I think the best thing about living in the dormitories is that it’s a small group…
We have two
The House – senior boarding house
2&4 – junior boarding house
There is a resident houseparent and an assistant houseparent in each house. This means that there is always a resident member of staff on duty, whom the pupils know well, 24 hours a day and 7 days a week. We also have resident GAP students (considered members of staff) who are very much involved in our boarding routines and with whom the pupils can relate. They often act as a bridge between houseparents and the pupils.
…so it’s very homely and you can get to know people from all year groups.
When pupils join us as boarders, they are given a day pupil in the same year as a mentor who is charged with settling the new pupil into the school and also given a mentor in the boarding house to support them in the evenings and at the weekends. Table plans are established for supper time in the dining room during the week which will mix ages, nationalities and houses up and so preventing cliques being established.
The pupils in the senior house are encouraged to get to know the pupils in the junior house at the beginning of each year and will organise bonding games and activities after supper. Every term, each year group takes it in turn to organise an after-supper activity for all the boarders to participate in and enjoy. Within our small community, the pupils quickly gain a sense that they have a choice of someone to turn to when they need to talk or share a problem, especially those who may be new to the experience of boarding and living away from home.