Senior school > Houses

Boarding houses

There are seven boarding houses, four are for boys (Tallis, Howson’s, Farfield, Woodlands) and three are for girls (Edinburgh, Queens’, Oakeley). Boarding houses have some day pupils, as well as boarders.

The mix of day and boarding pupils in the boarding houses is supported and appreciated by both groups and develops a sense of loyalty to both the school and their house.

Pupils joining in Year 9 expect to share a small dormitory, joining our friendly first-time boarding environment. Older pupils share study bedrooms, and most Sixth Formers have their own room. Pupils have access to a shared kitchen and common room, providing a comfortable space for relaxing and socialising. Pupils can choose to go home weekly or termly. The school week is a long one and, as well as half term holidays, the school provides three home weekends to allow pupils time to relax with family and friends.

A resident Housemaster or Housemistress runs each house. Apart from overseeing pupils’ welfare, they are an effective link between academic staff, pupils and parents. Assistant Housemasters/mistresses and matrons provide another essential link and ensure that the pupils’ welfare is continually monitored. We believe that boarding cultivates responsible and considerate young people, promoting confidence and self-reliance in a lively and fun environment. All pupils can rely on our house staff for support and guidance at any time; we aim to support pupils through their emotional and social development amongst a wealth of friends and peers. Living together is both enriching and rewarding for all ages.

Day pupils in a boarding house play a full role in the house and gain from the sense of community that comes with belonging to a house. For staff, the opportunity to observe pupils at work and at play, in social as well as classroom situations, helps to provide a full and rounded picture of every child.

Day pupils in a boarding house share studies with boarders and take on house duties alongside their boarding friends. Prep is undertaken in House, with resident and visiting house tutors available to help. 

Day house

Arkell will open in September 2023 and will be a co-educational day house for Sixth Formers. Pupils in Arkell will be able to enjoy the depth and breadth of a Gresham’s education alongside all other day and boarding pupils. We encourage all Arkell day pupils to participate fully in the activities on offer from morning music activities to afternoon academic electives. Pupils in Arkell will be cared for by a dedicated Housemistress who will focus her time ensuring their school day is productive and purposeful. Pupils will share a co-educational space in Arkell which promotes and supports hard work, personal and social qualities and pride in their house. Arkell will be open 8am to 5.30pm from Monday to Saturday.

Options for Day, Day in Boarding and Boarding explained

Day placeDay place in a boarding houseBoarding place
HousesArkell (Co-educational)Edinburgh (Girls)
Farfield (Boys)
Howson’s (Boys)
Oakeley (Girls)
Tallis (Boys)
Queens’ (Girls)
Woodlands (Boys)
Edinburgh (Girls)
Farfield (Boys)
Howson’s (Boys)
Oakeley (Girls)
Tallis (Boys)
Queens’ (Girls) Woodlands (Boys)
Entry yearYear 12Year 9 and Year 12Year 9 and Year 12
Start and finish times8.05am – 5.30pm  8.05am – 5.30pm/7.00pm/
mistress (HSM)
Yes – 8am to 5.30pmYes, residentYes, resident
Matron, Deputy HSM, Residential TutorNoYesYes
Tutor in houseHSM will be tutor
Tutor to pupil ratio 1:20
Tutor to pupil ratio 1:8
Tutor to pupil ratio 1:8
StudyNo. Shared workroom with lockerYesYes
Common RoomYesYesYes
Changing rooms and showersFacilities in the New Gym, not in houseIn houseIn house
Flexi boardingNoIf space availableN/A
MealsLunchLunch and supperAll meals
Snacks at breakNoYesYes
Late stayArkell House will close at 5.30pm. Pupils with an activity later than 5.30pm will be able to do Prep in the library. Supper will be chargeable.Can stay for supper, evening activities and socialsN/A