About us

Beechwood Park is a co-educational independent prep school providing a high standard of education for children aged rising 3 to 13, located in extensive parkland in the Hertfordshire countryside. The school has its own onsite nursery: Woodlands Nursery which opened in September 2015 in a state of the art, purpose-built building nestling at the edge of the woods.

The most recent review by The Good Schools’ Guide summarises the school as follows; “Going places. With its dynamic new head and, in the words of one happy parent, ‘feel good factor’, Beechwood should definitely be on the list of parents who want the certainty of a quality end destination for their child without compromising the joy of the journey.”

The school is organised into four areas; Woodlands Nursery, Junior, Middle and Senior departments.  The school is situated on the edge of Markyate village in a delightful parkland setting just 15 minutes drive from Harpenden and 20 minutes from St Albans from whose stations London St Pancras International can be reached (direct) in under 30 minutes.  The school runs an extensive coach service to number of local towns and villages and is located just 5 minutes from Junction 9 of the M1.

Woodlands Nursery prepares pupils for a smooth and stress free transition to Reception, when they join the the Junior department until Year 2. The Middle department is for children from Year 3 to 5. Pupils at the top of the age range (Years 6 to 8) are in the Senior department.  Pupils go on to a range of excellent secondary schools, many with scholarships. There are fantastic sporting facilities including an indoor pool complex, large sports hall and extensive playing fields. A large variety of sports are on offer as well as the traditional ones (rugby, football, hockey, netball, cricket (boys’ and girls’) such as martial arts, fencing, sailing and orienteering.

There are also many opportunities to enjoy drama with annual school productions and performances and also music where there are a number of very popular choirs, ensembles and orchestras. Many children learn a musical instrument. The CS, art and DT departments are very active and the school is lucky enough to have its own pottery room, complete with kiln, in the cellar. Making full use of its stunning surroundings, there is well-established Forest School, complete with a new outdoor classroom.

Flexi-boarding is available from Year 5 and is a very popular option. The boarding house hosts many fun evening events and activities for the children in addition to ensuring that homework and music practice is done.Open Mornings are held each term, and individual visits are also encouraged by appointment. Please see website for details.

Latest news

23 Nov 2022

Beechwood Park Community Plants 415 Trees as Part of the Queen’s Green Canopy

Pupils, staff and parents of Beechwood Park School in Hertfordshire were delighted to take part in the Queen’s Green Canopy initiative by planting in excess of 400 trees in the School grounds.

23 Nov 2022

Beechwood Park Community Plants 415 Trees as Part of the Queen’s Green Canopy

Pupils, staff and parents of Beechwood Park School in Hertfordshire were delighted to take part in the Queen’s Green Canopy initiative by planting in excess of 400 trees donated by The Woodland Trust in the School grounds.

The Queen’s Green Canopy is a nationwide initiative created to mark HM The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee. Originally due to conclude in December, the end of the Jubilee year, the project is now continuing until March 2023, to include the full UK tree planting season which runs from October to March.

The mission for the Queen’s Green Canopy is to create a living legacy with over a million trees planted in Her Majesty’s name which will serve as a lasting tribute to Her Majesty’s extraordinary service to her country and her people. There is an interactive map which showcases the planting projects across the United Kingdom, giving people and organisations an opportunity to be part of this special legacy.

Through The Woodland Trust’s Free Trees for Schools and Communities scheme, Beechwood was the recipient of 415 hazel, cherry, silver birch, dogwood, hawthorn, oak and rowan saplings, to complement our existing woodland. Under the stewardship of Forest School Leader Becky Le Bas, the Beechwood woodland is a much used and much loved resource, being used for weekly outdoor learning sessions for pre prep and prep school pupils, as well as the setting for other subject lessons such as Science, Music and Art. Cross-country running and boarding activities also take place in the woods providing a fantastic setting for both fitness and fun.

On Friday 18 November, the School community - pupils, staff and parents - came together to plant the saplings in designated areas of our woodland. We were delighted to be joined by Dacorum’s Deputy Mayor Alan Johnson and his wife Anne, who got stuck in and helped our planting efforts. They are pictured below with Head Ed Balfour, Forest School Lead Becky Le Bas and Head of School Aidan with Middle Department pupils Serena, Ellie and William.

Forest School Leader Becky Le Bas said “I am absolutely delighted to be a part of such a worthwhile project. Trees provide us with innumerable benefits from their environmental impact to the provision of wildlife habitats. Well-being is another enormous asset given to us by trees; I cannot underestimate how much both staff and pupils alike enjoy the positive impact when they are in the woods. I would like to say a truly heartfelt thank you to everyone who has helped to make this project possible from the parents, staff and pupils who planted the saplings to the people behind the scenes making the event run smoothly. I hope you all enjoy watching these trees flourish and grow whilst you remain a part of the current Beechwood community and as visitors in the future - please do come back and see them!”

Head Ed Balfour said “It was an honour both to welcome the Deputy Mayor and Mayoress, Mr. Alan and Mrs Ann Johnson to Beechwood last week to help the children plant the saplings, and to be part of this wonderful legacy project to commemorate the exemplary reign of our late Queen. I am incredibly proud of our outstanding Outdoor Learning provision at Beechwood, and am immensely grateful to Mrs Le Bas for all the work that she has put into establishing a tree-planting culture at Beechwood for future generations of pupils. With an indigenous deciduous tree as part of our name, we have always been, and will continue to be, committed to outdoor education and Forest School as a key aspect of our learning culture”.

