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Boarding at Hilton

Fundamental to the ethos of Hilton College, is its status as an all-boarding school. As distinct from most other schools where boarding facilities may be available for some of the pupils, all Hilton College boys are full,termly boarders, which ensures the stability of a community in which all operate under the same set of rules. At the core of our philosophy and traditions is the conviction that the most appropriate environment for the holistic education of adolescent boys is an excellent boarding school. In the stimulating, caring and convivial atmosphere of Hilton, boys develop independence and the confidence which accompanies a real sense of self-worth.

Hilton parents remain crucial partners in the education of their sons. We actively support this partnership: parents are encouraged to visit regularly and to participate in activities; parents are included in important decisions affecting their sons; and parents are invited to work closely with us to ensure their sons' progress.

“It takes a village to raise a child”

The Houses

There are 7 Houses at Hilton:

  • Churchill
  • Ellis
  • Falcon
  • Lucas
  • McKenzie
  • Newnham
  • Pearce

Each House is home to between 70 and 80 boys, ranging in ages from Grade 8 to Grade 12 (Matric). The Houses are substantial, separate buildings, with outstanding facilities. The boys live in dormitories until Matric, when each boy has his own bed-sitter. Also within the Houses are well-appointed common rooms, prep and study areas, and recently upgraded ablutions which include private shower compartments.

In each House, the Housemaster lives in a comfortable home under the same roof as the boys, as does his Assistant Housemaster. As a result, each House is a community, and much energy goes into ensuring that the boys are happy and motivated members of these communities.

The Care System

The Housemasters play key roles at Hilton. Theirs are senior appointments, and their lightened teaching loads enable them to pay careful attention to their charges. They are assisted in their work by House Managers who deal with much of the day-to-running of the houses. As women, they are also able to bring a motherly touch to the way things happen in the house.

In all we do, we aim to treat Hilton boys as individuals, and to help them with the support necessary for them to take full advantage of their time here. In order to achieve this, the Housemasters, House Managers and their Assistant Housemasters are supported by other members of staff who visit the Houses in the evenings in their capacity as Tutors. Also crucial in the care system are the School Counsellor and the Chaplain, the School Doctor and the Sanatorium Sisters.

Throughout his time here a Hilton boy is assigned a Tutor, whom he will meet weekly. These are members of the Academic Staff who are responsible for guiding boys as they make their way through the school, intervening where necessary, and encouraging them to become fully involved.

New boys

We are particularly proud of our reputation as a welcoming and supportive school in which new boys settle quickly. Outdated and unacceptable practices, such as fagging and initiation, play no part in the Hilton College culture.

The School Counsellor (together with the Housemasters) is responsible for managing the settling in process and for administering a programme aimed at informing new boys about their school. This culminates in a fairly simple test.


Despite our emphasis on being a full-boarding school, Hilton boys have more than adequate leave opportunities. Each term has a long weekend break in the middle (usually from Thursday morning to Monday evening). Also, each boy is entitled to 4 "leaves" a term, taken at his parents' discretion, and lasting from after sport on Saturday until Sunday evening. (There are no "closed weekends" nor are there designated "exeat weekends".) Each boy is also entitled to take a "lunch leaves" and "supper leaves" by consulting his Housemaster - each boys is allowed one "lunch leave" and two "supper leaves" per term.

After long and careful consideration, we believe that these leave arrangements are appropriate in that they balance regular opportunities for boys to spend time with their families and the necessity of providing the climate for an excellent boarding school.


"They don't care how much you  know, until they know how much you care"
Theodore  Roosevelt

The care of your son is the fundamental principle of the great education that Hilton College has offered for almost 150 years. Before anything else,our founder, William Orde Newnham,in 1872, would have seen a farm with a house and said the boys can live here! Before classrooms, sports fields, kitchens, pools, gyms and the like; there was a Boarding House. The heart of a Hilton education remains, this fundamental non-negotiable philosophy of a full-time boarding school. An intricate web of care between peers, seniors, house staff, Housemasters and support staff, looks after the individual needs of our boys; your sons.

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