I was asked this week what it is I like about Sidcot. For me the answer was obvious - the boarding community of course!
It got me thinking about what boarding offers to our youngsters and the ones looking after them and what is so special about it.
Some people feel Boarding is a bit like Marmite: “you either love it or hate it”. The analogy doesn’t quite work for me, it is not a question of “loving or hating it” but more “living it”.
I decided to ask our boarders what they liked about boarding and what they have missed about it. I was overwhelmed by their responses.
There is a definite top 3 which I would like to share with you.
In third place, boarders indicated that they liked being able to play team sports with all their friends. It is a lot easier to create a team when you already live with 40 peers! We have avid basketball players in SHB and it is not unusual to see them come back after a match and discuss their game. They are very supportive of each other.
In second place, the boarders mentioned the matrons and how much they missed the biscuits that Rachel and Lexie always bring to the houses (custard cream and chocolate wafers are definite favourites!)
In first place (both in terms of what the boarders love and miss the most) is the boarding community. A strong bond develops between the boarders as well as with the staff over the weeks, months and years that they get to spend together.
This is what Yasya Bogacheva in Pathway this year had to say about her time in SHG so far:
“The thing I like in the boarding house the most is that in no time at all you’re getting so close to people there that it feels like you have known them all your life. You literally live every moment with them, so it feels like they are becoming members of your family rather than just your friends. In the boarding house something always happens and I miss being in the thick of things!”.
Jackson Ha, from Year 10, also told me that
“I felt happy at first when I went back home, but after a while, I started to miss boarding and also my friends. Sometimes friends are very annoying, but overall they make you feel comfortable with school life and make your school life happier.”
There is indeed never a dull moment in boarding! Boarding is an opportunity to meet people from all over the world and build relationships, which will last for a lifetime and will continue to thrive despite the distance. Being able to be part of what might shape someone’s future is a great privilege and what I value the most about my time in boarding.
Amandine Smilevich (marmite lover - I know, I know ... very controversial!)
Housemistress of SHB and SHG