Considering a move to Leeds but want to know what the city’s educational facilities are like first? Or perhaps you’re simply moving to a new neighbourhood and need to arrange school places for your children. Whatever the scenario, we’ve compiled a list of the best primary and secondary schools in Leeds to help make the process easier for you. Read on to find the best option for your family, from creatively minded academies to leading sports settings.
5 popular primary schools in Leeds
Blenheim Primary School
Ofsted rating: Outstanding | Gender: Mixed | No. of pupils: 454 | Area: Woodhouse
Based in Woodhouse, Blenheim Primary School is an inclusive, multi-cultural primary school and nursery. It admits 60 pupils each year, with the aim of helping children from all walks of life achieve their full potential. In fact, the school’s motto is “aiming high in the heart of the city”, and reading performance is good across all ages. Additionally, Blenheim offers plenty of educational visits and extra-curricular activities like football, crafts and Spanish lessons.
Beecroft Primary School
Ofsted rating: Outstanding | Gender: Mixed | No. of pupils: 328 | Area: Kirkstall
Serving families across Kirkstall, Beecroft Primary School is a co-educational setting with 45 pupil places available every year. Creativity is a key part of the curriculum, with staff focused on providing a stimulating learning environment. All children are supported with learning a musical instrument and there’s also a dedicated art and technology room on site. Plus, there are lots of sports and activity clubs to join, and residential visits are offered in Y4, 5 and 6.
Meanwood Church of England Primary School
Ofsted rating: Outstanding | Gender: Mixed | No. of pupils: 211 | Area: Meanwood
Meanwood Church of England Primary School is a relatively small one-form entry school in Leeds, with Christian teachings at its heart. As such, the setting’s mission is to teach skills in cooperation, reflection and empathy, alongside academic studies. The school also has excellent literacy and numeracy scores, with practically all children at or above target levels for their age. Pupils from all year groups can get involved in the student council too. And on top of that, the school holds a Platinum Level School Games Mark for commitment to sport.
Ofsted rating: Outstanding | Gender: Mixed | No. of pupils: 463 | Area: Chapeltown
Part of the GORSE Academies Trust, Hillcrest Academy is a friendly and culturally diverse school. Over 40 languages are spoken here, with ESOL and additional reading classes part of its family learning offering. Performance scores are well above average, with maths in the top 1% nationally. Hillcrest has also partnered with the Northern School for Contemporary Dance to provide access to excellent dance and drama facilities. Plus, pupils can sign up for computing, science, sports and writing clubs, as well as cub and scout groups too.
Westbrook Lane Primary School
Ofsted rating: Good | Gender: Mixed | No. of pupils: 214 | Area: Horsforth
Another of the best primary schools in Leeds is Westbrook Lane. Serving Horsforth and the surrounding areas, this smaller than average setting prioritises positive mindsets, resilience and curiosity. Achievement rates are higher than average and there are great facilities on site. These include a state-of-the-art ICT suite, library and playground with adjoining garden and pond. Students can also take part in extra-curricular art, singing, athletics and more. And the school is partnered with a local nursery to provide pre-school places for younger pupils.
Top-rated secondary schools in Leeds
Allerton High School
Ofsted rating: Outstanding | Gender: Mixed | No. of pupils: 1540 | Area: Alwoodley
Moving on to secondary schools in Leeds, Allerton High ranks amongst the best. Inclusive and collaborative, the setting promotes independent learning, hard work and kindness. Its modern building houses a library, ICT suite and flexible learning spaces. Outdoors, there is a running track, tennis courts and sports pitches. Music tuition and drama productions are also very popular with students, as are the school’s dedicated careers and gateway classes. Meanwhile, the 6th form has academic and vocational courses, plus a basketball academy.
Prince Henry’s Grammar School
Ofsted rating: Good | Gender: Mixed | No. of pupils: 1660 | Area: Otley
Parent Power’s North Comprehensive School of the Year 2023, Prince Henry’s Grammar School boasts a 99.8% GCSE pass rate. This academy school offers 250 year 7 places annually, and is a top choice for families in and around Otley. Staff focus on creativity, adaptability and leadership skills, with a broad curriculum that includes German and a Mandarin taster course. Additionally, pupils can join the school’s rowing, swimming and drama clubs, Duke of Edinburgh scheme, and various educational trips.
St Mary’s Menston Catholic Academy
Ofsted rating: Outstanding | Gender: Mixed | No. of pupils: 1260 | Area: Menston
Looking for the best Catholic schools in Leeds? St Mary’s at Menston is undoubtedly one of the most popular in the area. Underpinned by Christian principles, the academy’s aim is to draw out pupils’ talents and develop virtuous characters. There are numerous GCSE options and pathways for all abilities, with KS4 drop-ins and mentoring. Other activities include book, chess and debate clubs, plus a school band, sports clubs and religious retreats. There’s also a modern performing arts studio, food tech and IT rooms, and several sports halls on site.
The Grammar School at Leeds (Independent)
ISI Rating: Excellent | Gender: Mixed | No. of pupils: 2114 | Area: Alwoodley
The Grammar School at Leeds was formed in 2005, when Leeds Girls’ High School and Leeds Grammar merged. Known for excellence in academic, sports and creative pursuits, this independent school provides high quality education for pupils aged 3-18. Male and female students aged 11-16 are taught separately, with generous staff ratios in all classes. This fee-paying school is also the leading school in Yorkshire for the English Baccalaureate. Entry is subject to age-appropriate assessments, with a small number of bursaries offered.
The Morley Academy
Ofsted rating: Outstanding | Gender: Mixed | No. of pupils: 1471 | Area: Morley
As one of the top-ranking schools in Leeds, The Morley Academy receives more than 1000 applications every year! Alongside its Outstanding status, the academy boasts a World Class Schools Quality Mark and one of England’s best performing arts departments. Reading and personal development are also key focal points, with impressive progress scores and results in the top 2% nationally. In addition, there are more vocational routes to suit all abilities and interests. Pupils can also join the school choir, music lessons, karate, volleyball and more.
The best school in Leeds overall
Ofsted rating: Outstanding | Gender: Mixed | No. of pupils: 2467 | Area: Roundhay
Founded in 1903, Roundhay School is a longstanding favourite in one of the most popular places to live in Leeds. This all-through school has primary, secondary and 6th form campuses to cater to ages 4-18. Like Morley Academy, Roundhay has World Class Schools recognition and above-average scores across all key stages.
A character curriculum and personal development programmes are taught alongside the standard curriculum to provide a well-rounded education. Pupils can also participate in drama productions, cooking and gardening clubs, various sports and even radio production. And at A Level, there are numerous academic and vocational courses to choose from.
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