Boarding houses or host families
In keeping with our ethos as a school that treats our students as young adults, we give you the choice of living in one of our boarding houses or with one of our friendly and welcoming host families.
For most students, it will be the first time living away from home. Some students like to share, others need private space. Living close to lessons is a priority for some; for others the size of their room is more important. We work hard to help every student find a home that fits their requirements as closely as possible. All our boarding options will provide you with a home from home.
Once your place at d’Overbroeck’s is confirmed, a boarding house place can be reserved, or, if the host family option is chosen, we will provide detailed information on specific families and arrange visits where practical, so that you and your parents can make an informed choice.
Once you arrive, we will continue to be available to offer advice, help and support to you or your parents and we can be contacted at all times of the day or night on our emergency mobile if necessary.
Our host families provide a friendly, caring and comfortable environment for you to live and study in. We choose our families carefully and work very closely with them, so we know that they enjoy hosting international students and they will be good at helping you adjust quickly to your new life in the UK. We want to find the right family to meet your individual needs, so we will ask you what you are looking for, too.
In a host family, you will have your own spacious single bedroom, but you will be part of a family. Talking to your “British family” daily will help you rapidly improve your language skills. You will have your breakfast with your family but your lunch and supper in school.
On the other hand, in our boarding houses you will be part of an international community. Most bedrooms are ensuite, and there are singles, twins and triples. All bedroom have wi-fi access and you will not be far from the teaching block. You will have breakfast in the boarding house but your lunch and supper in school. Houseparents live in the boarding house to care for you and communal facilities include a living room, dining room, large garden and laundry room. Boys and girls live in separate houses with bedtime at 2230.
Our students’ welfare is at the heart of what we do. Everyone in school, from the receptionists to the Head, is concerned with their pastoral care. We have a strong, structured support system that ensures our students are safe and well looked after whether at school or at home in their boarding house or host family.
Every student has a particular adult who is concerned with their welfare, but we encourage our students to feel they can talk to any member of staff they feel comfortable with and share their concerns.
Once a week you have a meeting with a Form Group (also known as a House Group). These Personal Development sessions aim to help you develop in confidence, self-esteem and responsibility. We will cover a wide range of issues including:
- Adapting to study in the UK
- Understanding and respecting difference and managing relationships
- Effective communication and listening skills
- Looking after your health
- Managing your time effectively.
And we check your progress in your academic studies, your participation in extra-curricular activities and how you are using your free time.
Your pastoral programme also includes weekly assemblies. These take a variety of different forms:
- News about what is happening in the school and how you can join in
- Talks by Heads of Subjects about moving on to study at a higher level
- Presentations by students on major events and festivities in their culture
- Celebrations of students’ successes in the classroom, on the sports field or in a cultural sphere
- Highlighting special events in the British calendar, such as Guy Fawkes’ Night, Remembrance Day or World Book Day, and explaining their significance.
Twice each term you will have the chance to talk one-to-one with the Head of the International Section, Dr. Helen Wood, about your studies and your time in the UK so far. You can talk to Helen about anything that is important to you during these meetings. But you don’t have to wait for half-term – if you need to talk, she is always there and ready to listen.
You will also have a 24 hour mobile number given to you so you can contact the Deputy Head, David Wareham, at any time in case of an emergency.