Harrogate primary schools

(5 Posts)
SAO99 Wed 20-Jul-16 09:58:17

Hi all,
I know there have previously been many threads on Harrogate primary schools however they seem to be a little out of date now so I hope no one will mind me posting...

We have recently moved to Harrogate and are currently looking to buy a house. We know the Saints area is good for secondary schools but I am a little confused about the primary options. It seems that Willow Tree Community is the catchment primary however the last few OFSTED reports haven't been so positive. I know these reports shouldn't be totally relied on and I would be interested to hear of people's experience of the school, and if there are others that serve the Saints area as well. Looking at catchment maps on the NYCC website, it doesn't seem to be the case.

I also wonder if students from Willow Tree then go on to the range of secondary schools which all have excellent reputations- St Aidans/John Fisher (if participants of appropriate church), Rossett, or mainly Harrogate High School? In which case, do they struggle to catch up with those coming from other primary schools? I know HGS catchment is extremely small so I am guessing it is very unlikely many from this area attend there.

I know Oatlands, Rossett Acre, St Peters all have good reputations but I just haven't come across any feedback on Willow Tree so any advice/experience would be much appreciated! Thank you in advance!

jackiepars Thu 04-Aug-16 06:28:28

Hi there
I'm not yet in Harrogate but will be moving there in December. from the little research i've done i don't think primary schools are 'linked' to high schools and its purely down to catchment area. So a child from Willow Tree primary school will go onto whatever high school he or she is in catchment for. We are in a similar position and will be buying a house soon but i doubt we'll find something we like (and can afford) that is in HGS catchment area. I've heard good things about Rosset School and the faith schools obviously. I'm not sure catchment area is such a problem for faith schools but demonstration of church attendance is the key. I know thats not much help but thought it might stimulate some more chat for you.

HollyOatlands Tue 04-Oct-16 20:35:52


My son has just started at Oatlands Infants and is very much enjoying it. We were a few streets out of catchment but I think due to the increase of class sizes across the town with all primary schools this year the majority got their first choices for Sept 16 intake.

Faith schools regardless of primary or secondary do take an intake of non-religious children, however, it does help if you are keen to go to a faith school.

I understand many village schools also had good intakes from the towns so don't dismiss looking to the outskirts like Birstwith, Goldsborough, Hampswaite etc.

I think many wait until their kids are older and have made decisions on their own interests as many of the secondary schools will fit certain needs and many take a percentage from out of catchment as well.

I can't really vouch for Willow Tree but I understand their swimming pool is having a complete refurb and will open in January 2017. Oatlands, St Peters, Western, Rossett and Pannal all have a great feel when you visit.

Good luck with your moves!

HarryG8 Tue 04-Oct-16 22:36:30

Holly and SAO99, the faith schools in Harrogate take virtually zero percent non religious children (if by non religious you mean non church-going). The 'catchment areas' for the church schools are extremely large though, based on the diocese. This means that any dc living in the Saints area who has not met the requisite church participation is less likely to get into one of those schools than a dc living 30 miles away who has.

Moral of the story: if you want your child to go to Aidans or Fishers best start praying (literally).

discparkin Sun 23-Oct-16 23:23:08

Not quite true about zero chance of St Aidan's without church attendance - last year there were 23 community places based purely on distance from the school. Previously there have been about a dozen community places - no set number, but always some. There is now a charge for buses to faith schools, so it may be that people are less likely to choose St Aidan's. I don't think that St John Fisher has non-faith places, but have heard that it is worth approaching the school if you really want to go there, but aren't Catholic. However, if you have very young children, there's a chance that the entrance requirements will change before you are at that stage.

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