Features / 12 September, 2017 / My Baba

Boarding Schools: What Do Boys Really Think?

We’re all thinking about schools at the moment here at My Baba. Not just because it’s that time of year, but because we’re media partners at Tatler Schools Live!, so we’ve got schools on the brain.

So what better way to celebrate than by sharing this brilliant project that we put together a while back with a handful of boys from Sunningdale School, a traditional boys’ boarding prep school.

Sunningdale is a small family-owned and run school in Berkshire, 40 minutes from London. They have a pretty awesome sports and scholarship record (regularly achieving the top scholarships to Eton and Winchester) and they are running an Open Day on Saturday 14th October at 10.30am for families interested in attending the school to have a look around and meet the Head.

People often ask us, not just about boarding schools but about single sex education. When we asked the headmaster at Sunningdale, he said ‘Our results really show what small classes and boys’ boarding education, when combined with great fun, can deliver.’

What we really wanted to do was to talk to the pupils themselves, so we interviewed a few pupils from Sunningdale school. Four boys aged 7 and up from the boarding school have answered our questions, and their writing is so neat we’ve included their original-accounts and we hope you agree, it’s a fascinating read.

What age were you when you first went to boarding school? 

Louis: 9
Oliver: 7
Alonso: I was 11 when I firsrt started.
Joe: 11

Do you get homesick, and what happens if you do? 

Louis: I didn’t, because I didn’t have much time to think about it.
Oliver: I didn’t get homesick because I was so busy, I didn’t have time to think about family. |
Alonso: I get a bit homesick the first three days but after that I was so busy and everyone helped me so much that I forgot about it.
Joe: I don’t get homesick because even if I do everyone helps you.

What do you like most about boarding school? 

Louis: Playing sport everyday with your friends and playing music.
Oliver: You don’t have to drive to school every day.
Alonso: You have to everything yourself, instead of someone else sorting your things.
Joe: All of the sport and boarding.

What do boys think of boarding school

What don’t you like about boarding school? 

Louis: I like it all really.
Olivia: There isn’t anything I dislike about boarding.
Alonso: The meals they give you.
Joe: Saturday school.

What is the food like? What is your favourite meal? 

Louis: The food is amazing, my favourite meal is fish pie.
Oliver: The food is good, and at breakfast you can have fruit, pastries or sausages and bacon.
Alonso: We have a new chef now and it’s getting better. I love fish and chips.
Joe: We have just got a new chef and the food is really nice.

What is your favourite subject?

Louis: Latin
Oliver: History
Alonso: Maths
Joe: Art

Who is your favourite teacher and why? 

Louis: Mr Clibborn, he makes learning fun.
Oliver: Mr Clibborn, he is always making you learn but in a really fun way.
Alonso: I don’t have a favourite teacher at Sunningdale.
Joe: I don’t have one, they’re all nice and helpful.


The boys’ favourite teacher – Mr Clibborn!

Do you feel like you have grown up faster at boarding school? Is that a good thing? 

Louis: Yes, I think it’s a good thing because it means that I enjoy school better.
Oliver: I don’t know because I have nothing to compare it to.
Alonso: I think I have because I’ve learnt how to do everything myself. I think this is a good thing.
Joe: Yes. It is much more mature and you do a lot of things for yourself.

Do you have to make your own bed? 

Louis: Yes, of course.
Oliver: Yes, that is a downside.
Alonso: Yes I do, every morning.
Joe: Yes.

Do you have a mobile phone? How often do you use it?

Louis: I don’t have a mobile phone.
Oliver: No, not at school.
Alonso: I do have a mobile phone because I live in Spain and I use it once every two days to ring my parents.
Joe: Yes, but I leave it at home.

How often do you go home?

Louis: It varies.
Oliver: Every two weeks.
Alonso: Once every month.
Joe: Every two weeks, but you go home every week if you want.

Do you like, or even prefer being at school without girls? 

Louis: I don’t mind, because I probably concentrate better without it.
Oliver: I haven’t been at school with girls since I was seven, so I can’t remember what it is like.
Alonso: I do like being at a boys’ school as it helps me to concentrate.
Joe: I would like to be with girls, but it’s also fun with just boys.

When did you last get in trouble and what for? 

Louis: Yesterday, for lack of effort.
Oliver: When I spoke when I wasn’t meant to.
Alonso: Yesterday I got a complaint for mucking around in rest.
Joe: Two weeks ago, for being late for a lesson.

Sunningdale Prep School

Sunningdale Prep School

If you have kids when you’re older, would you send them to boarding school? 

Louis: Yes.
Oliver: I haven’t made that decision.
Alonso: Yes I would as I think they give you better education.
Joe: If they want to, yes, because I want them to have the fun I had.

How would you sum your school life up in a sentence? 

Louis: School gives you many opportunities and most of all school life is fun.
Oliver: Lots of sport and being with friends.
Alonso: Being with my friends and having lots of space to play.
Joe: It’s fun and you are always doing something.








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