Prep School Boarding FAQs
How will boarding affect my child?
Boarding children grow in confidence, as they learn to take responsibility for themselves. They become more independent as they progress up the school and more organised. They learn to get to the right place at the right time with the right equipment and kit. Living in a community also encourages understanding, respect and consideration of others.
Children love spending time with their friends and enjoy a good social life as boarders. Without the daily travel they have more free time. This means time to spend with friends, better access to a wide range of activities and an ability to use the fantastic facilities available at the Prep School.
Why should I consider a boarding education at Gresham’s?
There are many reasons why a family would choose to send their child as a boarder to Gresham’s Prep. The school is located in an area of outstanding beauty close to the beautiful North Norfolk coast. This provides wonderful opportunities for pupils who board to take advantage of trips to the beach after class in the warmer terms.
Many children who board have said they miss their friends when they go home highlighting the strong friendships which are made with both peers and staff.
The busy school day often lends itself well to boarding life where pupils involved in sporting fixtures away at other schools or music/drama productions have the benefit to board at school reducing more time spent in the car journey home.
What do boarders do at weekends?
There is always a lot for boarders to do at weekends. After lessons on Saturday morning there are activities and sport in the afternoon. Many boarders go out on Sundays with parents and friends. For those staying in there are special activities and trips organised many which attract day pupils to board! There are home weekends twice a term providing a break from school life and a chance to relax at home, however, boarders may choose to stay at the school on home weekends.
What do you do for those children who are home sick?
The boarding staff is very experienced and are used to dealing with children who may be away from home for the first time. Our warm and caring house ethos ensures that children are well looked after and given the care and attention they need to settle smoothly and quickly. The school day is a busy and buzzing one and children will enviably find themselves immersed in school life very quickly.
What boarding options are available?
Pupils can choose to board termly, weekly or flexi-board a few days a week. Some pupils start off with flexi boarding in Year 3 and then increase this as they progress through the school. There are two home weekends each term providing a welcome break for children to spend time with their families and relax at home.
Are boarding pupils required to have a guardian?
The UK Boarding Schools’ Association states: “For many from abroad, their guardian is their parent’s representative in this country, essential in time of crisis or need for support and advice, and available not only to the pupil but also to the School as a proxy for the parents who cannot be contacted. For others, their guardian is the person with whom they stay during school holidays, when it is not practicable to return to their parental home.”
We ask parents of overseas pupils to appoint such guardians and register them with us as part of the entry process to the School. A list of agencies offering guardianship can be provided, on request.
How will I know when my child is selected to play in a match or perform in a school play?
Your child will be able to check the Notices board outside the School Hall for productions or outside the Library for sports fixtures. This will provide match start times and pick up times.
How much contact will I have with my child who is boarding?
Boarders can have frequent contact with their parents. Each boarder has their own email address and can send/receive emails at any of the school’s computers. They can also use the boarding house school phone to call home. We are also delighted to welcome parents to the school to see their children take part in sports fixtures, musical and dramatic productions, or to watch one of the house events which take place throughout the school year.
How much contact do parents have with staff?
The Prep School sees boarding as a partnership between parents and the school and we are always happy to speak to parents about progress or any issues or concerns they may have. Parents first point of contact is with the boarders’ houseparents/housemaster via telephone or email. In addition, each pupil will also have a tutor allocated to them when they start the new school year who will have responsibility for them across the school year. Each tutor will introduce themselves to parents at the start of the academic term in September.
If my child needs to speak to someone, who should they talk to?
If a boarder has a problem/worry there are a variety of staff they can talk to. Such as their tutor, houseparents/master or matron. Children meet with their tutors regularly and Houseparents/master and therefore there are lots of opportunities to raise any concerns.
If we are considering boarding when is the best time to visit and talk to staff?
Formal visits can be arranged through one of our Open Days which take place in the Spring and Autumn terms. Alternatively, you can always arrange an informal visit where we can arrange for you to have a tour, visit the boarding houses and get a feel for the school.
There are also a number of opportunities to sample boarding through one of our popular boarding taster weekends. Details of these weekends are available through the Admissions section of the school website or by contacting the Prep School office. If you decide your child would like to join Gresham’s Prep they may also have a taster day where they can immerse themselves in school life for a day.