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Hallfield School
Hallfield School
Hallfield School
Hallfield School
Hallfield School Birmingham, West Midlands Visit
school
Hallfield School
Birmingham
558 pupils, ages 3 months - 13 years
Mixed
Day

Hallfield School

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Our View

In an educationally competitive marketplace, Hallfield School in Birmingham has carved out a niche with its ‘three months to 13 years’ offering and a headmaster whose enthusiasm for educating the whole child is infectious. With a surprising 22 acres, it’s a city school with a rural feel, and a palpably friendly vibe that envelops a core of solid academic achievement.

Where?

Hallfield School is an academic Tardis, accessed from the busy suburb of Edgbaston but opening up into a large campus with dedicated age-group playgrounds, playing fields and two Astros. High-rise flats visible over the tops of the forest-school trees are your only clue to your urban location once beyond the entrance – although take note that sat-navs may take you to nearby Edgbaston High School for Girls, so prepare to check the map before you go.

Pupils from three months to 13 years all occupy the well-structured site, which has facilities for different age groups and ample space for classroom, co-curricular and outdoor pursuits.

Head

We defy anyone not to warm to Keith Morrow. He is welcoming, enthusiastic and thoughtful, but his amiable demeanour belies a commercial acumen and emotional intelligence that shouldn’t be underestimated. He knows exactly what he wants for his pupils, but he also understands what parents expect. Mr Morrow has navigated an impressively true course since he started here in 2018 – one that has resulted in striking improvements to the co-curricular infrastructure in particular, and has also turned the school’s academic reputation into the basis of a truly holistic education.

He is already the longest-serving head at Hallfield in quite some time, and his passion for progress shows no signs of dwindling. His previous school doubled in size on his watch, and it is abundantly clear that Mr Morrow wants what’s best for his pupils – he will readjust, reschedule, reshape and rethink wherever necessary. He has ‘never seen a conflict in a holistic education’, but he is careful to incorporate what matters to hardworking parents who make sacrifices to send their children here. If they want to see subject clinics for the 11+, he will include them into the activities programme to ensure that pupils can learn together and enjoy doing it.

‘A passion for learning and a belief in yourself are more important than anything else,’ insists Mr Morrow, ‘and will sustain you in difficult times when things don’t go your way.’ That said, he’s clear that parents should be able to take an excellent academic standard as a given in the independent sector and that it’s all the ‘other things’ that make a school stand out. A big fan of pupil voice, he says that ‘many of the best ideas come from the children’ and entrusts them with a very mature level of responsibility.

Admissions

Although Hallfield is a popular school, there are often opportunities for places across all the year groups throughout the year – particularly for new starters in Years 7 and 8 in the steadily growing senior section. It’s three-form entry from Reception to Year 6 (it's worthy of note that nursery places are only offered to children who have signed up for Reception); younger children are invited for taster days; and from Year 1, prospective pupils complete an age-appropriate reading and maths assessment to help the school establish whether or not they will be able to access its whole curriculum. All pupils must also submit a reference from their previous school.

Academics and senior school destinations

Hallfield has always been relied upon for its academic strength, and a whopping half of pupils emerge from here at 11+ with some form of scholarship. But what struck us most was the way in which the school has evolved to adopt a growth mindset, championing confidence-building and giving children a safe place to take risks and build the resilience needed for the real world.

Facilities are excellent and there’s a very mature feel about much of the campus. Pupils from Year 3 use one or both of the science labs, and ICT provision is robust, with both a Mac suite (also used for music tech) and a PC room (complete with boxes of programmable robots), and our lunch hosts told us that they are all learning coding and how to design apps.

English may not be a first language for some pupils, but the excellent EAL department works closely alongside learning support to ensure that children feel fully able to access both the learning and social opportunities on offer. Learning support is also valuable for some of the most able pupils who might need a little bit of an extra challenge.

For most children, the 11+ and a local grammar is the route of choice, but with a senior-school offering now in place until 13+, parents and pupils can enjoy the luxury of options. The additional two years are often just what’s needed to gain the confidence to springboard to an independent boarding school or to extend the more nurturing style of prep-school care, as children mature at different rates.

