Boarding comes in different shapes and sizes at Roedean. Many girls are full boarders, and there are over 250 girls on site at the weekends, and there are lots of activities which take place on Friday evenings, Saturdays, and Sundays.
Pupils are very supportive of each other and develop strong bonds of friendships
ISI Inspection 2016
In addition to your bedroom, there are a variety of spaces where you 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 you can just catch up with your friends at the end of the 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 for you to enjoy 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
You will be fed very well in the Main Dining Room for all meals, but you 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, you might decide to dip your toes into boarding by starting with weekly or flexi-boarding. As you move through the school and grow in confidence and independence, you might then choose to board more often, so that you can share the boarding experience with your friends and spend more time on your co-curricular interests. As a Flexi-boarder, you can stay at school for three nights per week – you have a dedicated space in the house where you can leave your possessions even when you are not staying overnight. You can also choose to board, if space allows, if there is a weekend activity in which you want 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. It means that you can get the most out of the educational and co-curricular opportunities from Monday to Friday, and then return home to other friends and family at the weekends. You are, of course, very much part of the school community and receive the same level of care, opportunity, and accommodation as those who board.
If you live in London, you join the ‘Victoria Escort’, which means that you are chaperoned on the short train journey between Brighton and London Victoria (53 minutes) by a member of staff. You 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