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 everyone 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.
- 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
NEW BOARDING FACILITIES
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.
SAFETY AND SECURITY
It is the responsibility of all Boarders to keep themselves safe at all times and to inform the Boarding House staff immediately if they have any concerns.
For safety reasons, Juniors and First Year students are not allowed out alone.
Students are permitted to go jogging between 7.00am and 8.00am or 4.00pm and 5.30pm around the grounds of the campus at Rathmines.
It is the responsibility of boarders to sign in and out on departure with the staff on duty, always carry a fully charged telephone and let staff on duty know where they plan to go. Students must check in with the duty staff upon return.
All boarding staff sleep in the Boarding House.
The Campus gates are locked at 6.00pm each night. If a Boarder is to be off campus after that time, she must ring the bell to be let in.
At night, the Boarding House is wired with an alarm that is activated if an external door is opened. The building is floodlit throughout the night and checked by an external security company guard regularly.
Every room is fitted with a smoke detector. Excessive use of hairspray or any talcum powders can activate an alarm and should be avoided. Intentional alarm costs caused by activation will be charged to the parents of the offending student/students.
Personal Items Of Value
It is recommended that students do not bring valuable belongings to the Boarding House.
Jewellery and other valuables must be locked in the safe provided for each student in their room. It will be digital so students will apply their own code.
Boarders often take advantage of city living to pursue other interests.
Girls may use public transport if they have a personal mobile phone as an aid in securing their safety, otherwise, taxis must be used to and from the venue. The Boarding House is conveniently situated on an excellent bus route that girls are encouraged to use.
Bus and Luas schedules are available from the Boarding House office.
Taxis are also used for out of school appointments. Occasionally, it may be necessary to send a girl in a taxi alone. The taxi drivers of the company used have been Garda vetted and are used regularly.
There is no need for any Boarders to have a car while living in the Boarding House. Dedicated buses bring the students the short 2km journey from the new campus to Milltown each school morning. They will return to the Boarding House at 4.00pm and again when extracurricular activities end in the College at 5.45pm.
If there is a specific purpose for requiring a car, a request must be made in writing and sent to the Principal. If a car is deemed necessary and appropriate, students, parents the principal and head of Boarding must sign an individualized contract.
Students may keep a bicycle at the Boarding House for personal use. A helmet and written parental permission are required.
Boarding House staff are accessible at all times to meet the physical, social, emotional and cultural needs of Boarders. A strong school support structure is provided in the form of pastoral care.
There will be a staff member available during prep to assist with homework queries.
We recognise that in most cases the Boarding House experience is the first time that students have lived away from home. This can cause anxiety for both students and their families.
It is natural for the girls to feel homesick and this can last for a few days to a few weeks. These feelings usually subside as girls develop new friendships and become familiar with new surroundings and routines. Our staff are sensitive to the emotions and needs of girls especially when they first arrive. We liaise closely with parents at all times, especially if we have any concerns.
Parents and Boarding House Staff share responsibility for girls while they are living in the Boarding House. It is important that parents and Boarding House staff work together to ensure consistency of expectations in student behaviour.
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 wing of the residence house 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.
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.
Boarders may receive visitors at the following times:
Monday to Friday – 4.00pm to 5.30pm
Saturday and Sunday – 10.00am to 5.30pm
On arrival and departure, all visitors must report to the Boarding House staff on duty. Visitors must enter and depart through the main foyer. Written parental permission is required for a student to go on outings alone.
Boarders enjoy a busy lifestyle at the weekend. For those who are staying in, we have outings planned on Saturdays which are optional. 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.
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)
Leisure time may also be spent watching television or DVD’s on a large screen television in the common room. Students are only permitted to watch age-appropriate TV or movies.
7.00am – Wake up bell
7.00am to 8.00am – Breakfast
Girls tidy their rooms and make their beds and must be in school for 8.30am
11.00am – Small Break; snack provided in the main campus canteen
12.35pm to 1.15pm – Lunch Option 1*
1.15pm to 1.55pm – Lunch Option 2*
*Individual lunchtimes will be on your timetable.
4.00pm – Activities, Sport and Tutoring
5.30pm – Dinner
6.30pm – Prep
8.00pm – Prep finishes for 1st and 4th Year
8.30pm – Prep finishes for 2nd Year
9.30pm – Prep finishes for 3rd, 5th and 6th Year
9.00pm – 1st Year lights out
9.30pm – 2nd Year lights out
10.00pm – 3rd Year lights out
10.15pm – 4th Year lights out
10.30pm – 5th & 6th Year in their own rooms
*There is a break from 7.45 – 8.15pm for 3rd, 5th and 6th-year students.
Bedtimes are in effect Sunday to Thursday and may vary according to individual circumstances.
