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Sixth form boarding - what have I overlooked to buy?

(66 Posts)
ifonly4 Fri 25-Aug-17 15:38:39

DD is boarding for Sixth Form. I've been through the long list provided by the school and made one of my own, but just wondering if there's anything I might have overlooked or would be useful for DD to take.

homebythesea Sun 27-Aug-17 08:24:51

My DD also boarding for the first time for 6th form and we haven't got a list at all!! All we've been told is bring bedding if you want (but they provide it too), 2 towels and and a desk lamp! There's no uniform to consider but I'd be interested to hear what your school has advised.

Eledamorena Sun 27-Aug-17 09:14:47

I would definitely recommend own bedding if poss, as it is nice to have personal things in your room and not 'school' bedding. On this note, I also recommend printed photos or other decorative bits for sticking on the wall (they are entitled to personalise their areas so should have a pinboard if not allowed to damage the walls with blu tac etc).

If coming from a different country - electrical adaptors so they can use their stuff without waiting to borrow adaptors!

Check lists/contact staff for policy but if 6th form then probably mobile AND laptop/tablet, kindle if they use one. Other electrical bits might include hairdryer, straighteners.

Clothes - they might well spend more time in PJs/'slobby' clothes than you think, so definitely have them take more than one pair of 'cool' pyjama bottoms/trackies/nordic leggings or whatever is 'in' right now for hanging around in the evenings/weekends. Also there may be rules on not wearing tiny shorts in common areas of the house (especially if the house is co-ed) so if they wear shorts for bed it's worth having long trousers for chilling out in places other than their bedrooms!

Whatever the list says in terms of underwear, send extra, nobody likes to be on the wrong end of a slow laundry delivery (or run out because they have hoarded their dirty clothes for too long!!)

If you are unsure on casual clothes etc don't worry, the use of online shopping is rampant in most schools and the desire to fit in so great that you might find your daughters want some new things after they start - you might be better budgeting for a bit of a spree during the first term so they can buy what they really need/want, rather than over-preparing now.

Finally, be aware that storage can be a nightmare so if you are local(ish), make the most of being able to take home summery stuff at half-term and swap it for wintery stuff. Remember how much space uniform and kit will take up in their rooms before you get to their own clothes! It is a major annoyance at most schools (especially for 6th form girls!) that they have quite limited storage in their rooms.

I hope they have a fab time!!

homebythesea Mon 28-Aug-17 08:48:54

Thank you eledamorena that's really insightful!

ifonly4 Tue 29-Aug-17 10:56:16

A thanks from me as well eledamorena.

DD's school have given us a full list for uniform, as well as things like quilt, quilt cover, towels, coat hangers, shoe cleaning kit, nightwear, laundry bag, laundry net, spare name labels, their own cutlery, plate and bowl for their boarding house if not eating in canteen, as well as the fact they have to supply their own stationery (we do not have a defined list for this).

homebythesea - is your DD looking forward to it? Mine is, although, I'll miss having her company

homebythesea Tue 29-Aug-17 11:45:10

Yes - really excited! She's weekly boarding so not such a huge wrench away from the nest!

Coat hangers is inspired...(adds to long list)

ifonly4 Wed 30-Aug-17 10:22:49

home, one thing I did pick up on another thread was to label everything especially if it's being washed at school. I'd thought about the obvious like school uniform, but it's just hit me that I need to do all her own clothes and underwear.

homebythesea Thu 31-Aug-17 12:59:51

ifonly actually the school have said not to bother as there are washing machines in the houses and they do their own laundry. In any event she should be home most weekends - have just bough a laundry bag for the purpose!

ifonly4 Sun 03-Sep-17 19:27:52

home, hope it goes okay this week. Which day is your DD leaving?

homebythesea Mon 04-Sep-17 13:53:01

She's gone!

ifonly4 Tue 05-Sep-17 17:39:42

home, mine's gone now as well.

Have you heard from yours. I hope everything is okay. Ours isn't one for keeping in touch, so hope she won't leave it too long before sending a text.

homebythesea Tue 05-Sep-17 18:41:26

I have exactly the opposite problem! Not a problem of course, sounds like all is OK and she is mentioning some other names so that's promising!

errorofjudgement Sat 09-Sep-17 07:52:23

Hi, I know the schools are back now but I wondered if we could keep this thread going for a while?
My DD is just starting her first weekend as a sixth form boarder.
It's a new school, she's a first time boarder, and has moved from the local well regarded comp to the independent sector.
The first week was good, but yesterday she had a major wobble. I think in part it's because it was my birthday and it really hit her that she was missing being at home and that the rest of the family would be out celebrating - without her.

ifonly4 Sat 09-Sep-17 10:29:46

error, happy to keep this going a bit longer!

