Happiness and Wellbeing

Pastoral Structure - The Playroom System

Stonyhurst’s Jesuit founders believed it was of paramount importance to allow students of the same age to develop strong ties.  To support these ties, our founders provided each year group with a room in which they could socialise and, under the direction of their playroom master, create a play about an important spiritual or moral issue, literally a “play” room.

At Stonyhurst, the care and progress of each child is central to the role of the Head of Playroom. The Head of Playroom is an assistant head position and allows one key member of staff to have responsibility for the whole child; emotionally, spiritually, academically and pastorally. 

The Head of Playroom will stay with their year group as they travel through the College, such that they develop deep bonds with both the child and their family. 

Tutor System

Our Playroom tutor system ensures that every pupil progresses to the best of their ability in their academic and co-curricular activities. The heads of playroom have responsibility for their team of tutors and this ensures close contact and communication between the pupils, parents and teachers. 

Tutors support pupils in their academic work and provide a further strand of pastoral care. They congratulate students when they do well, encouraging students to celebrate their own achievements, but are also part of the disciplinary process.

Tutors work in partnership with parents and we encourage you to have regular contact with your son or daughter’s academic tutor and head of playroom, who will be happy to discuss any concerns.

Health and Wellbeing

Minor illnesses and injuries are part and parcel of growing up and, although we hope that your child will not need medical attention while they are with us, we are well prepared for all eventualities.

Our on-site health centre offers 24-hour care, staffed by a team of registered nurses, and many of our boarding and other staff are also fully qualified first-aiders.  If necessary, a trained nurse from our infirmary can be with your child anywhere in the school, within in five minutes.
Our school doctors hold clinics for boarders in the College Health Centre every Monday and Friday and our physiotherapist holds a clinic every Wednesday.

There are two minor injury drop-in centres close by and we also have a local health centre and dentist in Clitheroe (10 minutes drive) as well as several hospitals within easy reach.
During the night, pupils can either buzz the member of staff on duty or knock on the doors of any of the live-in staff, should your child need them for any reason at all.  If students know they are feeling unwell before bed time, we have a generous number of beds available in the infirmary where they can be monitored around the clock.

Food and Nutrition

We understand the importance of a balanced diet and good nutrition for the health and wellbeing of our pupils.

Students, staff and visitors alike choose from a generous range of hot and cold options, including a vegetarian alternative, variety of vegetables, full salad bar at lunchtime, desserts and selection of fresh fruit.  Our carefully planned daily menu offers something to suit all palates and we cater for those with food allergies and intolerances.

Our catering teams take on board regular pupil feedback to ensure menus suit our multi-national student body, embracing a wide range of cuisines including Mexican, Indian, Chinese and Italian. We also celebrate national holidays around the world with themed cuisine.

Packed lunches when needed are nutritious, with healthier options replacing traditional high fat, high salt and/or high sugar items. Perhaps the College boarders’ favourite meal of the week is a relaxed, full, buffet-style brunch between 11.30am and 1.00pm each Sunday after Mass.

For events run by pupils such as the annual, fund-raising Poetry Banquet and Learning to Care charity dinners, the pupils themselves are very much responsible for planning menus and gain useful experience in budgeting and events management!


Developing relationships is a natural part of growing up and our PSHE programme and ethos guides our pupils to understand that relationships should always be in the context of mutual respect and demonstrate appropriate behaviour.

We ask pupils to refrain from public displays of affection and remind them that they are expected to behave with the utmost decorum when on the school premises.

Girls’ and boys’ boarding areas are separate. Girls and boys are not allowed in each other’s rooms at any age.  Boarding areas are out of bounds for boarders from other playrooms and for day pupils, who are not allowed in the boarding accommodation.  Visitors are not permitted into boarding areas unless accompanied by a member of staff.

At Saint Mary’s Hall and in Lower Line, girls and boys are forbidden to enter each other’s living quarters. In Higher Line, during specified times at weekends, boys are allowed into the Higher Line girls’ sitting room, if invited by the girls.


All visitors to either Stonyhurst College or St Mary’s Hall Preparatory School are required to enter through the relevant reception and to wear a visitor’s pass at all times while on Stonyhurst premises.

All external doors of Stonyhurst College are locked at night and entry can only be gained through the 24 hour reception.  External doors to St Mary’s Hall have a key pad entry system for use during the day, but are completely locked down at night. Parents can enter through reception which is manned during the day and early evening but locked at night.