St John’s has always been a boarding school and retains its original accommodation, albeit now modernised to offer more comfortable and practical accommodation. This provides the boys with both privacy and their own individual work space.
Boarders enjoy a vibrant pastoral system with outstanding medical and personal care. Accommodation is divided into two dormitories with space for 30 boys each. Southwell dormitory is for senior boarders (Years 7 and 8) whereas Morse dormitory is for younger boys (Years 3 to 6/7). Whilst boys have separate night-time routines they spend much of their time together and older boarders often act as role models for the younger boys.
Evening routines are spent engaging in set activities (in which the whole school, including the day boys participate) or specific boarding activities (hide ‘n’ seek around the school or cooking outdoors in the woods are particular favourites amongst the boys). Boarders have access to the school’s facilities in the evening; (floodlit tennis courts, multi-purpose sports hall, gymnasium, the art studio and swimming pool).
The full boarders enjoy a very busy weekend. Saturdays invariably involve inter-school sports fixtures, after which they will spend time writing to their families, playing outside in the woods, a walk along the River Thames, occasional shopping trips to Windsor or inter-dormitory competitions, (football, table-tennis and snooker are favourites), board games and only very occasional ventures to the X-box!
Every Sunday the boarders go out on a trip: regular destinations include water skiing/water sports, mountain boarding, theatre trips to London, photography workshop, Thorpe Park, outdoor ice-skating in London.
St John’s offers full, weekly and tailored boarding options. Tailored boarding offers the boys the opportunity to experience boarding either 2 or 3 nights each week throughout a term and beyond. For many it can serve as a more gentle introduction to weekly boarding as they move up through the school. Weekly boarders can go home after their final school commitment on Friday, or stay overnight if we have early morning fixtures on the Saturday. They return in time for Supper on the Sunday evening between 5.30 and 6.30 or Monday morning.
Boys can purchase phone cards to call home in the evenings and there are regular opportunities to e-mail or Skype. We are always delighted to welcome parents to the school to see their sons take part in musical and dramatic productions as well as sporting matches.
The Deputy Headmaster has overall responsibility for boarding at St John’s and is assisted by 2 full-time dormitory masters, 6 assistant teachers, a team of school nurses and 4 boarding tutors. The staff:pupil ratio is kept deliberately low to provide the boys with every opportunity to benefit from high quality interaction with their teachers and support staff.
All full boarders contact home at least once a week and have access to Skype and telephones during their free time. Parents of overseas boarders can enjoy following their sons’ boarding activities through our twitter account (@sjbboarding)
During Guestroom (exeat) weekends, there is a tradition at St John’s that full boarding pupils stay with their ‘day boy’ friends and their families. This allows the boys to enjoy a more natural weekend with a friend’s family and engage in a different cultural experience.
The school employs registered nurses and first aid trained assistants, known as Matrons. They provide a high standard of care to boarders and support the boarders to be as happy and healthy as possible by advising on healthy eating and dental care, ensuring prescribed medication is taken correctly and comforting and helping boarders who are feeling homesick or worried. A nurse is available to boarders 24 hours a day when school is open, including at weekends. Sometimes unwell boarders are looked after in the Infirmary. The School Doctor can be contacted at any time if the nurse deems it necessary. The nursing team members are parents themselves and aim to treat all pupils how they would wish their own children to be treated.
We understand that parents worry about their children when they board, especially if they reside abroad. This is particularly true during the COVID19 pandemic. The nursing team will be following the latest Public Health guidance when caring for all pupils and have planned to ensure boarders can be cared for appropriately and comfortably. These plans support the wider school and boarding policies. Parents will always be contacted if their son is unwell.
The Lead Nurse writes to all boarding families prior to the start of the new academic year but if you have any questions or concerns about the plans, or wish to speak to a nurse on any other matter please contact Mrs Lorna Walsh (Lead Nurse) at firstname.lastname@example.org
Even during these unprecedented times, St John’s Beaumont School still provides a caring, supportive and positive boarding environment where boys can flourish and fulfil their potential academically, artistically, spiritually, socially and emotionally in all areas of their school life.
Our boarding environment provides a 'home from home' where students can feel safe and secure and are treated and valued as individuals. We aim to promote the development of self-confidence, a sense of responsibility, mutual respect and tolerance both within the School and beyond. We value and encourage open and regular dialogue between staff, students and parents as we work towards a common goal.
Unless you travel from a country that is part of the UK travel corridor (see government info here), boarders have to self-isolate with their families or guardians before entering the school.
This means that when you arrive in the UK, you will not be allowed to leave the place you’re staying at for the first 14 days (guidelines to self-isolation). This is because it can take up to 14 days for coronavirus symptoms to appear.
Before you travel, you should provide your journey, contact details and the address where you will self-isolate. You will be able to complete the public health passenger locator form 48 hours before you arrive: https://www.gov.uk/provide-journey-contact-details-before-travel-uk. You must present these details on your arrival in England.
Each boarding house at St John's Beaumont will operate as a separate ‘family household’; Southwell dormitory – Full Boarders and Morse dormitory - Weekly and Flexi-Boarders.
Boys and staff will be allocated a specific boarding family household (bubble) and they will be able to mix socially only with other boys in their own boarding bubble. This means that boys and staff will remain with each other for the evening: during mealtimes, free time, washes, studying and all other times.
Movement on site will also be restricted to reduce contact between the two ‘Boarding Family Households’ and this will include staggered arrival and departure times, staggered free times and dedicated access points to recreational areas and one-way routes around the boarding house/school.
Boys are expected to adhere to the new rules on social distancing, hygiene and safety:
Each Boarding bubble will be able to get access to the wide variety of recreational areas around the school, including the swimming pool. The use of the facilities will be on a rota to ensure that the two family households stay separated.
We have also created two further playrooms with various new entertainment equipment for the boys to enjoy their free time. Each boarding bubble will have its own dedicated playroom.
Please be reassured that boys will always be accompanied by an adult to help ensure that social distancing is taking place and the Infection Control Measures are adhered to.
To avoid the risk of cross-contamination, no personal belongings (for example reading books etc.) should be taken to and from the day school.
Boys must not share either School or personal stationery or learning resources with each other. Not even with boys within the same boarding family household.
Unless the guidelines are amended by the government, the school will ask all international boys from non-air corridors countries to remain in the country for guest-room, half-term and end-of-term. They can be in the care of guardians unless they are unwell, in which case the school will need to provide care for them.
Whilst government guidelines on organising trips or activities outside of school are currently unclear, for the safety of our boarding community, we will not be undertaking such excursions for the time being.
We will be providing a wide range of stimulating activities and opportunities that make the most of our lush green outdoors and prestigious indoor school facilities. If the guidelines change (providing that it is safe to do so), we will review organising trips.
St John’s will go to every length possible to minimise the risk of infection whilst your sons are in Boarding. These actions, however, will only be effective if these are mirrored by all families at home. Can we please, therefore, ask all families to recognise and abide by government advice and guidelines if they intend to send their sons into Boarding. Doing this will protect the integrity of our system and protect your son’s ‘Boarding Family Household’.