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How to Prepare for Boarding School

At Rendcomb College, we are a family so when a pupil stays late or overnight, they are staying at their home-from-home with their friends, caring Houseparents and exceptional pastoral teams. We want our boarders to feel comfortable, which is why they are welcome and encouraged to bring whatever they need to make their room their own!

Packing for Boarding School

Our boarders bring lots of things - from bedding and towels to soft toys and photographs. One pupil even brought a tortoise - a real one! Although, pets are unfortunately not allowed.

Pupils often bring food and snacks from home, rugs, lighting and decorations. Some pupils also bring PCs whilst others bring iPads, laptops and/or mobile devices. Whilst every pupil is different, we recommend considering the following categories when packing:

  • Clothes and hangers

  • Bedding and laundry

  • Toiletries and hygiene

  • Personal touches

  • School and stationery supplies


Our flexi-boarders are able to have the same bedroom and bed when they stay to maintain familiarity and really make their space personal to them. We also have a service that packs items up, stores them and delivers them to the student’s university when they move on.

Our House Handbook lists standard items for boarders to bring. To find out more about what to pack for boarding with us, please read our House Handbook by clicking here.

How to Prepare for Boarding School

Packing is a big part of preparing for the transition from living at home to boarding. But there’s also a range of other great ways that are really useful in preparing your child for boarding school. Some of our favourites ways to prepare a pupil for boarding include:

Talking about the transition from home to boarding

The transition from home to boarding is a big one, for both you and your child. And it’s very normal for both pupils and parents to have feelings of anxiety before the move. Talking about the transition is recommended because it allows parents and pupils to be open with one another about how they feel, sharing their worries and also the excitement. 

Encouraging independence

Boarding school is an excellent environment for pupils to develop their independence. In preparation for this, it is good to encourage more independence to help your child adapt.  

There are many social and independence-based skills that are developed by boarding schools. To help your child adapt and become more independent, you can begin to build the relevant skills long before they move in.

Adopting a positive mindset and attitude

Talking about the transition from home to boarding school is important. Whilst it can be a nerve-wracking time, it should also be an exciting one. The environment that we have is one in which pupils flourish, develop their independence and make friends for life. Encouraging your child to have a positive mindset and attitude before they even arrive will put them in great stead for when they start. 

School visit

In the run-up to your child’s move, it is recommended to book a visit to the school so they can become accustomed to their new environment. It will also give them the opportunity to meet the team and explore the college a little bit more, so they can hit the ground running with familiar faces and spaces.

Helping with homesickness

Even the most independent and excited pupils can suffer from homesickness when they move to boarding school. This is why it’s a good idea to plan some ways for them to deal with it should it occur. At Rendcomb, we offer pastoral care and support pupils through all the highs and occasional lows of boarding including homesickness. 

Discover Rendcomb College

To attend one of our Information Evenings, please contact our Admissions Team on or 01285 832 306, and they will be delighted to put the arrangements in place for you.