FAQ: Why should I consider boarding my child at Walhampton?
Bradfield House is the perfect environment for children to be gently introduced to boarding whilst at Prep school. A number of pupils leave us to go on to board full-time at their senior school. For those children going on to day school, boarding at Walhampton is an opportunity to gain confidence, independence and a sense of achievement.
Walhampton recognises that for many families, achieving a balance within modern day demands can often be challenging. Our approach to boarding is built on providing parents with a choice that best suits your child’s and family’s needs. Bradfield House offers full-time, weekly and flexi-boarding for children aged 7-13.
Boarding life is more and more attractive to children; indeed we often find that it is they who ask to board. There are many reasons: boarders get their work done in supervised prep sessions, have time to enjoy a wide range of activities and make full use of the on-site facilities. Being together builds great friendships and the pupils have the attention of dedicated adults in a warm community. For many families there are great practical benefits - less time on school runs or organising child care, more relaxed time together - and for the pupils it can be great fun.
FAQ: Will boarding at Walhampton suit my child?
You may be surprised how well it could suit your son or daughter and we do encourage parents to be as open-minded as possible. The description we use for boarding is: ‘a shared adventure’ between child, parent and the school. Boarders and parents can get a lot out of a boarding experience but there are some factors which help children settle into boarding at Walhampton:
• A supportive family commitment – where parents share the excitement of boarding and are positive about the experience
• Some experience of spending time away from home and enthusiasm for being surrounded by friends
Boarding is very much a decision that needs to be made as a family and the decision to board must be based on what is best for the child. It is crucial that your child understands the reasons for boarding and the benefits they can gain from Bradfield House.
FAQ: What do boarders do at weekends?
There is always a lot for boarders to do at weekends. Saturday morning is crammed full of activities for both day and boarding children. Saturday afternoon may be spent on-site relaxing or off-site out and about. Saturday evenings are all about family time with on-site staff watching a film, enjoying a delicious home-cooked supper and enjoying family board games. Sunday is the same as it would be in a family at home. Sometimes it is action-packed with trips such as London, Bath, riding bikes, paintballing, shopping, bowling etc. or it is relaxed and full of enjoyable downtime. We send time in the woods, making fires, swimming in the pool and then watching a DVD with some hot chocolate.
FAQ: What effect does boarding have on a child?
Children who board at Walhampton grow in confidence, as they learn to have a greater sense of responsibility for themselves. They become more independent as they go up the school and will learn how to be organised with their own personal items as well as their work. They learn the importance of being able to get to the right place at the right time with the correct equipment and kit.
Bradfield House is all about learning to live within an extended family community. We encourage all our flexi and full-time boarders to understand that their actions, (both good and bad) will have an effect on others.
Children will learn to be considerate, accepting and respectful of their friends’ opinions whilst still staying true to themselves.
Boarding pupils enjoy an active and varied social time in Bradfield. Boarding life is busy and generally very cheerful. However, there will be those times when things are not going so well and they miss home. Our experienced boarding staff are very astute and will quickly respond to a ‘feeling down’ day by helping the child feel better quickly. This is done by listening, understanding and responding to the child’s needs, whilst respecting they may simply need some downtime. The boarders themselves are also quick to spot any unhappiness and will help their friends. Camaraderie in Bradfield is strong and kindness is praised at every level.
FAQ: How much contact will I have with my child who is boarding?
All our boarders can have frequent contact with their parents. Most boarders use the house phones in the evenings and some use video calls, such as Skype and FaceTime to keep in contact. For those parents who are based outside of the UK, we try and establish a regular, convenient time for children to make contact. We also encourage the use of emails and text messages outside school hours. We are always delighted to welcome parents to the school to see their children take part in sports fixtures, musical and dramatic productions. We also welcome parents to join us for supper and share the excellent food the boarders enjoy.
FAQ: How much contact do parents have with the staff?
Parents have direct contact with the boarders' house parents and can easily telephone or email. Walhampton sees boarding as a partnership in parenting and will contact you to let you know how your son or daughter is doing.