New to Boarding at Tibbs House

New to Boarding at Tibbs House

Boarding school is often the first time that many young people spend a significant amount of time away from home, family and friends. New boarders need to be proficient in a number of key areas if they are to make a speedy transition to boarding here at Tibbs House.

Parents can ensure that their son is prepared for boarding at Tibbs House by ensuring that he has the following skills in place before he arrives:

  • He knows how to make his own bed and how to put away his folded clothes
  • He has an ability to keep his belongings tidy and secure
  • He has experience in completing chores
  • He knows how to politely address adults and to make requests of them
  • He understands the importance of regular, basic hygiene
  • He can maintain a healthy balance between his school-work and free time

Parents can also help their sons prepare for boarding by discussing the following common issues that are often faced by new boarders:

  • Adapting to a community living situation
  • Security: looking after his own property while respecting others
  • Conflict: respecting and tolerating others and their personal space
  • Structure: understanding that a large community is reasonably inflexible
  • Lack of personal hygiene
  • Physical and psychological changes
  • Coping with day to day routine and the roles/responsibilities within that routine
  • Communicating with home - negotiate by what means, when, and how often
  • Increased academic pressure and/or unrealistic goals
  • Budgeting - agree on a set amount and stick to it


A major issue that most new boarders face is homesickness. It is important to remember that it is perfectly normal to miss home and it is often short-lived. As homesickness is linked to poor grades and/or experiencing difficulty with his school work it is important to address the issue quickly.

Communication is key - encourage your son to discuss the problem with a Master or a Matron. All the staff are experienced in handling homesickness and can even call upon Senior boarders who experienced homesickness as a Junior to act as a buddy.

Homesickness - for the Boarder

New boarders should hang out in the common areas as much as possible so they can form new friendships and be involved in any activities that occur. Being involved in a School-based activity can also help them to make more friends and to keep their mind off being homesick.

Homesickness - for the Parents

As parents, try to keep communication to a minimum initially and realise that boarders tend to phone when they are at their lowest, often accentuating the negative in an effort to convince you.

Try to focus on the positive aspects of what their hostel and School life provides them. If the reality that one day he is there, the next day he is not, does affect you, do not hesitate to get in touch with the Director of Boarding or your son's Housemaster.

Pastoral Care

Boarders need to realise that having problems and fears is completely normal and it is certainly not a form of weakness to want to talk about these things with someone.

Whatever the problem is, it is far better to talk to someone sooner rather than later. If a boarder has a problem he can speak to any of the Masters as they are all vested with the pastoral care of the boarders. Regardless of the issue, boarders should feel confident enough to approach any of the Masters or Matrons for help, or even just a chat; particularly new boarders to Tibbs House.

Key people to speak to about larger problems are his Housemaster or the Director of Boarding. In some cases, boys may want to confide in a more maternal figure and this is where the Matrons are invaluable.

The Hostel also has a designated Guidance Counsellor who is available for students during School hours and, if the need arises, after hours at Tibbs House.

Boarders' Stories

Click here to read more about how some of our current students are making the most of the opportunities presented to them while boarding at Tibbs House.