On Friday nights, boarders can relax and watch movies or catch up with friends after prep.
Weekly 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.
Boarding activities are organised every weekend on Friday or Saturday evenings, Saturday or Sunday afternoons. All girls are expected to participate in these activities unless they are out with friends or families. Not all activities are compulsory. However, it is a positive place to live when all the girls get involved. A full list of all the outings and boarder trips are displayed on the notice board at the beginning of each academic year.
8.00am to 9.30am – Breakfast
9.30am to 12.30pm – Leisure Activities
12.30pm – Lunch
1.30pm to 5.30pm – Organised Trip
9.30am to 4.30pm – Study in prep room*
5.30pm – Dinner
10.00pm – 1st to 3rd Year lights out
10.30pm – 4th Year lights out
10.30pm – 5th and 6th Years in their own room
8.00am to 10.00am – Breakfast
12.30pm – Lunch
5.30pm – Dinner
9.00pm – 1st Year lights out
9.30pm – 2nd Year lights out
10.00pm – 3rd Year lights out
10.00pm – 4th Year lights out
10.30pm – 5th and 6th Year in their own rooms
*Study for all students on Saturday and Sunday is optional.
Prep (homework) and study facilities from Monday to Friday
Homework sessions commence at 6.30pm following dinner until 9.30pm.
Fifth and Sixth Year students may study in their rooms after 9.30pm and on the weekends.
Monday to Friday Prep Times
1st year: 6.30 – 8.00pm
2nd year: 6.30 – 8.30pm
3rd year: 6.30 – 9.30pm*
4th year: 6.30 – 8.00pm
5th year: 6.30 – 9.30pm*
6th year: 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.
Students are permitted a personal mobile phone. Juniors, First and Second Years, must hand their mobiles into the office before they go to bed.
Students are not permitted to make or receive calls during prep, 6.30pm to 8.30pm. Senior girls (5thand 6th Year) may not use their phones between 6.30pm and 9.30pm.
All mobile phones must be clearly named for easy identification and are kept at the girls’ own risk. The school assumes no responsibility for loss or damage to mobile phones. Students are only permitted to have one mobile phone.
iPads are used as part of learning in the College and are monitored closely so students are prevented from downloading social media applications. Juniors, First, and Second Years must hand their iPads into the office before they go to bed. Third to Sixth Years are exempt from these rules but are expected to use their iPads wisely.
Parents and students are expected to observe and adhere to the terms and conditions, including age restrictions when downloading apps to their devices.
Laptops, iPads and all mobile communication devices are the responsibility of students.
Parents are advised that if students have their own laptop, tablet or mobile phone with a separate internet connection, the school is unable to monitor or place any restriction on their use.
All Wi-Fi is switched off at 10.30pm each night.
UNIFORM AND LINEN
The Alexandra College uniform is only available from Uniformity in Dun Laoghaire, www.uniformity.ie The uniform is very practical and easy to maintain, complete uniform must always be worn. School shoes are also available from school suppliers. Boarders must adhere to the following uniform policy:
- All clothing must be kept clean, pressed and mended at all times and marked clearly with students full name.
- Formal uniform is to be worn to and from school – for First to Fourth Year students.
- A school jumper may only be worn as part of the school uniform.
- School shoes must be brown leather shoes and kept clean at all times.
Linen required for boarding
- Duvet Covers
- Pillow Cases
- Bath Towels
- Hand Towels
- Laundry Bag*
*Net Bags for In-House Laundry – One bag for coloureds and one bag for whites.
All articles of clothing and linen must be clearly marked with a clothes marker and name tags.
All items must be clearly labelled and kept secure in drawers or wardrobes when not in use. Lost clothing is collected and placed in a box in the Boarding House laundry. Unclaimed items are donated to charity at the end of every term.
It is recommended that all girls have their own laundry marker pen to ensure that all items of clothing brought into Boarding House are always clearly marked.
Lost items of value e.g. wallets, phone, jewellery are kept in the Boarding House office until collected by the owner.
Boarders are discouraged from borrowing other girls clothing, jewellery and other personal belongings. Girls who lose borrowed items are liable for the replacement value of the item.
While every effort is made to ensure the safety of articles, the Boarding House does not hold any responsibility for lost or stolen items.
FIRST AID AND MEDICAL PRACTICES
A fully qualified nurse is on the Residence staff and 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.
Transport for a non-urgent appointment will either be by taxi or Luas. In case of serious injury, if a doctor, dentist, or hospital visit is required, the student will be accompanied by a member of staff in a taxi or ambulance.
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.
It is vital that the school is aware of any medication each student is taking to enable the appropriate care to be given in the event of illness or injury.
The health and well being of all students is of the utmost importance to us. Students with asthma are encouraged to carry their inhalers with them at all times. Under no circumstances should any student share their medication with other students.
