A Shropshire school is “revolutionising” its boarding house by making it more flexible for pupils and parents.
Prestfelde School in Shrewsbury has welcomed boarders since 1929, but changing times have seen the numbers of pupils living on site dwindle in recent years.
Now the school is developing a fresh approach by making the boarding house an “extension of home” to encourage more children to benefit from the boarding experience.
Mike Haswell, head of boarding at Prestfelde, said: “Times are continually changing and we at Prestfelde are always reviewing the services we offer.
“With this in mind we have decided to make our boarding house more flexible for parents and pupils.
“Boarding has changed somewhat from the days of parents dropping off their children with their luggage on the first day of term and picking them up three months later.
“The whole attitude towards boarding, from parents, pupils and teachers alike, is very different nowadays – you could call it a revolution – and we have embraced the modern, flexible style of boarding without losing the key benefits that staying in such an inspiring place as Prestfelde can provide.
“These days families want to spend much more time with each other at weekends and in the evenings.
“Our parents still want the excellent teaching, wide-ranging opportunities and nurturing environment that the school provides, but they also want the flexibility to spend quality time with their children when they want to.”
Prestfelde is now offering a range of flexible boarding options.
Weekly boarders can stay from Monday to Friday, regular boarders can opt to stay the same night or nights each week, and occasional boarders can drop in and out depending on their parents’ commitments or their own activities.
The environment is carefully managed by Mr Haswell, who lives in Prestfelde House with his wife Jo and their two boys, Kieran and Connor, creating a real family atmosphere.
Mr Haswell added: “We have made the boarding facilities an extension of our home, providing an atmosphere which stimulates independence, confidence and a sense of belonging.
“We have an ethos where children are encouraged and supported to try the boarding experience for themselves.
“We are keen to promote traditional values and skills for life, so offer wraparound quality care with the flexibility to suit individual needs.
“We are endeavouring to make boarding more appealing to all children at Prestfelde and getting children to board on a more frequent basis.
“Boarding is here to stay and we believe the structure we have in place offers excellent preparation for senior school.”
For more information about Prestfelde telephone (01743) 245400 or email firstname.lastname@example.org