How many terms are there in a school year?

There are 3 terms in the school year. The first term (Autumn) normally runs from the beginning of September until mid December. The second term (Spring) runs from early January until late March. The third term (Summer) runs from mid-April until the beginning of July. There is a half term holiday in the middle of each term and two exeat weekends per term (one in the Summer).

What is half term?

There is a half term holiday in the middle of each term. The length of these varies from term to term. In the Autumn term it is two weeks and in the Spring and Summer a week. The school closes and pupils go home or go to their guardians.

What is an exeat?

An exeat is a weekend when all pupils leave school. There is usually one in each half term. Pupils go home, to their guardians or are invited to stay with the families of their friends. Pupils are allowed to leave school on other weekends by arrangement with their houseparent.

Are meals and tuition included in the fees?

Yes all meals and snacks are provided within the fees. All tuition, except one to one lessons such as music, drama and personal EAL tuition, are also included in the fees.

Who looks after pupils when they first arrive?

Your child’s Head of Year, Tutor and House Parent are all on hand to care for them. In the Prep every pupil has a ‘guardian’ (another pupil to look after them) during those first few weeks of settling in. In the Senior School every new pupil is matched with a peer mentor, a current Sixth Former who has been through a training programme to act as a mentor to a younger student. This relationship will continue throughout the first term and often beyond.

What is prep?

“Prep” is homework or homework time. Pupils will have prep to do each day. This is different from the Prep School which is the junior part of Leweston accepting pupils from 5 to 11.

What is the weather like in Dorset?

The South West in the UK has quite a mild climate and there is not a great variation between the seasons of the year. The summers are usually fine.

Can my child learn a musical instrument?

Yes they can either continue with an instrument they are already playing or take up playing one here. Music lessons take place during the school day. There is an extra charge for individual music tuition but not to be involved in group activities like an orchestra.

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. All items must be named.

Where can I buy the school uniform?

The school uniform can be bought from school shop which sells new and some second hand items. All items must be named. International boarders are invited into the shop the day before the start of term in September to fit and buy their uniform. Appointments can be made with the International Registrar at [email protected]

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.

What is a duvet?

We sometimes get asked this by students from warmer climates. A duvet is a feather or fibre filled cover for sleeping under in colder countries. You can buy one easily in shops in the UK. They come in a variety of weights (called TOG value) the higher the tog number the warmer the duvet. You will need to provide covers for these and the pillows –again they are purchased easily and often come as duvet and pillowcase set. A single bed size in the UK is 91 x 190 cm.

Is there internet access in the school, houses or in bedrooms?

Yes there is although there are certain times in the day when the pupils will not have access to their personal phones etc. e.g. lesson times. There is also a code of conduct regarding use of the internet that we expect all pupils to adhere to.

Are mobile phones, iPods etc allowed?

Yes although some younger years may have some restrictions put on their usage times in order to ensure pupils are fully involved in the life of the school. Please do remember that although we understand it is lovely to speak to your children often, we do find that speaking on the phone last thing at night can make new pupils a little homesick. Please rest assured we would be in touch if we felt your child wasn’t 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.

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.

How can pupils keep their belongings safe?

Leweston is a happy and secure place to live and everyone here is expected to respect the property, privacy and welfare of other pupils and staff. However we also try to take general and internal security seriously. All the rooms have lockable drawers and cupboards and all external exit doors will have keypad access which pupils will know and which does change from time to time.

What religious denomination is the school?

Leweston is a Roman Catholic school though other faiths are respected and welcomed. Provision can be made for pupils from a number of differing cultures and beliefs. All pupils are expected to attend morning assemblies, mass and special religious events in the chapel. Arrangement can be make for pupils of other faiths to attend their own services outside school.

Where can we stay if we are visiting the school?

There are many good hotels and Bed and Breakfasts in the surrounding areas, more information about our location is available here.

Does the school accept Euros/dollars/cash payment/credit cards?

The school accepts payments in British Sterling. Payments can be made by cheque, or by bank transfer. Bills can be paid termly or monthly by direct debit.

Do pupils need to have private medical insurance?

No all pupils are registered with the School doctor and therefore treated under the British National Health Service.

What house will my child be in?

Leweston has a house system (not to be confused with boarding houses!). The Houses in the Prep are St Francis, St Margarets, St Anne’s and St Antony. In the Senior School the houses are Campion, Fisher, Mayne and More. They all have a representative colour. Once your child has started with us they will be told their house and may require house top or swim cap all available from the shop. There are a variety of House competitions held each year.

Can I take my child out for a weekend if I am visiting?

Yes but please ensure that the houseparent has been informed.

What activities do the pupils do at weekends?

The House Parents and staff organise a variety of activities for boarders at the weekend. Often the pupils will go out and about during the weekend either visiting historic sites or museums, undertaking activities like bowling and white water rafting. If the pupils remain in the school they can often choose activities like baking, film nights etc. There is always plenty to keep them occupied over the weekend.

Can my child bring pocket money?

Yes they can bring some pocket money for the term. It only needs to be enough to cover buying items such as souvenirs or things on their trips out. The money can be handed into our finance department who will keep it safe and it will be provided upon the request of your child before they head out on an activity.

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