Support & Induction for Overseas Pupils

At Highfield we feel that it is very important for our new overseas pupils to settle in as quickly as possible. It is very normal for children away from home and new to boarding to feel homesick from time to time. All of our boarders were new at some point and so we find it very helpful to pair up new boarders with children who have been here longer to help them feel at home in those first few weeks.  The best advice is to get stuck in to all the activities that are on offer and keep busy. Very soon it will pass and the weeks flying by too quickly! All the staff who work in the boarding house are kind and friendly so if any child is upset or worried about anything then there are many different people they can turn to for support.

Highfield boarders are surrounded by caring, experience staff from House Parents, qualified Nurses and Matrons to Duty Teachers and Assistants, resulting in staff to pupil ratios from 1:10 to as high as 1:4 at times. We pride ourselves on keeping as many lines of communication open as we can so we are aware at once of any issues affecting an individual boarder so it can be dealt with quickly and effectively. If a child should feel unwell, we have a Health Centre within the main school building and an onsite Nurse who will look after the child or seek further medical treatment if required.

Our Boarding House Parents have considerable experience of looking after overseas pupils and recognise the needs and challenges they face. Cultural differences in life style, religion or diet are recognised and indeed celebrated. Everybody, regardless of nationality, religion or ethnic background feels comfortable, involved and is able to both learn effectively and enjoy daily life with each other and with the staff.  When all children join the Boarding House for the first time, it is normal for everything to seem very different to what they are used to at home. For this reason we take the following steps to ensure they settle into the Boarding House as quickly and happily as possible:

  • An introduction to the Boarding Staff
  • A tour of the Boarding House and explanation of the routines and activities
  • Allocation of a Boarding ‘Buddy’, a boy or girl in the same you who will look after you in the first few weeks
  • Introduction to the Nurses and Matrons
  • Fire Procedures and alarm walkthrough
  • An informal chat with the House Parents at the end of the first week of term to ensure everything is fine. 

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