Advanced search

Thread For Boarders

(827 Posts)
morethanpotatoprints Mon 01-Jun-15 11:33:24

Just thought I'd start a support thread for those either starting this september or established boarders happy to help those with many queries.

There are quite often individual threads for particular schools but it doesn't necessarily say whether boarding, day, private or state in the title. So I thought this would be a good way of getting us all together and also for those people from overseas looking for particular types of schools.

My dd is starting in sept and will weekly board, atm I am gathering uniform and other essential items and will begin the labelling process soon.
I do quite like this as sad as it seems, I find hand sewing very therapeutic and relaxing for some reason. grin

Kenlee Mon 01-Jun-15 13:05:38

Good luck daughter is at an excellent boarding school which has suited her to a T. She really enjoys it. I hope your DC will find the same amout of enjoyment.

I just want someone to tell me how do I prevent my DD from losing her knickers at the school laundry. Even though we had labelled it. I'm very sure her M and S knickers can't be that coveted.

morethanpotatoprints Mon 01-Jun-15 14:23:58

Ha Ha, that's funny.
the secret of the missing M&S Knickers.
Do you know if they wash them in a net?
I went and bought a couple in case she has laundry done at school, but believe most of it will come home at weekend.
At least it should keep them together and safe.

DarklingJane Mon 01-Jun-15 17:49:19

Morethan, I'm at the other end of it from you - DS is just finishing 6th form. It's been a really positive experience. Good luck with the labelling. I just wish I had know about the laundry net for their socks before he went because no-on (surely not even you smile ) can find sewing labels into socks therapeutic.

morethanpotatoprints Mon 01-Jun-15 18:36:12


I may live to regret that comment as dd hasn't been at school for 3 years so have had no labelling and have never had any on this scale.
I used to do it whilst watching tv and challenge myself to get the stitches very small.
I am not domesticated in any other way and hate housework grin, can't abide ironing.
Good luck to your ds, what does he plan to do next? I guess its uni? It's lovely to hear he had such a positive experience.

Pepperpot69 Mon 01-Jun-15 18:44:01

morethan I challenge you to post back in September to say you still enjoy sewing lanes in socks! At least girls have tights, sadly I have 2 ds - nightmare! Def opting for the laundry net when we move to senior school.

morethanpotatoprints Mon 01-Jun-15 18:57:07


dd will be wearing trousers as she is Big Band/ Jazz. don't ask grin
We are very lucky the uniform is cheap and can mostly be bought anywhere except for a jumper or blazer and one pair sports pants needing a logo.

I'm not sure I'll bother with socks, just put her on threat of death if she doesn't keep them together in a net, to bring home. grin
I was told the net is my friend.

happygardening Mon 01-Jun-15 19:14:53

morethan perhaps you could sell your label sewing in skills then you'd get therapy and money.
You're very organised I sew mine in on the day he goes back to school in September!
Our net bags are provided so I don't label socks or underpants.
Top tips:
Get a light tough wheels suitcase don't waste your money on expensive trunks and purchase a lockable tuck box an absolute essential for your private possessions.
Don't cry when you drop them off.
When you drop them off don't hang around for ages, offer to help them unpack and then go.
Don't keep calling them all the time, remember no news is good news.
Be positive, view it as a positive life changing opportunity, it will go wrong on occasions but generally try and stick with this view don't start being negative the moment anything goes wrong.
Many boarders take two terms to settle only if they're still desperately miserable after two terms start considering if your doing the right thing.

DarklingJane Mon 01-Jun-15 19:23:58

Yes, morethan, fingers crossed, touch wood etc, as long as he gets the right results from these exams then he will be off to University in the Autumn. Sorry if you've posted this a zillion times before, but is dd Home Ed? I assume from the Big Band comment it is a specialist music school. DS is just straightforward boarding school, but the boarding aspects will be much the same.
I don't want to make this into a labelling thread smile but if she is going to use the school laundry it really helps them if you can sew the label where it is easy for the staff dealing with it are used to looking. EG I had decided sewing into the back of the elasticated waistband for boxers was harder than sewing on the side seam or hem with no elastic. Got a request from Ds from school - could you sew the labels in the back of the waistband blush. fair enough - their job must be hard enough sorting out 100s of pairs.

