We sat down for a chat with two of our pupils, Third Former Bella and Sixth Former Jake, both of whom are new to boarding this year. We wanted to find out more about how they’re getting on so far and what they are enjoying most about the boarding experience. Bella has been at Bloxham for two years, but hadn’t boarded until this year, whereas Jake joined the school in September as a full boarder.

You’ve been boarding at Bloxham for a few weeks now. How are you finding it so far?

Bella: It’s great! In Third Form, we’re in rooms of six, and then as you go up the school, you have fewer and fewer people in a room. There’s a big social aspect to it which is really nice. There are two rooms of Third Form boarders in Wilberforce. The people in my room are really nice and we always chat with each other. I really like sharing a room with friends.

Jake: It’s been good. There’s lots of things to do each day as a boarder. You get to spend the evenings with your friends which I really love. My old school was a day school so I’m completely new to the boarding experience, but I’m enjoying it so far.

What’s the best social you’ve been to?

Bella: We hosted an Egerton, Wilberforce and Seymour social with snacks and drinks and stuff and that was really nice because it was really fun to spend an evening with people from other Houses and get to know them better.

Jake: The one at the very start of term on House Day was special because it was the first time properly meeting everyone and starting to get to know them. It was a great way to make new friends.

What sorts of things do you get up to at the weekends and in the evenings?

Bella: I’ve done a few boarding Saturday nights and I want to do more because there are such good activities on Sundays. I’m most looking forward to the ice skating social and going to Bicester Village.

Jake: I like doing lots of the evening sports clubs. Rugby is my favourite and I’ve really been enjoying playing that more since coming to Bloxham. I love chatting with people in the evening and just relaxing after a busy day.

do you find it easier to stay up to date with your schoolwork as a boarder?

Bella: Yes definitely! If you do prep here, you’ve got a Sixth Former and House tutor with you and everyone is really quiet and getting on with their work, whereas at home, I always get distracted really easily. It’s a lot easier to concentrate here.

Jake: Absolutely, and that’s so important now I’m starting A Levels. I like having a divide between my home and school life. If you get all of your work done at school, then when you go home you can mostly just relax. I do Geography, BTEC Hospitality and Business in Sixth Form. I’d like to go into the hospitality industry when I leave Bloxham.

What do you like best about your boarding house?

Bella: In Wilberforce, the matrons are really nice and the location of the house is good because you don’t have to walk far to get to your lessons. I like the house spirit too. Last year, when I was in Exham, I saw the Wilberforce House Music and thought how much I’d like to be in Wilbo, so that worked out really well for me! My Housemistress, Mrs Duncan-Jones, is really nice too.

Jake: I like that Wilson is one of the oldest houses so there’s lots of good history behind it. There’s a great culture in Wilson too – it has things which make it unique and that’s really valuable to me.

We’ll have another chat with Bella and Jake in the Summer Term to see how they’re getting on at the end of their first year of boarding.