The working week at Marlborough is full and weekends offer a rich programme of structured activities, social occasions and other recreational opportunities. The termly Almanac is testament to the ‘full’ nature of full boarding life, and the vast majority of the pupils (over 80%) choose to stay at school through the termtime weekends in order to benefit from extraordinary range of opportunities open to them.
On Saturdays, morning school and lunch is followed by the chance for sports teams to compete against other schools. While the vast majority of pupils will be involved in teams and fixtures, others will have the chance for day-trips, whether cultural or adventurous, depending on taste! Saturday evenings provide the chance to socialise. A programme of events is arranged centrally, usually by yeargroup, and provide the chance to meet friends from other houses at e.g. ‘bars’ and dances, quizzes, film nights or interhouse competitions.
On Sunday, the school comes together collegiately; the majority of pupils choose to attend the mid-morning Chapel service. After a long brunch, there is a chance for individual choices about how to spend less structured time. For older pupils, there is the opportunity to consolidate academic work or pursue independent academic interests beyond the classroom; the Memorial Library is a wonderful resource valued by the whole community. Pupils can take advantage of the facilities in Art, Music and Design, for informal and individual creative endeavours, or use the time to rehearse – whether for drama, music or other performances. The extensive sports facilities are always popular.
Most importantly, however, are the weekend house events, aimed mainly but not exclusively at younger pupils. They range from the adventurous (ropes courses, raft-building, teepee camping…), to the relaxing (spa treats and ‘wellness’ sessions, bake-offs, pottery painting…), to the simply fun (bubblewarz, circus skills, roast beef rambles…).
The aim is always to bring pupils together, enabling friendships to grow and build, and to promote bonds within the house which strengthen over time and reinforce the community.