Rise and shine!
A busy day starts with boarders ready for breakfast in the Great Chamber by 7:45am. By 8:15am, day children are starting to arrive at school and at 8:20am all children are registered in tutor groups.
At morning registration messages are given to the children about the day ahead and in turn, form tutors might well have had emails from parents, or the boarding staff, about children’s particular needs and concerns, which can be addressed during this time. On certain days we hold whole school assemblies, whilst on other mornings children will have a form period, instrumental lesson or prayers in the Chapel.
On Sunday, breakfast is at 8.00am and children go to Mass at 10.30am.
Formal timetabled lessons start at 8:55am and the day is configured, so that there are good breaks for the children and also time given over to moving briskly from one lesson to the next. There are two lessons between 8:55am and 10:20am, then a 20 minute break with all children being offered a drink and snack which includes milk, fruit and a biscuit. Lessons 3 and 4 take place between 10:40am and 12:00pm.
The lunch break is long but broken into two parts, so that children have time to share a meal in the Great Chamber along with teachers and their friends; time to attend clubs, perhaps practise a musical instrument; attend to some unfinished work, or play in the wonderful Yorkshire countryside.
Registration for afternoon classes takes place between 1:10pm and 1:15pm. At this time, we take note of children’s afternoon activities.
On most afternoons the children will have time set aside for Games and/or activities. Our Games programme refers to the seasonal sports which are on offer and Activities refers to specialist events such as shooting, archery, golf and fencing. The afternoon timetable starts at 1:15pm and there are three 40 minute slots which take us up to the end of timetabled lessons at 4:10pm. Years 3 to 6 have an hour of games, or activities from Monday to Friday, with Wednesday afternoons being set aside for fixtures against other schools. Our Years 7 to 8 also have a full Games timetable from Tuesday to Friday, with most of their competitive fixtures taking place on Saturday afternoons.
From 4:10pm to 4:35pm children have a break and get ready, after another snack and play, for evening prep. There are two prep sessions per night which take place between 4:35pm and 5:35pm. All children, whether day or boarding, have prep at school. All prep is supervised and in the case of Juniors, it is overseen by form tutors. Children are able to receive the requisite amount of support for undertaking prep, based on their daily lessons, but the teachers are working towards helping all children develop a good degree of relative independence in this. This may include helping them to make good choices and encouragement to sustain their effort. Children are given opportunities to develop their reasoning skills and write well/tabulate appropriately. Lessons are sometimes supported with IT, but children are taught to take pride in their book work as an essential aspect of development. This is especially important as a way of supporting their understandings in a meaningful way.
At 5:35pm, a busy day of work and play is over and the children get ready for an evening meal at 5:45pm. Many day children stay at school to enjoy the clubs’ programme between 6:30pm and 7:30pm. Clubs take place from Monday to Friday inclusively and clubs are well attended. There is plenty to offer the children in the way of music, drama, art and sports, but also things like karate, table tennis, dog walking, cross country running, mountain biking, model making, maths club and dry slope skiing take place amongst many other things.
By 7:30pm, children start to gather in the Long Gallery to watch television, phone home or chat to friends and the house boarding team. Hot chocolate and toast is available as is a roaring fire in the front hall during the colder months. Boarders have access to a games room, their own common rooms and after prayers at 8:30pm children shower, organise themselves for the new day, with matron to hand for any special needs and often a story before lights out at 9:00pm. The school offers 24 hour matronal care and supervision, so that at any point during the night there is someone on to deal with any issues that may arise.
There are lessons on Saturday mornings until 12.35pm. Saturday afternoon is usually taken up with sporting activities and free time. On Saturday evenings and Sundays there is time to relax; boarders enjoy a mix of free time and involvement in a range of organised activities including cinema trips, excursions, swimming or just playing in our beautiful grounds.