The Sixth Form Boarding Experience

Boarding at Heden HallWe caught up with Harry Collins, Deputy Head Boy and Captain of the rugby 1st XV to find out what it is like to board at Heden Hall, Seaford College’s boarding house for students in the Upper Sixth.

For how long have you boarded at Seaford?
For seven years, as a weekly boarder. I am now in the Sixth Form studying A Level Geography, Business Studies and PE.

What was it like moving away from home to board?
I started boarding when I was 11. When I first arrived they made it clear that students do get homesick, but there were just so many things to do all of the time, I got distracted from ever feeling homesick. It was really nice, I really settled in very quickly, it’s like a massive sleepover and I really enjoyed it. Boarding makes you a lot more organised, and all the facilities you need are onsite, which is fantastic.

How does boarding at Heden Hall compare to your experience of boarding at the other houses?
Heden is a lot more grown-up. Everyone in Heden is deciding what they want to do in the future: whether they’re going to university, having a gap year, or getting an army scholarship. If you want to go to university, then you have to put the work in. Mr Phillips makes that really clear, and he really motivates us. You can sit in your room and watch a film or you can work really hard to achieve what you want. Also, Heden is the first time we all get to board together, as before we were divided into East and West Boarding Houses. I will really miss it.

Do you think Heden is good preparation for university halls?
Heden definitely prepares you for university life; it’s really up to you to do the work. Mr Phillips really sets that mentality, he says it’s really good step between school and university. We’re not spoon fed, we have independence and we are learning about organisation and preparation, so we are really young adults now.

How do you balance your A Levels with your other activities?
I play a lot of rugby, and during the season I will train every day. I get a lot of support with my timetable from my teachers, and I make sure that I get work done in my free periods. I also have prep for 2 ½ hours in Heden every evening, so Seaford really helps me to balance my work with my rugby.

What do you like about Mr Phillips’ ( longstanding houseparent at Heden Hall) style as a houseparent?
I like his humour, and he’s a very disciplined man. He likes everyone to give as much as they can, and he will put in everything he can to help you succeed. He’s a very good speaker and really motivates you to do well. He tells us if you want something, there is nothing that will stop you. He’s a really good bloke.

Do you think you will be lifelong friends with the other boarders?
They’re really good mates, and I would definitely see most of them as lifelong friends. I’ve also got to know people I didn’t really know properly before, so we are a really strong group of about forty boys.

Mr Phillips runs an open door policy and often boarders will come to his office after prep for a chat. Do you enjoy these conversations and the debates with the other boarders? What do you get from them?
It’s really good to go to his office after a long day, and Mr Phillips is really approachable. At other schools, housemasters are really strict and very much a disciplinarian, so it’s good to have a housemaster who is so approachable. I will definitely stay in touch with him after I leave Seaford.

What are the main benefits of boarding at Seaford?
It’s very good from a work perspective. You get the work done, and I think that if you’re a day pupil it’s harder, you go home and eat and lounge about. Also, there are all the activities, you’re never bored. Like I said before, it’s like a sleepover with all of your mates, and there’s never a dull moment.

Read about how Seaford helps Harry balance his A levels and rugby CLICK HERE

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