Frequently Asked Questions
Why should I consider boarding for my child?
The benefits of boarding at Prep School age continue to be well recognised as children gain a sense of independence and personal responsibility. A boarding life can be very attractive to children and in some cases, it is the children themselves who ask to board. There are different motivators behind a child’s decision to board, but these include: spending time with their friends, benefit from greater opportunities for further academic endeavour, to partake in creative or sporting and other co-curricular activities, and the space and opportunities to play.
Boarding fosters great friendships amongst the children, with boarders often developing strong friendships for life, and they benefit from having the attention of dedicated adults within a warm and homely community. For many families there are great practical benefits: the attraction of our countryside surroundings, less time on school runs or organising childcare and more quality time together.
The steps to happy weekly boarders are carefully considered in order to strike the balance between the flexibility modern families often seek and the child gaining the huge benefits that come with routine and an established boarding community. Boarding is also an extremely valuable experience for any child who may be considering boarding at their secondary school as children generally adapt better to boarding earlier rather than later.
How does boarding affect family life?
Boarding can enhance family life in several ways. Many boarding families comment that time together at weekends, exeats, half terms and holidays is more “special.” Boarding parents can work hard in the knowledge that their children are well cared for, happy and busy at school. When families are together, they often find relationships are enhanced by appreciation of quality time and the lack of some parental stresses such as the school run or managing homework.
Boarding parents are an important part of the Prep’s community and their involvement is vital to the success of their child’s boarding experience: boarding is a partnership of school and parents.
What effect does boarding have on my child?
Boarding children invariably grow in confidence, as they take greater responsibility for their day-to-day lives. They become more independent as they progress through the school and become more organised. They learn to get to the right place at the right time with the right equipment and kit. Living in a community also encourages them to be more considerate of others and to respect different opinions.
Children comment that they have a good social life as boarders. Without daily travel and with supervised homework built into the day, they have more free time. This means time to spend with friends, access to a wide range of activities and an ability to use the facilities available on the school site.
Boarding life is busy and generally very cheerful but there are of course moments for every boarder when things may not be going so well and they miss home. The boarding and teaching staff have great experience of this and will help children to feel better quickly; helping children to understand that life has its ups and downs and that that this is normal and something with which they can cope.
How much contact do children have with their parents?
Boarders at the Prep will be able to frequently and easily touch base with their families. Boarders can maintain regular communication through phone, email, Zoom and letter writing. Although they are often so busy having fun, they sometimes must be reminded.
We are always delighted to welcome parents, carers, grandparents or wider family members to the Prep to see their children take part in musical and dramatic productions, to watch sporting matches and to enjoy inter-house events.
Who can my child go to with a problem?
If a child has a worry, they know that they have a range of people available to whom they can talk. These include the Head of House, Houseparent, Matrons, their Class Tutor, our Independent Listener or indeed any member of staff.
How will I know how my child is doing?
The Head of House, Mr Jon Timmins, is the main link between School and home and communicates regularly with boarders’ parents. The Head of House is especially sensitive to the needs of younger and first-time boarders, and along with the child’s tutor is also regularly in touch with the boarders throughout the day.