Boarding FAQs

HOW DO LEWESTON’S BOARDING HOUSES WORK?

The boarding houses at Leweston are located upstairs in the main school building with boys and girls contained on separate, secure wings. This creates an atmosphere and environment similar to a family home and means that boarders do not need to travel back and forth to houses located on or off campus.

In order to provide boarders with a genuine opportunity to relax and unwind Years 4 to 10 have evening study in the school library supervised by academic staff, this allows pupils to leave the school day ‘downstairs’ when they return to their houses.

Once boarders leave their accommodation in the morning only Year 11 and Sixth Form are allowed to return to their studies during the day, the other years come back into House at the end of lessons at 4.20pm. This ensures that day and boarding pupils are fully integrated with day pupils also encouraged to join in with weekend trips and activities.

DO BOARDERS HAVE TO SHARE A ROOM?

Younger boarders share rooms, we believe this is a good thing as it helps new pupils make friends more quickly. Year 11 and Sixth Form pupils usually have their own study bedroom.

WHAT MEDICAL CARE IS AVAILABLE?

Pupils are registered with the British National Health Service (NHS) which provides free care (except for some small charges). The school has its own Health Centre staffed by two registered nurses and a school doctor who visits weekly. The Health Centre is open Monday to Friday with qualified staff on call in boarding overnight and at weekends. There are two hospitals in easy reach of the school and treatment can be arranged through the school doctor as necessary.

WHO WILL MY CHILD GO TO IF THERE IS A PROBLEM?

There is a range of people your child can go to, whatever their worry. The house staff are always on hand, and older boarding students and prefects often act as informal mentors. The Health Centre nurses are familiar faces for the boarders and the school counsellor runs a weekly drop-in clinic for any pupils who would like to talk. During the school day their tutor and Head of Year will always be available to support them.

IS THERE INTERNET ACCESS IN THE BOARDING HOUSES?

All boarders have access to the internet with Wi-Fi in the boarding houses, study areas and IT suites around the school. There are also private Skype rooms for those without individual rooms. Each boarding house has its own landline and pupils can use their own mobiles in the evenings.

ARE MOBILE PHONES ALLOWED?

Yes although Years 7 to 11 are not permitted to use them during the school day to ensure pupils are fully involved in the life of the school. Please remember that although we understand families want to keep in contact, we do find that speaking on the phone last thing at night can make new pupils a little homesick. Houseparents will be in touch if they feel a pupil is not settling in.

ARE PUPILS ALLOWED LAPTOPS?

Pupils can bring laptops but please be aware these are expensive items and can easily be damaged – even in transit at airports etc. Please make sure these items are insured. Every pupil has a school email address and this is a very effective way to communicate between staff and pupils.

WHO LOOKS AFTER PUPILS WHEN THEY FIRST ARRIVE?

The Head of Year, Tutor and House Parent are all on hand to care for new arrivals. Every pupil will be assigned a ‘guardian’ (another pupil to looked after them) and matched with a peer mentor, a current Sixth Former who has been trained to act as a mentor to a younger student. This relationship will continue throughout the first term and often beyond.

CAN PUPILS BRING THEIR OWN PICTURES/POSTERS FROM HOME?

Yes they can, each room has a large pin board for photos and pictures etc. Some pupils bring bunting and battery operated lights to make it more homely – often using the cupboards or shelving as a way to hang things. Pupils can make their rooms really pretty but they are to avoid marking the painted wall surfaces.

CAN I TAKE MY CHILD OUT FOR A WEEKEND IF I AM VISITING?

Yes but please ensure that the houseparent has been informed. There are many good hotels and Bed and Breakfasts in the surrounding areas and the school would be happy to help with recommendations.

WHAT ARE THE ARRANGEMENTS FOR LAUNDRY?

Laundry takes place twice a week – once for a pupil’s home clothes and bedding and once for uniform. All items brought into school must be named.

CAN MY CHILD BRING MONEY TO SCHOOL?

Boarders are able to open UK bank accounts and we will help you do this at the local bank in Sherborne. However, most cash machines in the UK accept foreign cards. We ask that any money brought to school is given to the houseparent for safekeeping. Valuable should not be kept in students’ rooms.

CAN PUPILS WEAR THEIR OWN CLOTHES AT SCHOOL?

In the evening and weekends, and at certain other times, pupils are allowed to wear their own clothes. There is no uniform for Sixth Form but all students require a dark suit for formal occasions and clothing choices must comply with the official dress code.