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Harpenden Free School

(11 Posts)
londonkids Thu 20-Nov-14 16:25:39

We are moving to Harpenden and looked at the Harpenden Free School. We were really impressed with the school, children and new Head, but it doesn't get a very good ofsted when the previous Head was in charge. I wondered what locals or current pupils thought of the school?

CruCru Sat 29-Nov-14 20:59:52

Bumping. A friend was one of the parents who set it up. I don't live in Harpenden though.

Kari1 Sat 06-Dec-14 23:40:04

Hi, we arg also moving to Harpenden early next year and are going to look at this school. It's hard to find feedback from parents or any up to date commentary so would love to her from a parent with a child there. It looks like a wonderful concept.

londonkids Thu 22-Jan-15 18:10:32

I'm back just trying to find any other info....would love to hear from someone who has children there or knows someone who has children there. Thank you

PseudoBadger Thu 22-Jan-15 23:32:53

My friend has just moved there and has sent her 6 year old there. He loves it. They come from a private that was far too restrictive for him, he was then home schooled for a term until they could move. She says he's finally enjoying school.

stanya Fri 23-Jan-15 12:46:50

I'm also moving to Harpenden from London and would love some more information on the Free School. Sounds great but would love a local view on it.

londonkids Sun 25-Jan-15 20:52:13

Thank you, I'll be keeping an eye out for its new Ofsted report.

CruCru Mon 26-Jan-15 19:55:56

Have you been to visit it? It's quite hard to decide how you feel about a school without having seen it.

londonkids Wed 11-Feb-15 14:59:05

I have been to visit it and liked it, but it will move to a new building in September and some things like swimming and using another school's playing fields were in discussion but not yet confirmed, but it doesn't get a very good Ofsted so I was interested to hear from anyone who has first hand experience ....thank you

stanya Thu 12-Feb-15 11:52:33

I felt the Head really addressed all my concerns about the Ofsted report when I met her. The Parent Survey results were very positive too. I think it seems like a lovely school.

Fastingandfurious Tue 14-Jul-15 16:16:20

I'm a parent at Harpenden Free School (soon to be renamed Harpenden Academy), posting to give anyone looking for more info on HFS an insight into the school.

It is a fairly new-ish school trying to do something innovative and a bit different to most community schools and yet being inspected by OFSTED and operating in a system designed for your average school. With that backdrop, I would say the school took a little while to find its feet but current year one and reception are now getting the best of the Free School and it will only continue to improve from here. The new head is fantastic, they have a great leadership team and we absolutely love the school.

Current reception children are doing brilliantly academically and socially, they are, in the main, incredibly happy and thoroughly enjoy school. The older year groups are very diverse because not one single child in year 3 or 4 has been with the school since it started - those kids would have been reception age before the school opened so they have moved in over the course of the last 3 years because of relocations, or unhappiness at other schools, change to finances etc (leaving private). That presents a huge challenge for the school and some parents of the eldest children worry about progress. There are many who are delighted with it though and place a lot of emphasis on how happy their children are.

Overall I would sum up the school as being a very happy place, and if children are happy and engaged, they will thrive on opportunities to discover and learn.

It is also a pretty nice school as a parent - more diverse than usual because of the admissions criteria. There's a lot to be said for a parent body where you don't all live within five streets of each other!

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