Mr David Starbuck MA (Hons) PGCE, Acting Head of Albyn School, discusses how boarding could help pupils get back on track this year.
Covid-19 has undoubtedly had a huge impact on a whole generation of pupils and their learning over the past year. At Albyn School it is no different, with pupils learning at home and our classrooms deafeningly quiet.
Now, with students across the country returning to schools, there will be an eagerness to gain some normality in the classroom and catch-up on activities missed throughout the last year – and boarding could be the ideal solution for helping some pupils get back on track.
After a year of upheaval, the steady, supportive environment of a boarding house could be the remedy for pupils who have been thrown off by the constant changes of 2020.
Originally an all-girls boarding school, boarding at Albyn became an option again in 2016 to provide as much security as possible for our pupils and their families, many of whom are local to Aberdeen and the surrounding areas.
Based in a historically transient city, we are adept at helping pupils settle in.
Boarding offers a practical option for those pupils who come to us from both further afield and locally.
Our boarding house is a beautiful three storey Victorian townhouse, a mere five-minute walk from the main school, and welcomes pupils from across the world aged 12-18. Boarding offers stability, routine and uninterrupted education for pupils in a calm ‘home away from home’.
Albyn offers full, weekly and flexi boarding – flexi boarding is a brilliant option for those who attend Albyn from Aberdeen’s localities. Flexi boarding can be tailored to suit each individual pupil and their circumstance, making it an excellent choice for those parents or guardians who work away from home or have difficult work schedules.
Without the stress and added time of the school commute, our boarders have more time for activities, sports and hobbies in the evenings.
It’s also a respite for the whole family after long, intense lockdowns spent together under one roof.
In the boarding house, they have a safe space that is truly theirs, but with the added pastoral and academic support from their house parent, Form Tutor and Head of Clan always at hand.
Boarding also offers the chance to instil independence in pupils while living out with the family circle.
The boarding house is the perfect taste of post-school university life, providing the opportunity to build on essential life skills such as cooking and helping with household chores.
Pupils are treated to main meals provided in the house by our brilliant catering team, with the option to try their hand at cooking for themselves on the weekends. Only the freshest, seasonal and locally sourced ingredients are used by our chefs, who cater to the many different nationalities that we welcome through our doors.
Our boarding house has been described by pupils as like walking into an ‘instant family’ – indeed, one of the best benefits of boarding is developing lifelong friendships with your peers. Strong bonds are forged when boarding together, and pave the way for future spells in university halls and student flats.
Across the world, the return to normalcy is going to be messy. With exams either taking place, or not taking place, there will be a lot of uncertainty as we progress through 2021.
This is all unchartered territory, but our job at Albyn is to bring about as much stability as we can, and boarding is a key part of how we can help achieve this for our pupils.
Full, weekly and flexible places are currently available at Albyn School.
To find out more or to apply for a space for August 2021 entry, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org by Wednesday 31 March. Academic Boarding Scholarships are also available.