Harvington Prep School

(23 Posts)
gerifiadis Sun 12-May-13 23:47:09

Hello everyone,
I'm in the painful process of trying to pick a school for the 1-year old twin girls. We live in Ealing and I have to admit that we are spoilt by choice in this part of the country.
I have recently visited Harvington Prep School and I liked what I saw (small school, personal approach with kids that seemed to be loved but also hard working and disciplined). The question is: is this the best school for the girls in the area? The one thing that I find strange is that in the public forums people talk a lot about the other bigger public schools in Ealing (Clifton Lodge, Heathfiled, Falcons). Harvington is not even listed in the list of independent school on netmums.
Is there something wrong with the school or it is Ealing's best kept secret?
If anyone could provide any insight on Harvington or other recommended independent schools in Ealing would be great.
Thank you all,
YE

AnnaBelleCake Sun 20-Oct-13 09:52:41

Hiya, I was just looking on their website and, like you, I thought it looked excellent. I'm looking for schools for my one year old too so would love to compare notes. I've registered her for Notting Hill and Ealing so far but I wanted to put her down for some other schools too - especially one's that she can attend from 2/3 years if possible.

Lonecatwithkitten Sun 20-Oct-13 10:26:15

I'm not in your area so can not comment on the indivudual schools. However, as a parent who has a few years in the system I can tell you that there is never any one 'best' school. There is the school which is best for you and your family. Later on it is entirely possible that actually your twins might need different things leading to different schools.

worrymerchant Fri 10-Jan-14 18:12:28

Came across your post for another reason - probably of no use to you now but might help someone else who looks at this thread!

My DD goes to Harvington Prep - it has only been a prep school for a couple of years (prior to this it went from nursery to 16 and admittedly, did not do well in this - hence perhaps does not enjoy the best reputation) - however, the decision to change it to a dedicated prep school has recouped impressive results. The girls are mixed ability but have secured places (including scholarships) to top London schools including SPGS, G&L, Francis Holland, Queens College etc etc as well as local independent schools such as St Benedicts etc. The staff are devoted and because classes are small, your dd will get amazingly individual attention tailored to her needs. Above all this, however, is the pastoral care and social development of the girls. This is a school that was founded on principles of fostering courtesy, respect and good manners. I have yet to see another school that cultivates the same loving and nurturing atmosphere. I cannot fault it.

LocalEalingMum1 Fri 17-Jan-14 17:01:56

When it was time to make a choice in schools, I made the assumption that because it was a small school they would not have the facilities that the larger schools in the area could offer.
I contacted the headmistresses and told her that I was rethinking my plans she invited me down to the school to have a look around. I was greeted with a lovely friendly atmosphere, smiling children who looked very comfortable in the school. Teachers spent time with us to find out what it was that we were looking for from a school and showed us that Harvington can compete on a par with the larger schools but they have the added advantage of smaller classes which in turn means that more one to one teaching time can be spent with the pupils. I really cannot fault the school in any way and they are well supported by the community, the parents and loved by the pupils.

HoneyandRum Sat 18-Jan-14 21:21:25

The last two posts seem a bit suspicious to me. Both saying they "cannot fault" this school. Posted a week apart at similar times of day. Hmmm....

worrymerchant Sat 25-Jan-14 11:36:45

HoneyandRum, FYI I have no idea who the other poster is. I am just a mum who is happy with DD's school. Get a life.

EalingMum25 Wed 01-Oct-14 12:48:08

My daughter used to attend this school and from my opinion its not very good at all. In my opinion, the teachers are not helpful at all and do not see the potential in a child unless they are a 'favourite'. My DD hated the school and felt she was not allowed to express herself in anyway, her confidence dropped to an all time low and we decided to remove her, she is thriving at her new school. I feel the money we spent on school fees here were wasted. I would not recommend this school at all.

