Date Posted... Jan 27th 2020



Junior Boys’ Boarding Blog

As part of our Boarders’ PSHEE programme, our activity this weekend consisted of a variety of activities enabling the boarders to develop an important ‘life skill’. Each activity was led by one of the Boarding Staff, and the boarders were placed in mixed groups on a carousel of activities. One activity focussed on them budgeting effectively and developing greater financial awareness. Their task, in groups of 4, was to buy the ingredients for a berry smoothie (for 4 people) at Tesco, for under £5. Any change they had was then a bonus. The second part of their task, was to create their chosen smoothie as a group, which was blind judged for taste by Mrs Mulready and Mrs Howe. This is good experience for when they have to live independently after school.

One of the other tasks was to design a competitive sports game as a group and then explain the rules to other groups. This was to develop their teamwork and presentation skills, and to emphasise the importance of physical exercise to the boarders. The last task required the boarders to make their own way to a nearby care home, Tregolls Manor, where they were given a tour by the manager and had an opportunity to meet and interact with the residents. This had multiple educational objectives: Firstly, the pupils were engaging with local social care, particularly for the elderly, which is hugely relevant now and will only continue to be so. Being aware of this, and its place within society is an important lesson; secondly, the boarders were placed in a room with 5 or 6 residents, aged between 80 and 96, and were required to communicate with them.

Chatting to the boarders afterwards, they found the initial exchanges quite awkward, but it was amazing to see how, once the ice was broken, many of them were happily conversing or listening – at the end of each group session it was a challenge to drag them away. It was such a lovely, smiling atmosphere as both parties shared stories and experiences. What was particularly lovely was that two of the boarders, Kevin, and our own Christian, sat down at the piano to accompany proceedings. We were then treated to generous helping of tea, biscuits and sandwiches and the residents were so grateful for our visit.

Upon returning back the house, we were pleased to discover that Mr Hatfield had serviced us with a new toaster. Therefore, to finish the weekend’s PSHE experience, my final challenge was a question: “instead of answering ‘Yes sir’ to the roll-call, can you name me one thing that one should not put in a toaster?”, to which the answers were dutifully “water”, “fingers”, “a fork”, “butter”, “chocolate spread” etc. – I won’t reveal which one of the above answers was responsible for the demise of our previous toaster.

Next weekend the boys go BMXing, rather a contrast to this weekend.