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Whipping It Up with Mrs Ross! Check out our new page on our website. Cook along with Mrs Ross and send us photos of your tasty treats!


We are overwhelmed by the entries for our Lockdown photography competition! Deadline for submission is 8th March at 7pm. Check out the entries on our website


more World Book Day fun!


World Book Day fun today at Harpenden Academy!


World Book Day at Harpenden Academy today! At school and at home


Team Shakespeare World Book Day at home - amazing dress up, reading outdoors and comic strips.


Year six - book charades, live workshops and creating stories in a jar


Year six - Can you guess the book character?


Year six - Can you guess the book character?


Team Shakespeare World Book Day at home: dress your head, build a story den and feedback!


Elmer class are really enjoying World Book Day.


More World Book day fun from Elmer at home. Reading in unusual place, creating books and 'Draw with Rob' becoming an illustrator.


World Book Day costumes in Year 1


Year six investigating the relationship between height and volume as well as type of material of the floor and volume using sound meters


Team Shakespeare celebrating Food Waste Awareness Week with persuasive letters home to parents asking for changes to be made!


Kerr Class taking part in Captain Tom Moore challenge


Year 3 have been taking part in in memory of Sir Captain Tom Moore. We did 100 repetitions of an exercise, starting with 10 laps of the hall each! It was certainly a challenge!


Year 1 looked closely at feathers this afternoon. We discussed layering two different types of media. We chose from charcoal, pencil, oil pastels or water colours. Very impressive results Elmer class!


In Year 1 we are developing our observational skills in Art. We started with a warm up game called 'Blind Drawing'. The children had to have a piece of card over their pencil so they couldn't see what they were drawing. We realised quickly that this made it so much harder!


Year 1 have been enjoying their first session on how to conduct online safe searches. The children used safe search engines to find images of animals. They then used their copying and pasting skills to put them into another document.


Team Shakespeare mixing science and music. Having investigated how different instruments create different pitch sounds, the children made panpipes!


Year six Art therapy session to express out emotions - symbols of happiness


Team Shakespeare performing poetry from the beautiful Lost Words poetry book using excellent expression, emphasis and evocative tones of voice!


Linked to tactical fitness, year 6 delivered a high impact workout designed to work the whole body. Impressively, the children all came up with a broad range of exercises to target different parts of physical fitness.


Year 3 have been making colourful cupcakes linked to our self-esteem story “Gilly the Giraffe”. We practised our icing skills and decorated using sparkly sprinkles!


We are Scientists! Today, in Year 1 we have been learning about things that are alive, were once alive or things that were never alive. As part of this we made our very own fossils!


Year 1 loved creating story stones and creating imaginative stories from images. Well done everyone!


More of Elmer enjoying their 'Power Snuggle' time.


Year 1 have loved our special Story Telling day. It has been a day where the children at home, and at school have shown their true creativity and imagination.


Year 6 have had a phenomenal morning, releasing their imaginations and sense of escapism, during Harpenden Academy’s story-telling day: exploring language to create team stories; improvisation, performance and animation through drama; and a high energy fairytale PE lesson!


Year six scientists exploring how sound travels through different states of matter. Great experiments by our scientists at home too!


Year six Hopes and Dreams PSHE lesson inspired by Amanda Gorman’s inauguration poem: The Hill We Climb


Using Willow, Year 6 design technologists, produced beautiful spiders webs - by using their weaving and creative skills, to produce: a striking, unique and colourful Dreamcatcher.


In Year six we created an outdoor library for our English lesson today - exploring the key features of non chronological reports and their effect on the reader. All feeling grateful for the sunshine!


Kerr class putting their final touches to their tribal/war dances. Excellent teamwork


Team Shakespeare have been extremely active, as part of our ‘Be Active’ challenge, to support not only our physical health but our mental health. We have been focussing on tactical fitness today in particular - high impact exercise, designed to get our whole body working.


Year six DT project - paper plate dream catchers linked to our North America geography topic. Lovely to see the children at home’s wonderful creations too.


More matching moves!


Year six scientists making their own instruments to explore how sound is made. Some excellent definitions using scientific vocabulary such as energy, particles and vibrations.


Year six gymnasts exploring different ways to match their partner - using different heights and directions.

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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 Picture1 Picture5

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.

BV5 BV4 



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.

Mh7 Mh5 Mh4 

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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