Boarding Life


At Glenstal we have students from all around Ireland and from overseas. Among the countries currently represented are the United Kingdom, USA, France, Germany, Austria, Spain, Singapore and Saudi Arabia. More than 75% of our current students are seven-day boarders. Whether from a few miles away or a thousand, Glenstal is home from home for each boy.

Boarding is a unique element of the school’s culture. It fosters a vibrant spirit of community in the school and also helps the boys to grow in self-confidence and independence. The 24-hour nature of school life means that members of staff are always on hand to offer support and advice, whether in academic or other areas, and a culture of mentoring and guidance exists and is fostered among students.


For their first five years in the school, boys live in dormitories, while in their sixth and final year they usually have a room of their own. This balance in the type of accommodation fosters friendship among the students and enables our staff to provide age-appropriate pastoral support to the students.

The school is divided into three distinct houses:

  • Junior House for 1st and 2nd Years
  • Inter House for 3rd and 4th Years
  • Senior House for 5th and 6th Years

Each house is supervised by a Housemaster and an Assistant Housemaster. The housemasters are particularly concerned with the pastoral care of students and also have responsibility for supervision and maintaining discipline outside of class time.


Boys who are day boarders commute to school from home on a daily basis. They arrive for Assembly at 8.45 am and depart again after supper at 7:15 pm or Second Study at 9:15 pm. They are in school not only for classes, but for meals, sports, activities and study, and are fully integrated into the life of the school.


The Interconnectedness of Mind, Body and Spirit For a young boy to reach his full potential and discover his truest self it is vital to develop balance, proportion and harmony between Mind, Body and Spirit. Achieving this builds stronger mental and physical resilience and cultivates a broader range of interests and competencies, all of which will prepare students to do well in college and thrive in their future careers.


An important part of the boys’ day outside the classroom is taken up with Supervised Study. There are two Study periods on each school day. Day-Boarders who are juniors usually go home after the first of these periods but are welcome to stay for the second period as well. The aim of Supervised Study is to encourage students to work on their own and to develop into active learners while providing enough structure to make that happen. All students have class on Saturday mornings, after which Day-Boarders can go home and Boarders have ample opportunity to engage in various extra-curricular activities to which Day-Boarders also have the option of attending. Boarders have two periods of Study on Saturday evenings, which is usually followed by a movie.

Sunday Mass

Boarders celebrate the highpoint of the Christian week, the Sunday Eucharist, with the monastic community on Sundays at 10.00 am. Day-Boarders are also welcome to attend. A considerable effort is made to ensure that the boys are fully involved in the celebration of the Mass, by having them participate in the choir, as readers, servers and ushers. Many parents and brothers and sisters join the community for the Sunday Mass and this is warmly encouraged. The liturgy provides a welcome occasion for students, parents and staff to join together in prayer and to chat informally over coffee afterwards. The school, like the monastery, has a strong ecumenical tradition, and some of our students come from other denominational backgrounds.

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Glenstal Abbey provides external links as a convenience to our users. The appearance of external links does not constitute an endorsement by Glenstal Abbey of the views, activity or content contained therein.

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