My DD will be boarding for year 7

(25 Posts)
happygardening Mon 11-Mar-13 09:19:00

"btw are 4g mobiles allowed at school...so she can get on the net without using the school wifi?"
I've just discovered that there is no wifi at my DS's boarding school to stop them accessing the internet through their phones. All schools have different policies this is why its important to ask the things that matter to you before you arrive especially if your coming from abroad. I couldnt care less about wifi but then I live in the UK.

yotty Sun 10-Mar-13 19:44:43

Goinggetstough, I agree with you I think this particular incident was rather unfortunate. I think the plane had left Gatwick, then returned because of bad weather at destination, then sat on the ground for a bit, then snow came down at Gatwick. I think on long haul flights I would be a little more concerned about the plane being diverted, but I don't want to stress the OP. If she travels as unaccompanied minor for the next couple of years she will be fine. She may find there are other children at her school who come from the same place and they can arrange to travel together, which is what seems to happen round here. The older children then look after the younger ones.

goinggetstough Sun 10-Mar-13 11:03:27

Yotty unless it has changed whoever checks the DC in at the airport is responsible for that DC until the plane takes off. This may have just been a British Airways policy but we were not meant to leave the airport until the plane had flown if they were unaccompanied minors.

However, your point is very valid if once on the plane it is diverted. Having said that my DCs would be described as very compliant but they would have been seriously unimpressed if at 14 they had been confined to the unaccompanied minors' lounge at Gatwick and not allowed to go anywhere without a chaperone. Just so you don't think we abandon our DCs without a thought when they did fly alone, they had certain rules to follow eg had to go through security immediately. They texted us to say they were at the gate etc..

yotty Sun 10-Mar-13 10:51:46

We live outside UK and although my DC are not boarders yet, I know plenty who fly to the UK for school. The parents really recommend booking the children as unaccompanied minors for as long as possible because once they are checked in at the airport the airline is responsible for them, so if there is a problem and the plane is severely delayed or diverted the airline have to help. I know a child who got stuck at Gatwick due to snow and she couldn't check into a hotel for the night unaccompanied because she was under 16. Her guardian couldn't get to the airport because of the snow. In the end a member of airline staff had to stay with her in the hotel room. She was 14 at the time, if she had not been booked as unaccompanied she would have been left to fend for herself!

LIZS Sun 10-Mar-13 08:22:09

At dc school new boarders arrive a few days prior to beginning of term for induction and general socialisation and they can be kitted out at the nominated shop at that time . If you can come over a bit beforehand you may find that there are get-togethers for day pupils which you could join and meet other parents/pupils . Can you speak to head of the boarding house as I expect they are very careful and have policies about pocket money and valuables, use of wifi and phones etc.

Kenlee Sat 09-Mar-13 09:28:34

Thank you going.....

I will be putting her on a direct long haul flight a bit more expensive but it does save me worrying. I think after one year she should have got the hang of it as she will fly back at Christams, Easter and summer holidays.

goinggetstough Sat 09-Mar-13 08:46:58

MOBILE PHONES: At both My DC's boarding schools smart phones have been allowed and they do have Internet access. They were restrictions though obviously on when they were allowed to use them ie during lessons and the school day. Obviously some schools don't allow them as HG mentioned but I would imagine that was hard to police.

AIRPORT RUNS: As previous posters have mentioned all schools are different. We found the airport run very expensive as overseas parents.Some posters have said that their schools use school minibuses none of ours have. This is mainly because overseas students fly at a variety of times. It was never a problem though. All three of our schools have used CRB checked taxi companies that the school obviously know. At prep school the DCs were taxied to the airport and met by a Gap student who was there all day and checked the DCs in if they were unaccompanied minors.

Unaccompanied minors usually go up to age 12. So your year seven DD will be fine. Of course you can be an unaccompanied minor until you are 16, but I think that would be difficult to persuade a 13/14 year old after they had been doIng the flight for a few years that it was necessary. Our DCs up to age 16 though were only doing short haul flights.

WishIdbeenatigermum Sat 09-Mar-13 06:59:22

kenlee I wouldn't encourage internet access, not via the school intranet- Facebook will be disallowed and the whole system will be switched off by midnight- which may seem inconvenient, but will actually encourage her to integrate and help with homesickness.
Ask the school all these questions. It's their job to reassure you and they should have ready answers- they're important!

RichManPoorManBeggarmanThief Sat 09-Mar-13 01:52:13

I would seriously doubt it. They don't want them FB'ing all through class grin

Again though, this is something you'd have to ask the school in question.

Kenlee Sat 09-Mar-13 01:32:33

I seriously hope I can too....

btw are 4g mobiles allowed at school...so she can get on the net without using the school wifi?v

WishIdbeenatigermum Fri 08-Mar-13 12:14:15

Hope you can accompany her- as happy says upthread, not all parents do, but I think for the first time you should.

Kenlee Fri 08-Mar-13 11:17:18

Thank you all so much...I think Ill ring the school and ask them. I think I will try to take a holiday.for.her induction ...but hopefully it will be quick....

PeriPathetic Fri 08-Mar-13 10:40:33

You need to talk to the school AND, to ease your mind, the airline you'll be using.

Unaccompanied minors are taken right the way through the airport and onto the plane. They are only handed (at destination) over to the person specified on the booking. And you do have to book this yourself, so you can talk to them then about the details.

happygardening Fri 08-Mar-13 10:36:18

No not all parents from abroad do attend house induction days the two from abroad in my DS's house/year didn't.

happygardening Fri 08-Mar-13 10:34:57

We were told how much money to give my DS a term and I think they must never have more than £10 in cash on them. Big amount must be lodged with house bank. Mob phones are meant to be cheap and simple and the boys are not allowed to access the Internet through them and the Internet is exceedingly heavily filtered.

