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Day Girl in a predominantly boarding school(12 Posts)
Does anyone have any experience of what it's like for their child to be a Day Student in a boarding school?
I was wondering if its harder to integrate socially as dd will be coming home each night.
Any other things to be aware of?
My DS is in this situation and it is fine. The school day and activities is planned around the boarders so there is Saturday morning school and long days until 7.15pm 3 days per week, 4.30 the other days (he is in Yr 7, it gets later as they get older). By that time he has done all his sport, his homework and had his dinner at school so comes home and either relaxes with tv/ xbox or does other out of school activities such as Scouts.
So really he comes home mainly to sleep and there is little difference between the time he spends at school and the boarders other than Sundays (although they have church once a month as well which the day boys must attend). He has made friends with both day and boarding pupils and we often have boarders round for tea or a Sunday afternoon- they are glad for a break from school and a change of scene.
DS is in this situation. Socially he is fine but you realise as they get older that they are second class citizens. Your DD will never be head girl, captain of sports, head of house, prefect etc.
Think this really depends on the school but as oshgosh said, I have heard of some who as they get older become more unnoticed and less active members of the school. Once they are older boarding becomes more social as they stay up later. I would recommend against it unless they will board once they are older.
I think it depends on the school. I have a friend whose daughter was one of 7 day children in a school of 750. They live right opposite the school quad and the daughter regularly walks past her own house when changing lessons. My son is at the school so I know the structure of the day. Lessons finish at 5, tea is at 6, prep is from 7-9.Bed at 9:45 for the youngest year group. it is a full on day. My friend's daughter was in house from 7am for breakfast and did not leave until almost 10 every night. Saturday school with compulsory games until 5 on Saturdays. After a year, the daughter became a boarder as she felt she missed out on a lot of friendships, mutual experiences - even though she was at the school for the whole day. She is much happier as a boarder and feels totally part of the community. it really does depend on the structure of the school and the extent to which she will be in the minority as a day girl.If she will be one of a very few, she might find it very hard.
"I was wondering if its harder to integrate socially as dd will be coming home each night."
Sadly that is what happened with my cousin's daughter. She ended up moving schools because she couldn't settle and was bullied.
I think the crucial things are a) the ratio of boarders to day pupils and b) how the day pupils are integrated into the school. At DS' school ( where he was a boarder but is now a day pupil) day pupils belong to a house, register in the morning in house, have a share of a study bedroom and are welcome to stay over to take part in social activities etc whenever. DS feels like he is part of the full school experience and again we often have full boarders over for supper or some time at the weekend.
I was a day pupil at a boarding school (my mother taught there). Day girls were outnumbered about five to one, and there was a social divide. I got on fine with some of the boarders, but my closest friends were all other day girls.
However, judging by what I've seen/heard about my old school more recently, they do seem to be making an effort to get people more integrated - but that involves getting day girls in to do activities at weekends, or doing sleepovers at school a few times a term. That might be more involvement with school than you want, and I am sure that to some extent a divide is still inevitable.
Thanks for the insights.
Dh is a teacher at the school. We live around 45 mins away and boarding won't ever be an option for financial reasons. We live too far to have people round for tea, even if they were allowed out
The school day is long until 6pm 3 days a weekand Saturday mornings. The boarders are bussed in each morning from the boarding house.
The plan is to see if dd can have her evening meal at school as dh finished at 6.30pm and do her homework there.
There is no sport and I don't know if there is a house system. It's a very small specialist. school, one or two classes per year group I think.
Nearly all of the children on dd's course will be boarders maybe 1 or two per year who arnt. There will be others on different courses who don't board. Dd will share academic classes with some of them.
It sounds like it's not a standard boarding school, so might be smaller and friendlier anyway. I don't think the possibility of feeling slightly left out is worth rejecting the school for, specially if your DH is going to be teaching there and you think the school would suit her in other ways. Do you have local fall-back options if you decide after a year or two that it is not working?
We've just rejected a place at a local independent school do she could go there.
Dd is extremely excited - this is her dream come true school so we want to make it work.
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