Perhaps the most important thing is that from the moment you open your eyes in the morning, until you shut them in the evening, everything happens in English.
After waking up in the morning – most probably you are sharing a room with a student your age and sex – you jump into your uniform (great, no extra thinking about what to wear today!) and go downstairs to join the other students for a buffet breakfast.
After breakfast you walk over to the main school building (about 1 minute walk) and lessons start at 9 am. Your classmates are almost all native English children and your teachers are all native English speakers. All classes are taught in small groups, and some subjects (eg. maths) are further broken down to even smaller „sets”, so every student receives individual attention. This is one of the many advantages of the British schools: no-one can fall behind, the teachers make sure every single student understands the materials. If a teacher notices that you experience difficulties understand something, they will reach out to you for a catch-up: this may just be a short explainer session after lunch, or if needed, some further revision work one-on-one.
International students receive additional English lessons, depending on what they need: this may be practice in essay writing, reading comprehension, vocabulary or grammar.
Lunch time is about an hour and a half long. This, too, is buffet style, a more relaxed affair than we are used to in our home schools. There is no crowding at the buffet tables and plenty of space to enjoy a relaxed lunch. Those who choose, can take part is a number of lunchtime activities, others may simply take a stroll in the beautiful school grounds with their friends. And, as mentioned above, a teacher may reach out to you and suggest you sit down in a quiet corner of the dining room for 15-20 minutes to go over some trickier topics you covered in class.
Lessons continue after lunch until about 3-3.30pm, after which you change into your own clothes and join one of the many afternoon activities. You can select the activities from a very long list at the beginning of term: this includes a huge selection of sports, hobbies, art, drama, dance, debating, photography…. I cannot begin to list all, each school has a selection of about 30-35 activities you can select from each term. You will definitely find activities you enjoy or want to try, there is only one thing you cannot do: sit in your room and play on your phone😊
Following afternoon activities a buffet style dinner is served around 6 pm and then it’s time for homework, known as „prep”. This takes place in your boarding house, either in the large common rooms or in your bedroom at your desk. There is always, always at least one teacher present to help you if you get stuck or for example need help with an essay. Teachers also ensure this is a quiet period and everyone can focus on their homework. If you finish your homework quickly, you are encouraged to read a book or magazine.
From about 8.30 in the evening there is Free Time! You can relax in your boarding house common rooms with the other boarders, make tea or cocoa and have a snack, play games, watch a film or phone, chat with your parents or friends at home. Bed time is usually a little later than what we are used to at home, but then again school starts later in the morning.
And since you spend the entire day in a native English environment, you experience the „Full English Immersion” all day, every day, and will notice a dramatic improvement in your English – speaking, reading and writing😊