Boarding at St. Catherine’s is in age-specific cohorts in four houses: Bronte (age 11-13; Symes (aged 13/14); Keller (age 14-16) and The Sixth Form (age 16-18).
The School Houses – all six of them – to which all our students belong – day girls and boarders - create a girl’s sense of belonging to the whole school from age 11 to 18. By contrast, the Boarding houses are their home addresses and where they live. However, as a boarder, you do then have the benefit of not one, but two housemistresses with specific roles, but who work together to educate and support your daughter.
Your School Housemistress and her team of form tutors look after your academic progress and welfare, and also run a raft of inter-house competitions throughout the year, held during two House Lunches a week and on some special days which are off curriculum at the ends of terms. Girls’ passion for their houses is absolute.
Your Boarding Housemistress will be a teacher who has a particular pastoral specialism with her given age group of boarders and is the touch point for boarders’ parents. A teacher, but also a parental figure – with all that means about nurture, encouragement, and the occasional nudge into getting behaviour and organisation right – the BHM – as we call them – is going to help your daughter to become a great citizen of her boarding house, to organise her life and gain independence, complete all her studies and prep. properly, and encourage her in all her activities.
From a carefully structured programme in Bronte or Symes as you join boarding at 11+ or 13+ to the greater freedom to study in your room in Keller for GCSE, to the trust and freedom of the Sixth Form where the atmosphere is more akin to that of a university Hall of Residence, the four houses help the girls to develop to the point where they are ready to take university life and study in their stride. It is an exciting journey of 7, 5 or 2 years, with girls joining us along the way. However, the longer you are here, the more you can gain from the St. Catherine’s experience and while we welcome new girls at each of these stages, we warmly advocate for years 7 and 9 as the best way to get the best from this School.