Write your own story with inspirational boarding at Woldingham

With full, weekly and flexi-boarding options, Woldingham offers flexibility to suit all families, where we will help each student find her own space to grow and thrive in our stunning 700 acres.

Why girls love boarding at Woldingham

As a boarder at Woldingham, we’ll help you become ‘the author of your own story’, opening your world to an exciting future. It really is a place where you can learn to ‘write your own story’, as we describe in the book we have written about boarding, which you can read here.  Don’t just take our word for it, hear first-hand from boarding student Misan in this short film.

The beauty and peace of our amazing school in our wonderful location in the Surrey Hills is the perfect place to board. You will study with teachers who inspire and motivate in first rate classrooms and labs, living and learning alongside fellow students from the UK and around the world. You'll leave Woldingham with confidence, compassion and courage, ready to take your place in the world. Whatever you want your life story to be, as a boarder at Woldingham we’ll help you find your own voice and develop the confidence to write your own story.

Boarding at Woldingham will help you learn about yourself as well as make plans for your future and career ahead. You'll achieve exam results which open doors to top universities and exciting careers. You’ll be able to try the most amazing range of activities, drama and sports. You’ll learn resilience, tolerance and understanding. Just as importantly, we’ll focus on your wellbeing and making a positive impact, not just at school, but throughout your life.

Woldingham offers flexible boarding options - full, weekly and flexi-boarding - to suit all families. Students live in year groups, with facilities that are right for each age, helping you make lifelong friends.

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Full and weekly boarding

Full and weekly boarding

Students love boarding at Woldingham. Some girls board throughout their time at Woldingham and others move from being a day student to boarding as they go through the school. Living with your own year group in comfortable and well-equipped boarding houses, there is a great sense of community.

Our fantastic, caring and experienced team of housemistresses are available round the clock offering support and guidance. They really understand how to help new girls settle in quickly and make the most of school life.

Most full boarders stay at school at weekends taking part in our great programme of weekend activities but our family-friendly approach means students can choose to go home at weekends.

Weekly boarders stay at school for up to five consecutive nights a week, usually Sunday to Thursday or Monday night to Friday night. Additional evenings can be requested if a student wants to stay for an occasional extra night.

Saturday mornings are usually dedicated to sports training and fixtures against other schools. In addition to Saturday morning sport, boarders enjoy a full programme of weekend activities suitable for different age groups, as well as plenty of time for study and free time to spend with friends.

Flexi-boarding

Day students of all year groups have the opportunity to flexi-board. It's a great introduction to boarding and is very popular, especially with our younger students. 

With flexi-boarding you can board for one or two nights each week (subject to availability). Spaces are booked in advance for each term for specific days e.g. Mondays and Tuesdays. Some days of the week are particularly popular so we suggest booking spaces as early as possible. We operate a waiting list if all spaces have been booked. We provide bed linen so you don't need to bring this with you and your room will be cleaned by the school. Flexi-boarding is charged at £64 per night for the academic year 2021-2022. Just so you know, flexi-boarders only have access to their bedroom on the nights they flexi-board. 

Flexi-boarding

Boarding Houses

Marden House, directly opposite the outdoor playground close to the hockey pitches and netball courts, is the ideal location for younger boarders in Years 7 and 8. Our slightly older students in Years 9, 10 and 11 love the tradition of living in our historical 19th century Main House right in the centre of school. And our Sixth Form boarders, who live in Berwick House and Shanley House, thrive as they take greater responsibilities and play an important role in shaping the character of Woldingham.

All boarding houses are a home from home, with Wi-Fi, comfortable common rooms, televisions and games. Boarders eat lunch and supper in our whole school dining room. Snacks, such as fruit and toast, are provided in the evenings.

Each year group is cared for by a dedicated Head of Year, housemistress and assistant housemistress. Our kind and friendly staff get to know each boarder well and help create a busy and happy community where girls feel secure and cared for.

Marden – Years 7 and 8

Boarders in Years 7 and 8 relish the fun and excitement of sharing rooms in groups of up to four in Marden’s warm and friendly atmosphere.

