Upper school - A day in the life
The Upper School day begins early - and ends late! We work on Saturday morning until 12.30 pm. If a child is selected for a school team on Saturday or Wednesday afternoon we have to insist, except in certain circumstances, that his or her participation must be honoured as a school commitment whether it is the 1st XI hockey or the under-9 cricket. Our timetable is still deliberately organised within a boarding context - approximately half our Upper School pupils are boarders - in the firm belief that constant involvement increases the opportunities we can offer.
The day begins at 8.20 am when each Form Teacher meets his/her class, with lessons beginning at 8.50 am. Ten periods follow (six on a Wednesday & Saturday) with breaks in the mid-morning and for lunch when children may play in the woods, building dens and creating new worlds. Everyone meets for prayers in the chapel mid-morning, except on a Friday when we hold a whole school assembly in the Henderson Hall.
Sport & Activities
Sport plays an important part in the life of the school. Children are coached in a variety of team sports on four afternoons per week. We have an enviable record of children selected to play for their counties - and even three England rounders players over the last few years! Winning is important, but no more so than learning to play as a team member or learning how to lose, having given your all.
After games is tea, followed by the final lessons. Clubs and Activities start at 5.10 pm when day pupils are free to go home if they wish. The school day 'formally' finishes at 6.00 pm when the buses head off to surrounding villages and as far as Hereford and Bridgnorth.
The Activities will change a little from term to term, according to the weather and availability, but there are ten or more each day, including Art, Choir, Computer Games, Cooking, Craft, Computing, Debating, Golf, Gym, Karate, Climbing', "The Socket Set', Swimming, Model-making, Tennis, War Games and Woodwork. We have a 9 hole golf course in the grounds. The children are sometimes taken to wander, muse, and play hide-and-seek in the thousand acres of Forestry Commission woods opposite the school, winding towards Ludlow Castle, where Milton set the scene for 'Comus'. However, the monster that terrorised the children has long since fled the forest!
Our buses depart at 6.00pm (except Wednesday, which has an earlier finish), delivering children to their homes. While the school is based on a boarding ethos and routine, most children start as day pupils. Many try (and enjoy!) the boarding experience with most becoming weekly boarders by Year 8.
After supper at 6.00 pm, and evening prayers, the older children have some independence and may choose to work quietly in the Library. The younger boarders join a supervised activity. In the summer they have acres of grounds in which they may play. By this time in their school career, the vast majority of children have decided to board. There are also talks by visiting speakers and further trips out perhaps to the Symphony Hall in Birmingham. Wednesday nights are 'different' and special, with games, themed evenings, trips to local events or even Christmas shopping and carol singing in Ludlow!
Finally, a full and fulfilling day must take its toll and it's time to go upstairs -usually with hot chocolate and toast. Supper can sometimes seem a long time ago!