SSKEaling Thu 09-Oct-14 13:00:20

EalingMum35, where have yous ent your daughter? I am doing the rounds and there is no school that i think fantastic at the moment.
Thanks

EalingMum25 Mon 13-Oct-14 17:15:23

She goes to Notting Hill & Ealing which is just a bit further up the road. DD is much happier and is really doing well. I spoke to a friend who still has her DD at Harvington Prep and things are just the same, still no support unless your child is well liked by the teachers. My daughter is still upset when she thinks about her time there. Good luck with your search.

Rustybell23 Mon 13-Oct-14 21:03:15

I am a parent at Harvington Prep and also an active member of their Parents Association and I am very surprised at the negativity of your experience given the absence of ANY other comments of this form. I'm not sure what 'express herself' means, but I do know that the intimacy of the school allows pupils the freedom to develop as individuals, in a manner that blends the traditional and the progressive. Given the small classroom sizes pupils enjoy the benefit of one-on-one teacher attention. We are very happy.

EalingMum25 Wed 15-Oct-14 09:46:55

Rustybell23, I am pleased to hear you are very happy at the school, unfortunately our experience was not the same and my DD had been at the school for 4 years before we moved her. I still see some of the parents and they are still have the same complaints as before. We were very keen for my DD to learn French as we often holiday there, we left having used the same book for almost 3 year (Expo level 1) my DD is now on level 6 and I hear HPS is still on level 1!
I just wanted to give my opinion based on my experience of the school. I would never recommend it, being a smaller school you would expect more of a one to one with teachers etc but this was not our experience with all the teachers.

thebeezkneez Sun 18-Jan-15 11:24:47

I'm genuinely surprised by your comments about NH v Harvington, my experience could not have been more different. The only thing i agree with you on is the french teaching which is superior at NH but they fell short on just about everything else. Many of the teachers at NH are young and inexperienced, they are under so much pressure to achieve results that they do not have the time to get to know the children as individuals. They had their favourites and the rest may as well not have been there, in fact after several years they could still have been talking about anyone at parents evening. The junior school is commonly referred to as boot camp because the pastoral care is non-existant and it is insanely over competitive to the detriment of the children; their confidence and relationships. I've always thought of my children's education as a partnership between school and parent, working together to achieve a common goal but this certainly wasn't the case at NH.
In sharp contrast at Harvington the best interest of the child was always at the centre of everything and the teachers and Head were ruthlessly fair in the treatment of the children. Individuality is positively celebrated and the teachers couldn't do enough for the children, they were always available and happy to meet with parents. It is a real shame that small schools like Harvington that invest so much into their pupils often lose them along the way to the bigger schools, but they must be doing something right after 125 years because they are non-selective and their pupils continue to pass the tests necessary to get into NH et al.
We stayed the course at Harvington and my daughter left a confident, well rounded young lady. The experienced staff were able to expertly advise us on the right senior schools for her and she was completely prepared for what was to come. She has taken it all in her stride and she is happy and thriving. I will be eternally grateful to Harvington and recommend it without reservation.

Givemeabreakimtryingmybest Tue 20-Jan-15 10:39:48

I really like Harvington School - lovely feel, pastoral care and small classes but have to agree that the French teacher is rubbish! Also, I have heard from some leavers' parents that the advice on next steps is given too late (start of Y6 rather than in Y5) and is not personalised enough - can anyone confirm if this is the case please? Also, is it true that the only testing done is Bond papers (ie no actual mocks as per the Consortium papers)?? I am hoping I am mistaken and have nothing to worry about!

RubyRed12 Thu 12-Feb-15 11:18:09

I have a daughter currently at Harvington Prep and to be honest we're not very happy. I don't want to go into too much detail just in case my review makes it difficult for her at school. I agree about the French lessons, she is learning nothing and we have invested in a tutor to make up for the lack learning anything from the school. Parents evenings are not very productive, you get 10 minutes and with a few teachers and they don't really have anything constructive to say. I did ask the PE teacher once why the school were only giving one PE lesson a week when we read so much about how children should be active for at least an hour a day, her reply was I don't get paid to do anymore.
In my daughter's school year, the mum's get together quite often for a coffee / evening meal and some think the school is OK and some are not happy but keep quiet.

