Joining a new school is often a nerve-wracking experience. But new pupils at Repton School in Derbyshire felt welcomed and excited as they settled into life at the School this autumn. Repton hosted several induction events, and pupils threw themselves into the first few days of the new academic year.
Here’s how Repton School welcomed its new joiners in the first full week of the 2023 Michaelmas term.
Settling In: Warm Welcomes for New Repton Pupils
The first day of school at Repton involved warm welcomes for pupils and their families in the headmaster’s garden and boarding houses.
The Admission of Scholars ceremony also took place on the first day. The ceremony saw Repton’s new academic, sporting, and creative scholars congratulated for their achievements and encouraged in their future contributions to the School.
Staff of all kinds ensured the newcomers settled in quickly. Pupils appreciated the matron and headmaster making them feel welcome and valued the Heads of House panel at the Sixth Form induction. Pupils joining Repton’s Sixth Form asked questions and received reassurance and insights from the panel members at the event.
Each year, Repton creates many spaces for new Sixth Form pupils to join the School. As a result, pupils who enter at this stage don’t typically have the overwhelming “newcomer” experience they might encounter in other Sixth Forms.
One new Sixth Form pupil has come to the School from Singapore. She said that, while some schools can be “cliquey,” everyone at Repton “has been so nice” and “really inviting.”
A Repton Education: Finding the Right Balance
Repton encourages pupils to find a healthy balance between their academic studies and a range of activities. At Repton, rest, social time, and fun are as important as good grades and extracurricular achievements.
Newcomers to Repton often find themselves adapting to this balance between academics, socialising, and other commitments.
C.B. Fry Sports Scholars
While adjusting to new routines is inevitable when starting at a new school, scholarship pupils joining Repton often have a particularly busy first few days.
One of Repton’s prestigious scholarships takes its name from a famous sporting alumnus C.B. Fry. In their first week, C.B. Fry scholars begin their academic, sporting, and creative activities.
One C.B. Fry scholar joining Repton this academic year said it was “nice to be busy.” Other sports scholars received advice at the Sixth Form induction panel about how to balance sports with studies. One pupil said managing all these commitments “seems very feasible.” He encouraged other newcomers to “get involved in everything you can.”
A Home Away From Home: Boarding at Repton School
Repton is a day and boarding school, and boarders represent approximately 70% of the School’s community. Repton’s House system is a key part of the School’s supportive Pastoral care provision. Both boarders and day pupils experience aspects of boarding house life.
Helping Pupils Adjust to Boarding
Boarding can present a significant transition for young people, particularly if it’s their first time living away from home. Creating a sense of belonging at school is vital. During the first few days of each academic year, Repton works hard to ensure boarders feel at home.
Some may find the first few days of boarding challenging. But one new Lower Sixth pupil said: “You get used to it really quickly.”
Another Sixth Form pupil noted that boarding offers “more time to integrate and get to know people.” She added that boarding can also help young people prepare for university.
Year-Group Integration in Boarding Houses
There are ten Houses at Repton. Repton integrates all year groups in each boarding house. This means pupils aged 13 to 18 share their time and space right from the start of the academic year. This year-group integration helps young pupils and those joining the School build their confidence.
One young newcomer to Repton described everyone in her House as “really nice.” She added that she enjoys sharing her lunch tables with other year groups and a range of individuals. “I have two swimmers on my lunch table and hearing them talk about their day being so different to mine is really interesting.”
Time To Learn and Grow
In addition, the Repton boarding experience enables pupils to pack their days full of learning and activities. One C.B. Fry scholar said that boarding life allows pupils the time to “do what you want to do.” That might mean anything from playing an instrument to trying an extra sport.
Day pupils also benefit from Repton’s boarding routine. Another sports scholar who is a day pupil said: “I share a room with two boarders and I get in early each day and don’t have to leave until 9 p.m. … having that time helps me fit everything in.”
A Busy First Week and a Half
Repton packed the first few days of its 2023-24 academic year with numerous events, including:
- An induction and barbecue for new pupils.
- A Saturday night social for younger pupils.
- Teas with the headmaster in his garden for B block (pre-GCSE) pupils.
- Team building events for B block and A block (GCSE-level) pupils.
- House matches, including a House tug of war competition with a whole-school barbecue.
- Sports trials.
- The first three whole-school chapel services.
- The first school prefect meeting.
Repton offers pupils plenty of activities alongside a broad, balanced curriculum. During their downtime, pupils take stock of new experiences and build friendships that often last beyond their time at school.