From its earliest days St Swithun's was structured to educate both boarding and day girls and this combination continues to work well, giving today's families the freedom to choose what best suits their own circumstances. All boarding house staff live on site and ensure that full and weekly boarders enjoy a community life to the full, with the right balance of study, relaxation and challenge.
Living at school allows the girls to make the most of each day, cutting out commuting time to create precious extra mintues either to reflect, relax or to focus on a particular activity or homework. Boarders typically throw themselves into the life of the school and are usually to be found at the heart of everything that is going on, often organising events which inspire and motivate others such as rock concerts, open-mic sessions and fundraising activities. They are free to be enthusiastic about what is on offer and to move seamlessly through each part of the day at the pace it demands.
Full boarders make up half of our boarding community. We offer a diverse range of activities at the weekend: those organised on site have a family feel and might include making sweets, outdoor games, crosswords, film nights, cookery and creative arts. This acts as a good balance to the dynamic co-curricular programme of 45 clubs and activities which runs on weekdays for both day girls and boarders. The swimming pool, art studio, library, music school and fitness suite are open. Unlike many boarding schools St Swithun's is close enough to town for boarders to walk in for shopping or to meet friends. London is only an hour away and the school community regularly enjoys the cultural opportunities it offers. Full boarders may also stay with friends or relatives if they wish.
Girls are involved in several "cluster" events each term, where boarders from all year groups meet in small groups for meals which they plan, cook and eat together. Friendships with other year groups are a significant feature of boarding here and the support of older and younger girls can mirror some of the dynamics of family life.We ensure that both boarding and day girls work together to create a happy and inclusive school environment and that they take every opportunity to forge supportive relationships with other girls of all ages throughout the school.