Co-curricular

Co-curricular provision has burgeoned on Mr Morrow’s watch and is properly all-encompassing. Absolutely everyone gets involved with music, drama, art, sport, clubs and D&T as an integral part of the curriculum, and a brilliant year-long sponsored music programme gives every Year 2 pupil the chance to learn an instrument. Groups range from violin to oboe and French horn – a wonderful opportunity to find a new passion and a clever sowing of the diverse seeds needed to propagate Hallfield’s 14 orchestras and ensembles.

There’s plenty of space for sport on campus, with multiple grass pitches, a large and functional indoor sports hall and a brace of Astros. Timetabled sport (taught by specialist staff) focuses on gymnastics, swimming, coordination and ball skills for the younger ones before leading into netball, football, hockey, cricket and athletics. Squash lessons (from Year 3) take place at the Edgbaston Priory Club; from Year 7 pupils take golf lessons at Edgbaston Golf Club, and all children take part in swimming lessons at the neighbouring University of Birmingham's Olympic-sized pool. 

Drama is part and parcel of the curriculum and viewed as an all-round builder of confidence and a support for interview preparation. The current drama space is functional, although performances (like the recent and astoundingly professional Matilda) are staged in the main hall. In 2029, the school will celebrate its 150th birthday, and the exciting Project 150, which encompasses a broad range of developments, includes plans for a very snazzy new performing arts centre.

The D&T room is large and well stocked, with a 3D printer, heat press, woodworking tools and the like, and art too is given significant real estate with its own pottery kiln and a fantastic array of artwork adorning the walls and corridors beyond. Younger children use a transformed little outbuilding called the Creative Cottage.

Hallfield also boasts a superb food-tech room. It hosts classes on knife skills and nutrition for older pupils, as well as the headmaster’s after school club, Ready, Steady Bake, and an ongoing tailored food programme for all pupils. The ‘Radio Room’ is rather different too, with a mixing desk and microphones used to create podcasts, the debate programme ‘How Hallfield Hears It’, the ‘Soundtracks to My Life’ chat show and interviews with parents and guest speakers for a careers talk series aimed at Years 5 to 8. Hallfield pupils are also brilliant at chess (the school has the only chess league we’ve ever heard of with a waiting list), with a trophy cabinet bursting with silver pawns, including the IAPS Champion trophy for the past five years in a row.

There is a surprising amount of fauna here for a city school, and the headmaster’s dog is a central part of life. There are numerous guinea pigs, a flock of 10 chickens and a rooster that are firm friends of the Hallfield community and play a role in the curriculum via, for example, the hilariously titled ‘Henrichment’.

School community

Hallfield is a very diverse school, and culture, heritage and tradition are wholeheartedly embraced and celebrated. The school has recently noticed far more parents reaching out to them for pastoral advice, and indeed the head of wellbeing is as welcoming of parents as pupils in her daily one-to-one sessions. ‘Valuing every child’ is central to a Hallfield education – and it shows.

And finally....

Mr Morrow replaced his office door in week one, switching solid austere wood for a glass panel through which he could see out and pupils could peer in. A fitting metaphor for Hallfield itself, throwing off the rigid mantle of pure academic pursuit in favour of light, colour, curiosity and inclusivity – and the beauty of it all is that the door still functions every bit as well as it always did.

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  • Fees and bursaries

    Day fees per term

    Nursery-
    Reception£4,510
    Year 1£4,510
    Year 2£4,510
    Year 3£5,395
    Year 4£5,395
    Year 5£5,395
    Year 6£5,395
    Year 7£5,655
    Year 8 £5,655


  • Transport links


    Public Transport
    Nearest mainline train station: Birmingham New Street
    Journey time to London by train: 90 minutes
    Nearest international airport: Birmingham International (17 miles)


School Updates

  • See Hallfield in our Town & Country Prep Schools Guide

    See Hallfield in our Town & Country Prep Schools Guide
  • See Hallfield School in our Midlands Schools Guide

    See Hallfield School in our Midlands Schools Guide

Hallfield School is
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Essentials

Address
48 Church Road, Edgbaston, Birmingham, West Midlands B15 3SJ

Contact
admissions@hallfieldschool.co.uk
0121 454 1496

Website
hallfieldschool.co.uk

ISI Report

Fees

Term Dates


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