"The accessibility and approachability of boarding staff means boarders feel supported within their boarding houses. The boarding houses are generally welcoming spaces, with good quality sleeping and living accommodation."


Our Houses

Senior School pupils at Dover College, day and boarding, belong to one of five houses (Duckworth, Leamington, Priory, School House or St Martin’s). Those joining Shell (Year 7) spend their first year in Priory House, where the focus is on settling into the routine of their new school. They then progress into their senior house, where they remain for the duration of their time at the College.

There are four boarding houses (Ash, Beech, Cherry Tree and Maple), between them accommodating well over 100 boarders. All boarders are allocated a single room. Upper Sixth boarders are typically accommodated separately from young pupils, affording them greater independence in readiness for life beyond school.

Our house system retains a traditional strength and encourages loyalty which grows from security within a close-knit community of manageable size. There is a full range of inter-house competitions, at junior and senior levels, throughout the year. Notable among these are House Music, House Drama and various sports tournaments. These offer a particular opportunity to those who do not play in the major school teams. The great majority of pupils naturally find a number of ways in which they can contribute to the life of their House, and such participation is warmly encouraged.

Central to the life of the boarders is their Matron, who plays a critical role in managing the day-to-day running of the House and helping the Houseparents with the pastoral care of the pupils. Matrons get to know each pupil really well, assisting with day-to-day practicalities, offering comfort and support when pupils are unwell or may need emotional support. 

The Houses also contain common rooms, changing facilities, and small kitchens for the pupils’ use. 

Sixth Formers also have use of the Sixth Form Centre and a dedicated study space above the College Library. On some days they will register with the Head of Sixth Form in the Sixth Form Centre. However, Sixth Form pupils remain a member of their House in all other respects.

Duckworth House prides itself on its warm friendly atmosphere, in which every girl is valued and instrumental in the smooth running of the House. The big sister, little sister relationships in Duckworth are clearly visible. Situated on the outskirts of The Close, next to St Martin's House, Duckworth boasts a comfortable and intimate Common Room. Miss Graham is the Housemistress.
Leamington House has proud traditions dating back to 1920. The House name of Leamington comes from the town of Leamington Spa where the College was evacuated to during the Great War. Leamington boys are expected to be participants to the best of their ability in all that they do. Leamington House is proud of its sporting and academic achievements. Mr Teeling is the Housemaster.
Priory House is a day house for all Shell (Year 7 pupils). Pupils spend their first year in the Senior School in Priory, during which a particularly focus is placed on ensuring that they are settled and happy, before moving up to one of the other four Houses for Remove (Year 8). Mr Lively is the Housemaster.
The School House formed the core of the original school in 1871. It is now a vibrant community, which has enjoyed great success academically, on the sports field and in cultural pursuits. Mr Carroll is the Housemaster.
St Martin's is a warm and inclusive space and is much loved by the girls who call it their House. The centrepiece is a beautifully fitted dance room which can be used for modern and classical dance as well as aerobics and yoga. There is also a large common room. Day girls are fully integrated with the Year 7-11 boarders who reside in the building. Mrs Turner-Dauncey is the housemistress.

"There is a sense of positive momentum in the boarding team with investment into staff, resources and infrastructure, and a boarding development plan to underpin this."