Boarding and Day

When you join Clayesmore, you will join one of our five houses. Each of these is run by a team of house staff, matrons and tutors, and has its own distinctive atmosphere. There are common rooms and kitchens to hang out in, and areas for work and play. For boarders, your House will be your home away from home. You will eat with friends from all the other houses in the main school dining room – where the food is fantastic.

Day pupils are full members of the houses. As a day pupil you are welcome to join in with House activities and events in the evenings and weekends, can be a prefect and even Head of House. We do not offer flexi-boarding but if you have to stay for a school event we can offer a bed if there is one available.

Day pupils share every aspect of school life with the boarders and receive every bit as much of care and attention from House Staff. They are fully integrated into the house structure (we do not have separate day houses at Clayesmore) and are more than welcome to join in with House activities and events in the evenings and at weekends.

The school day begins at 8.15am and lasts until 5.15pm, Monday to Friday, with a full programme of lessons, sports and activities, and from 8.15am until 4.00pm on Saturdays.

In order to help day pupils get to school, Clayesmore operates a fleet of its own smart, liveried mini-buses, serving an extensive area including Bournemouth, Poole, Dorchester, and Salisbury as well as the many outlying villages and the nearby towns of Blandford Forum and Shaftesbury.

The House Structure

There are three boys’ Houses: Devine, Gate and Manor and two girls’ Houses: King’s and Wolverton, at Clayesmore.

Each House comprises approximately 45-50 boarding pupils, and a number of day pupils, across the age range of 13-18. All the Houses, with the exception of Devine, are positioned within the school grounds. Devine is the former rectory, located in its own large country garden in the village of Iwerne Minster, which is adjacent to the school grounds. Church Path acts as a very popular annexe to Devine, where senior students spend some time out of the main Boarding House in three charming terraced cottages with an Assistant Housemaster and his family.

The Bower is a recent and beautiful extension to the Main House where Wolverton girls already reside, which has enabled us to take another 14 girl boarders. As with Church Path, the girls remain full members of their House proper, and live under the immediate care of an Assistant Housemistress.

Each House has its own atmosphere and “feel”, with a balance of homely comforts and the sort of facilities needed by busy, hard-working and hard-playing teenagers. 

The Tutor System

You will get to know your tutor well. When you are new he or she will help you get to the right place at the right time but as you become more settled your tutor will be able to advise you on managing your work, sorting out any problems which might arise, choosing subjects for GCSE, A Level or University and generally being someone you can count on for good advice while you are at school. You will see your tutor briefly most days and have a longer tutor group meeting every Friday morning. These are enjoyable moments in the weekly timetable.

Of course, we take all aspects of your well-being seriously, not just your academic progress. If you are ill, or just feel a bit worried about something, we have friendly nurses, school doctors – both male and female – and a counsellor as well as senior staff, your house staff and tutor to look after you. Everyone is ready to help should you need anything.



There is a fully staffed, self-contained medical centre in the centre of the school grounds which is staffed 24 hours a day in term time by a team of nurses. One of the school doctors visits Clayesmore every day and specialist appointments for follow up, if required, are also arranged via the Sister in charge.

The Medical Centre provides health care in the widest sense and pupils are welcome to call in to discuss worries and issues as they wish in their free time. If parents have any specific health concerns for their child or if the child has a particular medical condition, they are welcome to discuss this in advance with the medical team who will do everything they can to provide whatever support and assistance is needed.