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Boarding Life

Many boarders highlight the benefit of boarding for their academic progress, with allocated prep times and no journey to and from home every day.




Our boarders have access to our fantastic facilities for far longer, and enjoy a broad range of activities and freedom around our beautiful grounds. Our extensive and varied weekend activity programme really sets us apart from other schools, and we certainly keep our pupils busy!

Our boarding houses



Our boarding houses are unique and welcoming, each with its own character. Our younger pupils mainly share a bedroom with two others. Our older pupils will have their own bedroom with ensuite facilities.


Pupils can make their own snacks and drinks in the newly refurbished kitchens within the boarding houses, and they can relax and bond in their house’s common rooms, equipped with TVs, games consoles, and a pool table.


Additionally, our boarding houses boast their own gardens, providing a serene and safe space for relaxation and recreation. The outstanding catering team ensures that pupils receive delicious and nutritious meals, in our newly refurbished dining room to further enhance their boarding experience.

The Mount

The Mount is a boys’ boarding house situated on the outskirts of the School. The Mount houses boys from Year 7, who refer to themselves as Mounties.


The boys have a modern, fresh, open-plan common room with a kitchen, together with their own games room and fitness room, and they thrive on the strong sense of community in the House.


James Vickerman is the Housemaster of The Mount and lives there with his wife Dr Louise Vickerman and children Charles and Elizabeth. James expects all of the Mounties to develop a sense of responsibility and to be polite and friendly at all times, and his aim is to provide a safe and secure environment to support all pupils, allowing them to learn through good guidance and from their own experiences as they grow up during their time in The Mount.

The Orchard

The Orchard has a large, bright common room at its heart, where boarders can meet and chat during break times. The modern kitchen adjacent provides facilities to make drinks, and cooking is a favoured pastime.


The House also boasts a TV snug, a laundry room available to everyone and a fitness room which is popular with girls and boys alike. The aim of the House is to support pupils with their studies, while encouraging them to take responsibility for their learning.


All boarders are allocated their own rooms, each with en-suite facilities.


Housemaster Simon Davies lives in The Orchard with his wife Nicola and children Niamh and Toby.

Meet our Housemasters


Mr James Vickerman

The Mount

Mr Simon Davies

The Orchard

Meet our boarding pupils



Year 8


Year 9


Year 10


Year 11


Year 11


Year 11

More on life in boarding

“How do I know if my child will suit boarding?”

There’s no particular ‘type’ that suits boarding, but a desire to build positive relationships is key. For the naturally gregarious, it’s usually an easy fit: friends on tap, activities laid on, endless chances to use the school’s facilities. However, it’s also a great opportunity for those that might find social situations a challenge; they’re given time and space to forge strong friendships and to develop their interests at their own pace with our specialist support. Introverts and extroverts alike find the build-up to exams less stressful in a boarding environment as nerves are diluted among a large group.


If your child struggles with resisting the pull of their mobile phone, boarding offers great protection from distractions: rules for the benefit of the community can help with personal discipline, as well as structure during holiday time!


The progress that’s made courtesy of more contact time with teachers and friends (as a results of travel time saved) both reassures parents and fulfils energetic children. Your child will suit boarding if they’re in a secure family unit and in the knowledge that they’re part of the decision-making process.


Meals are taken in our modern cafeteria-style dining hall. A wide choice of hot and cold meals are offered, catering for all dietary requirements. Food is also provided for snacks to be prepared in the House kitchens.


Boarders have supervised prep time after which they may visit friends in other Houses, join in with activities on offer or simply relax in the common room.

Boarders’ activities

A wide range of activities is organised for our boarders each weekend. On Saturday’s pupils enjoy trips to tourist attractions such as theme parks, other towns/cities, cultural attractions, sporting fixtures and shopping trips to Bluewater or Tunbridge Wells. They are also able to use the full school facilities for activities such as table tennis, working out in the gym or team sports such as basketball.


On Sunday, the emphasis is on House-based activities and rest and relaxation. However, small groups may choose to go to the cinema or shopping locally.


One weekend in each half-term is designated as a ‘Home’ weekend and these are published in advance in the school calendar. Full boarders and those from overseas may either stay with their guardian or remain in school for the weekend. This facility is not offered by many schools.

Leaving school grounds

At Bethany we have a 60 acre site, so plenty of space for pupils to explore. We do have boundaries within which they are expected to remain, but pupils can go further afield with permission from the Housemaster or Mistress.


Activities are arranged for pupils in the evenings and at weekends, so pupils rarely have to make individual plans to be off site. However, we know that some pupils seek greater independence, so we do our best to accommodate this provided it is done with prior arrangement.


House staff assist boarders in Years 7 to 11 with tasks such as laundry. In Sixth Form, we help pupils to prepare for independent living and life at university and as part of this preparation, pupils boarding in Sixth Form are expected to do their own laundry.


Staying true to our roots, Bethany School remains a Christian community, with robust and strong moral values which underpin our educational ethos.


All pupils at Bethany, regardless of their faith, attend Chapel twice a week. Services are led by our Lay Chaplain, along with the Headmaster, other members of staff and guest speakers. Pupils are also encouraged to play an active role whenever possible.


We see our Chapel as a pivotal part of life here at Bethany. In a world that moves ever faster with each passing day, we never overlook the importance of setting aside the time for quiet reflection, personal space and prayer. Our Chapel provides us all with the perfect setting in which to do so.

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