Schools in Hitchin: A Parent’s Guide to the Finest Education Options

Tuesday, May 23rd, 2023

Hitchin life: a guide to our best schools

The M A S O N S team love living in the Hitchin area for many reasons – but a great choice of excellent local schools is one of the main reasons why renters choose to live in Hitchin and the local area.

As a letting agent in Hitchin, we help tenants make informed decisions about moving to the area. Many couples and families move to Hitchin (often relocating from London) to benefit from Hertfordshire’s quieter, family-friendly, spacious surroundings.

Therefore, good schooling is often a top priority for the home hunters we support, and Hitchin has many positives to offer here! For landlords investing in a buy-to-let in Hitchin – good local schools are also a plus, as well-located rental properties are always in demand.

If you’re considering renting in Hitchin and you have children … read on, as we’ve summarised some of the best-rated schools in the area.

A little note: We’ve selected schools with a current outstanding Ofsted rating, but we suggest considering when the inspection was conducted and any significant changes that may have happened subsequently – for example, a change of leadership. And, of course, visiting potential schools is the best way to evaluate if a school is a good fit for your child.

Primary education

  • St Andrew’s Church of England Primary School & Nursery was rated outstanding in 2018 and has an ethos inspired by the Christian narrative 1 John 3:18 – “let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth”. This creates a school where responsibility, love towards others, and respect for all cultures and faiths are important.

Children learn in an environment that encourages play and fun, celebrating childhood – with an emphasis on taking risks, trying new things, and achieving success. The Ofsted report states that: “Behaviour is impeccable. Pupils are very polite, well-mannered, and enthusiastic in all they undertake. They want to do well. This attitude contributes to the high standards they achieve.”

The school has a reputation for high academic standards and aims to inspire happy, confident, caring children through the 3Cs of Care, Co-operate and Contribute. In 2009, Ofsted rated the school: outstanding.

P.S. If your child enjoys sports, it’s worth exploring their recent positive competitive successes in football (girls and boys), hockey, cricket, and netball.

An approach to learning that encourages kindness, honesty, thoughtfulness, and resilience underpins the school’s high aspirations for every child. The 2015 Ofsted report highlights that: The headteacher provides outstanding leadership. With the highly effective deputy headteacher, she has established a strong sense of teamwork amongst all the staff and has sustained the high quality of teaching seen in the last inspection. Subject leaders make a valuable contribution to raising standards in the areas they lead.”

  • Kingshott School is an independent school for children aged 3-13. Set on the outskirts of Hitchin, Kingshott has exceptional facilities set in a beautiful 23-acre site which offers ample space for its 400 students.

The school provides a nurturing, caring environment where each child is encouraged to fulfil their full potential. Rated ‘excellent’ by the Independent Schools Inspectorate, the school currently has plans to extend its provision to include GCSEs in 2024, which will take Kingshott students through to age 16.

Other primary schools rated ‘good’ within 3 miles of Hitchin:

Secondary education

With two outstanding local secondary schools, three ‘good’ schools in the local area, and an independent school, Hitchin’s secondary education provision is strong.

Set in attractive buildings, surrounded by playing fields and woodland, the school has invested in specialist teaching areas for Art and Design, Computing, Drama, Food Technology, Graphics and Resistant Materials, Mathematics, Music, PE, Science and Textiles. So, whatever your child’s interests and talents, they will be well supported!

New teaching spaces and facilities for Sport, Science, and Dance have opened in recent years – expanding the school’s capacity. Beyond the curriculum, the school holds a wide range of quality marks, including the Mental Health Kitemark Award, the International School Award, the Arts Award and Investor in Careers.

  • And for boys… there’s Hitchin Boys’ School – again, a single-sex school for students aged 11-18. Founded in the 1630s and rated outstanding in 2016, and 2021, Hitchin Boys’ has a strong academic record, with many students progressing to higher education, including some of the UK’s most prestigious universities.

Ofsted inspectors summarised that: “Pupils enjoy their time at school. They care about each other and get on well with staff and with their peers. Pupils are polite and respectful. They bring to life the Hitchin Boys’ School values of respect, teamwork, and kindness.”

Outside the classroom, the school offers a wide choice of sporting and artistic pursuits and has an emphasis on providing pastoral care to support well-being.

  • At The Priory School, boys and girls learn together in a co-educational setting. With over 1100 on the roll, The Priory is located at the edge of Hitchin in the greenbelt zone, where students enjoy its spacious 27-acre site.

The school was rated good by Ofsted in 2022, and has established a reputation for offering a supportive, inclusive environment, centred around values of responsibility, respect and resilience.

With a wide range of academic and vocational courses, there’s a good breadth of choice, particularly post-GCSE. In addition, a newly opened Sixth Form block offers state-of-the-art study spaces and new teaching areas.

  • Kingshott School (described above) is a leading independent school located just outside Hitchin that currently provides education up to age 13. In 2024 the introduction of GCSEs will extend the current provision from 13 up to age 16.
  • The Highfield School offers secondary education in the neighbouring town of Letchworth Garden City for students up to age 18.

A good Ofsted rating was upheld in 2017, in which inspectors noted, “Pupils are very proud of their school and enjoy learning. They are courteous, articulate young people who happily welcome visitors to their newly built and exceptionally well-maintained school. They talked enthusiastically with inspectors about its friendliness, and the wide range of enrichment activities provided for them.”

This modern school provides excellent facilities and an environment described as ‘calm and purposeful’ and a learning culture of high expectation, challenge, and support.

  • In nearby Letchworth, Fearnhill School was rated good by Ofsted in 2022 (rising from ‘requires improvement’ in 2019). A new Head will lead the Fearnhill team from September 2023 (Tim Spencer, the current Deputy Head).

The Ofsted report reflects, “The school environment is calm and orderly. Pupils who sometimes struggle to manage their behaviour are supported effectively by well-trained staff. Pupils enjoy school. They speak positively about the extra-curricular and enrichment activities that they take part in, such as sports and performing arts. Many pupils are also involved in the ‘Fearnhill Flyers’ programme which partners with Balliol College, Oxford.”

As you can see …

Hitchin town and its immediate locality offer a wide choice of good infant and junior schools. For young families moving to the area, this provides flexibility to explore which school is the best fit.

For parents of older children, two outstanding schools (Hitchin Girls’ and Boys’ Schools) plus three good-rated schools in the wider local area provide a breadth of choice, catering for young people keen to pursue a university route and those with ambitions to enter vocational career pathways.

So, whether you’re considering renting in Hitchin or investing in a buy-to-let in Hitchin or a Hertfordshire village – schooling is a real strength of the local area.

M A S O N S is a leading letting agent in Hitchin, covering rental and buy-to-let properties in Hertfordshire. Founded on award-winning lettings experience, we specialise in property management, buy-to-let in Hitchin, and residential lettings – drop us a line at 01462 557 477 or [email protected]