'From all five continents, children come here where their school is part of the community of Ashford, in the beautiful county of Kent, which is its home. Here its pupils, in a school which makes no distinction of creed or race, have had the opportunity of learning the difficult business of growing up and the art of living.'
(H. E. Bates on the occasion of the School's Golden Jubilee in 1948)
Boarding has been an integral part of the School since it was founded in 1898. Boarding accounts for a third of the Senior School's population and we expect this proportion to remain the same as our numbers grow with our move to full coeducation by September 2009. Boarders at Ashford enjoy extensive, recently renovated facilities and a wide range of activities. The girls' boarding accommodation is shared between Brooke and Brabourne House, next to the indoor swimming pool, while accommodation for boys is in Alfred House on the west side of the campus. The majority of Sixth Formers have their own rooms with en suite bathroom (basin, toilet and shower); pupils in lower years share rooms with one, two or three other boarders of a similar age. Each House has its own common room, kitchenette, laundry room, and computer suite, as well as a payphone which takes incoming calls. All bedrooms have fast internet connections.
Each room is equipped with a bed, desk with drawers, wardrobe, bedside table, shelves and internet point for each pupil. A bedside lamp and lockable safe are also provided.
Brabourne, the larger of the two girls' boarding houses, accommodates about 50 girls of all ages and has two common rooms (one on the second floor for junior boarders, the other on the ground floor for all boarders) and a kitchenette on each floor, equipped with microwave, kettle, toaster, stove and fridge. The large laundry room has several washing machines, two large driers and ironing facilities. (Housemistress Ms Elizabeth Spittal)
Brooke House, a listed Georgian building, is home to about 40 girls and has accommodation over two floors, a kitchenette on each floor, a common room and separate computer room on the ground floor. There are several other quiet communal areas with sofas and plants where boarders can relax in relative tranquillity! (Housemistress Mrs Pat Hardy)
Alfred House for about 30 boys has accommodation over two floors, with a kitchenette on the both floors, two common rooms including a recreational area (pool table & table tennis) and computers. Alfred House is near to one of the gyms, playing fields and floodlight all-weather pitch(Housemistress Mrs Stephanie Evans)
The medical centre is staffed by a fully qualified RSN nurse during normal office hours, Monday to Friday. Boarders requiring medical attention outside this time are taken to the William Harvey hospital, which is five minutes by car from the school. The School Doctor holds a drop-in surgery every Monday morning and makes further visits to see boarders as and when required.