Boarding FAQs

At Thornton College we understand what a big decision it is choosing the right boarding school for your daughter, and as a student joining us soon you will want to know what it will be like and will have lots of questions.  We have produced the following Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) and we hope these help.  However, if you would still like further information then please email:

Admissions@thorntoncollege.com if you are considering your daughter joining Thornton College as a boarder.

Boardinggroup@thorntoncollege.com if you are a parent / guardian of an existing student or have recently been admitted and will be joining us soon.

CHOOSING GIRLS’ BOARDING AT THORNTON COLLEGE

WHY SHOULD I BOARD AT THORNTON?

We offer a very friendly, family style of boarding at Thornton. As one of our 60 boarding girls you will get to know everyone really well.

With the perfect number of girls boarding with us in any year, we are not too large and not too small. You will enjoy a full range of evening and weekend activities and an excellent standard of accommodation.

HOW IS BOARDING FOR GIRLS BETTER AT THORNTON?

Our girls really enjoy their experience at Thornton College. After a challenging day in the classroom, they enjoy the relaxing, homely environment in the boarding houses. The girls get a lot of attention.

It is a wonderful environment in which to grow up. Our position, on the very edge of the vibrant city of Milton Keynes, but in the tiny hamlet of Thornton surrounded by countryside, is both picturesque and safe.

WHAT MAKES THORNTON THE BEST SCHOOL FOR GIRLS’ BOARDING?

Boarding at Thornton offers a first class blend of pastoral care, enrichment and fun together with the flexibility of a modern boarding school. The Trustees are committed to providing the very best in boarding education for the girls at Thornton and as such have invested heavily in its infrastructure and resources.

All our girls are supported academically through strict study schedules, but are also expected to play hard and have a wonderful after-school activity and weekend programme, in addition to plenty of time to relax and enjoy the company of their friends.

Girls enjoy living and studying here – it is a wonderful environment in which to learn and grow.

IS GIRLS’ BOARDING AT THORNTON LIKE HARRY POTTER?!

Yes, with a different kind of magic!

All the fun of living together with your friends, using the fantastic School facilities, getting your homework done in good time… and none of the hassle of travelling to and from home every day. Not surprisingly, some of our Day girls become boarders!

YOUR QUESTIONS ANSWERED ABOUT GIRLS’ BOARDING

WHAT FOOD OPTIONS ARE THERE FOR GIRLS WHO ARE BOARDING AT THORNTON?

At Thornton College our Catering Team are fantastic.  They are passionate about providing a delicious and varied menu for the girls.  They celebrate important Holidays around the world and recently won a National Award for their Chinese New Year Menu and Celebration. 

Boarders enjoy hot and cold breakfasts in the morning including cereals, toast, fruits, juices, eggs, beans, pancakes, porridge and more.

Boarders enjoy a varied supper menu including noodles, tacos, hot dogs, pizza, jollof chicken and rice, salads, soups and more.

Boarding Houses will provide late snacks such as a hot chocolate or movie and popcorn for the girls especially on a Friday evening and at weekends.

The catering team can provide for all dietary requirements and Thornton College is a nut free school.

WILL I SHARE A ROOM?

Younger boarders share a bedroom with girls of the same or similar age.

Girls in Year 10 share twin rooms (subject to availability).

From Year 11 onwards girls have their own bedroom (subject to availability).

HOW MANY BEDS ARE THERE IN A BEDROOM?

There are one to five beds typically. Two of our bedrooms have eight beds – these are some of our favourite rooms in the house!

Boarders in years 7,  8 and 9 share three to eight girls, most of the Year 10 girls will have a twin room and from Year 11 onwards girls have single study bedrooms (subject to availability).

ARE THERE BUNK BEDS?

Three of our dorms have bunk beds and these have been refurbished to offer bright and modern accommodation for the girls in Years 3 & 4 and Years 8 & 9.

WHAT ARE THE BATHROOM FACILITIES?

Each area has plenty of toilets and showering facilities. All have been refurbished to a high standard and offer a good degree of privacy.

HOW MANY CLOTHES CAN I BRING?

Each girl has a single wardrobe of space for clothes plus under bed storage and a bedside cabinet with drawers.

WHAT ARE THE ARRANGEMENTS FOR LAUNDRY?

We have a daily in-house laundry service provided by our Housekeeping Team. We can arrange dry cleaning but there is an extra charge for this service.

CAN I WEAR MAKE-UP?

There is a strict ‘no-make-up or jewellery’ policy at school, during the school day, but both can be worn at weekends and in the evening. Girls can expect to receive the type of comments about excessive make-up as they do at home!

CAN I BRING MY LAPTOP/MOBILE DEVICES?

Yes and WiFi access is available in all boarding houses.

CAN I BRING MY TEDDY BEAR?

Of course – but he or she will have to share your bed!

I HAVE MEDICATION – IS THAT A PROBLEM?

Not at all. The medical team will take care of it for you.

WHAT IF I GET ILL?

During the day the Health Centre and our School Nurse, Mrs Dixon, will take care of you and your Housemistress will take care of you in the evening. All have first aid qualifications. We will ensure that you are taken to the doctor if required and will let your parents know. In addition, the school doctor visits every Thursday.

