A question of boarding

Orwell Park School headmaster Rowland Constantine on the benefits of becoming a boarder

Orwell Park School headmaster Rowland Constantine on the benefits of becoming a boarder

Orwell Park School is a long established, co-ed prep school in one of the most beautiful school settings in the country. Boys and girls up to the age of 13 attend as day pupils or boarders – full, weekly or flexi! At some stage in their time at Orwell, most children will ask their parents if they can board? Why ?

The parental viewMany adults’ view of boarding, especially at a young age, is based, unsurprisingly, on their own experience: they loved it or they hated it. Or their lack of experience: we didn’t board and we have never thought of letting our children board.Whether they boarded or not, today’s parents will be pleasantly surprised to see for themselves what a school such as Orwell Park is like: modern in outlook, flexible in the number of nights children board and above all, full of young boys and girls who are enthusiastic about school, whether as day pupils or boarders.So why do children want to board?

Time to work and playUsually, the decision to board will be driven by the desire to ‘be with friends’ once the normal school day is over. Where else in today’s world can a child play in complete safety with a couple of dozen friends after school?At Orwell Park, boys and girls enjoy the exclusive use of all facilities after school: the grounds, the swimming pool, and activities organised in the evenings such as golf, sailing, Brownies or Boys’ Club.

A flexible approach At Orwell Park, no child feels pressurised into boarding because boarding is offered on a flexible basis, possibly only one night per week to start with. Parents of flexi-boarders choose boarding nights to suit family circumstances and, of course, what is best for their child.  Boys and girls may choose to increase the number of nights spent boarding if they wish. Alternatively, if they do not wish to board at all, their view is respected and the subject will only be raised again if and when it comes from the child, after discussion within the family.

Health and welfareThe quality of care is excellent and in the school’s most recent Ofsted inspection, boarding provision was judged ‘outstanding’. All involved in boarding care (houseparents, matrons, cooks, cleaners) are totally committed to the health and welfare of the boys and girls. Food, which is locally sourced, is appetising and healthy.  Dormitories are bright, spacious and clean.

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Reassurance to parents In their busy working lives, parents can be reassured that their children are well cared for during and beyond the normal school day. Academic expectations are high at Orwell Park; so is the quality of pastoral care, considered ‘Outstanding’ in the most recent Ofsted inspection.

Fringe benefitsThe fringe benefits of boarding, especially in today’s busy world are many but, above all: the liberation of time – including those school journeys – to enjoy work, play and the company of friends; the development of self-confidence and independence; a sense of ownership and loyalty towards school.

Parents are warmly invited to come and see Orwell Park for themselves and talk to the boys and girls both day pupils and boarders. I am confident that you, and your children, will enjoy the experience!

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