Parents will know that finding the ideal school for their child can be challenging, especially if there aren’t good-fit schools in the local area. For those struggling to locate the right school close to home, a boarding school can be a great alternative.
While the idea of boarding school may conjure up old-fashioned notions of strict staff and draughty dorms, Repton Prep in Derbyshire proves that the modern boarding experience can be a fantastic option for children and their families.
Repton School won the Happiest Boarding School Award at the 2022 Muddy Stilettos Best Schools Awards, and Repton Prep, for pupils aged 3 to 13, offers termly, weekly, and flexible boarding options for children aged 7 (Year 3) and above.
With exceptional teachers, an inclusive boarding community, all-encompassing Pastoral care, and a wealth of activities that celebrate mindfulness and play, there are plenty of reasons why children love boarding at Repton Prep. Here are just three.
Repton Prep’s flexible and inviting approach to boarding may tempt any child, even those who aren’t used to spending nights away from home. If families or children are unsure about jumping straight into full boarding, weekly boarding (pupils go home on Saturdays and return on Monday mornings) and home and away boarding (pupils go home on Wednesday and Saturday nights) are great options.
In addition, parents can take advantage of ad hoc boarding and book their children into the flexi-boarding houses (Francis, for boys; Nightingale, for girls; and the flexi-boarding houses Knowle Hill and Burdett). This is ideal for younger pupils who are keen on the idea of boarding and want to try the experience before committing.
Boarders live together with House parents and their families, creating a sense of security and familial belonging. All children share a room with only one other pupil and form strong bonds with their roommates and the entire boarding family.
The atmosphere in the boarding houses is playful and relaxed, described by one pupil as like “having sleepovers the whole time.” Another explains that “all the fun happens when you’re boarding.”
Repton Prep prides itself on offering an education where children can stay children for longer, and boarders have plenty to keep them occupied. When they’re not in the classroom or studying, they’re unwinding in their cosy bedrooms; playing games with friends in the boarding house common areas; or enjoying activities such as camping, treasure hunts, and capture the flag.
These mini adventures take place in Repton Prep’s picturesque 55-acre site, where children can run around in the fresh air, climb trees, and take part in clubs like Outdoor Cooking and Eco-Warriors. On Wellness Wednesdays, the entire school engages in activities that curate mindfulness, like yoga, colouring, and walks.
Plus, Repton School, the senior school a couple of miles away, boasts a swimming pool, multi-million-pound sports centre, fully equipped theatre, and many more facilities for Repton Prep pupils to make the most of. All this is part of Repton Prep’s wider devotion to outstanding Pastoral care and the ethos of “balance,” where physical activity and creative expression matter just as much as academic achievement.
Boarding staff work with key staff and parents to meet each pupil’s needs, and parents can feel reassured that pupils receive attentive care through a pre-emptive Pastoral care system called “WellWorks.” There is on-site counselling available, AS Tracking from Year 3 onward, and individual Pastoral plans developed by form tutors and overseen by the Deputy Head of Pastoral and Boarding.
Children come from near and far to board at Repton Prep, and each individual finds a place in the warm, supportive community. Repton welcomes UK and international boarders, and parents needn’t worry their child won’t fit in. This is a thoroughly modern boarding school, one that celebrates diversity and upholds values of kindness and inclusivity.
In fact, this year, Repton Prep became a Stephen Lawrence Ambassador School, owing to the anti-racism work of a Year 8 pupil who hoped to “raise awareness and create a fairer society in school and beyond.”
As a result, Repton Prep will hold annual assemblies and activity weeks to encourage the discussion of anti-racism. The School even has a memorial bench dedicated to Stephen Lawrence, a Black British teenager who was tragically killed in a racialised attack in the 1990s. A plaque on the bench acts as a reminder for pupils of “the importance of tolerance and equality for all.”
This sensitivity is not unusual amongst the school’s pupils. Families can rest easy knowing that all boarders feel seen, heard, and supported by staff and peers at Repton Prep.
Repton Prep is a prestigious day and boarding school for children aged 3 to 13. With strong recommendations from The Good Schools Guide and Talk Education, the co-educational school blends traditional values with a forward-facing approach to education that allows all children to develop a well-rounded character.
Repton Prep invests in inspiring teachers who bring out the best in each child, feeding their imaginations within small, supportive teaching groups. Pupils have ample room to thrive intellectually, socially, emotionally, and physically on the historic campus, and have access to an excellent range of facilities.
Repton Prep forms part of a seamless through-school experience that allows Year 8 pupils to transition to Repton School and continue their learning journey. Repton School, one of the top co-educational boarding schools in the UK, provides the perfect place for bright young minds to grow and achieve their potential.