Boarding

The quality of the boarding [at Sibford School] is excellent. ISI report 2015 ~ to view a full copy of the ISI report click here.

Pupils can board at Sibford School on a full-time, weekly or flexi basis.
We have three boarding houses:

  • Penn House, which caters for boys aged between 11 and 16;
  • Margaret Fell, which caters for girls aged between 11 and 16; and
  • Fielding, which is our Sixth Form boarding house (mixed but with separate ‘wings’ for sleeping).

The aim of our boarding provision is to provide a ‘home from home’ safe environment for our boarders. Our houses are run by House Parents (some of whom are also teachers) who work hard to create a family style environment. House parents live at either end of the boarding houses. They know our boarders well, and, like parents, try to keep informed of their progress at school, whilst also giving them a secure home to retreat to from the pressures of academic work.

Our international boarders come from a wide range of countries and comprise about 10% of our school population.

Exeat weekends

Sibford School has announced that it is to reduce the number of compulsory Exeat Weekends for boarding pupils with effect from September 2017. In the past, Sibford has had five exeats throughout the academic year. However, following discussions with agents and other interested parties, the school has decided to reduce this to just two compulsory exeats … one in September and the other on the weekend of the early May Bank Holiday. The remaining three exeats (in November, January and March) will be voluntary and students will be welcome to remain on campus where activities will be provided to entertain them.

Voluntary exeats will generally be offered to pupils in Year 9 and above. Additional charges may apply depending on the nature of the activities.

Pastoral Care and Staffing

We believe that the community atmosphere of Sibford School provides support and nurture for all our boarders. The wide range of backgrounds that boarders bring with them adds an international dimension to a rural school, which in turn adds to the diversity of the school and provides increased understanding of different cultures for all students.

The boarding environment is sensitive to the needs of individuals. Personal development is encouraged and students are motivated to use their gifts in service to the community. This approach supports the overall aims of our school which are summarised in three words:

  • Respect;
  • Resilience; and
  • Relationships.

Our Head of Boarding is Victoria Baker. It is her responsibility to work with the Head, Toby Spence, and the Designated Safeguarding Lead, Tracy Knowles, to ensure compliance with the National Minimum Standards and Safeguarding regulations. Victoria meets regularly with the Senior Leadership Team, House Parents and House Captains. She is a frequent visitor to all the Boarding Houses and undertakes regular evening and weekend duties. 

All teaching staff also play a small role in the boarding houses in that they have an evening duty once every half term and a weekend duty once a year.

Each house appoints a student member of the community as Head of House and Deputy Head of House. The role has a strong social aspect … Student Heads and Deputies plan house parties and help to organise social outings. They also act as informal ‘mentors’ for other boarders who having difficulties settling into boarding life or life in the UK, and assist the House Parents to ensure that duties are carried out efficiently.

Student Heads of House and Deputies meet fortnightly with the Head of Boarding over lunch in a private dining room. The meetings are informal but are an excellent opportunity for the ‘student voice’ to be heard. It also helps the Head of Boarding to gain impressions about ways to improve the boarding experience.

Boarders’ Activities

During the week all boarders have a supervised homework time, with access to the library and computers. This is followed by supper after which a wide range of evening activities can be enjoyed.

Boarders are encouraged to make full use of our many sporting facilities including our 25m indoor swimming pool, sports hall, squash and tennis courts and football and rugby pitches. Senior Boarders are also allowed supervised access to the Music School, for practice, and also the Art and Textiles studios.

There are a variety of House-based activities including cooking, milk shake making, board games, electronic games, pool, ping pong and craft activities.

Senior boarders are expected to spend additional time studying in the evenings especially during examination times.

Throughout the year there are various social events when pupils in all the Houses gather for fun and food either on site or at a nearby restaurant.

Sibford does not operate Saturday school so our weekends provide time for relaxation, trips out, activities … and the chance to catch up on homework and sleep!

Pupils are able to enjoy their own individual time at the weekends, balanced with times when there are set activities taking place. We hope that this prepares our students to use their leisure time responsibly and productively, as well as renewing their energy for the week ahead.

Younger pupils have a more structured programme at the weekends while Sixth Form students have greater choice, as is appropriate for their age.

Guardians

Please note: Sibford School requires that an official UK-based guardian must be appointed for any pupil whose parents live outside of the UK, even if the pupil is in the sixth form and over the age of 18.