Frequently Asked Questions
- Do pupils share a room?
- Yes. Each boarding House caters for approximately fifty pupils who are accommodated in large study bedrooms. The first year boys are in rooms of three or four and move into doubles in the second and third years. The sixth form are accommodated in larger study bedrooms, shared between two in the first year, then generally in single rooms for their final year. The Houses have various common room areas to cater for everyone’s needs; these include a television room with video, DVD player and satellite system, a prep room/library with wireless internet facility, and a large games room which has a pool table, snooker table, table-tennis table, table-football and piano. In addition, each House has a kitchen equipped with kettle, sandwich toaster, microwaves, refrigerator and cooker, so that tea, coffee and snacks are within reach at appropriate times. The girls also have a separate common room area within their own self-contained wing, and a utility room.
- Is there internet access and can they bring their laptops?
- Pupils are welcome to bring their lap top to School. There is wireless network in all Boarding Houses, although there is a cut-off point after 11pm, which is sixth formers’ bedtime; pupils cannot access the internet after this time. Social networking sites are not filtered out in boarding Houses as they are an important medium for pupils to keep in contact with home and friends; but these are restricted and during prep time pupils are not allowed to access such sites. SKYPE, a voice over internet phone system, is now a very popular mode of communication for overseas pupils, allowing them to maintain contact with home regularly and at no cost.
- What happens at weekends?
- Full boarders have activities on Saturday morning until lunch-time. These activities are also optional for weekly boarders and day pupils. On Saturday afternoon, many pupils will then be involved in sports matches. If a Full Boarder has a free afternoon, permission can be sought from the Housemaster/mistress to go to Mill Hill Broadway, or further afield, depending on the age of the pupil. Sixth Form pupils are allowed into London by arrangement and there are on site activities between Houses on Saturday evening for those on the School campus. There are also a range of weekend trips which take place and which vary each term, including trips to the opera, ballet and art galleries to make the most of the School’s proximity to the West End. A Sunday Sports Club operates on a Sunday afternoon, with specialist coaching in football and basketball available. Full details of bounds and weekend activities can be found in the pupil/parent handbook online.
- Do pupils need a guardian and can pupils stay at School during the holidays?
- All boarding pupils at Mill Hill School whose parents live overseas or more than half a day’s travel from the school are required to have a Guardian, resident within one hour of road travel of the school. Guardians are appointed by the parents to act in “loco parentis” and must be able to come to School on behalf of their ward if requested to do so, or to care for the pupils off site where necessary. Boarders are not allowed to stay at School during the holidays, or on full School exeat weekends, and are expected to go their Guardian during this period. It is important that Guardians maintain regular contact with the pupil, by telephone, letter or by visits to the pupil at School, and that they speak to the Housemaster/mistress on a regular basis.
- How are prep sessions organised?
- All pupils complete a first prep of 1½ hours from 19:00 to 20:30 in silence. After a break for snacks, relaxation and an opportunity to refocus, all years, apart from the Fourth Form, complete a second period of prep of at least 30 minutes, so that a minimum of two hours of prescribed quiet prep time has been set aside in each House. Prep in all Houses is supervised by a member or members of staff on duty, as well as responsible House Prefects. The opportunity to attend prep in the Script or Library is offered four times per week where ready access to internet and laptop facilities, as well as a wide range of resources, is available.
- What time is bedtime?
- Set bedtimes are in operation for all boarders according to their year group. ‘Lights out’ is approximately 10 minutes after bedtime. Bedtimes are as follows:
Fourth Form 21:30 Remove 22:00 Fifth Form 22:30 Lower Sixth 23:00 Upper Sixth 23:15
On Saturday, bedtime for junior pupils remaining in House is 23:00 and 00:00 for senior pupils. All Houses are locked up by 23:00 and the night alarms are set.
- Are there laundry facilities at School?
- Pupils’ washing is sent off to the School Laundry by Matron who oversees the laundry process. Items are returned cleaned and pressed the following day after sending, and are unpacked and distributed by Matron. There is a washing machine in both the girls’ and the boys’ sections in each House, which is available to pupils. This is not a substitute for the School Laundry, but is there to accommodate any unforeseen supplementary laundry, which may have built up outside the normal time frame for School laundry e.g. sports kit. Items can also be left with Matron for dry cleaning and the cost for this is added to the School bill.
- What happens if my child is feeling ill?
- If a pupil is feeling ill in the morning, Matron will assess the problem and refer the pupil to the School’s Medical Centre if she feels this is necessary. The Medical Centre provides a professional medical service for all pupils from 08:00 to 18:00, Monday to Saturday; it is staffed by two qualified nurses. The School Doctor also operates a surgery for boarding pupils/staff at the Medical Centre three times a week. The Nursing Matron, based in Collinson, will generally deal with urgent Medical issues/queries in the evening and during her on call weekend. Parents are kept informed of the relevant details as appropriate.
- How much pocket money shall I give my child?
- Pupils need enough pocket money to cover normal expenses; the recommended amount of pocket money depends on the usual weekend travel and social arrangements of boarders. Suggested guidelines are £50 per term for boarders who live locally and £150 per term for overseas boarders. Money can be held securely by the Housemaster/mistress who will operate a House Banking system, enabling pupils to withdraw money. Any deposits or withdrawals will be entered into a central House banking book. Senior pupils are encouraged to open their own bank or building society accounts.
- What do the children eat?
- Please see our section on School Meals which includes sample menus.