Lead image: Orwell Park School, Ipswich (photo: Tom Soper)
Choosing the right boarding school can be tricky. Adrian Brown, Headmaster at Orwell Park School – an independent school in Suffolk – believes that having access to the great outdoors benefits children in a big way
‘Being a forest school, our children enjoy learning in 110 acres of greenery and open space,’ he says.
‘Spending time surrounded by nature can have a significant effect on children’s wellbeing and overall happiness.’
A rural location with large grounds allows for advanced sports facilities too.
‘We have three Astroturf’s, a swimming pool and the ability to hold many sporting tournaments, including hockey, rugby, netball and cricket,’ explains Adrian.
Pupils can also participate in the OPS Challenge – similar to the Duke of Edinburgh award, it involves trips and challenges designed to enhance their personal development and establish integral life skills.
And, there is just as much to marvel at inside the school.
‘The children want for nothing here. Our classroom facilities are incredibly impressive – we even have our own dedicated digital skills lab (pupils Year 3 and upwards have iPads) and a unique Victorian observatory,’ Adrian says.
Children can also benefit from the school’s links and exchange programme with Mayo College in Rajasthan, India.
Known for its creative arts, Orwell Park School has 40 practice rooms, several choirs and regularly holds recitals and performs musicals and plays.
The prep school is also leading academically, gaining an ‘amazing 23 scholarships to esteemed senior schools during lockdown’.
The building is quite imposing at first glance, but as Adrian explains, ‘there’s a warmth inside that you wouldn’t expect’.
‘It’s an incredibly welcoming and friendly school, where communication is always open between children and teaching staff.’
‘Our main aim is to support children to reach their full potential, providing everything they need to excel in what they’re good at. All pupils have the chance to shine.’
Boarding school in Suffolk
If you’re moving from London to Suffolk, or you’re staying in the city but want your child to be educated in the countryside, boarding may be the ideal solution.
Boarding allows children to be fully immersed in the school, offering a second home and family, and a range of after-school and weekend activities.
It can be helpful if you work long hours, or are commuting throughout the school week. Your child can be a full, weekly, or flexi boarder.
‘The children are incredibly well-cared for by qualified professionals, and have the chance to develop as individuals as well as academically, forming life-long friendships and learning key life skills along the way,’ Adrian says.
But there’s no pressure to board – the school also welcomes day pupils.
See the facilities for yourself at Orwell Park School’s open week from 10-16 October 2020.