Top 5 schools in Norfolk

There’s a reason why we’ve chosen Norfolk for so many of our flagship developments. In fact, from the breathtaking coastline to the country’s most historic towns, there are more reasons than we can count.

But the single most important thing to us? Ensuring that you have everything you and your family need for a life as ideal as your home is. For young families, and those planning them in the future, that means having a fantastic choice of schools available — and schools in Norfolk do not disappoint.

Whichever of our Norfolk developments has caught your eye, you’ll find a bright future for your children nearby. We’ve carefully compiled a list of the best schools in Norfolk based on Ofsted reports to provide you with some insight.


Top 5 Primary Schools in Norfolk

1. Alpington and Bergh Apton Primary School

This school is known for its strong community feel and emphasis on individual student attention. It offers a nurturing environment with a focus on both academic and personal development.

Key Features:

  • Strong community involvement
  • Emphasis on individual care and development
  • Broad curriculum with a variety of extracurricular activities

2. Wreningham VC Primary School

Wreningham VC Primary School stands out for its commitment to fostering a love of learning in a supportive and stimulating environment. It’s well-regarded for its high academic standards and inclusive ethos.

Key Features:

  • High academic standards
  • Inclusive and supportive environment
  • Focus on developing a love for learning

3. Ashleigh Primary School and Nursery

This school is celebrated for its innovative approach to learning and its inclusive nursery program. It provides a strong foundation in both early years and primary education.

Key Features:

  • Innovative teaching methods
  • Inclusive nursery program
  • Strong early years foundation

4. Cringleford CE VA Primary School

Known for its values-based education and strong community links, this school offers a well-rounded educational experience. It has a reputation for excellent pastoral care and a wide range of extracurricular activities.

Key Features:

  • Values-based education
  • Strong community ties
  • Excellent pastoral care

5. Coltishall Primary School

Coltishall Primary is recognised for its friendly atmosphere and commitment to holistic education. The school prides itself on its creative approach to teaching and learning.

Key Features:

  • A friendly and welcoming atmosphere
  • Holistic education approach
  • Creative teaching methods
A windmill in Norfolk

Top 5 Secondary Schools in Norfolk

1. Norwich School

This is an independent, co-educational day school with a strong reputation for academic excellence and a rich history, dating back to the 16th century. It’s located in the heart of Norwich and offers a broad curriculum.

Key Features:

  • Historic and prestigious background
  • Strong focus on academic achievement
  • Wide range of extracurricular activities and clubs
  • Emphasis on community service and leadership

2. Sir Isaac Newton Sixth Form

A specialist maths and science sixth form in Norwich, it’s known for its innovative approach to A-level education, particularly in STEM subjects. The school offers a modern, forward-thinking environment.

Key Features:

  • Specialists focus on maths and science
  • Modern, technology-rich learning environment
  • Strong links with local universities and industries
  • Emphasis on preparing students for STEM careers

3. Thetford Grammar School

One of the oldest schools in the UK, Thetford Grammar School has a history spanning over 900 years. It’s an independent co-educational school known for its high academic standards and pastoral care.

Key Features:

  • Long and prestigious history
  • Strong academic record
  • Small class sizes for personalised attention
  • Wide range of extracurricular activities

4. Norwich High School for Girls GDST

Part of the Girls’ Day School Trust, this independent day school for girls is known for its empowering ethos, encouraging students to achieve their full potential in all areas of life.

Key Features:

  • All-girls environment fostering confidence and leadership
  • Broad curriculum with a wide range of subjects
  • Strong emphasis on personal development and well-being
  • Extensive extracurricular and enrichment opportunities

5. Gresham’s School

Located in Holt, Norfolk, Gresham’s is an independent coeducational boarding school. It’s known for its holistic approach to education, balancing academic achievement with a wide range of extracurricular activities.

Key Features:

  • Balance of academic, artistic, and sporting pursuits
  • Beautiful rural setting
  • Strong community ethos
  • International Baccalaureate (IB) programme available
A beach in Norfolk

Top 5 SEN Schools In Norfolk

1. The Clare School

This is a specialist ‘physical/sensory’ complex needs school in Norwich, catering to a wide range of learning difficulties and disabilities. The school is known for its tailored approach to each student’s needs.

Key Features:

  • Specialises in physical and sensory needs
  • Individualised learning plans
  • Focus on developing life skills and independence
  • Wide range of therapeutic support services

2. Harford Manor School

Located in Norwich, this school provides education for pupils aged 3-19 with complex needs, including autism. It’s recognised for its dedicated staff and commitment to providing a supportive learning environment.

Key Features:

  • Caters to a wide range of complex needs
  • Emphasis on communication and social skills
  • Personalised curriculum
  • Strong focus on preparing students for adulthood

3. John Grant School

Based in Caister-on-Sea, Great Yarmouth, this school serves children with complex needs, including learning difficulties, autism, and physical disabilities. It offers a nurturing environment with a broad curriculum.

Key Features:

  • A diverse range of learning support needs catered for
  • Inclusive and supportive environment
  • Emphasis on both academic and personal development
  • A variety of therapeutic and specialist support

4. The Parkside School

Situated in Norwich, this school specialises in catering to children with complex needs, particularly those with autism. It focuses on providing a structured and supportive educational setting.

Key Features:

  • Specialises in supporting children with autism
  • Structured learning environment
  • Personalised and adaptive teaching methods
  • Strong emphasis on developing communication and life skills

5. Sheringham Woodfields School

This is a complex needs school in Sheringham, offering education for a wide age range (3-19 years). The school is known for its holistic approach to education and care.

Key Features:

  • Broad age range and diverse needs catered for
  • A holistic approach to education and care
  • Strong focus on individual potential and achievement
  • Wide range of extracurricular and enrichment activities
Norwich city market


How do "Good" rated schools compare to "Outstanding" rated schools in Norfolk?

In OFSTED ratings, “Outstanding” schools are considered to have higher standards in areas like teaching quality, student achievement, and management effectiveness compared to “Good” schools.

“Outstanding” schools often demonstrate innovative practices and strong community engagement, while “Good” schools meet the standards effectively but may not exhibit the exceptional qualities of “Outstanding” schools.

Is Norfolk a suitable place for children?

Norfolk is often considered a family-friendly area with its mix of rural landscapes, beaches, and cultural heritage.

It offers various outdoor activities and educational opportunities, making it a suitable place for children. Take a look at our best things to do in Norfolk guide here.

Is Norfolk a desirable area to live in?

Norfolk is known for its natural beauty, relatively affordable housing, and slower pace of life compared to urban centres.

These factors make it desirable for those seeking a quieter lifestyle. However, desirability can be subjective and depends on personal preferences and lifestyle choices.

Take a look at our guide to the best places to live in Norfolk here.

Are private schools superior to grammar schools in Norfolk?

The term “superior” can be subjective. Private schools often offer more resources, smaller class sizes, and diverse extracurricular activities.

Grammar schools, known for their academic rigour, are highly selective and often have excellent academic track records. The choice between private and grammar schools depends on the child’s needs, family preferences, and values.