Pastoral Care

Each girl’s wellbeing and personal development is monitored carefully throughout her time at Hanford.



Every 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 teddybear 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.

Boarding Team

The Head of Boarding is directly involved in the children’s pastoral care day to day. She and her team meet weekly and during these meetings will explore any causes for concern. Hanford is a small school and as such the girls are all known individually, making it easier to spot problems early and nip them in the bud. If there are going to be any issues, such as home sickness, they often happen in the evening. Hanford’s boarding team is always on hand to offer a sympathetic shoulder to lean on and will also encourage the other girls to support any individual who is struggling. The Boarding team pride themselves on the highest standards of pastoral care at Hanford.


Independent Listener

If girls want to speak confidentially to somebody who is not involved in the day-to-day life of the school, they can contact our Independent Listener, Sally.   Sally visits Hanford each week and girls are able to talk to her about any issues they have on their mind.  She is also available via telephone and is always happy to hear from Hanford girls.   Sally taught at Hanford for many years and is a well-loved and respected member of the Hanford community.

Hanford Girls Boarding School Dorset UK -Sally Godden

The House, Grounds and Buildings

Hanford was created especially for girls. The front drive is not flanked by neatly mown cricket pitches or towered over by imposing H-frame rugby goal posts. Instead you see ponies grazing in fields, a playground obstacle course and a small pretty Gothic chapel. In the grounds there are chickens, a working walled kitchen garden, a Grade II listed stable block, a knot garden and our famous climbing tree. The interior feels like a family home, albeit a rather grand one. At its heart is the Hall where the whole school sits down to eat every meal. Upstairs the dorms are all decorated individually and girls bring their own toys, duvets and blankets and pictures so they will feel at home away from home.

Hanford School-Wellbeing 3

Social Life

This family atmosphere encourages all the ages to mix together, with older girls acting as big sisters to the new arrivals – reading them stories, leading them out on rides and supervising the catching of ponies in the morning.  A mixed age seating plan at meals encourages this family feel.


Hanford School-Wellbeing

Committees and Teamwork

Instead of a Head Girl there are ‘The Committees’. These groups team up to make decisions and share the tasks normally undertaken by one individual in the more traditional prep school hierarchy. This encourages shared responsibility and teaches girls to compromise, as they learn that not everyone sees things the same way.