We had a major wobbly on Wednesday over building up friendships/school so different to her old state one. Since then she's mentioned 4 girls who seem nice, not very chatty, but she's trying to make the effort with them. I'm expecting a wobble this weekend, she has lessons/games this morning, a dinner this evening and choir tomorrow. I think they're things going on in school at others times, but whether she'll join in!

errorofjudgement Sat 09-Sep-17 13:12:35

Hi Ifonly4 so pleased you've replied. I didn't want to derail the Y12 thread, as this is more around boarding issues specifically.
DD has a full weekend of activities to help them bond, both with the upper sixth, and tomorrow as a lower sixth group.
They don't have weekend classes but will often have extra practise if they're rehearsing for a show.

The school have been so honest with both parents and the new students, telling them they should expect a wobble, but it's hard to hold on to the bigger picture when it happens.

I hope your DD is able to keep plugging away at the friendship issues.
I'm trying to understand the set up. DDs school only has one boarding house for all the sixth form girls, a separate house for lower school girls, and a third house for boys.
So all the lower sixth girls are together, and have a kitchen and common room of their own for snacks and TV.
(At least that's what I think the set up is like)

What's the set up where your DD is?

ifonly4 Sat 09-Sep-17 13:27:07

error, there are five boarding houses each holding around 60 girls. Each house has a number of girls from each house, ie shells up to upper sixth, the younger ones share but sixth formers get their own room with washing and study facilities. DD only has 9 from her year in the house, but other year groups have up to 12.

She's got a music scholarship, so hopefully when choir, orchestra and whatever else she's going to do start next week, that'll help as she'll slowly start to get to know others she really has something in common with.

Let me know how your DD is when she next gets in touch.

home, how are things with your DD - hopefully she continues to be settled.

errorofjudgement Sun 10-Sep-17 07:05:40

Well how things change in 24 hours!
They've had sixth form induction activities organised by upper sixth. Judging by the photos it's involved lots of dress up and a fair bit of dance. DD loving it all.
Today they're at an outdoor activity centre, I think this might be more tricky for DD who's not at all good with heights.
And I've no idea when she's supposed to fit in her homework! I'm hoping the teachers have been kind this week and taken all these activities into account,

homebythesea Sun 10-Sep-17 08:59:18

DD was high as a kite when I picked her up on Friday - totally excited by all things. I'm absolutely certain there will be a comedown at some point: when homework and activities ramp up and she inevitably gets overwhelmed. I'm interested to see how she is when she goes back tonight!

errorofjudgement Sun 10-Sep-17 09:48:51

That so good to hear home I hope you're enjoying a lovely weekend together

homebythesea Sun 10-Sep-17 10:05:52

Have t seen much of her to be honest- she's been out seeing "old" friends!!

ifonly4 Mon 11-Sep-17 14:34:32

error & home, hope your two were okay going back yesterday. Let me know who they are getting on.

errorofjudgement Mon 11-Sep-17 20:33:16

Hi Ifonly, DD not allowed strongly discouraged from coming home until the exeat in 3 weeks, sorry 2 weeks now smile

But in other news, her Eng Lit re-mark has come back and she's gone from a level 7 to a level 9. Proud mum here tonight.

How did your DD find the weekend?

home - hope your DD returned to school ok

ifonly4 Tue 12-Sep-17 15:10:52

That's brilliant news over Eng Lit re-mark, that 9 is fantastic to have whatever she does in the future. DD's school were having French checked, DD was one mark off the next grade, so we'll see what comes of that.

Coming home is a sore point! When we applied to the school they were only allowed out Sundays, but DD knew she couldn't return and I work Sundays anyway. Rules have changed, so they can leave for the weekend on Saturday. DD found half the school emptied and many of the ones who stayed were foreign and went off in their own groups. One day is fine on her own for work catchup, washing clothes, going for run in grounds, but to be on her own Saturdays isn't going to be easy. Apparently the school have said they can't have so many out every weekend, but we'll see.

She's got other concerns, so I told her to speak to her HM, who is now setting up a meeting for her (her HM will be present) and another member of staff to hopefully clarify things.

errorofjudgement Wed 13-Sep-17 17:28:46

Ifonly - oh dear, I'm sorry it all seems a bit of a struggle at the moment. I really hope your DD is able to resolve the issues she's having, and make/join a nice group of friends.
I'm sure wiser heads than mind will say it's very early days, but that's not really helpful today!
Is there any way you could bring DD home on Saturday then a family member take her back on Sunday (at least mid way between start if term and the half term break)? Or take her back late after you finish work?

errorofjudgement Wed 13-Sep-17 22:26:11

Well DD phoned tonight, she's a bit under the weather and I think she'd rather be at home tucked up under a quilt being spoiled - well wouldn't we all.
But I've emailed the houseparents who've come straight back to me with a lovely and reassuring reply. Hopefully a lie-in on Saturday and a lazy weekend will be enough to help her recover ready for the next week, then home for a weekend-yay!!

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