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Congratulations to The Royal School’s Head of Boarding, Mr Alex Large, and the rest of the boarding team for being awarded the Boarding Schools’ Association Award 2021 for Research in developing the boarding experience through a ‘Boarders’ Passport’. This prestigious award was presented virtually at the Annual Conference for Heads Boarding Schools Association (BSA) in early May.

This follows last year’s winning of the BSA Boarding School Award for Working with Vulnerable Children 2020 and is testament to the outstanding work of our committed boarding, estates, domestic, and catering teams, and most of all, pupils who support the 100 boarders and staff for whom The Royal is not only school, but home for 37 weeks of each year.  Only once, has a school won a BSA Award in consecutive years, so this achievement is rare indeed and thoroughly well deserved.

The award was in recognition for the continuous process of improvement that is a driving force within the school, and in boarding in particular, in seeking new ways of furthering personal development. A ‘Boarding Passport’ has been introduced so that each pupil has to attempt and improve on a range of targets, some life-skill based, some sporting, cultural and educational to develop a holistic range of skills to prepare them for life.

‘The boarding passport aims to capture all the skills and activities the boarders take part in during their time with us as we help them prepare for the next step in their lives.  As part of the research, I sought the views of the boarders themselves, parents, and house staff as to what to include and compared the contrasting views.  It is hope that this will help refine the passport for future iterations and ultimately, boarders leave us with a really powerful document that they can take away with them and demonstrate what they have learned,’ said Mr Large.

This philosophy is derived from The Royal School approach to life, which is firmly centred in personal development of confidence, teamwork, leadership and character, fostered through our Period 7 enrichment programme and in our strong school values in everything we do both individually and together. Examples of that also appear in the newsletter with leadership development through the CCF programme, external trips to broaden pupils’ views of the world an fundraising, where we can put ‘service before self’ as part of our community links.

The Royal School is extremely proud to be recognised in this way. The School’s boarding staff work tirelessly with all our students, including the more vulnerable boarding students, to provide a stable and caring environment where they feel safe and welcomed.

The BSA held its first Awards Dinner in 2018 which celebrated the achievements, hard work, and dedication of schools and individuals to boarding. The Boarding Schools’ Association is the United Kingdom Association serving and representing member boarding schools both in the UK and overseas, training staff and promoting boarding education in both independent and state boarding schools.

The Royal School is a fully co-educational, non-selective independent day and boarding Free School educating over 1,420 students.