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Ballet4Boyz

Living at The Hammond

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A few forum members have very kindly offered their advice re attending the Hammond, and as my DS is about to join year 7 - I thought it best to ask all of you (in the know) rather than aim lots of questions at any one person ????

Here goes :

• do the boarding houses have Wifi ?

• is it advisable to take a small laundry basket for his room? - not sure how laundry is collected.

• are iPads / phones collected in at a certain time in the evening ?

• do all boarders go home/leave the boarding houses on exeat weekends - or do some stay ?

• are the children allowed their own snacks/tuck etc ?

The list could go on ........ Sorry !! but DS has been asking a few questions & thought it would be nice to find a few answers for him (& me) and perhaps other slightly daunted DC & their parents.

Thanks to anyone who can offer some pointers.

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Yes I have very much the same questions

 

On exeat what time do we pick them up, and from the school or boarding houses?

What time do they have to be back on the Sunday?

What happens if children are unwell?

I'm sure there are 100 more questions x

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Dd is a day student but boards during production weeks.

 

Wi-fi. - no

Different items are collected & laundered on different days eg dancewear daily, academic uniform one day etc. I think most use a bag

Phones - were supposed to be collected but impossible to police with the multiple devices kids now have. Supposed to be turned off at a certain time (I set parental time controls)

Everyone has to leave during exeat.

Limited space to store tuck - the kids buy loads on Saturday shopping trips! I used to send a graze box

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They are allowed to go shoppers my in Chester on Saturday afternoons. The year 7s have to be accompanied & in a larger group. They are allowed to go in smaller groups as they move up the school.

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Is it a good idea to invest in an extra-loud alarm clock ? ....... or do the house-parents help rouse them. Last question for now

Thanks v much

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Don't worry about personal alarms, there is a very loud house alarm that rings throughout the boarding house at 7am every morning ????

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Just a few more thoughts..

Laundry bags or tubs or baskets are fine- just make sure ALL items are clearly named (and they may still vanish for a while but generally come bsbk!) Laundry may not be treated with as much care as at home, so be prepared to take home hand wash items and remind dc to put jeans for example into laundry inside out so patchy fading does not occur.

Exeat starts at end of school on Fri, but taking suitcases etc into school is not always welcome so it's preferred for parents to go to bh and wait for children's return on bus - sometimes not till 4.30pm and then leave from there. Return on Sun from 5.00pm, although slightly earlier return can be agreed depending on personal circumstances. No one stays on exeat weekends but some children go to friends and many parents lift share. Older students go home alone on train and if you have an older person heading your way, they may be prepared to support your dc on the journey. Dd did not do this till yr 9 but now will happily use the train or plane unaccompanied. Phones etc are supposed to be handed in but without dropping anyone in it, it is very easy to get around this!! I don't hear of anyone not making it to school so getting had up and out must be effective (although Dd hates early 8.00am adv 2 ballet classes!!) We find boarding staff helpful and supportive as long as Dd is not too difficult! And, regarding what you would like to do at weekends, if you don't ask, you don't get! As your dc gets older a debit card and just eat account will be useful. Feel free to pm if I can help any more????

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Can I ask, on the first day back of each term/half term are they expected back that morning or do they go back to the bh the evening before ready to start the next morning?

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Thank you all for this its very helpful. My DS is starting in September and I am also having lost of questions from him. At the moment he struggles to find the wash bin let alone seperate his colours and turn jeans inside out! I can imagine the Yr 7 dorm being chaos those first few weeks ????.

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my dd has been known to sleep through that very loud alarm  :o. a debit card is very useful i would say. rbs do one for age 11 to 18

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My DD also starting in yr 7 from September - she is extremely tidy and likes things in their place . Her room at home is immaculate , though I have said not everyone will be as tidy as her and how will she cope with that ? She has said well as long as my area is tidy it doesn't bother me about everyone else's ????

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........yes thankyou for all the great replies - really informative & helps to feel a little prepared.

This may be a stupid question (sorry) but regarding the exeat weekends ... do their rooms have to be completely emptied , in other words - do we have to take everything home every time ?

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You say phones are handed in on an evening, but do the children have enough opportunities to ring home when they want before then. I know when my dd goes to summer schools just being able to hear my voice gives her reassurance although I wwould be very happy for her to get over that!

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Yes Pictures I've already deliberately started moving things and messing her room up a bit - I blame DH for this as he is the same infact they are identical in a lot of ways xxx

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Unfortunately for us (not dd!) she is the type of child who is perfectly happy to go incommunicado for extreme lengths of time despite constant texts from us asking if she's still alive!

 

They finish class at 6pm & then go for tea. The bus arrives at 6.30 to take them back to the boarding house (10 ish min journey). They have to do prep (homework) trying to remember back to year 7 there was about a 40 min supervised prep time but it depends which boarding house you are in & I think they are expected to be more independent as they go further up the school.

 

Bedtime is 9pm for year 7 & phone calls have to be finished 15 mins prior.

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On the website by the way under the information tab is a link to policies

 

Amongst all the CP/bullying/statutory policy stuff there is a copy of last year's Parents Guide with a lot of info in. You will be given a printed copy in due course.

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With regards phones this has been the most difficult part for us. The Year 7s are not allowed their phones until they finish prep at around 8pm. Bedtime is at 8.45pm which is when they hand their phones in. So you only have a 45 minute window in which they can call you. They do not get their phones in the morning and are not allowed to take them to school, so for the first few weeks I found it extremely hard having to wait all day until I could speak to my dd, especially when I knew she was very homesick.

As for the dorms my dd is extremely tidy as well but she seems to cope very well living with other girls who are less so and just keeps her own area tidy and organised. One piece of advice I would give is do not pack too much. They really do get a very small allocated space and very little storage. They are in uniform all week anyway, pyjamas as soon as they get in and so only need clothes for Saturday afternoons and Sunday. I ended up bringing a lot of the clothes we packed for dd home again when I saw the size of her wardrobe!

Edited by Eowyn
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Just to also say you will get a pack in the post very soon with all of the boarding information, which will answer most of these questions. Good luck it's a very exciting and yet apprehensive time! x

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Thanks Pictures - that's quite a tight time frame for them in the evening then - considering they'll need to fit showers in etc ? I won't hold my breath for my DS making regular phone calls - but hold the feeling that "no news is good news"

I take it from your post that they eat lunch & tea at school then , do they have breakfast at school as well ?

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They have breakfast in the boarding house as soon as they get up. Lunch and Tea are at school :-)

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