Frequently Asked Questions.
Questions Families Ask About Boarding
Answers from Jim Seymour Head of Boarding
Q What makes boarding at Caterham special?
A Two things: the friendliness of the School, which our students often refer to, and the dedication of our staff.
Q When is the best time to apply?
A As soon as possible. We already have many applications for the next academic year.
Q How do you help new boarders to settle in?
A There is a full induction programme for First Year and Third Year pupils, day students and boarders, which takes place the day before the start of term. In the boarding houses, students are also paired with an existing boarder of the same age to help them in the first few weeks.
Q When can I contact my son or daughter?
A Lesson and homework times are fixed, so it is useful to find out when your son or daughter is likely to be busy. In general, though, the School welcomes the chance to keep parents up to date whether by phone, fax or email. If you are in the area and let us know, we are always happy to see you. Students have their own email addresses to facilitate regular contact with home.
Q What do boarders do in their free time?
A Boarders have some free time after school and at weekends, and can, of course, make use of the sports, recreational and library facilities at School and in the House. They can also go into town, but must always obtain permission first, and must agree the time they will return. Younger students must always be with a group of friends. Sixth Form students may wish to go to London by train (50 minutes), but must also seek permission beforehand, must return by an agreed time and must travel with friends.
Q Are there organised excursions for boarders?
A Yes. We have a programme of Sunday excursions: we go to places such as Alton Towers theme park, and take part in activities such as watersports, museum visits and paintballing. A group also travels each year to either Paris, Brussels or Amsterdam for a 5-day cultural visit.
Q What is a guardian?
A Every student resident outside the UK must have a guardian in the UK. Guardians can be friends or relatives appointed by the student's family, or we can supply a list of professional guardianship agencies who can find an appropriate family. Students spend occasional weekends with their guardians and guardians can be a valued source of support for students.
Q Are boarding staff specially trained?
A Training is central to the School's boarding policy. All pastoral staff undertake specialist training for their role, approved by the Boarding Schools Association, so that they are aware of their responsibilities, are able to handle situations clearly and effectively, and to work in the best interests of the students.