What is Boarding at ESMS Really Like?

Posted on 17th Nov 2020 in ESMS, Community

Boarders eating dinner together

Have you ever wondered what it is like to board at ESMS? We went behind the scenes at Dean Park House to find out...

With boarders of all ages together under one roof, Dean Park Boarding House really is like a family with the girls and boys surrounded by friends and supportive staff. When we are not under restrictions, they even have sleepovers, with day pupils spending the occasional weekend, while their parents are away.  Every day is filled with activities and opportunities to have fun.

We know there are lots of stereotypes about boarding (no it’s not like Hogwarts and the food is all homemade, and delicious!). Our boarders wanted to dispel these myths and tell you what it’s really like to be a boarder at ESMS.

Each year group got together to share their favourite things about boarding.  We loved hearing all about boarding school life at ESMS and we hope you do too.

The Food!

Our kitchen and chefs are a particularly popular part of boarding school life at Dean Park House.

"The food is amazing, and each dinner is something to look forward to."  S3 boarder

This is all thanks to our chef, Maggie, who prepares and cooks the meals on site and makes sure the children have different options to choose between each evening. Themed evenings take place regularly but perhaps the most highly anticipated night on the calendar is 'cheese night'! 

Developing Independence

Independence is instilled in the boarders from the moment they arrive. While the House Staff are always there to offer guidance, the boarders are trusted to manage their own schedules.

“…in the boarding house students push one another to our full potential. The House also helps us become more independent which we can use in the (not so distant!) future."  Sixth Form boarder

"I like how boarding makes you become a more independent person and it teaches you to take care of yourself without help from your parents."  S3 boarder

Making Firm Friends

The great thing about boarding is living with your friends.  Many of our S2 boarders told us that they like the House because there are lots of people to talk to. This was also the main appeal for our S4s who thought that the boarding house had given them the opportunity to meet life-long friends.

"…you always have people to do something with, like play football or pool."  S3 boarder

"Boarders create real bonds and you live with people from all around the world, experiencing other people's cultures and interests."  Sixth Form boarder

"The boarding house is like a big family. You are surrounded by people you would consider brothers and sisters."  Captain of Dean Park House

"..I’ve only spent only a few months here, but it has already become one of my favourite places. I think of the Boarding House as my 'home' more than a 'house' and my favourite thing is that I feel welcome every time I walk through the door."  Sixth Form boarder

Sticking to a Routine

As they enter their first year thinking about exams and prelims, many of our S3 boarders told us that they particularly enjoy prep, which is the time our boarders sit down and do their homework.

"Prep allows you to get your work done; my test results have gone up since I joined because even if you do not have any tasks to complete that day, you just do revision."  S3 boarder

"I like having a sense of routine and set times for different activities which I wouldn’t get at home. This helps me stay organised and gives more structure to my day which I find very helpful. I also enjoy having boarders who are doing the same exams as me and I can work with them."  Sixth Form boarder

Our Staff 

Most importantly, our Boarding House staff create a sense of 'home' for our boarders, keeping them safe and guiding them through life as a boarder, a teenager and a pupil at ESMS.

"The staff look after us all so well, making it feel like a big family and they help to keep us sane and motivated during term time."  S4 boarder

We all know how much teenagers hate waking up in the morning but our chat with our boarders suggests that even on this aspect of family life, the House Staff have it down to a fine art.

"…a big thank you to Mrs Ryan, who wakes me up so delicately every morning without fail!"  S5 boarder

Well done Dean Park House. We’d love to come over for a cheese night soon!

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