We are thrilled to say that we have been selected as a Finalist in the Muddy Stilettos Schools Awards, in their ‘Happiest Boarding School’ category!
This year we welcomed Oli and Debbie Jones as our new boarding Houseparents, along with their two year-old son and sprocker spaniel, Monty. They have championed a pupil-led approach to boarding, which has made our Boarding House one of the happiest in the country.
In Beaudesert’s Boarding House, happiness is about being heard – not just over the laughter at dinner, or the bass of a boarding disco, but it’s about having your opinions, problems and suggestions heard and acted upon.
This year, we have seen the installation of our Year 8 Boarding Committee, who act as a voice for the children, and who also lead in planning excited boarding events like our Hallowe’en parties, ‘Beaudesert’s Got Talent’, and the Boarders’ Breakout parties.
The children also had a hand in the renovation of some of our Boarders’ areas, creating areas where the children can chat, play and snack depending on how they feel. Our Snug has been redecorated as a ‘chill’ space by our Year 8 children, giving the children a space to wind down before bed.
As many of our boarders are flexi-boarders, we allow the children to choose who they board with, in each dorm. This is something that hugely helps the children feel happy and comfortable at bedtime, a time when they need it the most.
Happiness is hard to prove (particularly with numbers), but we do have some hugely encouraging statistics. In a school where boarding is very much a choice, over 65% of our Year 4 to 8 children choose to board, and 98% of our current Year 8s choose to board at least one night a week.
A current parent told us;
“My children have found boarding to be a fun and fulfilling arrangement. The boarding community act as a large happy family in which they can mingle and integrate with a broader circle of friends. There’s no persuasion required for them to full board in senior school!”
A current pupil told us;
“I enjoy boarding because I can spend time with my friends, and I enjoy the time before bedtime. I think it is really fun, and you have lots of different things to do during the evening. You can either go to the snug and watch TV, go to the games room, or just hang out in the dorm.”
The winners for the Awards will be announced in a few weeks’ time, we are keeping our fingers crossed…