Hanford - a prep school which values childhood
Imagine a slightly crumbling manor house set amongst idyllic countryside, where groups of girls dressed in Cath Kitson florals, woolly jumpers and gum boots wander around chasing each other, playing games or just chatting, and ponies are part of the family. The dormitories are floral, friendly and very communal with lost of shared clothing and tuck kept in Daddy's old briefcase (I never worked out why!)
Lessons are encouraging for the girls who need support and enriching for those who need stretching. Break times are spent roller skating or swarming up a large and very inviting tree. Harvest festival in the apple-decorated chapel is a genuine service of thanksgiving. Birthdays are celebrated with the birthday girl inviting her family to join her on a special birthday table but the whole school joins in the sugar-fest!
In these miserable times when schools feel compelled to focus on exam results, Hanford is a real tonic and proof that growing up slowly results in wonderful, strong and confident young women.
I would love to be there now!
To see more of Hanford: http://www.hanford.dorset.sch.uk/