Life in the boarding house complements the children’s daily experience of school, reflecting the well-established ‘Barney Way’ in terms of what is expected of the boarders and also ensuring they know there is always someone they can always turn or talk to. Living away from home and getting to know a new school, new teachers, new friends and new routines can, for some children, be daunting and they may be homesick during the early days of boarding. This is quite natural but does not affect all children. Some settle very quickly while others take a little longer. Parents can feel reassured that there is always someone to comfort their son or daughter if they are feeling unhappy.
Everyone living at Old Courts contributes to creating a comfortable home and happy atmosphere during term time, including the children themselves who are encouraged to be always polite, considerate and tidy, and to respect each other’s feelings and belongings. At the beginning of each term House Monitors are appointed; their duties include assisting the younger boarders to organise themselves and to give peer support for those children who need someone to talk to other than a member of staff. Matron assists the younger boarders each evening to ensure they have all the correct kit packed ready for school.
At the end of the Trinity term, Year 6 boarders have the opportunity to spend an evening in a senior boarding house to help prepare them for moving up in Year 7.