Choosing a state boarding school means affordable boarding without compromising on quality. This is achieved because the government pays for the education so the parent only has to pay for boarding.
The Royal Alexandra and Albert School is one of only 35 state boarding schools in the country and demand for places is high. Last year, the School’s academic results surpassed the national average in all key government measures at GCSE; and Sixth Formers secured places at some of the country’s top universities, including the universities of Cambridge, Bristol and Durham.
Situated in 260 acres of beautiful private parkland near London, the School is home to a lively community of 450 boarders, ranging in age from 7 to 18 years old. Boarders live at the School during term time but can go home at weekends after Saturday morning school. They learn alongside 550 local pupils known as Flexi Boarders, who have all their meals and activities at the School but return home in the evenings.
At the core of the School’s boarding community is an understanding of pupil needs and a commitment to education – in the truest sense of the word. That is, the development of strong values, character, resilience and independence, as well as academic achievement.
How do we accomplish this?
By taking boarding seriously.
Ofsted has rated our boarding provision as Good with two out of the four categories ‘Outcomes for Boarders' and 'Quality of Boarding Provision and Care' being assessed as Outstanding.
Ofsted findings supported what parents already knew:
- Staff across all disciplines place the safety and welfare of boarders at the centre of their practice.
- Boarders are actively encouraged to develop their own unique personalities.
- Boarders' health needs are highly prioritised through excellent health arrangements and a dedicated health care team.
- Boarders benefit from a wide variety of people and a range of resources which provides them with the guidance, help and support they need.
By teaching in and out of the classroom.
Learning is not exclusive to the classroom, nor should it be. Research has shown that involvement with co-curricular activities improves academic attainment. Which is why, every term, an extensive Co-Curricular Programme with over 140 activities and clubs is available to all pupils.
Every child is good at something. Participation in a wide range of co-curricular activities allows them to discover what that ‘something’ is. That is why most of the activities in the Co-Curricular Programme are included the boarding charges.
By providing a tailored boarding experience.
Boarders can start boarding in Year 3 and remain until Year 13. As pupils move up the School, each stage of the boarding experience is different and the boarding houses reflect this:
- Years 3-6 - All Junior boarders live together in one house where they can enjoy playtime in one central shared area and learn the fundamentals of socialising with other children.
- Years 7-11 - In Senior School, they move to single-sex houses where they share dorms with two or three other children. They learn to develop their own sense of identity and pride in taking care of themselves and their belongings.
- Years 12-13 - In the Sixth Form, boarders live in purpose-built accommodation designed to support the independent study required for A Level success.
Regardless of which stage in their educational careers pupils enter boarding, the School is more than an educational institution. It’s a home away from home.
By creating an inclusive and nurturing boarding environment.
Pupils are encouraged to be themselves, find their own voices, and explore their own talents. All of this can only be achieved in a supportive environment that celebrates and embraces differences and diversity.
Every boarding house has a dedicated team that looks after boarders’ welfare and well-being. Heads of Houses, Deputy Heads of Houses, Matrons, Non-Teaching Tutors and Teaching Tutors work together to ensure the best outcomes for all boarders.