When it comes to relocating, prioritising your children’s education ranks high on the list of considerations for many families. Navigating the maze of school options can be daunting, especially in a new area.

We’ve curated a comprehensive list of top schools to assist parents contemplating a move to Harpenden. We use Ofsted ratings to highlight the defining characteristics of each school, in alphabetical order.

Understanding Ofsted Ratings

Ofsted ratings stem from thorough inspections conducted in schools. While schools are typically aware of upcoming inspections, they receive no advance notice, ensuring inspectors obtain an accurate assessment of various aspects of a school’s performance.

Following these inspections, schools are assigned one of four grades:

  • Outstanding
  • Good
  • Requires improvement
  • Inadequate

Currently, there are 9 Outstanding schools and 7 Good schools in Harpenden. There are no schools that are considered to require improvement or are inadequate in the town according to Ofsted, so if you move to Harpenden you can be sure your children will get a good education.


In Ofsted reports, schools rated as ‘outstanding’ in overall effectiveness often evade regular inspections, granting them a span of up to ten years without reevaluation. However, if there’s any indication of performance deterioration or the emergence of risks, such as safeguarding issues, a thorough inspection may be triggered. Presently, Harpenden boasts 9 schools holding the prestigious ‘Outstanding’ rating.

Crabtree Infants and Junior School

At Crabtree School, students embody the principles of ‘G.R.I.T.’—growth, resilience, independence, and teamwork—threaded throughout its ethos. They demonstrate resilience in overcoming challenges, eagerly embracing leadership roles to enhance their school community. Whether as diversity leaders, play leaders, or peer mediators, students actively contribute to fostering citizenship. Their exemplary behaviour and positive learning attitudes shine through in various talents shared, from music to sports to language teaching.

The ‘hive’ provides emotional support, complemented by the presence of Bodhi, the beloved school dog. With adults’ high expectations, students excel academically, acquiring comprehensive knowledge across disciplines, ensuring a well-rounded education by Year 6.

High Beeches Primary School

At High Beeches Primary School, pupils immerse themselves in a new value every half term, currently focusing on happiness. Their joyful demeanour permeates the school day, reflecting their profound sense of safety and love for learning and play. Upholding a familial ambience, students excel academically and behaviorally, embodying politeness and friendliness.

With staff setting high expectations, pupils diligently engage in lessons, displaying remarkable concentration from early years onward. They eagerly embrace leadership opportunities, fostering resilience and responsibility. Enriching experiences like trips and workshops augment classroom learning, while robust support for social and emotional skills, including the ‘comfort club’ and time with Bess, the school dog, further enhance their well-being.

Roundwood Park School

Roundwood Park School embodies a culture of flourishing, providing a top-notch education for pupils, including those in the sixth form. Students consistently meet leaders’ high expectations across academics, personal growth, and conduct, fostering a happy and safe community.

The inclusive curriculum engages all, including those with special educational needs and/or disabilities, while the ‘ASPIRE’ program instils self-belief and resilience. Exceptional experiences abound, from diverse clubs and trips to community service initiatives, enriching pupils’ perspectives. Their exemplary behaviour reflects a culture of acceptance and equality, with mutual respect evident in interactions with peers and staff alike.

Sir John Lawes School

Life at Sir John Lawes School embodies ‘A.C.E’—Achievement, Care, and Excellence—integral to every facet of school life. Pupils are scholars, leaders, and mentors, expressing overwhelming positivity about their school community. Their exceptional experiences include diverse clubs, trips, and community service, enriching their lives profoundly. The curriculum, meticulously designed, fosters robust knowledge and skill development, inspiring diligence and high-quality output.

Students exhibit genuine care, standing up against poor behaviour and displaying empathy towards others. Articulate and confident, they contribute actively to discussions, while rare instances of bullying are promptly addressed. Upholding positive manners and behaviour, pupils thrive in an environment shaped by well-established expectations and a focus on learning.

