Boarding

Boarding is at the heart of FSM school life. It is our boarding school structure that allows us to be the distinctive school we are: creative, imaginative and above all, caring.

We have over 80 boarders aged seven to 13 who live in our boarding house – a real home-from-home on the whole first floor of our main building. By keeping the boarding facilities central to our grounds it offers a close feeling where learning and living entwine.

Children and their families can choose from a wide range of boarding options including full and weekly boarding, flexi-boarding, and occasional boarding (ad hoc nights) for day children. The first weekend of each term is an ‘in weekend’ which brings the whole boarding community together as term gets underway. There are two or three ‘sleep-out’ weekends every term where all boarders leave School. They allow pupils to spend quality time with family, and the School sets up for the next part of term.

We aim to make the boarding experience as warm and homely as possible, and our care goes well beyond meeting children’s most obvious practical needs. We believe that it is the small things which make all the difference to our boarders’ experience, and we do everything we can to make children feel secure, well cared-for and happy.

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Our dedicated house parents Clare and Richard Rowntree are supported by a team of four matrons and duty staff – in fact most FSM staff get involved in boarding. This means that on any given evening there are about 10 adults around to read with boarders, chat to them and play with individuals or groups – as well as providing supervision and medical care where necessary.

Our staff are also very experienced at providing support to children from military families, who make up a significant group of our boarders. Our very own SAS (Supporting Active Service) group is dedicated to helping children whose parents are away on deployment, putting in place support to help children through the weeks and months ahead – whether that’s a listening ear, practical help with keeping in touch, or a hug.

Boarding highlights

‘Wicked Wednesdays’
The middle of the week brings a prep-free evening of fun which has recently included visits to the theatre, shopping trips, bowling, zorbing and ‘FSM’s Got Talent!’

Theme nights
Every term children and staff throw themselves into one of our famous theme nights, with recent examples being ‘Heroes and Villains’, ‘Olympics’ and ‘Decades’

Saturdays
After a morning of enrichment activities and an afternoon of sport, evenings are usually a time to relax with something a bit different for dinner followed by a movie and maybe a treat from tuck shop

Sundays
Children start the day with a full English breakfast in their dressing gowns followed by letter writing. Later they head out for a trip – which could be to a theme park, local beach or for an adventure in the New Forest – before coming back to the boarding house for a traditional roast dinner.

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