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Boarding House Updates

Boarding continues to be at the heart of our School community and we are delighted to have welcomed so many new faces this half term, as well as seeing the return of existing boarders. We have been proud of how new boarders have navigated their way through the start of term, and also those boarders who have so ably assisted them to settle in and feel at home. Our Full Boarding trip to London, including a Thames Cruise between Greenwich and Westminster, was a particular highlight for the whole community, but the Houses have also been individually busy with their own events, activities and initiatives. We are also grateful to those boarders who hold positions of responsibility, so ably led by Inaaya C (Collinson) – Senior Boarding Monitor.

Burton Bank
This half term has once again passed us by so quickly and I could not have wished for a better start to the new academic year. The pupils have settled into their new surroundings quickly and the atmosphere in Burton Bank (affectionately known as “BB”) and around School has been a positive one.

BB pupils have been working hard in the classroom and I have been particularly impressed with how many are keeping busy with the wider life of Mill Hill, with many representing the School on the rugby pitch or hockey field. Rehearsals for the upcoming House Drama competition have dominated our evenings and through the brains and creativity of Joshua S (Burton Bank), we have written our own play. Thanks must go to all those pupils who have stepped forward to be part of the cast, lighting and stage crew.

Staff have carried out a 1:1 induction with all the new pupils and they have been introduced to the many different people they can turn to if needed. We have also introduced the pupils to a Mood Check function on the Orah app and it has been good to monitor the changing moods of our pupils over the course of this term. ‘Tired’ is popping up quite a bit at the moment (!) but so too is ‘happy’ and ‘content’.

On Sunday, Mrs Turner, Old Millhillians Relation Officer, Miss Williams-Walters, Examinations and Data Officer, and I accompanied 50 pupils from BB to Central London to watch The Play that Goes Wrong at the Duchess Theatre. It was a nice treat and served as a wonderful opportunity to spend some together away from the House.

It has been an action-packed first half of term in Collinson. We have welcomed 22 new pupils into the House, and I am pleased to report each one of them has contributed to and enhanced our community.

Our Family quiz nights have been as popular and competitive as ever, and our new “Monday night Skill Share” has seen the pupils teaching one another pencil drawing, Omelette making, how to tie a Windsor tie knot and of course, Donya S’s (Collinson) particularly memorable “Magic Shoelaces”.

In addition to these weekly activities, we went on a House trip to the cinema, celebrated the Mid-Autumn Festival and are busily rehearsing Collinson’s answer to Romeo and Juliette for the House Drama competition.

Our girls thoroughly enjoyed the first Full Boarding weekend with time in Greenwich and Westminster, interspersed with a tour down the Thames. But the activities haven’t stopped there, and our weekends usually include regular baking activities, film nights, karaoke (a firm favourite!) and board games.

It’s also been a pleasure to welcome some of our day pupils to the House whether this be for a chat at lunchtime, to celebrate one of the girls’ birthdays, or to get ready for the Old Millhillian’s event on Friday with our Head of House, Jihyun K (Macgregor).

Thanks to Mr Meakin for supplying emergency kindling and matches, we were also able to enjoy a fire pit recently along with music, dancing and smores in the garden. We look forwards to visiting Pineapple Dance Studios next term, along with our Christmas House Hog.

It has been a very busy first half term in Ridgeway. The pupils have gelled exceptionally well, and we have a family atmosphere in the Boarding House already. Our main aim this term was to improve the House aesthetically and the pupils and House staff have all enjoyed being creative with the ways in which we can improve our living spaces and reflect the diverse interests and backgrounds of our pupils. The world map wall holds all the capital cities of all the nations represented in Ridgeway; it’s been amazing to see the pupils pointing out landmarks and even the exact spot from where they originate.

A feature of this half term has been the fire pits. We have had a couple of wonderful and relaxed evenings – toasting marshmallows and chatting about nothing and everything. This has proved very popular, and Mr Fryer, Housemaster of Ridgeway, is under strict instructions for more logs and treats for after half term!

Our boarders have enjoyed a variety of trips whether it be one of the enjoyable optional trips, or our House bowling trip followed by some well-received shopping time. We also have a large number of pupils interested in chess which has been great to see. We purchased a chess table recently and the pupils have been challenging each other as the nights grow colder and darker. There has been a strong demand to setup an interhouse chess tournament – watch this space!

Mr Meakin
Assistant Head (Boarding)