What modern boarding looks like and why boarding school could be a great option for your child.
Finding the ideal school for your child can be challenging, and especially tough if there aren’t many schools in your area. But including boarding schools in your family’s shortlist allows you to cast your net wider and find opportunities for your child to study at a great-fit school that isn’t necessarily on your doorstep.
If you haven’t thought about boarding options, or if you’re uncertain about boarding school, these insights will show you what modern boarding can look like and how it can enrich your child’s school experience.
Introducing Repton Prep
Many families who extend their search for a top-performing school outside of their local area come across Repton Prep, which is recommended by adversaries like The Good Schools Guide and Tatler. Repton Prep offers a picture book setting in 55 acres of the scenic Derbyshire countryside. It’s no surprise that the school’s pupils spend much of their free time climbing trees, paddle boarding, and building campfires here.
Pupils also enjoy using Repton’s outstanding facilities, which span from an 18th century Palladian hall to a fully equipped theatre, a recently refurbished indoor swimming pool, AstroTurf pitches, and tennis courts. Recent years have also seen the development of a state-of-the-art music school, a pioneering electric car workshop, and an award-winning glass dining room.
Repton Prep’s Outstanding Teachers
Although Repton Prep’s facilities are second to none, the school emphasises that its outstanding teachers are its biggest selling point. The teachers’ commitment to the pupils’ education became particularly apparent during the COVID-19 lockdown, when they went above and beyond to support pupils by creating ‘enriching timetables’, each designed to meet pupils’ individual needs. Aside from creating these academic timetables, the staff also offered remote pastoral care and digitised all co-curricular programmes, allowing pupils to continue their sports coaching, perform in dramatic productions and music recitals, enjoy social activities, and attend an online International Universities evening.
Repton Prep’s teachers also upheld the school’s community spirit throughout the COVID-19 lockdowns by encouraging pupils to take part in outreach work. While some pupils prepared meals for members of their local communities, others took part in live and virtual performances, and others created birthday cards for elderly locals.
As a result of these efforts, Repton Prep won the 2021 Education in Business Award, out of 32,000 schools, for its outstanding response to the COVID-19 crisis.
Vibrant Boarding Community
Although Repton Prep’s remote provisions proved highly effective during the COVID-19 lockdowns, both pupils and staff were delighted to return to campus for the 2021 autumn term. In particular, Repton’s boarders were keen to rekindle their vibrant boarding community. Boarding can give children a sense of belonging that provides the foundations for many special memories. A strong boarding community like Repton’s brings together artists, mathematicians, scientists, and athletes in unique groups where children continuously inspire each other.
Repton emphasises that boarding is typically most successful when pupils actively want to board. Although some children don’t feel ready to board when they first start their secondary education, their views may change when they settle in. For example, when one of Repton’s year 7 pupils joined the school, he was certain that boarding wasn’t for him. Within a term, he decided he’d like to join his friends in the boarding house, explaining that “all the fun happens when you’re boarding”. The main takeaway here is that children don’t need to decide whether they’d like to board before they start school; there’s always the option to begin as a day pupil and board later.
Any school’s primary responsibility is to guarantee a safe place for children to thrive. This means that although some members of older generations experienced difficult times at boarding schools, modern boarding should offer a wholly different experience for children. For example, Repton Prep ensures that boarders uphold frequent contact with their families so their loved ones never feel far away and offers various flexi-boarding options so that children and their parents can set their boarding experiences on their own terms.
Many children start with flexi-boarding one or two nights each week. The school has dedicated flexi-boarding houses for boys and girls, allowing them to settle into their own routines. Home and away boarding enables children to stay for up to four nights each week at school. Meanwhile, full boarders stay at weekends to enjoy all the benefits of boarding life, including the school’s vibrant activities programme of water sports, shopping trips, theatre visits, and bushcraft activities. On top of this, all pupils enjoy an exeat weekend each half term where they finish at lunchtime on a Friday to spend a long weekend with their families.
About Repton Prep
Repton Prep, a world-class day and boarding school, welcomes children aged 3-13 from across the UK. The co-educational school blends the heritage of its historic campus with contemporary, forward-facing curriculums that allow all pupils to find and shape their talents.
Approximately 400 pupils attend Repton Prep, where they flourish both in and out of the classroom. The pupils enjoy learning in small teaching groups, where they receive the support and guidance they need to really excel. When pupils reach the end of their time at Repton Prep (at the end of year 8), they can progress on to Repton School to continue their education. Repton has developed a through-school curriculum to make this transition as seamless as possible.