Hanford has always placed great importance on good manners. In a boarding school manners are essential, as living together requires children to be more accommodating and respectful of one another’s space, feelings and possessions. At Hanford, we aim to make having good manners a positive and rewarding experience.
To make manners fun at Hanford we actively encourage and reward good manners weekly. Each Friday the Head of Pastoral Care will read out a list of girls to be commended for their kindness and thoughtfulness around school as well as for good behaviour during mealtimes. At lunchtime because all our girls sit on tables of mixed age groups the older and younger girls get to chat and swap stories while a member of staff supervises the serving of food and encourages conversation. As a small school it is important that all our year groups get on well together.
At various events throughout the year such as: the Carol Service, Parents’ Day and other visits by visiting speakers and guests, we encourage girls to act as hostesses, handing round food and drink. Being given a tray of delicious food can help even the quietest girl overcome her natural shyness and help her to grow in confidence.
While table manners, pleases and thank yous cost little and reward much, there are other courtesies, such as letter writing, that require sacrificing a little time. Even the briefest handwritten note from a child away at school is something parents cherish but letter writing is an important habit to encourage. At Hanford we set aside time on Sunday before Chapel for letter writing, where staff are on hand to assist. The girls soon learn to enjoy writing, often sending multiple missives to friends and family.
Good manners are a way of life at Hanford and not something pulled out just to impress people. By reinforcing their importance every day we hope they will become second nature, helping girls to operate confidently not just at school but also in life.