Boarding is outstanding in every category.
ISI Boarding Inspection Report January 2015
The boarding house is run very much as an extended family. Located upstairs and within the heart of the main school, the Housemistress, Quelli Coles lives in the middle of the boarding house with her husband Gideon (who is also the weekend Housemaster) and Woody the dog. Alongside the housemistress’ flat, there are the dormitories and washrooms, the School Nurse, Dispensary and SANS, the laundry (there is a full laundry service for all boarders), boarding house office and a large sunny common room.
Vinehall has a well-established boarding community of boys and girls. Currently, about three-quarters of the boarders are local children. The majority of older pupils at Vinehall choose to board. Boarding is either full or weekly and for full boarders there are regular exeat weekend breaks every two or three weeks. Boarders can always go out for special occasions e.g. a family birthday. Most boarders describe the weekends at Vinehall as the highlight of their week with a wide range of trips and activities on offer.
Boarding at Vinehall is changing to reflect the developing needs of families. The School are introducing Vinehall 12 (8am to 8pm)and Vinehall 24 (8am to 8am) – a flexible approach to after school care aimed at supporting parents whilst offering a safe and stable environment for the children.
CLASS NIGHTS We feel boarding is not only a great way for children to gain independence and get used to staying away from home, but is also a successful way for children to build the bond with their classmates and other pupils across the school. With this in mind we are introducing ‘Year boarding nights’ each week. This gives children in Years 4 and 5 the chance to try boarding knowing they will be with their friends.
Year 4 night will be Tuesday each week
Year 5 will be Thursday each week
Spaces will be limited as these nights will be increasingly popular as the children gain confidence and have great fun in the process! Children from these year groups will stay together in the same dorm in either the girls end or boys end of the house, and will retain the same beds and rooms if they stay on a regular basis. The evening activities will be planned with the year group in mind and children staying regularly will be able to help plan the weekly activities with Mrs Coles and the Gap students.
How can we help?
For families from further afield, including those living overseas, boarding at Vinehall is made as easy as possible. Staff organise transport to and from airports and offer an escort on the train to and from London at exeats and holidays. Matrons can provide a special packing service and can also arrange for any boarder needing haircuts, new shoes, dental appointments or extra storage over the holidays. Children can contact their parents by email, on Skype, or in the evenings on their own mobile phones, in addition to the traditional weekly letter home. Individual and small group lessons in English are offered to children for whom English is not a first language.