Hunting for a school with sleep-overs? Maybe flexi-boarding is the answer.

Happiness is a sleepover with friends every school night (image credit: Unsplash)

Happiness is a sleepover with friends every school night (image credit: Unsplash)

When my parents were packed off to boarding school at seven years old, they were not seen again until the half term holiday and communication was by weekly letter, always checked by a teacher to ensure there was no mention of homesickness, bad food or anything to raise questions at home. Whilst we've seen one or two boarding school bedrooms in need of a make-over, even today, many more are modern, light filled sleep over heaven, with on tap fruit, pets, friends, and laundry facilities, with school sports activities a walk away into the evening. 

If you have dismissed boarding schools as being not for you, we wonder whether you might be tempted with the idea of flexi-boarding, increasingly on the menu at a number of schools?

Great for dual working parents without the flexibility to be involved in pick-ups and those wanting to offer their children some of the freedoms of acres of space when they need to be within sight of the City, it seems like a great way of accommodating modern life for both parents and children. Pupils can stay for as little as a night a week on a regular basis, or can stay on an ad hoc basis when parents are travelling.  This mix-and-match approach to boarding has also helped to blur the lines between day and boarding divide and friendships therefore flourish.

Open-day season

Here a few of the boarding preps within an hour of Heathrow and with open days this term (in date order to help you to plan):

Summer Fields School, Oxford (boys):
Saturday 29th April 2017 – more places opening for September 2018 

Ludgrove School, Wokingham (boys):
Saturday 6th May 2017, 2.30pm

LVS Ascot, Berkshire (co-ed, boarding from age 7):
Tuesday 9th May 2017

St Andrew’s School, Pangbourne (co-ed):
Friday 11th May 2017

Beachborough School, Brackley (co-ed):
Friday 12th May 2017, 9.30am 

Moulsford Prep School, Wallingford (boys):
Friday 12th May 2017, 10am or 1pm

Brockhurst and Marlston House Schools, Newbury –(sister schools, single sex, boarding from age 9)
Saturday 13th May 2017, 10:30am

Cothill House, Abingdon (boys):
Saturday 13th May 2017, from 10am  

Dragon School, Oxford (co-ed):
Saturday, 13th May 2017

Elstree School, Reading (boys):
Saturday 13th May 2017, 10am

Godstowe School, High Wycombe (girls):
Saturday 13th May 2017, 10am

Lambrook School, Ascot (co-ed):
Saturday, 13th May 2017, 9.30am

Papplewick School, Ascot (boys):
Saturday 13th May 2017, 9am 

Winchester House School, Brackley (co-ed):
Saturday 13th May 2017, 10.30am

Rye St Antony, Oxford (girls):
Saturday 20th May 2017, 10am

Caldicott Preparatory School, Buckinghamshire (boys):
Saturday 10th June 2017, 10am

Christ Church Cathedral School, Oxford (boys):
To be announced – contact the registrar.

The following schools do not have an open day this term, but are within an hour of Heathrow.  Tours can be arranged through the registrar. 

Eagle House School, Sandhurst (co-ed in the grounds of Wellington College) 

The Oratory Preparatory School, Reading (co-ed, boarding from year 6)

St George’s School, Windsor (co-ed)

Sunningdale School, Berkshire (boys)