Together we thrive

Boarding

Boarding at Highfield and Brookham is extremely popular but also completely optional. Our boarding provision has always been an integral part of the prep school and perhaps the continued popularity reflects how well we do it. Our flexible contemporary boarding provision means that if you are considering boarding for your child we are sure we can offer something that suits them. We offer everything from two nights per week to the ever-popular full boarding experience.

One of our many strengths is our diverse national and international community. We have always enjoyed a strong association with Armed Forces families and we are honoured to have been welcoming children from overseas for more than decade. Throughout our history we have been able provide outstanding pastoral care and the full boarding experience for children whose families may be abroad. The thriving boarding community means that no child will ever feel alone if their parents are out of the country. They are part of a large extended family who care for and support them every step of the way.

Evenings

As the school day draws to a close at 4.40pm the boarding evening is just beginning. The evenings should feel like your child’s own time – this is extremely important to us, and them. Until 5.30pm your child will be able to choose what do. They are able to join other boarders and day children in one of our inspiring clubs or some days they may choose to enjoy the simple luxury of changing into their home clothes and sitting out on Chapel field and casually chatting with a group of friends.

After activities the bell is rung and prep starts promptly at 5.30pm. This time is supervised by an academic member of staff to support your child and help them to complete work effectively. As children get closer to end-of-term exams, time will be allotted for revision sessions in the evening and staff will be on hand to help your child prepare for upcoming assessments and tests across all subjects.

At the end of prep time the children enjoy supper together in the main dining hall. But the evening doesn’t stop there. After their meal, the boarders are provided with a list of evening activities on offer. They can choose to relax with a film, enjoy a friendly game of table football or dance the night away at a disco. We also help keep our boarders informed of current affairs by providing age-appropriate newspapers in our three common rooms.

Bedtimes are staggered depending on year groups. For our youngest children, bedtime is 8.00pm, and up to 8.40pm for our senior boarders. This is followed by quiet time with some reading or listening to a story before lights out. 

Throughout the year boarders are thrilled by our ‘showstopper’ evenings. These include highly-anticipated activities such as the colour run, slip ‘n’ slide and the inter-dorm dance competition. These events are extremely popular and often see children who might not normally stay that particular evening booking an extra night so they don’t miss out.

If your child chooses to learn a musical instrument time will be allocated in the evening to head over to our Music School to practise.

Weekends

Day and boarding Prep school children attend school on Saturday. Saturday’s schedule consists of a bespoke programme of morning lessons for children to work toward their Keys Diploma followed by sports fixtures in the afternoon.

Weekends are cherished time for our full boarders. There is a more leisurely pace and children get to enjoy more of their favourite part of boarding – being with their friends. Saturday evenings are immense fun. After some down time and supper, Saturdays often involve relaxing with a film and enjoying a cheeky treat of popcorn or milkshakes.

Sundays offer a gentle start to the day with a ‘pyjama breakfast’ at 9am. Each weekend there is a either an on-site activity such as zorbing, a scavenger hunt or circus skills or off-site activities such as bowling in Guildford, visiting the cinema in Portsmouth or ice-skating in Winchester. Our Secret Santa at the end of the autumn term is always extremely popular and often sees our weekly boarders staying for the weekend.

We have exeat weekends throughout the year. We have four in the autumn term, two before and two after half term. The spring term follows the same pattern but there is only one exeat weekend after half term in the summer term.

Exeat weekends are obligatory. The school closes for the weekend and is open again on Sunday evening for our full boarders to return. Exeats are treasured by children and their families. Our international children head out to their guardians’ houses to enjoy some time away from school. Boarders who have parents overseas are often invited to stay with friends, which is a lovely option in addition to seeing their guardian.

The approach to boarding is excellent – we love the Junior Boarding House to start and there’s a great balance of freedom and guidance.

Food

One thing is for sure – your child will not go hungry. The day kicks off with a filling breakfast buffet. Your child has a plethora of choices to suit their mood. There is always a hot option such as beans on toast, potato waffles or porridge, as well as a full counter of fresh fruit, yoghurt, cereals and pastries.

