Boarding Review

The first half of this term seems to have whipped by: pupils hurled themselves into the maelstrom of house and boarding activities in early January and emerged last Friday very ready for a week’s relaxation. Many have had (and are about to have) the added challenge of mock examinations, and it has been gratifying to see how pupils are sharing and adopting the principles of the Marlborough Mindset to support them in meeting this challenge.

The newly expanded team of pupil Wellbeing Ambassadors has been actively supporting the pupil body as the pressure of the academic year increases. Led by Alisa A and Will W, they have run a programme of weekly house visits, each one focused on a specific year group, offering time and tailored topics for discussion before prep on a Thursday. They have also planned a second-hand clothing sale as a major fundraising event for the Charlie Waller Trust to take place a few days after half-term (please remind your child to bring any unwanted garments back to school as a donation).
In addition to this important group of pupil leaders, this half of term has seen the election of Marlborough’s first ever School Council representatives. All pupils were invited to put themselves forward for the job of canvassing, distilling and communicating their year group’s ideas and issues on the Council, and it was excellent to see the enthusiasm, courage and thoughtfulness of the candidates at the year group hustings in assemblies. There were some very impressive campaign speeches, which were followed by an online vote by each year group to elect their three chosen representatives. We look forward to them starting their valuable work after half-term.

Pupils have also been active in leading various pastoral initiatives, both in houses and across the school, as they seek to share their interests and knowledge to improve the experience, awareness and understanding of the Marlborough community. The week before half-term was Race Equality Week and it was fantastic to have three of our senior pupils speaking in assemblies about the need for particular sensitivity from the community in this area, based on their own experience of well-meaning but misinformed efforts at inclusion in the past. The power of having pupils (rather than beaks) educate their peers about such matters cannot be underestimated.

Alongside all this, boarding activities have continued apace, with a combination of socialising and competing filling the Saturday evening programme. Year groups have competed for their houses at waterpolo, basketball and football; Shell pupils have competed for their form groups in a vast general knowledge quiz in Norwood; Remove and Hundred pupils have had year group socials in the Bradleian; and the Sixth Form have continued to enjoy regular socialising (and plenty of dancing) at the Marlburian each weekend. All the while, the school’s musicians have been preparing for the Rock and Pop Concert which takes place the weekend after the break and is always a huge hit.

Ed Nightingale
Deputy Head, Pastoral