Military families have long relied on boarding schools to provide a safe and stable environment in which their children can flourish academically and emotionally and Prep schools strive to create a ‘home from home’ and give children stability.
Outdoor learning enriches learning experiences and gives children and young people the opportunity to connect with nature. The potential of outdoor learning to improve academic outcomes has been long recognised by the government. In 2006 it signed a manifesto from the Council for Learning Outside the Classroom (LOtC) stating: ‘We strongly support the educational case for learning outside the classroom. If all young people were given these opportunities, we believe it would make a significant contribution to raising achievement.’
The ability to understand twenty-first century technology is the first step to being able to control the creative power of computers. There is no doubt that prep schools must meet this challenge head on if we are to fulfill a leading role as educators of the next generation.
Wymondham College Prep School caters for pupils aged four to 11 and opened its doors in September 2020 to its founding cohort of 60 Reception-aged pupils. Over the next seven years, the school will grow annually, primarily in Reception and Year 5, eventually reaching its capacity of 452 pupils. The school is located on the same site as Wymondham College, enabling the children of the Prep School to access teaching expertise from both the Prep School and the College. Boarders will be able to access indoor and outdoor facilities at both the Prep School and the College.
Say goodbye to school runs, endless testing and tutoring, mobile phones (at least in some prep schools) and chauffeuring increasingly frustrated children to endless after-school clubs. Instead, say hello to climbing trees, muddy knees and a carefree childhood.
Boarding in a prep school brings a wonderfully diverse range of advantages and opportunities, but most importantly the children have a lot of fun. You only have to see the smiles on their faces and the excitement of planning what to do with their free time, to realise just how much boarding can enrich a child’s life.
In today’s rapidly changing and demanding world, where our view of life is distorted by social media and expectations of our young people are high, our prep boarding schools offer children an oasis into which they can escape.
Like many boarding prep schools, Aysgarth has a vast activities programme and the boys work hard and have a great deal of fun. Boarding is not for everyone, but it does have enormous advantages and I would like to outline the key benefits here.
An African proverb says, ‘It takes a village to raise a child’. In our ever-changing world, it now takes a school to raise a child and nowhere is this more pertinent than in a boarding school. With the alarming statistics of children being diagnosed with depression at a young age, and resilience and wellbeing becoming the new ‘watch words’ in schools, there is a great need for all schools to be aware of the role they play in the life of a child. Childhood is precious and every child should be nurtured.