At the close of afternoon registration, at 4.20pm, boarders return to their boarding house where a drink and a snack is served. The boarders are then encouraged to change out of their school uniform before leaving the house to attend one of the many after-school clubs and activities, or to attend Prep where they are supported to complete their homework. At 5.30pm, day boys go home, and those boarders leaving their after-school club or junior Prep return to the boarding house.
Supper is served in the refectory between 5.30pm and 6.15pm, and the boarders eat alongside the house staff. At supper there is always a main cooked option, a vegetarian option, and there is usually a Panini or baguette option as well. Fruit is available at all meals. As at other mealtimes, individual food and dietary requirements are also catered for. This is a key feature of how More House boarders are looked after. Our catering team know each and every boy by name and by their dietary requirement - they will be happy to be put to the test on this!
After eating boarders enjoy some free leisure time until prep. For the Junior boarders and for Years 8 & 9 from Main House this is from 6pm to 7pm. For Years 10 & 11 this is between 7pm and 8.00pm (or longer if required at GCSE level). For 6th formers, they are encouraged to work for at least two hours each evening starting at 6pm.
At 6.45pm on a Thursday, all boarders and the house staff attend Boarders' Chapel; a brief mid-evening assembly led by the School Chaplain and the Head of Boarding. Along with a weekly pastoral theme, other notices and good news updates are shared with the whole community.
Each fortnight at 6.45pm, boarders meet as 'Boarding families' led by House staff in groups mixed between the different age groups. These are designed to foster mutual support and mentoring from the older boarders through to our youngest. Again, pastoral themes might be discussed or whole-boarding issues where support might be encouraged between the year groups. Each half term there is an 'inter-family challenge' which may be sporting, creative or other competitive activity. These have proved very popular since introduction in Sept 2017, especially between the house staff who are determined to have their 'family' crowned as the happiest or 'best'!
After prep each evening the respective age groups then participate in a sports or other active pursuit. These are mainly on site each evening except for the half-termly off-site excursions for every age group. Onsite activities are at the direction of their house staff but also allow for choice from the boarders when the planning is being done. You will see the range of these activities on the 'Activity' tab page on this website. All boarders from Year 6 to Year 10 must complete a certain number of activities each day/week, whilst in Year 11 and 6th form, where exam pressures are most prevalent, we use our activity programme to re-energise and give the boys a necessary diversion to their study time.
In terms of down-time or 'free time', all boarders are given space and freedom within the obvious confines of overall supervision by house staff. This is more negotiable as the boys reach the older years in boarding, but we also try to foster for individual differences and levels of responsibility as the boys themselves demonstrate trust, reliability and self-direction. This does, of course, involve sensible use of their own electronic device useage, time spent on purposeful activity and encouraging them to be active and healthy in their chosen activities. There must always be flexibility in allowing for quiet, reflective space and time in their lives. The boarding staff will always be there to guide or make suggestions about times and spaces where this can be provided.
At 8.30pm all younger boarders must be in Main House preparing for bed, and be in their rooms soon after 9pm, depending on their age. Lights-out is from 9.15pm depending on age. The house staff ensure each boy is encouraged to shower daily and that his teeth are cleaned before bed. They also support each boy in managing his clothing and laundry, making effective use of the school laundry system. Again, as the boys grow with age and maturity, we engender their need for self-reliance and independence in all matters of their hygiene, room cleanliness and management of laundry.
At 9pm, all but the oldest boarders must be preparing for bed, and this time is often used by the house staff to bring their corridor of boys together for quiet time, a shared hot-drink or pre-bedtime group discussions. Lights-out in St Anthony’s House is from 9.45pm, depending on age, with the Sixth Form boarders’ Lights-out by 10.45pm. Some 6th form boarders will work later than this on occasions by negotiation with house staff when schoolwork deadlines or exam preparation necessitates. This is always done on an individual basis and must be in their own room and with the upmost respect for all other boarders.
The staff in each of the boarding houses sleep in their private flats within the boarding houses and remain on-call throughout the night.
Weekends are more relaxed, and breakfast is served at the later times of 9am on Saturday mornings and 10.30am on Sundays. Weekend breakfasts are eagerly looked forward to as they are of the 'Full English' traditional nature.
If a whole day’s trip to London, Portsmouth or elsewhere is not planned for the day, Saturday mornings usually allow boarders time in either Guildford or Basingstoke town centres for shopping, before returning to site for a cooked lunch. Saturday afternoons usually comprise organised activities either on or off the site, and Saturday evenings, after eating a cooked supper in the refectory, often find the boarders ten-pin bowling, or at the cinema, or ice-skating, or engaged in some other fun activity.
After Sunday’s breakfast, boarders usually sit down to complete their weekend homework, supported by the duty house staff. After lunch, there is often the opportunity to leave the site for an afternoon stroll, or a trip to a fun swimming-pool. A cooked supper is served in the refectory at 5.45pm before many of the weekly boarders return to school on Sunday evening. An organised sports-activity is led by a member of the house staff is made available for all returning or weekend boarders on a Sunday evening.