teacher and student reading a book

What People Say About Halliford

The Independent Schools Inspectorate (ISI) rated Halliford School as ‘Excellent in all areas’ in December 2022. The ISI report highlighted that ‘The quality of the pupils’ academic and other achievements is excellent’ and ‘The quality of the pupils’ personal development is excellent.’

“Pupils have excellent attitudes to learning. They think creatively, question perceptively and analyse incisively. Pupils are very proud of their school and believe wholeheartedly in the school’s values of mutual respect and warm-hearted kindness, which affirm them as individuals within a close-knit school community.” – Independent Schools Inspectorate, December 2022

To read the full ISI Report click HERE.

We are very proud to share a selection of some of the glowing letters and messages we have received from students, parents, prospective parents and Old Hallifordians.

“I wanted to take the time to thank you, Mr Davies and the staff for being so welcoming during the assessment process at Halliford. The video sent the night before, as well as the thought given to making the day itself as stress free as possible was much appreciated. Our son came out of the assessment feeling enthusiastic and happy – thank you.”

“I just wanted to follow up after Saturday’s exam, to thank you for your efforts to make the 11+ process so thorough and personal. Our son has loved all of the touches; his one-to-one with the Headmaster, the good luck postcard and the goodies he got on exam day. It certainly helped put him at ease and make him feel valued, while clearly demonstrating to us the principles and character of the school.”

“I just wanted to extend my thanks for what turned out to be a very positive experience for our son on Saturday. He came home buoyant and smiling and felt that everyone was warm and friendly and supportive. Also, the message, the night before from Mr Davies was very appreciated as it helped settle nerves so he could have a good night’s sleep. Thank you again and the very best for coordinating the rest of the process.”

“Dear Mrs Clatworthy, I just wanted to thank Mr Davies and yourself for making Saturday so enjoyable for our son. He felt very happy with how it all went, so fingers crossed we’ll see you again sometime! He especially appreciated Mr Davies’ video message, and good luck card!  Please thank him on our behalf. You have made this whole process very enjoyable, whatever the outcome it has really helped so thank you!”

“Our son had a wonderful time yesterday – he came out positively glowing about the school, about the food, and about the fact he got some free headphones! We very much hope we become part of your lovely Halliford family.”

“On behalf of our son, thank you for making the application and assessment process so efficient. Please pass on our thanks to Mr Davies, Mr Shales and the team. Our son has thoroughly enjoyed his visits to Halliford – from the visitor morning, to the interview and even the examination day which he said was “really fun!” We look forward to hearing the outcome next month and remain hopeful that he may be fortunate enough to join his older brother in September.”

“I just wanted to say thank you to the team. The attention to detail – the postcard and video message for our son this week have been wonderful touches and made him feel very welcome and not too apprehensive about the exam today. The tuck shop and headphones definitely made his afternoon. Thank you for what must be a very long process for so many staff on a Saturday.”

“We wanted to write and say a big thank you for giving our son such a lovely, welcoming experience in your 11+ process. Everything from his interview and Drama Scholarship assessment, to the helpful communications along the way, has been so encouraging. He even managed to enjoy the exam morning – it really felt like you took the time to get to know him, and give him the chance to put his best forward. In a rather daunting process for children (and parents!) we just wanted to say how appreciated it is.”

“We just wanted to send a note to say thank you for all you have done for our son through the admissions process. From the thoughtful, open events and guided tours to the genuine interview process, finishing with the exam today, you clearly care and have all the boys’ best interests at heart. When I got the pleasure to meet Mr Davies after our son’s interview, he asked me how the 11+ entrance exam process was going. We were right at the start of the interview/ exam process at the time, and I naively answered, “oh, it all seems fine.” I soon learned that it is quite stressful, and the great care your school shows for children has stood out. Halliford has been a breath of fresh air, where children clearly flourish. You don’t have to treat prospective families with such care, and the fact that you have done is hugely appreciated.”

“We just wanted to say a very big thank you from all of us for the way the admissions process has been conducted. We have really appreciated all of the personal touches such as the telephone call to organise the interview, the emails regarding the interview and exams and the postcard and video from Mr Davies wishing our son good luck.”

“Our son had his interview with Mr Davies this morning and I had a really informative and interesting chat with Mr Davies afterwards. The whole experience has cemented Halliford as our absolute first choice for our son. For so many reasons it is exactly the right school for him and for us as a family.”