Morning break is at 10am. To provide your child with a slow release of energy to keep them focused until lunch they will have a carbohydrate-based snack. Lunch break is at 12.45pm until 1.45pm. The time your child will be called for lunch rotates throughout the week, so sometimes they will eat first and then enjoy the fresh air and sometimes the other way around. To maintain your child’s energy levels throughout the day they are offered a snack during afternoon break at 3.15pm.

Supper is served from 6.15pm and offers your child the comfort of a delicious homecooked meal after a busy day. Children and boarding staff all sit down together and often the Nurse joins too. All meal times offer a selection of hot and cold dishes, as well as options for children with a range of dietary requirements. We use locally grown and environmentally sustainable food. We are committed to making as much use as appropriate of organic, natural food products and Fairtrade produce and to eliminate genetically-modified food and potentially harmful food additives in all of your child’s food.

And in case that’s not enough – toast and milk is available to your child in the dining hall every evening before bed to ensure they don’t go to sleep with a rumbling tummy.

Pupil Care

We acknowledge that every child will have been brought up with different routines that are unique to them and their family. We have built a community here where differences are not only tolerated but also celebrated and respected. To help your child settle and follow the boarding routine they will be allocated a ‘boarding buddy’ to show them the ropes. They will introduce them to the boarding team, including the nurses, and explain to them the most important aspect of boarding life – that there is always someone to talk to. Your child is encouraged to speak to any member of staff they want to. We will make sure they know that all adults are prepared to listen and want to help in any given situation.

We have very thorough lines of communication to ensure we know about any matters that might be affecting your child. Our staff meet weekly to discuss every child in the boarding houses, which ensures your child is acknowledged, known and valued by all staff members. The Director of Boarding is also the Designated Safeguarding Lead and sits on the School Pastoral Care Committee which meets weekly with our Head, Mrs Cryer, Deputy Head (Pastoral) and Heads of Year.

We pride ourselves on keeping as many lines of communication open as possible, so please speak to us whenever you feel you need.

Boarding Options

Boarding can start for children from Year 3. We have options from just two nights per week to the traditional full boarding option, available from Year 4. Our boarding provision aims to be flexible to suit modern family life. Our current contemporary boarding provision has been adapted to reflect current demand from families.

Our boarding numbers grow throughout the year, with summer term always the most popular. Typically, we start September with about 100 boarders and this grows to nearly 150 by the end of the academic year.

We offer trial nights for children who want to give boarding a go before they commit to regular boarding. Your child is entitled to book up to three trial nights a year to join their peers for an exciting sleepover at school!

Full boarding is the complete package offered to children in Year 4 to Year 8. It allows your child to experience the whole week, including weekends. Roughly a quarter of our boarders board full time, including international children, Forces children and local children who want to experience full boarding before senior school. Weekends are treasured by our boarders as they enjoy more of their favourite part of boarding – being with their friends.

Sundays offer a relaxed start with a ‘pyjama breakfast’ at 9am. Each weekend there is a either an on-site or off-site activity such as bowling in Guildford, going to the cinema in Portsmouth or fairground rides at Hollycombe. Our weekly boarders always have the option to book additional nights to join our full boarders for the most popular weekend activities – ice skating in Winchester being one of them.

Weekly boarding is available from Year 3 to Year 8. Approximately half of our boarders choose this option. As a weekly boarder your child will arrive at school on Monday morning and return home on Saturday, allowing them to experience the joys of being part of our thriving boarding family.

If your child doesn’t have school on a Saturday they are collected at 9am, if they do have Saturday School they will be collected at the end of the school day. We also value seeing our families at Sunday Chapel, which has been an important part of boarding for many years. We would love to invite your child to stay after Sunday Chapel and there will be no extra charge.

