Boarding Life

St Catherine’s has been both a Boarding and Day school ever since the School's foundation in 1885 when 17 students, 11 boarders and 6 day girls entered the School. We believe that the successful blending of these two aspects of school life into one happily integrated community is part of what makes St Catherine's special to this day. Boarding has always been an intrinsic and popular part of the School and fundamental to the St Catherine's ethos and a way of life.

Boarding Aims and Principles

Boarding at St. Catherine’s is in age-specific groups: 

(age 11-13)
(age 13-14)
(age 14-16)
The 6
(age 16-18)

We offer weekly, occasional and full boarding, overseen by resident Housemistresses and a team of staff who live on-site. The School is situated in Bramley village three miles outside Guildford town centre (the train takes just over 40 minutes to London Waterloo from Guildford) and is also conveniently located for both Gatwick and Heathrow airports. For more information click here.

Our global boarding community includes over 19 different nationalities from across the globe. We are also a popular choice for girls from both the local Surrey, Hampshire and Greater London areas along with girls from across the UK.

If you are considering joining at 11, please do look at our guide to Boarding Beginnings in Bronte House (click on image).

Why Board?

I am often asked ‘How will my daughter benefit from boarding?’, in response I say there are numerous valuable ways in which your daughter will gain from joining the St Catherine’s boarding community.

  • Boarding offers girls a transformative experience that helps to prepare them for life ahead.
  • Girls develop a strong sense of independence allowing them to gain confidence and independence.
  • Your daughter will quickly develop life skills, learning how to give or take, when to follow and when to lead and how to deal with individuals of different temperament and character.
  • The girls have access to the wonderful School facilities and array of activities from early in the morning to late in the evening.
  • Girls make strong and global lifelong friendships and experience the camaraderie of a big 'family'.
  • With no commute, girls have greater flexibility and more time to pursue extra-curricular activities.
  • Girls are encouraged to try new activities in the boarding environment and become more resilient. 
  • They enjoy a full and stimulating weekend boarding activity programme.
  • And, critically, parents benefit from greater flexibility in managing their professional and home lives.

As a boarding parent, you are provided with a unique login where you are able to see each week the variety of activities that your daughter and fellow boarders have completed, providing you with a true insight into boarding life.  Your daughter’s housemistress will be your first point of contact and will communicate with you to regularly share updates, achievements and discuss any concerns you may have. For more information about our boarding staff and boarding houses click here.  All our major events such as Concerts, School Plays and Speech Day are live-streamed - making it possible for parents across the globe to share in their daughter's School journey.

We hope you’ll come and visit us at St Catherine’s soon.

Mrs Helen Harkness
Senior Boarding Housemistress


Head Boarder's Annual Review and Presentation to Boarders' Parents