The highlight of the school holidays

Having attended boarding school myself, the highlight of the school holidays was not so much the lack of lessons, but purely the fact that I got to go home. Which unfortunately, was not a possibility for 19 of our boarders over the October half term. This being the case we offered a variety of activities keep them busy and entertained, whilst reaffirm that they remain in a sense, home, over half term.

The holiday was kicked off by a party on Friday night that was organised and hosted by Steph (from Croatia and China) and Ullyana (from Russia) with willing assistants and security being provided by other members of the Sixth Form. After a relaxed weekend of roast dinner, a trip to Whitby and Bingo and with the weather turning truly autumnal, we decided that stand up paddle boarding and kayaking was best way to start the week on Monday. Nothing like the chill of Wykeham Lake in late October to awaken the senses and make you appreciate the little things in life like a towel and dry socks. Unfortunately, despite prior warning we did have Frol (from Russia) who forgot such luxuries and had quite a damp journey home.

If that wasn’t enough exposure to the elements Mr. Coates kindly took a couple of the older pupils to a very, very wet and muddy Dalby Forest for a mountain bike ride on Tuesday that drenched them to their bones and had Manfred in bed, asleep, by 7pm. Tuesday evening saw our boarders partake in their very own Taskmaster evening of challenges and activities in the barn. This taught us several things, like never ask Laju (from Nigeria) to pour you a glass of water and do not get Ryan to blow up balloons for you. The evening ended in controversial fashion as Hee Joo (from South Korea) was disqualified from the tiebreaker challenge by taskmaster Ms. Gilmour, leaving Steph’s team the victors.

Mr. Coates returned on Wednesday to take 7 other pupils on a ride up the railway line and around Ravenscar. This group fared well in much more favourable weather and had a fantastic time. Thursday saw torrential rain and a free day that many utilised to head into Scarborough for shopping, while others finally got some revision done in preparedness for the mock exams that are coming up. Thursday was capped off with a race night in the barn when Samuel (from China) yet again proved that when it comes to betting fake money on a pre-recorded horse race, he is a punter with all the right tips. Friday was a chaotic day for many with multiple groups going to the escape rooms in Whitby at various stages throughout the afternoon, and almost all of them managing to escape, nevertheless everyone managed to get back to school for fish and chips and pizza, an end of half term treat.

The highlight of the school holidays? On this occasion, there are too many to count!

Mr Justin Mayne, Housemaster