CAN WE HAVE POCKET MONEY?

Of course. This is kept in our School Bank and you can visit the bank each Friday lunchtime to withdraw what you need for the weekend and week ahead.

CAN WE WATCH TV?

Of course – but not all the time. There is so much more going on. Every common room has a large flat-screen TV.

CAN WE HAVE SWEETS?

You will have your own snack box which is kept in the tuck cupboard and accessed every evening. Years 11-13 keep their tuck in their own rooms.

I AM JEWISH / MUSLIM – CAN I PRAY?

Of course, we welcome all denominations at Thornton. Most girls pray at break and lunchtimes during the school day and are supported in prayer outside of these times. 

HOW OFTEN DO I LEAVE SCHOOL?

This depends on whether you are a weekly or termly boarder and how many activities outside school you are involved in. Weekly boarders leave on Friday evenings and return either on a Sunday night or Monday morning and termly boarders live in all week, but go home or to guardians during half term and end of term holidays. Girls who are part of county sports teams/exceptional athletes are escorted to and from specialist practises.

WILL I GET PICKED UP AT THE AIRPORT?

Yes, by a DBS checked service. When girls arrive into the country the driver will wait in the arrivals lounge and help her to the car with her luggage. When bringing girls back to the airport to come home, those girls that are accompanied minors will be handed over into the care of the airline.    Most services for older girls will wave them through and then leave but obviously return to the airport if the flight is cancelled / delayed. Older girls where requested can opt for a service where he/she will wait with her in departures until her flight is called and not leave the airport until the flight is airborne.

AFTER-SCHOOL ACTIVITIES AND WEEKENDS FOR GIRLS’ BOARDING AT THORNTON COLLEGE

THORNTON COLLEGE OFFERS A WIDE RANGE OF AFTER-SCHOOL ACTIVITIES

The safe and secure outdoor space means that in good weather, girls can usually be found in or around the pool, on the tennis courts, enjoying our BBQ suppers, tea-time picnics, or a range of sports and evening activities.

We offer lots of organised activities such as competitions and talent shows to get everyone together. Girls are also welcome to spend time with their friends, have some quiet time alone or in the company of our boarding house staff.

There are games and activity lounges for the boarding girls to use all year round and the boarding girls have access to the Sports Hall, Library, Expressive/Performing Arts Suite and ICT suites.

WHAT DO BOARDERS DO AT WEEKENDS AT THORNTON?

It’s not all about league tables and academic achievement, though they do play a big part in boarding school life. For a girls’ school to foster achievement, there have to be times for the girls to relax with their friends and try out new and exciting activities.

We organise a fun-packed programme of activities for boarders at weekends and after school. 

Weekends have a relaxed feel, a home from home. There are organised trips and activities, but plenty of time for relaxation and catching up with friends.

Thornton is well situated in Buckinghamshire with easy access to Milton Keynes, Oxford and London. The local area and surrounding counties have many attractions for great days out.

Most trips take place on a Saturday. On Sunday mornings girls attend Mass and then have a leisurely brunch. On Sunday afternoons members of teaching staff take over and run a variety of activities from cake making to orienteering in the grounds.

WHAT TRIPS ARE ORGANISED FOR BOARDERS AT THORNTON?

The typical weekend trips for boarders include:

  • Milton Keynes: Milton Keynes is 20 minutes from the school and is one of the largest shopping centres in the UK with lots of leisure and cultural attractions. Girls visit the theatre where they have recently seen ‘Guys and Dolls’ and ‘Chicago’. They regularly go bowling and ice-skating and visit the cinema in the town centre. They also enjoy going to the Xscape complex which includes the Snowdome where they can ski, board or toboggan on snow! 
  • Oxford: The girls very much enjoy their days out in Oxford, including touring the Bodleian and visiting sections of Oxford University where Harry Potter was filmed. They also love punting on the river and the opportunity to have a look around the shops. 
  • London: On recent excursions to London the girls enjoyed The London Eye, The London Dungeons and trips to the theatre to see performances such as ‘The Phantom of the Opera’ and ‘We’re Singing in the Rain’.

PARENTS’ QUESTIONS & ANSWER

WHEN DO GIRLS STUDY?

  • Prep boarding girls study together in the boarding common room in the manor house where there is a more homely feel.  Their boarding mistress will help them with their homework and communicate effectively with their form tutors regarding progress made, struggles or stretch needed.
  • Senior boarding girls up to Year 10 study together after school in the Assembly Hall under the guidance and support of the Academic Study Duty.
  • Year 11-13 boarding girls study in their individual bedrooms supported by their Housemistress.

HOW DO I KEEP IN CONTACT WITH MY DAUGHTER?

  • Mobile phones are the most popular method of communication, making it easy for girls to phone home regularly.
  • Pupils are permitted to use our computers which have access to the internet (filtered/controlled for their protection), making regular contact with family and friends via Facetime/Skype/Zoom and email.

HOW IS BULLYING HANDLED?

Promptly, and girls can speak to their Housemistress at any time if they have any concerns. The school has an anti-bullying policy which can be found in our policies section on our website and which encompasses boarding.