This is our unique take on part-time, flexi boarding and is available for children in Year 3 to Year 7. Around a quarter of our boarders choose our Steps to Boarding programme. Steps offers your child a gentle start to boarding. It is a great opportunity for them to test the water before being a full boarder either at prep or senior school. It also offers families a more flexible option to fit around after-school clubs and commitments, the school run and work life.

What makes it special is your child will board the same nights each week and have their own bed, in their dorm with their friends, with their belongings. No chopping and changing. It is their home even if they are only with us two nights a week. Children in Year 3 to Year 6 have the options of staying two, three or four nights a week and children in Year 7 have the choice between three or four nights a week.

Additional boarding gives children who aren’t full boarders the option to book extra nights in our Boarding House on a more flexible basis. As we do not ‘hot bed’, your child’s bed is always available to them on other nights when they need it, or simply when they want to stay for that extra special weekend activity. We all know how popular the Winchester Christmas Market is!

Boarding Houses

Junior Boarding

We offer a bespoke boarding option for children in Year 3 to Year 5. Our Junior Boarding House is home to 18 children who live together between four dorms on the first floor of the house. There are three dorms with four beds and one dorm with six, as well as two bathrooms. The house is separate from the main school buildings but still at the heart of the school site. The ground floor of the house is home to our Junior Houseparents, who are on hand whenever your child may need them. Our Junior Houseparents are tremendously experienced with helping our youngest children settle into the Junior Boarding House, which feels like a friendly family home.


The juniors have a great balance of spending time with the seniors at breakfast, supper and for the major boarding events as well as having valued time as a smaller group of junior boarders. They have their own common room and garden complete with climbing frame, tepee and fire pit to enjoy away from the older children.

Senior Boarding

Our Senior Boarding House is home to up to 130 children in Year 6 to Year 8 as well as our Head of Boys boarding, Head of Girls boarding and team of enthusiastic graduate assistants. Our Director of Boarding lives just a stone’s throw away from the Junior and Senior Boarding Houses.

There are 22 dorms in the Senior Boarding House spread out over two floors. Dorm sizes vary from four beds to ten beds. The house is also divided into a girls’ end (with 12 dorms) and a boys’ end (with 10 dorms), each with their own common room and multiple bathrooms.

In the centre of the Senior Boarding House is the Matron’s workroom – the epicentre of boarding. Our exceptional Matrons are integral to the smooth running of the boarding houses, ensuring children are well looked after and, crucially, that they have the correct item of uniform at the correct time. The Matron’s workroom is also home to a large table which is just perfect for a game of table tennis after a long day of lessons.

Dorm Structure

One of the many benefits of boarding is learning to become part of a tight-knit community and forming new relationships with ease. Your child will experience living, working and socialising with a diverse group of children. Understanding how to interact with and relate to people with different characteristics and interests is one of the many benefits boarding has to offer.

Our dorms help facilitate this learning process. Dorms are shuffled every term to help your child build new relationships and improve existing ones. Your child’s feelings are always listened to and valued and dorms are structured carefully so your child will always be sharing with a least one chosen friend.

Our dorms are purposefully decorated in neutral but warm colours allowing your child to bring their personality to them. Your child will be actively encouraged to decorate their beds and pinboards with photos, posters and blankets. Every year there is a fiercely competitive dorm decorating competition showing that room appearance is taken very seriously. Another reason, in addition to the competitive edge, is that decorating their bed and pinboard will give your child a place that is solely theirs, a secure area they can retreat to after a busy day. Your child will feel a sense of pride in their area while learning to respect their dormmates’ space.

