Boarding School FAQs
Why should I consider boarding for my daughter? What are the benefits?
Boarding offers pupils the opportunity to build their confidence in themselves and their ability, develop personal responsibility as well as to gain life skills that will benefit them far beyond their school career. They gain independence they simply wouldn’t get living at home. For pupils from overseas, the immersive nature of boarding allows language skills to increase rapidly and to immerse themselves in a different culture. Of course, pupils also leave boarding with friends who they will keep for life.
As a parent, what contact do I have with the school about my daughter and her learning?
At Rye St. Antony, contact between parents and teachers is a vital element of school life and academic success. All staff members can be contacted by email at any point during the year, and for any reason. Additionally, subject teachers provide either a written report on your child’s progress or an opportunity for direct conversation each half term. This means that parents are never left out of the loop.
How often can I talk to my daughter?
As much as you like! We would never want our girls to feel cut off from their family and encourage you to communicate as much as you would like to. While it’s important that your daughter is able to get as much out of boarding as possible, this should never come at the expense of contact with her family. However, we do ask that phone or Skype conversations aren’t at bedtime or during activities.
What support do you offer boarders who are homesick?
We aim for boarding to be a positive experience for all of our girls, and we recognise that moving away from home can be a stressful experience. For many, some level of homesickness is inevitable- it is natural to miss your family sometimes. We encourage boarders to keep themselves busy and get involved in the activity programme which will help them make friends and build a support network within our boarding family. Homesickness tends to ease reasonably quickly, and our staff are here to offer pupils support and ways to cope should that be needed.
What happens if a pupil has health or personal problems?
We have a school nurse and counsellor on hand to deal with any issues that arise. All boarders are registered at the local Doctors Surgery. Emergency dental care is available but regular check-ups and treatment should be organised in school holidays. All house staff are first aid trained. In the event of a more serious incident or problem, we are very close to the John Radcliffe hospital, which can provide further care. House staff are here to support all boarders with any problems or concerns at any time.
How many staff are in the boarding house?
The boarding house is run by a passionate and experienced team of staff who are on hand to help support boarders during their time at Rye. The team consists of two experienced Senior Housemistresses, our school nurse and two graduate assistants.
What does a day in the life of boarding look like?
7.30 – Breakfast
8.15 – Leave the house to join the rest of the school
8.15-4.00 – The school day
4.00-5.00 – Afternoon tea in the boarding house
Depending on age and responsibility, there is then time for pupils to go into Headington or Oxford, to practice music, get ahead on schoolwork or just to relax.
5.00-6.00 – Y5-Y10 supervised prep
6.30 – dinner
7.15pm – Evening activity
8.30pm -10.30pm – Hot drinks, evening snacks, and bedtime
Are meals and snacks provided by the school?
All meals are provided by the school, with dietary requirements fully catered for. Additionally, the boarding house offers afternoon tea, a wide range of snacks after school, and hot chocolate and drinks in the evenings.
The boarding house has a kitchen for girls to prepare their own food if they would like to.
What kind of activities are on offer in the evenings and at weekends?
We offer a varied mix of activities both in and out of the house. Girls may be involved in anything from team sports to baking, and origami to pamper and film nights during the evenings. At weekends, we organise trips further afield into the beautiful surrounding area and, as much as possible, boarders have an input into the activity programme we offer at here. The school is perfectly situated between the city and the countryside, and we make the most of being in this perfect location.
Do boarders have individual rooms?
Boarders are usually roomed according to age with younger boarders sharing dormitories and older boarders in individual rooms. Currently, due to Covid19, all boarders are accommodated in individual rooms.
How easy is it to travel to Rye St Antony?
Thanks to its central location, Rye is easily accessible by rail and road, and is within reach of London. We are just 5 miles off of the M40 motorway and five miles from Oxford railway station. Our school is on a number of direct bus routes from Oxford station and next to the bus stop which runs frequent and reliable services connecting Oxford to London and Heathrow and Gatwick airports. The school has a link to a local taxi company whose drivers have all been approved to work with children. Taxis can be booked through the boarding house or school office to make transfers easier for younger boarders.
What time is bedtime?
Bedtimes vary according to age. Younger boarders going to bed from 8.30pm and the Sixth Form girls go to bed at 10.30pm.
Do you supply linen and have a laundry service?
We offer our boarders a full laundry service and linen. An onsite laundry service is offered from Monday to Friday and within the boarding house, we also have facilities for older boarders to take care of their own laundry if they prefer.
What type of electrical equipment can I bring to the boarding house?
Boarders are welcome to bring their own electrical devices, for example, laptops and phones but all items must be tested at school to ensure they are safe for use and comply with British safety standards.
Is there WiFi?
WiFi is available to pupils in all school buildings.
If I want to go out at a weekend to visit friends can I do that?
Yes. While we encourage all boarders to be engaged with boarding activities and to contribute to the life of the house, we also support boarders in their social lives outside of the house and school community. Attendance at out of school clubs and activities is also encouraged – for example dancing classes, martial arts, swimming. We simply ask that you give us plenty of notice and ensure relevant permissions are in place. Please speak with a member of boarding staff.
Can I travel back to my parental home during term time?
While more local boarders might go home at a weekend and are very welcome to do so, long journeys mean that the majority of overseas boarders wouldn’t go home during term time in normal circumstances. This means that there are always other girls around and something going on for boarders at weekends.