Boarding evenings and weekends
When the school day ends, life in the boarding house begins. After lessons have finished, the children have a snack and some free time in school before being welcomed home by our houseparents, eager to hear how the day has been.
Prep done, then time for fun!
As in any household, we need to make sure that any prep is done. For our boarders in Year 6 and below, this is in the homely surroundings of our boarding kitchen and lounge with Mrs Garvin. The older children are supervised for their prep by teaching staff and supported as required with their independent study.
Prep complete, it’s off to the dining room for supper together, where we enjoy delicious food prepared by our wonderful in-house catering team. Then, after a quick meeting to explain the evening’s activities, the fun begins. There is always a great choice of things to do and this varies according to staff on duty and the time of year.
We regularly have ‘Whole House Nights’ which brings everyone together for an activity or two. These include pizza making in the woods, water fights, discos, dodgeball tournaments, mini Olympics and all sorts of other zany and interesting activities.
After activities, the children get the chance to fill up on some healthy snacks at our popular ‘toast bar’ before enjoying some free time. This is another great time for the children to chat with the houseparents as well as giving them time to phone home or simply to relax, perhaps playing a board game, in one of the common rooms with their friends. In the summer, the children often like to spend this time out and about in the school grounds.
Keeping in touch with home
The children are allowed their electronic devices several times a week for short periods of 'wi-fi time' and a little more on weekends. They can use these to contact their families and to access the internet which is of course strictly controlled and monitored via our school filtering systems.
These devices are taken in and safely stored by staff in between usage to avoid distraction and to encourage interaction and engagement with friends. Mobile devices are not allowed during the school day unless there is a need to communicate with family in a different time zone.
Our bedtime routine
The children go upstairs at staggered intervals to begin their evening shower and teeth brushing routines. Quiet time is encouraged before lights out and often houseparents will read a story to the younger children. Alternatively they will read to themselves before lights out. Older pupils are also encouraged to read or chat further with the houseparents before it’s time for their lights to go out.
Our bedtimes vary according to age and, as a rough guide, Junior lights are out by 8.30, Year 7 by 9.00 and Year 8 by 9.15. We take sleep very seriously and ensure that quiet time takes place before lights out. To encourage the children to go to sleep promptly, we have a reward and sanctions system and staff are on hand to make sure they settle quickly and all is indeed quiet. With the houseparents living on both landings within the boarding house, they are always close at hand when needed at any time of night.
On Saturday mornings, our older boarders join our day pupils in the Enrichment options which vary from term to term, whilst our younger children enjoy sports matches or an activity organised by the residential staff. In the afternoon it is all change with the older children taking their turn out on the sports fields.
On Sundays, the children enjoy a slower start to the day before taking part in the main activity for the weekend as well as having an opportunity to attend a local Catholic Church for those who would like to.
Please read the FAQs below for more information about our weekends and visit the Boarders' Blog to see what we have been up to!