Hertfordshire Independent Schools directory 2009

Choosing the right independent school can take a lot of thought. Each child is different and each needs to have the right environment for them to thrive. Here independent schools tell you what could make them the right choice for your child

Aldenham SchoolPupils from Aldenham School enjoy a fabulous variety of musical opportunities both inside and outside of school. In April 500 guests were treated to a Spring Concert with a full orchestra. This was followed by a concert at the Barbican when 63 pupils from the prep and the senior school performed.An evening of music held in May raised �10,000 to enable a group of 16 students and teachers to travel to Malawi where they used their skills and enthusiasm to provide hands-on support for the school's charity, Ripple Africa.In the same week as an incredible violin recital at the school by one of the most sought after Japanese soloists, Narimichi Kawabata, the choir travelled to Wadham College Oxford to sing Evensong to a packed chapel. With over 200 individual music lessons to pupils each week by 18 visiting music staff and two full-time teachers plus a teacher of music technology, it is fair to say that music is flourishing at Aldenham.

Berkhamsted SchoolBerkhamsted School has a very strong academic record but maintains a strong commitment to a broader view of education. According to Principal Mark Steed, 'At Berkhamsted we believe that excellent academic results do not have to be won at the expense of the wider attributes of a good education.'Berkhamsted offers all the key components of a traditional independent school education: small class sizes, specialist staff and excellent teaching throughout the school from Stepping Stones all the way to A-level. Alongside this there is an outstanding co-curricular programme that seeks to foster and develop a wide range of interests and hobbies - music, sport, drama, public speaking and adventure training.Berkhamsted School has an innovative 'diamond' structure that combines both single-sex and co-educational teaching. Boys and girls are taught together until the age of 11 (Berkhamsted Prep), separately from 11-16 (Berkhamsted Boys and Berkhamsted Girls), before coming back together again in a joint Sixth Form (Berkhamsted Sixth).

Bishop's Stortford College One of the leading co-educational schools in the country, Bishop's Stortford College is a wonderful place of learning in a beautiful setting. A fabulous new Art Centre is the latest example of how we strive to combine inspirational facilities and resources with strong pastoral support so that we can discover and nurture the individual talents of every pupil. It is the energy and imagination of College staff, and their enthusiasm to go that extra mile, which create the opportunities, experiences and very special atmosphere that our pupils enjoy and add immeasurable value to the education we provide. We are keen for children who are able to meet the entry requirements to be able to join us, irrespective of financial circumstances. As a charitable trust, we can offer help towards fees (up to 100%) on a means-tested basis. For children who show particular talent there are, also, Academic, Music and Art scholarships available at Year 7, Year 9 and Sixth Form entry.

Edge Grove SchoolEdge Grove is a family school, founded in 1935, set in 28 acres of grounds and surrounded by 130 acres of farmland. It is situated 15 miles north-west of London and less than five minutes from the M25 and M1 motorways.The 18th-century buildings are complemented by recently constructed teaching classrooms, including purpose-built science laboratories, two art rooms, two ICT laboratories, a new pre-prep and sports hall. The grounds support extensive gardens, a heated swimming pool, tennis courts, croquet lawns, spinneys and a lake. Edge Grove has been awarded over 60 scholarships to senior schools over the last four years.Edge Grove has a happy, caring environment and one in which girls and boys can enjoy the process of growing up in beautiful safe surroundings. The headmaster, his family and many of the staff live on the campus, giving rise to a close-knit community where strong pastoral care, good manners and respect for others are of paramount importance.

Haberdashers' Aske's Boys' SchoolThe Haberdashers' Aske's Boys' School offers an energetic and enthusiastic learning environment. We produce confident and self-motivated young men who are fully prepared for the challenges of the future. We are known for our academic excellence. We admit the brightest boys, and at every stage of their development our curriculum is expressly designed to keep them involved, stimulated and eager to learn.Our boys can choose from an astounding range of extracurricular activities. From the more traditional sports to the most innovative clubs and societies, an exhausting array of opportunities is available. Our facilities are modern and purpose-built for contemporary needs and requirements.But what makes Habs truly special - what sets it apart from any of its competitors - is its strong and supportive multicultural community. At Habs, boys make friends with boys from the most extraordinary range of backgrounds and cultures, and at Habs they learn to respect and value each other for their diversity and difference.

