To live together and learn from each other has always been a cherished part of our communal boarding life, and it enables pupils to feel fully immersed in the Dunhurst community. We aim to provide flexible boarding opportunities for our pupils, support family life and provide a nurturing, caring environment where your child can thrive.
We offer flexible boarding options to accommodate the varying needs of our families, with full, half and flexi-boarding available. At weekends, boarders can choose to stay at Dunhurst or return home, with staff accompanying children on the train to London Waterloo or Clapham.
We want children to feel relaxed when they board here and for the boarding flats to be places for down time, fun, support, ambition, socialising and a safe haven during their time at school.
Life as a boarder
Our boarding house consists of East Flat and West Flat, both of which are located in the main school building.
Each flat has its own common room, containing a television, DVD player, Xbox and comfortable sofas. Boarders can spend time in the evening watching TV, playing games or just chatting. There is a shared 'loft' area with block stools and a craft table, and a 'hive' area with more sofas and table tennis tables. Boys and girls can socialise together in these areas, as well as 'The Nest', our social area in the basement.
Dorms contain three to six beds and rooms may be of single or mixed age groups, depending on what is right for each individual child. Children are encouraged to decorate the dorms with posters, family photos and other personal belongings to make it feel like a cosy home from home.
Evenings and weekends at Dunhurst
There are a wide range of activities organised for boarders each evening – from treat nights on Tuesdays, when we enjoy toasties or waffles for snack, to special Friday nights with events such as dance-offs, dress-up themed evenings and quiz nights.
At the weekend, trips and experiences are organised, enabling our boarders to have fun. We create a varied programme throughout the year, from cultural visits and trips to London or the beach, to picnics, BBQs and adventurous activities such as sailing, kayaking and paintball.
With a strong emphasis on the family feel to boarding at Dunhurst, boarders are encouraged to do the things they might otherwise do with their family, like cooking and eating, socialising and relaxing together. Every evening, 'Homely Time' gives pupils the opportunity to spend an hour doing something they might do in their spare time at home – whether that’s baking, playing with Lego or going for a walk.
We offer flexible boarding to accommodate the varying needs of all our families:
Under full boarding, pupils board at Dunhurst for at least five nights per week.
Children are welcome to stay at Dunhurst at weekends (with the exception of long leave/exeat weekends), but they are also welcome to return home for the weekend.
If going home for the weekend, pupils can be picked up directly from Dunhurst but we also offer a special train service to London Waterloo. Pupils are accompanied by a member of staff to Waterloo Station and parents collect their child at the agreed meeting point. There is a return journey from Waterloo to Petersfield (again accompanied by a member of staff) on the Sunday night. This is a very popular arrangement for those pupils whose parents live in London and avoids unnecessary car journeys.
Flexi boarding enables pupils to be involved in the boarding community and experience life away from home in an environment they are comfortable and familiar with.
Pupils may stay for one night or more but arrangements can be changed (according to availability) on a weekly basis according to need. We aim to support our pupils through their school week and the demands of the busy lives our parents lead.
The dedicated team of House Staff comprises Simon Kingsley-Pallant (Houseparent on East Flat) and Alice Tang-Pullen (Houseparent on West Flat).
Simon and Alice are supported by David Ellis and Mea Wade, who are Deputy Houseparents and members of the Dunhurst teaching team. This ensures that our boarders have continuity in care and know the boarding team well.
There are also two resident matrons, Alex Freeman and Samantha Bensted, and one non-resident matron, Kirsty Batchelor, who have overall responsibility for the physical wellbeing of the boarders.