Rhetoric Girls Boarding House

The Girls House

Rhetoric (Year 13) girls board with Poetry (Year 12) girls in single rooms with shared facilities. This girl's boarding house is the largest boarding house at Stonyhurst, both physically and in the number of boarders and covers the third floor of New Wing, Shirk, and the third floor above the Front Quad.


Rhetoric and Poetry girl's boarding house is a home away from home, where girls are listened to and supported. They join in Year 12 and our aim is to guide them towards becoming the best version of themselves when they leave at the end of Year 13. At Stonyhurst we have a domestic and international cohort of boarders, and this house offers a relaxed and friendly atmosphere in which our girls can work and play. Boarders in this house are encouraged to work hard, support each other, and be on time.


About the House Parent

Together with her highly experienced Deputies, Maggie Strain looks after the girls in Poetry and Rhetoric girl's Boarding House. Maggie has lived at Stonyhurst for over 20 years, and has worked here over 10 years. Living in the boarding house, with her husband Tim, who is Deputy House Parent of Higher Line Boys, Maggie has three adult children, a son who teaches at Stonyhurst, a son who is a PhD student, and a daughter who is completing her MA. Maggie's two grandsons attend our Prep School, Stonyhurst St Mary’s Hall. 

Prior to joining Stonyhurst, Maggie was a House Parent at Bedstone College in Shropshire, looking after senior boys, alongside her husband.

In addition to her duties as House Parent, Maggie is an EAL Teacher at Stonyhurst. Maggie loves audiobooks as she love to listen to stories whilst doing other things. She also likes to make and eat vegan food, and enjoys all sorts of needle crafts. Spending time with her family is very important to her and she like things that make her laugh.

Explore the boarding house

Click the links below to explore Syntax girls' boarding house through our 360° Virtual Tour.


Explore the Boarding House Common Room

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Explore the Boarding House Kitchen

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Explore the Boarding House Bedroom

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Our daily routine

Boarders register between 7:40am and 08:00 before breakfast (except Sundays), and tutor time, congregational singing or assemblies follow at 8:30am. Lessons run from 9:00am until 5:15pm, although girls can return to their rooms during the day to study if they are between classes, or call in to see the House Parent office for a chat. Dinner takes place from 5:45pm to 7:00pm and then evening studies and extra-curricular activities run from 7:15pm to 8:45pm. The girls can then have some free time until their curfew at 10:15pm and goodnights at 10:45pm.

Evenings & weekends 

Evening activities vary from day to day but include more than 75 different clubs, societies and activities alongside time for studies. Rhetoricians are involved in the whole school production, leading the pupil body as members of the school committee, orchestra and choir members, hockey team players, society members, etc. They also join sport activities such as badminton, exercising in the gym and swimming in the sports centre. Before going to bed they gather in the kitchen area, prepare some snacks and warm drinks while they socialise and relax.

In the evening some girls like to socialise in the Higher Line (Sixth Form) Coffee Room, whereas others will watch a movie or listen to music with friends in the boarding area. At weekends, some like to go on an organised trip, or spend their time studying or relaxing. Girls are encouraged to fulfil their needs and take care of themselves depending on the circumstances, and whether exam season is looming. Free time is invariably spent with friends, either relaxing or working together. Some like to cook food for themselves and their friends, whilst other might go for a run or use the onsite gym. Boarders in Rhetoric have the opportunity to go into the local village on Saturday afternoons or into the local town of Clitheroe, which many enjoy.


Key Contacts for Rhetoric Girls House

Mr Edward Allanson

Assistant Head - Higher Line

Miss Gracie Caton

Assistant Houseparent - Poetry & Rhetoric

Mrs Yvette Luker

Deputy House Parent (Girls) - Higher Line

Mrs Maggie Strain

Houseparent - Poetry & Rhetoric Girls


Excellent pastoral care and the excellent boarding experience further contribute to pupil’s resilience and independence

ISI Report

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