A Glossary of Marlborough Terms

Marlborough College has an esteemed reputation in the UK borne from the traditions created since its opening in 1843. Over time a distinct vocabulary has evolved that is still used today at Marlborough College and other renowned boarding schools in England, and will be used at Marlborough College Malaysia.


Master - Principal or Headmaster
Beak - teacher
HM - the Housemaster or Housemistress who is resident in a boarding house and is responsible for the pastoral care of the pupils who live there.
Dame - a manager of domestic arrangements in a boarding house
OM - Old Marlburian - the alumni of the Marlborough Colleges
RHT - Resident House Tutor - a teacher who lives in a boarding house to support the HM
Council - the school Governing Board
Member of Council - governor
Tutor - a teacher who acts as a personal mentor to a group of pupils, known as 'Tutees'
HoD - Head of Department - a teacher with responsibility for a specific subject
Common Room - collective term for the teaching staff
Form Tutor - teacher in charge of a class in the Pre-Prep or Prep School
Shell - the group of pupils in Year 9
Remove - the group of pupils in Year 10
Hundred - the group of pupils in Year 11
Sixth Form - the last two years of study, split into Lower Sixth (L6) and Upper Sixth (U6) years
Pre-Prep - Years Reception to Year 2 (Early Years and Key Stage 1)
Lower Prep - Years 3 and 4 (first half of Key Stage 2)
Upper Prep - Years 5 to 8 (second half of Key Stage 2 and Common Entrance)
Senior School - Years 9 to 13


Sani - Sanatorium - the medical centre on the school site
Out of Bounds - places in and out of the school campus where pupils are not allowed to go
Bedsits or dorms - rooms in which boarding pupils live (singles, doubles, triples, etc)
Court - the central part of school where ball games are not allowed and pupils may not walk on the grass


Studies - time during a boarding pupil's day when they should engage with personally selected reflective activities
Exeat - an extended weekend, often near the middle of a half-term when boarding pupils go home
Priv - a parent requested privilege weekend when a boarding pupil is released from school to travel home
Prep - Academic work completed during a specific daily study period for a boarding pupil, or at home by a day pupil
Gation - a punishment when a pupil is 'gated', or confined to his/her boarding house
Artemis - the Personal, Social and Health Education programme
Assembly - a regular gathering of pupils in forms, years, Houses, school section or whole school


Colours - awards for excellence and commitment in activities
Almanac - the Marlborough College Malaysia calendar of events on the website
House swipe - a House sports shirt
School swipe - a school sports shirt
Michaelmas Term - school study period from late August to December
Lent Term - school study period from January to March
Summer Term - school study period from April to early July
Form - a class of pupils in the Pre-Prep and Prep School
Set - a class of pupils separated by ability in a particular subject