New to Boarding: What to Expect?

Becoming a boarding student at St Peter’s, Cambridge is an important decision for parents and children. We want to reassure you that we do everything we can to help your child flourish.

St Peter’s is known for very high standards of pastoral care, and we are especially conscious of our duty of care for new boarding students. Each boarding house has it’s own house director(s), house assistants, and a matron who is generally in the boarding house most of every day. These staff all make a particular effort to welcome and get to know new boarders. They are experienced at helping new students to settle in to the boarding house and enjoy the boarding lifestyle.

Each boarding house also has prefects who live with the other students. Being peers, house prefects are a major support for new students and often have an older sibling role with younger boarders.

The vast majority of new boarders settle in very quickly and soon embrace all the opportunities of living on-site. Having clear daily routines and ways of doing things helps new students adjust quickly to a new lifestyle. Having other students around all day, every day helps new boarders to make friends quickly. Having plenty to do and exciting new opportunities helps them to find their identity at St Peter’s. If, however, your child finds it more difficult to settle in, our school counsellors have tools to help them process the experience.

At the beginning of the year boarding houses plan activities that build community. We also encourage boarders to stay in for the first few weekends to help establish the sense of community. We find that before long many boarders prefer to stay at school with their friends for the weekend, enjoying activities and outings arranged by their boarding houses, and the facilities at St Peter’s.

Our boarders develop a true sense of belonging. Students are often heard referring to their fellow boarders as brothers or sisters. They take great pride in their houses, as is very apparent during the inter-house challenges throughout the year.

Communication with parents has never been easier and we encourage students to be in regular contact with home. We also encourage students to communicate with their boarding house staff so that they can provide support. Boarding house staff are always available to speak to parents and answer any questions, or provide reassurance and support.

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