St Chris has been a boarding school since it was founded in 1915, and has a thriving, friendly boarding community which feels like a home away from home.
Pupils can board from the age of 10, and our boarders come from all over the world, creating a diverse and welcoming community where friendships are made that will last for many years.
We offer full boarding, where pupils stay every evening of the week, and weekly boarding, where pupils board for five nights a week – usually from Sunday night to Thursday night, going home on Friday evenings.
We also offer occasional boarding, where pupils stay up to two nights a week, and day boarding, which extends the school day from 7.30 am to 7.30pm and includes breakfast, dinner and prep time, to support busy family life or those day pupils who have a longer commute.
Boarding enables students to experience a communal life and form strong relationships with those that they live and go to school with.
Boarders develop a capacity for tolerance, self-sufficiency and independence that will serve them well in later life. They learn the relationship between rights and responsibilities and the balance between individuality and being part of a community.
There are many opportunities for pupils at St Chris which extend beyond the school day, and boarders are able to take full advantage of these.
There is also a dedicated programme of activities for boarders at the weekends which they can choose to take part in, or they can choose to relax or study, just as they would at home.
The aim of St Chris to provide a homely, welcoming and inclusive environment for all of our boarders.
There are two boarding houses: Arundale, in the main School building, for students from Year 6 to Year 11, and Arunside, on the edge of the School campus, which is our dedicated Sixth Form boarding house for students in Years 12 and 13.
St Chris is unusual among mainstream boarding schools in having houseparents, rather than house masters or house mistresses, who run the boarding houses. Houseparents provide the caring oversight associated with the active role of a good parent, supporting pupils during their time at the School.
Housparents form a close bond with each boarder and are in regular contact with their advisers and parents to ensure that academic and pastoral care are carefully co-ordinated.
Houseparents are supported by resident tutors, the School Nurse, and academic tutors who do evening duties in the boarding house.
These people, together with the wider support network of advisers, peer mentors, the Head, Richard, and his wife, Jenny who live on site, ensure that there is a strong and caring team of adults who work to provide for every pupil’s needs, whatever they may be and however they may change over their time at St Chris.
All boarding is co-educational with guidance and rules to ensure privacy. In both boarding houses bedrooms are separated into different areas of the building for girls and boys.
There are a number of communal common room spaces and boarders have access to many of the School’s main facilities in the evening.