WishIdbeenatigermum Fri 08-Mar-13 10:30:41

I would move heaven and earth to accompany her. Most boarding schools have induction for parents too and I'm pretty sure most parents attend.

Kenlee Fri 08-Mar-13 10:27:17

Thank you..you all make it seems so simple. It probably is but as a doting father. I do worry. When children go through.immigration at Heathrow do they get the airline to escort the kids to the gate. Also when they reach the other side do they get help going through immigration and collecting their luggage?

Apart from this I have no more questions..Although my DD has travelled a lot. I would still prefer her to be escorted.

I do realize that Priorsfield has good pastoral care so Im quite confident that she will be ok once at the school.

Agree with everything HG says- I have DCs in two different boarding schools and the rules/requirements are quite different. DDs school ( senior) specifies must have lap top as so much communication is done via email etc. DS school official policy is that not really necessary until perhaps Year 11, as there are PCs in house etc, but in reality it soon became clear that most people had them and it was useful for research, preparing presentations and many teachers allow use of them to write up and submit prep.

Most schools seem to have policies on internet use and use proxy servers which limit the type of material/sites which can be accessed. For example at DS school no Facebook, where at DD school it is only switched on after prep at 8.45 and only for 2 hours. Lots of other sites are blocked too. Skype usually allowed too,although at DS s school limited to Chat and not allowed to video call as the bandwidth at school wont support it.

Re the spending money you need to find out what has to come out of this - if it is purely tuck, then obviously your choice as to how much you want her to spend on sweets etc At DS school he uses his house bank money for Dress Down day charity money, sometimes there are things to buy ( charity cake sale/glowsticks at bonfire night/christmas fair/ cinema trip etc) so it varies a bit. Your daughters House Mistress will have a good idea of what the average amounts people spend are.

Oh and if it is a school with a lot of international pupils they will have the airport despatch/pick up down to a fine art- it works really well at both my DCs schools with buses taking to airport, staff on board to supervise at the other end and the same in reverse.

happygardening Fri 08-Mar-13 06:48:53

I agree contact the school your questions are quite specific and there is tremendous variation between schools, for example my DS's school doesn't allow lap tops for the first five terms and this could also apply if your sending you DD to a prep in this situation there will be communal computers in a boarding house/school. It probably worth asking if there are any other children in your DD's year from your country. With regard to money again if it's a prep they maybe strongly discouraged or even not allowed to have any money and often the amount of cash they are allowed is very restricted. I know your keen to get organised but it's quite normal for kit list information etc not to be sent to new parents until nearly the end of the summer term. This information will also tell you what and where to buy the uniform again if it's a prep it may not be that near by the uniform shop for my DS's prep was 130 miles away but the mail order service was very efficient. Many children at prep wear second hand uniform much of which may be virtually unworn because they grow so quickly and the school will usually have it and organise it.

Kenlee Fri 08-Mar-13 00:01:06

Thank you for you prompt replies. ..

I think I am just a tad apprehensive about my DD starting school.

Mutteroo Thu 07-Mar-13 23:32:00

May I suggest you contact the school with some of your questions as they should be able to inform you what their policy is on pocket money and other such things. A few answers i can help with are; all schools have wifi and so please don't worry about this. As for laptops. Most kids have their own nowadays. The school may offer a collection service from the airport. I know both my children's schools did and I've not heard about any that don't?

It's a nerve wracking time for you and your daughter but this time next year you won't believe how easy it was to transition.

toastedteacake Thu 07-Mar-13 23:26:03

If the school is used to dealing with international students they will arrange transport and chaperone to Heathrow. You can book a chaperone service with the airlines for the flight, cost is about £30 I think.

The school may have their own shop on the premises or an approved supplier. It is usually the school housekeeping staff who sew in name labels. At my DD's school, if you are not able to visit the school before the term starts they would ensure that everything was ready and waiting.

I would say most boarding schools have wi-fi. If a laptop is a requirement it will be on the Uniform List. Most boarding schools would have at least 1 or more computer suites that pupils are allowed to use, particularly international students who can 'skype' home.

Kenlee Thu 07-Mar-13 23:00:13

Thanks....

I would also like to know the procedure on her return flight to Hong Kong...I dont want her getting lost at Heathrow.

Thank you for you reply toastedteacake.

Basically I just buy her uniforms online and they should be there when we get there.

Another question is do most boarding schools have wifi and is it necessary to have a lap top?

toastedteacake Thu 07-Mar-13 22:30:55

The school should give you help with this. Ask their admissions dept.

Boarders usually aim to be in UK a couple of days before term starts Uniform is fitted either during Summer break or can be ordered to be available when your DD arrives. This would be complete with name tags.

The school will also provide a list of other items needed i.e. Two lots of bed linen, towels, under wear and suitable clothing for when not in uniform, wellies, waterproofs, etc.

£20 per 1/2 term is generous as pocket money. This buys plenty of tuck. The younger years. age 11-13, are not really interested in much else.

Kenlee Thu 07-Mar-13 22:12:07

My DD will be boarding this September as I work in another country 7000 miles away. My brother will be her guardian. I was just wondering had anyone else experience this.

Information such as when should I take her back to England to start the term.

When should I buy her uniform.

How much money is reasonable to leave her as spending money.

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