Boarding at Godstowe
Girls may board at Godstowe from the age of seven. Around a third of the girls in the prep school board, some joining us from overseas. We have a junior house (Highlands) dedicated to our youngest boarders and two senior houses (Walker and Turner) for girls in their final two years at Godstowe.
Godstowe offers full, weekly and part-time (flexi-)boarding. We also offer ad hoc boarding nights. Our approach to boarding is sympathetic to the needs of today’s families. When it comes to when and if to board and for how many nights, every family is unique regarding what suits them. Girls who board have the opportunity to go home regularly and parents are actively involved in the numerous School events and activities.
“Our daughter joined in Form 2 at age 8 as a full-time boarder and had never been away from home. She has blossomed into a confident, responsible, happy and kind young lady. We will always cherish the lifelong friendships made and the priceless memories of the years spent at Godstowe.”
Some of our boarders live locally, or in London, and we have a number of international and forces families as part of our boarding community.
Boarding gives our girls the time and space to enjoy the wealth of co-curricular opportunities offered on site at School, as well as to simply enjoying extended time with their friends. Living in the boarding houses, Girls learn to be independent and to value and support others. Most importantly, it is huge fun!
Boarding should be a valuable and enriching experience for all children. Before your daughter joins us for the first time, it is important that she feels nurtured and excited about the prospect of joining the Godstowe community.
“Pupils who board spoke confidently about how the boarding experience has strengthened their self-confidence”
ISI Report 2018
When she arrives, every new boarder has a boarding buddy from her boarding house and a ‘pupil guardian’ of her own age, and usually from her own form, to help her to settle in. All new boarders joining as the beginning of a new academic year will be invited to an Induction Day in the summer term prior to joining Godstowe. This will be a Sunday with a BBQ or lunch, afternoon activities and a chance to meet existing boarders.
New girls are invited to sleepover and the following morning parents will be invited to attend a talk by the Headmistress and an informal chat with staff. This will give each new girl and her parents the opportunity to feel comfortable and confident about the very significant move to becoming a boarder. Many girls arrive in September already feeling secure and familiar with the boarding ethos of the School.
Weekends and Special Occasions
All full boarders stay in at weekends. Weekly boarders are more than welcome to stay in for activities or trips at no extra boarding cost. Part-time boarders are also welcomed to join in space allowing! Weekends are always busy and fun. Some sports fixtures take place on a Saturday morning. Once prep and necessary tasks, such as music practice, are completed Saturday afternoon is usually relaxed with either an on-site activity or a walk to the local shopping centre.
Some activities take place on-site using the school’s fantastic facilities ie. water polo, SCUBA diving sessions, kayaking, sports hall games, rounders, ‘Godstowe's Got Talent’ or Masterchef. Trips happen on a Sunday and have included Brighton Pier, ice skating at Canary Wharf, Thorpe Park, county shows, wildlife parks, theatre trips, Bray Lake for watersports. Each term boarders are asked what they would like the following terms activities to include. We also offer a programme of wellbeing activities, including Yoga, Pilates, Zumba, pampering. Church, when possible, is offered to those who would like to attend. Boarders fundraising events have included a 'swimming the channel' event, danceathons and cross-country walks.
On her birthday, each girl is made to feel very special. At the end of the school day, she has a ‘Birthday Supper’ to which she invites her friends and a cake is shared. In the Senior Houses, the girls are invited to a ‘Birthday Flat’ party which takes place in the Housemistress’s accommodation.
Holidays and Exeats
An Exeat is a weekend holiday when the School and Boarding Houses close, and girls go home to their family or guardian. Girls are often collected from school, however they can be taken by train to London Marylebone, accompanied by members of staff, if needed.