Boarding at the Prep

At the Prep we strive to ensure our boarders are safe, happy and getting the most from their time at the Prep – and we like to also have lots of fun along the way!

A child’s time as a boarder is designed with their enjoyment, development and the very best preparation for secondary school in mind.

Underwood Hall has a talented and committed team, led by the Head of House, all focused on the happiness and welfare of the children and on creating a genuine home-from-home.

We follow the core values of the school and, as a boarding community, add further emphasis on: Kindness, Respect, Responsibility, Fairness, Courtesy, Independence and Honesty.

When the school day is done, we make sure that the children have time to deepen relationships with friendsrelax and have fun through our evening activity programme and in-house competitions.

The weekend is filled with our special themed events, activities, games, competitions, all sorts of outings and opportunities to do something different, making best use of our countryside location.

This is all a vital part of our ultimate aim to prepare children to make the most of boarding at their next school.


Underwood Hall  - Daily Routines

Time keeping is an essential part of life. The routines on weekdays follow a similar pattern; the outline below is designed to give you an idea of a typical morning and evening routine in Underwood Hall.


Morning Routine for Years 5 and 6

7:20 to 7:30 - Time to get up and get dressed. There will be a bundle of clean clothes containing pants, socks and shirt already in your room. Make sure you tidy your area and do all of your other morning jobs which are displayed in your dorm to help you remember.

8:00 - Morning roll call

8:05 - Walk over to school

8:10 - Breakfast in the Prep Hall

8:30 - head to classroom for more morning jobs and registration at 8.45am


Evening Routine

3:15 - ECAs (Enrichment Curriculum Activities - this is the name that we give to our after-school clubs)

4:00 - Home learning

4:45 - walk back to Underwood Hall and get changed

5:15 - supper in the College Refectory

5:45 - free time in Underwood Hall

6:35 - house meeting

6:45 - evening activities

7:30 - toast

7:45 - Year 5 upstairs to start bedtime routines and jobs

8:00 - Year 6 upstairs to start bedtime routines and jobs

8:15 - Year 5 quiet reading

8:30 - Year 5 lights out, Year 6 quiet reading

8:45 - Year 6 lights out 

Life in the House - a home from home

Underwood is a happy and relaxed boarding house. We aim to help each boarder to become more independent so that they leave for their next school confident, polite, ready to flourish at their next school.

Together, the children and staff create a family atmosphere that means it doesn’t matter how old you are or how new you are to school, you are sure to receive a great welcome and be well looked after.

Bedrooms are cosy rooms shared with a small group of friends. The boarders always take great pride in personalising their personal spaces with their own toys, photos and pictures! Underwood Hall is our boarders home, so getting the right balance between work, play and relaxation is vital.

In the evenings the children are given plenty of time to relax and simply be with their friends, while games, activities and movie nights are organised across the week. Each boarder is given 15 minutes reading time before lights out to help them unwind after the busy day.

Underwood Hall is an excellent place for our boarders to learn to be independent as well as sensitive towards others.

Support to Flourish - Pastoral Care

Pastoral care is at the heart of boarding and it is in boarding that the richest relationships can develop between different ages of children and between children and adults.

There is always someone at hand to listen and to laugh with. Staff have close links with our boarders' Class Tutors with each boarder’s day and boarding experience approached as a whole, with the individual child at the centre.

The Head of House is always at hand for parents to contact or see and ensures that the parents at home remain an integral part in the child's education.

Weekly meetings of boarding staff and weekly Pupil Meetings with Prep School staff ensure individual children’s welfare is regularly discussed and reviewed.


The weekend prior to the first Exeat of the Autumn term are designated ‘Closed Weekends’, meaning that all boarders are in school for the weekend taking part in a variety of entertaining and wide-ranging activities.

Following the first Exeat in Autumn and all weekends during the Spring & Summer Terms, the Prep operates ‘Open’ Weekends, meaning boarders can go home after their School commitments and return on Sunday evening or Monday morning.

There are two ‘Exeat’ Weekends each term when all pupils go home on the Friday afternoon, returning on the Sunday evening.

Our weekend programme is busy, varied and such fun that we often find that boarders will opt to remain during weekends to participate in the wide-ranging activities on offer such as: excursions and outings to laser tag, high ropes, trampolining, camp building and games in Thetford Forest, cycling at Holkham Estate, seal watching at the beach, or playing on one of North Norfolk's many beaches.

School facilities are used for activities too, including cooking, table tennis, art and crafts, swimming and games on the fields. Time during weekends can also be spent practicing musical instruments, rehearsing for plays and enjoying free-time in and around the school. Underwood also put on challenges such as Bake-Off and Masterchef nights and Talent Shows.

Click here for the weekend trip programme for the Summer Term 2022

I'd like to know more

If you are interested in boarding at the Prep please contact Admissions on

Our Frequently Asked Questions also contains more details on boarding at the Prep.

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