caught. No school would willingly set them on our children, and I pray that opportunity knocks less and less as our society talks more about it. Are our children ever safe? No. What would have made me lose faith in the school would have to have been their knowledge of this Carson's past, or their hiding of abuse at their own school. But to distance themselves from him is understandable don't you think?

NorfolkNChance Wed 31-Aug-11 19:32:11

A former colleague of mine is starting at Harrodian this September and if he is the usual kind of teacher they employ then the teaching side must be superb.

wabesaro Wed 14-Sep-11 08:20:18

All the staff at The Harrodian seem to be superb! Your friend will be in good company...

JaneH99 Sat 31-Mar-12 09:55:54

Wasebaro - another posting comes rushing in.

You seem not to understand an important dynamic of abuse. Perpetrators are like salmon, if one is discovered there are almost inevitably more because perpetrators fulfil their interests much more effectively and safely when they operate in multiples. Unsurprisingly this is called shoaling and the documentary demonstrated it very clearly. Of course perpetrators whose interests have not been discovered are very difficult to identify. If a perpetrator is discovered, and the institution attempts to conceal the events, then the remaining perpetrators are empowered by these actions because they know that if they are ever discovered they will also be guaranteed a concealed departure because they have a story of a previously concealed departure to 'blab' if a referral to the LADO or the police is ever considered.

You will therefore appreciate that a concealed (abuse) departure results in a 'perpetrators welcome' sign being hung on the school gates. While the administrators of the institution congratulate themselves that 'no one got to know,' the applications for the vacancy form those with an unhealthy interest in the young increases, thanks to the remaining perpetrators sending vacancy notices to those who share their predilections.

coffeeaddict Sat 31-Mar-12 16:18:17

I don't know the school. But re the 'naff' name, it used to be the sporting club for employees of Harrods.

EdithWeston Sat 31-Mar-12 16:38:19

Zombie thread alert!

But I have never seen so many people connected with a school who "just stumbled" upon a thread in such a short time (back then). A cynic might say it was co-ordinated.

FWIW: the school has a high proportion of slebs and the Very Rich. It has been known for quite some time as the place for the affluent whose children were not confident of passing the selection for other schools, and although they were trying to introduce a higher CE pass mark for their 13+ entrants (and be a little more selective all through), they're quite open about lowering the pass mark for a child they want to take.

I never heard anything about bullying; the reputation such as it reached me was that it was good for rich, sporty types who were not after a particularly academic school, and families who were there seem happy with it.

QED Sat 31-Mar-12 16:50:34

I have nothing to do with the Harrodian but reading the thread I was slightly surprised to see two separate posts where people had been "googling the term dates". If I want tp check the term dates for DCs school, I go to the school website rather than randomly googling. But each to his/her own

Xenia Sat 31-Mar-12 17:12:54

Why can't I find it on the FT league table of all A level results in all sectors?

EdithWeston Sat 31-Mar-12 17:20:07

No idea about the FT tables; according to the version published by BBC, in 2011 91% passed at least 3 A levels, with average A/AS points per pupil of 808.4.

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