Boarders are welcome from the age of seven at St Mary’s Hall and every aspect of the school is dedicated to providing a safe, supportive and loving home-from-home. Your child’s emotional well-being, spiritual development and all round personal growth are key to everyone at St Mary's Hall.
There is one house for boarders, with separate boys’ and girls’ bedrooms for sleeping, separate sitting rooms for relaxing and a joint common room and kitchen so pupils can decide how they’d like to spend their social time. Our pastoral staff live within the boarding house and 'the quality of boarding provision and care is excellent' (ISI Report). Their warm and nurturing relationships with boarders are caring and involved but encourage increasing independence.
Boarders typically live in bedrooms with 3-5 peers of a similar age, which allows them to mature, grow in confidence and develop socially. Where possible, we place boarders of similar background and interests together in their first term to help them to settle in, before a considered bedroom reshuffle at half term. Here, friendships are formed that will last for a lifetime.
Between getting ready for bed and lights out, children can catch up with family and friends by mobile phone or online. Mobile phones are very carefully managed by the staff, and children only have access to their phone (should they have one) for this limited time allocation in the evening routine before bed. Younger boarders have a toy box in their rooms, and there’s a gaming console and family-friendly DVDs in the main boarding sitting room for relaxing together. Many boarders opt for more sport in their free time before bed and this includes swimming, tennis in the dome or five-a-side football!
Weekends are a time for activities, and also relaxation, with plenty of friends of the same age around to have fun with. Boarders enjoy a fantastic range of day trips, which they can suggest themselves through the Boarding Committee – including ice-skating, go-kart racing, theme park visits and trips to the seaside.
Our summer Boarders’ Camp is a highlight of the year, and throughout the year we enthusiastically share in the traditions of our pupils’ national festivals and celebrate our children’s birthdays with home-made chocolate cake.
When you visit and meet our boarders you will recognise that they are the ‘beating heart’ of our school. This is a very special environment for the children, and the warmth of community is palpable. This is a boarding family like no other.