What People Say About Us
We get lots of positive comments about our students from members of the public and visitors who write to the Academy of their own accord simply to praise them.
I’m delighted to share some of their comments with you.
Peter Groves, Executive Principal
Comments from parents (updated September 2023).
My son has started in Year 7 and we wanted to express how happy we are with the school. He has settled in quickly. We think this is because he has complete clarity as to the structure of the day. As a result, he has thrown himself into school life thanks to the extra-curricular clubs which were up and running immediately. He has always been quite shy but already we’ve noticed an increase in his confidence - his oracy. We love hearing his stories about his day and his learning. I’m so impressed with how the structure and efficiency of the school is enabling my son. It is also making our lives easier. I am able to contact teachers and staff easily. Information regarding homework and school events is sent quickly. We are so happy that we chose this school!
We can’t believe how lucky we are that our son comes here
My son is going on the Cheltenham horseriding day. I would just like to thank you for including him and organising this trip for the boys. It sounds such a brilliant opportunity. He is so excited that he keeps referring to it. I think these rewards really enhance his life.
Thank you for your support and hard work. We appreciate your outstanding teaching and dedication.
Thanks for all you are doing for my son. I am at peace because I know he is safe and I am pleased to see that you really care about him.
Reaction to being in the top 3% of schools nationally
Reaction from parents to the news that we were in the top 3% of schools for student progress in England and Wales and, for the first time ever, the highest achieving Harris secondary school.
Congratulations to all the hard-working staff and the students. I have shared this information with my sons and my family - very proud of HBAED.
What amazing news regarding the academic achievements of the boys and the school in general.
Huge congratulations on your achievements!
I just wanted to say that I was incredibly impressed with the HBAED Harris Experience students who were on the Cambridge trip yesterday. They were extremely well-mannered and positive and excelled in the debate that they were set.
I wanted to send an email to commend how well your students behaved on the trip to see Romeo and Juliet at the Southwark Playhouse yesterday. They were a credit to your school throughout the performance which so lovely to see. They sat silently throughout the performance and always were engaged with the show.
The last year has been hard for everyone, and certainly our schools are no different. All schools have handled the situation in their own way and with their own constraints. I want to highlight that I think Harris Boys ED has done such a brilliant job. My son started in Year 7 this last September. He was never a boy who liked school very much, and has struggled at times in social situations; he can be quite under-confident and shy. Since September, whether physically present or in a learning from home position, he has been supported in a way that has evidently changed his mind about school.
I receive many calls from his teachers whether it is feedback that tells me he needs to work on something or do better, or just that he’s doing so well. Your parent communication is outstanding. I am informed in real time, and I thank you so much for this. You take time out of your busy days even if it’s just to say he’s doing well. This is of huge benefit to me. Thank you all for your hard work and the support you’ve given my son. I think he wouldn’t have come such a long way if he didn’t have a place at Harris.
Thank you for presenting the zoom meeting [on Autism Awareness] yesterday. As parents, your enthusiasm and the schools approach this week is really appreciated and it is encouraging that both the Year 7 Head and Principal found time to participate.
Virtual Learning - How are we doing?
We're very proud of how teachers and students rose to the challenge of remote learning while the school was closed. We seek feedback (positive and negative) from parents and students and when we receive lovely comments like this it really does lift our spirits. Of course, we can't get everything right so if there is something you are not happy with please email us at email@example.com. We want to know about this too, so please do tell us.
Some nice shout-outs for individual teachers
This time we asked Year 9 Parents for their nominations and so far we have received lots – here is an example of some of the great feedback we are getting. In addition, we had so many collective responses thanking ALL STAFF for the amazing job they are doing, which makes us very proud.
For Mr Grant. "Thank you for being uplifting and positive. Great at explaining maths problems!! Your lessons are very interesting, one of my son’s favourite subjects. You are encouraging and very patient. Also congratulations on your recent teaching award!"
For Mr Pugh. "He works really hard to make the lesson enjoyable and make sure all the students take part. Year 9 English lessons are so engaging. The quizzes keep them on their toes! Keep up the good work."
For Mr Brett. "Thank you, Yr 9 son has loved history this year despite all the disruptions caused by Covid, he has been inspired and now loves history, it’s become his favourite subject ahead of PE which is amazing especially because of his love of sport, so thank you Mr Brett."
For Mr Ryan. "My son says his lessons are really fun!"
