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Orwell Park School: modern boarding in beautiful surroundings

PUBLISHED: 10:34 06 December 2019 | UPDATED: 11:08 06 December 2019

For Orwell Park School it is important that their pupils are listened to, cared for, valued and encouraged. Picture: Orwell Park School / Tom Soper

For Orwell Park School it is important that their pupils are listened to, cared for, valued and encouraged. Picture: Orwell Park School / Tom Soper

Archant

Is boarding school for your child? More and more parents are choosing this educational route for their children, increasingly aware of the benefits on offer.

Children are developing independence, resilience, personal organisation and social confidence, alongside a first-class education, and an almost limitless array of extra-curricular activities. For very busy working parents, there are also logistical advantages, and that precious peace of mind knowing that your child is thriving in a nurturing and nourishing environment.

Orwell Park School is an independent day and boarding school for boys and girls aged two and a half to 13, situated in over 110 acres of beautiful grounds, woodland and playing fields overlooking the Orwell estuary in Suffolk. It's been described as 'one of the most beautiful school settings in England' by The Good Schools Guide and The Week magazine.

Children who board learn how to live as a community. Picture: Orwell Park School / Tom SoperChildren who board learn how to live as a community. Picture: Orwell Park School / Tom Soper

Boarding is extremely popular at Orwell Park School. We spoke to the headmaster, Adrian Brown, to find out more about the benefits of boarding and to explore the boarding options available at Orwell Park School.

How boarding benefits children

Orwell Park School is situated in over 110 acres of beautiful grounds, woodland and playing fields. Picture:  Orwell Park School / Tom SoperOrwell Park School is situated in over 110 acres of beautiful grounds, woodland and playing fields. Picture: Orwell Park School / Tom Soper

Attending a boarding school can offer pupils many unique and rewarding experiences. Orwell Park has a rich curriculum with a wide variety of subjects and activities and small class sizes, allowing teachers to engage with and encourage each child in the classroom.

The school is split into two sections; the pre-prep school is for children aged two and a half to seven, and the prep school is for children aged seven to 13. Children aged seven and upwards can board and pupils from overseas are welcome to board.

Adrian said: "Boarding at Orwell Park School benefits children in various ways. Our boarders build incredibly strong bonds with each other, and mix with people from many different cultures and backgrounds. Boarding teaches important life skills, such as independence, organisation, tolerance and compromise. Children who board learn that they will not get on with everyone all of the time and that they need to accept others for who they are; they learn how to live as a community."

A special and nurturing environment

For Orwell Park School it's important that their pupils are listened to, cared for, valued and encouraged. Adrian said: "In pre-prep and middle school (nursery to year five), class teachers take special responsibility for the welfare as well as academic progress of the pupils in their care.

"In Years 6-8 Tutors keep in regular contact with parents and are readily available to discuss a pupil's needs in person, by email or telephone. It's important that our pupils, and in particular our boarders feel part of a community that supports and cares for them."

Sports and weekend activities

At the weekends and in the evenings there's plenty to keep children entertained, including making the most of the wonderful grounds, the assault course and the outdoor classroom in the woods.

Adrian said: "We ensure weekends are filled with activities that allow our boarders to socialise and have fun. Gnome World, Southwold, cinema outings and boating at Thorpeness are just some of the trips we've organised for pupils so far, and we come up with new ideas every year."

Many boarding schools have amazing sports facilities, and Orwell Park School is a great example of that, with a full sized floodlit astro in the grounds, numerous cricket and rugby pitches, squash courts and a swimming pool.

"We think it's extremely important for children to keep active, not only to maintain their physical health but also their mental health. Here at Orwell Park School there are many sports and activities for pupils to participate in, including athletics, clay pigeon shooting, cross country, equestrian, golf, hockey, rugby, sailing, skiing, squash, swimming and tennis," said Adrian.

Choose the boarding option that best suits your family

There are three boarding options at Orwell Park School: full boarding, weekly boarding and flexi boarding.

Adrian said: "Boarding falls into three categories, although interchange is common and welcome. Our full boarders spend weekends at school and every weekend is fully organised; weekly boarders go home at weekends and flexi boarders spend perhaps one or two regular nights per week at school.

"Whether children are day pupils or boarders, they all benefit from a very unique experience in a caring and nurturing community. It's a very special school and I feel very proud to be a part of it."

Find out more at orwellpark.co.uk or call 01473 659225 to arrange a tour of the school.

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