Health and nutrition

The health centre

The health centre is an integral part of the St Swithun’s community providing both medical and emotional support to all pupils and staff.  Situated at the west end of the dining room it is staffed 24 hours a day, seven days a week by three nursing sisters. The school medical officer visits twice a week or at other times when necessary. All the practitioners are a vital part of the school's pastoral support team.

Medical officer: Dr Lorraine Cole, Friarsgate Practice, Winchester

Nursing sisters: Mrs Paulette May, Mrs Eleanor Oakley and Ms Nicola Smith

The health centre staff work together to provide a professional medical and nursing facility of the highest quality in a caring, supportive and confidential atmosphere. Girls may visit the health centre at any time but are encouraged to come at break, lunchtime and after school as follows:

Monday – Friday   08:00 – 08:20
                           10:50 – 11:10
                           13:05 – 14:00
                           16:15 – 17:00
                           20:00 – 21:00

The health centre oversees the care of girls with chronic illness and handles accidents including sports injuries. All medications are administered under protocols following the Nursing and Midwifery Council Guidelines.

If a boarder, in the view of sister or the doctor, is unfit to participate in games lessons or matches, they can collect a ‘games excuse’ from sister. This gives permission for the girl not to take part in physical exercise on the date stated. Day girls who are unable to participate in physical exercise should bring a letter from their parents, excusing them from such activity

There are six beds for girls who are not well enough to attend school. At sister’s discretion, a boarder may be nursed in her boarding house if there is a member of the house staff in attendance.  Sister must be kept informed in such cases and will decide if a girl should be admitted to the health centre.

Health centre staff undertake regular health checks of each girl and maintain appropriate records.  They provide confidential health advice for individual girls and, although there are no professional counsellors within the health centre, informal confidential counselling takes place from time to time.

The health centre coordinates boarders' immunisation programmes and also provides advice on travel health. Staff advise parents, carers and school staff on childhood illnesses and the management and control of infectious diseases. They also train school-based staff to support children with healthcare needs such as asthma, diabetes or epilepsy.


In accordance with the school doctor’s and nurses' professional obligations, medical
information about pupils, regardless of their age, will remain confidential. However, in providing medical and nursing care for a pupil, it is recognised that on occasions the doctor and/or nurse may liase with the headmistress and other academic staff, house staff and parents or guardians, and that information, ideally with the pupil’s prior consent, could be passed on as necessary. With all medical and nursing matters, the doctor and nurse will respect a pupil’s confidence except on the very rare occasions when, having failed to persuade that pupil to give consent to divulgence, the doctor or nurse considers that it is in the pupil’s better interests or necessary for the protection of the wider school community, to breach confidence and pass information to a relevant person or body.


Girls here live life to the full and need appetising, varied and well-balanced meals which our catering team is proud to provide.  Girls and staff are regularly consulted about the menus which always include vegetarian meals, fresh fruit and salads as well as a choice of hot meals and desserts.

Boarders go to breakfast in the dining room each weekday morning from 7.30am on a house-rotation basis. Breakfast is in house at the weekends. All girls go to lunch between 1.05pm and 2.10pm in year groups.
Supper for boarders is from 6.30pm on a house-rotation basis; Finlay go at 6.10pm and Le Roy at 6.20pm each weekday evening. As a general rule boarders return to houses for break and day girls go to the dining room. All boarders have lunch at 12.30pm and supper at 6.00pm at the weekends.
House staff keep an eye on boarders' eating habits at breakfast and supper. All staff, including catering staff, monitor all girls at lunchtime.
All senior boarding houses have cooking facilities, where girls can make hot drinks, toast and snacks after school and at weekends. Le Roy have limited cooking facilities and any cooking is done under strict supervision.