For Miss Bee. "She is such a good teacher."
For Miss Koloko/Mr King. "History is good. Lessons are interesting."
For Miss Butler. "For working hard to ensure all students got their vaccinations booster. Such an important role often forgot."
For Mr Hodgson. "He makes the lessons fun and creative. Also he has a good sense of humour. Some of his jokes are funny.
For Mr Hill. "Mr Hill always checks on how we feel first thing before each class. He makes English Lessons under lockdown fun because it's not easy everyone. Thank you for the great pastoral care (telephone calls) during these horrible times. You are doing an amazing job!"
For Miss Villanueva. "She is very nice and very helpful for my son."
For Miss K Price. "For being there for the children and hosting the online Forum for Parents and Carers of SEND Pupils."
For Mr Zaman. "He is very patient and explains everything thoroughly."
For all teachers of 9B1. "They have all showed continued pastoral care and support to Ben during this times. He is enjoying his lessons (although he won't admit to that) despite them being online. The work they are setting, along with the interaction through the chat function has been invaluable to ensure Ben continues to learn in a way that is suitable to him."
Recent comments from parents about our approach to virtural learning.
Organised curriculum, good interaction with teachers. Interesting topics. Thank you to all staff at HBAED for their dedication and hard work.
You have made it very easy for the students to be able to access their work/live lessons and very easy for them to be able to contact schools staff and teachers of each subject if they have any issues, which is great.
The timings are great. The learning is more interactive than in the first round, with my son participating vocally more. I think it’s fantastic that he is following his school timetable. He is fully engaged from start to end. Breaks are perfect too. So much better than other schools I have heard about.
I have a son in Year 10 and I’ve been meaning to write and thank you for the way you have handled what must be a really difficult and challenging time for the school. Your communication has been clear and helpful and not excessive. You’ve handled things in an upbeat, positive and good-humoured way (I loved the Christmas video!), never making political points, and just getting on with things. The principal’s latest update stressing the breakthroughs in science and how the school will press on with testing was exactly what a parent needs to hear. So, thank you.
I can only reiterate again what a wonderful job the staff at Harris Boys' academy are doing. Compared to every other school that I have had any interaction with you are all as always head and shoulders above the rest… they in no way match the thoroughness that you have applied to this whole situation. I commend you all for your tenacity and determination and most of all the intensity of the support provided to the boys in your care during these extremely challenging times.
Other comments we're proud to have received...
Every one means a huge amount to us.
From a Year 11 student:
I just want to say that it was an excellent experience studying in Harris Boys’ Academy. I am very grateful that I got such a brilliant school with absolutely amazing principal and staff who gave up their personal and family time to grade papers and prepare lessons. I really appreciate that and that means a lot to me. Thank you so much for everything the school did to support me and my classmates. It was nice to have you as my History teacher and thank you sir for all the hard work you did to help and support us. The school was like a family to me especially the Art department and I will really miss Harris Boys’ Academy, it was such a nice experience I had from Year 7 to Year 11. Thank you again for all of the support you gave me and my classmates.
From a local resident:
I just wanted to say how nice it is to see the boys back. They have always been very polite and appreciative in pre-pandemic days when I've punted a football back to them. It is nice to see them around, chatting and laughing to each other and giving off a nice positive energy around them. I'm so glad they can be back among their friends again. I hope it lasts! Thanks also for managing the traffic at drop off for us all - means I can drop my own children off on time.
My son has just joined Harris Boys in Year 7 and I thought in a time when we are all quick to complain, I should do the opposite. I have emailed a couple of times over the past few months with questions and have been very impressed with the swift responses. The receptionists have also answered the phone quickly and been exceptional. This may seem like a small thing but having had children through secondary school elsewhere, getting questions answered quickly and efficiently takes a lot of stress away from parents.
Parent's comment on how they felt sending their son to school when we reopened on June 15 2020, for the first time since the Covid-19 lockdown.
I trust you and I believe in the way you care for my son and his education. I sat in my car outside the school because I promised my son that I would. I stayed 30 min longer than promised but seeing you gave me so much reassurance. I could never thank you enough for the way you work with my son and all the other boys.
I was walking along by Peckham Rye Park and a little way in front of me was a gentleman with a guide dog. As he was getting near to the school he called across to a couple of your boys to ask where the bus stop was. They then came over the road and walked with him, helping him along and taking him back to the bus stop. I was most impressed that your students took time out, going back the way they had just come and helped this gentleman and his dog to get safely to the bus stop.
