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Harriet House School
Harriet House School Frilsham, West Berkshire Visit
Harriet House School
75 pupils, ages 12 months - 5 years

Harriet House School

Our View

There’s a great deal that makes Harriet House special – the five acres of idyllic walled garden and how the great outdoors is part of everyday life, the Montessori style of teaching, sustainability and the infectiously positive and inclusive head, Harriet Hathaway, whose internal battery seems powered by her little human charges.

Youngsters can join this term-time educational setting in West Berkshire from the age of one, beginning their journey in Casa Bambini before progressing to the Little House for two- to three-year olds and nursery for the three to fours. Rather brilliantly, there is also an informal Reception provision for children who may need to defer for some or all of the year because they are particularly young, or just need a bit more time to prepare for the challenges of ‘big school’. Parking is a breeze, and the standard day extends to a hugely helpful 7.50am–6pm from Monday to Thursday. This year will also see the trial of a new holiday club throughout July and August.

Montessori teaching means that children learn through their own interests. Around the planned activities on offer, youngsters have a great deal of choice about what they play with – so they tend to be more engaged, which in turn makes for a calmer environment. Harriet House nurtures these individual interests and scaffolds other learning around them, bringing literacy and numeracy into children’s everyday choices. Mrs Hathaway believes that ‘children must find and experience success to know that it’s worth working for’ (indeed, success comes in many forms – it may be as simple as putting on your coat by yourself). Forest school and music form an integral part of the broad curriculum, and there’s a relaxed understanding that ‘it all happens’ – there’s no need to force anything.

The outdoors and sustainability are part and parcel of life here. Recycling is everywhere, and the already-flourishing vegetable boxes and beds are soon to be complemented by a sensory garden and gardening days with parents; picking fresh produce for the on-site chef to use is just one of the benefits of this focus on nature and the world outside. Eventually, Mrs Hathaway hopes to extend the gardening opportunities to senior members of the local community, who can enjoy helping the children and sharing their knowledge.

Harriet House’s emphasis on the whole community really struck us. Its website has a superb parent directory promoting parent businesses, as well as recommending local companies that others would endorse – making life much easier, especially for those new to the area. The head is clear that the school community is there for parents as much as the children, and that bringing people together is vital – reminding parents that ‘if you’re OK, your children will be OK’. Children head on to a mix of local primary and prep schools, brimming with fledgling confidence and able to achieve things that the head routinely finds ‘mind-blowing’. It’s a beautiful place with a broad curriculum and dedicated staff – we were charmed. 


  • Admissions

    Register from
    Parents may register their child from birth.
    Parent visits
    Please call the school to make an appointment to visit.
    Places offered
    Places are offered termly.
    A £50 deposit is required on registering your child.
  • Structure of the day

    Morning Sessions
    Full Days

    School hours are from 8.30am -3.30pm with optional After School Care until 6pm (Monday - Friday) Minimum number of sessions in Casa Bambini and The Little House are 2 per week and in the Nursery 3 per week. Attendance in the Reception Class is full-time.
  • Languages and activities

    Forest School

    Optional activities are taught by specialist teachers and may be booked termly.
  • Facilities

    Harriet House is set within The Walled Garden; the school has sole use of 5 acres of playing fields, playground equipment, a teepee outside classroom and a Sensory Garden in development.
  • Fees

    From £42.00 per session
    From £68.00 per full day
  • Destination Schools

    Leavers head to a variety of local state Primary Schools and local Prep Schools including St Andrews School, Elstree School, Moulsford School, Brockhurst and Marlston House Schools, and Cheam School.
  • Transport links

    Public Transport
    Nearest mainline train station: Newbury or Pangbourne
    Journey time to London by train: 70 minutes

School Updates

  • 10 Questions with Harriet Hathaway, head of Harriet House School

    10 Questions with Harriet Hathaway, head of Harriet House School


The Walled Garden, Frilsham West Berkshire RG18 0XX

01635 200837


ISI Report


Term Dates

Open Days

Open days and how to visit Register for open Day

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