Newrole Tue 17-Feb-15 14:45:58

I am really interested in this thread. I am thinking of sending my daughter to Harvington. She did not get through the assessment in Nothing Hill & Ealing. I liked Harvington but I don't know too many parents in Ealing to find out the reputation of the school. There are some mixed reviews in this thread. Help please! If not Harvington, then what other schools can I consider?

Roper74 Tue 03-Mar-15 15:30:14

Hi I have a daughter at the school and whilst there are sometimes issues, I haven't yet met a school that hasn't got them! Harvington is a small school but that is what you are paying for. Our daughter has always felt very safe and secure there. She is treated as an individual and her needs are catered for rather than being part of a big machine. If I need to see the teacher I can and they always have time to discuss her progress and run through test papers etc which I didn't get at other schools. The decision probably needs to be whether you think your daughter would benefit from being in a small school.

Newrole Tue 03-Mar-15 22:36:47

Thank you Roper74. It is a difficult decision. I suppose I have to trust my instincts.
Your comments do sound encouraging. Even I would like my daughter to feel safe, secure and happy when she goes to school. I suppose it does not matter if it is a big or a small school at this stage of their life. Reading some of the comments above did make me have second thoughts about the school. However, I may end up trusting my instincts and sending her to Harvington. I hope it works out for my daughter.

AnotherNewt Tue 03-Mar-15 22:58:19

A lot of this stuff (availability of teachers to parents, small classes, one-on-one teaching when required) is absolutely bog standard for decent London preps.

All this guff about 'loving' and 'intimacy' would personally make me run a mile.

Big schools are not 'a machine' and can usually offer a much greater range of co-curricular activities, plus more sports teams etc. Not always top of your list when looking at preprep, but increasingly important in the later prep years. And big schools can also offer small class sizes and good pastoral care.

strangehillhigh4ever Thu 05-Mar-15 13:23:17

This is an interesting thread. I have 2 girls - one at Notting Hill & 1 at Harvington. I'm very happy with both schools and feel that each one has suited each child. I've found Harvington has helped my daughter develop into a confident girl and I'm happy with her progress. Having spent 4 years there so far I think that Harvington has helped her realise her potential. They are able to stretch the more able girls without leaving others behind which pleasantly surprised me. Teachers have always been approachable and helpful in my experience. The girls seem to me to be happy and the year groups mix together well in the playground. The reports I've had have seemed to accurately reflect my daughter's personality and abilities. Having said that, my other daughter is very happy at Notting Hill. Perhaps I've been lucky, but each school seems to have been a good fit with each daughter's personality. Of course results are important, and Harvington does get them. The downside of NH is that they don't teach the girls to pass exams to other senior schools. The best you can do is visit each school and bear your daughter's temperament in mind when finally deciding so that they are happy to go to school each morning. BTW the 10 minutes at Parents Evening is standard across all the schools I've heard of. If you need more time, make an extra appointment at another time.

OldHarvingtonian Tue 12-May-15 15:19:50

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

mumofhappykids41 Thu 10-Mar-16 20:57:31

My daughters have been going to Harvington Prep School in Ealing for the past five years and I must say we had nothing but great experiences in this wonderful school: from an excellent pastoral care, to great academic results and a lovely community spirit.
I am quite annoyed and surprised by some of the earlier comments and I would like to ask you to please remember that every child is different !!!

mumofhappykids41 Thu 10-Mar-16 21:14:21

My daughters have been going to Harvington Prep School for the past five years, I must say that during this time we had nothing but great experiences in this wonderful school: from an excellent pastoral care, to great academic results and a lovely community of parents, carers and teachers.
I am quite annoyed and surprised by some of the earlier comments and I would like to ask you to please remember that every child is different!!!

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