We have again included a ‘Pupils and parents’ section, which we believe provides some of the most compelling reading in the Guide. For those thinking about boarding, it is a marvellously positive advert for one of the real beacons of British education and a great credit to the whole of the boarding sector. Here is a small cross-section of the many contributions we have received from those currently boarding in the UK. We thank all those who contributed and we believe they are a great credit to their schools and to boarding in all schools.
The best things about boarding are sleeping in a room with my friends and eating altogether at a big table. My House is Wilton and it is like a home from home. We have lovely Houseparents and living with all the other boarders is like having lots of sisters and brothers (but not as annoying as my brother!) and we live in one big house together. My favourite place here is my soft, comfy bed. We have lots of fun and I love going for walks and picnics in the park. I like having the garden, the field, the brook and the Forest School to play in, right on my doorstep. My favourite memories from this year are:
I was in Year 4 when my older sister became a boarder at Barnard Castle School. Until then I hadn’t gave much thought to boarding school but because my sister liked it I decided to give it a go and join prep school in Year 6. I was welcomed with smiles and many friendly people. I felt straight at home and I thoroughly enjoyed all the new experiences, especially Sunday outings. I am now in senior school where lots of things are done differently. I am meeting new people and overcoming lots of different challenges. One of the special things to me is making friends who I will live with for many years as in the past I have had to move away after a short time. Although I enjoy my lessons and the independent learning opportunities, my favourite time is activity time. This term I have signed up for hockey, football and netball. Once every week I have also represented my House in junior house competitions such as singing, cake decorating, hockey and chess. The boarding house runs smoothly because of our head of house and other seniors who come to have supper with us. I am so glad I made the decision to come to Barney and I am grateful for all of the opportunities that Barney has given me so far.
Port Regis has been the perfect school for me. I have been at Port Regis for five years. If I am ever sad, unhappy or homesick there is always someone looking out for me who will cheer me up or comfort me. Being an Army child can be quite hard but you get used to it and at Port Regis there is always lots to do. My favourite things about Port Regis are the sport and the teachers. Our sports teams are very good. My favourite sport is rugby and last year I was the captain. I also play the guitar and am a dorm captain. My dormees are all really nice and the other dorm captains are some of my best friends. Although I miss my parents, when I am at Port Regis it is my home.
I joined Dauntsey’s from a school in America where my father is stationed in the Army. My parents looked at quite a few schools but really liked the sense of community at Dauntsey’s – that really stood out for them. It was a big change coming from my school in America but I found the move to boarding OK. At first I felt homesick at times but everyone is very kind and supportive and there is always someone to talk to if you have a problem. The Manor really does feel like a home. The staff go the extra mile to look after us and arrange lots of fun activities. One of my favourite trips was paintballing in the First Form and I also loved having a go at rock climbing. Recently we had a camp out in The Manor woods. I was dreading it as we did not even have proper tents but it was amazing. We had a lot of fun and all ended up singing the House song at the top of our voices. Obviously, I can’t go back to the US for exeats but I either have friends who are day pupils to stay at The Manor or go to my grandparents who don’t live that far away. I keep in touch with my parents every day either through messaging or Skype so we are always in touch. The Manor is an amazing place to be – I feel very lucky to be here.
I have been a boarder at Dean Close for almost five years, since I was nine years old, and couldn’t imagine anything different. My family move every two or three years so having somewhere else to call ‘home’ is very nice. The achievements I have accomplished and watched others achieve at School are amazing. Dean Close has really made me feel proud of myself and more confident in what I can do. I’ve learnt to shoot an air rifle and a .22 rifle, I’ve been able to participate in over 20 Speech and Drama Cheltenham Festival classes, achieved four LAMDA exam distinctions and honours in a Victoria College exam. I would never have been able to do all of this at an SCE (Service Children’s Education) or state school. From a boarding perspective, my house is not in the centre of School so it feels like I can go ‘home’ at the end of the day. I was lucky to have two of my siblings at School when I started and I made friends quickly. A lot of my friends are military children too, which helps because they understand things that some of my other friends can’t. When I first came to Dean Close my dad was deployed and it was a hard time for me as I was new to being away from home. My mum and younger sister were at home in Germany and my dad was away for some time. My Houseparent always made time for me to call and Skype my dad. We also have our own email accounts so we can send e-blueys and the School gets blueys in if you want them. When I joined the Senior School, I was quite nervous about the older girls in the House and whether or not there would be people who understood what it is like. I had nothing to worry about, as the girls were all so kind and everyone wanted to help make my time here the best it can be.
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