Nicola Gilbert, our Head of Boarding, shares an update from the boarding house as our boarders settle into the rhythm of the school year.
On Tuesday 31st August, I was delighted to hear the sound of suitcases being wheeled down Centre Passage as we welcomed our first boarders back to school to begin the new academic year. Before I knew it our newly refurbished boarding houses were open and the pupils had very quickly settled into their home from home.
Boarding at Ackworth School is special. I wish I could bottle the feeling up and share it with you all. Our boarders share a common feature – they are all living away from their loved ones and with that, they instantly gain a sense of independence and courage. I admire them for this.
We started the term with a welcome BBQ on The Green, it was so nice to be able to celebrate the beginning of a new term this way.
It has been so lovely to see so much happening around the school, especially over the weekends. The boarders have been involved in Duke of Edinburgh, hockey practice, football practice, tennis practice, arts and crafts activities and weekend excursions to the seaside.
We are very much looking forward to our Spanish themed evening this weekend. We currently have 4 Spanish pupils in boarding and they are helping design and prepare traditional Spanish food and games for their friends. I will write more about this next time.
Finally, I would like to share with you some comments on the first few weeks in boarding from our pupils :
“Upon returning to Boarding for my second and final year, I have been made welcomed and the transition has been immaculate in creating a home-away-from-home environment.
Ackworth has provided us with a clear and structured routine to help us transition into our next school year from 8 weeks off at Summer, providing the foundation and fundamental routines as well as much support from the boarding staff. Having returned for 2 weeks, we have already been presented with opportunities and days out thus far; including shopping trips to White Rose Shopping Centre, Junction 32 and activities out such as Ninja Warrior UK. We are constantly busy in boarding as we have many chances to take part in various activities throughout the week and at the weekend such as tennis, badminton, swimming, yoga, squash, hockey as well as arts and crafts.
We are made to feel a community in the boarding house through constant and frequent interaction throughout the year groups as well as between boys and girls. Staff in boarding are really supportive and helpful in creating the home-away-from-home environment as well as helping us through our education.”
– Shannon (Upper Sixth Form)
“My experience boarding at Ackworth has been mostly positive. Classes are enjoyable as well as educational. I leave them feeling like I have learnt a lot. Days are busy enough to limit the amount of homesickness. But of course, feeling homesick is natural and unavoidable for someone who had never boarded before.
“Weekends are eventful, with a delicious breakfast to start the day, and then activities, mostly sports. (but sometimes there are other choices too, such as arts and crafts) With the free will to choose what sport you want to do. From squash to football. Although personally, I do tend to stick with my favourite -badminton. Although I have tried some new things like hockey and squash.
“Weekends often have trips, 2 already gone by, one to shopping centre, and the other initially being to ninja warrior, but due to lack of interest, staff quickly and successfully organised a change of plans, having the trip to the white rose instead.
All in all, I am enjoying it. And I look forward to the upcoming weeks and months.”
– Anna (Lower Sixth Form)
Hello my name is Carlota,
I’m from Spain and I have only been here for 2 weeks and I really love it.
The people here are so nice and so kind also the boarding staff always cares for you and you can always talk with them.
I really feel comfortable in this school also the teachers help you a lot with the homework or if you don’t understand anything. At the weekends they organize a lot of activities for you and you always have fun. Also they do a lot of sport and they are really good at football and hockey. Being in Ackworth has been an good opportunity to make friends around the world and I really feel like i have been here for 2 months and its like a home.
– Carlota (Yr 10)