Haberdashers' Aske's School for GirlsHaberdashers' Aske's School for Girls is committed to providing a challenging, positive, stimulating and secure community in which the pursuit of excellence, intellectual curiosity and initiative all flourish.The school's priority is the education of the whole person, amongst other bright, well-motivated girls, taught by a highly qualified, committed staff. The school aims to provide every girl with the intellectual, cultural, physical, moral, personal and spiritual resources she needs to give her confidence to go forward into a changing world.The school gives pupils experience in linguistic, mathematical, scientific, technological, human and social, physical and aesthetic and creative education, appropriate for their ages and aptitudes.A wide range of extra-curricular activities are provided within the school. Sport, music, drama, art and debating thrive and there are many opportunities for leadership, charity and community service.A coach service with over 110 pick-up points, shared with the Boys' School next door, brings pupils to school from a 30-mile radius.

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HaileyburyHaileybury is a co-educational boarding and day school, situated 20 miles north of London and 30 miles south of Cambridge in rural Hertfordshire. Set in spacious grounds and enjoying unrivalled facilities, Haileybury combines traditional values with a progressive outlook, aiming to provide the very best all-round education for 11 to 18-year-olds. Renowned for its community spirit and vibrant atmosphere, Haileybury offers a wide-ranging, high quality experience which caters for pupils' intellectual, physical and aesthetic needs.Haileybury has a flourishing academic reputation, offering both the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme and A Levels.

Heath Mount SchoolHidden away on a 40-acre estate just on the outskirts of Hertford, Heath Mount has been described as 'Hertfordshire's best kept secret'. However, this year Heath Mount's pupils certainly have not kept their talents hidden and have had plenty to celebrate.Seventeen Year 8 pupils have won scholarship awards to senior schools - equalling the record set in 1999. All of the leavers achieved excellent results in the entrance examinations to senior schools such as Bedford School, Bishop's Stortford College, Brighton College, Felsted, Haberdashers' Aske's, Haileybury, Kingham Hill, Oundle, Rugby, St Albans Boys, Stowe, The Leys, and Winchester. Throughout the year pupils have had a marvellous track record on the sports field and in national art and music competitions. Most recently, the school's jazz band took part in the National Festival of Music for Youth in Birmingham and is now eagerly waiting to hear if they have been selected to play at the Schools Prom at the Royal Albert Hall later this year.

Lochinver House SchoolIt has been another successful year of charity fundraising at Lochinver House. Following presentations made in a special assembly, all the pupils from Year 3 upwards chose Water Aid, The Animal Care Trust, Brain Tumour UK and the Hornsey Trust, a centre for children with Cerebral Palsy, as their chosen charities.Throughout the year the whole school community enjoyed taking part in events such as the Head Boy's weekly Tuck Shop, Mufti Days, sponsored Times Tables, Poetry Recitation and Nursery Rhymes in the Pre-Prep Department and a sponsored Cyclathon at the Gosling velodrome, to name a few. Together with generous donations at concerts and other occasions a total of �20,000 was raised. Cheques were presented to representatives of the four Charities at Founders' Day Assembly.A magnificent total of over �23,000 was raised as Years 3 and 4 carried out a sponsored Readathon in aid of CLIC Sargent, and the British Legion Poppy Appeal and Red Nose Day were also supported.