Girls joining in Year 7 are mentored by Year 8 students, who share their own recent experience of joining Woldingham. Sixth Formers act as ‘big sisters’, often arranging special activities for them in the Sixth Form Houses, which are next door.

Combined tutor groups in Years 7 and 8 help foster a real sense of community and great friendships are formed among all girls, both day and boarders. 

Marden – Years 7 and 8
Main House – Years 9, 10 and 11

Main House – Years 9, 10 and 11

Boarders in Years 9, 10 and 11 love the traditional surroundings of Main House, Woldingham's 19th century mansion house, and the adjacent quad, which are right in the middle of the school.

Year 9 students continue to share bedrooms. In Years 10 and 11 each student has her own individual study bedroom, which is ideal for those wanting quiet space for study, reading or just time on her own. Renowned early 20th century writer Virginia Woolf wrote that a ‘Room of One’s Own’  is essential for any aspiring female writer. 

Boarders continue to have meals together and there are small kitchens where girls can make snacks and hot drinks. There are also well equipped and comfortable common rooms for socialising and plenty of events in the evenings and at weekends.

Berwick House and Shanley House – Sixth Form

Students in the Sixth Form live in purpose-built modern accommodation, providing the perfect transition from school to university. 

Lower Sixth boarders live in Berwick House, where they have their own study bedroom with a laundry area, kitchens, common rooms, an IT suite and study areas.

In Upper Sixth, students move to Shanley House, where their study bedrooms have an en-suite bathroom. Shanley has its own common room, IT and study areas.

Sixth Formers also have two wellness rooms and day and boarding Sixth Formers share the popular coffee bar in Main House.

Berwick House and Shanley House – Sixth Form
Weekends for boarders

Weekends for boarders

A fantastic range of weekend activies are held every weekend, including sport on Saturday mornings.  Friday nights are also special with Friday night pizza a regular highlight.

As girls move through the school, boarders get more independence. From Year 9 upwards girls can visit our local country town, Oxted, which has a cinema, shops and cafes. Students must be in groups of at least three and our school drivers take the girls to and from the station. Sixth Form boarders have even more independence taking the opportunity to visit London enjoying the city's world renowned galleries and museums as well as taking the opportunity to do some shopping.

 

On Saturday mornings, many students - both day and boarders – take part in team sports. Unless they are playing sport, all boarders in Year 7-10 participate in Saturday Active, which includes activities such as roller skating, Pilates, cake decorating, photoshop and circus skills.

On Saturday afternoons and Sundays, we plan a range of trips - a carefully considered programme of cultural, active and ‘family’ activities. Cultural trips include visits to historic places and exhibitions where the girls can learn more about British heritage. Active trips, such as water sports and trampolining, allow girls to try something new and challenge themselves while having fun with their peers. ‘Family trips’ provide girls with a typical family outing such as a meal out, cinema or bowling.

Music and drama rehearsals and whole school events also take place on some weekends. The school puts on three major drama productions and three major concerts a year, and many girls get involved front or backstage. Students also have numerous opportunities to take part in smaller musical ensembles, choirs and recitals. Some of these rehearsals will take place at weekends.

House and school events are an important way to bring the community together and are hugely popular. Highlights include the House Festival, House Drama, Bonfire Night, Foundation Day and Sports Day.

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The school day for boarders

Life at Woldingham is busy, lively and varied. All students are encouraged to have a go at any of the many activities on offer. A typical day for a boarder might look like this:

7.00am

Rise

7.30 - 8.00am

Breakfast

8.00 - 8.30am

Bed making, tidying rooms, preparing for the day ahead

By 8:30am

Day girls arrive

8.30am

Registration at tutor period or assembly

8.55 – 10.50am

Lessons 1 and 2

10.50 - 11.10am

Break

11.10am – 1.05pm

Lessons 3 and 4

1.05 - 2.05pm

Lunch

2.05 - 4.00pm

Lessons 5 and 6

4.00 - 4.30pm

Tea, Day girls free to go home

4.30 - 6.30pm

Co-curricular activities, optional supervised study, music practice, free time

6.00 - 7.00pm

Supper

7.00 - 9.00pm

Supervised study, earlier finish for years 7 to 9

From 9.00pm

Quiet time in boarding areas, get ready for bed

 

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The school day for boarders