The school has a small boarding section with 30 places, which are available to sixth form students from inside and outside Essex, for British passport holders living overseas, and for students with an European Union passport. Please note that the boarding facilities are currently only available to boys in the Sixth Form.
The aim of the boarding house is to offer an experience similar to that of a happy and well-ordered family unit. There is an insistence on high standards of conduct and courtesy, and boarders respond well to these expectations and the caring, structured and informal atmosphere. A programme of varied after-school activities is provided during the week and, for full-time boarders, at week-ends.
The school attracts a number of well-qualified and well-motivated students from the UK and overseas who have joined the sixth form as boarders. These students have been successful and happy in our sixth form and boarding house. All boarders must satisfy the academic entry requirements of the school which are detailed in the document "Sixth Form Entry" before they will be considered for a boarding place. Those deemed academically suitable will be interviewed to see if they are judged suitable for the ethos of the boarding house and school.
Although students board here for a variety of reasons, our boarders have established a reputation for academic excellence. The aim of boarding is to provide a relaxed, supportive study environment which complements the academic demands of the day school. Teaching and boarding staff monitor academic progress closely. Our boarders consistently achieve 4 or more 'A' grades at A Level and will routinely apply to Oxford, Cambridge and the elite universities such as LSE, Imperial College, UCL and Durham. In recent years, almost one third of Oxbridge applications were successful.
However, there is a genuine desire for boarding education in its own right as a rewarding and enjoyable means of self-development, of learning to live with others and of making strong friendships, Staff are also keen to ensure that boarding provides an excellent preparation for living away from home and meeting the demands of university life.
The school provides free tuition for overseas students in English.
The fees for September 2008 are fixed for 2 years and are as follows:
- Full boarding: £2600 per term
- Weekly: £2100 per term
As Colchester Royal Grammar School is a state-maintained school, tuition is free. There are six boarding staff, five of whom are resident, including the boarding manager. The Headmaster has overall responsibility for boarding.
Boarding is on two sites - in part of the School House buildings, and in a separate building, Gilberd House, within the school grounds. The boarding facility is exclusively for boys and the school only admits boarders at sixth form level. The accommodation is comfortable and attractive. All rooms are carpeted and there is a balance of double and single rooms. There are excellent study facilities, and boarders have supervised access to the school library and resources room, music facilities, playing fields, indoor sports areas and, in the summer, to a heated open-air swimming pool attended by a duty lifeguard. Boarders have the use of a common room, provided with easy chairs and television, a games room, and a restaurant-style kitchen. Meals are in the school restaurant, and care is taken to ensure that boarders have a balanced, varied and plentiful diet.
Alton Water cycle activities
A/S Chemistry Spectroscopy Day, held at University of Essex, July 2007
Ofsted Inspection Report: 2003
'Care, guidance and support'
'The School cares for its students very well and ensures their health and safety. It provides very high levels of support, advice and guidance, which are firmly based on the monitoring of progress. The school consults students and acts on their views.'
'Pastoral care for boarders is very good. Supervision is very good; it is appropriate to the age and maturity of the boarders. Boarding provides very well for students' personal and academic development, and prepares them well for adult life. Relationships between students, and between students and staff are very good. Boarders have a good programme of trips and visits at weekends and a very good social space in the games hut.'
Commission for Social Care Inspection (CSCi) Report: October 2006
The school met or exceeded the National Minimum Standards in all areas. It noted that:
- Staff are committed to providing boarders with a very good level of personal support, which is designed to enable boarders to achieve educationally and socially to their full potential.
- Boarders get on very well; relations between staff and boarders are friendly and respectful.
- The atmosphere of the boarding houses is relaxed and boarders are encouraged to express their views on all aspects of boarding provision.
- The school emphasises the role of boarding in preparing students for university and adult life.
'Night view from Gilberd House' courtesy of Arnold Wong
More details of the boarding provision are available in the school's boarding handbook and from the school office.