Alway House

(Co-Ed Day and Boarding House for pupils in Years L7 & L8 and Boarding from Year 3)

Moving up to a senior school can be quite a daunting experience. In Alway House we aim to provide a friendly and secure environment in which boys and girls in the first two years can develop both individually and as part of a team. It also offers a home from home for our youngest boarding pupils who attend St Nicholas House, Christ College's Junior Section.

Of the sixty boys and girls in the House at present some are Full Boarders, some board occasionally and others are Day Pupils but, no matter what their status, they can feel that they belong fully in the House.

There is always something going on. As well as playing the school sports of rugby, netball, hockey, football, cricket and athletics, the Alway pupils also take part in a programme of extra activities provided specifically for them. Activities offered include shooting, judo, glider making, pottery, art, language clubs, creative writing, Science club and gardening, as well as established links with the local dance school, youth orchestra and tennis coach.  All pupils are involved with the end of year House production (Most recent productions are Lion King and Annie) and they are encouraged to take up the many musical and dramatic opportunities available to them.  Nearly every pupil in the House is learning to play an instrument or sings in the choir, and we compete against the senior houses in House Music competitions. At first it may seem like a daunting step up from Primary education, but in Alway House, pupils are nurtured and encouraged as they make the transition, and within a few weeks they start to reap the rewards of their busy lives.  Lessons or activities end at 5pm each day (earlier on a Saturday), then most pupils stay for tea and some free time with their friends, before settling down to their prep between 6pm and 7pm. 

On Saturdays, after games, the Day Pupils will go home and the House becomes a full time home for the Boarders.  There is normally a movie night on Saturdays – but in the summer you are more likely to find the boarders playing outside.  There is a floodlit mini astro turf behind the house, so play doesn’t necessarily stop once darkness falls.  Most Sundays there will be an excursion – recent trips have included the Panto in Cardiff, the cinema in Brecon, an indoor climbing wall, ice-skating, the Dr. Who Experience, Raglan Castle, Techniquest, Bluestone, paintballing, shopping…..and also trips to Leisure Centres, coastal parks and beaches.  Sometimes there is an activity organized from the House – sledging, cycling, pottery, an impromptu water fight or a Mexican or Australian themed meal.  Games of “Dracula” or “Spotlight” are also popular.  It is hardly surprising that some Day pupils request to board over the weekends!

Mrs Ruth Allen with her family
In September 2015 Alway House welcomes its first younger boarders. With St Nicholas House, Christ College's Junior section offering boarding from Year 3, Alway House has become a home from home for all of our younger boarders. With this in mind, a cosy boarders' lounge offers our boarding pupils their own space on an evening where they can play, relax and enjoy quality down-time before bed. 

Mrs Ruth Allen, our former Head of History at Christ College, takes over the reigns as Housemistress of Alway House and is responsible for the running of the House. She and her team of House Tutors, Gap Students and Prefects will look after day and boarding pupils during the day.

Senior Resident, Mrs Sandhu, will be looking after the Alway boarders including our youngest charges during evenings and weekends.  She will be resident on site with her family. Mrs Ros Sandhu has taught junior History at Christ College for the last two years and is Head of PSE.  With two daughters at Christ College, the Sandhu family are already popular members of the school community. 

The Sandhu Family with Peppa the dog

Alway House provides an introduction to the practicalities of senior school life in a homely and supportive atmosphere. Mrs Allen is supported by the Senior Resident Mrs Sandhu and a number of House tutors who look after tutor groups and undertake duties in the House. There is also one boy and one girl from the Upper Sixth as Heads of House and a number of Lower Sixth boys and girls help out with the supervision of prep in the House. There are plenty of people who can help and advise each member of the House no matter what problems or worries they may have.

All pupils have their own academic and sports locker in the house –  with desks provided should they decide to stay for supervised prep time (which is between 5pm and 6pm).  The supervised prep room provides an ideal space for activities and pupil gatherings.  There is also ICT provision within the room making it an excellent all round space, that serves everyone's needs.

 As well as the mini-Astro, there is plenty of space to spend valuable break times with friends – there is table tennis and a pool table, as well as a comfortable common room.  Each break time the children return to the house where they can have milkshakes, fruit and biscuits from our kitchenette. Year 8 pupils will be on a rota to load the dishwasher and make sure that the house is kept tidy.  There is also a small music room which enables pupils to practice on site when the opportunity arises.    Mobile phones are allowed in the house (but Alway pupils should not carry them around school) and there is limited Wifi access, so that the pupils are encouraged to interact with each other, rather than a screen, during their free time.

At one end of the house there are the bright and airy boys’ dorms, and a newly refurbished boys’ shower room.  At the other end there are girls’ dorms – containing large single beds with plenty of storage underneath.  Each boarder has a bedside table and generous wardrobe space.  Boarders are encouraged to personalize their space with posters and pictures, and the dorms quickly feel very homely.

Visitors often comment on the relaxed, extended family atmosphere they find in Alway House. We expect the children to work hard and play hard too. It’s noisy and busy and not always as tidy as Mrs Allen would like, but it’s friendly and full of happy children!

If you are interested in visiting Alway House, or perhaps arranging a sleepover, please contact the Admissions Registrar Mrs Margaret Stephens on Tel: 01874 615440 or E-mail:


  • Mrs RE Allen, Houseparent - 01874 615448
  • Mrs R Sandhu, Senior Resident
  • Mr J Ling, Tutor
  • Mr C Thomas, Tutor
  • Mrs A Doran, Tutor
  • Miss E L R Jones, Resident Assistant
  • Mr R Lovering, Resident Assistant
  • J Rauch, Gap Student
  • R Dixon, Gap Assistant