But if you have any other non-labelling related questions - do ask grin

DarklingJane Mon 01-Jun-15 19:27:05

Just to quickly say I agree with HG about not buying expensive trunks. Apart from anything else the storage may be limited. Ds has a huge strong hold-all type thing which can be folded up for storing in the house.

morethanpotatoprints Mon 01-Jun-15 19:27:27

Thank you hg

I hoped my tactic of starting a thread would bring you out.
Hope you are well my love.

I was going to be that mum who was the last to leave, I was planning how long I could drag it out for. grin
I was thinking of how not to cry, even though she'll be back every weekend grin
I was planning on calling, well at least texting daily.

Oh, god I was nearly one of those mothers. Thank you.

Tough wheel suitcase on the list, she nearly broke her last one in 3 days. There are lots of cobbles.
I hadn't thought of a tuck box, now I'm having visions of midnight feasts.

Would I embarrass dd if I send her back Sunday night with homemade fruit cakes, chocolate cakes etc for her friends who fully board?

morethanpotatoprints Mon 01-Jun-15 19:33:09


Yes, she's the h.ed one.
Apparently according to the school it is wait for it, drum roll......

"The largest specialist Music School in the uk, attracting students from all over the UK and abroad, with approx 300 children between the ages of 8 and 18". I'm so proud grin

No it's all bravado, I'm so used to having her around and will miss her so much sad

morethanpotatoprints Mon 01-Jun-15 19:42:03


just thought of one.

Secret passageway/ short cut from school to Starbucks, younger ones allowed out with 6th formers.
Would your typical 6th formers allow dc to drink coffee to keep the annoying brats quiet or would they be a bit more responsible and does Starbucks sell anything else only caffeine related drinks.
I have visions of dd being hyped up well after lights out.

DarklingJane Mon 01-Jun-15 20:21:22

Congratulations - How old is dd if you don't mind me asking. DS did not go to boarding school until he was 13.

So re the Starbucks thing - I am afraid de-caff coffee etc is not my speciality (far from) but a quick google found this

So if it still true then , then she would be able to get a de-caffeinated drink.

Re the 6th formers. It depends. If I had to say, I suspect the first thing on their mind would not be to ask round about decaffeinated drinks - so I would (if it were me) assume dd would have to ask for one rather than the older ones assuming all the younger ones should have decaffeinated. It depends on the mix of individuals. In Ds's house all five years seem to know each other and the older ones seem to (in varying degrees ) have an eye out for the younger ones but I certainly wouldn't assume they would take on board younger pupils should not have a full strength coffee. I think this is something you need to talk to her about and then when she does goes for the first few times says she "I don't have caffeine" then with any luck one of the older ones will remember - but - this is part of her being away. If she decides she wants a double shot whoppo-frappo-americano (or whatever they are grin ) then there isn't a whole lot you can realistically do. I would err on the side of yes they will let her and it is more about you talking to dd about her choices.
Good work morethan - you have hit upon a question I did not even think about when Ds went to school smile

morethanpotatoprints Mon 01-Jun-15 20:40:54


ha ha, I only know because the little madam told me they a few went she went for her trial. She didn't as was only visiting but she said a lot of younger ones went.
She doesn't like it atm and screws her face up, but she told me how much she was looking forward to a grown up coffee grin
She's only 11, will be going into y7.
I will have to talk to her, I think.

summerends Mon 01-Jun-15 22:06:13

morethan I know this is a longtime in advance to be talking about September but I agree that when the separation is difficult make it short after making her bead and unpacking.
I think it is also worth pre-warning her that you will wait for her to call you so that she can choose her moment when she has some free time. Actually we are the type of family that had almost daily phone calls in the first year or so often lasting less than a minute but part of a comforting routine. You have to sort out what works out best for you as a family but the important thing is not to make the phone calls an obligation which then become an added worry or stress for the DC especially if they make homesickness worse. Texts and emails are an easy way of staying in contact but again be prepared for them to only be one-way from you to your DD if she is very busy and always with people.
Your DD will be really excited initially to be living her dream (she is obviously extremely talented) but after the first 3 weeks or so she may have a dip due to tiredness. Hopefully you will have lots of opportunities to see her perform even if you don't get much time to talk to her smile.

