Frequently asked questions
………………… and answers from the Boarding Team:
Am I allowed to call home when I want to?
Yes! You can call home whenever you want, as long as itis not during lessons, prep, mealtimes, or after lights-out. Mobile phones are allowed, but should be used without disturbing others and may not be used during the school day or after lights out. There are also payphones which use cash or phone card.
Do I have to do prep?
Definitely. There is Study every weekday from 5pm until 6.15pm and from 7pm until 8.30pm in St Margaret’s. Prep is done in studies under quiet conditions with no talking allowed, although one can ask permission to work with a classmate on shared projects, when such tasks have been set. In School House junior boarders are closely supervised during Prep time in the Dining Room and timings are a little different from those at St Margaret’s, but the same high standards of concentration and commitment are expected from all pupils. A Tutor and a Sixth Form House Prefect are on duty to keep an eye on things and help you if you want to ask a question.
Can people visit me?
Yes, of course. The best time is after school at and before Boarders’ Study or later on in the evening. If you miss prep for any reason, you have to do the work some other time, so it’s best to avoid visits then. The weekend is an excellent time for visits, if you are staying in. Please ask your visitors to make sure they introduce themselves to the staff on duty.
What happens if I feel ill and it's the middle of the night?
Please tell someone. At home you'd wake mum or dad. Here you wake the Housemaster or Mistress, or one of the Tutors. There will always be somebody to look after you.
Do I get pocket money?
If you're a weekly boarder, you probably get your pocket money at home at the weekend. However, you may choose to have your own current account for convenience. If you board full-time, you should certainly have your own current account, topped up occasionally by your parent as necessary. Older pupils may go to the nearby High Street with permission from their Housemaster or Mistress in free time to top up personal cash from an ATM. Some regular activities are included in the school fees, but special expeditions are charged on end of term bills. Pocket money is required for small items like sweets and snacks and of course for any shopping trip. £10 per week for such small items should be enough for most full-time boarders.
What if I feel homesick?
We hope you don't, but it can be sad at first to be away from home and your family, so we will all look after you. Your Housemaster/ Mistress will take the greatest care in making sure you settle in well, right from the very start. But there are always lots of people for you to talk to, from among your own new friends, older pupils and many members of staff. Soon you won't be sad at all, as there's so much to do and so many friends to keep busy with!
Are we allowed to suggest new ideas?
You can do that at any time to the staff member on duty, but if you want to make it to lots of people at the same time, ask if it can be discussed at a House meeting. Sometimes there is a good reason for not changing things, but sometimes suggestions from pupils are very useful in helping to improve the way boarding runs. In St Margaret’s there is a “complaints book”, a “laundry comments” book and a “food comments” book into which your feelings, good or bad, and any positive ideas may be conveyed. These are checked daily and issues raised in them dealt with promptly. There are also several committees, representing all year groups in the house, which meet regularly to discuss various matters of significance to boarders.
What are the rules?
The basic rules are on the common room notice boards and in the small booklet you will be given. If you wonder whether something is allowed or not, just ask. We are also happy to explain the consequences if you break a rule. We try not to have too many rules and most things are common sense.
Who does all my washing?
All your school clothes and sports kit will be washed by the school. Younger boarders will have their own casual clothes washed by school, but for older pupils there are washing machines, tumble driers and irons.
What makes boarding so special?
Boarding at King’s creates a fantastic opportunity for young people of different ages and from different backgrounds and cultures to live, work and have fun together as part of a large, but friendly family group, where everyone knows everyone else. The boarders help and support each other and form lifelong friendships. The school's excellent facilities are always there for your use and, if you have any problems or difficulties, then there is always someone on hand to offer help and support.
We welcome students from many countries and cultures and enjoy celebrating their national days and traditions with activities and themed meals throughout the year. The boarding staff encourage pupils to share their differing life experiences and cultural knowledge with their friends
Who is responsible for looking after me?
The houses are run by a team of boarding staff who share responsibility for the care, discipline and general atmosphere of the boarding house, getting to know everyone well, ensuring that they are there to give plenty of support and guidance and being in regular contact with parents.
The Tutorial Team
The pastoral care of pupils is the responsibility of the Housemaster (HsM). There are two resident House Tutors and a House Parent to help with the care of the pupils. Tutors are on hand to give advice on personal and pastoral matters as required. For administrative reasons pupils are specifically assigned to a House Tutor.
The Tutors follow the pastoral and academic progress of their boarders and give advice about good use of prep time and good work practices. Tutors are also on hand to give advice, guidance and help at critical times such as option choices and University entrance, when positive help is given with the selection of Universities, form filling and personal statements. They also offer support for pupils with personal concerns/issues. Tutees meet their tutors all the time around the house, but formal interviews can be arranged to discuss specific issues at any time.
The Chaplain visits both Houses regularly to meet boarders informally. Pupils may discreetly make arrangements with a chaplain to discuss private matters confidentially, when he pops into the boarding house. Other teachers are encouraged to visit the House during prep time so that they may assist any pupils who need help with their school work. A designated Governor, who is responsible for Boarding, takes an active interest in the House and meets a group of representative pupils at least once a term, to assess the quality of life enjoyed by boarders.
Within the Houses there are three Committees which operate for the benefit of the pupils:
the Staff Committee meets termly and consists of the HsM and the Tutors with
the Head of Boarding and Boarding Governor also in attendance;
the House Committee, meets half-termly and comprises of the Head of House, the Senior Girl/Boy and a boarder from each year group, chaired by a House Tutor;
the Food Committee, meets half-termly and is chaired by the Catering Manager with a representative from each year group with two members of the Catering Department in attendance.
