Riddlesworth Hall has always been a boarding school and retains its original accommodation, albeit now modernised to offer a more comfortable and practical space. This provides the boys and girls with both privacy and their own individual work area.
Boarders enjoy a vibrant pastoral system with outstanding medical and personal care. Accommodation is divided into small dormitories with space for up to 4 pupils in each. Whilst boarders have separate night-time routines, depending on their ages, they spend much of their time together and older boarders often act as role models for the younger pupils.
Evening routines are spent engaging in set activities or specific boarding activities (hide ‘n’ seek around the school or cooking outdoors in the woods are particular favourites amongst the boarders). Boarders have access to the school’s facilities in the evening; (basketball court, tennis courts, multiple outdoor play-area apparatus, five-a-side football pitch, netball court, plus indoor facilities including table tennis, table football, a multitude of grand pianos, music rooms, an inspiring library, art and textile resources, computer suites, and the junior common room with an assortment of stimulating, educational and fun games).
The full-time boarders enjoy a very busy weekend. Saturdays mornings invariably involve a late breakfast, two hours of prep and/or independent studies reviewing the previous or next week’s topics, a fun-packed lunch-time cookery club – after which they will spend time writing to or speaking with their families, playing outside in the woods, occasional shopping trips or birthday celebrations out in local towns and cities, using all the schools facilities, and only very occasionally ventures to the Wii!
Every Sunday the boarders go out on a trip: regular destinations include craft days, Go Ape, trips to Norwich, the Light Cinema, Paintball, Banham Zoo, Oasis Camel Park, Hippodrome Circus, Roller-skating, picnic hikes, and shopping adventures!
From the age of 7, Riddlesworth Hall offers full, weekly and tailored boarding options. Tailored boarding offers the pupils the opportunity to experience boarding either 2 or 3 nights each week throughout a term and beyond. For many it can serve as a gentler introduction to weekly boarding as they move up through the school. Weekly boarders can go home after their final school commitment on Friday. They return in time for Supper on the Sunday evening between 5.30 and 6.30 or Monday morning by 8:15am.
Pupils can use their phones (or purchase phone cards) to call home in the evenings. There is also the opportunity to e-mail or Skype too. We are always delighted to welcome parents to the school to see their children take part in musical and dramatic productions as well as sporting matches.
The Headmaster has overall responsibility for boarding at Riddlesworth Hall and is assisted by 1 full-time Head of Boarding, 3 full-time boarding assistants and ably assisted on Sunday trips by our academic teachers too. We feel this works tremendously well as it allows pupils and teachers alike to personally get to know each other outside the classroom. The staff:pupil ratio is kept deliberately low to provide the boarders with every opportunity to benefit from high quality interaction with their teachers and support staff.
All full time boarders can contact home daily should they wish. They have access to Skype and telephones during their free time each evening and after lunch each day to coincide with the variety of times zones all over the world. Parents of overseas boarders can enjoy following their children’s activities through the school Facebook account found on our home-page.
During Exeat weekends and half-terms, there is a tradition at Riddlesworth Hall that full boarding pupils stay with their ‘day pupil’ friends and their families. This allows the boarders to enjoy a more natural weekend with a friend’s family and engage in a different cultural experience. During some half-terms, there will also be the opportunity to sign-up to our exchange programme and enjoy the time at one of our sister schools in the UK or Spain. Again this allows our boarders to engage in different cultural experiences. Arrangements can also always be made to allow the boarders to remain at Riddlesworth Hall should this be preferred.
At the beginning and end of term the school makes arrangements for transporting the boarders to Norwich Airport (35 minutes away) with registered adults to ensure a smooth transition to their homeward flight. Alternative manned transfers to others airports are also available.
Occasional Boarding is for day pupils who wish to stay overnight on an ad hoc basis or just a few nights per term. For example, after a school concert or to join in with a boarder’s birthday party. The Houseparent’s will be as accommodating as possible, although Occasional Boarding is subject to availability.
We are unable to guarantee the same bed each night for Occasional Boarders, however, this option provides families with the opportunity to book last-minute stays at school providing greater flexibility.
Families can pre-select specific night(s) each week to board across an entire term. These nights must be booked in advance of the start of each term. Wherever possible, we will allocate the same bed space, however, it will not be possible for personal items to be left at school when the pupil is not boarding.
Flexi Boarding must be a fixed number of nights per week but nights do not have to be consecutive (for example, a two night stay might be Monday and Thursday). In the event of a shortage of space, priority will be given to those booking greater numbers of nights. Once booked, the nights are non-refundable and non-transferable. Please note that the Flexi Boarding option is not available to pupils whose parents do not reside in the UK.