Students who live at Saint James share the joys and challenges of boarding school life with a wide variety of friends, and are thus enriched by this diversity of interests and backgrounds. Most importantly, the quality of these friendships is deep, reflecting the shared experiences of boarding life. Often, it is the informal moments shared at School—"hanging out" after evening study hall, and having fun on the weekends—that afford the best opportunities for boarding students to show and appreciate their more personal qualities such as humor, good will, and integrity. Students emerge from their experiences at Saint James with a strengthened sense of the essential interrelationship of mind, body, and spirit.
A dorm is a student's home away from home. The Saint James campus has five dorms, each of which varies in size and character. Dorms are divided between lower- and upper-forms, so students benefit from living with peers in similar classes and activities. The division also enables dorm parents to accord residents greater independence as they mature.
Dorm heads, faculty residents, and evening faculty are the adults who look after the well-being of dorm residents. Prefects are high-achieving Sixth Formers who provide an additional layer of support for students. Prefects enforce School rules and serve as role models to their peers.
Study hours are Sunday through Thursday, from 8:00-10:00 p.m. During this time, most students work in their dorm rooms, although some choose to study in a more structured environment in the academic building. Upper-formers may also choose to study in the library. It is common practice for faculty members to hold help sessions in their classrooms or invite small study groups to their homes during study hours.
Each dormitory contains at least one common room. The common room is a gathering place for dorm activities, including movies, snacks, games, and dorm meetings. Each common room is typically equipped with a shared refrigerator, microwave, and a TV.