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Life at Canford


One school, ten houses

All pupils, whether boarding or day, belong to one of ten houses. Each house buzzes with a life of its own, but all are very much part of our one school, ten houses ethos.

Each house is a physical building where pupils meet, relax and have fun, eat toast, do their prep and build friendships to last a lifetime. Your child’s house is the bedrock of their pastoral care, and quickly becomes their home-from-home through a tight-knit community of friends, tutors, house mentors and of course their Matron and Housemaster or Housemistress.

Canford is one of the few remaining UK full boarding schools – there is no weekly or flexi boarding - with day pupils able to take full advantage of all the opportunities afforded by 24/7 boarding school life.   We believe this is why Canford is such a strong and supportive community.  Our aim is to care for the wellbeing of every individual child and provide a safe and nurturing environment, while encouraging pupils to understand themselves and develop emotional resilience for the challenges of 21st century living.

“I had such a great time at school, and boarding especially gave me independence and resilience, a home from home, and friends for life.”

Alexander Trewby F93, OC and Tech Entrepreneur

“My house is like a family to me.”

Canford Pupil

Typical School Day

  • 7.30 am
Breakfast starts for boarders
  • 8.10 am
Servery closes
  • 8.20 am
Day pupils house registration

Day buses arrive from 8am in time for registration in house at 8.20am.  Day pupils involved in sporting or other early school commitments may arrive earlier.

  • 8.45 am
Lesson 1
  • 9.25 am
Lesson 2
  • 10.05 am
Lesson 3
  • 10.40 am
Morning Break

Pupils can return to House or visit the Nineveh Cafe

  • 11.10 am
Lesson 4
  • 11.50 am
Lesson 5
  • 12.30 pm

Lunch – all pupils eat together as a year group in the Great Hall. (times vary)

  • 1.50 pm
Sport, Combined Cadet Force, Shell Carousel, Enterprises or Community Service

Depending on the year group or day. Lessons continue on Wednesdays and Fridays.

  • 4.30 pm
Clubs, Music groups and Drama Rehearsals

Or prep time in House

  • 6.00 pm

All boarders eat supper together in the Great Hall (times vary depending on year group) and day pupils can join if staying on.

  • 6.10 pm
Day Buses Leave

Buses leave for day pupils not involved in evening activities.

  • 7.30 pm

Prep time for boarding pupils - the length varies depending on the year group.  Day pupils are encouraged to follow the timing of boarding.

  • 9.30 pm

Bedtime depends on the year group.  Shells hand in tech at 9.15pm and are ready for bed at 9.30pm.