Finding the benefit of having more time at School for his prep and friends, Form 6 (Year 12) pupil Samuel shares his story on his transition from day pupil to flexi-boarder.
After joining the School in Form 3 (Year 9) as a day pupil, Samuel spent one year travelling to and from School each day before realising the boarding lifestyle was better suited to him.
Samuel found that flexi-boarding allowed him to do more at School.
“I felt that as a day pupil, I was getting home quite late in the evening because my family live near Market Harborough, so I wasn’t getting much time to do my prep work.”
“Also, by going home each evening I knew there were loads of exciting activities still happening at the School which I didn’t get to be a part of, so there was the social, fun element to consider as well.”
“When I weighed up what I was missing out on academically and socially, I knew that being a boarder was the right thing for me so had a discussion with my parents and luckily here I am now!”
Before coming to Oakham, Samuel didn’t know much about boarding at all.
“I was actually quite nervous about sleeping at School because the thought of it was quite daunting to me.”
“However, when I saw how close some of my friends were and how much of a good time they had, I knew it was something I wanted to try as it definitely made me want to join in with them.”
Now Samuel is a boarder, he has really close friendships with a lot of his peers.
“My friends are definitely the best part about boarding. You all get to really know and understand one another because of the time you spend together and we’re a really close year group.”
“You can talk to anyone if you have a problem and you always know that someone is around to listen, so whilst we all have a lot of fun, our friendships run really deep.”
Samuel soon settled into the boarding lifestyle.
“It was quite strange on the first few nights of boarding because you’re sleeping at School and you don’t have your family around you anymore.”
“I found that after a couple of days it was quite easy to settle into boarding life because the routine we have is very similar to what I would have at home and there are so many people around you that you feel comfortable really quickly.”
Samuel likes the flexibility of being able to go home at the weekends.
“I don’t think there’s a reason in particular I don’t fully board, as I’m sure it would be fine if I did, but it is really nice to go home at the weekends and have that time with my family.”
“I think the flexibility in our House is really good because there will be odd occasions when there are events happening and we can request to stay over all weekend as well, but it’s nice having a good balance of School and home life.”
Whilst there are many enjoyable things about Oakham, Sport is still a favourite for Samuel.
“I particularly enjoy doing sport at Oakham. I think the facilities are really good and the coaching is great.”
“My favourite sport is hockey but I also enjoy rugby and cricket. There’s lots of opportunities here for sport because you can do sport during the School day as well as during your free time.”
“There are also quite a few opportunities to do other activities and for my Service option I do CCF which is really cool. As part of this, we do RAF training and I’m really interested in flying and aircraft.”
“I also really enjoy the independence you get at the School as you move up the year groups. You get the freedom to get on with your own work but can still go to your tutors or teachers if you’re struggling.”
Alongside sport… the food at Oakham is also a big hit.
“Because of the amount of sport I do… there’s a lot of eating that goes alongside it.”
“The food in the Barraclough Dining Hall is really good. The go-to for me is always the pasta bar, because even there there’s so many options to choose from.”
“But to be honest, I just like all of the meals – it’s quite good and I was very surprised by the variety.”
Find out more about Boarding at Oakham School.