Brackenfield School
Catchment Area, Reviews and Key Information

School Guide Rating
Not Rated

This school has 2 parent reviews

128 Duchy Road
+44 (0)1423 508558
2 - 11
Other independent school
4 1 1 2 3 4
Ofsted report
View Report - All Reports

Independent preparatory schools do not have to follow the National Curriculum or submit test results to the Department for Education so there is no individual school performance data or star rating.

Visit the school's website to learn more about their unique curriculum, policies on testing and common leaver destinations (a good indicator of pupil progress). See our About page for information on Choosing A Prep School.

Boarding Type
Day Fees Per Term

Leaver Destinations


Co-educational nursery

View website

School Description

Brackenfield is a small, independent school with a friendly, family feel for pupils aged 2 to 11. The school is idyllically located in the Duchy conservation area of Harrogate.

Brackenfield School Reviews

Average Rating:


“School has done an excellent job”
School has done an excellent job providing care for key worker children and online learning throughout lockdown and ongoing.
“Amazing support”
Amazing support to both key workers and those doing home schooling. Excellent resources, online lessons with the teacher, structured work to do and hand in, comments received back from teachers, regular communication. In short, they have responded amazingly to the Covid situation.
Your rating:
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School Noticeboard

News & events from Brackenfield School

Last update: 11 November 2020

We invite all children wishing to join Brackenfield to spend a day at the school. This allows them to meet some current pupils and to experience life at Brackenfield for themselves. These Taster Days also enable staff to become acquainted with pupils prior to admission to the school.


Every day is an Open Day at Brackenfield! We are always very happy to provide individual tours of the school. These can be arranged at a time to suit the visitor and the Headteacher usually conducts the tour, socially distanced, of course. 

For those that prefer, we hold Open Mornings at regular intervals during the academic year. These provide an opportunity for prospective families to visit the School to meet the staff and pupils, and to view the facilities and grounds. 

Visit us >>

The Governors of Brackenfield School in Harrogate are delighted to announce the appointment of Mr Joe Masterson as Headteacher from August 2020.


Joe is joining Brackenfield from his role as Head of Primary at A’Soud Global School in Oman, a large British international school with over 800 pupils. Joe’s previous roles include Deputy Head of Primary at St. George’s British International School in Rome and Head of Achievement and Progress at the British School in the Netherlands, a leading international school with over 2000 pupils. In addition to his extensive leadership roles at some of the world’s top British International Schools, Joe is a member of the peer accreditation team of COBIS (the Council of British International Schools), and has supported schools through Ofsted, ISI and COBIS.


Joe is an outdoor enthusiast and enjoys endurance events and walking in the mountains, as well as spending time with his family. Joe is an avid follower and reader of educational research and evidence-based practice. He is a strong advocate of continuous professional learning for staff through literature, webinars, the ResearchEd movement, the Chartered College and various social media streams. Joe’s three children will be joining Brackenfield School so it will truly be a family affair.


John Forsyth, Chairman of Brackenfield School, said ‘we are delighted with the appointment of Joe into such a wonderful school. We know that he will bring the ideal combination of passion, energy, warmth and professionalism to the role, and are looking forward to working closely with him in further developing Brackenfield as the best Prep School in Harrogate.’

Welcome from the Head >>

Brackenfield is a small, independent school with a friendly, family feel for pupils aged 2 to 11. The school is idyllically located in the Duchy conservation area of Harrogate.  

Brackenfield offers:

Brackenfield is unique in Harrogate in that it is not directly associated with any senior school and pupils leaving Year 6 move on to a mix of independent and state secondary schools.  Selecting the right school for your child is a very big decision, particularly when making that choice at birth.  We look at each child’s unique strengths, abilities and learning style to advise you on next steps, whether this be in independent or state education.


Mumbler Love Local Awards

We are delighted to announce that Brackenfield School were the 2020 winners of the Harrogate Mumbler Love Local awards! During such a difficult time with Covid 19, we really appreciated all of the positive comments and kind recognition. The school was nominated for two awards and this is testament to all the hard work from the staff at Brackenfield. We wanted to share some of the comments with you:

Discover more >>
Meet the Head: Joe Masterson

Joe Masterson joined the Brackenfield family as Headteacher in August 2020. New in post, Joe is already experiencing the truly wonderful atmosphere in the school. Having taught in Ireland and the UK previously Joe has considerable experience in schools internationally. He has supported schools in Qatar, the Netherlands, Italy and Oman. Joe is also a leadership facilitator and Peer Accreditor for the Council of British International Schools.


Who/what inspired you to become a teacher?

I was modelling how to hit a ball. It was a golf ball and I was holding a pitching wedge. The little hole on the green I was aiming for was some 70 metres away. I was talking my younger brother through the process of holding the club, the swing, balance, control and eye contact needed. I modelled the swing, hit the ball … and scored a hole in one! This is when I first thought I might be good at teaching things. 


I have had a small number of inspirational teachers when I was a student. Remembering them some 30 years later shows their powerful and positive influence. Imitating their success felt like an admirable aspiration for me when I was younger. While these teachers brought me to the profession, it has been the leaders and colleagues in education that I have worked with along the way, that have motivated me even further. They have helped me become a better teacher, sustaining and growing my interest in learning and education.

What achievement are you most proud of as Head?

Making a positive difference to children’s lives by supporting staff and a whole school community is a wonderful privilege. Perhaps, I am proud that I realise this, as it drives me to do my best with and for the people around me. 

What does a successful school look like to you?

A successful school is a school where pupils are happily being the best versions of themselves, ably driven and supported by wonderful teachers. A successful school is a school where children develop a love of learning, find and nurture their talents and individualism as well as making a positive contribution to their community.

What is the most important quality you want every child to have when they leave your school? And why?

I would like every child to leave Brackenfield being kind. Kind to themselves so that they work towards their potential and constantly enjoy the reward of it. Kind to others so that they remain positive, optimistic and confident. Kindness makes for good choices and often leads to reciprocity. It’s an important ingredient in the recipe for improving lives and society.

Please give 5 words to describe the ethos of your school.

Family, Friendly, Caring, Strong and Nurturing

Brackenfield School Catchment Area Map

This school is independently managed and its admission criteria may be selective. There is no set catchment area as pupils are admitted from a wide variety of postcodes and, in the case of boarding schools, from outside the UK. Contact the school directly or visit their website for more information on Admissions Policy and Procedures.

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