Three strong principles of empathy, tolerance and independence form the cornerstone of the boarding community at St Mary’s Hall. We aim to create an environment where the children can feel safe and happy whilst encouraging them to take greater responsibility for themselves and their possessions. The resident house parents, Mr and Mrs Hughes, have established a community with a structured yet friendly atmosphere. There is also a Deputy House Master, Mr Stokes, who assists with the care of the children as well as the overall running of the house. In addition to the permanent boarding staff there are seven gap tutors from all over the world, who live on the Gallery. As well as the permanent boarding personnel, several members of staff from the wider school have duty nights in the house. This promotes staff understanding of boarding and gives the children another pastoral influence. In order to maintain continuity either Mr and Mrs Hughes or Mr Stokes are on hand every evening.
Boarding at St Mary’s Hall promotes a real sense of community.Whilst it is important for boys and girls to mix, we understand the need for distinctly separate areas. The girls are located at one end of the boarding gallery and the boys at the other. The two ends are separated by doors with lockable key pads and each group is given their own code. At night the galleries are securely locked. Should children become ill or need to attract a member of staff for any reason they can go to the emergency bell point where they can buzz the member of staff on duty. If necessary a trained nurse can be on site within five minutes from our 24-hour Infirmary based at the College. The children can also knock on the doors of any of the live-in members of staff in the case of an emergency.
Children live in age appropriate dormitories, typically with three or four others. The youngest pupils are allocated dormitories adjacent to staff flats. The proximity of the youngest pupils to the key members of the team helps the children to feel safe and secure.