Day in the life of a boarder
What’s it really like to go to boarding school? If you’ve read Harry Potter or other classic boarding school books, you might wonder if the real experience matches up to the stories. Now, all is revealed, with a day in the life of an Aldwickbury School boarder.
7am: time to get up
Matron wakes us up at 7am, and we go for showers and get dressed into uniform. The older boys take it in turns to unlock the school before breakfast. Some of us go to athletics club beforehand – 7am running! But don’t worry, that’s not compulsory.
Breakfast is at 7.30am and there is a different menu each morning, ranging from traditional full English or breakfast muffins, waffles and chocolate sauce. There are always cereals and juice, plus, you can make your own toast in a huge toaster.
8am: classroom time
We go off to the classrooms at 8 but school doesn’t start until 8.30. The Year 8 boys have monitor jobs they have to do, whilst the rest of us go to our classrooms and read, catch up on work or play with friends.
We can pop back to the boarding house during the day if we need to get things, and Matron is there anyway so we might need to see her if we don’t feel well or we are off games. If anyone is ill, Matron would call home and look after us until we can be picked up. All of us live very close to school so this isn’t a problem.
8:30am: the school day starts
From this time until the end of the school day, school life at Aldwickbury is similar to private school life anywhere else. We do all the usual day-to-day activities; lessons, assembly, lunch, playtime and PE. After school, we have supervised prep in our forms, getting it out the way so we can enjoy the rest of the evening.
Once school ends at 5.10pm for Years 5 and 6 and 5.45pm for Years 7 and 8, we can go and get changed into home clothes. Years 5 and 6 join the day boys in the after school club to play and then we have supper at 5.50pm after the Year 7 and 8 boys finish.
We can choose what we do after supper – usually we love to go outside to play manhunt if the weather is ok. Some go to drama, fencing or athletics clubs but most of the time we just play with friends. Every other week or so we have a theme night where we dress up and have silly games, nerf nights are especially fun. Sometimes, we have a fiver night where we go to the Co-op and buy treats, come back to school and watch a film eating all the treats!
8.00pm: Nightcap and bed
You never have to worry about going hungry at boarding school as there’s food every couple of hours! Before bed we have nightcap. This can be toast, cheese and biscuits or milk and biscuits. We then go upstairs at about 8 to quiet down(!), we can have a shower if we want one and change into PJs. Lights out for Year 5 is at 8.30pm and 9pm for the rest.
All of the rooms in the boarding house are really comfy, and it’s fun to be able to share with friends. The biggest room has 7 beds and the smallest has 4. The downstairs rooms have recently been refurbished and are now really colourful. There’s a great boarders’ lounge with an air hockey table and a Wii as well as chairs just to relax in.
Boarding is so much fun!
I have boarded from the moment I had the opportunity and have loved every minute of it. As Boarding Monitor, I would like to encourage all boys entering Year 5 in September to give it a go and find out what it’s like.
Matron and the gappers are fantastic and make it so much fun. A gapper is like an older brother/sister figure, they come to us for a year between finishing school themselves and going onto uni. Often, they are from New Zealand, Australia or South Africa, however, some boys come and join us from more local areas too.
Unfortunately, I can’t take you with me to my new boarding school, but the lessons I have learnt of tolerance, compromise, and independence I most certainly will.
Parents can learn more about boarding at Aldwickbury and the day-to-day activities of a private school boarder at our regular Open Mornings. To find out more, contact the office.