What we’re up to…

Our drama provision is going from strength, as evidenced by yesterday’s wonderful middle prep LAMDA (London Academy of Music & Dramatic Art) showcase, which was an entertaining mix of monologues, duologues and group scenes; some comedic, some poignant, all brim full of talent, energy and enthusiasm. We currently have 131 pupils taking LAMDA lessons and are currently awaiting the results of their recent exams. Last year, we were delighted to register an impressive 92% distinction rate. #TogetherWeGrow #IndependentSchool #PrivateSchool #BoardingSchool #PrepSchool #PrePrepSchool #Nursery #Liphook #Hampshire #Surrey #WestSussex #SummerTerm

Key skills such as teamwork, problem solving and organisation underpin all of our learning and our Year 6 children got the chance to put those skills into practice with a mapwork challenge around the school grounds. The children had to work together to read a map and plot their way around 12 different points, with each site featuring a geographical puzzle that the children had to solve before moving onto the next. #TogetherWeGrow #IndependentSchool #PrivateSchool #BoardingSchool #PrepSchool #PrePrepSchool #Nursery #Liphook #Hampshire #Surrey #WestSussex #SummerTerm

Today, we had everything from an hilarious extract from 80s classic comedy Fawlty Towers to a disgruntled tale of a Christmas Day birthday as our middle prep children took centre stage for a brilliant @lamdadrama showcase, underlining the school’s burgeoning dramatic talent. Bravo, children! #TogetherWeGrow #IndependentSchool #PrivateSchool #BoardingSchool #PrepSchool #PrePrepSchool #Nursery #Liphook #Hampshire #Surrey #WestSussex #SummerTerm

Nowhere was the spirit of Highfield and Brookham exemplified more than during yesterday’s dramatic IAPS U13 boys’ cricket cup win against Seaford College. Having been set 117 to win in 25 overs, Seaford were cruising at 65-1 before a spectacular spell of bowling from Harry M (5-14) and Freddie H (4-10) sparked a collapse as the visitors were dismissed for 92, with every dot ball, every wicket and every saved run in the outfield met with encouragement and roars of approval in a heartening display of teamwork, determination and a will to win. The first XI’s reward is a place in the third round of the competition. Well done, boys, we’re very proud of you! #TogetherWeGrow #IndependentSchool #PrivateSchool #BoardingSchool #PrepSchool #PrePrepSchool #Nursery #Liphook #Hampshire #Surrey #WestSussex #SummerTerm

That wonderful feeling of togetherness after the final wicket fell as our U13 boys moved into the third round of the IAPS cricket tournament today with a brilliant 24-run win over @seafordcollege. #TogetherWeGrow #IndependentSchool #PrivateSchool #BoardingSchool #PrepSchool #PrePrepSchool #Nursery #Liphook #Hampshire #Surrey #WestSussex #SummerTerm

Having been named a finalist in the ‘environmental practice’ category of last year’s Education Business Awards, we’re hoping to go one better this time around when the judges consider the impact of our project to cut food waste. Read the full story here: bit.ly/3yrkgEO #TogetherWeGrow #IndependentSchool #PrivateSchool #BoardingSchool #PrepSchool #PrePrepSchool #Nursery #Liphook #Hampshire #Surrey #WestSussex #SummerTerm

It’s that time of the year again when the school looks an absolute picture, with a proliferation of rhododendrons, bluebells and wisteria adding more than just a dash of May colour. To have so much beautiful green space at our disposal, and to spend so much quality time learning and laughing outside, really is such a huge tonic for children and adults alike. #TogetherWeGrow #IndependentSchool #PrivateSchool #BoardingSchool #PrepSchool #PrePrepSchool #Nursery #Liphook #Hampshire #Surrey #WestSussex #SummerTerm

Our Nursery children have been getting a big slice of the al fresco dining action with some homemade pizza in the woods. The young chefs made the dough from scratch before adding cheese to a tomato sauce base and cooking their creation over the fire at forest school. And was it tasty? You bet it was! #TogetherWeGrow #IndependentSchool #PrivateSchool #BoardingSchool #PrepSchool #PrePrepSchool #Nursery #Liphook #Hampshire #Surrey #WestSussex #SummerTerm #AlFrescoDining #Pizza

We have so many idyllic spots to stay cool and relaxed before going in to bat… #TogetherWeGrow #IndependentSchool #PrivateSchool #BoardingSchool #PrepSchool #PrePrepSchool #Nursery #Liphook #Hampshire #Surrey #WestSussex #SummerTerm

