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  • The Lea Primary School and Nursery
    Moorland Road
    Harpenden
    Hertfordshire
    AL5 4LE
  • Head: Mrs Sharon Swinson
  • T 01582 767939
  • F 01582 462 945
  • E head@lea-pri.herts.sch.uk
  • W www.lea-pri.herts.sch.uk
  • A mainstream state school for pupils aged from 3 to 11
  • Boarding: No
  • Local authority: Hertfordshire
  • Pupils: 211
  • Religion: Does not apply
  • Current Ofsted grade: Good on 7th December 2012
  • Previous Ofsted grade: Satisfactory on 19th January 2010
  • Ofsted report: View the Ofsted report

What the parents say...

IMPORTANT NOTE - The comment below was submitted by the school - it may be the view of a parent or of the school. WE CANNOT GUARANTEE IMPARTIALITY. The Lea Primary's reputation has suffered from the quality of the company it keeps - many Harpenden schools are judged excellent, and with some wobbles some years ago, it's found the anxiety generated by a less-than-outstanding Ofsted inspection hard to shift. But our experience has shown that not only is this a school which can satisfactorily support young children, but it's very likely a school who's considerable strengths shine brightly among its peers, if only you stop to observe them. We moved into the area and arrived at the Lea with one child approaching the end of their primary education, the other near the beginning. To start at the beginning, we've found the Lea to foster an exemplary environment where uncertain children in nursery and Reception round out to be really happy, relaxed people. They are really enthusiastic about their learning, and confident participants in the school. It's striking that in this small school, even 4 and 5 year-olds know all the teachers and feel confident talking with them, and find supportive and thoughtful friends and mentors among the older children. I want my child to do well as much as the next parent, and at this age, I'm convinced that taking pleasure in going to school is fundamental to unlocking results. We've had experience of two other primaries, and I think the Lea's ability to handpick teachers and assistants who love teaching their particular year groups and according every child a role and recognition in the school is pretty special. All well and good, but does it pay? So to the child who was in the Lea's hands in years 5 and 6. This child was capable and had most recently benefited from a year with a teacher at a previous school who had very high expectations. Some parents seem to get really wound up about results - we just wanted to feel our child had enjoyed a good balance between a sense of achievement and being challenged, and the results would follow. We also hoped for a good experience of learning methods and resilience in tackling new problems - secondary school will be tougher - and to maintain the curiosity and playfulness children bring to learning when they are confident. The head of year 6 duly stepped up. Like everyone in the year, our child benefited from close attention to the support needs of different groups, including dedicated preparation for the re-appearance of the advanced Level 6 in this year's SATs. If you look for the Lea's results in this respect, you'll find a third of children achieved the Level 6 - a proportion you'll find hard to match. No coaching, no hot-housing, no stress, no drama, and no less attention on all the other aspects of school life. Just well-organised teaching, well-executed. But perhaps the more revealing observation of this summer past was that I learned a great deal more about every child in Year 6 as they performed the annual play - a contemporary spin on A Midsummer Night's Dream. Not because they performed their parts effectively - they did, with aplomb. But because the casting was so brilliant that each role seemed to amplify every child's personality. To me, that was the outstanding achievement. In each leaver, I could see a mature young person ready to take on everything the next step in their educational careers and social lives was about to throw at them. So visit The Lea Primary armed with reports, and data, and questions. But go - that's what I say. I hope you too will feel you find a combination of professionalism and a home-from-home that can propel your child forward and meet your aspirations. I still occasionally encounter a parent who won't check out their local school, and I can only laugh - their slightly crazed paranoia blinds them to a school I and many others would recommend by choice, among stiff competition. And that all-important Ofsted approval? I know how it can gnaw away at even the most confident parent. But I'd put money on the Lea garnering rave reviews at its next inspection. Get there before the rush.

Commented on 10th Sep 2012

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