girls in their boarding house
Boy playing the guitar in his dorm room

Boarding Principles

Statement of Boarding Principles and Practise

Box Hill School recognises that the highest standards of pastoral care will positively impact both personal development and academic outcomes.

The School is a boarding and day school for students of mixed gender aged 11 to 18 (Years 7 to 13 inclusive).  We offer full and weekly boarding for all boys and girls, and where possible, flexi-boarding. Box Hill School is happy to accept applications, without any form of discrimination, from any child who meets the relevant entrance criteria. Students with specific learning difficulties may be accepted provided that we are able to meet the needs of the individual.

The boarding experience actively promotes;

  • A sense of identity
  • A sense of community
  • An appreciation of others’ needs
  • Diversity
  • Understanding of common humanity
  • Access to a wide range of trips and exciting activities
  • Stability and rules for those from different domestic situations
  • Deep and lasting friendships
  • An opportunity for responsibility

Social, Pastoral and Recreational Development

We aim to:

  • Care and Prepare – it is our principle aim to offer the highest standards of care, whether educational, social or emotional, to all of our boarding pupils. We also acknowledge the need to prepare our young people for life beyond Box Hill School and the level of care we offer reflects this belief, aiming to ensure progressive understanding of accountability and responsibility as children mature and grow older.

The detail of this includes, but is not limited to, the aim to;

  • Produce an open, caring and trusting environment in which all students feel that they are able to approach all staff, but particularly boarding staff, confident in the knowledge that they will be treated and respected as individuals;
  • Create an atmosphere of respect, trust and openness in which teasing, harassment and bullying is not tolerated, and when and if found, is dealt with appropriately;
  • Provide accommodation that is comfortable, homely, well maintained and suited to the needs of the boarders according to age, gender and maturity;
  • Ensure that appropriate levels of privacy are maintained;
  • Ensure that the boarding environment is a safe place, free from physical dangers and hazards;
  • Ensure that boarders will have access to medical assistance at all times;
  • Provide the best conditions for learning through the maintenance of a supportive and well-disciplined learning environment where students have access to staff;
  • Enable all boarders to develop spiritually, culturally, morally and socially at Box Hill School;
  • Provide a wide range of activities, both physical and cerebral, to allow them to develop further their interests;
  • Provide 6th Form students with a boarding experience that prepares them for the greater independence they will have beyond School;
  • Provide all of our full boarders with a wide range of activities at weekends, as well as ability to stay with family, friends and others as appropriate;
  • Enable each student to develop and learn qualities of responsibility for themselves and for others; to respect their environment and others;
  • Give students the opportunity to develop qualities of leadership and an ability to work in a team;
  • Provide opportunities for students to turn to members of staff for advice, counsel and support;
  • Provide opportunities for students to feel able to have a say in House matters and operations; We also seek to ensure that boarders are aware of the outcomes of their suggestions.
  • Ensure students have the ability to contact home/guardians as appropriate on a regular basis;
  • Provide equality of opportunity for all students at Box Hill School;
  • Ensure parents are well informed of the pastoral, health and happiness of their sons and daughters as boarders at Box Hill School, apart from regular academic communications.

Turning Principles into Practice

In order to ensure that we turn our boarding principles into good practice we operate:

  • Ensuring sufficient funds are available from the School to ensure the boarding environment in a well maintained state and that we continue to refurbish in an effort to improve the boarding accommodation;
  • In order to ensure that we turn our boarding principles into good practice we operate:
  • A detailed hierarchy of pastoral and academic oversight of all boarding matters;
  • Discussion, ownership and acceptance of the Principles by all those with responsibilities for boarding;
  • Regular monitoring, discussion and amendment of the Principles;
  • Effective implementation of the Principles, with particular regard to the National Minimum Standards for Boarding;
  • To continually review the NMSB as a boarding community and ensure that all is done to both meet and surpass these standards;
  • Look to clearly identify outcomes for boarders in all decisions made;
  • Regular In-Service Training for all boarding staff to ensure a knowledge of and commitment to current best practice;

The Box Hill Experience: key elements in our practice

  • Regular House staff meetings are held with an agenda; minutes taken and published;
  • Boarders are made aware of all policies, routines and practices relating to both the House and School matters as appropriate;
  • A full induction process is conducted for all new students and an Induction Booklet is completed and signed to ensure that routines and procedures are understood.
  • There is clear and regular communication in each House between staff and students; Regular house meetings are held where boarders’ views are sought, and acted upon where appropriate ;
  • The medical centre provides cover during the day; there is easy access to local hospital care; relevant boarding staff are appropriately trained in first aid;
  • Each House has a Status system enabling the further development of personal responsibility and leadership opportunities; House Prefects meet regularly with House staff to discuss House matters; these meetings will consist of Heads of House and the House Prefects. In addition, each House should also have a House Committee where ideas and concerns are expressed to the House Staff;
  • A representative body consisting of members from each House which meets regularly with staff to discuss School wide issues with respect to the boarding community.
  • Each House provides suitable recreational facilities for boarders;
  • Every boarder has access to communication facilities in each House that affords private conversations; each boarder has his/her own e-mail account with regular access to this during the week;
  • Every weekend there is at least one major activity on offer for boarders; boarders’ views are sought on these;
  • Boarders are aware that they may speak with members of senior staff, including the Headmaster to discuss any matters of relevance to them.
  • Boarders have access to an independent listener are aware of how to contact that person at any time of day or night.
  • In addition, students are aware of other helpful contacts; including school and external counsellors, Childline and the NSPCC Helpline. All relevant numbers are posted on House noticeboards.

If you have any questions, please contact your House Parent.

Boarding House Handbook