Our Boarding Philosophy
The boarding experience at Framlingham College is a fully integrated part of our educational approach. Boarding offers the pupils in our care the opportunity to further develop social and emotional skills and independent learning, whilst also enhancing each individual’s understanding of their personal attributes and characteristics, their appreciation of their place as global citizens of the world and their realisation of the importance of health and wellbeing.
Development of Personal Attributes and Characteristics
Boarding empowers our pupils to grow in confidence and maturity so they can manage many aspects of their lives which may otherwise not be considered until adulthood. Whilst fully supported by experienced pastoral staff on their journey to achieving this, our boarders become adept at managing their own workloads, they learn how to prioritise, they gain self-discipline as well as improving skills in empathy and problem-solving. They become confident in their own abilities.
However, boarding does not mean a separation from family life. Far from it. Our Housemasters and Housemistresses and our on-site residential staff are a very important part of the boarding experience as they live and work alongside our boarders. They share in experiences with them – everything from evening and weekend sports activities to meals in the dining hall and from dog walks to shopping trips. The fact that there is such a wide network of support available in a ‘natural’ form for our boarders enables a strong sense of community and undoubtedly helps them to develop their own paths to success.
We warmly welcome boarders from the UK and from all over the world. Our society is greatly enhanced by the different cultures, religions, ideologies and perspectives that our pupils bring with them. We are proud to have a diverse population and proud that all our pupils eventually leave us with a greater understanding of, and respect for, the world’s community.
Our boarders enjoy telling us of particular traditions, festivals and celebrations important to them. As this is then seen in our global cuisine at mealtimes, as a celebration in assemblies or by bringing those traditions to the boarding House, our boarders learn much of the world from their home at Framlingham College. They learn to respect, appreciate and celebrate difference.
Health and Well-being
By its very position in the beautiful Suffolk countryside, nature is on the doorstep for our boarders at Framlingham College. Our location offers our boarders a chance to rejuvenate and provides a safe environment to reconnect with themselves.
Whilst boarding staff share in the ambition to drive forward successes in every pupil at Framlingham College (be it academic, sporting, musical, dramatic, artistic or something else entirely), they also recognise when it is time to help the boarders practice self-care and to prioritise well-being. Living and working healthily is taught through modelling, activities, food and trips and brings balance to a busy boarding life at school.
Boarding at Framlingham College recognises how important it is to work with the families and guardians of our boarders. We pride ourselves on excellent communication, with the pupil at the centre of all we do, and so boarding here should not feel like ‘saying goodbye’ for 6 weeks at a time. Our different and flexible boarding options usually mean that we can cater for the changing world for our Framlingham families and, in doing so, can continue to enable our boarders, when they go at the end of their time with us, to leave as confident, healthy and knowledge-rich citizens of our global community.
What's our boarding like?
Lila - Overseas boarder at the Senior School
Framlingham College is like nothing I’ve ever experienced before. Everywhere you turn there is a helping hand, whether it be friends, teachers, or other members of staff, there is always someone willing and able to help you. I am new this year and I moved from sunny California to cold, rainy England, and it was really difficult. I didn’t know what GCSEs were, I had never been inside a boarding house, and I’m still unsure as to why people drive on the wrong side of the road. With all of that piled upon the chaos of moving overseas and the Covid-19 pandemic, needless to say, I was pretty terrified. By the end of my first day, however, I felt more comfortable than ever. I had made so many amazing friends and all of my teachers made me feel welcome and at home. The people that I’ve met here are some of the greatest people I know. When I’m around my friends here, I feel that I can be authentically myself without judgement or ridicule. Framlingham College is a truly special place that provides the necessary tools and support for everyone so each individual can be comfortable within themselves and reach their true potential.
Lottie - Full boarder at the Senior School
Framlingham College is a place where you can find yourself, what you are passionate about and provides you with the opportunity to build a foundation for yourself, your future and the chance to chase your dreams. There are so many different opportunities, and no student’s story is the same. You share a place, and everyone’s unique stories define what Framlingham College is.
The College is home for most of us during the term, and the boarding houses definitely reflect the homely feeling. Being in Pembroke allows us to walk ‘home’ and have that healthy distinction between house and academics. All the friendly faces will make a stranger feel welcome, although we see ourselves as a Pembroke family rather than a boarding house. There is a mix from the oldest to the youngest as all pupils, both day and boarding, get involved in so many house activities and house competitions that help us grow closer. Togetherness is key, and we always support each other in all aspects of our lives. In the evenings, we work in our dorms which allows us to have alone time (as most Sixth Formers have single rooms), and then spend time together after, ordering takeout on a Wednesday and watching Netflix. It’s the little things that make boarding feel more like a sleepover.