Many thanks for your correspondence regarding our son’s positive behaviour around the school. We appreciate you recognising his behaviour. Consequently, I’d like to also commend you as a school on making the students feel happy, as he expresses to us at home that it is ‘a nice feeling at school’ that his teachers wish him a ‘good morning’ in the corridors and also wish him a ‘good day’. This positive environment and effort from your staff is clearly having a positive impact on the boys’ behaviour as our son expresses to us that that was something that was lacking from his previous school.
It was great to meet your team and your children. The children I met were a delight; thoughtful, considerate and overwhelmingly positive about their experiences with you. I really appreciated the opportunity to visit.
Headteacher of another secondary school
About admissions open day:
Our tour guide led well and showed us everything we could possibly want to see. We met enthusiastic teachers and engaged pupils. My son was amazed at how clean and tidy the buildings looked. I liked the focus on ‘Truth’ in the library. Expectations of behaviour are clear and management of it seems very proactive. It’s fantastic to have a former pupil back teaching in the school. Congratulations on all of this.
Hi, I came off my bike on Piermont Green this afternoon and I'd like to compliment the conduct of two of your lads who came over to help: they were extraordinarily polite (calling me 'Sir'?), offered to re-pack my shopping and were generally a great credit to your school. If you find out who they are, please thank them.
I was pleasantly surprised by the behaviour of your pupils, one of whom insisted to his peers to "allow members of the public to board the bus first". I declined this, as I explained that they were there first and it was only fair that they boarded ahead of me, but this young man insisted that I got on and I did so in the end. The bus was filled with pupils from the school, however, their behaviour whilst travelling was a pleasure to witness. Although they spoke amongst themselves and joked with each other, there was no loud voices, or shoving and they all made way for fellow passengers embarking and disembarking the bus. This young man and the other pupils represented your school so very well.
I just wanted to congratulate you on your students' behaviour. I was struggling while putting my recycling out yesterday and one of your students who was walking past on his way to school stopped and helped me. I'm afraid I have no idea who he was but his kind act reflected very well on your school.
To all the staff at HBAED... You are brilliant. Thank you for all your help in turning our son into a sensible, responsible and kind young man. Parent
I am a member of the public who has just left the newsagent at the Dunstans Road junction and I'm just emailing to say how impressed I was with the manners of one of your pupils (I'd guess year 9 or 10) who opened the shop door and held it open for me to leave. It was polite and considerate and I felt compelled to email. Local resident
Could you please pass on our great thanks to all those who have been involved in our son’s education at Harris over the years. I know the hard work that all staff, including support staff, put in on a daily basis, while the quality of many of the lessons and resources have contributed greatly to his continued thirst for knowledge and development. I am certain that he will achieve what he needs to for the next step in his education and that is in no small part because of the professionalism and hard work of all the staff at Harris, East Dulwich. Parent
The head of a Crystal Palace Primary School who visited us recently stated that this is the "calmest and most pleasant secondary school" she had ever seen.
One of our neighbours telephoned us to say what a credit the boys are to us. She watches them leave every day and they are so "lovely to behold". Even the bigger boys who are all pent up from exams are "polite well behaved", she said.
I am emailing you today to highlight how great your boys were this evening when visiting the school I work at with Football Beyond Borders. They were visiting Chestnut Grove Academy for a match and demonstrated true class and maturity when walking around our school. They were respectful, polite and a true credit to your school and the Football Beyond Borders scheme. Please pass on my comments to the boys and their coach, who clearly are all doing fantastic work. Chestnut Grove Academy
All of the students we worked with were exceptionally well behaved, polite, engaged, and a pleasure to work with. The atmosphere in every classroom, and in the school in general, has been wonderful. Craig Morgan, King's College
Thanks to the 4 @HarrisEDB boys who stopped to (quite literally) pick me up when I fell over on my run this afternoon. Just grazes but ouch. Do pass on thanks. They were excellent ambassadors for the school. (Sent via Tweets)
We wanted to thank you for the wonderful education that you provided our son. He arrived to your school in Year 8 having been educated until then in [another school]. Before coming to HBAED he was bored and disinterested in school. During his time in HBAED he discovered a real “thirst for learning” and went on to gain 5 A*s and 3 As at GCSE. He is now studying A level Maths, Physics, Biology and Chemistry [and] continues to excel. We attribute his achievement to the fact that he was able to attend your school which gave him the confidence, knowledge and enthusiasm for learning within a supportive and caring environment. Thank you.
