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Meet James Berry, Headteacher at The Lea Primary School


Mum’s guide to Harpenden were recently invited to The Lea Primary School to meet their new headteacher, James Berry, who is very keen to share his vision for the school with Harpenden parents and explain why it will appeal to all prospective parents.

Mr Berry has recently moved up from South London with his wife and 10-month-old to be nearer to family. Having seen the vast amount of outdoor space and resources available at The Lea, met the "amazing teachers" and discovered the huge support offered by the parents, he decided this would be a very positive step up from his previous deputy headship in a city school. He has a very clear vision that every child will achieve their full potential socially, emotionally and academically by the time they move up to secondary school and that each child can have a great outcome and be a success.

Success was a big key word within every aspect of Mr Berry’s vision. To successfully build on the ethos of the school’s motto - Learn Enjoy Achieve - by ensuring a balance between these 3 elements. Maintaining the very nurturing environment that The Lea already promotes whilst successfully pushing for greater depths of learning.  He has a keen interest in understanding how the children learn and to use these findings in making learning accessible for all the pupils. By continuing to be involved in the class teaching as well as a managerial role he feels he will get to know the pupils individually and therefore know what the school needs to continually evolve and be successful. Just this week he was in nursery reading them a story, although he was quick to exit the classroom where they were using glitter in arts and crafts! (To be fair, I have a personal aversion to glitter – or more correctly the clearing up of glitter and we save this fun for Granny’s house.)

Mr Berry was eager to point out how fantastic the support is from the parents and the surrounding community and how the school PTA play a large part to the success of the school. They have raised large sums of money to buy fabulous school equipment, an outdoor classroom and playground facilities – they even have an outdoor gym!

We asked Mr Berry to describe his headteacher style in 3 words and we also asked some of the staff. We couldn’t decide which were our favourite 3 so we’re going with: approachable, driven, enthusiastic, resourceful, collaborative and fiercely competitive with himself to make things happen!

During our tour of the school, and as mums who have done school tours ourselves, it was wonderful to see the children engaged in their lessons. There was a delightfully calm buzz around the school with children busy in their learning and the thing that struck us the most was how happy they all were.

As with all primary schools, prospective parents need to see The Lea Primary School for themselves to see what a great school it is.


An additional open morning and tour for prospective parents has been scheduled for 9th January 2019.  Please call the school office on 01582 767939 to book a place.  

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