Sixth Form - State Boarding
Joining LRGS at Sixth Form
Having never boarded anywhere before, I had all sorts of preconceptions, but boarding life is good, especially in the Sixth Form. In the Sixth Form you can basically do what you like - within reason. You’re still subject to hours of prep every weekday evening but are allowed to do this in the comfort of your room. Another great benefit is the privilege of cutting the queue at mealtimes, which can often spare you about 10 minutes or so!
There is a sense of camaraderie amongst boarders, particularly those in the same form. Some evenings a group will go down to the sports hall for a game of football or touch rugby. Other evenings are spent in front of the TV, quite often watching music channels and chatting about what’s new. At weekends, most boarders go home, but there is an activity organised for every Sunday, which has ranged from paintballing to a trip to the Science Museum in Manchester. Once a year, there is also a boarders’ trip to Alton Towers. There’s really almost anything you could want from a school.
Some lads who have been mainly in co-ed schools might find that there’s something to be desired, but there are socials every now and then with Casterton Girls' School! The food is actually better than the stereotypical ‘school dinners’. I’d also say I’m forced to work harder than I would have at home, and as a result my work is getting slightly better too.
Becoming a Sixth Form Boarder
The first week or so is all about trying to fit in. You may wonder during your first couple of weeks whether you have made the correct choice to move into the school. The workload seems hard and the teachers can seem a bit intense if you’re not working hard enough. You are especially likely to find this if you join from a comprehensive school like I did. However, you soon realise that A-levels are going to be difficult wherever you do them. At LRGS you are likely to find that the standard of teaching here is much greater than where you have moved from. This should lead to you being able to attain better A-level results in the end. Boarding also find helps with academic study. Prep times are set but, as a sixth former, you are trusted to get on with homework in your dorm. However, set prep times certainly motivate you in comparison to if you were at home.
The housemaster is also an influential factor. If, perhaps, you have a bumpy beginning in the first month, the housemaster is there to support and advise you. You would be unlikely to get this support as a day boy as you would probably not wish to tell your parents that you are not getting on in a particular area.
The boarding atmosphere is great! There is always plenty to do and there are always friends around you - it can seem almost like a permanent sleepover! You can play table tennis and pool and watch TV and live sport (ie football or rugby matches) projected onto a big screen.
Becoming a boarder at LRGS is worth considering as it can offer two key things:
1 Help with your studies with allocated prep times, and also the drive and enthusiasm offered by the housemaster, who wants to do well for you.
2 Great fun, always people around, much to do - never boring!
Boarding for seven years
I am currently in the Sixth Form and have been a boarder ever since I joined LRGS. I think the day-to-day life for a boarder is extremely different to that of a day boys. The boarders are allowed to come back and relax at the boarding house at break times and this makes the boarders’ life a lot easier because it means they can drop off books and have a few snacks. At the moment I run the tuck shop. This responsibility is split between me and another Sixth Form boarder. Apart from this, the Sixth Formers in the house help the teachers and matrons to keep the younger boys within the boundaries.
In the senior boarding houses, the schedule after school is very relaxed. In the summer you get a good three and a half hours after school to enjoy playing football, cricket, or whatever else you want to do, on the Douthwaite Field. Alternatives could include going down into Lancaster to go meet your friends or to go shopping.
During the week the house is pretty relaxed and you will find yourself with a lot of spare time to do what you want. At the weekend there is normally a main activity planned, such as Alton Towers or paintballing. These always make the weekend, and boarding, a worthwhile experience.
All in all I feel that boarding at LRGS is a great experience which would be enjoyable for any boy.
Pupils are well focussed and take every opportunity to develop skills and prepare for their futures (Ofsted)