A wide range of ‘over the counter’ medication is kept in Boarding House office medicine cabinet and will be supplied to those who need it. All students with serious medical conditions must have a doctor’s letter with them.
Students with severe allergies requiring an EpiPen should keep one with them at all times. Boarding House staff must be made aware of students with any severe allergies. All minor allergies will be dealt with by the Boarding House staff.
DOCTOR AND DENTIST
You are free to choose your own doctor in the area, but it is often more convenient to consult one of the local practices that have both female and male doctors.
Routine dental appointments should be made outside term time where possible. If dental treatment is required during term time, older students may travel by taxi or Luas to appointments. Parents or guardians must accompany younger students.
By following the simple rules of the Boarding House, each girl is able to contribute to the running of the Boarding House in a positive and interactive way that is beneficial for all.
ALCOHOL AND OTHER DRUGS POLICY
School policy opposes the inappropriate use of legal drugs and the possession and use of prohibited substances.
The policy is applicable:
- On school premises
- At functions, excursions or camps organized by the school.
- When members of the school community are representing the school or wearing the school uniform.
The school does not permit:
- The use of prohibited drugs.
- The inappropriate use of prescribed and/or non-prescribed medicines.
- The inappropriate use of solvents, inhalants and/or other chemical agents.
- The consumption of alcoholic beverages.
- The smoking of tobacco and other drugs.
- The possession of drug-related objects.
- To be under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
- The possession, sale, supply, exchange of or negotiation in relation to drugs or alcohol.
If any of the above requirements are disregarded; the student or staff member will be disciplined as deemed appropriate by the Principal. Penalties that the Principal will consider for breaches of the requirements include the following
- Bad reports
All members of the Alexandra community have the right to enjoy a safe and ordered environment, free of bullying and harassment, where cooperation and interaction are encouraged, individuals are valued and property is respected. Our aim is to prepare and guide students so that they can lead their lives in a responsible and positive manner as well-rounded and responsible adults.
Our girls are encouraged to live together in boarding, work together and to develop a sense of community. They are encouraged to demonstrate qualities of care, respect, tolerance, patience and flexibility that are needed to live in harmony. This entails certain rights, responsibilities and consequences.
PROCEDURES FOR DEALING WITH INAPPROPRIATE BEHAVIOUR
- Minor issues are dealt with by staff on duty in the Boarding House. These are recorded and reported to the head of boarding.
- Continual minor offences are recorded in a daily diary and directed to Head of Boarding. They may also be reported to the Principal.
- The Head of Boarding will discuss serious offences with the Principal and other staff as appropriate and also report to parents.
- The consumption of alcohol and drug abuse is not tolerated at the school or Boarding House and will be dealt with by the Principal
- Parents and Boarding staff share responsibility for girls while they are living in the Boarding House. It is important that parents and Boarding house staff work together to ensure consistency in expectations in student behaviour.
- Parental support and cooperation is greatly appreciated. Parents are encouraged to discuss any concerns with the Boarding House manager.
Written email permission from parents or guardians is required if their daughter requests to stay with another family. Names and contact details of the host family must be included.
Following a weekend or school holiday, the Boarding House re-opens at 12.00 noon. All girls are expected to return to the Boarding House by 9.00pm except in the case of unavailability of public transport.
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.
CAN I GIVE MY DAUGHTER POCKET MONEY?
Yes, you can give your daughter regular pocket money but it is preferable for all students to have their own bank account with access facilities for parents.
This enables parents to guide their daughters in basic money management. Parents may also wish to leave money in the Boarding House office safe for emergencies. This way, students can develop their budgeting and financial skills.
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).
DO MANY BOARDERS STAY IN AT THE WEEKEND?
We have on average seventy boarders in at the weekend. This always increases coming up to examinations.
DOES ALEXANDRA OFFER TEMPORARY BOARDING?
Day girls are welcome to board short term if required. This is available to girls from 5th class in the Junior School (age 10) and to all Senior School girls.
To apply, please download the document below and return it to the College with payment.
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.
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 MANY BOARDERS TO A ROOM?
For 1st years there are two, three or four boarders per room.
For 2nd, 3rd and 4th years, there are two boarders per rooms.
For 5th and 6th-year boarders, there are single bedrooms.
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 have the opportunity to rehearse before or after school and boarders taking music and singing lessons can use the Music Block facilities to practice. Boarders who are involved in College shows, musicals or special events will be allowed to attend after-school and weekend 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.
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 reasons, the girls do get time to themselves. Each girl is free from 4.00pm to 5.30pm after school each day. Some girls may have music lessons, hockey or other sports practices, 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 room. After Prep (homework) in the evenings, there is usually another half to three-quarters of an hour free time.
Miltown, Dublin 6