A number of our pupils choose to board at the School on either a full-time, weekly or occasional basis. The boarding house team consists of the Boarding Houseparents, (a married couple, one of whom teaches at the School), an Assistant Houseparent and Resident House Tutor along with a team of Gap Assistants. The Headmaster and his wife are also resident at the School. This team is assisted, on a rota basis, by members of the school teaching staff.
The pastoral care of all pupils is a priority. Boarders receive a high level of support from a committed team of staff in the boarding house and during the school day. ECS recognises that a boarding house cannot fully replace a child’s home but tries hard to make it as warm and relaxed as possible. It is important that the children feel cared for and valued. Rules are kept to a minimum, but, living in such close proximity to others means that certain guidelines need to be followed. It is expected that everyone should be treated with respect and courtesy and that boarders and staff alike should develop an increasing awareness of, and tolerance for, people of different views, beliefs or cultures.
The school has a Christian foundation and Cathedral and School Services play an important part in the moral and spiritual guidance the children receive. The School aims to develop a sense of personal fulfilment, responsibility, independence, confidence and the social skills necessary to prepare each boarder for their future lives.
There are lots of reasons for living in at ECS. Many of the Cathedral Choristers do for a start to make their busy lives a little easier. Other children live here because their homes are too far away to make the daily journey conveniently possible. Occasional boarding is also a popular option for a number of school families.
Children living at a distance quickly discover the pleasures of this term-time home where they can be with lots of other children developing confidence, maturity and independence. Very busy parents are happy to know that their children are fully occupied and well cared for during the week and can enjoy sharing good time with them at the weekend and / or during school holidays.
Parents of children who board at the school may visit as often as they wish, taking school and / or choir commitments into account. The boarders’ telephone and e-mail also helps keep everyone in touch. The houseparents recognise the importance of communication with parents and contact is made with them quickly if a problem arises. A close relationship between the boarding house and the home is vital in order to provide the best care for all the children.
The majority of bedrooms sleep two or more children. The boarders’ common room has a television, DVD player, books and a good supply of board games in addition to three computers with email access for making regular contact with home. There is also a games room available for boarders to enjoy table tennis, air hockey and pool. Organised trips take place at weekends to the local swimming pool, bowling, cinema, beaches, moors and many other places.
A number of local day pupils enjoyed the boarding experience so much that they are now regular flexi boarders!