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What are boarders allowed in their bedrooms to make it more homely?

(21 Posts)
cathyandclaire Fri 28-Nov-14 08:00:16

DD may ( waiting on entrance exam results so will wait 'til they come before splashing any cash) board for sixth form in September, I'm thinking of Christmas present ideas and wondering what they are allowed in their rooms to make them a little less errrm...institutional? Quilts? Cushions? Posters? What have others done?

peteneras Fri 28-Nov-14 09:29:39

I was flabbergasted to see DS leaving boarding school for the last time carrying down a FRIDGE! shock Now how on earth did he manage to keep a private fridge at this renowned boarding school is still one of the greatest mysteries to me.

vixsatis Fri 28-Nov-14 09:43:07

All sorts of rubbish. DS wants some fish. When I asked whether this were allowed he just said that last year someone had a snake and that was fine. He also has proper cups, saucers and a teapot, posters,a waving cat, quilt, football team ephemera, photos in frames, loads of books, faithful teddy etc etc. Getting it all home at the end of the year is always a nightmare

cathyandclaire Fri 28-Nov-14 09:46:02


<adds snake to Xmas shopping list>


SpikeStoker Fri 28-Nov-14 14:57:10

Often girls' schools allow fairy lights and bunting. Toys and throws are always popular. Whatever they take has to fit on their bed so the cleaners can get round. Take lots of pictures and posters, obvs. You'll find as your DD moves up the school what she takes back will increase, especially when they get their own room and you'll need a removal lorry at the beginning and end of term. Just remember to name everything. DS's toy dog now has a name tag I sewed on his bum and I've even managed sew a name tape on a cricket bat!

Leeds2 Fri 28-Nov-14 16:39:25

All the girls have throws, cushions and at least one soft toy. Also posters, own mug and photos of family, pets etc.

MoreBeta Fri 28-Nov-14 16:50:52


Christ on a bike! What is the world coming to. I believe kids at boarding school are allowed to email parents now and some even take their own horses.

I went to boarding school 35 years go and it looked and felt like Colditz Castle. Cross country runs, rugger, cricket cold showers and an awful lot of male bonding.

For us 'homely' was illegal extension wiring round the dorm, a toaster, a kettle. several rice cookers a hotplate and quite a lot of smuggled alcohol.

The fire brigade did come in and confiscate the lot - said it was dangerous.

We had no heating, no curtains and girls were an unknown species - but we were happy(ish).

MoreBeta Fri 28-Nov-14 16:52:52

They had officially banned fagging' and prefects beating the boys with sticks just before I arrived so it just went on 'unofficially'.

cathyandclaire Fri 28-Nov-14 17:31:25

Ah Morebeta I rather suspect DD would approve of smuggled alcohol rather than soft toys grin

happygardening Fri 28-Nov-14 17:59:38

I'd check with the school as some have quite strict rules for example having access to a cooker to use a saucepan in some schools is a privilege conferred on older children, younger children are often restricted to cooking nothing more exotic than those hideous pot noodle things. Also some schools don't like endless posters being nailed into their walls. Is she in a room of her own, a double or a large dorm? If it's the latter wall space might be at a premium. IME photo frames especially those that can hold four or fives photos of family including the dog are very popular, small ornaments are good, but not those that will cause massive upset if their broken. My DS has his own mug and cutlery. He'll tell you the most important think is a largish lockable box to keep your most valuable possessions in, you cam buy a "tick box" from JL for £162 definitely worth the expense. Duvet covers are definitely worth buying, as are good quality pillows and duvets if your DD is used to such things at home, we provide 100% cotton sheets as we only have these at home and we also know children who have mattress toppers etc, mattresses can often be quite hard! A nice bed side light could also be a welcome gift if schools provide them many don't they could be rather utilitarian.
What ever you send remember things easily get broken so leave the Ming vase at home and IME washing is usually very efficient but delicate fabrics are unlikely to do well in an industrial washing machine/dryer.

happygardening Fri 28-Nov-14 18:00:35

Tuck box not tick box!!!!

petrova Fri 28-Nov-14 20:43:33

Tuck boxes very useful , can be bought from school shop too ( if there is a specific shop for uniform.) usually lots you can have in bedsit to make it homely - posters, flags, photographs, etc . Duvet covers, feather pillows, mattress toppers much appreciated , desk lamps, waste paper bins,paper trays, office chair also on the list. In fact you will be amazed at how much stuff they take to school - and which accumulates over time . They will also tell you they have packed EVERYTHING at the end of term but you will find their version of everything and your version vary considerably - memories of finding rolled up socks on the top bookshelf and adapters, books and cricket kit scattered around study floor spring to mind....but obviously DS was totally ready to load up the car ....

skylark2 Fri 28-Nov-14 20:47:28

You might want to check the fairy lights - they are explicitly banned in DD's university hall as a fire risk.

handcream Fri 28-Nov-14 22:54:33

Second the mattress toppers from John Lewis. DS said it has made such a difference to his extra hard bed!

TeenAndTween Sat 29-Nov-14 12:53:51

We were allowed precisely 6(?) items on our chest of drawers!

(By the time I left it was as much as you wanted but you had to bung it on your bed on cleaning day.)

MumIsASuperHero Sat 29-Nov-14 16:05:41

Depends my dd is a weekly boarder and they can't have fridges or cooking equipment in their rooms they can take them but they must be kept in the kitchen labelled with their names. Her school don't like them sticking posters to the wall but most of them do but nails are NOT allowed, they can take quilts bedthrows fairy lights rugs and bins her room is identical to her one at home. Ask the school 1st

MerryMo Sat 29-Nov-14 16:31:21

Be aware that electrical items may not be allowed to be used until the school have the PAT tested and receive a sticker on each item.

I can recommend - linen/laundry bag, box files and the magazine style ones for helping to organise books etc, electrical extension lead, little plastic baskets for storing toiletries etc as there is not always alot of space around the sink. Stick on hooks/over door hooks (if they have their own ensuite or a wardrobe door to hook it over). Blu tac and/or pins - check school rules on this, cushions, fairy lights, alarm clock, bedside lamp - to save getting out of bed to turn the light off.

I find the tuck box is now used more as a lockable box to pop tablets/laptop and other gadgets into more than the safes the school issues in each room. It also doubles up as a bedside table.

Icimoi Sun 30-Nov-14 22:19:00

Enjoying MoreBeta's memories. Where I went to school, the only things we were allowed to make the bedrooms homely were our own quilts (no duvets in those days) and family photos. In the lower school we slept in dormitories of 5 or 6, there was lino on the floors, the beds were hard and the central heating was totally inadequate so we spent the winters with coats and cloaks piled on our beds. We had to do outdoor games 5 days a week, and they were only cancelled if it was totally chucking down - it was apparently fine to make us go out in freezing temperatures wearing those divided skirt things and long socks, no tights allowed. The food was disgusting too.

Looking back, I really wonder what my parents thought they were paying for.

mineofuselessinformation Sun 30-Nov-14 22:24:33

Fairy lights should be ok if they are battery-run.
Get a frame with slots for several photos. Cushions, throws and extra blankets are nice.
Posters will be restricted to the size of the board they are allowed to go on.

happygardening Mon 01-Dec-14 07:42:12

Icimoi most boarding school children still do games at least three times a week and nearly all schools will make children stand on freezing rain swept rugby/hockey pitches netball courts for a couple of hours albeit they are now allowed to wear under vest, long johns and track suits now. But I know often children from abroad and of course non sporty UK children often hate it.

MoreBeta Mon 01-Dec-14 09:00:03

Icimoi - "the beds were hard and the central heating was totally inadequate so we spent the winters with coats and cloaks piled on our beds"

I remember that part too. One boy woke up to find snow on his pillow that had blown in through cracks in the window.

Mind you we could see four power stations from our dormitory window so we knew that heat existed at least as a theoretical concept.

Its not like that now and for the right sort of child a boarding school can work. My oldest one would love to go but my youngest hates the idea.

I know at one top boarding school they allow 'home comforts' but ban all electronic gadgets. It works well.

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