Boarding evenings and weekends

When the school day ends, life in the boarding house begins.  After lessons have finished, the children have a snack and some free time in school before being welcomed home by our houseparents, eager to hear how the day has been.

Prep done, then time for fun!

As in any household, we need to make sure that any prep is done. For our boarders in Year 6 and below, this is in the homely surroundings of our boarding kitchen and lounge with Mrs Garvin. The older children are supervised for their prep by teaching staff and supported as required with their independent study.

Prep complete, it’s off to the dining room for supper together, where we enjoy delicious food prepared by our wonderful in-house catering team.  Then, after a quick meeting to explain the evening’s activities, the fun begins. There is always a great choice of things to do and this varies according to staff on duty and the time of year. 

We regularly have ‘Whole House Nights’ which brings everyone together for an activity or two. These include pizza making in the woods, water fights, discos, dodgeball tournaments, mini Olympics and all sorts of other zany and interesting activities.

After activities, the children get the chance to fill up on some healthy snacks at our popular ‘toast bar’ before enjoying some free time.  This is another great time for the children to chat with the houseparents as well as giving them time to phone home or simply to relax, perhaps playing a board game, in one of the common rooms with their friends. In the summer, the children often like to spend this time out and about in the school grounds.

Keeping in touch with home

The children are allowed their electronic devices several times a week for short periods of 'wi-fi time' and a little more on weekends. They can use these to contact their families and to access the internet which is of course strictly controlled and monitored via our school filtering systems.

These devices are taken in and safely stored by staff in between usage to avoid distraction and to encourage interaction and engagement with friends. Mobile devices are not allowed during the school day unless there is a need to communicate with family in a different time zone.

Our bedtime routine

The children go upstairs at staggered intervals to begin their evening shower and teeth brushing routines.  Quiet time is encouraged before lights out and often houseparents will read a story to the younger children.  Alternatively they will read to themselves before lights out. Older pupils are also encouraged to read or chat further with the houseparents before it’s time for their lights to go out.

Our bedtimes vary according to age and, as a rough guide, Junior lights are out by 8.30, Year 7 by 9.00 and Year 8 by 9.15. We take sleep very seriously and ensure that quiet time takes place before lights out. To encourage the children to go to sleep promptly, we have a reward and sanctions system and staff are on hand to make sure they settle quickly and all is indeed quiet.  With the houseparents living on both landings within the boarding house, they are always close at hand when needed at any time of night.


On Saturday mornings, our older boarders join our day pupils in the Enrichment options which vary from term to term, whilst our younger children enjoy sports matches or an activity organised by the residential staff. In the afternoon it is all change with the older children taking their turn out on the sports fields.

On Sundays, the children enjoy a slower start to the day before taking part in the main activity for the weekend as well as having an opportunity to attend a local Catholic Church for those who would like to.

Please read the FAQs below for more information about our weekends and visit the Boarders' Blog to see what we have been up to!

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A typical weekend...

We begin the weekend with a full English breakfast in the dining room together. This is followed by our boarders’ meeting where we discuss the weekend ahead and remind the children of their sports match timings for the day.

Children in Year 6 and above go to Saturday morning Enrichment and enjoy one of the many programmed activities. Children in Year 5 and below will spend a relaxed morning with Mrs Garvin and enjoy their own activities such as cookery, dog walking, art and crafts etc.

In the afternoon most children will have sports fixtures either at All Hallows or at another school. Those not involved in matches will take part in the onsite afternoon activity.  This varies according to the members of staff on duty and could be something such as creative design.

Saturdays evenings are special and are, in the winter, extremely cosy times. The log fire is lit, hot chocolate is drunk and the children enjoy some TV and movie time or relax with each other around the boarding house. In the summer, we like to make use of the long, light evenings and encourage the children to make the most of the school grounds and facilities. Saturday bedtimes are a little more relaxed as we don’t have school the next day.

On Sunday mornings we give the children a little lie-in before heading off to a local church for Mass. On our return, it’s time for croissants or pain au chocolat and some free time (or perhaps a swim or time in the ICT room) before our main activity or trip for the day.  Most weekends this will be offsite and what we do varies according to season. Recently this has included climbing, skiing, visiting local attractions, shopping trips, zorbing…the list goes on!

On Sunday evenings we all enjoy a traditional Sunday Roast or a barbeque together before making sure that we are all prepared and tidy for the week ahead.

Exeat Weekends

We currently have three Exeat weekends across the school year. Two take place in the Michaelmas Term and one in the Lent Term and we encourage parents from overseas or those who live a long distance away to take their child out for the weekend. There are plenty of great places to explore and stay locally such as Bath, Bristol, Frome and Wells. Alternatively, the families of our day pupils take great pride in inviting our boarders to stay with them for the weekend and share in their family life.  These invitations are sometimes reciprocated and can form the basis of ongoing relationships between families for years to come.

Going home on other weekends

We are always more than happy for our boarders to go out with their local friends, providing that we have been notified and given permission by you as parents.