St Joseph’s Boarding is designed with the needs of modern family life in mind

We are a 24-hour-a-day UK and international community created with our student’s growth, development and care at its core.

Time for home clothes, study and hobbies without the commute

Our campus offers academic challenges, abundant arts and sports for all. We champion independence within a safe and structured setting and our happy boarders thrive here.

With full, weekly, flexi and short-term options available, boarding at St Jo’s is adaptable. While many – particularly our international students – take the traditional full boarding route, just as many choose to go home at weekends or to stay occasionally, to fit in with family schedules. 

Our boarding houses are designed to be cosy and our dependable boarding staff are kind, always on hand to help. That said, the reassuring routines of life as a boarder, empower students to be self-reliant. 

Boarders’ weekdays are particularly productive, with time before school for a run or some reading. There’s a short leafy walk to the dining hall, Refs, for breakfast before joining their tutor groups and reuniting with friends among the day students. Boarders are fully assimilated into the day student population. Lessons run until 3.45pm – with break and lunch – followed by the Development Hour, when new activities are sampled, interests pursued and academic learning boosted.  After supper, our boarders return to their houses for structured study and then some chilling out before bed. Sleep, repeat! But no two days are actually the same – this is  the beauty of boarding at St Jo’s.

Boarders relax at weekends, with breakfast giving way to brunch, uniforms left on the hanger and opportunities to sample the cultural and recreational highlights of the region. Birthdays are celebrated as well as other big events – from national holidays to Chinese New Year.

We recognise the trust boarding families place
in us.

Nothing is more important to us than pastoral care. We want all our students to feel happy, safe and valued.

And that is equally true whether they hail from the UK, Spain, France, Denmark, Germany, Russia, Nigeria, Taiwan, Sri Lanka, China, Malaysia, Ghana, Malawi, Hong Kong, Bangladesh or Dubai.

The Independent Schools Inspectorate recognises pastoral care at St Jo’s as ‘Excellent’. We provide the consistent care and support our boarders need to thrive as individuals, believing young people learn most effectively when they feel emotionally secure, with the backing of trusted adults. The personal skills young people learn in adolescence, in terms of sustaining good mental health and taking appropriate action when things go wrong, will carry with them into adult life.

Walk onto our campus
…and breathe!

The bustling town centre of Ipswich is on our doorstep but St Joseph’s College feels a world apart. Our safe, enclosed campus, broad playing fields and parkland give our students space to thrive and an oasis of calm and good order.

Located 70 miles north-east of London and 40 miles east of Cambridge, Ipswich is well- served by transport.  It is easily reached via the three major London airports (Heathrow, Gatwick and Stansted) and the regular train service between Ipswich and London takes just over an hour.


Here you will find answers to some of the commonly asked questions about Boarding at St Joseph’s College. Feel free to browse through the questions to learn more.

What does my child need to bring to Boarding?

A full list of what to bring will be supplied in the Boarding Students’ Information Guide before they travel. It is, however, worth mentioning that each boarding student will be provided with a bed pack at the start of the year, which includes a duvet, pillow and bed linen. Therefore, they do not need to bring any bedding unless they prefer to use their own. In addition, the boarding houses are equipped with study rooms that have computers and Chromebooks for students to use, so they do not need to bring their own devices unless they choose to. However, if your child does bring any electrical equipment, it is important to inform the boarding staff so that the equipment can be PAT tested.

What is laundry like in Boarding?

All clothing should be labelled with the student’s name. Each student is issued with a laundry bag and will be allotted a designated laundry day. Sports kit and towels may, of course, be washed any day of the week!

Do the St Jo’s Boarding houses have exeat (general closure) weekends?

No, we don’t have exeat weekends. However, students may visit family or friends at the weekend subject to parental/guardian’s permission.

We are not local to Ipswich, how do we order uniforms prior to my child’s arrival?

Uniforms can be ordered online from the websites shown on the uniform list, which is sent upon accepting a place at St Jo’s. Items can be delivered to the Boarding House or to a Guardian prior to the student’s arrival. Sports kit can only be ordered online. If the main school uniform has not been ordered before arrival, our Boarding staff can help to arrange fittings at our designated school uniform shop in Ipswich.

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