“It is with great pleasure that we would like to accept a place for our son at Halliford from September 2021. He (and us!) are very excited and honoured that he was offered a place and would like to reiterate our thanks to you, Mr Davies and the whole team that made this process so seamless under the circumstances.”

“We were utterly delighted to receive an offer of a place for our son at Halliford. I’m surprised you didn’t hear his cheer of delight across the river when he read his offer letter!”

“Thank you for the wonderful letter last week confirming our son’s offer of a place at Halliford School. He is very excited about starting his Halliford journey in September, and  I can confirm that we would like to accept the offer. The whole application procedure was excellent again this year (in difficult circumstances), and the additional touch of the “survival pack” sent out ahead of the online exam was another example of how the school continues to innovate and excel in the area of student welfare. Thank you!”

“Just to say how absolutely thrilled and delighted we are with our son’s offer of a place at Halliford. He actually punched the air with excitement! We will of course be accepting the place. Once again, thank you and your team for making the process so thoughtful, enjoyable and effortless. I imagine a lot of hard work went on behind the scenes, particularly in the current environment, but you all managed to make is as smooth and stress free as possible. It really is in stark contrast to experiences elsewhere.”

“I am so proud to have my children attend Halliford School. You and your colleagues at Halliford care so deeply about our children’s education.”

“Thank you to the amazing teachers at Halliford. In these uncertain times, one thing I am most certain of, is that my son is in very good hands.”

“I wanted to say a very big thank you to you and all the staff at Halliford for all you your patience and time. I have found our son’s teachers very supportive to his work and all very encouraging.”

“Awesome teaching staff both in person and virtually! Thanks.”

“I just wanted to take this opportunity to thank you and all the staff for all you have done for the current boys at school. My husband and I have been so impressed with the virtual learning. The quality and content has been excellent, engaging, and challenging. I am sure it took a tremendous amount of effort from all staff – thank you.”

“Thank you so much for putting together such an amazing array of clubs – I wanted to do so many of them but apparently it’s not about me!”

“We are most grateful for the opportunities available to our son at this time.”

“Wow Mr Slocock, you and the team have excelled yourselves! I fully expected to see very few options or no options at all (as I have heard from some other schools). Far from it, the list is well thought through, extensive and varied and will undoubtedly capture a vast array of interests. My son is excited and he has signed up to the running club, cookery club and beginners Portuguese! Thanks so much for coordinating and working on this. Go Halliford! Stay safe and best wishes to all the Halliford staff and families.”

“Wow – what a lucky bunch our boys are to have such a plethora of activities to choose from at such a challenging time. My thanks as a parent to you and all of the staff for putting this together at such short notice. As a parent I’m hugely grateful and know just how much our son will personally benefit. With continued thanks for all you are doing and kindest regards.”

“Just wanted to say thank you to all our son’s teachers for making everything run so smoothly this week. It’s amazing how well it has all worked and we really appreciate the fact that this week has been as normal as possible for him.”girl singing

“We would like to thank you for all your hard work and support you have given our son at this difficult time.  We have been very impressed with the online learning which seems to be working well.”

“The teachers have been amazing with their support over this week. Being so new to Halliford the last few weeks have proven that we had made the right school choice for our son. It’s been great to see all the efforts by Mr Davies and the rest of the staff.”

“Well done & thank you Mr Davies and the Halliford staff. You have provided so much reassurance to the boys over the past few days. #proudtobeahallifordianmum”

“Shout out to everyone at Halliford School who have managed this stressful time so well. I have a happy young man who has not been scared out of his wits but is well informed and ready for home learning.”

“The staff have been absolutely fantastic during these difficult times. The home schooling has been outstanding. Thank you and well done everyone.”

“Well done Mr Davies and your wonderful team, you have all done an amazing job over the last few days and we are proud to be part of such a caring school.”

“I wanted to say a big thank you on behalf of all of us, for all the hard work that you as a school are doing to keep things as normal as possible. We appreciate it’s a continually changing situation. Hopefully Halliford School will emerge stronger from all of this. I believe that the close connections between staff, pupils and parents will help us all. Please pass on our thoughts to the staff.”

“I just wanted to drop you a quick note to thank you and your staff for such amazing dedication and hard work over the last few weeks, I can only imagine how challenging it has been. Our son felt calm throughout, which is testament to what a great school Halliford is. Your communication have been incredibly clear and reassuring which has served to provide a constant through the confusion. Looking forward to brighter times ahead. With thanks again.”

