If this is your first foray into boarding school selection, it is worth reading our feature on the different types of boarding available. In Cornwall, the only boarding on offer is through the two largest private schools in Truro, Truro School and Truro High School for Girls.
At Truro School there are three boarding houses which our reviewer described as ‘small and homely’ and a 50:50 split between British and international students, with 15 different nationalities represented. Boarding is available from year 7 with some flexi-boarding available and plenty of activities on offer our review explains, ‘Busy weekends include kayaking, coasteering, surfing, cookery, laser quest etc.’ Truro High School for Girls offers two boarding houses, segregated by age with a strong international pull, they have pupils from 12 different nationalities, and according to our review they are ‘keen to ward off provinciality’; UK boarders predominantly come from the Scilly Isles. Our reviewer noted ‘Friday nights are famed for fun (eg inflatables in the pool or roasting marshmallows on the fire pit) and weekend trips take full advantage of the outdoor and cultural adventures that Cornwall is famous for.
Boarding also offered at Polwhele House, on the outskirts of Truro, where flexible, weekdays-only boarding is available from year 3 upwards.
Boarding Schools near Cornwall
The south west of England is home to some of the UK’s most outstanding private boarding schools, so the choice for families living in Cornwall is broad. However, there are a few (probably as they are the closest) for which Cornwall based families have long standing preferences.
At prep stage, Exeter Cathedral School has boarding for 43 children, around half of these are for choristers, facilitating their demanding schedule, but all boarders are from the UK and there are some fabulous activities and good pastoral support on offer.
For secondary school boarding, Plymouth College has a boarding set up with swim training in mind, 60 per cent of boarders are elite swimmers and divers. Half of the boarders are from the UK, the rest for an international mix of 38 different countries. Evening and weekend options are wide and adventurous. Our reviewer commented, ‘Boarding staff we met were a welcoming and compassionate bunch.’ At Mount Kelly, two thirds of the school boards. Around a quarter are international and a third are swimmers. Good flexi boarding options but rather scruffy boarding accommodation, ‘most of the fun is to be had outside’, according to our review, with plenty of activities on offer at weekends.
Blundell’s School, is another outdoorsy haven, where two thirds board. A mix of full, weekly and flexi on offer with luxurious accommodation for the sixth form. ‘Accommodation is comfortable rather than plush’ for the other year groups, according to our review, but it is popular with one parent we spoke to sighing, ‘My daughter would rather board!’ West Buckland School has increasing numbers of boarders as you go up the school, with a similarly phenomenal sixth form accommodation offering. Plenty of activities, trips and facilities on offer our review highlighted, ‘Boarders were full of reasons why boarding is brilliant, from Thai boxing to outdoor learning, pizza nights to park runs, there really is a huge amount of choice laid on and the atmosphere appeared happy and family-minded.’