The Trennick boarders have responded incredibly to school operating under the new lockdown. Not much has changed during the school day; the boarders are still attending lessons and after-school clubs and activities. The staff in the Sir Ben Ainslie Sports Centre have been working hard to ensure that during the evenings and weekends the boarders can still enjoy football on the astro-turf pitch, indoor basketball and badminton, swimming and using the gym. Boarding staff decided to not run weekend off-site trips for two reasons; firstly, to reduce the risk of Coronavirus transmission, and secondly, to avoid the potential for being falsely accused by members of the public for mixing households. The boarding prefects were consulted about boarders visiting Truro and decided that boarders should only visit the local supermarket and pharmacies when essential stationery, toiletries and food are needed. All boarders have shown great levels of maturity in understanding that they have a social responsibility to their larger boarding households, and they all seem determined to minimise the risk of transmission.
The weekend has been a positive experience despite the new government restrictions. On Friday evening the older boarders enjoyed socialising with the Malvern older boarders in the Poltisco games shed which has been converted into a social space with additional sofas, a screen and projector for films, fairy lights, and a repaired table football and pool table. On Saturday, Lorenzo made good use of the kitchen and cooked some very tasty pizzas from scratch – he even made his own pizza dough. Dan and Cyrus were a great help when creating more seating in the junior common room for the evening movie. Mr Thomson took the junior boarders onto the astro on Saturday for a good game of rounders. The senior boys enjoyed a Saturday evening mass game of poker with pizzas and chocolate fudge cake. On Sunday all the boarders had an hour in the swimming pool where they enjoyed the use of the floats and organised games of water polo.
We also discussed mental health and wellbeing during a house meeting. The boarders were advised to continue to talk about their experiences and challenges. They can do this with their easily accessible support group of other boarders, or with any member of boarding staff, the nurses or chaplain. Boarders were also advised to engage fully in the extra-curricular clubs and evening and weekend boarders’ activities. Finally, they were encouraged to leave their bedrooms and get off their screens for at least a few hours every weekend and join in with the Saturday evening in-house social activities.