Boarding life

Boarding FAQs

If you can’t find the answer to your question here or elsewhere on the website, please do get in touch with us – we will be extremely happy to help.

Q: How will my child make friends at St Edmund’s. Will my child have friends of different ages?

A: When they arrive they will have lots of people to look after them. Their housemaster will ensure that they have a ‘buddy’ to look after them during their first days and weeks here. Our house system is also helpful when they are making friends. At St Edmund’s, all boys and girls of the same age live in separate boarding areas (though there will be some older pupils living there as prefects). Their year group may also share weekend activities with another year group close to them in age. We arrange lots of trips and social events here, and we run some special outings right at the start of the year to make sure boarders get to know one another really well as term begins. Our younger boarders may share a room with other pupils, and this can really help them make friends.

Q: Which boarding house will my son/daughter join?

A: St Edmund’s boarding is comprised of Owen House, School House, New Wing and Baker. These areas include separate boys’ and girls’ accommodation and a range of age-appropriate bedrooms.

Q: Do all pupils have their own room?

A: Single occupancy rooms are usually a privilege of the Upper Sixth.  A variety of double, triple and divided dormitories are used for all other boarders.

Q: Can pupils bring their own pictures and posters from home?

A: Yes, pupils are encouraged decorate their room with appropriate pictures and posters.

Q: Are pupils allowed to go into Canterbury?

A: We are fortunate enough to live just a few minutes’ walk or bus ride from the historic city centre. Younger boarders are accompanied on trips to Canterbury. Details of when pupils are allowed to leave the school are included in the Boarders’ Daily Routine in the calendar.

Q: Can pupils stay at school during holidays?

A: No, the School is closed and pupils must go home, or to their guardians.

Q: What is a half-term holiday?

A: There is a half-term holiday in the middle of each term; two weeks in the Michaelmas term, one week in the Lent term, and one week in the Summer term. The school closes, and pupils go home, or to their guardians at the end of the school day on the Friday preceding the holiday.

Q: What is an Exeat Weekend?

A: There are four Exeat Weekends per year when pupils may choose to leave school on the Friday afternoon after lessons finish to spend the weekend with their guardian and/or parents. The Michaelmas term has one Exeat Weekend in each half of the term, and there is also one in the Lent and Summer terms. The school is completely closed on these weekends, with a reduced staff in the main boarding area to look after those pupils who have chosen to stay (an extra cost is incurred for this).

Q: Are meals included in the fees?

A: Yes: St Edmund’s boarding fees include three meals (breakfast, lunch and supper) plus snacks.

Q: Can my son/daughter learn a musical instrument?

A: Yes, he/she can either continue with an instrument already played, or take up an instrument here.  Music classes take place during the school day, or before or after school. There is an extra charge for music lessons. For more information, contact music@stedmunds.org.uk.

Q: Can pupils wear their own clothes at school?

A: In the evenings and weekends, and at certain other times, pupils in all year groups are permitted to wear casual clothes that are appropriate. 

In addition to other items, ALL pupils must possess one pair of smart casual (not denim) trousers, and some collared shirts. A full list of clothing required for school is on the website.

Q: Do pupils have to do their own laundry?

A: St Edmund’s provides a full laundry service – please note that clothes are not tumble dried. Pupils are expected to make their own beds in the mornings and to keep their area of the house tidy.

Q: Do pupils have to bring their own bedding?

A: All bedding is provided, although many pupils bring their own duvet covers.  They will be given pillows and pillowcases, duvets and duvet covers, sheets and blankets – all of which are regularly laundered.

Q: Is there Internet access in the School?

A: Boarders have access to the Internet in the IT room, and to our Wi-Fi network.

Q: Are pupils allowed laptop computers?

A: Yes, although you should make sure you have insurance to cover its damage or loss, and that your child keeps it safe in school. The school’s IT Department will configure the network card for the school’s system, and ensure the laptop has the correct virus protection and security software. There are lots of PCs provided in school which boarders can use if they don’t have their own laptop.

Q: Does the school provide email accounts?

A: Yes, each pupil is provided with an email account.

Q: Does the school provide transport to the airport?

A: Taxis need to be arranged in advance by guardians or parents (approximate one-way fare: £80 Gatwick; £110 Heathrow).  Matron is able to recommend local and reliable taxi companies that can arrange bookings online – flight number and contact information will be required.

Q: How can pupils keep their belongings safe?

A: St Edmund’s is a happy and secure place, and everyone here is expected to respect the property, privacy and welfare of other pupils and staff. However, we also take general and internal security seriously. All boarding areas have secure keypad access.  Rooms are either single occupancy and lockable or have a lockable area.  Pupils are encouraged to bring a padlock or combination lock.

Q: How much pocket money can a pupil have?

A: £20-£30 per week is a common amount. Large sums of cash can be deposited with the Director of Boarding.  Bank accounts can also be arranged.

Q: Do pupils need to have private medical insurance?

A: All boarding pupils are registered with the School’s doctor, and are therefore treated under the British National Health Service (NHS). Parents may wish to take out private medical cover, which will cover treatment at a private hospital where necessary.