At St Hugh’s, boarders have the opportunity to turn the school into their playground after the school day has finished, enjoying all the facilities St Hugh’s has to offer. As a family we aim to create the culture of an extended boarding family, where each child feels safe, happy and valued. We aim to ensure that the children enjoy their boarding experience and develop friendships that last well beyond their years at St Hugh’s.
Having both boys and girls from Years 3 to 8 under one roof helps create the sense of being part of an extended family. Under our guidance as Houseparents and with the support of house tutors, matrons and parents, we believe children are well supported to ensure they enjoy their boarding experience.
We believe boarding at St Hugh’s helps children develop their independence, confidence and resilience, all of which are integral skills they will need to face the challenges both at St Hugh’s and beyond.
Once the school day is over at 16:45, boarders have the opportunity to take part in extra-curricular clubs or come up to the Boarding House and change into their home clothes. Some boarders like to make use of the adventure playground while others enjoy taking Mazzi (our Labrador) for a walk. Some boarders just like to relax on the boarders’ landing after a hard day’s work! Junior boarders enjoy a family style tea with the Houseparents and boarding tutors before completing their prep under the guidance of the house tutors. Our junior boarders do their prep in the Houseparents’ flat, helping to create a family atmosphere. The junior boarders then have the opportunity to choose their evening activities; these include baking, tennis, football, Sports Hall activities and, when it gets dark enough, ‘Spotlight’ (whole school hide and seek). Before bedtime the junior boarders enjoy making the most of the boarders’ kitchen and they are able to help themselves to fresh fruit or toast and cereal. They also have the opportunity to relax with their friends while enjoying sport or a movie on the new 65” TV.
Senior boarders follow a similar routine although their tea starts 15 minutes later (17:45) and, to help develop and prepare senior boarders for life at senior schools, they complete their prep in either the IT suites or our newly renovated Dovecote Library. Bedtime routine for all boarders involves showers, PJs, brushing teeth, story time, all before some quiet reading with night lights. Bedtimes are staggered and age appropriate.
On a Friday, we like to celebrate the start of the weekend by taking the boarders off-site for a special activity, such as Free Dog (trampoline park), crazy golf, pizza night, cinema trips, live sport or sometimes some well-deserved retail therapy. Alternatively, on some occasions, we have activities at St Hugh’s such as in-house laser tag, zorbing, silent discos, live music performances or even an in-house pampering session, for those who would like to!
We expect all the children to learn how to change their own bed sheets. Flexi and Open Boarders are expected to change their sheet in the morning after their last night so that the bed is ready for the next boarder. We believe this is an important life skill that will stand the children in good stead for the future, as well as helping to develop a sense of community within the Boarding House.
We offer three forms of boarding at St Hugh’s: Weekly Boarding (Monday – Saturday morning), Flexi Boarding (regular nights each week), both of which are booked in advance and are available to all children in Years 3 – 8, and we also offer Open Boarding (one off nights), this is a ‘last minute’ boarding solution and is also available for all children in Years 3 - 8.
Whatever form of boarding you and your children choose, we have an open-door policy and would love to welcome you to visit the Boarding House at St Hugh’s and meet our family, as well as our extended family of boarders.
Jack and Jessica Avery
A strong sense of community pervades the whole school and flows through the boarding house. Relationships between staff and boarders, and amogst the boarders themselves, are warm, sincere and based on trust and mutual respect.
Independent Schools Inspectorate