happygardening Mon 01-Jun-15 23:01:14

Definitely don't endlessly keep calling. Send a txt along the lines of "hope you're ok" etc but don't bombard her with endless txts. As summer (waves) suggests suggest times when you will be available to answer the phone rather than trying to call her when she's busy.
By Xmas she'll be exhausted, I don't know if it's that much of a longer term but it feels like a much longer term, she'll most probably of picked up a hideous cold so will not be feeling 100%, the novelties definitely wearing off and she and you might be wondering if you've done the right thing, persevere you must keep believing in your decision, in 90% of cases by the end of the first year children are happy and enjoying all the boarding has to offer.

happygardening Mon 01-Jun-15 23:13:32

I've set DS back with homemade cake it's very popular I understand. IME boarders are much closer to their parents and less embarrassed by them.
Forget the coffee thing, once your DC is at boarding school you loose control and influence over things like this. Your just going to have to accept that otherwise you'll drive yourself, your DH, your DD and her HM around the bend. Boarding is not for parents who feel a need to micromanage their DC's lives as a slack parent I personally find this a relief.

Kenlee Tue 02-Jun-15 00:42:31

We did provide a net for DD has she used it. That's another thing completely. I agree with HG don't hang around just get it done and leave. We are international parents so it was difficult at year 7 but when we took her in at year 8. The awkwardness had gone and we even had time to talk with her friends in boarding. Suitcases are the way to go.

Outside foodwise DD has been rather lucky and her sixth form shadow is rather nice. They order pizza drive to Costa and they even have a friend who's parent owns a takeaway. So its a nice yummy Chinese for her on a Friday night. Boarding to her is like a full year summer camp.

I often ask her when she is back would you prefer to enroll in an international back in HK. Her reply is always the same why?

I goto school for five to six weeks have a two to three week break. The prep isn't hard and my friends are good fun. Weekends I can just doss and goto stupid places. The places don't matter BTW its just being with her friends that does. She finds flying to and from HK tedious but still prefers to come back three times a year. So the parental bonding has become even closer now that she is boarding. Btw full boarders always love food from outside so its a plus

Kenlee Tue 02-Jun-15 00:57:41

O yes may I add get ready for the Christmas breakup with friends. How the world will collaspe drama and then see them texting each other over the Christmas break saying how much they miss each. Then miraculously they are OK in January. It happens throughout the year. So don't panic at the first signs of friendship stress. MOo

abear Tue 02-Jun-15 09:55:51

Following with interest but nothing to add, just lots to learn.

IndridCold Tue 02-Jun-15 13:38:35

Actually we are the type of family that had almost daily phone calls in the first year or so often lasting less than a minute but part of a comforting routine.

A year! I'm impressed. Our daily phone calls dried up after about 10 days smile.

Seriously, I do agree with summer and happy about contact. From your point of view your are in a familiar environment that now has a huge DC shaped gap in it, whereas they are in an exciting new world where they are busy making the most of all the fantastic opportunities now open to them. It's the hardest thing for us parents, but no news is definitely good news.

We tend to communicate quite a lot with DS via Facebook messenger. I think he feels he can touch base without getting drawn into a long conversation about lessons. I love it when my iPad pings and there is a photo, or a silly cat gif that he has sent me.

Kenlee Tue 02-Jun-15 13:50:24

Actually I think with FaceTime its easier. We talk to DD once a month..

morethanpotatoprints Tue 02-Jun-15 15:18:36

ha Ha, I've just found these and couldn't resist the link.
What lovely chat btw and welcome abear Are you a new parent of a boarder, this year?

summerends Tue 02-Jun-15 15:36:44

Indrid this was in prep school, not in senior school although that is a couple times a week even a few years in. Again that is usually very short but we all enjoy the contact. If no phone call we get a brief text. As I said whatever suits the DC and it is true that most boys are pretty poor communicators, especially when things are going well.

Join the discussion

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

Get started »