A HOME AWAY FROM HOME
Wrapped in the warm embrace of the glorious Malvern Hills, Malvern College is regarded as one of England’s great independent schools. With an admired and distinguished history, Malvern alumni have helped to shape the modern world of science, sport, literature and the arts for generations.
Although 1865 when the College was founded was a long time ago, some things will never change. The College’s commitment to developing outstanding young people with the skills, resilience and initiative to flourish in a rapidly changing global landscape remains – all these years later – at the very heart of its approach, and beliefs.
The concept of full boarding is sometimes portrayed as an anachronism or just like a Harry Potter film.
Boarding today is certainly not old-fashioned, but it is definitely a little magical – once you know just how important being part of a full boarding community can be in transforming the lives of young people.
Malvern College provides an inclusive home away from home for children aged 13-18. What they all have in common though is a desire to learn, to grow and develop, and Malvern College has both the space and time for them to do that, whilst encouraging students to try new things, to be open-minded, responsible and appreciative of the opportunities they have and to be ambitious in their desire to be the next generation of thinkers, medics, engineers, strategists, musicians and artists – and that is just for starters.
One of the international pupils, Banita, offers her view of boarding life:
“I joined Malvern College in Remove (Year 10) and I’ve been a full boarder since. I love boarding and even though being an international student means I spend a lot of time away from home it has made my time at home even more special. Joining Malvern College has been one of the greatest decisions I have made, this is because it has given me the opportunity to gain new experiences and take on new challenges.”
Staff at Malvern College are protective and proud of the full boarding ethos and the inclusive, community environment. All 11 boarding houses are homely, safe and nurturing, and the College believes that its in-house dining provision, whereby pupils have each meal and break in their own house, contributes to exemplary pastoral care. No trudging to central dining in the snow and rain for breakfast or supper, a genteel start to the day and a relaxed supper helping to create the bonds of friendship and companionship that last a lifetime. Pastorally, by virtue of the in-house dining, children are seen by the Houseparent and staff throughout the day and they are skilled at spotting any potential issues before they become significant and deal with them carefully and sensitively.
The College knows that change can be a very unsettling experience. The decision making, the time leading up to the change and the arrival at a new destination tests even the most confident individual and none more so than the young person about to enter a new school as a full boarder. Staff know that parents will be apprehensive too, considering if they are doing the right thing for their child.
Asked about this, Banita said:
“Starting in a new school away from home, especially when you are boarding for the first time can seem quite daunting. I remember how nervous and excited I was in the weeks coming up to the start of term and in all honesty, I was a bit homesick initially, but it was not long before what were the strangers around me soon became friends and now family.”
On arrival, new pupils are welcomed by their HouseM (House Master or Mistress) and introduced to the House Team, House Leaders and to their pupil buddy, who will show them the ropes and help them settle in. Current pupils love being appointed as a buddy as it helps them to improve their social skills, take responsibility for another, for a while, and be considerate of another person’s needs and concerns as they settle in and get involved in all aspects of school life.
Malvern College does have a strong academic focus, with a pupil-led academic super curricular enrichment programme that stimulates intellectual curiosity and academic breadth beyond the confines of the exam criteria. This sits alongside a diverse co-curricular programme that promotes all-round personal development and a healthy and happy lifestyle.
The last word has to go to Banita:
“Joining Malvern College has been one of the greatest decisions I have made. This is because it has given me the opportunity to gain new experiences and take on new challenges. Everyone in your house becomes your family. When you’re part of the Malvern family, you are always at home.”
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