“I just wanted to thank you and every single one of your staff for the way that you are all handling this extraordinary situation we all find ourselves in. You are all working so hard which must be difficult given you will all have your own loved ones to support and look after at this time. It is so important that we try to keep things as normal as possible for the children in this turbulent period and your approach has, in my opinion, been outstanding. Your efforts are sincerely appreciated.”


children sat at computers


“Halliford School helped me to fulfil my academic potential in gaining a place to study at the University of Cambridge. Through having the opportunity to play high quality first team rugby, football and cricket during my time at school, supportive teachers and mentors ensured that I took full advantage of the extensive extra-curricular activities. My enjoyable final year as Deputy Head Prefect provided me with greater exposure to the incredible network of pastoral care. Above all, Halliford School taught me to work hard and stay humble.” – Old Hallifordian 2018

“Studying at Halliford was so important in providing me with the skills, knowledge and confidence to chase my career dreams. The fantastic teaching staff at Halliford pushed me to achieve my potential and gave me the support and encouragement I needed to help me get into my dream university. I can’t thank everyone at Halliford enough for their support and quality teaching.”  – Old Hallifordian 2015

“I left Halliford in 2014 after seven wonderful years at the school from Year 7 through to Year 13. During my time, I appeared on stage in many a school production, travelled to several far-flung destinations, got tackled on the rugby pitch, sang with the school Jazz band and somehow managed to squeeze in some studying! I said when I left that Halliford is more than just a school; it’s a home away from home.” – Old Hallifordian 2014

“Halliford School became both the foundation of my most enduring friendships and the environment in which I developed the skills required to find my own place in the world.” – Old Hallifordian 2000

“Coming to Halliford from a mixed state school into a mostly male-dominated environment seemed a bit of a leap! However, I’m really pleased I have as I’ve received many opportunities here. I took part as the lead role in the school play, Arabian Nights, which was a brilliant experience for me as it was a great chance to express my creativity in a year where I am mainly concentrating on my studies. I have attended multiple school trips planned for our group for high-achievers, the Slugs, such as an economics lecture at London School of Economics, a science lecture at Royal Holloway, and a trip to see Les Miserables. I would recommend Halliford Sixth Form to other students due to the brilliant standard of teaching. The smaller class sizes enable us to have more one-on-one time with our teachers where we can develop our independent ideas – a precious gift indeed!” – Year 12 Hallifordian



“I joined Halliford last year from Parkside Prep School and did not know what to expect. I visited the school before starting and everyone was so kind and welcoming. Joining Year 9 with a group of people who had been here for two years meant I didn’t know what to expect, but I need not have worried as it’s such a warm school community and I settled in so quickly so all my stress disappeared in a few days.” – Year 9 Hallifordian

“Halliford means so many things to me, it is a school where I am constantly challenged to learn new things and I think the teaching we receive is fantastic. The school has recently introduced sessions on good mental health and I have found this helpful and I know lots of my friends have too. The fact that we are supported to learn good manners and that these are recognised is really encouraging.” – Year 9 Hallifordian

“Halliford is a really warm-hearted school because the teachers are very caring and are constantly encouraging you to get the best possible grade. Also the school has helped me mature a lot, my parents have noticed this and keep telling me about it! Halliford teaches me self-confidence, kindness and to treat others with respect. I’m always kept busy here with lots of exciting opportunities and am surrounded by some great friends.” – Year 8 Hallifordian

“Halliford has given me a positive mental attitude towards education and hard work. It has transformed me from a young boy to a mature, well disciplined young man. I have made wonderful friends who are caring and funny. I am so grateful for the values that Halliford teaches us all and how we are helped to become such well-rounded young men.” – Year 8 Hallifordian

“Halliford means a lot of things to me. I love the variety in the lessons and have been taught so many different things like new languages such as Latin and Spanish. I love learning new vocabulary and being taught in small friendly classes. As well as hard work in the classroom, I have also made the B team for cricket and the C team for rugby giving me the chance to enjoy sport with my friends. Best of all, I was awarded a Bene for my hard work by the Headmaster.” – Year 7 Hallifordian


boys playing cricket


“I love Halliford because I can sing my heart out in music lessons and in the choir. In Drama lessons I have had the chance to play a dog, an evil wizard and then I was God in the school play! It’s great working alongside boys from other year groups and making them laugh. I really enjoy going to lessons and my teachers know me really well. That is why I love Halliford!” – Year 7 Hallifordian

