When pupils first enter the Senior School they join one of ten Houses. Chevron, Crescent, Fleur de Lys and Woodard are Day Houses, whilst Eagle, Martlet, Pelican, Red Cross, Shield and Star are Flexi, Weekly or Full Boarding. Pupils stay in these Houses until the end of the Lower Sixth year when they move to the Upper Sixth Form House (St John’s).
Each House is run by a Housemaster/Housemistress, who is responsible for the academic and pastoral welfare of pupils in their house; in this role they are ably assisted by House Tutors. In addition there is a Matron, who takes care of the domestic side of boarding. Accommodation varies slightly from House to House, but broadly speaking pupils share accommodation from the Shell to the Fifth Form, and in the Lower Sixth have a single study bedroom.
Each House has a Sixth Form Common Room from which its day-to-day running is conducted by Lower Sixth Form Prefects, who collect mail from Reception, check Duties (the aim of which is to keep different areas of the House neat and tidy), supervise Prep and Lights Out. There are also cooking facilities such as kettles and toasters, bread and butter being supplied by the School Kitchen on a daily basis; but school meals must still be attended.
The College's most recent OFSTED Boarding Inspection took place in 2009. The Inspection Report commented that “the college has made significant improvements since the last inspection and continues to go from strength to strength.”
The full Ofsted Boarding Inspection Report is available here The report highlights include:
"Helping children achieve well and enjoy what they do - The provision is outstanding. Boarders receive excellent levels of individual support and encouragement from all pastoral and academic staff … all staff are committed to put the welfare of the boarders at the heart of their teaching and caring in a most supportive manner.”
“Boarders comment positively on the strong relationships built within their houses and their friends, the guardians and heads of house are their first line of support; this strong sense of family is a strength of the house system and testimony to the commitment and expertise of all staff involved in pastoral care.”
“Helping children make a positive contribution - The provision is outstanding. Boarders are encouraged to make representations formally and informally about the operation of boarding … they see their tutors every day and are encouraged by housemasters and housemistresses to express their opinions and preferences …”
“boarders spoken to confirm that they settled into the busy routine of the school quickly”
Visitors who wish to visit the Ofsted site to see this report may do so by going to www.ofsted.gov.uk
Inter-House Competitions are organised for rugby, hockey, cricket, athletics, netball, cross-country, swimming, water polo, tennis, squash, shooting, golf, fencing, music, Top House, a variety of indoor sports and, most recently, for effort in academic work. Points accumulated in these various competitions count towards an overall House Cup which is awarded annually. All Houses hold a number of social events which parents are very welcome to attend.
St John’s House is our Upper Sixth Form Co-educational House, and is designed to provide an environment that is best suited to students’ academic, personal and social development in their final school year. Each pupil has a study bedroom with hand basin, and girls and boys are housed in separate wings, each of which has its own laundry and social room. The centre of the House contains the communal TV room, computer room, onference/workroom and social centre with a bar and kitchen. Its superb facilities are outstanding in every respect and allow students the opportunity of working together in an atmosphere similar to that found at University.
Inherent in the St John’s concept is the principle that the students will manage their own community. There will be opportunities for them to arrange School functions both for themselves and the rest of the School, to foster links with the Local Community, organise Charity events and establish a close working relationship with the Prep School and the rest of the School at large. It provides an exciting challenge at the crucial point in the Upper Sixth formers’ school career whilst continuing to provide firm foundations for any aspect of their future life.