Meet our UK Boarding School team: Head of Boarding
The Head of Boarding has a very important duty within a boarding school in England. One of their top priorities is to create a warm and friendly environment for students while they are studying and living away from home.
Mrs Jenny Robinson is the new Head of Boarding at King’s College Saint Michaels. Here, she has written a message introducing herself and her husband, Paul Robinson, who will also be working as part of the boarding team:
“My husband and I are very excited to be joining St Michaels school in September. We are moving to St Michaels from the seaside town of Scarborough in Yorkshire. I have been head of a boarding house for the last four years and I have also previously taught maths as well as being the school librarian.
Mr Robinson has been part of the boarding team while also working as a problem solver for a utilities company. We are passionate about boarding life, family and community spirit. We love spending time with young people and providing a loving family atmosphere, encouraging pupils to develop confidence and be adventurous.
We hope that over the coming years all St Michaels pupils will develop a sense of belonging and will remember their school life here with great fondness.”
“There are 6 boarding houses with each building comprising single and twin rooms. Each boarding house has a devoted staff member whose role is to make sure each and every international student feels cared for and is therefore able to focus during their classes. In a recent ISI report, it was stated that parents ‘expressed great satisfaction with all aspects of the boarding provision’, which demonstrates the way the boarding team are creating a caring and friendly student experience whilst also ensuring students feel safe in the boarding houses.
Students are provided with all of their meals, a laundry service and daily access to a nurse. They also visit many cities throughout Great Britain as part of the Sports & Social programme. When students join a boarding school in the UK, it is very important that they learn more about the country. These cultural visits are designed to enhance their knowledge of Great Britain whilst simultaneously enhancing the overall student experience. Excursions are an important part of boarding school life for international students and are also incredibly popular as it provides them with an opportunity to see more of the country and get away from the boarding houses for a well-deserved break during the weekends.
As Head of Boarding, my advice to any international student looking to study at a boarding school in England would be to consider the individual strengths of each school. Before you travel abroad don’t be afraid to ask each boarding school in the UK lots of questions – particularly when it comes to the boarding experience, as the school you choose will become your home for the next couple of years. Ask important questions about the quality and the state of the boarding houses, the number of students in a room and the nationality mix within the boarding school. For example, sometimes a boarding school in the UK might have a predominant nationality in the residences once the British day students go home. As an international school we don’t have lots of British students, but we do have 28 different nationalities in the residences this year. For a boarding school in the UK, this is quite a high number and it means students are always communicating together in the common language – English.
Another suggestion is to try to imagine yourself as a student leaving home and moving to a boarding school in England. The academic strength of a boarding school is naturally very important but if you don’t feel safe and cared for, it’s very difficult to achieve your academic goals. We have a number of outstanding students at Saint Michael’s and despite having so many different cultures and nationalities within the boarding houses, our international students all get along very well and have a fantastic community spirit.
I really would encourage any prospective student searching for a boarding school in England to come and have a look around Saint Michael’s for themselves as it’s hard to really grasp the warm and friendly environment that each student experiences here.”