Life of a Boarder
With around 170 new pupils from more than 100 different schools joining the school each academic year, our community is both diverse and inclusive. It is easy to find friends with shared interests, and the fact that more than half of the pupils have a sibling here contributes to the family atmosphere.
Our boarders are at the heart of our school community and every pupil joins one of five houses which are co-educational in the Lower School and single sex in the Upper School. Each house is run by a Housemaster or Housemistress and a team of tutors who take a close and active interest in pupils’ academic and social development, as well as encouraging them to make the most of the activities on offer. Above all, they really do make sure that the house is a home from home.
Each house buzzes with a life of its own. Boarding staff recognise the importance of a balance between work and social life. Academic support, with an emphasis on independent learning, is offered as are a range of fun weekend activities which range from fancy dress parties and quiz and film nights to barbecues, theatre trips and meals out.
Boarding makes you grow up a lot and gives you an advantage when you leave. You get to know everyone you live with so much better than anyone else. The Evans girls are like my sisters.
Evans House Pupil
The Manor is a fabulous Victorian mansion set in 65 acres of grounds and just a short walk from the main school. It is home to all of our Lower School Boarders (Years 7-9 inclusive). Some boarders join us aged 11 but the majority join at 13, into Year 9, when entry is exclusively for boarders.
The co-educational environment at The Manor allows boys and girls to form firm friendships, based on mutual respect and trust, before their move to the single-sex Upper School boarding houses and the start of their GCSE studies.
Manor boarders arrive at main school for lessons after breakfast and a short stroll through the Manor grounds or ride on the school shuttle bus. After lessons finish at 4pm, they either return to The Manor for tea and cake or stay at main school for clubs and activities, returning at 5.30pm. Supper at The Manor is at 6pm and prep and activities are organised and supervised by house staff until bedtime.
Year 9 (Third Form) entrants are welcomed as senior pupils of the Lower School. This year is a time of change - intellectually, socially, emotionally and physically - and we use this time to prepare pupils for what lies ahead. With exam years on the horizon, academic work moves up a gear and the pupils are encouraged to take on more responsibility, for both themselves and their community. They develop a wider social circle and learn the importance of teamwork and mutual respect.
Pupils entering the Upper School move into one of four, single-sex boarding houses on the main site and continue to enjoy a wide selection of in-house and inter-house events and activities.
Entertainment within houses can range from quiz nights, BBQs, fancy dress parties, restaurant meals, cinema and theatre visits to wellie throwing and talent shows! The 17 Club is run by Sixth Formers and pupils organise their own social programmes, including the popular trips to Ronnie Scott's Jazz Club in London and the Valentine's Ball.
As an increasing number of teenagers make a positive choice to board for their last two years, the senior boarding community welcomes a number of new members in the Sixth Form. New boarders cut out travelling time, develop some independence before embarking on university life, and their arrival contributes a healthy input to the dynamics of the existing community.
Each house inevitably reflects something of the personalities of the house staff involved, and has its own traditions, but if there is one common thread it is the sense of loss on leaving and the strength of the bonds formed whilst there. In the words of a boarding pupil: "It is an enviable experience".
Weekends at Dauntsey’s
As a six-day-a-week school with boarding at its heart, and extracurricular activities woven into the day, we strike a balance between academic lessons and developing other interests. Saturday night socials and Sunday outings are highlights of the week.
There are six taught periods on a Saturday for all pupils, followed by sports fixtures in the afternoon. Additionally, facilities such as the art and DT buildings, swimming pool and library are open and we have a diverse range of weekend activities and events for boarders.
There are four Exeat weekends spread across the year; two in the Autumn Term, one in the Spring Term and one in the Summer Term. On these weekends, pupils are free to leave once lessons have finished on Friday and they return to school on Sunday evening. For the Summer May Bank Holiday weekend, pupils can leave school from 12:45 p.m. on the Saturday (or after sporting commitments) and boarders return to school on the Monday evening.
Staffed with qualified nurses, our superb medical centre provides 24-hour medical care to all pupils, supplemented by regular doctors’ surgeries and a visiting physiotherapist. Experienced counsellors work alongside house and medical staff and our full-time chaplain to provide all-round support and care. Our pupil-led Listening Service offers peer support through trained volunteers who are available every day to offer a sympathetic ear.