Home away from home


Between June 19 and 25, hundreds of boarding school pupils took part in the largest celebration of boarding ever held in the UK.  As part of its golden jubilee, the Boarding Schools’ Association revived National Boarding Week after a gap of over 20 years. Independent girls’ day and boarding school, Farlington School, in Horsham, released one mother’s take on the boarding experience:

A parent’s view of boarding

We had always planned to send our daughters to State schools, boarding was never seriously considered although always a possibility. As our home posting date got closer, my husband came back from Bangalore to secure two places at a school close to our new home in Horsham, West Sussex. It was all going to plan until we found out one week before our return than there was only place for one of our girls. We had to quickly find a school; finding places for two girls aged 10 and 8 in June, less than a month before schools closed was not an easy challenge.

As the girls had only experienced small international schools, sometimes with as few as 5 other students in a class, we were keen to find a school where they could acclimatise gradually to their new life in the UK. So we quickly researched online schools near to our new home and found one that seemed to match all of our needs, Farlington. It ticked all of our boxes, an all-girls school from Nursery and Prep through to Upper Sixth with impressive academic, music, drama and sports facilities and a wide range of extracurricular activities. The school was incredibly accommodating, they replied immediately to our emails seeking a place and within 24 hours of arriving home, the girls were enjoying a taster day. They loved it, we signed up and they started their new school that September. It is hard to believe now that in less than a week we had found a school, secured places, tried it out and signed up!

Farlington is primarily a day school but has excellent boarding facilities. Being close to home, the girls were able to spend their first four years as day students. The girls have built their own friendship groups, inside and outside of school, with the confidence of having their parents around to help them during those occasional tough days. They started boarding last September; like all parents we were dreading it. But knowing the school, the teachers and the other students meant this was a fairly painless experience for the girls. The boarding and medical staff have also been exceptional, assuring us through their attention to detail and their caring manner that our girls are in good hands.

The girls have just finished their first full year of boarding. Of course we have had a few tears, but overall they have both really enjoyed it. They are constantly busy and with modern technology, we are only a WhatsApp message or a Facetime call away. They spent half-term and Christmas with us in Caracas and while they enjoyed the sunshine, they were keen at the end of the holidays to get back to their friends and their home away from home.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *