Houses and Boarding

The House Structure

Houses are at the centre of our pupils’ school lives, whether they are boarders or day girls.  From LIII (Year 5) to LIV (Year 8), girls are in St Jude.  Here they enjoy close connections with House staff and experience a home-from-home in a cosy, warm, friendly environment. Girls in UIV (Year 9) and LV (Year 10) board in St Edith and UV (Year 11) and LVI (Year 12) board in St Thomas More. As they progress through the years, they assume additional responsibilities and have the opportunity to lead their Houses, before taking on school leadership roles in the Sixth Form.

In UVI (Year 13), girls move to Mary Ward House, a stand-alone building with single rooms, a large social area and a kitchen. This gives the girls more independence which helps prepare them for university and life beyond.

All girls, whether they are a boarder or day girl, are part of a School House (Hewarth, Newby, Harewell and York) and take part in House Challenges throughout the year. Girls have the chance to sing their hearts out in the ‘House Shout’ or give their all at Sports Day, for example. The sense of belonging fostered by the House system allows girls to interact with different year groups and take part in a series of all school competitive events and activities.

St Mary's Shaftesbury-Houses and Boarding 5

Our happy and busy boarding houses have always been a key part of St Mary’s.  Girls are stimulated and inspired throughout the whole week, creating a culture of independence, mutual support and close community. We offer a safe, caring and disciplined environment where girls can enjoy companionship, fun and a diverse programme of boarding activities during the week and at weekends.

Boarding allows girls to explore a wealth of co-curricular opportunities.  Pupils have the time and space to develop their own unique skills and talents and our experienced boarding staff enjoy accompanying the girls on this journey.  Each boarding house has a dedicated and enthusiastic pastoral team which includes Housemistresses and House Assistants; they are supported by the school nurses and wider pastoral team, including personal tutors.

We are accredited for the Forces Continuity of Education Allowance and have a number of pupils from forces families.