A recent advert for a boarding school left us feeling rather bemused by a claim that was made that their boarding is the ‘best’. Specifically, “Best Boarding in UK, no one else comes close”.
The best? No one comes close! Certainly not in the last 2 years has anyone from their school been to check out our facilities and done some kind of qualitative survey and I’m guessing they haven’t been to any of the schools in the York Boarding Schools’ Group. What does this mean? How can this wild claim ever be substantiated?
Here’s a stab at what they could mean… the biggest rooms, the most TV screens, the greatest volume of rooms, the most up to date facilities. Is this what boarders want? Is this what parents want?
Isn’t choosing boarding an emotional decision as well as a logical one, possibly more so?
We don’t say that our boarding is the best, but what we do state as fact is that from student feedback, we know that our students are happy, because they tell us that they are. We know that our boarders’ parents are happy, because they tell us that they are.
We have some shared rooms, some single rooms, plenty of decent clean bathrooms, plenty of entertainment laid on, a multitude of activities, friendly small houses, a beautiful, safe location to offer and 2 sets of residential house parents in each house who genuinely care.
If there’s an issue to resolve, we listen carefully and sympathetically and attempt to resolve it as soon as possible. We have houses that are small enough so that everyone can feel like they are at home, living in a big family. Laundry gets done more often than not within one day, houses are extremely clean and meal times offer plenty of healthy alternatives. Safety is paramount. We like to think we cover the basics as a matter of course.
Our ethos is to treat the boarders with the respect they deserve as they live away from home for the first time and integrate with each other, finding friendships, pursuits, relaxation time, develop their talents and evolve into their own characters.
The ‘best’ is nonsense. Happiness is key and students will thrive best when they feel appreciated.
As an International school with many International students studying the International Baccalaureate, we think we should let two of our students tell you what they think about us and British Boarding.
Tymur Abramyan – aged 13
Nationality – Ukrainian
My name is Tymur and I am from the Ukraine. I want to give my opinion about the school. I like the boarding house because all of the guys are friendly. I like the staff from the boarding house as all of them can help you. I haven’t got anything that I don’t like. It is so good when you live with guys from different countries of the world as you can learn and improve your English faster. I have friends in school and many of the guys are from my form.
Мене зовуть Тимур, і я з Украини.I хочу сказати свою думку про школу.Пансіонат дуже гарний, тому що всі хлопці дружелюни.У пансионате нема ничого ,що я не люблю.Це дуже гарно,коли ти живешь з хлопцями зо всього миру.Ти можешь вчити английский скорише.В мене е багато друзив у школи.
Mohannad Zeido – aged 17
Nationality – Syrian
My name is Mohannad Zeido and I’m from Syria. I have a slightly different story because I came to the boarding house in February and by that time everyone in the boarding house has got to know each other. Personally I thought it would be very hard for me to get along with the other boarders but the moment I reached the boarding house I found out that the rest of the boarders were very kind and friendly people. As a boarder I felt that there was no separation between the year groups and we were all one big family. At the boarding house there are many nationalities and being able to learn about them was an amazing experience. There are so many things about the boarding house which I like very much, such as the very big garden behind our house which is very nice to run in and play sports such as football, which is great because there are lots of boarders playing. We have a fully loaded kitchen which has everything needed to enjoy an amazing meal prepared by ourselves, and the kitchen is prepared and ready for any person with whatever dietary requirements are needed; for example I am a Muslim so I don’t eat pork so as an alternative the house parents have kindly equipped the kitchen with some chicken. We have extremely kind, fun, and caring house parents who will always help anyone who is in need. There is actually nothing in the boarding house which I don’t like. At the beginning my parents were worried that I would not do my homework, but they were comforted because there was something called prep time which is done after dinner where all the boarders have to sit in their room to do the school work they were assigned. In the end I would recommend anyone who is interested in boarding to board at Scarborough College because it is the best experience ever.
أنا مهند زيدو من سوريا.
إني أعتبر نفسي حاله خاصه في مدرسة سكاربرها
ألتحقت الى المدرسه في السكن الداخلي في شباط ٢.١٢ ومنذ أول يوم بدأت بالتعرف الى الطلاب.
شخصياً توقعت ان يكون التأقلم والتعرف على الطلاب أمر صعب ولكن في الواقع كان كل الطلاب لطفاء و ودودين جداً وحاول الجميع مساعدتي في كل شي من اجل ان لا اشعر بالوحده.
احسست و كأننا نعيش في عائله واحده كبيره.
يوجد في السكن الداخلي جنسيات متعدده والتعرف إليهم كان تجربه عظيمه.
يوجد اشياء كثيره احببتها في السكن الداخلي منها الحديقه الخلفيه فهيا كبيره و ممتعه لممارسه الرياضه كالجري و كره القدم فبوجود عدد كبير من الطلاب تصبح الرياضه مسليه و مشجعه.
واعجبني وجود المطبخ بكامل معداته لكي تحضر وجبتك الخاصه بنفسك وهو جاهز بكل انواع الطعام الخاص فمثلا انا مسلم لا آكل لحم الخنزير فيكون لحم الدجاج متوفر دائماً.
اما بالنسبه للاساتذه المسؤولن في السكن الدخلي فهم لطفاء و جاهزون طوال الوقت لتقديم المساعده للطلاب.
في البدايه كان والدايًّ قليقين فيما إذا كنت ساتابع دراستي وواجباتي المدرسيه بشكل جيد ولكن عندما قاموا بزيارة المدرسه وجدوا أنه يوجد وقت خاص للدراسه كل يوم بعد العشاء وفيه يجب على كل الطلاب الجلوس بغرفهم لعمل الواجبات المدرسيه.
حقيقة لا يوجد شئ لم أحبه في السكن الداخلي ،و أنا انصح كل طالب يرغب في نظام السكن الداخلي أن يختار مدرسة سكاربرها فهي أفضل تجربه على الاطلاق.
Follow our own Blog on boarding and other stories from Scarborough College and Bramcote Junior School and the Little Owls Nursery