School Life


At Glenstal we have students from all around Ireland and from overseas.  Among the countries currently represented are France, Germany, Spain, Switzerland, Russia, Singapore  Qatar and Saudi Arabia.. More than 90% 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 – the Junior House for 1st and 2nd Years, the Inter House for 3rd and 4th Years and the 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 on time for Assembly at 8.45 am, and depart again after supper  (7:15 PM) or Second Study (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.


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.


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. The school Chaplain and the monastic community take an active part in the formation of students according to their respective religious traditions.

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