Harrogate’s Ashville College has scooped the Boarding Initiative of the Year Award at the prestigious TES Independent Schools Awards at London’s Grosvenor House Hotel.
The new activities programme, which judges praised as “a very effective project that makes boarders feel at home”, was devised after an online questionnaire completed by boarders found just 60 per cent considered the provision at the time to be either good or excellent.
As a result, the boarding council of pupils devised the scheme with Senior Housemaster Gilmour Coad.
Organising charitable events and visits to museums, art galleries and walks in the Yorkshire Dales, alongside traditional sporting activities and tournaments between Ashville students are now undertaken.
Mark Lauder, Ashville College Headmaster, said: “Winning this award is a tremendous accolade for Ashville College.”
“It is a recognition of the great work our boarding staff, and students, have put into making boarding a positive and rewarding experience.”
Team-building and leadership skills are developed through a series of inter-house competitions, including singing, cooking and netball.
Students wanted weekend events that gave them an insight into local and national culture, a chance to engage with the local community, and, crucially, were fun.
Ashville’s boarders made efforts to get day pupils involved too, inviting them in for specific “boarding in” weekends so they can also experience and enjoy the new activities.
These included a trip to Harrogate Theatre to watch a traditional English Pantomime, a visit to Manchester Museum of Science and Industry, walks in the Yorkshire Dales and trips to the Bradford Alhambra and Leeds Grand theatres and to the seaside for fish and chips.