Boarding plays a large part in the life of the College and with one in nearly five students choosing to board. We are more than just a school, we are a community of individuals where every one is encouraged to help the other and to work for the common good. Our boarders are central to this sense of community and comprise girls drawn mainly from Ireland, and from overseas countries in Europe, Africa, Asia and the Americas.
Alexandra College Boarding School:
- Five-day and seven-day options to suit, five-day boarders may stay in for weekends by arrangement;
- Good supervision and daily routines;
- Full participation in sport, music and drama facilitated;
- Transition Year made easy, including work experience and community care arrangements;
- Day girls welcome to board for a few days or weeks with short- term flexi boarding;
- Supervised evening study with designated individual study desks;
- Transport arranged to and from Heuston Station;
- Boarder parents are very welcome to join school committees and the parents’ association.
As a boarder, you have a wonderful opportunity to form friendships that will last a lifetime and to learn about other countries. We want you to enjoy your time in the boarding school and to feel you are part of a larger family. This is your home during term time and it is where we want you to be happy, comfortable and secure.
For those staying in at weekends, you will enjoy cultural and social outings and relaxation time so that your weekends are special, just as they would be at home.
Alexandra boarding school students are supported and encouraged to explore and develop in a safe environment that seeks to nurture independence, respect and a well–rounded personality. Living with others provides a dynamic which encourages understanding and fosters mutual respect for the individuality of others.
If you are new to boarding, we can assure you that there are many people here happy to help you – staff and fellow pupils who understand your experience and who will help you to fit into and enjoy College life.
We are above all else, a family.
Head of Residence
Come and experience a night or whatever is required in our Boarding School. It is available to all girls from 5th class in the Junior School and all the Senior School girls. To apply, please download the document below.
Please contact Mrs Ginnelly at email@example.com or call our Senior School Office on (01) 5634530 to arrange a first-hand experience of Alexandra College boarding school at a time that suits you.
Our new dedicated residential facility is located on a secure campus in Rathmines, Dublin 6. This facility is a 5-minute drive or a 14-minute walk from the main school and is also accessible by the Luas, two stops from the College. The campus building was purpose-built to house residential students by the Church of Ireland College of Education and has been refurbished to a high standard by Alexandra College.
Sixth and Fifth-year students are each provided with individual study bedrooms, affording them distraction-free space for this key educational period. International best practice demonstrates that this leads to improved academic performance and a better all-round learning and boarding experience. Junior boarders will each share a dormitory with no more than three other girls. All students have the option to share a room if they prefer.
The new premises allow for a more streamlined boarding offering as all boarders are now housed in one building with all facilities available within it.
Meals will be served in the mornings and evenings in a main dining room, whilst Sixth and Fifth years now also have access to their own separate kitchens, on their own floors. They also have their own dedicated recreation rooms on these floors. Transition and Third Years share a recreation room, again, located on the floor with their bedrooms and First, Second and J5 and J6 girls share a recreation room on their own floor.
The ground floor features a dedicated study room with anytime access for all students, a computer area and six individual music practice rooms with access to all during allocated practice times. The entire building is Wi-Fi enabled. There is also a chapel on campus and access to a secure 12 acre site for walking and other leisure activities.
Supervision and Security
The new facility enables us to ensure that there will always be at least one staff member on each floor while the students are in the building. In total, there will be 10 staff on site – the Principal, the Head of Residence, two senior House Mothers and eight Junior House mothers. The campus is fully secure with access by security fob only and CCTV monitoring. Entrances and exits are manned by staff and a security presence is provided.
Dedicated buses will bring the students the short 2km journey from the new campus to Milltown each school morning. They will return to campus at 4.00pm and again when extracurricular activities end in the College at 5.45pm. The Milltown campus Residence Recreation Room will also be available to boarders between those times.
A dedicated, purpose built, safe and secure residential campus
Central location, close to Milltown campus
Individual study rooms for Sixth and Fifth years
Four girl dormitories for 1st years and two-bed rooms for 2nd years
All residential, study and recreational facilities on campus
Experienced staff presence on each residential floor
Access to kitchens for Sixth and Fifth years
Dedicated study, recreation and practice rooms
Dedicated transport to and from Milltown campus
The same excellent caterers and varied menus
The same opportunities for participation in sport, music and drama
Weekend outings include outdoor walks, museum visits and cinema and shopping trips
A safe environment that seeks to nurture independence, respect and a well-rounded personality
Alexandra College offers seven-day boarding, five-day weekly boarding and short- term ” flexi- boarding”, to girls from 1st year to 6th year, and short-term flexi- boarding to Junior School girls from the beginning of 5th class.
Residence is at the heart of school life and living at Alexandra offers you more time to you to follow your academic interests and develop your passion for sport, drama and music.
Weekly boarders are free to go home on a Friday immediately after school, and can choose to return on a Sunday evening by 9:00 p.m. or on a Monday morning between 7:30- 8:00 a.m. This can vary during the term to suit your needs. There is no requirement for boarders to stay in during any weekend of the year.
Health and fitness are promoted. The girls can participate in sports and weekend activities as well as fitness classes every day after school in the Miltown campus. Available to students from 1st to 6th year every Monday to Thursday.
