Boarding at Highfield

Boarding at Highfield is entirely optional, but it is always great fun – just ask the children! We boast comfortable and cosy dormitories, a range of great activities, and an experienced and caring residential team who provide all our boarders with an environment where they feel secure, confident and happy.

Boarding at Highfield offers children the freedom to just be children. Freedom from the hours spent travelling to and from school, clubs and friends’ houses, as they are all there on their doorstep. Freedom to run and enjoy acres of safe, private grounds, fresh air and countryside. There are woodlands to explore, camps to build and endless trees to climb. Few children get to enjoy such old fashioned freedom today, especially in our towns and cities. With 120 boarders, it's fair to say boarding is thriving at Highfield!

If you are considering boarding for your child do get in touch, we’d be delighted to hear from you and show you around. Our boarders are happy, confident and fulfilled – do come and meet them!

We live locally so why board?

It may be surprising, but most of our boarders live locally. Boarding allows extra time and space in the curriculum for greater intellectual development and the chance for children to follow their interests and nourish their growing minds. Children are able to fully exploit the wealth of facilities and activities available to them on site without having to reply on parents to drive them and their siblings around. Boarding also fosters life skills of immense value that build self-belief and confidence, and if you’re considering a boarding Senior School there really is no substitute for this experience to help them settle at their Senior School and become successful quickly.

What are the advantages for London Families?

The extra time and space in the curriculum means that children are brilliantly prepared for either Common Entrance or scholarship exams, without the academic 'hot-housing' made necessary by the constraints of competitive London day schools. Shifting the emphasis to quality family time (rather than the after work rush through traffic), along with extensive sports pitches and fresh air, are benefits especially valued by our parents working in the city. Less than an hour from London, we also offer escorted train services on exeat weekends so you can make the most of your time together.

Are there other Ex-pat & Forces children boarding with you?

Highfield has always had a strong association with Ex-Pat and Forces families, for whom boarding provides added stability and the companionship of those in similar circumstances. These links have been especially strong when their children have boarded with us from a young age and, as a consequence, we have got to know many families very well over the years.

Do you take International Boarders?

Highfield has a small number of international boarders, so if you are considering Highfield for the purpose of improving your child's English, Highfield is a perfect choice allowing for a complete immersion into the English language. If you are considering educating your child at a Senior School in the UK, there really is no substitute for experience of boarding in the smaller ‘family-feel’ environment of a prep school first. Overseas children are swiftly and effectively brought up to speed with the British system, and as they’re smaller than Senior Schools, Prep Schools are far less daunting and a much easier transition for children away from home for the first time.

At what age can children start boarding?

Children may start to board at any time should they and their parents wish. The youngest boarding children in the school, children at eight or nine years of age, have a separate Junior House which accommodates up to 18 children in a smaller environment more similar to a family home. They share bedrooms of four to six children and also enjoy a large playroom, good sized family kitchen and a private garden with play equipment. The majority of our boarders are aged 10-13 and they sleep in brightly decorated dormitories in the main school building. There are adults who have bedrooms close to the dormitory areas so that there is always someone on hand when needed.

What about Prep?

Parents are frequently worried about who will help their child do their prep as it’s such a struggle to get them to settle down to do it at home. Prep is carried out in the classroom in quietness and without distractions from other siblings. All the children are doing their prep at the same time so they don’t feel like they’re missing out on anything and are more willing to focus on completing their work. Prep is supervised by teachers who know about the subject so if a child is struggling they can help out with any queries. The time the children need to complete their prep decreases and the standard of their work improves.

What happens at the weekend?

All children, whether day or boarding, attend school on Saturdays, so Saturday evenings and Sundays are special times when boarding children enjoy a wealth of facilities and activities all to themselves. Every Sunday there is a special activity which may be a trip out or equipment or entertainers being hired in. To give just a flavour, Sunday Activities may include trips to the beach,  Lego Land, Dry Slope Skiing, Quad Biking or maybe the Cinema and Shopping.

Do you have Exeats?

There are two long ‘exeats’ per term when the school is closed at the weekend and boarders take a long weekend away from Friday 4.30pm to Sunday 7.30pm. If you are based overseas, your child will need a guardian locally to look after them during exeat weekends. During the Autumn term there are also two short exeats; from Saturday 12.30pm to Sunday 7.30pm.

The boarding boys rooms

The quality of boarding is excellent. Boarders are extremely happy with life in the boarding houses.

ISI Boarding Report

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