Childe Okeford, Blandford Forum, DT11 8HN
Head: Mrs Hilary Phillips
Hanford is a day and boarding (full and flexi) prep school for girls aged 7 – 13 years, set in idyllic Dorset countryside. The education offered to pupils is increasingly rare in our busy, pressurised world. Hanford girls have time to be themselves, play outside, ride ponies, learn new sports, climb trees and make life-long friendships. They also learn to work hard too and develop an excellent work ethic.
Notable Academic Facilities
The 'Rotunda' classroom for our Juniors is particularly impressive and a wonderful learning space for our youngest pupils complete with interactive white board and desks that the children can write on directly.
Wellbeing & Pastoral Care
Hanford has the feel of a large family and we place the highest priority on the girls' wellbeing which is closely monitored throughout their time with us. Everyone knows everyone else at Hanford so the girls have many adults they can talk to about anything that is on their mind: their tutor, one of the residential matrons, our two school nurses and the wider boarding team for example.
Each girl is assigned her own tutor when she arrives at Hanford, either a teacher or member of the pastoral staff. This person will act as a sounding board, mentor and friendly face who will deal with everything from a missing teddy bear to more serious issues. They work hard to prevent problems from arising and encourage the girls make the most of the opportunities on offer at Hanford.
At Hanford we believe that having a learning difference should not be a barrier to achievement. We aim to offer girls timely, appropriate and specialist support whilst also ensuring their needs are catered for within the mainstream classroom. Our approach is sensitive, inclusive and relies upon active communication with all Hanford staff members.
The Learning Support Department is staffed by specialist teachers who are qualified in the assessment and teaching of children with specific learning difficulties. We can provide tailored support. Some girls will benefit from having a teacher working alongside them in lessons. In other cases the girls may receive individual or small-group support in spelling, reading and maths.
Advice For Parents
The Admissions process at Hanford is very straightforward – we are non-selective and there is no entry exam.
You are welcome to visit us at any point in the year to have a tour of the school and the opportunity to meet our Head, Mrs Hilary Phillips, and see Hanford in action. Private visits typically take around two hours. Alternatively you may wish to attend one of our Open Mornings.
Once you have decided you would like your daughter to come to Hanford she will be offered the opportunity to come for a taster day and/or overnight stay in the term before she is due to start. She will join in a ‘normal’ day: attending lessons, eating meals, playing games and getting to know her form mates and teachers. We hope this will ensure your daughter feels at home and excited about becoming a Hanford girl.
As a non selective school we don’t have an ‘ideal’ pupil in mind however, by the time they leave, Hanford girls have learned to be independent, confident about who they are, inquisitive and creative. Importantly they have learned how to live alongside each other and have formed extremely strong friendships that last a lifetime. The girls have also developed a strong work ethic; our strong academic record and scholarship success is particularly impressive for a small, non-selective school.
Means-tested bursaries are available, decided on an individual basis and are not linked to ability.
Highly Regarded For
Hanford is known for its creativity which runs across all elements of the school, its sense of freedom and fun, its strong academic record and of course our ponies!
We have a very strong academic record - over the past 8 years the girls have achieved over 80 scholarships and awards to senior schools of their choice. Last year, 2023, 8 art awards and scholarships were awarded alongside academic, music and sport scholarships.
Sherborne Girls School, St Mary's Calne, Marlborough, Bryanston, Bradfield College, Canford, Cheltenham Ladies, King's School Bruton, St Edward's Oxford, Wellington College, Wycombe Abbey, Roedean, Millfield, Oakham, Oundle and more.
Type: Junior School
Day/Boarding: Day & Boarding
Total Pupils: 100
Ages Covered: 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13
Opening Date: 1/1/1947
SEN: Comprehensive SEN support
Sibling Policy: No
Financial Assistance: Bursary+ Add To My Schools List
Entry Routes: 6+, 7+, 8+, 10+, 11+
Selection: Not Academically Selective
Languages: French, German, Spanish
Extensive sports facilities on campus