Your children's experiences on boarding schools

(9 Posts)
Dreamgirls234 Wed 16-Apr-14 20:25:25

Hi all

Dd is off to boarding school (ackworth) she's never boarded before.shes be going for a taster week beginning 27th April for a week. Just looking for hints/tips for her as she's suffered a lot if bullying and I'm wondering if you would share your children's stories of boarding school.

FatFrumpyFilly Wed 16-Apr-14 23:33:44

Congratulations to DD!

Tell DD to join in with all that's on offer and don't phone home constantly. When DS started boarding he phoned me practically every night. It wasn't helpful as he was not fully engaging with what was going on in house and it made him incredibly homesick.

Best of luck to you both

happygardening Thu 17-Apr-14 00:24:57

The danger of this thread OP is that all the anti boarding brigade will come out of the wood work. I hope for your sake they don't but if they do just ignore them the vast majority don't know what they're talking about.
Haven't you asked something similar before? I'm only asking because I don't want to patronise you by repeating myself!

Kenlee Thu 17-Apr-14 00:39:06

My daughter is two terms into full boarding. You will find that bullying is not tolerated but it does happen. I would say the best tip is to let pastoral care take care of it. We are still in the process of learning how to deal with certain situations. Its not all rose petals and scented water. However my daughter is now more confident and self reliant.

She says sometimes she hates boarding but on the whole its a lot of fun. She has a close set of friends who all have different quirks. They argue sometimes and still whatsapp each other through the holidays.

If your daughter has been bullied then I suggest telling pastoral care and they will pair her with a kind shadow. So she will have a great time. It will all be new for her and she will find her niche friends...It will be fun for her...

MillyMollyMama Thu 17-Apr-14 01:06:48

I read your earlier post about what to take. I agree with Kenlee that boarding schools have their fair share of bullies. They can be just as bad as anywhere else so the most important thing is to build up resilience, let comments float over her and find like minded friends. She may also encounter political views she is not so keen on. My DDs especially noticed this in the 6th form. You should get to know the Housemistress as well as you can because she has. It's day to day contact with your DD. Always attend house events so you are part of the supporting parent scene. Your DD will get a flavour of it when she tries it out anyway. Mine never did that so she is lucky a whole week is on offer. Also, look very closely at what the other girls are wearing during the week. Fitting in is fairly important when boarding. Girls eye each other up and make judgements very quickly!

happygardening Thu 17-Apr-14 08:09:48

Look on it as a fresh start, encourage her to put behind her what happened at the other school. I agree tell her house mistress but I wouldn't at this stage make any more of what happened then this.
Milly and Kenlee are right boarding schools have their fair share of bullies and of course it's harder to escape! She needs to be a bit thick skinned, my DS will tell you don't rise to any remarks she doesn't like, let it wash over her, most will then get bored, children usually only continue with jokey/unkind comments if they can see it upsets you. She's also not going to like everyone, she needs to ignore those who she finds irritating the likelihood is that they'll be at least one, and also if necessary literally walk away from those she doesn't like. As I think I've said to you before my apparently exceedingly popular DS will also say don't try too hard to be liked, watch and let them come to you, and most importantly tell her to be herself. I think you've stated on a previous thread that your getting help with the fees, tell her also not to be over impressed by those who clearly have lots of money, this does not make them better people. It's inevitable that children will compare houses etc, they look each other's homes up on google earth, discuss their next holiday, girls in particular will discuss clothes, jewellery etc. but not having lots of possessions or living in a twenty bedroomed pile will not make her any less popular.
There is always going to be a bit of banter, as there would be between brothers and sisters at home you daughter also mustn't run off to the house staff as soon as something is said that she doesn't like, there is at all boarding schools the unwritten rules; never tell, I'm not saying she shouldn't say anything if the others are really upsetting her but not for every trivial comment or as importantly minor misdemeanour that she see's anyone getting up to. Boarding is about the bonds formed between the group if someone is constantly running to house staff that bond will I can assure you never be formed and she will remain outside of the group.
You need to believe in what your doing, don't cry when you drop her off, I'm not against parents showing their emotions to their children but there are times when they need to see you are being positive, of course tell her you going to miss her, but I've seen in the past mothers who are virtually hysterical, children worry if they think your upset she's got enough to settling into school without constantly worrying that you're really upset. Don't keep phoning if course send txts or what ever but don't bombard her, say one in the morning, and one in the evening, she needs to concentrate on settling into school not communicating with you all the time. Arrange a time and day that you going to call, try and leave it 3-4 days, pick a time when she's likely to be free, after dinner and before prep in the evening is a good time or after prep and before bed, don't over interrogate her, or try and talk for hours, boarding is exhausting especially in the beginning.
Don't try and micro manage her life from a distance your drive yourself, her and the house staff up the wall, she'll make mistakes in the beginning this us normal, let her work things out for herself, and don't email/contact house staff morning noon and night you will really drive them up the wall, leave them to concentrate on the children in their care. No news is good news. Trust that they are doing the right thing for your DD.
Many children take at least two terms to settle, even the most hardened boarders wobble at times, don't panic if she's tearful, give it a chance to work.
Good luck.

Dreamgirls234 Thu 17-Apr-14 09:00:00

Thankyou
The pastoral head is brilliant! When we looked round he said if she has any problems she must go to him and they will solve it.i think she will enjoy it. She's just a little worried about being bullied again. From her taster day she met a young lady who has Famous relatives and is a little naughty the other girls told her if she sleeps in a room with her she won't let her go to sleep and the girl usually goes to the boys rooms as she knows the password.Is this worth mentioning I wouldn't like her in a room with her? Or is it just a girl boasting?

happygardening Thu 17-Apr-14 10:01:09

Dont mention knowing passwords etc
1. Children always gossip and chat about other children, they all live together half of it will be untrue, children also like to wind up new children this is normal 2. house staff aren't stupid they know who's nice, popular, well behaved, naughty, let them allocate rooms etc. let it just evolve, don't start off sticking your 2p into the situation. I'm sure everything will be fine.

derektheladyhamster Tue 22-Apr-14 14:16:26

Absolutely agree with Happy. Do not get involved with who she shares a room with. There will always be some children that are naughty/very untidy/ unpopular. The house staff do know this and rotate rooms quite regularly in my experience.

Can I ask (having spent all morning nagging girls to tidy their rooms,take down/collect laundry) that she keeps all her stuff tidy and all clothes/books/possessions are named.

Also, do not take too many items if tidiness is not a strong point.

Matrons are there to chat and help wink

Remember, no news is good news grin

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now