We’re all thinking about schools at the moment here at My Baba, not just because it’s that time of year, but because we’re media partners at Tatler Schools Live! this week, so we’ve got schools on the brain. I’m really excited to share this brilliant project that we put together with a handful of boys from Sunningdale School, a traditional boys’ boarding prep school.

Sunningdale is a small family owned and run school in Berkshire, 40 minutes from London. They have a pretty awesome scholarship record which can be seen in this press-clipping.

People often ask us, not just about boarding schools but about single sex education, and that’s a topic we’re exploring this week. When we asked the headmaster at Sunngindale, he said ‘Our results really show what small classes and boys’ boarding education, when combined with great fun, can deliver.’

What we really wanted to do was to talk to the pupils themselves, so we interviewed a few pupils from Sunningdale school. Four boys aged 7 and up from the boarding school have answered our questions, and their writing is so neat we’ve included their original-accounts and we hope you agree, it’s a fascinating read.

What age were you when you first went to boarding school? 

Louis Hopton: 9
Oliver Senior: 7
Alonso Fontana: I was 11 when I firsrt started.
Joe Barrett: 11

Do you get homesick, and what happens if you do? 

Louis Hopton: I didn’t, because I didn’t have much time to think about it.
Oliver Senior: I didn’t get homesick because I was so busy, I didn’t have time to think about family. |
Alonso Fontana: I get a bit homesick the first three days but after that I was so busy and everyone helped me so much that I forgot about it.
Joe Barrett: I don’t get homesick because even if I do everyone helps you.

What do you like most about boarding school? 

Louis Hopton: Playing sport everyday with your friends and playing music.
Oliver Senior: You don’t have to drive to school every day.
Alonso Fontana: You have to everything yourself, instead of someone else sorting your things.
Joe Barrett: All of the sport and boarding.

Joe Barret receiving his football colours

Joe Barrett receiving his football colours

What don’t you like about boarding school? 

Louis Hopton: I like it all really.
Olivia Senior: There isn’t anything I dislike about boarding.
Alonso Fontana: The meals they give you.
Joe Barrett: Saturday school.

What is the food like? What is your favourite meal? 

Louis Hopton: The food is amazing, my favourite meal is fish pie.
Oliver Senior: The food is good, and at breakfast you can have fruit, pastries or sausages and bacon.
Alonso Fontana: We have a new chef now and it’s getting better. I love fish and chips.
Joe Barrett: We have just got a new chef and the food is really nice.

lunch

What is your favourite subject?

Louis Hopton: Latin
Oliver Senior: History
Alonso Fontana: Maths
Joe Barrett: Art

Who is your favourite teacher and why? 

Louis Hopton: Mr Clibborn, he makes learning fun.
Oliver Senior: Mr Clibborn, he is always making you learn but in a really fun way.
Alonso Fontana: I don’t have a favourite teacher at Sunningdale.
Joe Barrett: I don’t have one, they’re all nice and helpful.

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The boys’ favourite teacher – Mr Clibborn!

Do you feel like you have grown up faster at boarding school? Is that a good thing? 

Louis Hopton: Yes, I think it’s a good thing because it means that I enjoy school better.
Oliver Senior: I don’t know because I have nothing to compare it to.
Alonso Fontana: I think I have because I’ve learnt how to do everything myself. I think this is a good thing.
Joe Barrett: Yes. It is much more mature and you do a lot of things for yourself.

Do you have to make your own bed? 

Louis Hopton: Yes, of course.
Oliver Senior: Yes, that is a downside.
Alonso Fontana: Yes I do, every morning.
Joe Barrett: Yes.

Do you have a mobile phone? How often do you use it?

Louis Hopton: I don’t have a mobile phone.
Oliver Senior: No, not at school.
Alonso Fontana: I do have a mobile phone because I live in Spain and I use it once every two days to ring my parents.
Joe Barrett: Yes, but I leave it at home.

How often do you go home?

Louis Hopton It varies.
Oliver Senior: Every two weeks.
Alonso Fontana: Once every month.
Joe Barrett: Every two weks, but you go home every week if you want.

Do you like, or even prefer being at school without girls? 

Louis Hopton: I don’t mind, because I probably concentrate better without it.
Oliver Senior: I haven’t been at school with girls since I was seven, so I can’t remember what it is like.
Alonso Fontana: I do like being at a boys’ school as it helps me to concentrate.
Joe Barrett: I would like to be with girls, but it’s also fun with just boys.

When did you last get in trouble and what for? 

Louis Hopton: Yesterday, for lack of effort.
Oliver Senior: When I spoke when I wasn’t meant to.
Alonso Fontana: Yesterday I got a complaint for mucking around in rest.
Joe Barrett: Two weeks ago, for being late for a lesson.

If you have kids when you’re older, would you send them to boarding school? 

Louis Hopton Yes.
Oliver Senior: I haven’t made that decision.
Alonso Fontana: Yes I would as I think they give you better education.
Joe Barrett: If they want to, yes, because I want them to have the fun I had.

How would you sum your school life up in a sentence? 

Louis Hopton: School gives you many opportunities and most of all school life is fun.
Oliver Senior: Lots of sport and being with friends.
Alonso Fontana: Being with my friends and having lots of space to play.
Joe Barrett: It’s fun and you are always doing something.

 

tom-dawson

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