A Caring Culture
Our strong pastoral care network runs throughout every element of the boarding environment but the House staff are not alone in supporting the boarders – our systems are communicated to the wider body of staff at Bilton Grange who all play an important role in ensuring the wellbeing of our boarders.
The pupils themselves play a leading role with ‘Boarding Ambassadors’ from Year 8 chosen each term as well as a boarding council to represent the pupils’ views.
A Listening Culture
The culture and ethos of our boarding community is to be a caring and family focused setting. Boarders are given a voice with regular discussions and opportunities to provide feedback about boarding life. We recognise, though, that having a voice is no good without someone to listen and the staff strive to hear what the children have to say and act accordingly.
Mental & Physical Wellbeing
BG boarders enjoy freedom and space during their ‘home’ time to be themselves and develop. Nutritious snacks supplement the healthy meals that are served throughout the week and children are encouraged to play, inside or out, at every opportunity. The mental wellbeing of children is of paramount importance and regular check-ins with House staff are easy due to the nature of the day.
Being a boarder is like being part of a big family so while we nurture the individual development of every child, we also want them to be ‘part of the team’ and we place lots of emphasis on collaboration and mutual support.
The Shack and Chalet Awards
The Shack and Chalet Awards have become highly prized by the children as they compete, in their dormitories, for recognition in the following criteria:
- Being organised and ready in the mornings and evenings
- Being respectful
- Making their dormitory a home (pin board displays)
- Being kind and considerate to others
- Behaving and supporting the community
Each dormitory will be given a mark(s) out of 10 for the above areas and these will be collated each week and posted on the wave (boys) or slope (girls)! The winning dormitory will receive a cup/trophy at the end of term Prize Giving and also allowed to choose an activity from the Shack and Chalet shopping list.
The RAK Awards (Random Acts of Kindness Award)
The boarding house team are constantly looking to award boarders who go above and beyond without being asked. If this is witnessed or reported, the member of staff will award a raffle ticket to the boarder which will then go into a draw that takes place every half of term. The more raffle tickets a boarder receives, the greater chance he or she has of winning. And the prizes are very much worth it!
We have a number of events which celebrate the boarding community including the Christmas Banquet, the Lunar New Year Festival, boarders’ discos, campfire socials and other themed evenings.
Perhaps the most memorable which the children love because they get to act as ‘hosts’ are the Candlelit Suppers which take place at least once a term. A formal occasion, the children dress smartly and entertain adult guests who are invited mainly from senior boarding schools to where the BG pupils might be heading next. On all occasions, not only is the food delicious but the guests remark on the welcome and courtesy and affability of the children.