Boarding is the heart of Bedales: it is based on the principles of sharing, responsibility for self and others, and community living.
Our boarding houses
Bedales is organised into three boarding houses:
- Steephurst, for girls in Blocks 3 to 6.1 (Years 9-12)
- Boys’ Flat, for boys in Blocks 3 to 6.1 (Years 9-12)
- 6.2 Flat, a co-educational house for pupils in 6.2 (Year 13), with segregated sleeping areas and bathrooms
The structure of boarding at Bedales means that there are no competing houses, and students are encouraged instead to think of themselves as members of the whole Bedales community.
Virtually all dormitories are shared. In Steephurst and Boys’ Flat, mixed-age dorms ensure supportive friendships across all year groups, an opportunity for older students to take responsibility, and avoids isolation of individuals.
In 6.2 (Year 13), students move to a co-educational boarding house, which has shared study bedrooms. Greater freedoms here carry considerable responsibility and greater domestic involvement, to prepare students for life after Bedales.
Weekends at Bedales
All our boarders are full boarders, although they may go home on Saturday night if free from school commitments.
Activities are provided for boarders at the weekend, both at school and off-site. The gym, swimming pool and sports hall are open for boarders at specific times, while in the evenings there are often combined events across the houses, and activities in the afternoons.
Students are able to go into Petersfield on Saturday afternoon or during the day on Sunday. They are also welcome to simply enjoy some downtime and recharge as they would do at home.
Instead of prefects, we have a system whereby sixth formers take a share of defined duties and responsibilities within the boarding house. Students in 6.1 (Year 12) have the opportunity to be Dorm Mentors, acting as role models for younger students and supporting them.
Dorm Mentors lead by example, and show respect for the school and their boarding house, as well as a willingness to participate in school life. They work with houseparents to monitor the general welfare of boarders in their dorms and are a supportive friend to the younger students in their care.
The boarding houses are staffed by residential houseparents, residential/non-residential tutors and matrons, and visiting duty staff.
Every student is assigned a designated houseparent, who monitors their overall welfare and wellbeing, and is in regular liaison with the student’s tutor and parents. Students are also welcome to turn to any other member of the boarding staff.
The houseparents on the boarding houses are: