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Part of Woodard Academies

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Polam Hall School is a non-selective Free School offering quality education to boys and girls from age 4 to 19. The School converted from a fee-paying independent School to a Free School in September 2015 and offers a three-form entry system at Year 7 and places for 60 boarders.
Polam Hall is, and always will be, a small school. The School’s long-established core values of excellent teaching and outstanding pastoral guidance remain, but as a Free School there is now the added advantage that more families can benefit from what we offer without the expense of school fees. Boarding fees are also vastly reduced in line with other state boarding schools.

Polam Hall has a strong sense of community, backed up by rigorous academic learning; a wide range of extracurricular activity; plenty of creative stimulus, and a competitive but caring house system. Set in 20 acres of beautiful grounds, we are privileged to have such a stunning location – just minutes from Darlington Rail Station and the A1(M).

Woodard Academies Trust

Faith, Unity and Vision are the three words that capture the very essence of a Woodard education

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Woodard Academies Trust is an education charity formed to deliver an academy programme on behalf of Woodard Schools.  Created by founder Nathaniel Woodard in 1848, Woodard is the largest group of independent Church of England Schools in England and Wales.  Woodard Academies Trust and Woodard Schools share a common ethos of faith, unity and vision and are determined to inspire young people to make a difference.

Our Christian ethos reflects our deep commitment to delivering an outstanding education to our students.  We prioritise inclusion and value individuals and our academies welcome students and staff of all faiths and none.

We excel in delivering pastoral care and personalised learning paths.   Our aim is to offer students a first-class education and teach them real-life skills that will provide lifelong benefits.  We are passionate about enrichment and the development of the whole person, so our schools and academies run extensive sporting, music, arts, community and charity programmes. Duke of Edinburgh and programmes through The National Citizenship Service feature strongly in our academies.   

Working For Us


It is our strategic aim to be an employer of choice and we are well on the way to achieving this. Employee engagement and wellbeing is very important to us. In a recent employee engagement survey with a response rate of 85%, over 70% of our people told us that:

  • “Woodard Academies are good places to work”
  • “They have the skills and training to do their jobs well”
  • “They have a shared understanding of what they are seeking to achieve”
  • “They are proud of what they achieve”
  • Our staff also told us where we need to improve and we are actively working together to address these issues.

Induction and Career Development:

  • Induction and a strong programme of in-house training
  • A mentor programme for all newly qualified teachers
  • Teaching Effectiveness Enhancement Programme (TEEP delivered with SSAT)
  • Active collaborative networks

Pay and Conditions:

  • Competitive salaries
  • Teachers’ Pension Scheme or Local Government Pension Scheme with high levels of employer contribution
  • Excellent terms and conditions of employment
  • Generous holiday entitlement or term time working
  • Employee Support

Strong and visionary professionals who:

  • Are committed to the Trust’s ethos and values
  • Can contribute to bringing our academies to standards of excellence
  • Are passionate about making a difference
  • Have the capacity to inspire and lead

Vision and Values

At Polam Hall, we aim to build creativity, confidence and compassion in our young people.

Our strengths lie in the effective teaching of traditional academic subjects; a passion for outstanding cultural and sporting activities, and embracing new technology.

We work together to equip young people for university and for adulthood and the world of work. We have a deep, long-held commitment to our local community and our pupils are encouraged to lead and participate in a range of outward-bound, sporting and artistic endeavours, demonstrating the highest standards of work and behaviour at all times. Polam Hall builds confidence for life, in everything we say and do.

We aim to provide:

  • A culture of achievement and aspiration within a supportive environment, allowing pupils to find their true talents and excel
  • High standards of behaviour and a commitment to promoting the success of all
  • A highly expert teaching staff to provide specialist input from Year 3, inspiring a real love of learning and encouraging all pupils to fulfil their potential and go on to pursue rewarding careers
  • A continuous and maturing experience that develops from Reception through to age 19 and embeds positive role-models and good learning habits
  • A broad and rigorous academic curriculum ensuring strong take up and success in the core subjects of maths, science and modern languages, while developing outstanding achievement in sport and the creative and performance arts
  • A boarding facility that provides a stable and caring environment where children can learn and flourish
  • A vibrant House culture which promotes loyalty and community participation; peer-group support; leadership and teamwork and a healthy spirit of competition.

Our location

Darlington, County Durham

Polam Hall School

Grange Road,
County Durham,