Houses are staffed by House Mistresses who work with the Principal and the Colleges’ Care Team to ensure that a confidential and multi-disciplinary approach is available to the girls at all times. The well-being of the girls is at the core of all that we do. Our boarders are cared for by experienced and committed staff in a strong family atmosphere in which a spirit of partnership is promoted between staff, students and parents.
Our Residence staff are very experienced at looking after and supporting the girls they care for. They understand that it is perfectly natural for students to become homesick from time to time and do all they can to ensure that students feel happy and settled. They provide counselling care, and faith care through our pastor. The students themselves play a large part as role models and friends who provide a support network for each other. We ensure that bullying and victimisation do not occur and are not tolerated as having any place in College life.
Our caterers, provide a broad range of interesting food every day, including Irish, international and vegetarian fare. There is always a good selection of full and light meals available. At weekends we make a special effort to give our boarders the food they enjoy most– with some special treats and a different menu appropriate to their leisure time. Boarders also have access to cooking facilities in their residence houses so they can prepare snacks and light food when they need to and so that they may begin to think independently about their own care.
After a full programme during the week we give girls leisure time on weekend evenings. Their recreation rooms are comfortably furnished and have TVs with a full stock of DVDs – and popcorn!
Each overseas student has a local guardian who takes an interest in her student’s work, progress and welfare and who reports back to her parents. It provides great peace of mind to have someone locally who can stand in for parents when needed, and who can help and advise the student as an experienced guardian. The College can provide a list of experienced guardians on request.
Residence staff organise excursions for boarders who are staying in the college for the weekend. These are varied to include outdoor walks, museum visits and cinema and shopping trips, and are all very popular with the girls. These trips are usually free or have a minimal cost attached.
Rising Bell: 7.00am
Breakfast: 7.00am Students go to school at 8.30am.
School finishes at 3.55pm Monday -Thursday. On Fridays, school finishes at 3.20pm to facilitate transport home.
3.55-5.30pm: plenty of activities after school such as sport and music.
Prep (homework) and Study Facilities from Monday to Friday
1st years: 6.30 – 8.00pm
2nd years: 6.30 – 8.30pm
4th years: 6.30 – 8.00pm
3rd and 5th years: 6.30 – 9.30pm
6th years: 6.30 – 9.30pm
There is a break from 7.45 – 8.15pm for 3rd, 5th and 6th-year students.
Study for all students on Saturday and Sunday is optional.
“There is never a dull moment in the life of a boarder student here in Alex. A strong bond is always formed between the boarding students who are guaranteed to leave Alex at the end of their six years here with lifelong friends. There is an important balance of work and play in a boarding student’s daily routine and a generous amount of freedom. The staff in both boarding houses are both caring and understanding to every student’s needs and strive to maintain a happy and homely atmosphere. My experience of boarding has been unforgettable and has taught me valuable lessons which I will carry on with me when I leave. For me, boarding in Alex has been like, as we say, a ‘home from home’.
By: Leah O’ Meara- 6th Year Student
Studying at Alexandra College gives overseas students a great opportunity to meet and make friends with girls from Ireland and other countries and cultures. We have an excellent reputation for welcoming overseas students who benefit from our outstanding educational standards and our broad approach to personal development.
A full programme
We offer seven-day boarding, with a full programme for each day and evening, including weekends. Apart from classes and study-periods students also enjoy sport, music, drama and the creative arts. At weekends the girls visit local sights and attractions, take excursions to the countryside and enjoy the culture on offer in the galleries, museums and theatres of the Capital. We strike the right balance between fun and learning for the students and care for their spiritual development by ensuring they attend their own faith services at weekends.
Overseas University Eligibility
Points achieved in the Irish Leaving Certificate system can be used to apply for Northern Ireland and UK universities, and other overseas universities. Students and their parents are advised to check the requirements for universities and the courses they are interested in before selecting their Leaving Certificate subjects, and to verify their options directly with the universities in question.
Will my daughter have any free time at boarding school?
Although life in Alex Res is run very much to a strict routine for practicality and because we have a lot of girls, the girls do get time to themselves. Each girl is free from 4pm to 5.30pm after school each day. Some girls may have music lessons, or aerobics or hockey or other sports, but there are girls who choose to either go out (depending on the rules for their year), or they may choose to have quiet time in their dorm. Then after Prep (homework) in the evenings there is usually another half or three- quarters of an hour free time.
What after- school activities are there for boarders?
We have lots of sports to offer the girls in the afternoons. Depending on the season these include basketball, soccer, hockey, cricket and athletics, as arranged by the school staff. In Res we offer aerobics twice a week (optional, no extra charge, and the girls can take part on and off as suits them).
Girls who are involved in the school choirs or orchestras are on the spot for before- or after- school rehearsals, and boarders taking music and singing lessons can use the Music block facilities to practice. Boarders who are involved in College shows and musicals or special events like “the Young Americans” are right on hand for all those rehearsals!
Depending on their year group, the girls are allowed go to the local shops as appropriate.
When we visit Res what may my daughter and I expect?
