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Best primary schools in Bishop’s Stortford

Best primary schools in Harpenden

Best primary schools in Radlett

Best primary schools in Rickmansworth

Best primary schools in St Albans

Best primary schools in Welwyn Garden City

Special Educational Needs


Primary schools in Hemel Hempstead, Hertfordshire

Some Hertfordshire primary schools have tiny catchments – little more than a stone’s throw – though by no means all. For an indication as to how realistic a prospect your preferred school is, Hertfordshire County Council should provide you with the furthest distance from school successful applicants have lived in previous years. You’ll often find primary education split between separate infant and junior schools but there’s usually seamless transition between the two at 7 years-old. Our article on primary school admissions will help you pick the right school and guide you through the application process.

Primary schools in Bishop’s Stortford

There are a handful of oversubscribed primary schools in Bishop’s Stortford that excel academically. The most popular by far is Windhill School, a well-led, family-friendly school where pupils’ personal development is taken as seriously as the academics.

To the south of the town is Richard Whittington Primary School – again, known for standout teaching and happy children – although you’ll need to live on the correct side of Thorley Park to get a place. To the north is Northgate Primary School, which has a vibrant, outward looking ethos. To the west, Hillmead Primary School has a community feel, while Manor Fields Primary School has nailed it with their reading programme and fun approach to learning.

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Primary schools in Harpenden

Crabtree Infant School and Crabtree Junior School are local favourites. But when there are Mumsnet discussion threads on which roads are risky to move to in order to get in, it’s a sure sign you have to practically live within touching distance of the school to be sure of a place. Wood End School is also highly regarded, and again catchment is small. High Beeches Primary School and Roundwood Primary School are considered other good all-rounders.

The Grove Infant School and The Grove Junior School are known for sport, and St Nicholas VA Primary School for being little and nurturing. For an excellent Catholic primary school, St Dominic Catholic Primary School is top dog.

Best state secondary schools in Harpenden

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Primary schools in Radlett

Money is flowing in Radlett, with many parents opting for private schools from the off. But there are two notable state primaries - Newberries Primary School, a great all-rounder that doesn’t slouch on the academics, and, in the religious camp, St John’s Infant School, a happy, friendly school where pupils progress on to Fair Field Junior School. Even parents who are all primed to send their offspring to a prep are torn when they get an offer from one of these schools.

Best state secondary schools in Radlett

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Primary schools in Rickmansworth

The most popular options are Harvey Road Primary SchoolMalvern Way Infant and Nursery School (where most progress on to Little Green Junior School) and St Peter’s CofE Primary School. Choice will most likely come down to which is closest. St John Catholic Primary School is a first-rate Catholic school.

Up the road in Chorleywood, there are three primary schools but as all are popular, catchments are small. Chorleywood Primary School is known for its caring, family-friendly vibe, while Christ Church Chorleywood CofE School has the edge on location (views over the common), as well as its Christian ethos, and The Russell School is all about the Sats.

Best state secondary schools in Rickmansworth

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Primary schools in St Albans

St Albans is a big city with a population of nearly 150,000 and no shortage of excellent primary schools. Among them is Oakwood Primary School, a large school known for dynamic leadership and stretching of pupils, including the most able. Ditto for the smaller Fleetville Infant School and Fleetville Junior SchoolSkyswood Primary and Nursery School is even more popular, with over two applicants per place and a tiny catchment, while St Peter’s School has always had a good reputation for turning out hardworking, emotionally resilient children.

While not always oversubscribed, Maple Primary School has lovely grounds and is well-equipped, while Bernard’s Heath Infant and Nursery School and Bernard’s Heath Junior School have a refreshing focus on lifelong skills and positive mental health from the off.

Good schools with faith related admissions criteria are St Bernadette Catholic Primary School and St Alban and St Stephen Catholic School.

Best state secondary schools in St Albans

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Primary schools in Welwyn Garden City

The two primaries on the west side of the city are perceived as the best by locals - Applecroft School is known for being kind and supportive, with academic rigour, while Templewood School is a one-form entry school based in a Grade 2 listed building. The latest Ofsted report says it ‘requires improvement’ but happy parents continue to vote with their feet. The most popular primary on the east side is Panshanger School, whose standout leadership ensures a tight focus on growing children’s confidence.

Among faith schools, Welwyn St Mary’s CofE Primary School is a three-form entry school that’s popular with families in surrounding villages – no need for proof of religion unless you live out of catchment. The Holy Family Catholic Family School is the favourite Catholic option, with most pupils going on to The Saint John Henry Newman Catholic School in Stevenage. Priority at both is given to Catholic children.

Best state secondary schools in Welwyn Garden City

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State primary schools for children with special educational needs in Hertfordshire

SEND education options and admissions are covered on the Hertfordshire County Council website.

Colnbrook School in Watford is a special state school for pupils aged 4 to 11 with autism, learning difficulties and speech and language needs. There are also some great all-through special schools in this part of the county including Heathlands School in St Albans, which caters for children aged 3-16 with a hearing impairment. Locals attend as day pupils, but there’s also residential provision for those living further afield. Accommodating boys and girls aged 7-16 with autism, moderate learning difficulty, speech, language and communication difficulties and specific learning difficulty is St Luke’s School in St Albans – their big message is that learning is fun. Meanwhile, The Collett School in Hemel Hempstead is ‘proudly different’ in the way it works with children aged 4-16 with learning disabilities including autism, speech, language and communication needs and modern learning disabilities.

In the east of the county, Middleton School is an excellent primary school for children with autism, moderate learning difficulty and speech, language and communication difficulties. There are also two highly regarded all-through special schools: Lonsdale School in Stevenage, for 3-18-year-olds with complex needs and neurological conditions, and Amwell View School in Ware. The latter has grown in recent years to over 150 children aged 2-19 with severe and complex learning difficulties.

Mainstream primary schools that do well in supporting children with SEN include Hillmead Primary School in Bishop’s Stortford, Maple Primary School in St Albans and Sauncey Wood Primary School in Harpenden. The latter has a speech and language base providing additional support for children in years 3-6 who are identified as having speech and language needs - and a brilliant SEND section on their website too. 

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