Boarding FAQs

How many children are in a room?

For pupils in their junior years, social interaction is a crucial aspect of the boarding experience, and larger dorms with typically 5 to 8 students help to facilitate this. The boarding arrangements for Sixth Formers vary depending on the House. Generally, most Upper Sixth pupils have a private room as academic demands increase, while Lower Sixth pupils may share (most Sixth Formers, in our experience, are happy to share a room with a close friend).

The specific living arrangements ultimately depend on individual preferences and circumstances, but the priority remains on meeting the academic needs of the pupils while fostering positive social relationships.

Can pupils visit other Houses in the evening?

Tea-time is the primary social window for pupils outside of regular school hours, after which they typically return to their Houses for prep. To allow for a brief break and some fresh air, there is a short time allocated after prep where pupils can clear their heads, catch up with friends or utilise school facilities, such as the swimming or fitness suite, which are regularly open during this time. This designated period serves as an essential balance between academic and social activities, helping pupils to recharge and unwind before the next day.

Are girls allowed in the boys' houses and vice versa?

Yes, girls can enter boys' houses and vice versa, but access is restricted to specific times and to supervised, public areas of the house.

What are the weekends like for boarders?

Activities are available to all pupils throughout the week but Saturdays are particularly eventful for boarders, with a wide range of options available.

Collective activities involve the entire boarding community at Kingham Hill visiting various places and attractions as a large, mixed group.

House-based activities are for the individual Houses to arrange. Pupils discuss in advance with House staff their ideas for what to do. This might include taking a walk in the hills, go-karting, paint-balling, or activities based in the school's beautiful grounds.

Other activities include workshops and those catering for more specialised interests, which pupils may partake in if they wish. These can include learning life skills or activities which build towards a qualification. Community service opportunities are also available.

Sundays are generally more laid back, with Boarders enjoying a lie-in and a more relaxed day. However, they still have the option to utilise the school's facilities or visit the local town of Chipping Norton. Pupils can also choose to study on Sundays, either individually or with the support of their peers.

Overall, the weekend activities provide pupils with an opportunity to explore their interests, learn new skills, and strengthen bonds with their peers. The diverse range available caters to various personalities, ensuring that all pupils can find something to enjoy during their free time.

Will the Houseparent be in touch with me to let me know how my child is doing?

Houseparents and tutors will communicate early with parents to introduce themselves and their roles with the pupils. Formal feedback will also be given with written reports on academic and social issues. Additionally, Houseparents will keep parents updated on the various activities undertaken, and will always reach out to parents whenever there are any social or house-related concerns.

Is there control of time on devices for the younger children? Yes, there is control over the usage of devices for younger children. To ensure a balanced routine and to limit distractions, boarders are permitted access to their devices first thing in the morning for a brief period to greet their friends or family. However, for the remainder of the day, devices are stored in charging cabinets, and access is only allowed for academic purposes during lessons.

During tea-time social activities and for a brief period after prep, there is another period of time when devices are made available to boarders. The precise details of device usage depends on the age of the pupils, with senior pupils being granted greater responsibility as they prepare for life beyond school.

The school recognises the importance of monitoring and managing device usage for younger children, particularly in their formative years. Therefore, we have established clear guidelines and protocols to ensure that the use of devices remains balanced and regulated. The school's approach not only helps to prevent overuse of devices but also encourages social interactions and participation in other activities that contribute to a well-rounded experience for the children.

In summary, the boarding school has put in place effective measures to control the time spent on devices by younger children, with a focus on promoting a balanced lifestyle that includes social interaction and other activities beyond the screen.

Are there specific privileges for Sixth Formers?

There are different duties in the houses, and these may be helping to supervise the younger pupils with their jobs under the supervision of the houseparents. They get a little more time after prep for socialising, which can take place in the bar on regular evenings. They have a more business / adult style of uniform to wear during the day-time and more freedom with their devices.

Sixth Formers are granted specific privileges that come in recognition of their senior status. One such privilege is taking on different duties within the houses, which may involve supervising younger pupils and helping them with their tasks under the guidance of the Houseparents. This not only provides Sixth Formers with a sense of responsibility and leadership but also allows them to develop their interpersonal and communication skills.

Furthermore, Sixth Formers are given a little more time after prep for socialising, which they can enjoy in the Sixth Form bar on regular evenings. This social time provides an opportunity for them to bond with their peers, build relationships, and develop their social skills.

In addition, Sixth Formers have a more business-like uniform to wear during the day, which aligns with the expectation that they will be setting an example for younger pupils. They are trusted to represent the school in a mature and responsible manner, and the adult-style uniform reflects this expectation.

Finally, Sixth Formers are given greater freedom with their devices. They are expected to use their devices responsibly and with discretion, demonstrating their readiness for greater independence as they prepare for life beyond school.