On Saturday 9 October 2021, Downe House celebrates the excellence of boarding schools worldwide through International Boarding Day, with a focus on health and wellbeing for 2021.
At Downe House, we love boarding. Our boarding houses are individually designed to create a home-from-home atmosphere for students while encouraging them to remain close with their own families with our family-friendly boarding.
Our boarding community is a close-knit environment where young people are cared for and cared about. It is unquestionably an extended family where the girls have mutual respect, develop close friendships and bonds, and create many moments to treasure and from which to learn. A boarding environment forms the basis outside of academia, sporting, and creative areas, where pupils can form important relationships with adults and peer groups alike. These relationships are vital to supporting and guiding them as they become young adults. It is increasingly the case that young people feel the pressure of exams, social image, and expectations. So how do we help these students?
At Downe House, we encourage the girls to take time to relax. We firmly believe that finding a balance between the energy and pace of School life and time outside of a busy timetabled day, where relaxation, fun and stillness have their place, is a crucial part of boarding life. The wellbeing of Downe House pupils comes at the fore of their education with dedicated Learning for Life lessons as we believe happy pupils are successful pupils.
In celebration of International Boarding Day 2021, we asked a selection of girls across the ages of 11-18 to share what helps them boost their wellbeing when boarding.
“In House, if a girl is homesick, we like to comfort her and make her feel better. It’s like having a big sleepover at school with your friends and in the evening, we like to do different activities, for example, one night, we made ice cream cushions. We have lots of fun!”
“When I’m not feeling 100%, I like to play lacrosse outside with my friends and chat to the Housestaff who are always there to help.”
“I like to hang out with my friends and go to the tuck shop with them, play tennis or just spending time in each other’s dorms. I also love playing sport!”
“Something I do to maintain and boost my wellbeing is finding some time where I can go to the dance studio and just dance or stretch to my playlist as it is relaxing. The dance studio is one of my comfort places when I can be comfortable to be myself.”
“To boost my wellbeing, I usually make myself a cup of tea and wrap myself up in a blanket with a book. This always makes me feel very calm and relaxed. I also find it really helpful to just chat with my friends and check in with each other as our days are usually very busy.”
“I enjoy playing the piano as it allows me to divert thoughts away from my learning and gives me the opportunity to focus on something different.”.
Happiness and wellbeing truly lie at the heart of every decision we make in our boarding houses and, as a result, our girls are secure knowing that it is OK to be themselves and that they are supported. While the House team is always there to be a listening ear or a helping hand, we encourage girls to take responsibility for their wellbeing and help them develop the skills they can later utilise in life beyond Downe House.
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