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Austen class loved their Science morning learning about magnetism. We carried out 10 investigations which looked at magnetic poles, strength of the magnetic field, which materials are magnetic/non-magnetic and how to turn a steel rod into a magnet


More magnetism magic...


More magnetism magic...


Magnetism workshop - year six and year three scientists buddying up to answer their magnetism questions about magnetic poles, magnetic fields and magnet strength


Amazing Design Technologists in Year 4 Austen class! Today they were set the challenge to make an A5 piece of card stable for their prototype of a photo frame. I was really impressed at their creativity and range or original ideas.


Super straddle jumps in year six gymnastics


Tuck jump Tuesday for year six


Beautiful wintery cross country


Who likes magic? Who can thinks we can defy gravity? In Austen class we saw an experiment that got an egg into a conical flask upside-down! We learned that nature likes to equalise air pressure.


How do you strengthen and join paper? As part of our DT learning in Austen class, we have been experimenting with how to make paper structures more stable. We have managed to make paper stronger using layering, twisting, rolling and folding.


Austen class LOVED making their own pop rockets to start their learning about Forces. We also finished the lesson with a good old tug of war using Magdeburg Spheres!


Year six science launching rockets to kick off their forces topic and developing their data recording skills.


New Year, New Topic, fun start to inspire Hansel and Gretel sweethouse writing.


We are back!! Happy new year to you all. Please remember to bring back PE Kits and reading books as these will be needed. We hope you have rested and are raring to get to grips with 2020.


KS2 Party in full swing! The children are showing off their dancing talents with 'Just Dance'!


In Elmer class this half term , we have been learning how to do running stitch and over stitch. We then used our new skills to create stocking decorations for our tree. We then used buttons and felt shapes to decorate them according to our designs.


Potter Class learning the 12 days of Christmas with Miss Harragin


Year 6 have loved having a special Mini Police treat today with a visit from the Police Search dogs. Thank you!


Quick turn around - our KS2 children enjoying their Xmas lunch! Silver elfy service by our staff.


We are pulling crackers, wearing our hats, popping our party poppers and delving into our party boxes for goodies!


Dinner is served: Reception and KS1 Xmas dinner looks delicious!


Thank you Mr Collett for the donation of festive packs for the children: table cloths, crackers, party boxes and an elf hat each! Our little elves are shrieking with joy!


Xmas Dinner Day! We are ready!


Fantastic final cross country of 2019 with the traditional trip to Simmonds! So proud of the children’s progress in stamina, speed and resilience this term.


Final Christmas elf!


Year six Christmas elves wrapping up gifts for children living in care this Christmas.


Sasha and Jasmine's cloud time lapse above the Harpenden Academy roof top.


Max's pineapple time lapse, very impressive!


Time lapse art work from Inka and Charlotte during our Creative Friday session! Well done girls!


Skittle science


Skittle science


Creative Friday science paiting our Volcanoes.


This morning our children went out and spoke to drivers who had stopped outside our school illegally. The children gave them letters telling them about the impact it has on us. Thank you for a great Mini Police unit!


Year 6 musicians created their own songs at the end of our ukulele unit. Well done Year 6, you are very talented!


The naughty EYFS elf Fred forgot to move around the classroom as he should, might be due to 3 nativity’s and a school trip. Hopefully this will make up for it?!


Waiting to meet Father Christmas 🎄


Year six have been making Christmas decorations for our classroom as their home learning and this beautiful embroidery is our favourite so far!


Year six unwrap today’s book advent!


Creative Friday baking group loved making chocolate chip muffins this afternoon!


Lucian's basketball caveman!

Family Groups


Every member of the Harpenden Academy community, students and staff, as well as being in their own class and year group, belongs to a Family Group.  The Family Groups, Amber, Diamond, Emerald and Sapphire, are all named after precious stones as we believe the children are the jewel in our crown.

News and Views

We value the voice of all children here at Harpenden Academy.  Each fortnight, children meet up in their family groups – Amber, Diamond, Emerald, Ruby and Sapphire. Year 6 will lead a themed discussion, which maybe about current global, local or school based issues. A circle game opens each session, after which the theme is introduced and children share views and opinions – giving each child an opportunity to contribute their thoughts and ideas.

A reflection closes the session. 

During Friday assembly, an overview of the discussion is shared.  Children’s views are taken into consideration as part of decision making relating to school development.

Where the discussion has been related to this, actions to be taken in response to any points raised by the children are shared and displayed on the ‘News and Views’ board in the school hall.

Area of SMSC covered: 

Spiritual: Explore beliefs and experience; respect faiths, feelings and values; enjoy learning about oneself, others and the surrounding world; use imagination and creativity; reflect.
Moral: Recognise right and wrong; respect the law; understand consequences; investigate moral and ethical issues; offer reasoned views and have an appreciation of British Values.

Social: Investigate and moral issues; appreciate diverse viewpoints; participate, volunteer and cooperate; resolve conflict; engage with the fundamental values of British democracy.

Cultural: Appreciate cultural influences; appreciate the role of Britain's parliamentary system; participate in culture opportunities; understand, accept, respect and celebrate diversity.

British Values

  • Democracy
  • The rule of law
  • Individual liberty
  • Mutual respect
  • Tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs

Our Learning in Wordles, September 2019

Today in News and Views we focused on what learning was like at Harpenden Academy. The children had a intellectually stimulating discussion surrounding this subject and then Year 6 led a small group discussion, using the British value of democracy to vote for their groups top 3 words and explain why. 

Here are some examples of how the children feel about their learning:

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British Values in our Family Groups, June 2019

On Tuesday during our News and Views sessions, the Year 6 children ran presentations and activities that they'd created about the British Values for the children in their Family Group. They were extremely organised, professional and   engaged their audience brilliantly.