Lockers Park SchoolAt Lockers Park we have been educating boys to the highest standards for over 130 years. We are unashamedly a boys' school, where we give boys the chance to achieve great results as well as taking part in sports and activities every day. Art and Music are very popular, and each year boys achieve many scholarships to the top day and boarding schools in the UK.How do we do this? We are a small, friendly school with a family atmosphere. That means we can find and develop the individual gifts and talents of every boy - as well as helping him learn the other skills he will need to succeed in life.'In all, a boarding prep that has hit on a winning formula of security, activity and motivation designed to prepare boys to continue with confidence and success to major public schools' - The Good Schools Guide

The Mount SchoolThe Mount School is a long established GSA independent day school for girls. Our girls gain an excellent well rounded, continuous education from 4 to 18 years, in a friendly, caring environment. Located in the leafy suburb of Mill Hill village, The Mount School enjoys a tranquil location with generous, secure grounds. This wonderful space is ideal for a variety of sports, outdoor lessons and providing a peaceful setting to relax and unwind at break times. Our main house is a beautiful Grade II listed building. We also have purpose built new facilities including our science block and our Art/DT block.The nurturing environment ensures girls flourish and feel happy and confident throughout their school life. Girls leave The Mount having achieved academically, but more importantly with a strong sense of identity, a feeling of independence and a true pride in themselves, that stands them all in good stead for the rest of their lives.Northwood CollegeNorthwood College is an academic school for girls with two very special features at its heart: our unique Thinking Skills Programme enables girls to develop independent and creative thinking that takes them far beyond an exam curriculum. Our unrivalled pastoral care, meanwhile, rests on the premise that a happy girl will always achieve her best. Put the two together and you have a school that buzzes with life, where pupils achieve outstanding results.The Thinking Skills Programme is integrated into the curriculum and runs from Nursery up to the Sixth Form. It teaches the girls to understand the way they learn. Over the years, they build up their reasoning skills, improve their creativity and acquire strategies for tackling complex problems and decisions.We enjoy showing parents and girls around Northwood College. You can see our lovely site, experience the atmosphere and watch our girls and teachers work together and bring learning to life.

Queenswood SchoolQueenswood enjoys the benefits of being located in 120 acres of tranquil countryside only 25 minutes north of London. We provide excellent opportunities in a happy and safe environment for about 420 boarders and day girls aged 11-18. Our new bus routes make it even easier to access the school.Our academic record is consistently high although we are not a hot-house. The girls enjoy a broad, balanced and challenging education. Established as a girls' boarding school in the late 1980s, pastoral care is a real strength of the school. Girls live and study in a happy and friendly environment where every girl feels supported by caring and experienced staff.A multi-use education centre, award-winning theatre, fine arts and music centre and contemporary library are within easy reach on our purpose-built campus. There is excellent sports provision with a modern swimming pool, 27 tennis courts, aerobics room and much more.

Royal Masonic School'It is far harder to measure what we truly value than simply value what we can easily measure.' RMS stands for values that are immeasurable and traditional; our unique ethos means we nurture each girl as an individual with limitless potential. This potential is not measured simply in terms of examination results, but in human terms; we seek to cultivate young women who are confident, balanced, emotionally intelligent and keen to do their personal best. We know we fulfil our mission because RMS girls go on to achieve highly at university and in employment; they are self-motivated and self-disciplined and their inter-personal skills enable them to thrive in the real world. On the 75th anniversary of the school moving to Rickmansworth Park we remain true to our historic mission and continue to educate girls to challenge themselves, not in competition with others but in community with others, so that each individual is empowered to fulfil her highest aspirations.

Sherrardswood SchoolSherrardswood School, founded in 1928, is a small, independent co-educational day school for pupils aged 2 to 18. Our location provides an ideal setting for fostering a secure and happy atmosphere for children to exploit their gifts and develop their potential.We place great emphasis on providing a supportive and caring education environment and pastoral care is a key element of life at Sherrardswood. With small classes throughout, teachers are able to educate, encourage and nurture pupils on an individual level and help in the development of their knowledge, character and personality.We look forward to welcoming you at our Open Day in October. School bus pick-up to a 25-mile radius.

St Helen's SchoolThis year, St Helen's School launched its bid to become an Eco Schools Green Flag School, led by the Action Team which has introduced a number of sustainability initiatives across the school.Initiatives have encouraged everyone to get involved on some level, for example through the Green Classroom Guide which includes turning off lights when not needed, recycling and caring for class plants. Recycling bins mean students actively engage in the recycling process. In the dining room, plastic cup bins have been installed and uneaten food from Little St Helen's is composted in their wormery, whilst waste from the rest of the school is mixed with pig slurry where methane produced is fed back into the national grid.The school's first annual Earth Day is planned for October, when the school will engage in a morning of eco-based lessons followed by an afternoon of activities which draw attention to environmental issues.

