The house has been open since May 2011, when we only had 26 boys in total. We now have over 40 full time boarders, 4 of them being international; two are from Germany, one from Spain and the other one is from Russia. All the boys board Monday to Friday (except the International Boarders) and we have various boys flexi-boarding one or two nights a week.
The boarding house is warm and welcoming. We want the boys to feel like it is their home, but with an underlying level of strictness. We feel that the boys need guide lines, rules and regulations. We run a no-shoes policy in the house, which has worked very well, as it keeps the whole house clean and tidy. Their rooms are inspected every morning and boys are expected to make their beds and keep their rooms tidy.
We have set meeting times, where we take role call and discuss any problems or any achievements the boys may have received during the course of the day. We check on our Internal IT System and check their day books, which is comments from teachers. So any problems, which occurred during the day, we can then tackle that night. All boys have to do prep every evening, which is monitored, and if they need assistance we are on hand to help. We keep in close communication with the Teaching Staff so as to try and help them, as well as the boys. Their homework is signed off each evening and once they have completed their work, they are then allowed to go out and have a bit of free time in the evenings.
Boys love the evening activity time, as it gives them the opportunity to go to the gym or the sports hall etc. On a Thursday evening, we have an inter-house football competition between our house and Walled Garden West. The boys love the competiveness of the game and strive to win – the whole house is there either watching and cheering or participating. Every week we try and bake something home made for the boys, they have had cream scones night, pancake evening, fudge etc. The boys love this and are really appreciative.
We try and make it as homely as possible. We have two little sausage dogs, and they just love the boys. Lots of the boys respond really well to Fifi, as they miss their own pets from home. Each boy is very special in his own way and we wouldn’t swap them for the world!