News and blog

From our Head Boarder

As my time as Head Boarder draws to an end, I cannot help but reflect on what an amazing experience it has been and one that I will certainly never forget.  

Joining St Mary’s in the Sixth Form, and experiencing boarding for the first time, I thought that the drastic change in my environment would mean that I would find it slightly difficult to settle in. However, this was not the case, due to how kind and welcoming everyone was. 

This was one of the reasons why I felt so motivated to apply for this position, because it would give me the opportunity to help others feel as welcomed and supported as I did.

Honestly, that has been my favourite role as Head Boarder; being an older sister – someone boarders could come to if they need to talk to someone or just to ask a question. 

Becoming Head Boarder

The application process for being Head Boarder was quite intricate, yet enjoyable. We started by filling in an application form: stating why we should be chosen for the prefect position, along with designing an activity for the new boarders to do at the beginning of the year.

This was followed by hustings – in which all the candidates prepared a very short speech and presented it to the boarding community, who then voted for the person that they wanted to be Head Boarder. After this, we had to attend an interview with the Headmistress, Head of Boarding and the Housemistress.

I feared it would be the most daunting part, however they were all so supportive and certainly eased my nerves. 

I gained many tips from the interview and the application process as a whole, many of which I can later use in my university interviews and beyond. 

Being Head Boarder

I had the opportunity to work alongside an amazing group of boarding prefects, who made being Head Boarder as enjoyable as it was. The prefect team was made up of Miashea, Kimi, Lucy, Keren and Safiya. 

Being Head Boarder whilst studying for A Levels can feel overwhelming at times, and it can be a struggle to find a healthy balance between your duties and studying. However, I was extremely lucky to be in a team with people who were so willing to help and contribute.

As a team we were able to work harmoniously together to organise some amazing events. For example, we organised the first tea party at Mary Ward House for the elderly residents of the Royal Albert Homes. 

We arranged the entertainment and ensured that the event was enjoyable for our guests. Additionally, we also planned a welcoming activity for all of the boarders at the beginning of the year to help everyone settle in and get to know each other. We also organised the annual Boarders’ Christmas dinner and disco.

Building our community

Improving the integration between our boarding and day communities, especially within the Sixth Form, has been a main focus for the prefect teams this year. 

One initiative that was taken was to hold the annual Sixth Form Social at Mary Ward House. In this event we played many games, ate lots of food and got to know each other much better. The event was great as we had many people attend. It has been lovely to work closely with the day prefects to ensure that the boarding community’s views and opinions were reflected and considered.  

As Head Boarder I can honestly say I have gained so much from this role. As cliché as it may sound, I have seen my confidence grow and I have gained skills for life that will empower me to be a force for change beyond my school life. 

I speak for many when I say that I know that I have found a second home and family and have built meaningful friendships at Mary Ward House, and for that I am grateful.  

Maria K.

Head Boarder

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