Yesterday was Sarah's Secondary School interview.
Sarah's Secondary School.
Sarah's Secondary Boarding School.
The place Sarah will 'live' for the next five years, where she will forge friendships that will stay with her for a lifetime, where she will grow from our gorgeous young girl into a beautiful young woman. Where she will be given opportunities never before seen, where she will learn, play, grow and develop.
The interview went really well.
Sarah came away from it excited about this next phase of her education. From a school of twenty-five students, where for seven years her only fellow class-mate has been one little boy named Eli to a school of eight hundred and eighty students, it's quite a step. One I am certain Sarah will handle with confidence. A calm and serious child, I've no doubt she is going to thrive in this new environment. I listened smiling, as she relayed to her siblings everything she'd seen, from the layout of the twin-share room, to the pinboard above the bed where she intends to pin photos of the pigs, dogs, Mum & Dad, horses, cattle, and finally agreed at a pinch to include a photo of her brother and sisters. She was most impressed with the rec-room, lined with bookshelves full of books just waiting to be read, the beautiful palm-tree surrounded swimming pool, tennis courts and even gymnasium.
I came away from the interview feeling confident that we've made the right choice with this school. There is so much more than just the education involved when choosing a boarding school for your child. It is a huge and worrying task to hand over the day-to-day responsibility of your child to somebody else.
You worry about safety and security foremost, will someone always know the whereabouts of my child, will someone be making sure her name's ticked when she steps off the bus from the school campus every afternoon, will someone make sure she's cleaned her teeth every night? Will someone sit on her bed and tell her it's alright to be feeling homesick? Will someone tell her when she has milo on her chin after breakfast? And will someone make sure she packs a piece of fruit in her lunchbag every day?
The Head of Boarding with whom our interview was with, took us on a tour of the residence. I was amazed by how 'homely' it was, not the sanitised hospital feel I'd dreaded. The Year 8 and 9 facility has only very recently undergone a refurbishment and is very comfortable. The girls (and boys) are responsible for ironing their own uniform every night, they pack their own lunch every morning and are given various duties including bin duty, packing dishwashers, much the same as home really. The Head of Boarding with his wife and family live on site, their two year old daughter apparently a regular visitor, wandering the corridors, playing with whoever will let her.
The school itself is a co-educational facility, with girls and boys boarding at separate residences a short distance from the school campus. The best of both worlds I think.
Sarah will go in for a three day orientation visit later this year.
I'll be sure to spit on my finger and wipe her face before she leaves.