Learning to flourish

Our mission is to help children to flourish. By this we mean: to learn with purpose, live with optimism and act with kindness, wholeheartedly engaged in the world outside.

Exciting news!

We have received a National Lottery Heritage Fund grant to create a programme of activities inspired by the story of Highfield Oval children’s home in Harpenden and the memories of people who lived there.

Schools and community will enjoy the Oval’s heritage and natural beauty, learn new crafts and set up an eco-garden in the historic orchard. Making and Growing at Highfield Oval is run in partnership by Wholehearted Childhood, YWAM Harpenden, the current owners of Highfield Oval, and Harpenden Academy. 

Exciting news!

We have received a National Lottery Heritage Fund grant to create a programme of activities inspired by the story of Highfield Oval children’s home in Harpenden and the memories of people who lived there.

Schools and community will enjoy the Oval’s heritage and natural beauty, learn new crafts and set up an eco-garden in the historic orchard. Making and Growing at Highfield Oval is run in partnership by Wholehearted Childhood, YWAM Harpenden, the current owners of Highfield Oval, and Harpenden Academy. 

School programmes

The Nature of Home is a new programme of resources and activities for primary schools, from tree planting to letter press printing and museum visits, funded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund as part of Making and Growing at Highfield Oval.

Read more

Community

Everyone can get involved in Making and Growing at Highfield Oval, whether helping to recreate the former kitchen gardens, learning new crafts and eco-gardening skills or sharing and gathering memories of life at the children’s home.

Read more

Family

There are lots of opportunities for families to get Making and Growing, both at home and in the beautiful surroundings of Highfield Oval.

Read more

Curriculum design

Wholehearted Childhood provides training and support to help schools design values-based curricula, energised with big ideas, mind-friendly learning, rich experiences, and real world purpose.

Read more
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School programmes
The Nature of Home is a new programme
of resources and activities for primary schools,
from tree planting to letter press printing and museum visits, funded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund as part of Making and Growing at Highfield Oval.

Read more
wheelbarrow

Community
Everyone can get involved in Making and Growing at Highfield Oval, whether helping to recreate the former kitchen gardens, learning new crafts and eco-gardening skills or sharing and gathering memories of life at the children’s home.

Read more

Family
There are lots of opportunities for families to get Making and Growing, both at home and in the beautiful surroundings of Highfield Oval.

Read more
strawberry-square

Curriculum design
Wholehearted Childhood provides training and support to help schools design values-based curricula, energised with big ideas, mind-friendly learning, rich experiences, and real world purpose.

Read more

The story of Highfield Oval

Highfield Oval and the nearby children’s sanatorium in Harpenden represent a significant chapter in the history of children’s care. Founded in 1913 in the belief that children thrive in an abundance of sunshine and fresh air, the Oval contained orchards, fields and bluebell woods and once ran its own farm. Outdoor learning was at the heart of life, especially at the Sanatorium, which had open-air classrooms. Children were taught many crafts and skills, including growing food, printing and making furniture and clothes.