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7

D R A G O N S T O D AY S P R I N G 2 0 1 6

B O A R D I N G D R A G O N S

rothers Theo and Fergus

Rich enjoy sharing life

with their best friends, the

Houseparents’ children and a

menagerie of pets in boarding

houses next to the School. Both

joined the Dragon from London

day schools. Having lived

in both a junior and middle

school boarding house, Theo

joined Gunga Din for Years 7

and 8 and felt supported and

welcomed by the older boys, his

boarding experience proving

so positive that Fergus felt

confident about joining him.

Theo and Fergus love the

independence of boarding. The

boarding house is ‘home’ at school:

boys return there for ‘Bun Break’, a

lunchtime play, Games changing and

afternoon tea times to catch up with

friends, Houseparents and drop a quick

email home. After school they enjoy

free time and a range of clubs. After

prep, Theo and Fergus might have

activities in the gym or swimming

pool or simply chill-out, read or play

pool or table football. Theo says,

“We

also have quizzes or organise dorms

activities for boys in junior boarding

houses. Some boys have taken up

knitting!” Weekends can be active too.

“There are trips such as ice-skating or

a visit to a theme park.”

Do the boys miss their family?

“I don’t

really miss them,”

Theo says.

“I see

my parents as much as I would if I

were a day boy, as they both work.”

Fergus explains that he contacts his

parents whenever he wants, adding that

his Houseparents, Richard and Anna

Wilson,

“feel like my parents when I

am in House.”

All children face challenges, but Theo

points out,

“there are plenty of people

to help me. Preptakers help with

homework, my tutor helps me manage

my activities and my Houseparents

(John and Sarah Warlow) provide

extra support if I need it.”

Fergus

adds,

“When I have a problem I talk

to Mr Wilson or Ma Wilson. They

would call my parents if they

needed to.”

At the end of term, boarding children

enjoy House Suppers and take part

in a remarkable Dragon event: Sing

Song, where teachers entertain them

with songs and sketches.

“In the

Christmas Term,”

Theo adds,

“each

House prepares a Christmas spectacle

and performs at the Miscellany. All

the A Block (Year 8) boarders are also

invited to Mr and Ma Baugh’s house

for dinner and we play after-dinner

games.”

Theo likes problem and

puzzle solving so the Bridge

Club and Programming

provide the perfect stimuli

to engage him. His favourite

subjects are History and

Maths. After school

he plays Squash, noting,

“I didn’t have so many

opportunities at my small

London day school.”

“All lessons are fun,”

Fergus

remarked, before correcting himself.

“Actually that’s not true…most are

fun. My favourite academic subject

is English. Design and Technology

is really popular; Mr Nicholson gets

us to make cool stuff using the laser

cutter and the 3D printer.”

What advice would the boys give future

boarders? Theo suggested,

“Bring

something to remind you of home

and, of course, your favourite teddy.

Enjoy everything.”

Fergus simply

commented,

“The Dragon is amazing.

Boarding makes you independent and

is really fun.

It’s like a constant sleepover.”

The children's view

B

It's like a

constant

sleepver

...our children

are enjoying an

outstanding

education and

building incredible

friendships

Theo (fourth from left), with his friends in boarding house