"The Year Six children led beautifully and engaged the children in articulate conversations about the British Values. The highlight was definitely the democratic vote on which song to have a dance break to!" Mrs Johnston.

"I loved doing some drama in Emerald family group. We were put in groups and each given one of the British Values and we had to act it out. It was lots of fun and really got us thinking!" Evie, Year 3.

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News & VIews, Family Groups, Mental Well-being Workshops, May 2019

What a wonderful afternoon we’re having in Family Groups with Year 6 children leading mental health & emotional well-being sessions across school. Year 6 planned their sessions to support younger children wth ideas from telling jokes to mindfulness. So proud of each and every Year 6 child.

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Mh3  Mh2 Mh1

Computer Day, February 2019

Diamond Group

In our Computing session we became online music composers.  'Isle of tune' is described as 'a music sequencer for the modern colonial'.  The children created musical journeys from street layouts.  The roadside elements become the instruments and the cars are the players. As the cars drive down the street they play the 'instruments' they pass to create a melody.  The children could layer the music if they wished by using more than one street and car and make the map as complex as they wanted to.  If you want to have a try at home visit  

Isle of tune

Isle of tunepng 2

Ruby Group

We had a blast in our Green Screen workshop for Computing Day!

We worked in small groups to create an exciting image that took us to far away places. 

First of all we had to choose a background image, then we took a photo of our group doing a pose whilst standing on and in front of the green screen fabric (this is a really important part of getting the overall effect). Once we had these two images we used the Green Screen App to combine the two and create a photo where we became part of that scene - the results were really something!

Take a look at some of our pictures to see just how fabulous they look.

"This was the best activity, I love putting myself in places I've never been before!"

"I really liked posing like a superhero and being able to fly through the sky"

"I thought it was really funny to get eaten by an animal!"


Amber Group

Amber family group completed a QR code hunt based on ambitious vocabulary linked with love!!

(our value and it was Valentines day)

The children discovered the below words and then found the definition and  cracked the code to find the hidden word!!!

I'm sure you already know what these words mean, but I did not! I'm sending them round so you can encourage the children to use them. 

Venust - beautiful Afflated - to inpire
Incandescent - passionate/emotional Toothsome - handsome
Nonpareil - to have no match Nurture - to nourish with love
Enamour - filled with love Effulgent- shining brightly/radiant
Sanguine - optimistic  Lepid - pleasant


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Sapphire Group

Children created charts on the popularity of certain categories in five love related areas. These areas were: love songs, love stories, love synonyms, love actions and love symbols. Children worked in mixed age groups to create tally charts.

Children then added their data to excel and used a formula to calculate the total number of votes. Children then turned their data into different charts and graphs. The activity involved children working in close groups and utilising each others computing skills.  

What is a thunk? January 2019

Each family group was given a morally questionable scenario to debate linked with our monthly value – honesty. 

What is a thunk?

Thunk n. 1. a beguiling question about everyday things that stops you in your tracks and helps you start to look at the world in a whole new light. 2. covers most areas of human existence including truth, justice, reality, beliefs, the natural world, the human condition, art, beauty, existence, right and wrong, good and bad, life and death, war, religion, love, friendship and whether Marmite™ tastes nice. 

The thunks were:

  • If you go into a shop and read a magazine but don't pay for it, is it stealing?
  • Is it OK if you tell a lie in order to not hurt a persons feelings? (diamond)
  • If you find a £20 note on the floor is it alright to keep it?
  • If you brake something but nobody saw you, and you know if will cause upset, should you own up?
  • If you steal my pen and I steal yours in return am I a thief too? Am I the same as you? Does it work for all crimes?
  • The children were all so creative and engaged, using their critical thinking skills and were able to debate numerous view points to each thunk.


Christmas Design & Technology in our Family Groups, December 2018

Diamond Family Group

We had a very festive afternoon on Tuesday working as a team to make a beautiful Gingerbread house.  It was lovely to see the children working together to produce doors, windows, sweets and decorations.  I was particularly impressed with the kindness that the children all showed each other.  Tuesday's kindness advent was  'offer to help someone who is facing difficulties', and I can whole-heartedly say that every child demonstrated this during the activity.  A delightful afternoon spent with children from every single year group.  Go team Diamond!

Spiritual: Explore beliefs and experience; respect faiths, feelings and values; enjoy learning about oneself, others and the surrounding world; use imagination and creativity; reflect.

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Playground Rules, November 2018

The Children identified their own strategies and processes to help address undesirable behaviour at the end of lunchtimes and break times. A marked improvement has been noted by SLT, staff and children.

Social: Investigate and moral issues; appreciate diverse viewpoints; participate, volunteer and cooperate; resolve conflict; engage with the fundamental values of British democracy.

Playground Playground zones

International Playground Games, October 2018

The children were taught a range of different games from around the world, as part of international week. The children have been using these games at break and lunch.

Cultural: Appreciate cultural influences; appreciate the role of Britain's parliamentary system; participate in culture opportunities; understand, accept, respect and celebrate diversity.

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What is it like to be a student at Harpenden Academy? September 2018

The children highlighted that they would like to spend more time on their favourite subjects which they named as topic, computing, music and P.E – Teachers have altered the timetable so these subjects can be taught for longer in the mornings.  

Spiritual: Explore beliefs and experience; respect faiths, feelings and values; enjoy learning about oneself, others and the surrounding world; use imagination and creativity; reflect.

Harpenden academy pupil forum pic 
Please click on the powerpoint slide to see the results of our pupil forum
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