Girls Prep School

Hanford is a girls prep school based in Dorset, which focuses on guiding students to become the very best version of themselves; exploring their creativity, developing the skills and hobbies that interest them and ultimately, allowing them to be children for as long as possible. We care greatly about the wellbeing of every girl in our school and have a set daily routine which offers a varied range of activities as well as free time.

When it comes to teaching, we’re proud to cover so much more than just the curriculum, offering enlightened education which seeks to bring out the best in every girl we teach. Our careful balance of academic, creative, sporting and horticultural activities have allowed our students to achieve outstanding academic performance as evidenced in year on year Scholarships for the past 27 years, including academic, art, drama and sport to name a few.

As well as full-time boarding, which includes great activities during weekends and free time, we also have openings for girls who wish to visit us on a daily basis – view our fees here.

We understand that finding a well-suited independent girls prep school is crucial to the success of any student, which is why we’re here to help and advise. Find out more about Admissions, book a virtual open morning or enquire today for further information.

Hanford School-Welcome

Independent girls school for fun-loving children

Hanford teaches girls to combine having fun with working hard. This combination of fun and hard work pays dividends when it comes to Common Entrance and Scholarships. There have been 50 scholarships and awards received by our girls in the past five years –  evidence of this successful formula.

A full array of skills and subjects

Class sizes are small, usually just 10-12 pupils per lesson, and there is learning support available if required. Alongside the core curriculum girls are taught handwork, where they make their own school uniform skirt, and Art Appreciation (Art Apre) where can begin to understand and appreciate the cultural world around them.


Music has always been central to life at Hanford with almost all girls learning at least one instrument or joining one of the choirs or folk group; music composition is also offered as an activity. Sport is also incredibly strong at Hanford – recent successes have seen our teams county champions in rounders, tennis and athletics.

Hanford is perhaps most famous for its ponies and stables. Many of our students choose to have riding lessons, and some even test their equestrian skills at local and national events including tetrathlons.

As well as an excellent selection of creative, sporting and literacy-based subjects, we also place great importance on STEM and ICT, such as maths, science, information technology. Every girl at Hanford is taught to build a sound knowledge of these subjects, allowing them to be applied in later life. You can find out more about our STEM and ICT lessons and the equipment and support we have on offer, here.

girls prep school ict

To find out more about our independent girl’s school, feel free to browse our Academic and Extra Curricular activities, view our Wellbeing section or simply contact us to discuss potential boarding or day school admissions.