All weekends, except for the first and last weekend of term, are ‘Open’ Weekends, meaning boarders can go home after their Saturday commitments and return on Sunday evening or Monday morning. We have two ‘Exeat’ Weekends each term (at the quarter and three-quarter term mark) when all pupils go home or to guardians from the Friday lunchtime to the Sunday evening or Monday morning.
Our weekend programme is busy, varied and such fun that we often find that boarders will opt to remain during weekends to participate in the wide-ranging activities on offer: excursions (to venues such as Legoland, Drayton Manor Theme Park, Thorpe Park and Chessington World of Adventures); and outings to Paintballing, Laser Tag, High Ropes, Coral Reef, Trampolining, Camp building and games in Shotover Woods, Ice skating at Oxford Ice Rink and Swindon Oasis to name but a few.
School facilities are used for activities too, including cooking, table tennis, art and crafts, swimming, giant inflatables, activities in the gym, on the fields or the river, or on one of the three AstroTurfs. Time during weekends can also be spent practising musical instruments, rehearsing for plays and enjoying free-time in House and around the School. The Houses put on challenges such as Bake-Off and Masterchef nights, Olympiad evenings and Talent Shows.
At present, all children attend compulsory academic lessons on Saturday mornings but from September 2020, we will be replacing these for Years 4 and 5 with an exciting bespoke enrichment programme, Dragon QUEST, which will be rolled out to Years 6-8 from September 2021. All full boarders who are in School on Saturdays will engage in the wide and stimulating range of Dragon QUEST activities, whilst other pupils will be warmly invited to participate on a voluntary basis.