boarding school bedrooms

Do You Get Your Own Room in a Boarding School?

Parents send school age children to boarding school until the age of 18-19 years old where they attend full time, flexible boarding or occasionally. Boarding school students live in bedrooms shared with one other student, single room for 16-19 years old or a few schools have dorm rooms with 4 younger pupils all sharing.

Not all students live at boarding school as pupils also attend classes and extracurricular activities in the day time and return to the parent’s family home at night sleeping in they’re own bedroom.

Boarding school students mainly share a bedroom with one other person up to 16 years old, although 16 to 18 year olds have their own bedroom. Younger children in some schools share a dorm room with 4 pupils sleeping on 2 separate bunk beds.

Single rooms are kept for long term annual full time boarders at school or weekly flexible as this is the most demand from students. Children wishing to live for a few occasional days may not get a room, all depends if a single room is available.

Types of boarding schools

General boarding school: They are either girls or boy students or co-educational offered for children at a specific age range from 8 to 19 years old.

Catholic boarding school: Religious residential school offered for students that follow and practice a certain faith.

Military school:  Residential boarding for boys up to age 18-19.

Own boarding bedroom choice depends on student age

Almost all boarding schools offer a bedroom according to a student’s age, as in general there are limited rooms or space available. In the UK & USA schools are limited to what bedrooms they can offer for students personal sleeping & living arrangements.

Bedroom TypeAge of Student
Single Own BedroomThey are offered for 16 year old’s and above to provide growing independence in a child’s life.
Two Students SharingA bedroom with two boys or two girls sharing one bedroom with or without en-suite, where the children are the same age, this arrangement is most common.
Dorm Style BedroomFor young children less than 9-10 years old with 4 kids sharing used for weekly or occasional boarding. Some schools offer dorms with multiple occupants per bedroom, although this depends on each individual school and what they offer.
own-room-boarding-school
Ron Lach

2 students sharing a bedroom at boarding school

You’re son or daughter sharing with one other student around the same age is most common for boarding school bedroom arrangements as it cuts done on cost of school fees and with limited availability. They have there own area of the room with bed/storage space, wardrobe, chest of drawers possibly and study desk with lamp.

Many rooms have en-suite bathroom facilities or will be very close by for sole use of that bedroom, depending on individual room and school.

Wall space for each person is provided to put up pictures/posters or notices.

Can I choose who I share a bedroom with? The school will listen to a student’s requirements, type of personality and then allocate shared room space.

Pros:

  • Bonding with a friend
  • Not alone as you have someone
  • Share and swap ideas & life experiences

Cons:

  • No independence
  • Share with another school pupil
  • No private space to be alone if a student is introverted
  • Noise, interruption and mood swings from a roommate

Student own single boarding bedroom

As mentioned single own bedrooms for a boy or girl at boarding school will form a child’s own personal living space.

Pupils are allocated a bedroom according to male/female section if co-educational, age group, personal requirements and room availability.

The room will consist of:

  • Wardrobe
  • Notice board
  • Chest of drawers
  • Study desk & lamp
  • Bedside table & lamp
  • En-suite bathroom (Not in all bedrooms or schools)
  • Built-in bed with storage drawers underneath or stand alone bed

Single boarding bedrooms are mostly limited at the majority of schools, especially if the building is many years old, although a few schools have added purpose built buildings that have single room facilities.

Can I pay extra to make sure my daughter or son has they’re own bedroom? It is possible in some cases depending mainly on availability, school procedures & legal requirements.

Older students boarding rooms are not always on school grounds, such as inner city locations, although a building block will be located close by. Off campus accommodation and living quarters are only for pupils that are 16-19 years old and all facilities are monitored and restricted.

Parents choosing a single bedroom for school boarding pay a supplement charge where students sharing a room don’t.

Pros:

  • No interruptions
  • Own independence 
  • No shared floor space
  • Own en-suit bathroom
  • Don’t need to listen to opinions
  • No effects of mood swings from other students
  • Have your own private space and to relax

Cons:

  • No chat buddy
  • Clean the room yourself
  • Being alone in you’re room
  • No bonding with a school student
boarding-school-bedroom
Image credit: Cottonbro

Dorm boarding bedrooms

Around 4 younger (Girls) or (Boys) the same age share a dorm room bedroom; typically the room will have 2 fixed separate bunk beds, individual wardrobe space & storage drawers, seating and possibly table. Bathroom and cubical showers will generally be located separately adjacent or just along a corridor for that specific room.

Multiple children bed space arrangements are designed to keep costs down for parents, and are used for students to sleep and then use separate living areas, such as a lounge, games room and bathroom.

A dorm bedroom can be for occasional or flexible boarding where you’re son or daughter part of the week lives and sleeps at school and other times at home with parents.

What will my school bedroom look like?

Boarding school room layout depends if sharing, own room or dorm. A single room could be smaller compared to shared with each school room size different to the next. In the room you’ll have a comfortable bed & storage, study desk & lamp, bedside table, wardrobe and possible chest of drawers.

Many rooms have en-suite shower/bathroom facilities, although not all.

You’ll be able to personalise the room or the space you have with photos & posters display on the wall or notice boards. Single and shared bedrooms will have family friendly fixed or wifi internet access, although could be restricted during the night for most student age groups.

Term & flexible boarding

Flexible boarding has become more popular in the UK than long term residential school stay. More parents are choosing week days for they’re children to live at the school and return home for the weekends and holidays.

A student would have two bedrooms, sharing a school room could be beneficial for a child instead of independent home living.

Questions you may have

Can a student have sleepovers in the room? Both boy’s or both girls at a similar age is highly possible, although all students require to be attending the school.

Are outside school visitors allowed in bedrooms? NO, unless a parent initial visit.

Can I decorate the room in my own style? Unlikely, as the room would require to be redecorated when you leave, and if you share a roommate may object.

Are pets allowed in my room? Gold fish wouldn’t be any issue, although any other pet would be dependent on school policy and consideration for other students.

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