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Alway House

Boarding and day house for boys and girls in Years 7 and 8 and weekly boarding for St Nicholas House pupils.

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 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  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.

Alway is a thriving energetic environment. It is the hub of school life for the junior pupils and life is busy. As well as taking part in a full sports program, pupils also enjoy a wide range of activities and clubs, including creative arts and project science. Many are learning instruments and a good number are in the Chapel Choir. It provides an introduction to the practicalities of senior school life in a homely and supportive atmosphere.

Whole House productions are a highlight of the year. The House Music Competition sees Alway up against all the Senior Houses.

The step up from Primary to secondary school can seem daunting ,  in Alway, the pupils are gently steered through the transition. Routines are quickly established and timetables absorbed.

Each school day ends with supervised homework or prep between 5.00pm and 6.00pm. The ICT provision within the house helps pupils make the most of prep time.

Alway is home to Boarders as young as  10. The House is home from home with a cosy boarders lounge offering our boarders their own evening space to snack, play and relax, with evenings and the weekends to themselves. Weekday evening are reasonable low key. On Saturdays there is normally a movie night. In the summer, we are more likely to find boarders playing outside. There is a floodlit mini astro turf behind the House. Most Sundays there will be an excursion, the most popular include go karting and paintballing, as well as trips to the leisure centre, local walks and cycling.

Emily Hopkin,  Houseparent, leads the  team of House Tutors, Gap students and prefects who all help oversee the day to day running of the house. Each pupil is assigned to one of those tutors as their personal academic tutor.

As well as the mini-Astro, there is plenty of space to spend valuable times with friends – there is table tennis as well and 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.

The use of mobile phones is restricted around the school, sensible restrictions also exist around the House. However, once Prep is over the boarders have their phones until bedtime when once again they are taken into safe keeping.

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.  Most importantly Alway is friendly and full of happy children!


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