St Albans SchoolSt Albans School, with a history stretching back over a thousand years, is not relaxing in its pursuit of excellence, but is actively engaged in further expansion. Academically, the School is placed in the first division of the independent school league tables at both A and GCSE levels and the recent inspection indicated that the educational experience for pupils at St Albans School is 'outstanding.'The school site, with its ancient buildings close to the cathedral, has recently seen the redevelopment of a new Sixth Form area with its own coffee bar. Other developments have been a separate centre for Drama, equipped with the latest theatre technology, and a new interactive language laboratory for the Languages Department.The School's Woollam Playing Fields are sited on the edge of St Albans and provides a 73-acre network of sports facilities for rugby, hockey, cricket, netball and tennis, and a fine pavilion. Looking to the future, a new sports centre and swimming pool are to be constructed on the school site to develop further the opportunities available to pupils.

St Albans High School for GirlsSt Albans High School for Girls has much to be proud of as it embarks on its 121st year. Always renowned for its academic excellence, the School has seen consistently record breaking results with its Primary School in Wheathampstead named Sunday Times Independent Preparatory School of the Year and A level results at grades A or B rising from 87% in 2007 to 93.3% in 2008.However new headmistress Rosemary Martin is quick to point out that the High School is about so much more than the sum of its examination results. 'It is about friendship and support; it is about developing a sense of responsibility to ourselves and to others; it is about ensuring that these bright young minds fulfil the promise of the future.'A visit to the school's website shows the breadth of challenge girls of all ages are ready to embrace. Examples are Year 9 reporters in the BBC School Report initiative being held up as an example of good practice; Year 5 gymnasts sweeping the board at an international gymnastics final; and Sixth Form students' work on show at the Saatchi gallery.

St Columba's CollegeIf you are looking for a school with a positive atmosphere, stimulating learning environment and outstanding pastoral care for your son, then come and visit us at St Columba's College, where each boy is actively encouraged to reach his full potential. Here our boys benefit from having a continuous education from age four to 18 with the seamless transition at each stage of their learning, producing impressive academic results. There are ample opportunities to get involved in a wealth of extra-curricular activities, including music, art, drama, sport and science. All of this contributes to the Columban student receiving an all-rounded education, equipping them to face up to future challenges.You can learn more about St Columba's College from our website. Our open days take place at the beginning of October, or if you prefer, we would be pleased to arrange an individual tour.

St Hilda's SchoolAction-packed is the best way to describe life at St Hilda's. Take last term as an example. It began with an exciting residential trip to France for Year 6, staying at a magnificent chateau in Picardy and practising all the French that they have been learning since Nursery. Then it was off to the Henry Moore Foundation for Year 5, followed by a stay at the Hudnall Park Field Studies Centre where they had great fun carrying out river surveys. Add to the mix outings to St Albans Abbey, Verulamium and Welwyn Baths, Wimpole Hall, minibeast hunting at Rothamstead Research Centre plus a day of Mindlab, linking games to life skills and strategies, an afternoon of Macbeth with a visiting storyteller, a wonderful concert with the Challney Concert Band and a Folk Dance Festival at Hatfield House, and you'll realise that the girls at St Hilda's never stop.

Westbrook Hay Prep SchoolThe computer has become a household item and which child these days cannot 'google' almost before they have stopped gurgling? The Information Revolution has seen access to a staggering volume of sources for children and teachers have to incorporate the skills that children are bringing from home and enhance them with innovative teaching and the use of modern resources.Westbrook Hay Prep School has continued its investment in technology and will open two new IT suites this September. Allied to this development is the opportunity for pupils to develop their IT skills in the classroom, where each room is equipped with an interactive whiteboard and linked to the 100 pc network.With nine scholarships to Public Schools this year, Westbrook Hay Prep School is in the fortunate position of building from strength and will continue to invest in the resources for its teachers and pupils. The new IT suites add to the �2 million lower school facility that was opened last September.

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