Jack Smith – Head of Boarding 2022
As the years have passed, boarding at Christ’s College has become a well-rounded experience where boys are able to learn and feel comfortable while being away from home.
In my opinion, the boarders are the backbone of the school, as they are always the first at school and the last to leave. This makes such a crucial difference in the experience of Christ’s College as it becomes the “home away from home” to many boys from all over the country and throughout the world.
When the three boarding Houses – School, Richards and Flower’s – are put up against the seven other day boy Houses, I can see a slight difference between them through the tightness of the relationships which the boys have formed over the years. Sleeping in a big room with all your mates seems to form an almost sibling-like relationship between boys, which is mostly good, but sometimes a bit boisterous…from a staff point of view. This boarding experience has helped me to form the ability to manage some good and some challenging relationships throughout my years. These skills, along with many others such as resilience and empathy, can be strongly enhanced in the boarding Houses. Enhancing them early on is a huge advantage to the boys as they move through life.
Over my years here in the boarding community at Christ’s College, I have come to realise the extent and effort the staff put in to create a welcoming and warm environment for all year groups to thrive in. This is obvious through mentor group sessions where all year groups are interacting and forming big brother/little brother relationships and the effort which is put into our boarding programme to ensure the boys are enjoying their weekends.
This programme creates a huge range of opportunities for the boys to get out into the community and enjoy Christchurch and what it has to offer. It also provides many activities to help out the community and create a positive effect on society in a social manner. These activities, alongside the school’s knowledge of boys’ mental health and pastoral care which are constantly improving, have helped me over the years to create strong life skills and have taught me that there is always someone there who is willing to help. The kindness of the House matrons who instantly become the “second Mum” to the boys and the residential staff who are always there to support with any work or troubles, makes for a true “home away from home” experience.
Head of Boarding 2022