Boarding Life - High Vinnalls: Years 3-6
High Vinnalls is Kingswood Prep School’s boarding house and caters for our youngest boarders, aged seven to eleven. It houses a maximum of 20 boarders. If you are looking for a place for young children to be looked after and cared for, then look no further – there is nowhere more homely, relaxed and happy than High Vinnalls.
Set within the Prep School grounds, High Vinnalls gives children the space to be themselves. It is a perfect start for young boarders, and the staff ensure that they receive the highest levels of pastoral care and security within a nurturing, home-away-from-home environment.
The warm and friendly home is run by the House Parents Ben and Lucy Hooton. They have four children of their own and have been a parent or teaching at Kingswood since 2009. Ben is also a cover teacher and often found with the Sport department at the Prep School. The couple has a great deal of experience within the School and offer a high level of pastoral care. They provide support with all the things that mums and dads do! Whether homework, help with reading, reminders about music practice or brushing of teeth, you can be certain of a real home from home environment at High Vinnalls.
High Vinnalls offers a multitude of things that young children enjoy doing. Within our homely lounge and dining room, there are board games, table football, computer games and a wall-mounted TV. The bedrooms are bedrooms – not big dormitories – and they therefore have that cosy feel of being at home. The children have the opportunity to decorate the area around their bed with pictures and calendars to make them feel even more personal, warm and friendly.
High Vinnalls maintains outstanding communication with parents, and the House Parents are available by email or phone at any time. The House Parents write pastoral reports twice a year and are in regular contact with parents, if there is a problem and when there is something to celebrate.
Parents are also welcome to drop in at any times to see their children enjoying themselves at High Vinnalls. If children at High Vinnalls have siblings in the Senior School, they will have opportunities to meet up with them, either when the Prep School children go up to the Senior School or when their elder brothers and sisters come down to meet them in High Vinnalls.
Life is always busy at High Vinnalls, although we also understand the importance of rest and recuperation in the evenings and weekends after a busy day and week at school. We encourage the children to have lots of interaction with each other rather than with electronics – but we do let the children have access to them occasionally!
‘Wacky Wednesdays’ are when we have an evening of fun and entertainment and are a highlight of the week; activities these range from games of bingo, cooking and craft to our termly Theme Nights, when we have celebrated the 1980s, Superheroes and travelled Around the World! At weekends, we provide opportunities to visit the wonderful city of Bath as well as other local visitor attractions such as Lacock Abbey and Dyrham Park. We also get physical by visiting the trampoline park or the local swimming pool or sometimes just chill-out around the house and make the most of our own tree platform, adventure playground and extensive grounds.
In addition to our full and weekly boarding options, we also offer opportunities to board on a flexi or casual basis. We understand the needs of parents as they go about their busy, daily working lives and want to offer a sense of security within a comfortable and well-known environment.
Our Wrap Around Care option includes a breakfast club at the boarding house which starts at 7.30am and a pick up and supper option once school finishes, right up until 8.00pm.