Tomorrow is National Boarding Day and a chance to celebrate all that the opportunity of boarding can offer children at different ages and stages of their journey through school life. At Lambrook, boarding is important every day, and we truly believe that it broadens and enhances the educational experience of children outside of the classroom, beyond the usual school day.
Lambrook offers a flexible bespoke boarding model which allows children to board as little or as often as they like, at their own pace; taking into consideration the demands, commitments, and travel requirements of each week. We are delighted that many boarders choose to board regularly, either on certain nights of a week or indeed from Monday through to Saturday afternoon. Regular boarding allows pupils to reap the benefits of the full family boarding ethos that we aim to achieve as children build strong relationships with the boarding team and their fellow boarders as well as developing a sense of ownership of their boarding environment which we hope begins to feel like home from home.
We strive to create an environment which is inclusive and nurturing across all year groups, and one in which the children feel safe and confident to express themselves. We know that children develop independence through a strong model of dependency, and in partnership with each family, we aim to foster each child’s independence skills whilst considering what are appropriate expectations for their age, stage and individual character.
For some, being away from home may seem a daunting prospect, but children are generally extremely adaptable at an early age. Each child will settle into boarding life at their own pace and it is a privilege to witness each child’s confidence, organisation and independence progress over time, seeing them go on to take responsibility for supporting and guiding others who are new to boarding.
A happy and successful boarding experience depends on many factors such as a child’s desire to give boarding a go, close and regular communication between parents and Houseparents, careful liaison and collaborative care with the child’s key team in school, and most importantly listening to the children and involving them with how their boarding experience feels and evolves.
Boarding at Prep school can be enormously beneficial for a child’s preparation for their future senior school, especially if a family is considering a boarding school. Being familiar with a boarding model and feeling secure in a boarding environment and its workings, can help the transition to a new school be much smoother.
As well as offering a safe and homely space to stay and work, life in the boarding houses at Lambrook is great fun. We provide a varied programme of activities, which enable the boarders to enjoy the extensive school facilities to themselves in the evenings, as well as spend much needed ‘downtime’ with their friends. Activities include swimming, dodgeball, baking, board games, traditional family games, quiz evenings, movie nights and many more. We encourage the boarders to make suggestions about what they enjoy doing together and we do our best to accommodate these requests. We run collaborative reward schemes which help the children work together to create a kind and happy living environment, as well as a tidy one!
We would actively encourage parents to come and visit our two boarding houses and to talk to us about our boarding provision in relation to their child. We welcome the sharing of as much information as possible so that we can provide the best level of care and help each child to get the most from their boarding experience.
Alastair and Caragh Bowden, Head of Boys’ Boarding
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