16th April 2021 — As news came of yet another lockdown, it was clear that we were unable to host our Examination Day this January as usual. We would normally welcome students to Halliford on a Saturday morning where they would be split into small groups and taken by our teachers to their respective classrooms in order to sit their assessment. In their morning break, they would enjoy delicious treats baked by our school chef, Mr Murphy, and they would receive a Halliford goodie bag at the end of the morning.
As we were unable to host our Examination Day in person, we set about thinking how we could still bring some Halliford magic to our candidates. This can be a worrying time for students and parents, and we wanted to do all we could to set minds at rest and bring some much-needed joy at this difficult time of lockdown.
We decided on the idea of a personalised Halliford School Lockdown Survival Kit with branded earphones, a face mask, pen and pencil, and also a cookie baked by Mr Murphy, and a bar of chocolate. Lastly and most importantly, we included a Good Luck message from Mr Davies and a postcard from our Prefects.
It was all hands on deck preparing the kits in time for our candidates to receive them for the Examination Day, and Mr Davies hand-delivered them to the post office this week.
The feedback has been amazing -
"To all at Halliford, We just wanted to say a huge thank you to you for the lockdown survival kits which have arrived today. The boys loved everything and the cookies vanished in front of our eyes in seconds!!!! The postcards were a very personal and welcome touch. As parents trying to steer our boys through the pre-test process it would always have been tricky but during Covid it has certainly been different. We have had the benefit, I guess, of seeing how the different schools have adapted their processes as a result of Covid and we have been blown away by how much Halliford have kept the children's wellbeing first and foremost. We know your approach is different and more nurturing than other Schools and this has shone out very clearly in your adaptations of your friendly interview, exams and your survival guides...It has been noticed and appreciated! Thank you from the bottom of our hearts."
"Lovely touch from
@hallifordhead sending my son his own lockdown survival kit! Thank you. If only these existed for parents going through 11+ too!
"This is absolutely amazing. I know some lovely twins who are bracing themselves and this will completely alleviate much stress. What a wonderful school!"
"I don’t know of any other schools that takes into consideration the experience of an entrance exam on an 11 year old boy. Alleviating some of the stress and adding some excitement is just the ticket."
"Just showed this to my son and he can't wait to receive it - such a lovely idea. Thanks to the school for being so communicative and helpful through such fast-changing times. Good luck to everyone for Saturday."
"Such a lovely and thoughtful thing to do at a time when the boys are having to go through an already stressful time. The cookie will definitely be appreciated in this house. Good luck boys."
"My son received his lockdown survival kit today. What a wonderful gesture! He’s already putting the earphones to good use (and he shared his chocolate with his mum!). Halliford has really shown that they put pastoral care at the centre through this kind and thoughtful deed and that means so much."
"What a lovely idea. Goes to show what great ethos Halliford School has."
"My son will be beside himself when he sees this! And all the more keen to join Halliford! Thanks so much for this encouragement."
"One of the many reasons we are so delighted our son chose Halliford to be his school."
"What a lovely idea, such a welcoming and thoughtful school."
"So lovely and just the boost my 11 year old needs this week."
"A lovely, unique thought from
@hallifordhead arrived today for my son in prep for his upcoming 11+ exams: his own lockdown survival kit! (The biscuit went VERY quickly) It has been a stressful time but this certainly brightened things up today. TY!"
"Dear Mr Davies and everyone at Haliford, Thank you very much for my lovely gifts. It made my day!! I can’t wait to join Haliford School and meet all the lovely teachers and make new friends. My older brother is very jealous but I did share my chocolate with him. Thank you very much."
"Lockdown Survival Kit just arrived and produced big smiles all round. Thank you. So thoughtful and indicative of the values embedded at Halliford.
"Just a huge thank you to you and all the team involved for putting together the survival kit. It brought a huge smile to my son's face and it’s such a lovely touch from you all during what must be a very difficult and busy time for the Halliford Admissions Team. Thanks again."
"Dear Mr Davies and Will Wheeler, I received my lockdown package today. Thank you for the amazing treats! My favourite was the Halliford headphones. Thank you so much!"
"Just a quick note to thank you for the wonderful care package! My son is thrilled with his earphones and of course the edible items. Many thanks to all who was involved in this. It was very welcomed and a lovely idea ahead of the assessment this weekend."
"Dear Mr Davies and Mrs Clatworthy, Just a note to say thank you for the survival kit that my son has just received in the post. He is thrilled with it and his brother has been very kind and helped him eat the cookie. Such a lovely touch and much appreciated. Many thanks."
"I just wanted to let you know that we received the lockdown survival kit for our son and he was absolutely thrilled! That was a very kind and thoughtful gesture during this time when the children are feeling a little unsettled. He particularly appreciated the earphones and face mask."
"Dear Mr Davies, I just wanted to say hello and how after the Interview, I received my survival pack and I loved it. I wanted to use the earphones straight away so I went on a walk and listened to some music. Thank you for the pack; it was amazing and it was a true privilege talking to you!"
"Thank you so much for the very thoughtful kit that arrived with us this afternoon. Our son was as impressed as we were and practically inhaled the lovely looking cookie!"
"Thank you very much for my Lockdown Survival Pack that arrived in the post today. I especially loved the homemade cookie which instantly helped me regain my energy after an hour and ten minute games lesson this afternoon! The surprise was really fun and thoughtful and put a big smile on my face after a long day at my desk."
"I just wanted to say a huge thank you for the lockdown survival kit Harry has just received ahead of the exam tomorrow. This shows such care and consideration for the boys and is very much appreciated. Please also pass on my thanks to the Headmaster, Mr Davies."
"To everyone at Halliford, Thank you so much for my gifts. They will come in very handy – I have eaten the cookie (and shared it with my brother!), but I am saving the chocolate for the morning of the exam. The headphones were my favorite item and I am using them for my lessons today. Have a wonderful day."
"Dear Mr Davies, Will and the Prefects, Thank you for my lockdown survival pack. I absolutely love it and I really hope I get into your school."
"As a family we would like to extend our gratitude and appreciation to Mr Davies, Will, the Prefect Team and yourself for this wonderful, thoughtful gesture. Our son is prepped and ready, looking forward to his exam tomorrow. Although, it is a shame he is not able to attend Halliford tomorrow this heartfelt gift really put a smile on his face and lifted his spirits. Thank you again"
We are so delighted that we achieved our desired aim of bringing some cheer to our candidates.