Welcome from Head of Boarding Franklin Barry

FL12 F Barr F 43355 0352

Boarding is the full immersive school experience.

At Christ’s College, boarding constitutes a large part of school life. The three boarding Houses – Flower’s, Richards, and School – provide close to a third of the school roll.

With students from Hari Hari to Hong Kong, the boarding community is home to diverse cultures and backgrounds. However, boarding at Christs College means every boy is lucky enough to have a common shared experience, adding an extra layer of brotherhood formed at this prestigious school. Boarding meals, weekend activities, and events, as well as sport, music, and the Arts allow for the barriers of the individual boarding Houses to be softened.

Boarding adds to the Christ’s College identity, forging a strong community that every boarder feels a part of and many dayboys envy. Christ’s College has developed an excellent programme, allowing dayboys from Year 10 to also experience a taste of boarding life. During these few weeks of boarding, dayboys – as well as boarders – stay at Jacobs House, serving as a great way for dayboys to make new friends and experience the boarder’s life.

One of the many strengths of Christ's College – and part of the school’s strong reputation – is the traditional House system. Rather than everyone being thrown into a hostel with about 160 other boarders, the three Houses – with about 60 boys each – make it far easier for boys to settle in and get to know each other. This is particularly important when welcoming new students. Whether they are young Year 9s or, like myself, boys coming in later (Year 11), the three boarding Houses make it significantly less overwhelming when adjusting to the new school. The 10 Houses at Christ’s College all vigorously compete in interhouse competitions. This competitive rivalry between Houses fosters strong House camaraderie, although I would argue this is more easily founded for boarders who live together.

Each boarding House at College is fortunate to be under the guidance of dedicated staff. The passionate Housemasters, mother-like matrons, mentor teachers, House tutors (often Old Boys), and domestic staff all work very hard to do the best they can for the boys. They are friendly, approachable, and helpful and are great people to look up to as well as convenient people to talk to for guidance. Senior students (Prefects or not) also look out for junior students coming in.

Boarders are free to go home every weekend. This is often a nice time to catch up with family or hometown friends. However, I would recommend staying in for a decent number of weekends. The weekends are usually a time with less school stress and more free time, and another chance to hang out and spend time with people throughout the House and make friends with people across year groups. Christ’s College also offers a quality boarding programme, with many activities throughout the weekends. From surfing to skiing, movies to mystery day trips, the programme allows boys in each boarding House to get together and do something fun.

I believe the most important aspect of boarding, aside from the actual day-to-day experience, is what it will likely leave you with. Each boy will hone many skills – independence, working well with others, and following directions and rules. Perhaps, most importantly, it is the opportunity to cement strong friendships forged through years of living together – friendships that can last for many more years after.

Boarding is not always easy. It is natural for boys to miss their families, friends, and home. Coping with this is a skill in itself. However, the lessons you acquire trade favourably against this. I strongly recommend boarding at Christ’s College and almost guarantee you will not regret it and will be better off for it.