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All boarders receive a detailed boarders’ handbook before they arrive, via email, and a hard copy on arrival. This handbook has also been translated into Russian and Chinese. As this booklet contains confidential information it cannot be displayed on the general website, but it is available in the password protected Parents section of the website.

Below you will find answers to our most Frequently Asked Questions:

Is full, weekly and flexi boarding available?

Our boarders include full boarders who stay with us on a permanent basis during term times, weekly boarders who go home for weekends, and some regular flexi-boarders who stay only a few specific nights a week. In addition, day boarding (5-8pm) enables day pupils to benefit from homework sessions which are monitored by academic staff, enjoy some free time with the boarders after school and before supper and also helps to facilitate sports training or music practice after school.

What are the ages of the BCS boarders?

We have boarders from age 10 (Y6) – 18+ (Sixth Form). Boarding is for boys and girls.

Where do our boarders come from?

We welcome boarders from the UK and around the world. Some of our UK boarders are forces children, children of ex-pats or those living within 2 hours’ drive. The split between boy and girl boarders is approximately 60:40. International boarders currently come from Spain, Germany, France, Lithuania, Syria, Saudi Arabia, Thailand, Malaysia, Ukraine, Austria, Russia, Kazakhstan, South Korea, China (including Hong Kong), and Vietnam.

Is our location/setting unique?

We are a 5-minute walk from the golden beaches of Southbourne, a 3-minute walk from Southbourne High Street and a 10-minute drive from Bournemouth. The school is situated in a safe, leafy housing suburb of Bournemouth. Major UK international airports are close by (Bournemouth 10 minutes, Southampton 30 minutes, Heathrow and Gatwick 90 minutes) and the school is 5 minutes from a mainline train station.

How do we support boarders with their academic progress?

Most of our boarding staff are also teachers. All boarding staff take on the role of parents and will check homework, will sign homework diaries and will monitor academic progress. As boarders do their homework/prep with the boarding staff academic progress is rapid. Boarding staff have direct, quick and immediate access to subject and form staff, so boarders really do benefit from this.

The results of GCSE and A level boarders are consistently better, as a group, than day pupils.

Most boarding students follow the same curriculum as day students - please see the website sections on the Senior School curriculum and subject offer pages and the Sixth Form to learn more.

Are the fees all-inclusive?

Our boarding fees include all tuition, all books, full accommodation, all meals 7 days a week, all laundry and also participation in some of the exciting weekend outings/trips we arrange for boarders. It also includes all Boarders’ weekday events and activities, including swimming.

The fee also includes access to full medical services, provided on-site and off-site at the local surgery.

How do parents of boarders communicate with staff and boarders?

The boys’ boarding house has a phone manned by boarding staff: Tel: 01202 436590

The girls’ boarding house has a phone manned by boarding staff: Tel 01202 436600

Boarders have access, in the boarding house, to Skype, wireless technology, internet–linked computers (safe-guarded with the necessary controls).

For girls boarding, please email: girlsboarding@bcschool.co.uk

For boys boarding, please email: boysboarding@bcschool.co.uk

We pride ourselves on excellent home to Boarding House communication, and vice versa

Who can boarders speak to if they need help?

The Head of Boarding and boarding staff are all trained in how to listen and deal with specific pastoral issues related to boarders. They are always readily available for boarders.

We also have an independent listener whose contact details are displayed around the Boarding Houses.

Mrs White and Mrs Masding, the school nurses, regularly welcome boarders who chat to them about a variety of issues.

The school has a professional school counsellor, whose services are offered free to any boarder who may wish to talk to her.

Boarding prefects (both Senior and Junior) and school prefects are always available as well as the boarders’ Family/'Brothers'.

Boarders can talk to any teacher or any other member of the BCS staff: every staff member is trained in child protection.

Boarders have full access to national helplines.

How do our Housemasters and Housemistresses support boarders?

Our caring and happy boarding housemasters and housemistresses are always at hand to check on laundry, to ensure rooms are reasonably tidy, to arrange delicious birthday cakes, to have a chat with, to take boarders to routine appointments and to be there for boarders.

Does the school arrange guardians?

No.  Guardians are arranged by parents or agents or through a guardianship company.   We do not recommend any guardians or companies.

Is there support for overseas boarders with English as a second language?

