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Frequently Asked Questions

What happens if my child is homesick?

It is very normal to feel homesick if you are new to boarding and all our boarders were new at some point, so the best people to help you are the others in your dorm – they have been there and can understand how you are feeling. The best advice is to get involved with all the activities that are on offer, make friends and keep busy. Very soon it will pass and you will find the weeks flying past very quickly! From experience, we have found that talking to parents just before bedtime, is not always a good idea, so we try to encourage parents to call earlier in the evening, between 6.15 – 7.00pm. All the staff on duty are very kind and friendly. If you are upset or worried about anything than they are there to help you.

What happens on their birthday?

We can arrange a cake, a card (and a present if appropriate) and make sure the day is special for the birthday child and their friends.

Can I visit the school?

Parents are always welcome to visit by prior arrangement – just let Mrs Lee know. Full boarders can be taken out at the weekends by arrangement.

How can I contact my child?

There are lots of ways! Some children bring in a standard mobile phone, that they have access to in the evening to call their parents. These are kept in the Houseparents’ Flat overnight and during the day. All children have a school email account, and have access to computers in the evenings to send/receive emails. Some children have skype accounts. You can contact the duty staff/house parents at any stage.

What happens at exeat weekends?

The school closes down and all boarders spend Friday and Saturday nights away, returning on Sunday evening. Full boarders either go to their Guardians or spend the weekend with one of their friends.

What happens if they need the Doctor/Dentist?

Full boarders will be registered with the school doctors/dentist who can deal with any treatment necessary, (with parents’ permission). Weekly boarders will remain registered at their home address, but can be treated by the school doctor/dentist if required as temporary residents.


Hair needs to be clean, neat and tidy, free from dye and gel! Boys’ hair should be above the collar, (we reserve the right to arrange haircuts if we feel it is necessary). Girls should have long hair tied back. Make-up is not allowed during the school week, and can only be used sparingly at the weekends. Girls may wear small gold/silver stud earrings with school uniform. Small crucifixes or pendants with religious significance are also allowed as are watches, which should be engraved with your name. Please do not bring in any valuable jewellery.

Fire Drills

These are practicsed regularly both during the school day, and at night. Boarders know exactly what to do if the alarm sounds.

Can they bring in photographs from home?

Every boarder has a personal notice board on which they can stick up photos/pictures etc. and really make their space their own. Personal duvet covers help personalise their beds.

What about Prep (Homework)?

Boarders in Year 7 & 8 will have a prep session in the evening so they can get any homework completed. Weekly boarders may have to take a small amount of work home with them for the weekend.

What happens if my child needs additional support with English?

The school provides a comprehensive programme for children who need extra support with English language skills. Individual lessons can be organised at extra cost, based on the level of need.

How do I know if they are playing in a sports fixture?

Copthorne play sports fixtures on Wednesdays, and parents are always invited to these, both home and away. The school calendar (and weekly newsletter) contains the details of fixtures, and team sheets are posted on the school website.

Can they bring in toys or games?

Children may bring in activities to play with in the evenings however they will be their responsibility to look after! The boarding house is often a very busy place, so children should not bring in expensive items that may get lost or broken. Children should not bring in hand held games consoles (PSP/DS etc.) as these games can only be played alone and more fun is had and more friends made if children join in the activities that are provided.

Do they need pocket money?

Please do not give your children cash to look after by themselves. Each child can have a pocket money account, run by Mrs Lee, so money can be given out when required.