Why board at St Catherine’s?

The montages of photographs behind the buttons above provide a sense of what life is like in boarding at St Catherine’s. The Year in Boarding slideshow was assembled for the annual Dinner for Boarders’ Parents, hosted by Resident Staff and U6 Boarders, which takes place each October.

Why board at St Catherine’s?

St Catherine’s has been both a boarding and day school ever since the School's foundation in 1885. We believe that the successful blending of these two aspects of school life into one happily integrated community is part of what makes St Catherine's special. Everyone, boarder or day girl, feels part of the whole.

Boarding has always been an intrinsic and popular part of the School and fundamental to the School's ethos. We firmly believe that boarding fosters respect and concern for others, and gives the girls the confidence to develop their independence and own sense of style. I am always amazed by the wide variety of activities that St Catherine’s boarders manage to fit in and they are noisily present in every aspect of school life here.

There are almost as many reasons to board as there are girls and their families. It could be that a girl already has a very full and active life after school and boarding makes it easier to manage her commitments, be they dramatic, musical, sporting or artistic. Sometimes deciding to board is based on what best suits the whole family; a number of our parents live abroad and so for them, full boarding is the obvious choice. Weekly boarding, with the week spent in school and the weekend at home, has become increasingly popular, especially for families where both parents work or where a parent wants to restart their own career. It is very satisfying to see the dynamic of girls beavering away at School during the week and coming back after a weekend at home, raring to go again.

For our full boarders, weekends have a busy and exciting programme; weekly boarders are always welcome to stay and join in the fun and many often do. We don’t have regular compulsory exeats, which makes our full boarding option a good choice for parents living further afield or internationally, as their daughters will always be cared for by familiar faces in the very welcoming team of boarding staff.

To get a proper feel of what we can offer your daughter and your family, come and visit us on a Boarding Information Evening where you can see boarding in action!

What our girls like about boarding at St Catherine's

  • Being with friends all the time
  • Having time to join in lots of activities
  • Having more time at both ends of the school day
  • The flexibility of weekly boarding – girls can go home on Friday or choose to stay in school for a Saturday morning match or weekend activities.
  • Having resources and facilities close at hand

What our parents like:

  • Girls experience living in a community, learning about respect and responsibility, compromise and kindness. They learn to care for and support all members of the community and not just their friends. Disagreements have to be resolved and other viewpoints considered.
  • Living in a community with an international dimension opens girls’ minds to other cultures, music, food, dress and customs, and helps them to develop a wide perspective, so important for an increasingly global working environment.
  • Weekly boarding allows girls to take part in a wide range of activities and to do most of their prep. at school during the week, having the weekend free with the family.
  • Boarding is a stepping stone to university life; it leads to greater independence, self-motivation and organisation.