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Best school in Harpenden(7 Posts)
Hi everyone. We are thinking of moving out of London to Harpenden or St Albans. Can you recommend, in your experience, which are the best primary school. We are happy with both state or independent but they need to be mixed as we have a boy and a girl.
Thank you so much!!!
This will give you the info on academics and other stats of state schools. What you consider 'best' is another matter depending if you want a big or a small school, particular co-curricular activities or facilities etc
Also, if either child is of school age already, you won't have many options in terms of state schools. You'll get offered whatever is available when you have moved (and have a new local address). In the independent sector, you can ring up to see who's got vacancies and secure appropriate places in advance of the move.
There aren’t any co-Ed independent preps in either town other than The King’s School which doesn’t have an amazing reputation. If you want co-Ed then you end up having to drive at least 20 minutes, more like half an hour. The traffic around St Albans can only be described as a disaster at rush hour.
Sorry, don’t know much about the state schools that way.
A better location for independents in the same sort of areas would be Berkhamsted - then you have Berkhamsted, Chesham Prep, Beechwood Park, Westbrook Hay and (at a push) York House. All state primaries are OFSTED good or outstanding, the comp (Ashlyns) is rated good and you can usually sneak into Chesham Grammar, Aylesbury High and Aylesbury Grammar even though it’s out of county.
My friends are in the middle of a move from St Albans to Berkhamsted because of the traffic and access to prep schools.
A friend moved to Harpenden and has DC at Roundwood Primary. She’s very happy with it and is near a very good secondary, Roundwood Park School, as well.
In terms of independents there is Aldwickbury for boys and St Hilda’s or St Albans High School for Girls Prep. Loads of people have kids at both the boys and one of the girls’ schools so I wouldn’t discount them.
There are also load of Harpenden families at Beechwood which is co-Ed, and there’s a bus from the Hugh Street.
You need to look round the schools to get a feel for what you like. And if your kids are school age already you will have a better chance of getting into the private schools than the state ones.
How old are your kids roughly? Pre- school? Infants or juniors?
St Dominic’s is one of the top performing state schools in harpenden. It’s catholic so if you are catholic’s it’s a great choice. But harpenden is renowned for good schools so I don’t think you can go too wrong. If you’re planning a long term move to a “forever” home ridiculously you need to consider secondaries more than primaries. State secondaries are much desired and houses command a huge price because of it. You should really aim to be within 1Km of a preferred secondary like sir John laws, roundwood or St. George’s. There are some lovely houses in the south of harpenden and surrounding villages but they have struggled with school places. Same with St Albans. Lots of great primaries but people have stronger opinions on the secondaries in the state sector
. My advice would be to take some time to look around, if your children haven’t started school yet then position yourself within 300m ( in some cases) of your preferred school and be prepared to get a slightly smaller house , as you will have paid a pretty penny for catchment. If your children are already in school, you don’t have the luxury of choice for primary so look to secondaries . Or look to the villages for a larger, more romantic house That’s better value if you could afford independent school fees. Watford, Hertford etc also have a good mix
I know children at both Crabtree and Harpenden Academy. I think Crabtree used to have a cut off distance of mere metres (perhaps it still does) but Harpenden Academy children may get priority admission to one of the senior schools.
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