My eldest son has now finished his GSCEs and is hoping to get the grades he needs to attend Harris Sixth Form. Your school is outstanding and I often thank my lucky stars that he and his younger brother were fortunate enough to get a place at Harris Boys' East Dulwich. I have nothing but admiration for all of your staff for their dedication and support to pupils.
From one of our parents.
I just wanted to write to you having watched wonderful collaboration between your boys and some of our boy dancers. I saw the collaboration on Friday. It was part of our community project which has seen us work and perform with about 5,000 local children, residents and members of community groups. Your boys were ace. Not only as performers but as supportive young men and ambassadors for your school. Their work was mature, intelligent and well crafted. I thought the messages about the need for individuality over conformity were very telling and a great reminder of how smart young people are. I look forward to more collaborations with you.
Your boys are so well behaved. Really well mannered.
Comment made by a member of the public to Mr Carey as they were passing the school in the morning.
I thought the young people were all really well behaved and engaged with us really well and positively. The day was organised really well and everything went smoothly. Thanks again.
Battersea Dogs Home, who visited our school recently as part of a session for years 7 and 8 about working together for a safer community.
I would like to congratulate a boy from Harris Boys Academy. He helps me occasionally and also says hi to me. He is quiet on the bus and also says thank you and please. What a Gentleman. He also stands up for the elderly on the bus. He even helped me carry my shopping to the bus stop. I will like you to congratulate and acknowledge him on what he does to. He is very special to me and other members of the public.
I am writing to congratulate a student from this school. He saw an elderly lady struggling so he helped her. This lady was my mum. He kindly asked her if she needed help. He helped her cross the road and walk her to the bus stop."He is a hero and a wonderful gentleman", my mum said. He shows how this school teaches boys to help others and to respect each other. I would like you to praise him and tell him how amazing he is to me and my family.
I just wanted to send a quick email to comment on some very nice behaviour from a couple of your pupils today. I was on the 63 bus today doing the nursery run with my two children at around school coming out time and i was sat with lots of your pupils, on noticing my three year old looking intently at a small packet of sweets he had one boy very kindly gave her one and then before we got off the bus gave her the rest of the packet. And, when we went to get off the bus another boy noticed I was having trouble with the buggy and helped me. Not huge things I know but also sometimes not things that (unfortunately) teenage boys are credited with.
A teacher from a local primary school called to explain that she takes the P13 bus to work each morning. At least 10 of our students get on the same bus every morning and she said that they are polite, well-mannered boys who board and disembark the bus in an orderly manner without fail. She went on to state that this morning another member of the public was extremely rude to them for no reason. The boys did not retaliate or argue back but appeared to be a little shell-shocked. She wanted to express that it was not their fault at all and hopes that they have a good day, she also wanted to let us know that the boys are a credit to the Academy.
A lady called the Academy today to inform us that on Friday, as she was trying to get her young children out of the car on Barry Road (with great difficulty), one of our younger students walked over and said: "Sorry to disturb you, but is there anything I can do to help you." She told me that he was so very polite that this was a fantastic advertisement for our Academy and its students.
Today I was unloading some heavy items from my car when three of your pupils stopped and offered to help me. The boys in question were Immanuel, Kojo and Hope. Although I declined their kind offer I am writing to you to commend their kindness and community spiritedness.
I have visited your school in the past and am very impressed with the inspirational building and academic achievements of your school. I live very close to the school and think your boys are a credit to both the school and community.
We came to the school last night for our son’s first parents' evening since starting in Year 7 in September. I just wanted to write to say how impressed we were by all the teachers I met. I wasn't surprised by this, since overall we've been incredibly impressed by the school since he started, and he's been flourishing, but we were struck by how thoughtful, enthusiastic and committed they all were. They had specific comments to make on his work and gave very clear and practical advice about how he could improve as well - which showed real insight after a relatively short time - and they were also clearly warm and caring. No wonder our son looks forward to school and enjoys being there so much.
It reflects very well on the leadership team of the school to have brought together such a great group of teachers.
I just wanted to give you some positive feedback. I live near the Harris Academy and on a number of occasions boys in their school uniform have seen me walking into a shop pushing my baby in a pram. They have always come over and held open the door for me. It is really nice to see such kindness and I have really appreciated it! Thank you.