The wonderful life of a boarder

Boarding has gone from strength to strength in the past 12 months at Hatherop and we now have over 40 boarders in the school. With the amount of girls now boarding at its highest level ever, I took some time out to chat with a few of them to see how they find boarding at Hatherop.

What type of boarding do you all do and why?

We are both full boarders, both our parents work in the RAF so we board full time as sometimes they are posted away.

D: I have just started boarding this term so I am still settling in but I like that my bed is next to my friends.

J: I have already been boarding for a whole year so this is my second year of boarding.  The good thing about full time boarding is we get to go to all the boarding trips at the weekend which is really fun.

What has changed in the boarding house?

J: The girl and boy dorms have been separated now so we have more privacy and space and we can have it just as we like it.  They have completely redecorated all of the top corridor also. We still do lots together as a whole house with all the boys and girls together such as movie nights and games which is really nice as lots of the boys are our friends.

D: We now also have a phone where we can call Mrs Holmes if we need her for something or if anything is the matter.  We used to have walkie talkies but a phone is a lot better.  It is also good because the senior girls have their own room, as do the prep 8 girls so we all have a lot more privacy.  We can visit each other and visit the boys’ dorms but we have to ask permission from them.

J: It is also a lot homelier now because they have changed all the beds and they have just ordered some new bedding to match the dorm a little better.  We are also allowed to put our own things on the walls if we use blue tac which is great because then it feels more like home.

D: It is also good because I can bring all my teddies with me!  This is Polar, Mrs Biggy, Big Biggy and snowy.

So, do you prefer it all being separate now?

Yes and no, it is good because we have our own common room just for girls and they have the same for the boys but they still have all the hot chocolate! We would like some of their hot chocolate for our room!

What is the difference between middle school and upper school boarding?

J: It is fun because we are a little older but it is also a little more stressful as we have a lot more prep to do in the evenings.  You do get to go to bed a little later though because you have more to do in the evenings and they are a lot busier.

D: Yes, so because we are now senior school boarders, when the middle school children go up for showers we do 45 minutes of more prep because we have more homework now we are in Senior School.  A teacher will sit with us and support us for it and if we are working on the same prep as someone else we are allowed to work together quietly.

What are the expectations of you now from the staff for being in Upper School?

D: We have to do a lot more things by ourselves without having to be asked.  They also expect us to be organized with everything.

J: Yes, we have to make sure we remember to strip our own beds and must make sure our rooms are tidy before we leave to go downstairs for the day.  We also have to take care of our own things and make sure everything is put way safely each day.  We have to be a lot more independent in the way we behave.

What trips are you most looking forward to?

Both: The escape rooms!! We cannot wait for that! We are also really excited about the Go Karting in a few weeks.

Have you been horse riding yet?

J: I go horse riding, it is really fun and we get the same horse for a few weeks in a row so we get to know the horse.  Then at the end of the course we all go on a much longer hack and then we get a rosette at the end of it.

What is the best bit about boarding?

Both: The hoverboards! We absolutely love them.

D: Plus, I have been allowed to bring my own in with me so we are allowed to go out on it in the evenings.  It is also really fun that we can explore the grounds in the evenings on our bikes and have the whole castle to ourselves.

Finally, if you could ask Mr Reed for anything for the boarders what would it be?

Both: It would be really good to be able to do even more horse riding and trips, they are so much fun!