The family atmosphere within the close-knit community of the Boarding House is tangible, with boarders sharing meals together and taking part in a rich programme of activities in their free time.
On a usual school day, the day starts for boarders with breakfast in the Refectory, before making the short walk up the historic Burford High Street to school. Boarders do not return to the Boarding House during the day so must be organised with their sports kit, musical instruments and school books before leaving in the morning.
Boarders return to the Boarding House after school and are provided with a snack. Many choose to stay later on at school to attend one of the many clubs the school offers, including those for sport, drama and music.
Once all our boarders return from after-school activities, supper is eaten together before supervised homework takes place. During this time of study, teaching and non-teaching staff are always on hand to help with any difficulties.
After homework and before lights off, students are encouraged to take part in various activities. There is always time for a game of football or netball in our courtyard and many boarders take advantage of the opportunity to use our on-site gym facility.
During the school week, activities are typically locally based but at weekends students regularly have the opportunity to participate in activities and trips further afield. These include cultural outings, shopping trips and sporting events. Many students also choose to pursue individual interests at weekends, from golf and horse riding to dance and Air Training Corps.
Each year, we take boarders on a residential weekend to Woodlands Outdoor Education Centre, on the edge of the stunning Brecon Beacons National Park, where they have the opportunity to experience abseiling, gorge walking, caving, kayaking, rock climbing, high and low ropes, and zip wire in a stunning setting.
These are always excellent weekends and are thoroughly enjoyed by all.
Christmas is a special time in the Boarding Houses and to give our international students the cultural experience of an English Christmas, we celebrate Christmas and Boxing Day over a weekend just before we break up in December.
Students have great fun decorating the houses in traditional fashion and are treated to a full Christmas dinner attended by the Headteacher and Governors. On Sunday we celebrate ‘Boxing Day’ with a trip to the pantomime, ice skating or the wonderful light trail at nearby Blenheim Palace.
To prepare students for independent living when they leave us, we run a number of sessions towards the end of their final year, including financial management and self-catering.
At the end of June, we hold a farewell weekend to say goodbye to our leavers, with two days of fun activities, a traditional BBQ, ice cream van and bouncy castle, all part of the celebrations.