Private prep school awarded top spot

PUBLISHED: 16:37 19 November 2008 | UPDATED: 13:46 06 May 2010

A PREP school with fees of more than £9,000 a year has just been named top of its kind. St Albans High School for Girls prep school which is located in Wheathampstead has just been named Independent Preparatory School of the Year by the Sunday Times. In

A PREP school with fees of more than £9,000 a year has just been named top of its kind.

St Albans High School for Girls prep school which is located in Wheathampstead has just been named Independent Preparatory School of the Year by the Sunday Times.

In addition St Peter's Primary School in Cottonmill Lane, St Albans, has appeared in the top 50 state primary schools in the same publication.

It came in at joint 27th place out of 17,000 state primary schools and head teacher Michael Connell said: "We have a super bunch of children here and we all set ourselves high standards."

The school recently received a glowing Ofsted report to add to its record of success.

The Sunday Times 2008 Parent Power league tables ranked St Albans High School's prep school in Codicote Road as the fourth best in the country based on its exam results. But the judges gave the school the top award because of its rapid improvement and praised not only its focus on the three Rs but its commitment to sports, drama and the arts.

School head Sue Dunkerley, who admitted to cracking open a bottle of bubbly with her staff to celebrate, said: "I want children to love to come to school every day. If children are happy then they can thrive and flourish.

"This is a team effort. We have a shared vision here with a dedicated group of teachers and supportive parents and governors."

So confident is the school of its academic achievement that it has taken the decision to ditch external SATS for its 11-year olds. From next year girls will only sit the senior school entrance exam for the High School, the usual destination for the vast majority of pupils.

This means that next year is the last year the school will be included in the Sunday Times league tables.

In the same table, St Hilda's Prep School in Harpenden occupies 44th place, up from 76th last year.

In the independent secondary school category, St Albans High School for Girls in Townsend Drive has been named as the 33rd best independent secondary school.

And St Albans School comes in at number 66 in the top 100 independent secondary schools.

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