Millfield Prep's Director of Boarding, Carl Bingham, answers frequently asked questions about the experience of boarding at Millfield Prep School.
As a leading independent school, boarding forms a vital part of life at Millfield Prep. We offer full, weekly and flexi boarding from ages 7 to 13 and currently have around 130 full-time boarders, with a further 40 additional flexi or occasional boarders at the Prep School.
Boarding is a great way for children to develop their social skills and interact with lots of people from different countries and cultures. The children make the most of all the opportunities on offer at school, particularly the extra-curricular clubs and training that take place early morning and after school, such as squad swimming, tennis, golf, riding and music practice.
There are five boarding houses; two girls’ houses and three boys’ houses. All the houses are on campus and have their own unique character and superb facilities, including cosy dorms, bright common rooms, kitchens, games areas, plenty of outside space and Skype. The dorms typically have four beds although some have three beds. The pupils are justifiably proud of their houses.
Supper is served in the dining hall from 5.00pm and a late supper is available at 6.15pm. Supervised homework is done from 5.30pm-6.30pm, though many children choose to study for longer. Academic Staff are available to all boarders if they need assistance to complete their work. After supper and homework, boarders can change into casual clothes and are free to enjoy the facilities in and around the houses, including some of the amazing outdoor play equipment.
The houses are run by houseparents and a resident assistant houseparent and a liaison tutor, who are also teaching members of staff, alongside friendly house matrons who look after the children’s practical needs. This dedicated team provides the next best thing to real parents for boarders and make boarding a really positive and enjoyable experience.
Weekly boarding is on offer to children who may wish to go home at the weekends after their Saturday sport commitments. However our weekly boarders very much enjoy their boarding experience and often opt to stay in school at weekends, at no additional cost, to enjoy the social activities on offer with their friends. All pupils leave school on the three exeat weekends per year; two in the Autumn Term and one in the Spring Term.
The quality of boarding provision and care is excellent. The experience of boarding is warmly praised by many, and significantly enhances boarders' personal development, as they become self-reliant and tolerant of each other."
ISI Inspection Report
Starting boarding is an exciting experience. At Millfield Prep we are keen for our new pupils to settle quickly and easily into their new environment and we have a carefully planned programme to ensure that this happens. During the summer term, prior to admission, we hold a Boarders’ Induction Day for UK children which is designed to bring many new pupils together for the first time. The event includes a visit to the pupil’s designated house, an opportunity to meet tutors and house staff and the option to purchase uniform. In September, prior to the start of term, overseas boarders benefit from a specifically tailored international induction.
During the first full weekend of term, all the boarders come together for a day packed with activities and new experiences to try. From the climbing wall and kayaking in the pool to pony rides and bouncing on the giant inflatables, there is never a dull moment! The day is often rounded off with a barbecue and an ice-cream before weary boarders settle down for a quiet evening in their houses.
Fiona Gordon, Millfield Prep Tutor for Admissions, explains some of the reasons why Millfield Prep is the right place for your child.