Boarders receive additional assistance in the evenings from academic staff with their homework/prep. We have a specialised unit to help pupils whose first language is not English. Our EAL (English as an Additional Language) department offers one-to-one support, small group support and whole school support. There is an extra charge for one-to-one support. We offer IELTS and our students average over 7.5 when they leave us. 

Does the school support boarders with learning difficulties?

The school has a dedicated Learning Plus Department that helps pupils who have certain learning difficulties. This usually takes the form of one-to-one lessons with a trained professional.

Medical Care

There are two school nurses :–

Mrs Maxine Masding RGN
Mrs Masding has a background in Practice Nursing with experience in a wide range of health care/ promotion, with a special interest in sports injuries. She is preparing to undertake the asthma management diploma.

Mrs Vanessa White RGN
Mrs White comes from a GP practice background and brings experience in minor injuries, immunisations and health promotion, with a diploma in diabetes management.

The nurses will be able to deal with all medical issues, and undertake regular health checks on all boarders. In addition, they arrange for any necessary appointments for boarders, including doctors, physio, eye tests, dental checks and more.

The school doctor is based in a brand new surgery 5-minutes’ walk from the school and Boarders have regular access to the school doctor.

All school staff are first aid trained, and boarding staff have advanced first aid training.

Are transport links good?

The school can arrange transport to and from airports, and the transport network to and from the school is extensive.

Are boarders allowed enough freedom?

Due to our unique location, our boarders enjoy much freedom in a safe environment, thus benefiting from a UK boarding environment that is not cut off from facilities and local towns.

The school is fully protected by CCTV and is enclosed apart from the main entrances.

All outer doors in the school have security codes.

The local town is safe, friendly and has a good range of shops.

The safe Bournemouth Town centre is 10 minutes by road, bus and a 30-minute walk along the safe beach promenade.

The school is situated in an affluent housing suburb, but is a 20-minute drive from the rural countryside of Hampshire and Dorset, including the New Forest and the Purbecks.

The school is situated on the cliff top above the beach of Southbourne, so boarders have views of the sea.

Boarders are allowed enough freedom to visit the local town and Bournemouth, and depending on their ages, this may be in groups with a teacher, in groups of boarders alone, or as they reach the Sixth Form they have much greater freedom. However, all boarders have to sign in and out at all times, they all have to carry a mobile, and they all have emergency contact numbers for boarding staff they can use 24 hours a day. There are set times that boarders have to be back in the boarding house.

In addition, boarders have outings at the weekends. These are taken by school staff and fully supervised. Our superb location allows us to offer a much broader choice of weekend activities than schools that are more isolated.

How safe is our community?

BCS prides itself in enjoying a very safe environment for all pupils. Pupils’ safety and well-being is our top priority. Our location allows us to ensure maximum safety for all our pupils.

All BCS staff have advanced child protection training, fire safety training, first aid training and health and safety training, updated annually.

Do boarders need pocket money?

Many of the activities are included in the school fees, but pocket money is required for those little extras and for the odd shopping trip.

£10 per week is more than enough for full-time boarders.

Will you have a single or double room?

We have a range of single and double rooms. Single bedrooms are prioritised for Sixth Formers.

What facilities do boarders have when they want to relax?

Boarders have access to common rooms equipped with a pool table, table-football, televisions, kitchens and washing machines.

The large sports hall is available to boarders at all times when not being used by the school, and Boarders regularly play badminton, table tennis, basketball, indoor football and other games in this venue in the evenings and at weekends.

The beach is a 2-minute walk away and staff regularly take boarders down to enjoy the clean sandy beach and safe swimming in the sea.

The boarders have full access to the on-site High Performance Centre, the fully enclosed school sports fields, all-weather pitch, tennis courts, outdoor basketball court and superb gardens.

Boarders enjoy many swimming sessions in our 25m indoor pool and 'free swim' sessions at the weekend.

How are Sixth Form boarders supported with career advice/university applications/their studies?

In addition to the academic and pastoral tracking carried out in boarding, there is extensive support for Sixth Form boarders, please visit our Sixth Form pages.

How do we apply for a boarding place?

Contact the school Registrar, Miss Rhiann Bowden, on 01202 436550 or contact your Boarding Agent.

What are our term dates?

All term dates appear on the website. There are 3 terms per school year.

BRIGHT SCHOLAR (BCS) MANAGEMENT LIMITED. Registered Office: Suites 6-7 the Turvill Building Old Swiss, 149 Cherry Hinton Road, Cambridge CB1 7BX. Registered in England No: 11494533