Boarding

Set in the heart of the School campus, our three boarding houses form a central part of the Sutton Valence School community. Led by our team of dedicated housemasters, housemistresses, matrons and tutors, our boarding community encourages a diverse, friendly and nurturing environment in which our students can take full advantage of the opportunities and facilities on offer to them at the School.

As a home-from-home, our boarders receive dedicated support from our boarding staff to ensure that they maximise their academic potential whilst in the house.

Away from their studies, they are encouraged to make the most of the vibrant community enjoying access to the School’s facilities, such as the strength and conditioning suite, cardiovascular suite and swimming pool, as well as various social events and trips.

The School’s position in the heart of the Kent countryside allows our boarding students to enjoy the best of both worlds; enjoying all that the Weald of Kent offers as well as having easy access to London, Maidstone and other nearby cities and towns which supply a plethora of activities.

Why Choose Boarding?

Our boarding provision offers a multitude of benefits. Not only does it start to encourage the students to become more independent and disciplined, it also allows them to encounter a little more of the real world. Our high expectations of student behaviour, manners and work ethic, combined with a positive and caring approach, allows our students to benefit from all that boarding offers which, in turn allows them to flourish within the School environment.

The Houses

St Margaret's Boys House

Westminster  Boys House

Sutton Girls House

Boys’ House: St Margaret’s

St Margaret’s House was the first of the two senior boys’ boarding houses to be established, welcoming its first residents in 1913. Since then, whilst the house has evolved and the faces within it have changed, the shared ethos of respect has remained and is handed down like a baton from generation to generation. This basic principle permeates all we do in the house, guiding the boys in every aspect of their lives together.

Benefitting from the diverse mix of nationalities in the house, St Margaret’s has built up a reputation for its hospitality and kindness. Being such a close-knit group, the boys develop a genuine pride in their household which ultimately transcends their differences in age and background. For our younger residents, this provides a homely boarding experience with a host of older ‘siblings’ to support and encourage them. Collectively, they enjoy a healthy competitive rivalry with the other boarding houses, organising various sporting fixtures and events throughout the year that allow our wider boarding community to come together.

 

The Housemaster in St Margaret’s is Mr Steven Head, who is also the School’s Head of Boarding. Mr Head, who has run the house since 2014, is also a qualified school inspector and uses this experience to ensure the house is run with efficiency whilst still maintaining a compassionate and nurturing environment.
He is supported by a team of dedicated house staff, who encourage and guide the boys in their care to be the very best they can be.

Mr Head is married with two children, one at our Senior School and one at our Preparatory School. They have a dog called Ludo, and enjoy biking, walking and exploring the Kent countryside as a family.

 

As a boarder, my son has been able to take full advantage of the fantastic facilities available to him, the close family ethos of the School and the academic provision provided by the network of staff, who support both his academic and sporting needs and goals - Current parent

Boys’ House: Westminster

Westminster prides itself on its strong sense of house spirit. Whether the boys are studying, competing on the sports field or performing on stage, the household takes collective pride in their achievements. This supportive approach helps to provide a safe and nurturing environment in which the students can flourish and fully benefit from the School’s boarding experience.

Mr Gary Wellings became Housemaster of Westminster in September 2021. He has been a member of staff at SVS since 2017, as the Head of Mathematics, as well as coaching Hockey and Cricket and also runs the Chess club! Sarah, his wife, is a teacher at a local primary school and they live onsite with their two daughters. Gary’s passion is sport, playing competitively for Holcombe Hockey Club. If he went on Desert Island Discs, he says his five luxury items would be Radio 5 Live, a Bill Bryson book, Spitfire ale, Sarah’s cheesecake and his golf clubs!

Westminster has built up a reputation for its ‘work hard, play hard’ approach that sees the students’ enjoyment of their time in the house matched by a rigorous academic standard to which they collectively aspire. Alongside that is a desire to see them develop as motivated, independent young men whose confidence continues into all areas of their School lives.

It was the best decision for me to come to Sutton Valence School from China. I've made lifelong friends with both British and other international students. Harry, Current Student

Girls’ House: Sutton

With stunning views over the Weald of Kent, Sutton House is a warm and welcoming community that offers a safe and structured environment for the girls to live and work. Benefitting from a wonderfully diverse culture, the girls are encouraged to bond, explore each other’s backgrounds and support one another.

The house is led by the Housemistress, Mrs Sophie de Castro since 2017. As well as her boarding role, she is also the School’s Head of Modern Foreign Languages, so her ability to speak multiple languages is a huge benefit to our international students, encouraging the girls to develop their own linguistic and cultural understanding. Mrs de Castro is supported by a house matron and tutors who help to run the house and pride themselves on providing a nurturing environment, guiding the girls whilst at the same time encouraging them to become more independent.

The real heart of the Sutton community is formed by the girls themselves. The close-knit nature of the house encourages them to build bonds that last a lifetime. As well as the social aspects, the girls are encouraged to develop their leadership and mentoring skills and help the younger students in the house. This is invaluable in helping new students to settle in, adapt to their new environment and ensure that they feel cherished within the house community.

It is the personal relationships which have been life-changing, the friends whom I will never forget and always value. They have made this experience one of the best in my life. If I could, I would do it all over again. Nejla, Student

The Facilities Available

Our boarders enjoy comfortable and well-appointed rooms with up to four students per room for Juniors. As students progress through their respective houses, they enjoy the privilege of individual rooms providing them with additional privacy and independence. Each house benefits from its own common rooms and social spaces for the household to come together once they have completed their prep work.

With supervised access to the Sydney Wooderson Sports Centre, swimming pool and the School’s playing fields, the boarders will often be found letting their hair down enjoying sports and games during their free time in the evenings.

All three daily meals are served in the School’s Refectory so boarders are fully catered for but have the option to cook for themselves at other times – each house has its own fully-fitted kitchen.

With the matrons on hand to help them, the boarders ensure that the houses are regularly filled with the welcoming aroma of freshly baked treats. At the weekend, for those who remain in the house, regular trips are offered to local attractions, shopping malls, theatres and the cinema.

 

International Boarders

We are dedicated to ensuring that our international boarders feel at home whilst they are with us. Starting a new school can be daunting at the best of times, but especially if it is in a country that doesn’t speak your first language, or you have never visited before. Equally, we understand this is also hard for parents to send their child overseas to study. As such, we make every effort to ensure that parents are equipped with all of the information needed, making the registration and induction process as simple as possible.

With easy links to the biggest airports in the UK, and various public transport options, it is safe and straightforward to get to Sutton Valence. On arrival, the students will be warmly greeted, toured around their respective house and immediately made to feel at home.

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