BOARDING – A HOME FROM HOME
Boarding comes in different shapes and sizes at Roedean. Many girls are full boarders, and there are over 200 girls on site at the weekends, for whom an array of activities takes place on Friday evenings, Saturdays, and Sundays.
In addition to their bedrooms, there are a variety of spaces, where the girls can work or relax, play games or practise the piano. In each house, there is an ODR (the Old Dining Room), perhaps the symbolic heart of each house, where the girls meet for tea and cake at the end of each day. There is also the GDR (the so-called Girls’ Dining Room, although it is now a common room), where there is a television and DVD player, and the Hobbies’ Room which has a selection of games and puzzles to engage the girls in the evening.
Boarders are relaxed and at ease in boarding, and enjoy life in their house and the excellent facilities provided.
ISI Inspection 2016
The girls are fed very well in the main dining room for all meals, but they also have the option of making toast or preparing pasta in the evening, and this can be done in the pantry kitchen which is next to the ODR, where there are cookers, hobs, and fridges, or in the ‘snug areas’ on the lower and middle corridors.
The Weekend Programme is full and varied, and it caters to the interests of the girls – there are trips up to museums and galleries in London, sporting activities such as horse-riding and windsurfing, and pottery painting, ice-skating, and the Christmas market local to Brighton, to name just a few.
For me, being a full boarder gives you opportunities that are out of this world. For example, going on trips practically every weekend that vary from going to cricket matches or going to London for some shopping. In my opinion, the benefit of being a boarder is that all your books are here, you are always with your friends, and you feel like you’re at home all the time.
Year 10 Boarder
Weekly and Flexi-Boarding
At Roedean, some girls dip their toes into boarding by starting with weekly or flexi-boarding. As they move through the school and grow in confidence and independence, some girls choose to board more often, wanting to share the boarding experience with their friends and preferring to use what would have been travel time for co-curricular interests. Flexi-boarders can stay at school for two or three nights per week, and they have a dedicated space in the house where they can leave their possessions even when they are not staying overnight. Girls can also choose to board, if space allows, if there is a weekend activity in which they wish to take part.
I’m not actually a weekly boarder myself, but ideally I would like to be, because I think there are so many benefits. To start with, you save so much time not having to travel to and from school every day. It means you can get the best out of what the school has to offer, from textiles to trampolining! Then the weekends can be a time to relax and spend time with your family, which is great.
Year 9 Day girl
Weekly boarding is becoming increasingly popular with families who live in London or in Sussex and Surrey. These girls can get the most out of the educational and co-curricular opportunities from Monday to Friday, and can return home to other friends and family at the weekends. They are, of course, very much part of the school community and receive the same level of care, opportunity, and accommodation as those who board.
Those girls who live in London can be chaperoned on the short train journey between Brighton and London Victoria (52 minutes) by a member of staff. They are escorted to London on a Friday evening, and met at Victoria Station on Sunday evening to return to Roedean.
I’m a weekly boarder in Year 7. Being a weekly boarder at Roedean is so much fun. It is so great just to relax after a long school day with all your friends, like a big sleep-over, but one where you actually sleep! I live in London and I come home every weekend on the train. Lots of other weekly boarders come on the train too, and a member of staff comes with us every week to Victoria station.
Year 7 Weekly Boarder