St Dominic Catholic Primary School

Pupils radiate pride in St Dominic’s, finding solace in its nurturing and serene atmosphere. Their enthusiasm for learning fuels remarkable achievements, particularly in core subjects. Embedded within the school’s fabric are its values, manifested through monthly themes like kindness. Older students serve as exemplary role models, inspiring younger peers to emulate positive behaviours.

Conduct throughout the school is marked by tranquillity and politeness, reflecting a deep-rooted culture of respect. Strong interpersonal bonds, cherished by pupils and teachers alike, enhance the school experience. Diverse extracurricular activities, including a popular chess club, and enriching trips contribute to holistic development, fostering independence and resilience through memorable encounters with inspirational figures.

St George’s School

Children flourish at St George’s School, thriving under the nurturing care provided by dedicated staff. Strong, respectful relationships between children and staff foster a happy, polite atmosphere.

Equality and diversity are championed, empowering children to challenge discrimination confidently. Exemplary behaviour reflects a culture of kindness and respect.

Families attest to the transformative impact of the school experience. Exceptional role models guide children to explore diverse opportunities, from sports to academics. Individualised support ensures academic success, while a focus on health promotes overall well-being.

The boarding environment is meticulously maintained, providing a sense of pride and belonging. It has been noted that boarding enhances students’ personal growth, fostering independence and social integration. The staff’s genuine care and commitment create a familial atmosphere, fostering success in all aspects of children’s lives.

The Grove Infant and Nursery School

Pupils at The Grove Infant and Nursery School exude happiness and eagerness for learning, actively engaging in all subjects with enthusiasm. They receive compassionate treatment from staff, fostering a sense of safety and trust within the school community. Students confidently express any concerns they may have, knowing they will be listened to and supported.

The curriculum is diverse and interconnected, encouraging students to make meaningful connections and engage in insightful discussions across various topics. Their preparedness for future learning is evident as they articulate their knowledge effectively, demonstrating a solid foundation for junior school.

High expectations set by staff promote exceptional behaviour and a calm, focused atmosphere even during indoor playtime. Students enthusiastically participate in a range of extracurricular activities, discovering their interests and embracing their uniqueness with joyous camaraderie.

Wood End School

At Wood End School, the motto “learning together, respecting each other” is more than words—it’s a way of life for pupils and staff alike.

Students here receive an outstanding education, showing remarkable motivation, diligence, and a genuine passion for learning. Their achievements are exceptional across the curriculum, fostering confidence and competence.

Exemplary behaviour ensures uninterrupted learning, with students contributing actively and courteously to lessons. The school provides diverse and enriching experiences, nurturing talents and interests to an exceptional standard.

Respect and tolerance form the bedrock of school life, evident in students’ eagerness to learn from others and engage in cultural workshops. Regular emphasis on British values equips pupils superbly for the complexities of modern society.


Harpenden boasts 7 schools rated as ‘Good’ by Ofsted. Typically, providers with a ‘Good’ rating undergo inspection within five years after their previous evaluation. While these inspections are usually brief, if concerns arise regarding declining performance, a more comprehensive assessment may be conducted. Such instances could prompt a closer examination to ensure an accurate evaluation of overall provider performance.

Harpenden Academy

Harpenden Academy is highly effective in leadership, evident in its clear improvement trajectory towards secure ‘good’ status. The curriculum is robust and tailored to meet current pupils’ needs, particularly excelling in social and emotional development and mental health support.

Teaching consistently achieves good standards, with staff adept at personalised instruction. Early years provision ensures a strong start, with above-average proportions reaching a good level of development. Safeguarding measures are effective, fostering a safe learning environment. While overall outcomes have notably improved, writing attainment lags behind reading and math, indicating areas for targeted improvement. Despite strong progress across subjects, sustained growth remains a challenge.