The schedule of the school day allows sixth formers to be independent and learn the vital skills of time management, with ‘Spares’ to study and revise in either your dorm or the spacious Sixth Form Centre above the café in Paul’s Court. We have a large range of resources both online, within the classrooms, ‘Hubs’ and one-to-one teaching. The options allow each student to have a personalised way of learning that is specific to them, allowing us to figure out what works best for us with the support of the staff teams and departments. Tutors are also a significant role in our lives at Framlingham, providing us support in all areas of school and creating a close bond.
HMs will also be so important in your life, and truly become your mum or dad away from home, always looking out for you and sometimes they know you better than you know yourself. Since arriving in Year 9 and all the way through to 6th form there will always be ups and downs and it’s great that our HM, Mrs Williams, is there to catch you on the downs and celebrate with you on the ‘ups’. It is lovely having a hot chocolate night in the evenings after Prep or having Miss M, our house tutor, make us banana milkshakes and bring Polish chocolates. Having a Ukrainian Grandma, I loved it when she brought in pierogi, the national dish of both the Ukraine and Poland. Embracing other cultures is something that strengthens our friendships, brings us together and makes me really proud to be a Pembroke girl.
Some of my best friends have been international pupils, who are such a key component at Framlingham and help make our school what it is. There is the option to stay a term, year or more and that allows us to see different cultures leave their legacy within our school. Even though they may not stay for long, we still make firm and everlasting friendships that survive the distance, with them always coming back to visit us or us them.
Our location in the rural, remote Suffolk countryside does not reflect our global outlook. The school would support any excursion a student would have if it is abroad, from a term in another country, language-based exchange or sporting ventures. One strong connection Framlingham has is with schools in South Africa. The South African School Scholarship is a great way for pupils to practise their interview technique in the application procedure and then to reap the rewards of such a unique and once in a lifetime chance to spend the summer in a South African school after GCSEs. I learnt a lot from the process and was honoured to be chosen. Although Covid-19 hasn’t allowed us to travel, it has allowed me to open my eyes to more opportunities and installed a drive to go outside the box when it comes to pathways abroad.
Even though this past year has given us a different perspective on our lives due to the pandemic, it certainly has not affected the quality of learning we have had remotely. The lessons are still extremely informative and even more interactive than in a classroom. I am extremely grateful, as well as the rest of the student body, for the approach our school has taken, in overcoming this obstacle.
During Covid-19 for both boarders and day pupils, not having house life has been a huge change in our daily-to-day but our online house meetings and house evenings have proven to be so much fun – from pub quizzes to crazy scavenger hunts. We have not let the lockdown take away our house spirit and the culture our inspiring Housemistress Mrs Williams has installed in us, through her character, organisation and compassion. We even managed to hold our House Dinner remotely by dressing up in our finest, cooking something delicious and creating a collage of pictures.
Regarding the College itself, it consists of stunning scenery, picturesque buildings and architecture and vast grounds for strolls – a perfect mix of tradition and modern intervention. The view from the Front of the Castle and Mere is a perfect backdrop when we have our Chapel’s Picnic in the summer. Although our Christian community is small, it is mighty, and the Chapel is so beautiful. It is lovely to just go there in the evenings and pray, with the Chaplain, Rev B, always willing to have a chat about anything and everything. Being able to sing at Confirmation services and share this significant spiritual moment is very special and an honour.
Co-curricular is a major part of all our lives, and Framlingham encourages everyone to get involved in as many things as possible, and there are many! Our Tutors are there to guide us and make sure everyone maintains a balance between academics, sport, music and the clubs available. Joining the Cantus choir in year 10 allowed me to fall in love with music again and then being asked to join the Chamber Choir and Capella Lumina has given me many opportunities and created amazing friendships. An experience, that is one of my highlights of Framlingham life, is travelling to Sorrento in Italy on a choir tour, where we experienced the beautiful culture through our music. I am a part of the Framlingham Model United Nations club and went to my first conference in year 11, travelling to the International School of the Hague and had a life-changing time. Making new friends and experiencing a unique setting in the General Assemblies has helped build my confidence, debating and people skills. There are also volunteering opportunities, one being the PHAB club, which we just recently started, where a group of us organise activities and sessions with local young adults with disabilities. Such activities are good for the soul, and I think PHAB is a great opportunity for us all to appreciate the strength of these amazing new friends. We have learnt from their perseverance and gained so much happiness, laughter and love from spending time with them at our online sessions. It’s the little moments we share with them, and the relations we’ve built that I know will remain a part of my best times during my Framlingham journey.
