At St. Martin's Ampleforth our boarders are well cared for. The pastoral care at our school ensures the welfare and well-being of each individual child. We have an experienced boarding staff who are always available to boarders. Children also have their tutors and, of course, a number of independent listeners who are available to talk to boarders. Boarders are regularly encouraged to give their opinions on boarding life through the Boarders 'JAW' meetings. There is also a Food Committee who meet with our Catering Manager with suggestions and comments on meals.
We ensure that parents and guardians are regularly kept informed of their child's welfare. The Boarding Staff are available to parents to discuss the happiness and welfare of their child.
Praise and reward are central to boarding life. There are regular treats for the 'tidy dorm' winners. Boarders are welcome to bring a special toy such as a teddy bear and photos to make their bed area more personal. We also ask that boarders bring their own duvet covers and pillowcases so that their bed will look very similar to their home bedroom.
New boarders are allocated a 'guardian angel' when they arrive to help them settle into school routines quickly and easily. The guardian angels, along with the dormitory prefects, assist the boarders to be comfortable and at home with all aspects of boarding life.
If a boarder's birthday falls in term time we do make their day special. On waking, the children are given a card from the Boarding team and a birthday hat. They wear the hat to breakfast where the rest of the boarders sing the school version of Happy Birthday in Latin. The children may wear a birthday hat all day if they so wish. At supper the birthday child has a special birthday tea finished off with a birthday cake.
Boarders are given their own email addresses to enable email with friends and families and have time in the evenings and at weekends to use the laptop computers to access and send email. We also have 3 pay phones around the school which receive incoming telephone calls. Boarders are encouraged to write home, and have access to paper and envelopes.
The use of mobile telephones is encouraged to keep in touch with families and friends. Mobile telephones cannot be used during school hours and are kept during the day in the mobile telephone cupboard. We do not allow the children to use their mobile telephones to access either the internet or social networking sites.