After a busy day at school, it is important that our boarders have a safe, homely environment to return to, which is what Prichard House strives to deliver for our Year 7 and 8 boys. We understand that a number of the boys will spend more time in Prichard than at home over the course of the academic year, so it must be a place they can relax and really feel at home, whilst also providing the independence and organisational skills they'll need for their transition to senior school.
Houseparents Nick and Sophie Wildbur and Jack Humphrey have overall responsibility for the children, as any parent would. They are joined by housemother Tracey and two gap year students (Gappies) and together they create that all-important feeling of home – greeting them after their school day, playing games and providing a supportive, listening ear. With an onsite Health Centre (available 24 hours a day and staffed by qualified nurses), there’s always someone there, day or night, should the boys need them. Communication between the houseparents, tutors and parents is key and we ensure the boys’ wellbeing is at the centre of all we do.
Designed specifically as a senior boys' house, there are several communal spaces including a games room for table football, table tennis and pool, a cinema room with big-screen television for our ever-popular movie nights and quieter areas for study or music practice. Within the six dorms, each boy has his own private space (cubie) with comfortable bed, basin, desk and plenty of storage space, which they can close off or open up as they choose.
Independence is an important life skill for the boys, and the nightly routine of duties and rewards for tidy cubies and dorms encourages the boys to take responsibility. Dorm Captains are appointed within Year 8 to those who show high standards of behaviour and organisation. The Captains meet with the houseparents regularly to discuss the house and allows them to develop their leadership skills.
With duties complete, there is plenty to offer the boys before bedtime: sports on the astro or in the sports hall, inter-dorm challenge nights, movie nights, as well as the opportunity to relax in the games room, means that every night offers something different. Our two gaps actively involve themselves in the house, taking on the roles of ‘big brothers’ whilst also helping boys keep their belongings tidy and assisting with the activities provided.
With four private phone booths, as well as regulated access to mobile phones for full boarders, there is plenty of opportunity for the boys to keep in touch with parents, but with so much going on, it’s no surprise that sometimes they need reminding to call home from time to time! Parents are warmly invited to all our Saturday assemblies and positively encouraged to stay for lunch afterwards. For overseas parents planning a visit to the UK during term time, there are two cottages in our grounds available to book.
We are open all year round except for the first May Bank Holiday of the Summer Term when children have the extended weekend to spend with families or their guardian.
When it comes to the holidays, we can arrange transfers to and from the airport, using either school transport or a taxi company whose drivers all have enhanced DBS clearance.