Find out more about Forest School and Outdoor Learning at Beechwood Park here

Find out more about The Queen's Green Canopy here

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21 Nov 2022

Beechwood Fundraising for Keech Hospice Passes £250,000

Beechwood Park School, a leading co-educational prep school in Hertfordshire, has received a Community Fundraising Award from Keech Hospice Care to mark exceeding £250,000 in donations to the charity over the last 24 years of association.

21 Nov 2022

Beechwood Fundraising for Keech Hospice Passes £250,000

Earlier this term, we were delighted to welcome Steve Albon and Louise Pratt from the Keech Hospice Care Community Fundraising Team, to our Middle and Senior Department Assembly, to mark the occasion of the School passing the £250,000 mark in its charity fundraising for this fabulous local charity.

Beechwood has a long association with Keech Hospice Care, having been fundraising for this exceptional local charity since 1998; in fact, Beechwood's first charity fundraising effort actually occurred before the children's hospice had even been built.

Keech Hospice Care provides free, specialist care for adults in Luton and south Bedfordshire, and children from Bedfordshire, Hertfordshire and Milton Keynes living with a life-limiting illness. Staff support adults and children to live pain and symptom free, to spend untroubled time with their family and friends, to understand what’s happening to them, to stay out of hospital and to make the most of the time they have. It takes around £6 million every year, that’s over £17, 000 every day, to provide their specialist care for adults, children, and their loved ones. As a charity, they rely on our supporters for around 70% of funding.

Steve and Louise explained where money raised for the charity goes, giving examples such as helping support families on holidays and days out, providing art and music therapy classes and other sensory activities and a hydrotherapy pool for children and young people and their families.

Over the years, Beechwood has raised funds via a seemingly never ending variety of activities, with the BPSPA, the School's Parents' Association being integral to so many of them; the School and Keech are indebted to BPSPA members past and present for their energy and commitment to raising funds over the years.

Whilst, as Head Ed Balfour explained to pupils in Assembly, we do not undertake charity activities for praise and accoldades, but instead because it is the right thing to do, we are nevertheless thrilled that Beechwood has been recognised by Keech as one of its top Community Fundraising Partners, having, over our 24 years of association, raised in excess of £250,000 for the charity. Beechwood is also the only school to have raised this impressive amount, and, in recognition of this achievement, Steve and Louise presented Mr Balfour and the Beechwood Parents' Association, represented by current Chair Dan Crossley and Secretary Pippa Ridout, with a trophy and certificate.

Beechwood Head of Charities, Mr Wood, said "Listening to the assembly this morning reminded me of the challenge laid down by the Lorax, in Dr. Seuss’ book. I am so humbled that the Beechwood community, unlike the Once-lers, ‘cares a whole awful lot’, for such a long time and so generously. Your support has and will continue to help the children and parents in the amazing Keech Hospice"

Thank you once again to Steve and Louise for visiting Beechwood and for all the amazing care that Keech Hospice provides to local families, and to the entire Beechwood community, both now and in the past, for their unfailing support of this wonderful charity.

Find out more about Keech Hospice Care, and how you can support them, here

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20 Jun 2022

Woodlands Nursery at Beechwood Scoops Nursery Award

In their annual Top 20 Awards, daynurseries.co.uk have awarded Woodlands Nursery at Beechwood Park a Top 20 Nursery in the East of England Award for the second year running.

20 Jun 2022

Woodlands Nursery at Beechwood Scoops Nursery Award

Head of Woodlands Nursery, Shirley Hayman said “We are thrilled to have been named in the Top 20 Nurseries in the East of England for the second year running, and to have the dedication, hard work, passion and commitment of our staff recognised by Daynurseries. Thank you to all our parents who have taken the time to leave such glowing reviews about Woodlands, and for entrusting your children to us”.

Head Ed Balfour added “The Woodlands team is thoroughly deserving of this award; every day they ensure that the youngest members of the Beechwood family have the best day by delivering a varied, creative and innovative curriculum coupled with unrivalled nurture and individual attention. I could not be happier for Shirley and her team. Thank you also to our Woodlands parents, who are endlessly supportive of what Shirley and her team do every day.”

This award comes hot on the heels of Woodlands Nursery being “highly commended” in the “Most Creative Learning Through Play” category of the Muddy Stilettos School Awards.


Staff ensure that every day at Woodlands Nursery is varied and fun, using their extensive experience to deliver a balanced and engaging routine for the the children to enjoy. Each day combines indoor and outdoor play, child-initiated and teacher-directed activities, and sporting and creative exploits, all designed to support pupils’ physical, personal, social, emotional and educational development.

Staff also make the most of our woodland setting and regular Forest School sessions, led by our qualified, experienced and passionate Forest School Leader, help to deepen children’s curiosity, build resilience, and encourage risk-taking in a safe environment.

Members of staff from the main school regularly visit Woodlands during the week – the Head and Deputy Head are frequent visitors, popping in for assemblies or story-times, and members of PE and Music Departments introduce the Woodlanders to specialist lessons.

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