You are very welcome to make an appointment to visit Res. You are encouraged to ask us about the daily routine, how the girls get on, about our staff and to see the entire building. If the girls are around you can chat to them and ask them how they find Res. Our staff will be happy to tell you about practicalities like laundry and pocket money arrangements, outings, and the options for taking your daughter out for a weekend, and to answer any other questions you may have.
What happens at weekends?
Boarders are free to go home on a Friday immediately after school and can choose to return on a Sunday evening by 9.00pm or on a Monday morning between 7.30am – 8.00am. This can vary during the term to suit your needs. There is no requirement for boarders to stay in during any weekend of the year.
For those who are staying in we have outings planned on Saturdays which are optional. On a Sunday afternoon, the younger boarders are taken to Dundrum if they require shopping. The older girls may visit the areas that are permitted according to their year (for example, Dundrum, Ranelagh or the city centre). On a Saturday night they watch a movie or suitable T.V. such as “The X Factor” with a bag of popcorn and a chocolate treat.
On a Sunday we go to church, mass or other services in the morning.
Golf, swimming and horse riding can also be arranged by appointment and there is an additional charge for these.
How many boarders to a room?
For 1st years there are two, three or four boarders per room.
For 2nd, 3rd and 4th years, there is two boarders per rooms.
For 5th and 6th-year boarders, there are single bedrooms.
Does Alexandra offer temporary boarding?
Day girls are welcome to board from one night to a week, or a fortnight or whatever is required. This is proving to be very popular; “flexi- boarding” is available to girls from 5th class in the Junior School and to all Senior School girls.
Do many boarders stay in at the weekend?
We have on average seventy or so boarders in at the weekend. This always increases coming up to examinations.
When do boarders have to return to school?
They have to return to school the day before term starts, this is usually on a Sunday. Weekly boarders can come back each week on Sunday night or Monday morning, and can vary this to suit their family.
Do I have to bring my own duvet, pillow and bedding?
Yes, students are to buy their own which can be bought very reasonably in any department store.
Access to ICT – how is it monitored?
The IT department look after all technical requirements and appropriate filters.
Are boarding students required to have a guardian?
Yes all students must either have a parent or a guardian living in Ireland. The College can provide a list of experienced guardians on request.
How easy is it for my daughter to stay in contact with her family while she is boarding?
Your daughter is allowed use her mobile phone in the evenings after Prep, and can also “Skype”; we have a computer in the hall that the girls can use. If necessary, parents may ring the staff Res landline or mobile number and ask to speak to their daughter if they cannot reach her on her mobile. In general we do not encourage overseas students to speak to their parents on a daily basis as this can make them homesick.
How are parents of boarders advised or consulted with on disciplinary matters?
The Head of Residence and the Principal will discuss the matter with the student and then the parents will be advised in writing by the school Principal.
How diverse is the student body in the boarding school?
The majority of our boarders are Irish. We have of course different nationalities and religions in the residence houses, and we value diversity. We have overseas boarders from countries in Europe, Asia, Africa and the Americas.
Religions in Res. are predominantly Church of Ireland and Roman Catholic, at the moment we also have Muslims and Buddhists, and all are made welcome.
How do I arrange a visit to the school?
Please contact Mrs Yvonne Ginnelly, Head of Residence, on (01) 5634530 or email her on firstname.lastname@example.org. and she will be happy to arrange an appointment for you.
Do you have local boarders?
We have a group of boarders from the greater Dublin area and surrounding counties; Malahide and Howth, Kildare, Wicklow and Meath. The girls maximise their time for study, sports, music and drama rather than spending time on commuting every day, and enjoy the added benefits of the camaraderie of Res.
What are transport arrangements?
The boarding houses can help students make local travel arrangements, for example to the train, DART and bus stations. There is a Luas (tram) stop right on the school’s doorstep, and the College minibus has a regular service to and from the DART which boarders can use on an ad hoc basis. Bus and train tickets can be purchased through the Res office. Travel arrangements to and from the airport are made by parents and guardians.
How are medication treatments and first aid administered?
Overseas EU nationals are required to hold a European Health Insurance Card when they come to the college. All boarders must have health insurance through a recognised Insurance scheme.
A fully qualified nurse is on the Residence staff. Other Residence staff hold FETAC First Aid qualifications. Medicines are dispensed each day after breakfast from the Sickbay dispensary as required. Serious conditions are brought before the local school doctor or to the local hospital. There is a “Sick Bay” in Res for temporary use in case a girl is feeling very unwell or is contagious.
Can the parents of boarders get involved in the school?
The boarders form a community and are at the heart of the school.Their parents appreciate opportunities to meet and to get involved in the school. At the start of the autumn term there is a welcome tea for the 1st year boarders and their parents the afternoon the girls move in, the day before the older girls arrive. There is also a welcoming cup of tea for the parents of the older girls when they bring their daughters into Res.
Starting in 2014 there is an annual boarders’ mothers’ lunch to which all the mums are invited, an enjoyable social occasion in a local restaurant. Boarder parents are also warmly invited to all school events, and are very welcome to get involved on committees and with the parents’ association (ACA).