Barnard Castle School was founded as a boarding school more than 130 years ago and since then we have gained decades of experience in providing the outstanding care, comfort and camaraderie required to ensure our boarders excel. From our youngest boarding boys and girls in Year 3 to Sixth Formers and international students, our strong boarding community is rich in diversity and makes a significant contribution to the life of the school.

Families choose boarding for a number of reasons unique to their circumstances – parents’ work commitments that take them away from home; a chance to avoid lengthy daily travel to and from school and create valuable time for activities or prep; a first taste of independent living as preparation for university; and the experience of life in a different country are just some of the reasons. As well as providing full time boarding, flexi and occasional boarding is available as we seek to meet the demands and different needs of individual families.

Common across our boarding houses is the chance for students to make lifelong friendships and enjoy experiences together as part of a close-knit community within a socially-stimulating and stable environment. The structure of organised nightly prep is appreciated by many and can enhance academic performance, but as well as creating time to study, boarding is tremendous fun with plenty of varied activities and optional trips every Sunday after a traditional roast lunch.

Our boarding house masters and mistresses are extremely dedicated; for them caring for and supporting their boarders is paramount and they ably and enthusiastically fulfil the role of in loco parentis. Boarding does not necessarily mean long separation from family and friends outside school. Exeat weekends punctuate each half-term and parents are welcome to attend Chapel services, to watch our regular musical and dramatic productions and to join pupils pitch-side at sporting fixtures throughout the year.

There are four boarding houses:
Old Courts – for Junior boarders (Year 3 – Year 8)
Longfield – for Senior girls
York – for Senior boys
Northumberland – for Senior boys

Each Senior house has its own identity and the boarders are proud to represent their house in a broad range of house competitions throughout the school year.

For more information or to arrange a visit, please contact Mrs Bronwyn Huddleston, Registrar on: +44 (0)1833 696030 or email

“Boarding is highly regarded, is well led and managed, and promotes a good standard of opportunities for personal development and responsibility.” Independent Schools Inspectorate, 2016