Frequently Asked Questions

General FAQs

What makes New Hall School unique?

We believe a New Hall education can give you the best start in life. We know that your experience in your school days is a powerful influence on future success, in your chosen career and in your personal relationships. We believe that New Hall offers a distinctive education of real quality.

Is New Hall fully co-educational?

New Hall we operate a highly successful ‘diamond model’ structure, i.e. co-education in the Preparatory School (ages 3-11), single-sex education in the Boys’ Division and Girls’ Division (11-16) and co-education in the Sixth Form (16-18). In this way, New Hall provides the best of both worlds: the benefits of a co-educational environment together with the advantages of girls and boys being taught separately at Key Stages 3 and 4.

We believe that, in their formative years, girls and boys are best educated separately in the classroom. This enables them to grow in confidence, whilst enjoying an education that is specifically tailored and recognises the differences in the way in which boys and girls learn. The pastoral needs of boys and girls are different and they mature at different rates. An education system that is built around this reality is more likely to ensure that your son’s or daughter’s needs are best met.

Do we have to be Catholic to apply to New Hall?

No. New Hall has a Catholic foundation and welcomes all those who support its ethos. Students of different faiths and traditions belong to our community and we believe that everyone benefits from the values of trust and respect that are central to our school life. There is an emphasis on service to others, especially those in need. Chapel assembly is a regular feature during the week and prayers form an integral part of daily life. On Sunday evenings boarders, of many different faiths, come together for Mass in the beautiful school chapel.  This is a special time for everyone and boarders are involved with organising this, as readers and as servers.

What are the travel arrangements for day pupils and boarders?

We have a number of coaches, minibuses and lift shares in operation. We have a minibus collection and drop-off at Chelmsford Station (direct from London Liverpool Street, approximately 35 minutes). Transport to and from airports (London Stansted 30 minutes away) is arranged by the school. For information on coaches and bus services to and from New Hall please contact the Mrs G Phillips on 01245 467 588.

Click here to find out more about our Coach Services.

What boarding options are there at New Hall?

Boarding is available to all students from age 7-18. We offer flexi, weekly and full boarding, depending on the child’s age.  Please see our boarding section for more details or contact the registrar to arrange a visit.

What is included in the school fees?

The school fees include teaching and curriculum costs (with a few exceptions such as public examination entries and school trips).  In the Senior school, there is an extended school day (with provision from 8.00am - 6.00pm), ESB & LAMDA training, an extensive extra-curricular programme of clubs and activities*, school lunches and tea, a New Hall study journal and membership of the Independent Schools’ Careers Organisation and the School Sports Centre (including tennis courts and the indoor swimming pool which parents and siblings may also join at a subsidised rate).  At the Preparatory School, lunches, tea and After School Care (provision till 6.00pm) are all included.  There is an extensive co-curricular programme of clubs and activities*.  All boarders' meals are included in the termly fee.  For details of English as an Additional Language charges for international students studying in the Sixth Form please contact Mrs Caroline Edmunds, Head of EAL via c.edmunds@newhallschool.co.uk.

* Some co-curricular clubs and activities will incur an additional charge.

I have heard that there are waiting lists at New Hall. How might this affect my child's application?

There are waiting lists at New Hall, so it is best to register your child at the earliest opportunity. Some parents choose to register their child from birth. Students who are placed on a waiting list will be considered in accordance with our admissions policy.

What are class sizes like at New Hall?

There are approximately 340 pupils on roll at the Preparatory School with comparative numbers of boys and girls.  We have a two form entry system with one year group exception of three classes.  Class numbers in Key Stage 1 do not normally exceed 20.  In Years 3-6, classes may increase to 21 or 22 pupils, primarily to allow for reserved places for 7+ full and weekly boarding entry to the school.  Since Key Stage 2 classes are split more than two ways for some subjects, the average class size at Key Stage 2 is approximately 14.  There are occasions when class sizes (Reception - Year 6) may increase to 21, to accommodate staff children.
In the Senior School, typically most teaching groups will have 20-24 pupils, with lower class sizes for some subjects e.g. Design & Technology, Cookery or Modern Languages. This brings the average class size at Key Stage 3 to around 18. Class sizes reduce overall at GCSE, with many of the optional subjects being taught in groups of fewer than 18 and some in groups of fewer than 10. In the Sixth Form, class sizes typically range from 3-15. 

Preparatory School FAQs

My child is used to a small prep school, will New Hall Senior School be too large?

The size of New Hall brings huge advantages to students, as you will see when you look at our excellent facilities and outstanding gardens and grounds.  At New Hall children have room to grow.  At New Hall we pride ourselves on our family atmosphere and values.  All our staff, and their families, are dedicated to ensuring every student feels part of the New Hall family - a feeling that will stay with them for the rest of their lives.

Do you prepare pupils for the 11+ examination?

The curriculum at the Preparatory School is designed to ensure that all pupils realise their potential.  Pupils are constantly challenged by teachers' high expectations and ambitious targets and therefore those children who are of the appropriate ability to sit the 11+ Examination are well prepared for the academic challenge which the examination offers.  In addition, pupils start verbal reasoning classes in Year 3 and there are scholarship classes in English and Mathematics which are available to Year 5 pupils before and after school; these classes offer further support and challenge for those pupils wishing to sit the 11+ Examination or the New Hall Scholarship Examination.

Senior School FAQs

Where do New Hall Senior School students come from?

Around one third of those who join at 11+ come from New Hall Preparatory School. The majority come from other preparatory schools (located primarily in Southern England) and local primary schools.  An increasing number of our younger students are coming from other parts of the UK and choosing us because of our outstanding boarding reputation. At 13+, entrants are usually boarders from preparatory schools throughout England, with a small number from overseas. At 16+, entrants are usually boarders and join us from locations throughout the UK and abroad.

What provision is made for the academically able?

In the Senior School, students are set according to ability in a range of subjects including: English, Mathematics, Science, French and Spanish. In the Preparatory School, setting takes place in Mathematics and English from Year 3 and there is setting in English for Years 5&6. The school has a Gifted & Talented Co-ordinator who, together with the staff of the Learning Development Department, leads the provision of a programme to stretch the most able students across the Preparatory and Senior schools. A gifted or talented student may be offered accelerated learning in subjects where the learning matches the student’s potential and capabilities and, where appropriate, a student may take GCSE or A Level subjects early. Gifted and talented students are provided with differentiated work in all subjects where they show high level potential. Differentiated work challenges the most able and promotes a higher level of thinking. There are also a number of extension and enrichment activities outside the curriculum, including: residential courses, master classes, academic mentoring and national competitions such as the UK Maths Challenge.

What careers and university preparation do you provide?

New Hall recognises the importance of a careers programme that can motivate students at key stages of their education, particularly when considering GCSE, A Level and university options. All students become members of the Independent Schools’ Careers Organisation (ISCO) and receive expert guidance from the Careers Department. New Hall encourages able students to apply for leading universities, including Oxford and Cambridge. There is an Oxbridge programme that commences in Year 10. The school has a strong track record of students winning Oxbridge places in a wide range of subjects, including arts, sciences, humanities and languages.

Sixth Form FAQs

What are the destinations of Sixth Form leavers?

Our students generally go to their first choice university and read a diverse range of degree courses including classics, law, engineering, medicine, humanities, theology, architecture and languages. Some of our Sixth Form students undertake a Gap Year before university, which usually involves travelling and working abroad.  In the last few years students have progressed to Oxbridge, Imperial College London, University of Leeds, University of Manchester, Royal Holloway College London, University of Nottingham, University of East Anglia and the University of Sheffield.