“Halliford means a lot to me as most of my friends go to school here and we have so many opportunities. I went on the Skiing Trip to Austria last year and it was amazing, learning new skills and spending time with my friends. I have had the opportunity to play in the B teams for rugby, football and cricket, and we’ve tried our best and had some great results against much bigger schools. We also went to Harry Potter World at the end of term and saw behind the scenes, which was amazing. After every term when I come back to school it feels like going home and I get a warm welcome from all my friends and even the teachers!” – Year 7 Hallifordian

“My favorite lessons are in Computer Science as we have some great new facilities at the school, and every Monday morning they give me a reason to get out of bed as I’m so excited! I really like the fact that we have been able to learn code and also created a small website. It’s a great chance to learn new and useful skills and to work together with my friends in the class.” – Year 7 Hallifordian



“I really enjoyed the Rhineland Music Tour as I am a passionate musician and music scholar. It was great fun and we got to perform in lots of different locations and also had a lot of fun visiting interesting places between concerts. At school I have many chances to perform and sometimes I even get the Headmaster to accompany me on the piano when I play the violin.” – Year 7 Hallifordian

“I think that this school is fantastic. It is so much better than primary school. I think it has improved my learning by far and the rugby is superb!” – Year 7 Hallifordian

“I think Halliford is a brilliant and thrilling school because the teachers are kind and strict when they need to be. The lessons are brilliant and fun.” – Year 7 Hallifordian

“Halliford is a lovely school and I am happy here. All the teachers make you laugh and help you. My favourite lesson is History.” – Year 7 Hallifordian

“The school dinners are scrumdidelumpsious!” – Year 7 Hallifordian

“I think Halliford School is wonderful. There are lots of opportunities here. I am really enjoying it.” – Year 7 Hallifordian

“I think Halliford is an excellent and professional school for children because all the teachers are smart.” – Year 7 Hallifordian


fruit at school


“Mrs Clatworthy, I just wanted to write a quick note to say thank you, we really enjoyed the tour of the school you gave us recently. Your passion for the school was so genuine and it was infectious. My son came away very excited and he looks forward to receiving his interview date.”

“My son and I wanted to say a BIG thank you for arranging and touring us through Halliford today. I have been so very impressed by your follow up, updates, care and personal approach during this unique time. If only every school was as accommodating. Being able to make a physical visit to the school has helped significantly.”

“I just wanted to thank you so much for the sensitive and personal manner in which you have guided us, but more importantly our son, through these last few months. As you said at the Open Day, this process is a lot for any 10 year old to go through – I would even describe it as brutal at times! Halliford has stood out from any other school as having the boys’ well-being, self-esteem and confidence as a priority at all times. This was clear from initial reading of the website, to the sensitive way that you handled the interview and exams (in that order – so important!), to the wonderful and very personal offer letter. You have even understood that the relief at choosing a place can quickly turn into concern about upcoming changes, and sent a reassuring letter to our son about three different days he will be able to visit and start making friends. All of this has made us extremely confident that Halliford is the right choice for our son. You are to be congratulated in not only choosing this approach when other schools focus on academic achievements only, but in achieving it!”

“I wanted to write to you to thank you for making our visits to Halliford so seamless, in particular how you and your team looked after our son for his interview. Halliford is a wonderful and caring school and clearly your commitment to making prospective parents feel welcome and at ease is a large reason why.”

“We are utterly thrilled that you have offered our son a place and we have decided Halliford is the ideal school for him. Please can I also thank you for the incredibly considerate approach you have to the selection process. Neither of us have any experience of independent schools, but from the tone of Mrs Clatworthy’s emails, through to the relaxed and supportive nature of the exam day, I promise Halliford’s approach puts others to shame! The fact you wrote a letter directly to our son was a fantastic touch and after all the work he put in, it actually moved us to tears!”


Student thinking about his next move as he plays chess


“We would like to express our gratitude to you, the staff and pupils for making yesterday’s Open Day a wonderful event, which helped us to fully appreciate the whole environment that is Halliford School. The dedication and enthusiasm of you and your staff came across very strongly in the various conversations we had during the Open Day event. We also like the emphasis you place on family values which is something we try to aspire to with our children and grandchildren. We are sure that during our grandson’s attendance at your superb school he will become more confident and stimulated by the learning conditions that you have created and therefore will achieve fully his inherent abilities. A special mention must also be made of our “guide” who did a sterling job of taking us to all the departments of the school. At no time did we feel hurried and yet we saw all we wanted to see in a timely fashion. It must be something to do with him being a cricketer where timing is paramount!!”

