Zoom in on the stunning landscapes of Brecon Beacons National Parkand you will discover Christ College Brecon. Here, students live in a home away from home in a glorious boarding school environment. In this supportive community, they thrive; their well-being cared for down to the smallest detail.
This care for the physical, emotional, cultural, moral, social and spiritual needs of students begins before they even set foot on campus. Before starting the term, each student receives an initiation pack containing class timetables, site map, city amenities, etc. This relieves worries of routine and getting lost the first week.
“Each new student gets an older buddy, someone they can turn to if a tutor or teacher isn’t available,” says Senior Boys House parent Houseparent Dyfed. “I can imagine making new friends is quite intimidating for them, which is why it’s essential to get the whole house involved. We have a game called 40/40 where three students are chosen to defend a rugby post and all others must hit the post before being tagged in. Touch rugby is another favourite…and of course house competitions such as house music involve the whole house.
Feeling welcome is important. Christ College Brecon understands this well, which is why a stay-at-home parent will not only carry out daily check-in during the first week, but will also put new pupils in contact with key members of staff such as their personal tutor, the welfare center team and the prefects of home. Parents are always kept informed. “I take a photo of the girls on their ‘first day’ in their uniform and send it to the parents so they can see their child on the first day,” shares Danni, the mother of the Senior Girls House. “There are rarely welfare issues, but if there are, there are plenty of people to talk to for new students and reassure them that they will be fine!”
At Christ College Breconstudents strive not only to get good grades, but also to build character and confidence too. The goal is to provide each student with holistic success while ensuring that they feel safe, supported and happy – and in this, the whole community is involved.
Academically, staff designs weekly schedules that allow students to balance their academic studies and explore their passions outside of the classroom. While students focus on their academic lessons during the weekdays, Saturdays are used for a “second schedule,” a time when students can focus on exploring their interests and passions.
“The structure of the week really helps balance their commitments,” actions Simon Hilldeputy head (pastoral) to Christ College Brecon. “Saturday really has a different feel, one of adventure and exploration – allowing students and staff to spend more time on their personal interests.”
Regardless of the day, students are supported every step of the way, sometimes even before they know they are facing problems. As the college takes a proactive approach to wellness, this means that it tackles problems before they arise using its comprehensive tutoring program and post-secondary curriculum. Guest lectures build on this with their presentations on a wide range of topics, from mental health in sport to goal setting and healthy lifestyles. Each year, the group meets with the Schools Community Policing Office to cover both the education and legal aspects of adolescent decision-making.
During weekly chapel services, led by students, the community comes together to address current issues and let everyone know that they are not alone in their struggles. Pastoral staff meet weekly to address student concerns. In short, the whole school is committed to its culture of support, openness and honesty which reassures everyone in this difficult period.
In the event of a problem, several levels of support are available. Students can talk to their parents, guardians, nurses, counselors and teachers. Whenever they need it, they have several people to turn to.
As sixth-grade student Hannah says, “you feel part of a tight-knit community in your home and in the school as a whole.”
Another student, Nia, agrees on the feeling of family within the house and that there is a “feeling of family away from home”. “As the school is not very big. it’s easier to get to know everyone and make new friends…it’s like having thirty sisters.
To learn more about how your child can be part of this small, caring and compassionate community, click here.
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