Our sports fixture match teas have long held legendary status, but it seems they go down very well at other times too. That certainly proved to be the case today as we welcomed more special guests to our second Grandparents’ Tea Party of a lovely week, where the different generations spent quality time together laughing, joking and reminiscing in convivial surroundings – over tea, cakes and sandwiches, of course! #TogetherWeGrow #IndependentSchool #PrivateSchool #BoardingSchool #PrepSchool #PrePrepSchool #Nursery #Liphook #Hampshire #Surrey #WestSussex #SummerTerm

Our prep school girls’ teams are making eye-catching, early-season progress on the cricket pitch. Sessions in games lessons and in the practice nets are clearly paying dividends, as demonstrated by determined batting, bowling and fielding performances across the board against our friends from Aldro and St. Edmund’s School, Hindhead today, not to mention terrific teamwork and constant encouraging of teammates. #TogetherWeGrow #IndependentSchool #PrivateSchool #BoardingSchool #PrepSchool #PrePrepSchool #Nursery #Liphook #Hampshire #Surrey #WestSussex #SummerTerm

Our inspirational, highly-skilled and progressive music department have a busy schedule all year round, being involved as they are with specialist lessons, concerts, stage plays and recitals across all year groups. Today, Year 2 hit the right notes accompanied by Mrs Harman on the piano as they got in some rewarding singing practice ahead of a performance next week. #TogetherWeGrow #IndependentSchool #PrivateSchool #BoardingSchool #PrepSchool #PrePrepSchool #Nursery #Liphook #Hampshire #Surrey #WestSussex #SummerTerm

Our academic scholars have been given a warm welcome on their fact-finding visit to Fontanellato in northern Italy. The school has strong links with the region as former Head Peter Mills escaped from a prisoner of war camp in the town in 1943. Today, an exchange programme between Highfield and Brookham and the Istituto Comprensivo di Fontanellato e Fontevivo, which has been running successfully since 2018, sees two Italian pupils spending a term with us each year. #TogetherWeGrow #IndependentSchool #PrivateSchool #BoardingSchool #PrepSchool #PrePrepSchool #Nursery #Liphook #Hampshire #Surrey #WestSussex #SummerTerm

Teamwork and the ability to lead was the order of the day as eight Year 5 children took part in the annual leadership day at Cheltenham College. Watched over by the college’s Combined Cadet Force, the children tackled myriad innovative activities such as a memory game, tyre-stacking challenge and a head-scratching number puzzle as they demonstrated the ability to collaborate, lead, take on board instruction and problem solve. #TogetherWeGrow #IndependentSchool #PrivateSchool #BoardingSchool #PrepSchool #PrePrepSchool #Nursery #Liphook #Hampshire #Surrey #WestSussex #SummerTerm

‘Family’ and ‘community’ are two incredibly important words for us and we love to welcome parents and grandparents into school as often as possible. One of the summer term highlights each year, for children and adults alike, is the Grandparents’ Tea Party, with a lovely tea, a tour of the school and a special concert in the Chapel on the agenda, all in the company of loved ones. #TogetherWeGrow #IndependentSchool #PrivateSchool #BoardingSchool #PrepSchool #PrePrepSchool #Nursery #Liphook #Hampshire #Surrey #WestSussex #SummerTerm

A visit to the world-famous Shakespeare’s Globe proved to be ‘write’ up inspired Year 7’s street as they produced some amazing work in English back in the classroom, in line with their study of Susan Cooper novel King of Shadows. #TogetherWeGrow #IndependentSchool #PrivateSchool #BoardingSchool #PrepSchool #PrePrepSchool #Nursery #Liphook #Hampshire #Surrey #WestSussex #SummerTerm