Manland Primary School

Manland Primary School is commendable, with leaders fostering staff commitment to their ambitious vision, resulting in ongoing improvement. Governors demonstrate a comprehensive grasp of the school’s strengths and future directions, effectively supporting progress.

Pupils with special educational needs and disabilities receive exceptional care, with their academic and social needs consistently met. On top of this, pupil behaviour reflects a culture of respect and compassion.

Teachers deliver structured curricula, promoting steady student growth and often presenting challenging tasks. Early years provision excels, with clear leadership, effective teaching, and strong student progress.

Roundwood Primary School

At Roundwood Primary School they foster a sense of responsibility in older pupils. In Year 6, pupils have the opportunity to embrace the role of ‘big friendly giants’, epitomising the school’s nurturing ethos. Older students willingly support younger peers, fostering a harmonious environment. Kindness and respect are ingrained in pupil interactions, ensuring inclusivity and a pleasant atmosphere.

Pupils are equipped with strategies for self-regulation. Staff uphold standards of politeness and diligence, fostering a serene learning atmosphere. Students appreciate the challenge of coursework and relish acquiring new knowledge. Parents commend the school’s positive impact on their children, praising leadership’s emphasis on behaviour and educational excellence.

Sauncey Wood Primary School

Sauncey Wood Primary School is a nurturing and supportive environment for pupils and parents. Parents show overwhelming positivity about the school and enjoy the school’s individualised approach and dedication to the staff.

Pupils exhibit politeness, well-mannered behaviour, and a zest for learning, resulting in improved attendance and an enjoyable learning environment. The school addresses priorities such as enhancing writing proficiency and supporting the progress of disadvantaged pupils.

St Nicholas CofE VA Primary School

St. Nicholas radiates joy, boasting polite, friendly students eager to explore. Parents applaud the nurturing yet intellectually stimulating environment.

Pupils cherish the caring community forged by leaders, embodying values like kindness from their early years. Newcomers are warmly welcomed, while mutual respect prevails, keeping bullying at bay with trust in leaders to address any issues.

Classroom conduct is serene, with purposeful learning and lively breaks. Students flourish through diverse opportunities, with older ones serving as school ambassadors. They eagerly join clubs like mindfulness, street dancing, and chess, relishing educational outings like science fairs where they delve into topics like gravity with excitement.

The Grove Junior School

At The Grove, pupils thrive in a nurturing environment characterised by respect and safety. They embrace responsibility as ‘Groverneers,’ embodying the school’s values of Respect, Responsibility, and Resilience.

Encouraging collaboration, pupils support each other academically and socially, fostering warm relationships. Leadership sets high standards for behaviour and learning, fostering independence and pride in achievements.

Bullying is rare, and promptly addressed by attentive teachers, instilling confidence in students. Outside the classroom, pupils support each other, aided by mental health champions. They enthusiastically participate in diverse extracurricular activities, including choir, cookery, and sports clubs, enhancing their overall experience at The Grove.

The Lea Primary School and Nursery

Students excel at The Lea Primary School and Nursery, consistently achieving high standards. They approach learning with enthusiasm and positivity, motivated by the expectations set by adults.

During lessons, students concentrate on their studies, earning team points and tackling ‘destination questions’ with pride. Appreciative of teachers’ efforts to ensure comprehension, students value regular recaps before moving forward. They recognise the genuine care adults have for their success. Exhibiting considerate behaviour, they engage in cooperative play outdoors, adhering to school rules with understanding and respect. Bullying is exceedingly rare, as students trust in the support of adults.

They eagerly anticipate various excursions, including museum visits and trips to London, relishing opportunities like learning to ride bikes in the early years. Enthusiastically participating in extracurricular clubs such as sports, choir, and coding, they actively contribute to community endeavours.

Moving to Harpenden

As you can see, Harpenden has some of the best schools in the local area. So, are you ready to move closer to Harpenden’s top schools? Let our expert Harpenden removals team at Alban Moves make your relocation hassle-free!

Contact us today for a smooth transition to your new home.