We offer a wide range of different boarding choices to suit each family's needs.
Girls can opt to board from the age of 7 (Year 3). Some girls will start with a few nights per week and gradually build up to boarding from Sunday to Friday (for weekly boarding); most girls will be boarding on a weekly basis from Year 5.
If full (termly) or weekly boarding is not for you, you can choose to stay on a flexible basis for two or three regular nights each week or on occasional nights throughout the year, subject to availability of places.
You can choose from the following options:
Weekly Boarding For Girls
We are specialists in weekly boarding, with approximately half of our boarders returning home each weekend. (Our weekly boarding option was recently described by one of our parents as a "dream"- suiting girls and their working parents very well.)
Girls who are residents on a weekly basis, live in school from Sunday night (although a few arrive on a Monday morning) to Friday after school. They enjoy evenings with friends, have a disciplined study routine, with all homework completed at school during the week, and an activities and entertainment programme. This leaves the weekends free to enjoy with parents and siblings - no more nagging about homework or stressful daily commutes to and from school!
There is the option of our courtesy mini-bus service from and to Milton Keynes Station for weekly boarders who use the London to Milton Keynes train line. The bus collects between 5.15pm and 5.45pm on a Sunday evening and returns girls to the station on a Friday evening after school.
Full Boarding For Girls
Our full boarders stay at school during the week and at weekends throughout the term. This is the ideal option for those whose parents live far away from the school.
There is a week-long half-term break in the middle of each term and one exeat weekend either side of the half term holiday, (when girls stay with family, friends or guardians). Parents and guardians are always very welcome to visit or take the girls out during the weekends.
We have an exciting weekend programme and a programme of evening activities on weekdays, so there is always something going on for termly boarders.
Flexi-boarding is a great way to break in to boarding if you are considering weekly or termly-boarding in the future. Girls enjoy boarding and soon know how many nights away from home they feel comfortable with. Our flexi-boarders choose to stay for up to three nights each week. They need to decide in advance which day(s) of the week to stay.
Some girls opt to board after sports fixtures or after their favourite after-school club. For some families, flexible boarding is useful if parents have to work shifts or late nights on a regular basis. Others, who have a fairly lengthy daily commute to school might prefer to spend their normal travelling time studying or relaxing instead.
Flexi-boarding can be combined with the use of our daily school bus service on the days when the girls are not boarding. Flexible boarding is subject to availability. Priority for beds is given first to full/termly boarders and then to weekly boarders, depending on availability.
“Our daughter thoroughly enjoyed her time boarding and came home with a list of improvements we could make to life at home to make it as good as being at Thornton! We would like to go ahead with boarding Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday from next week. Thank you to everyone for making the trial so enjoyable.” Parent, April 2013
“I stayed for a ‘one off’ weekend and I was able to join in with a trip to the cinema to see a 3D film. It was great fun!”
For girls who are wondering what boarding is like but don't want to make a commitment yet, occasional boarding is an ideal way to try boarding out.
Occasional boarding means your daughter can stay the occasional night (or nights) on a one-off basis. Parents often use this option when they need to go away with work or when there is a late night trip at school. Many of our termly and weekly boarders start out as occasional boarders.
To read more about the day-to-day lives of boarding girls, please read the My Life As A Boarder page.