Good company, good food, good weather and good music was the order of the day for our lovely Grandparents’ Tea Party, one of the most-cherished events of the school year. It was wonderful to see grandparents enjoy tea, sandwiches and cake with their grandchildren before being taken on a personal tour of the school and rounding off their visit with an uplifting concert in the Chapel. And we loved it so much that we are going to do it all over again next week! #TogetherWeGrow #IndependentSchool #PrivateSchool #BoardingSchool #PrepSchool #PrePrepSchool #Nursery #Liphook #Hampshire #Surrey #WestSussex #SummerTerm #GrandparentsTeaParty

Looks like everyone’s been happy to see the sunshine this week. Have a lovely weekend, everyone! #TogetherWeGrow #IndependentSchool #PrivateSchool #BoardingSchool #PrepSchool #PrePrepSchool #Nursery #Liphook #Hampshire #Surrey #WestSussex #SummerTerm

Ahead of the excitement of next month’s sports day, our Nursery children used their PE lesson with Mrs Oecken to get to grips with jumping hurdles. Running in lanes, the children waited patiently at the start line before leaping in full flight or stepping carefully over the obstacles – or in some cases bypassing the hurdles altogether – and making their way to the finish line with a real sense of pride and achievement. #TogetherWeGrow #IndependentSchool #PrivateSchool #BoardingSchool #PrepSchool #PrePrepSchool #Nursery #Liphook #Hampshire #Surrey #WestSussex #SummerTerm #SportsDay

Our amazing teachers truly are worth their weight in gold. Through their expert care and selfless dedication, they really get to know their young charges and form wonderfully strong bonds. This allows the children to thrive and grow in and out of the classroom, both socially and academically. #TogetherWeGrow #IndependentSchool #PrivateSchool #BoardingSchool #PrepSchool #PrePrepSchool #Nursery #Liphook #Hampshire #Surrey #WestSussex #SummerTerm #GreatTeachers

Our popular enrichment programme offers children a way to learn new things and develop skills which can help them throughout life. This week, Year 5 took to the woods to hone their survival skills during a session of bushcraft, using simple tools to fashion fire wood, while Year 6 took full advantage of the sunny weather to practice and play some golf, primarily an individual sport rather than a team sport which teaches people about personal accountability and is great way to learn how to problem solve, for example knowing which club to use off the tee or how best to negotiate a greenside bunker. #TogetherWeGrow #IndependentSchool #PrivateSchool #BoardingSchool #PrepSchool #PrePrepSchool #Nursery #Liphook #Hampshire #Surrey #WestSussex #SummerTerm #LifeSkills

Hats off to our children of all ages who make full use of the vast natural environment around them, finding ways to learn and be creative. #TogetherWeGrow #IndependentSchool #PrivateSchool #BoardingSchool #PrepSchool #PrePrepSchool #Nursery #Liphook #Hampshire #Surrey #WestSussex #SummerTerm #Nature #Environment

They went, they saw, they conquered. But what else would you expect from our brilliant, brave and intrepid Year 4 children who had the most fantastic time at Kingswood Outdoor Activity Centre on the Isle of Wight. Whether in the sea taking the plunge from an inflatable, on land blindfolded and working together to tackle tricky terrain or up in the sky facing their fears and taking a leap of faith, our young adventurers tackled every obstacle with open minds, big hearts and even bigger smiles. #TogetherWeGrow #IndependentSchool #PrivateSchool #BoardingSchool #PrepSchool #PrePrepSchool #Nursery #Liphook #Hampshire #Surrey #WestSussex #SummerTerm #ResidentialTrips #CharacterBuilding

It’s not every day you see a hot air balloon in our Chapel, but when Mr Hesselmann is teaching Year 8 science, anything is possible. #TogetherWeGrow #IndependentSchool #PrivateSchool #BoardingSchool #PrepSchool #PrePrepSchool #Nursery #Liphook #Hampshire #Surrey #WestSussex #Science

We welcomed Barrow Hills School today for the first round of the IAPS Cricket Tournament. With some strong batting, bowling and fielding performances from our team, we proved too strong for Barrow Hills today. Bring on Round 2!

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