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Experience

of a Year 7 parent

  Year 7 Parent

Our daughter had expressed an interest in attending boarding school from an early age and we always understood the value, but knew that we were unable to afford the fees and therefore we were very excited when we first heard about the opportunity for our child to attend boarding school and we hoped for the best.

The admissions process worked like clockwork, it was very well thought out and organised and gave us as parents all the information we needed, to make informed choices. The support and advice we received from the partner who put our daughter forward for boarding school was invaluable. Our contact there was always just a phone call away and showed incredible patience and kindness in dealing with us and answering our many queries and addressing any concerns. We also believe the children were very well prepared for the tests and subsequent interviews.

The first time we visited the boarding school, we immediately liked the 'feel' of the school and were struck by how welcoming, friendly and courteous the staff and pupils were and also by the fact that the girls appeared genuinely happy and comfortable in their environment. We were shown around the school and the boarding facilities for the years 7 and 8 girls, which was a newly completed house and was in excellent condition. The other facilities and the grounds of the school were equally impressive.

Incidentally, I was fine the first few weeks our daughter was away from home. Though we missed her very much, we knew she was safe and happy and that we would see her soon and we were indeed thrilled to have her home for her first exeat weekend. I did have a 'moment' though, when I took her to Sherborne for a residential taster weekend. After I dropped her off at her house and got to my hotel room, I broke down and cried for a good few hours and felt, what I may best describe as a sense of desolation at the enormity and pending reality of our 'little girl' effectively living away from home and entrusting her to the care of others. However, on the Sunday when I went back to school to pick her up, I felt most reassured after speaking with our liaison person, who, I must say, has been exceptional, with the support she has given us and whose three children are all in boarding schools and she therefore spoke from experience. It was also good to speak with other parents and the house staff, who were all very reassuring.

Some people have said to us they could not bear for their children to be in boarding school away from home, which is a fair comment and we know boarding school will not be right for every child, and that decision will be for individual families to make. However, we are absolutely convinced of the benefits of a boarding school education, as we believe it not only provides an excellent academic platform for our children, but maybe, even more importantly, enables them to develop from an early age a sense of community and social skills in adjusting to living with people from all walks of life. Skills such as patience, kindness and self-control. We also believe the boarding system and the many extra-curricular activities they are able to engage in at the weekends, gives them a very well-rounded education, exposure, structure and the maturity and discipline to become lifelong learners.

It is our hope and prayer that our children will come out of boarding school and will become valuable members of our community and will give something back, even as they have been blessed with so much.

Our deepest appreciation to the partner who put our daughter forward for this opportunity, the  school and SpringBoard for making a little girl's dream come true. Thank you.