Tel: 01993 823303

Life in the Boarding Department

The Boarding Department is run along family lines with boarders sharing meals together and taking part in a rich programme of activities in their free time. A signing-in and out system is in place and younger students are required to ask permission if they want to leave the premises so that we know at all times where they are.  Older students are able to sign themselves in and out.  Residential and medical staff are always on duty when students are on site and all students are registered with the local doctor so that they can be seen quickly should the need arise.  An Independent Listener is also available to students should they wish to discuss any issues or concerns with a member of staff who is not part of the boarding team.

The day starts with breakfast at 7.30 am in the Dining Hall and everyone is ready to make the short walk up the High Street to school by 8.15 am.  Boarders are not allowed back to the Boarding House during the day so they must be organised with their sports kit, musical instruments, and school books before they leave in the morning.

At the end of the day, boarders return at 3.00 pm and are provided with a snack before supper.  Those staying at school to attend one of the many clubs or sports matches return slightly later.


Supervised homework sessions take place every day between 6.30 pm and 7.45 pm, except on Saturday.   During these sessions, teaching and non-teaching staff are on hand to help with any difficulties.

Dinner is at 5.30 pm, with a further snack at 8.15 pm, and boarders head off for bed at around 9.30 pm.

Activities and events

Activities take place after homework and include such things as volleyball, swimming, basketball, bell-ringing, and CCF. We encourage students to take part in charity events for local causes and there is always room for a game of football in the yard, or across the lane in our orchard, and the opportunity to use the on-site gym facilities.

At the weekend students are given small chores to do around the Boarding House.   There are a number of clubs that run within the Boarding House, including a flourishing Gardening Club where students grow some of their own food. Some take part in the dancing classes that take place in the nearby Warwick Hall and they are regularly taken on trips to the cinema, ice skating, shows at the New Theatre in Oxford, and to sports matches.  There is also the opportunity for further afield visits to places like Alton Towers Theme Park, Cadbury’s World and the London Dungeons.

Activity Centre weekends

Canoeing (9)Two residential weekends to Woodlands Outdoor Education Centre in Wales take place during the year. There is one in September for the Sixth Form boarders and one in June for those in Years 7-10.

The Centre is located in the Wye Valley on the edge of the Brecon Beacons National Park and the Black Mountains. The listed, Regency building is set in ten acres of grounds surrounded by stunning scenery.

The accommodation at the Centre is of a high standard and students have the opportunity to experience abseiling, gorge walking, caving, kayaking, rock climbing, high and low ropes, and zip wire.  These are always excellent weekends and are thoroughly enjoyed by all.


Christmas celebrations

As we have all dispersed by Christmas, and in order to give our foreign students the cultural experience of an English Christmas, we celebrate Christmas and Boxing Day over a weekend just before the end of Term 2.  In advance of the weekend the students decorate the boarding houses in traditional fashion and on the Saturday they are treated to a full Christmas dinner attended by the Headteacher and the Governors.  On Sunday we celebrate ‘Boxing Day’ with a trip to some sort of entertainment such as a pantomime or ice skating trip.

Saying ‘Goodbye’

To prepare students for university and more independent living, we run a number of sessions towards the end of their final year, including financial management and self-catering.

At the end of June we hold a farewell weekend to say goodbye to our leavers.  This is two days of fun activities on site.  We enjoy a traditional BBQ, have an ice cream van in attendance, and experience the fun of a bucking bronco and a bouncy castle, amongst other activities.

To learn more about boarding life at Burford, please explore our Boarding Prospectus.


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