“It is with much delight that we would like to accept your offer of a place at Halliford School for our son. We appreciate hugely how you put our son very much at ease during the interview, and he has enjoyed visiting the school on every occasion. The decision is very much his as much as it is ours. We look forward to seeing our son embrace secondary school life with you there.”


Students having a chat with a teacher


“Our son greatly enjoyed the tour with Mrs Clatworthy a few weeks ago and we feel that he would be very happy at Halliford. We were all impressed with the school’s excellence in sports, arts, and music, as well as the academic side.”

“Your admissions process has been the most personal and thoughtful in our experience, and a credit to you. Your school has proven to be exceptional in so many ways. Keep doing what you are as we are only hearing positives about Halliford out there.”

“I wanted to say how wowed we have been by our experience of Halliford so far. Every interaction we have had during the process with teachers, staff and pupils, has been extremely positive. Our son has received lots of offers from some great schools but our experience of Halliford stands out as a school that can offer both the academic side of the education we have been looking for and so much more besides.”

“Thank you to all your kind and supportive teachers.”

“Such a wonderful school thanks to it’s lovely staff.”



“We are delighted our son has been offered a place at Halliford. We accept this place without hesitation and he is looking forward to starting. Many thanks for ensuring the application process has been so very smooth and with little stress as possible for our son.”

“I wanted to write and thank you for the admissions experience we have had as a family in joining Halliford. We were made to feel special and valued, it was such a positive experience. When I was describing my experience finding my son a senior school place, a fellow mum asked me “Was that Halliford?” Her son is joining in Year 9 and she has had the same wonderful experience.”

“I want to offer my sincere thanks again for making this stressful process more bearable. You have been a constantly friendly and professional point of contact, helpfully guiding us through. Thank you.”

“Such wonderful, dedicated staff.


Student spraying onto a work surface


“Thank you so much for the attention and warmth you showed my son.”

“Thank you so much for all you have done for my boys, I have never seen them happier.”

“The school has such a special feel and my son said afterwards there is no school he would rather go to in the world!!”

“I wanted to write to say thank you for the lovely letter you sent with your offer – and particularly the letter you wrote to our son. Again, he was delighted and has it prominently displayed in his room. We realise that the competition for places is fierce and that there are a large number of applicants which makes the time and trouble you have taken over the letters even more impressive. It is much appreciated and, together with your conduct of the entire 13+ process, certainly backs up your message of treating each boy as an individual.”



“We have not only been impressed with the school, the Headmaster and teachers we have met, but also the warm and clear communications during the application process from you and your team.”

“We were very pleased with the professionalism of the whole 11+ entrance experience managed by the school. Thank you once again for your excellent communication and the overall experience provided to our son.”

“We were hugely impressed by Halliford. We can safely say that your school was by far the most impressive in terms of organisation and communication throughout our whole process of choosing our son’s next school.”

“We were very impressed with your lovely school and the warm welcome we received each time we visited it. Thank you once again for all the kind assistance you provided us during our application process.”



“I just wanted to say what a fantastic Open Morning it was. We were led around by a student who was confident, polite and who knew the school really well. You could tell he was proud of his school. Everyone was so friendly and went over and above to make us feel welcome.”

“Thanks for the amazing Open Morning. The staff, students and facilities were very impressive and extremely welcoming. Particularly I would like to pass on my thanks to your students who were excellent tour guides and ambassadors for the school.”

“A huge thank you to all at Halliford for making the taster day such a positive experience for our son, and I am sure for all your new boys. He had a great day and thoroughly enjoyed all aspects.”



“I am so proud of the students that I have tutored over the years who have gone to Halliford. They are all well-rounded young men and have made friends for life – fabulous school. I highly recommend it!”

“Thank you so much for the time you spent with my son and me. We greatly respect the work you do, together with the entire team at Halliford. It is a fantastic school and one you should all be proud to be part of. Thanks also to Mrs Clatworthy for her pivotal role in this process and for answering all my queries.”

“Can I just say our son was so overwhelmed when he read his personal offer letter, he burst into tears. Halliford was his/our number one choice and you could tell how much the offer meant to him. Although Halliford has always had a great reputation, I can honestly say the Open Mornings we attended, the personal tour you gave us & meeting Mr Davies at the interview just proved everything that we had heard through the grapevine. No other school gave the same feel when we were looking around & we are so proud that our son received an offer from Halliford.”

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