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Thoughts of a Year 12 boy

A day in the life of a bursary funded boarder

To say ‘A day in the life’ does not quite truly reflect on the life of boarding school. Boarding school is the kind of place where no matter who you are, what you enjoy or where you are from, no day is ever the same. It is the kind of environment where people from all backgrounds, people of all abilities, have the chance to truly find themselves and their talents.

From my own personal experience, whether you are the child of a millionaire, or like me a fully funded scholar, the moment you put that uniform on and sit down in a classroom, everyone is the same.

Chapel, the one thing that everyone manages to consistently moan about, yet secretly, we all love it. Now I am not a religious believer, but chapel is the one time of day that I can sit and gather my thoughts before the day ahead begins. It is the only time every pupil in the school is in the same building, which when it comes to singing hymns, is very noticeable, but equally so very enjoyable. From my point of view I see it as the perfect way to start the day. However, in my case we do not have chapel on Tuesday or Saturday.

After chapel, lessons will begin. Again another reason chapel is good, as it wakes you up before you manage to get to lessons. Now for some people, speaking out in lessons can be a bit of a daunting task, as it was for me for my first few weeks at school. However, it is only a matter of time before the people who you share your lessons with begin to know you and being in boarding school, this process is really quick. Now of course like any school, it isn’t all daisies and buttercups, there will be people you meet and don’t like, as there is in every aspect of life. But the one thing that makes the difference is the people you meet and instantly get on with. Inevitably, everyone finds someone like that at boarding school! Whether you both share the same music, have the same sporting interests, are in each other’s lessons for everything or even  live in the room next to them, there will be someone that will share a common interest.

Lunch time is quite a peculiar one from my experiences. This is the most formal meal of the day. Each pupil returns back to their boarding houses for lunch and all sit in the dining room together (yes that is about 50 students in one dining room). Each table has a guest, that is usually a teacher and it is the pupils’ job to greet and host the guest during lunch. Quite a strange affair but it is always nice to have a teacher you get on with sit on your table, it makes the conversation a lot easier.

It is now after lunch where the days begin to vary. Now, if it was a; Monday, Wednesday or Friday, there would be 2 lessons again after lunch and in Monday’s case, 3. However, if it was to be a; Tuesday, Thursday or Saturday, the time for games would now begin.

Games is the time of week were each student goes to their chosen sport for around an hour and a half and takes part in the sessions set up by the coaches. The only time this is different is on a Saturday, this is because this is match day so students will either prepare for their match in their boarding house, then make their way either to the sports centre or the sports field they are on, or they will take a coach to the school that they are competing against.

Once games have finished all pupils are then free to go into town or like the majority of us, slob around their rooms. This is until around 6pm when tea is then served. Every pupil must attend tea and there is a register taken at the end of each tea to ensure that everyone is in the house. Now this sounds like a long day and you just want to sit back and watch some tv, but it’s not quite over yet. For every student from 7-9pm there is what is called ‘Prep’. Now this is a time for all students to complete any work that they have been set throughout the day. At first this sounds horrendous and like there is nothing worse, but in all honesty, it is exactly what people striving to do well need. It allows you to have 2 hours of work that won’t be interrupted and allows people who are struggling (like me at the beginning of the year) to have some time to read back through their notes and to try and get a grasp of any work they do not understand. However, if you are a student struggling, do not worry, teachers are simply an email away from getting some extra help and providing you are trying, they are always willing to help.

I realise I haven’t touched much on life for a bursary student as such, the sole reason for this being, it is no different whatsoever to someone who pays full fees. You still go to chapel together, have lessons together, eat together, live together. Life for me as a fully funded bursar has been great, I thought there may be a bit of prejudice to bursars before joining the school. If anything, people envy bursars, because they all have that special thing to offer, whether it be academics, music, sport or art. Bursary pupils have proved themselves and shown why they have earned a spot in such a prestigious school.

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