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Queenswood boardersBoarding schools in east Hertfordshire are not as plentiful as in the western half of the county, or indeed elsewhere in the home counties, but families do not need to look far to find one.

Though relatively small numbers board at Felsted Prep (near to east Herts but actually in Essex), it definitely has the special 'feel’ that boarding provides. Good sized, mostly four- or six-bedded rooms, all well decorated and with own duvet covers and other homely touches. Not many boarders at Bishop’s Stortford College Prep either, but the 10 or so full-time boarders (majority from overseas) plus around 15 flexi-boarders make for a strong sense of being in a real home. Heath Mount offers boarding or flexi-boarding from year 3, ‘a fundamental part of the school and so useful for secondary school preparation’, says the head. The boys’ dorms are high within the main building while the girls are in the smart — and very pink — River House, a short distance away.

At senior level, Haileybury is the best-known boarding school in the area. There’s an active inter-house social life and plenty of weekend activities for full-time boarders, with Saturday film nights and Sunday trips. Roman Catholic St Edmund’s College is, according to its head, a ‘day school with boarding attached’ - one house for boys and one for girls on the upper floors of the main college building (you can see as far as Canary Wharf on a clear day). Extremely flexible boarding at St Christopher School where house parents, resident tutors and gap students are involved in weekend activities. At Felsted School, around 80 per cent board, flexi or otherwise.

Very few state schools offer boarding, but Hockerill Anglo-European College has both full and weekly options. ‘They make sure there’s a real sense of community among the boarders,’ said a parent.

Boarding schools near East Hertfordshire

In West Herts, preps with boarding include Aldwickbury School, Beechwood Park School, Royal Masonic School for Girls Cadogan House and Lockers Park School, while at senior level there’s Queenswood, Berkhamsted School (boys) and Berkhamsted School (girls), The Royal Masonic School for Girls and Aldenham School. Two specialist schools in the county offer boarding in West Herts: The Purcell School, for the musically talented, and Tring Park School for the Performing Arts. The only state boarding options in West Herts is St George’s School (Harpenden). Popular options outside the county are Bedford School, as well as Brentwood School, Sevenoaks School and Tonbridge School. Bradfield College, Rugby School, St Edward’s School Oxford, Harrow School and Eton College also feature, as well as many much further afield.

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