On 19 March, Year 7 spent their Wednesday afternoon activity session at one of the boarding houses; the girls went to Newcombe and the boys to Combe. What an amazing time they had! We met up in the Hub with their “boarding buddies” and set off for the boarding houses. It was a lovely sunny afternoon and the walk up to Newcombe was wonderful: lovely views of the horses at the stables, daffodils setting off the driveway and the sight of Newcombe House ahead. The boys strolled past the stables and when they walked through the gate and saw Combe House and gardens they could not believe their eyes! They were all amazed by the size of the house and the gardens - they were most impressed. The boys were taken into the house and shown the common room, bedrooms and bathrooms. The boys had thought that there would be bunk beds in large dormitories, so were surprised to see the actual bedrooms. The boys played football outside on the pitch and enjoyed drinks and biscuits in the garden.
The girls enjoyed their tour of Newcombe and again, were surprised by the great facilities. The rooms are lovely, some with views to the Mendips, with fields and horses on their doorstep. The girls were entertained with refreshments in the garden at Newcombe. They were particularly impressed with some Sixth Form rooms where the students have en-suite facilities and an area to cook for themselves should they wish.
Everyone had a great time and we would like to thank the boarding pupils who showed us round the houses and to the house parents who enabled this activity to happen. Do read some of the comments by Year 7 pupils. I think there may be one or two who are quite taken with the idea of flexi-boarding or even boarding!
"When I started at Sidcot I would never dream of boarding because I would miss my family too much and my dog. But now I have seen the boarding house I really want to board. It is amazing. It was like a proper home - they look after you and provide you with nice treats. I liked that they have loads of things to do: they had a football pitch, table football, the gardens were pretty, nice rooms and lots more."
"I thought that you would be really bored all the time and you would never have anything to do. I also thought that it would be like living in in the school and that you would never be able to leave the school. I felt much different about boarding after I had visited the house - it sounded so much more fun than I thought it would be. It was like a proper home and they treated each other like family. Mrs Jeffries was like a mum to them - she cooked for them and helped run the house. All of the rooms looked so cosy. I thought it would be like you could never leave the school, but the house was away from the school and it was more of a family home than a school home. Every weekend they went somewhere, like shopping or to the cinema - they went everywhere! They even went to London, Bristol and Bath. My favourite bits were the rooms and how they looked so cosy - everyone had decorated the walls by their beds however they wanted. The whole house looked so friendly. I really want to board."
"I thought they would be loads more stricter and not a lot of showers but there was a lot. I also thought that there wasn’t a back garden. Every room was shared by people - I thought that some people had their own room. The house yesterday was lovely - I just thought it was going to be attached to the school, but it was very big and homely. I loved every bit. I'm going to ask my mum if I can do flexi-boarding, which is when you board for just school nights or just over the weekend. I would like to have a taster week so we could try it out because I enjoyed looking around."
"I thought boarding at Sidcot sounded like a really fun experience, because of all the independence. I still think it would be a really fun experience and the activities they do on weekends sound really fun. I also like how all the boarders referred to them all being like one big family. I really liked the bedrooms, even though you have to share them. Also Mrs Jeffries was really nice."
"I felt that it was a bit scary because it might have been a long way away. Also it might have been a bit lonely and frightening because you are a long way from your family. I knew that it was not too scary but I did not think it would be a home-from-home. I felt that it was very snug, cosy and pleasant and that it must have been lovely for the boarders to stay. It was a nice big house where everybody had a room to relax in and a very comfortable common room which had an Xbox and a TV. Also there was a chess board with biscuits and fruit. I like the fact that you were a 5 minute walk away from the school and that you have a lovely house to stay in with friendly people and a comfy place to sleep. Also, they had a kettle to make coffee or tea, some bread, a microwave and some butter. I liked the fact that they could go back to their ‘house’ at any time as long as it was in lunch time."
"When I first started Sidcot I always saw all the boarders going in to the house and never knew what boarding was. When I got a bit older I realised that you could stay at school, but I never knew what it would it was like inside. I felt really excited to go and see the boarding houses. After we had a tour I got to see what they were really like. They were amazing - all of the rooms were so nice. I think that I would like to try boarding one day. Everyone in the house looks so friendly and it’s a really nice house. I really liked the rooms because you were never alone and you always had company, which is nice to have when you are away from family. It looked really nice outside and it was lovely inside. I also really liked the view from every room."