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PostPosted: Tue Dec 27, 2011 10:23 pm 

Joined: Wed Mar 04, 2009 2:01 pm
Posts: 6570
Location: Herts
Taking entrance exams out of the picture, the Top Ten Primary schools by applications list is a less skewed one.

1. Maple Primary St Albans 7.67 applications for each place.
2. Monksmead Borehamwood 7.5
3. HIgh Beeches Harpenden 7.2
4. Abel Smith Hertford 7.17
5. Aboyn Lodge St Albans 7.12
6. Boxmoor Hemel Hempsted 7.12 (tie)
7. Manland Harpenden 7.07
8. Harvey Road Croxley Green 6.5
9. St John's Lemsford 6.33
10. Mill Mead Hertford 6.22

I would be interested to know which secondary schools children who tread these hallowed halls end up at. Anyone know anyone who goes to these schools? I do know St John's Lemsford which only takes 15 children each year which explains how it gets in the list. Most of the girls from this school end up at the local girls school Bishops in Hatfield and many of the boys go to the local C of E Townsend in St Albans. Most of the children are in the catchment area for Dame Alice Owen's but I only know of one child who has ever applied. They are a very tight communiity who like doing things together, so there is not much interest in schools outside the local area. The Harpenden schools have the delightful choice of three fab schools, St Georges, Roundwood Park and Sir John Lawes, the St Albans ones have Beaumont and Sandringham, Staggs and Verulam. The Hertford ones have Presdales, Richard Hale and Simon Balle. Harvey Road Croxley Green has the Watford consortium. I would be interested to know where the children from Monkmead Borehamwood go. The school is in the catchment area of Dame Alice Owen's so you would assume that the students would be able to apply. I just met a family from this school who just moved to Haroenden to get into St Georges rather than stay local and gamble on one of 65 places at Dame Alice Owen's or deal with the alternative which is Hertsmere. I am interested to know what Monksmead is doing so right to get into second place in a list dominated by Hertford, Harpenden and St Albans. DG

PostPosted: Wed Dec 28, 2011 8:40 am 

Joined: Tue Jun 02, 2009 9:28 pm
Posts: 2439
I grew up in Harpenden. Some of the schools on that list would not have been top in my day!

I think there re a number of reaons why Harpenden schools ranked so highly, both junior and senior.

1) Harpenden has good commuter links to London, so convenient place to live.
2) Pretty looking area
3) harpenden's parents are wealthy ( have you seen the house prices!) and this demographic tends to take an interest intheir children's education, produce more intelligent children,( possibly because have more interest in them), support the schools more, support outside clubs more etc
4) A good reputation can be a self fulfilling prophecy. Ie good school has good children, interested parents which maintains its status, plus people think its 'the ' school to get into so maintains this image also.
5) good schools attract good teachers, have better resources etc
6) Harpenden is bordered by Luton and Dunstable which has average schools, so geographically the options are reduced.

A lot of these points can be made to any popular areas, and not just Harpenden.

Forgot to add, the senior schools produce good academic results, as a result of all of the above?

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