Overall, Framlingham College has given me a great education; co-curricular, pastoral and academic, through my Stapleton Scholarship for Sixth Form and the Academic and Albert I had in my junior years. Our teachers, Heads of Departments, Head of Careers and Head of Higher Education together with pastoral support from my HM and tutor, have assisted me in finding my pathway for my future, encouraging me to be confident in the dreams I have, which have developed through my time at Framlingham. I have and continue to grow as a person, have learned many lessons both in and out of the classroom and had an amazing foundation to allow me to pursue my aspirations. By the end of my 6th Form, I know I will leave fully prepared for the next step in my journey beyond School.
Harry - Flexi-boarder at the Prep School
My name is Harry and I am in Year 8. I have been a pupil at the school since Year 1. My first boarding experience was in Year Three when my parents were going away for two days. Because I was nervous the Housemaster at the time, Mr Gregory, showed me around the boarding house so I could become familiar with it. I really enjoyed the boarding experience and have been boarding since.
There are six dorms in the boys’ house which each hold at least four beds. There are also dorms for girls. I really enjoy boarding because it gives me time to be with my friends and it makes me feel independent. I like to board one to two nights a week.
We all finish school at five o’clock and then go into boarders’ prep which is time for boarders to catch up on prep if they have just been doing an activity. Supper is at six o’clock but just before we have time to get changed into comfier clothes. Supper is a time where we can eat together and chat about our days. After that, we do an activity to burn off our energy. The activities range from film nights to art nights, sport nights to group challenges. Bedtime starts soon after and Year Eight ‘lights out’ is at nine o’clock.
In the morning, we get up at twenty past seven, get washed and dressed into school uniform and then go downstairs for breakfast. When breakfast is over at eight o’clock we take a registration in the Boarders’ Common Room and then move on to lessons.
I really enjoy boarding and would recommend anyone to try it.
Our flexible boarding options
As a top UK Boarding School based in the heart of Suffolk, we recognise the demands on busy families. We therefore offer flexible boarding arrangements that fit around your child(ren) and family.
At the Senior School, you are able to choose from the following types of boarding arrangement:
- Full – Your child is at the school seven days per week, throughout each term.
- Weekly – Your child boards 5 nights and goes home after matches on Saturday.
- Flexi – Boarding from 1 – 4 nights per week.
at the Prep School, the following types of boarding arrangement are on offer:
- Full (Years 3 to 8) – Your child is at the school seven days per week, throughout each term.
- Flexi 2 – 5 – Your child boards from 2 – 5 nights per week.
- Flexi 1 – Your child boards 1 night per week.
- Occasional – Your child can board on occasional nights subject to prior arrangement and availability.
Weekends at Framlingham College
Our aim is that all our pupils have opportunities to: awaken a cultural interest, develop their friendships, experience new things and most of all, have fun.
There is something happening every weekend, and everyone is invited, whether you are a full boarder, flexi boarder or a day pupil.
Weekends start after games on a Saturday at 5pm. We provide a range of different activities and events for Saturday nights and Sundays either in House or as a community. Some will be sports based, some more social, some cultural or historic, some creative but all with the pupil’s holistic education, enrichment and wellbeing in mind.
We are so fortunate with our position being just an hour from Cambridge, an hour on a fast train to London from Ipswich and less than 25 minutes from the beautiful Suffolk Heritage Coast including wonderful seaside towns such as Southwold, Walberswick and Aldeburgh.
Our proximity to London and Cambridge provides us with opportunities to take our pupils to a variety of events, go on excursions and enjoy some time out in these two great cities. Examples might be, theatre trips, walking tours of historic London, gallery and museum visits, culinary tours, lectures, concerts and more besides. College tours of Cambridge, punting in the summer and simply enjoying time in this beautiful university town are easily arranged as we are only one hour away.
Closer to home we have Southwold and Aldeburgh on our doorstep and the world-renowned Snape Maltings Concert Hall, home of the Aldeburgh Festival up the road. We plan regular trips to these destinations. Other local excursions would include anything from paintballing to clay pigeon shooting and from concerts to beach visits.
Every term a brochure of weekend events will be published to parents to sign their children up. There is always, of course, essential downtime built into weekends to allow pupils to rest and recuperate.