“Boarding houses are tight knit across year groups ‘they are literally her other family’ confirmed one parent; inter-house competition is healthy and fun with no one house coming out consistently as top dog. There are seven different boarding houses (three for girls and four for boys). House parents and an army of live-in assistants run the house, senior pupils hold vital mentoring roles in looking after younger members of the house.”
- The Good Schools Guide 2021
“The life of the school is enhanced by the life of the houses, where taking part in the various house events gives every pupil the opportunity to experience similar challenges.”
- ISI Inspection Report 2018
The boarding ethos and structures of King’s College are of tremendous value, we believe, to our day pupils. They benefit from a great deal that boarding has to offer – a base within the school, long days which allow time for a variety of activities, a close circle of friends – and indeed the only difference between our day and boarding pupils is that the latter spend the night with us while the former do not.
Our day pupils are wholly integrated into the boarding set up, with all the pastoral and social benefits that brings. They are also able to board on one night per week, free of charges. Further nights are available for a “bed and breakfast” fee when needed.
Our days are long – ending at 6pm. But by then our day pupils will have attended lessons, activities and sports practices. Many will have found time to complete some of their homework. Day pupils are welcome to stay for supper (at no extra charge) and for study time in the evenings. There are often lectures and academic society meetings in the evenings, which day pupils can attend. We also have Saturday morning lessons, after which most pupils are involved in sports fixtures. We run an exciting programme of Sunday activities, aimed primarily at the boarders, but which are also available to day pupils.
We believe the benefits to day pupils of living and working in a well-established, close-knit community, which is alive and active all day and all week, are huge. We offer so much more than an 8am to 4pm day school. We are not perpetually rushing to get through the day and our pupils onto the buses. The pace is humane and the quality of the experience so much richer.
“Whilst this is predominantly a boarding school (over 65 per cent fully board) King’s prides itself on its inclusion of day pupils. There is no day house, every boarding house has a percentage of day pupils, each of these can stay – at no extra charge – for one night a week and flexi boarding options are impressively bendy. ‘Whilst both of our sons are day pupils, they choose to stay at school for all their meals, to do prep, sports clubs etc. it is so inclusive that they almost seem boarders in everything but name’ enthuses one local parent. ”
- The Good Schools Guide 2021
“Boarding is part of our DNA. Our boarders come from far and wide. This makes for a varied and vibrant community within the houses. ”
Much of what sets us apart from other schools in this area stems, we believe, from our strong boarding ethos. Boarding is part of our DNA. Our houses are centrally placed (two are in the main school building) and boarding is central to what we are. Our boarders come from far and wide. Many are local. A few live closer to school than some of their day pupil friends. Others come from the south west of England, others from further afield in the UK and some from overseas. This makes for a varied and vibrant community within the houses. Wherever they come from they soon develop a strong sense of loyalty to their houses, which makes for exciting and hotly contested inter-house competition in sport and many other activities.
We believe that boarding is a rich and life-affirming experience for our pupils. We know that they leave us well prepared for the demands and challenges of university life. Their friendships are extraordinarily long-lived. They are independent, resilient, resourceful, cheerful, tolerant, pro-active, kind, capable young men and women who go on to make their mark on the world.
Boarders enjoy a high standard of house accommodation – homely common rooms and modern kitchens in which to practise burgeoning culinary skills. Their comfortable bedrooms are shared, usually with three others from within the same year group, while Sixth Formers are in rooms of one or two. All meals are taken communally in the dining hall, where the food is excellent and plentiful. Tea and snacks are provided between meals.
The school’s beautiful grounds and many of its facilities, including the new library, are open to boarders in the evenings and over weekends. The school boasts a state-of-the-art medical centre, manned 24 hours a day by qualified medical staff.
Saturdays see pupils embark on lessons in the morning and sports matches in the afternoon. There is often a house event that might take place on a Saturday evening. On Sundays, we offer a weekend activity programme. This provides the support, attention and informal care that are such a strength of the school. Activities include trips to theme parks and sports events, paintballing, Christmas shopping and cinema afternoons.
Boarders also enjoy the very close supervision of a team of house staff, led by an experienced houseparents, assisted by a deputy, a number of tutors and a matron. There is plenty of support and advice on hand, not least from the senior pupils, who play an important role in helping to run the house, learning useful leadership and management skills along the way.
There is a half term holiday each term and, in addition, every boarder is entitled to a number of weekend exeats of his or her choosing to go home in the Michaelmas, Lent and Summer Terms. This is in addition to any weekend expeditions undertaken while at school. Pupils may visit Taunton on Wednesday and Saturday afternoons and on Sundays.There are some additional privileges for Sixth Formers. All exeats must be arranged by parental agreement with Houseparents.