In addition to the tutorial team, each House has a dedicated domestic staff to maintain, clean and look after the boarders’ needs, including their laundry. All rooms are cleaned daily, but every boarder is expected to keep his or her room generally neat and tidy as they would at home.
The Boarding Staff are an important channel of communication between the School and parents on all matters relating to the pupils in their charge, including health, academic concerns, discipline, moral and social development. They liaise with form tutors and teachers and take a keen interest in pupils' achievements, whilst also ensuring an appropriate balance between their work and their extra-curricular activities and interests. We all work together to nurture the good spirit of this happy, vibrant, multicultural boarding community and to encourage the boarders to take part in all that the school has to offer, so that they can flourish and develop to their full potential.
Is there a chance for parents and guardians to meet staff?
When boarders are collected from or returned to school, the Boarding Staff are always available. Parents and/or guardians are encouraged to attend all school functions, and the informal Parents' Receptions and more formal Parents' Evenings are a good opportunity to meet the teachers. If you happen to be in the area, you are welcome to turn up at any time, but please let us know in advance to avoid disappointment! Formal appointments to see the Head or individual members of staff can also be made by contacting the Head of Boarding.
How often can I see my family and friends?
They can come to see you any time after school and at weekends and you can go out with them by arrangement with the boarding staff. Boarders may go away for weekends or part of the weekend, provided the school has received an invitation from the host concerned and the consent of your parent/guardian together with the permission of your Housemaster/ Mistress.
How can I keep in contact with my family?
Boarders are allowed to have mobile phones, but they must not take them into school during the school day. If you have your own laptop, you may bring it to use at school; there is wireless internet connection throughout the boarding houses and if there is a problem with your own laptop, you can use one of the desktop computers in the boarding houses, or one of the computers in the main school IT room. Each boarding area also has a payphone and there is a letter box in Satis House and letters are collected daily; stamps can be bought from the main school office and boarding staff will be more than happy to post letters for you.
What happens if I get ill?
We have our own nursing team of two registered nurses on site and they provide medical care throughout the day in the school's Medical Centre. The School Doctor visits the school once a week and appointments can also be made for pupils to see a doctor at the Surgery at any other time. Appointments can also be made to see the School Counsellor, if needed. The nurses' background and training have given them a great deal of insight into all aspects of young peoples' needs. Many of the school staff are first aid - trained and all boarding staff have advanced first aid training
What do I do if I have a problem?
There are many people who can help. Fellow boarders may well prove to be excellent problem-solvers and help with any problems which you do not want to discuss with an adult. You may also approach any member of the boarding staff, your Form Tutor or any member of staff you trust for advice. In some cases it may be necessary to contact someone who is better qualified to deal with the problem, such as the School Nurse, the Head, or Deputy Head, or the School Counsellor and Chaplain, whom you can consult confidentially.
What are the ages of boarders at King’s?
We have boarders from 11 years to 18.
Where do boarders come from?
Our local boarders tend to come from within a 20 mile radius from rural Kent and SE and Central London, whilst other UK boarders may have families living and working overseas. Our international boarders currently come from Russia, France, Czech Republic, China, Hong Kong, Ukraine, Nigeria, Japan and South Korea.
Where is King’s?
The School is situated within the conservation area of historic Rochester, close to both the Norman Castle and Cathedral.
Many of the School buildings are Victorian or Georgian and Grade 1 or II listed.
The listed buildings are complemented by a modern infrastructure as befits a school at the cutting edge of 21st century education.
Although close to the centre of the town, an atmosphere of seclusion and privacy pervades the campus.
The School enjoys extensive sports facilities, with large playing fields both on the Alps and the Paddock. The two sports halls/gymnasia provide a weight training room, cricket nets, netball and badminton courts. The millennium project saw the completion of a twenty five metre indoor swimming pool. The modern boathouse on the River Medway and the shooting range are both within easy reach.
By train from Central London:
On the High-Speed line from St Pancras, journey direct to Rochester is 37 minutes. Otherwise, it is best to travel from Victoria rather than Charing Cross. Make sure that the train stops at Rochester Station. It is then a 10 minute walk to the School. (If the train does not stop at Rochester, continue to Chatham Station and take a taxi (5 minutes). 80 minutes by rail from Gatwick Airport - Gatwick to Victoria, change trains Victoria to Rochester; 120 minutes from Heathrow Airport - via London Underground (tube/subway) to Victoria Station and then surface train to Rochester. 10 minutes from Ebbsfleet (Channel Tunnel via Ebbsfleet).
By road via M4/M25/M20 motorways and A229 to Rochester. Journey time approximately 90 minutes.
By road via M23/M25/M20 motorways and A229 to Rochester. Journey time approximately 55 minutes.
Via Channel Tunnel:
By road from Cheriton via M20 and A229 to Rochester. Journey time approximately 40 minutes.
Via Channel Ports:
Dover via A2/M2/A229 to Rochester. Journey time approximately 50 minutes.
Folkestone via M20/A229 to Rochester. Journey time approximately 60 minutes.
Are the fees all-inclusive?
Our boarding fees include all tuition, all books, full accommodation, and all meals 7 days a week, all laundry and also participation in many of the exciting activities we arrange for boarders
How do parents of boarders communicate with boarding staff?
Boarding staff can be contacted 24 hours a day 7 days a week during term time.
School House (Boys)
The Housemaster and Tutors may be contacted on: 0044 (0)1634 888544
(There is a message facility on this telephone)
E-mail address: email@example.com
Pupils may be contacted on the following number: 0044 (0)1634 888608
Alternatively, pupils may be contacted on their mobile telephones during free
time. Please note, however, that it is expected that mobile phones will be
turned off during lesson time (8.50am – 4pm), during prep (5pm – 6.30pm, 7pm –
8.30pm) and after lights out, or by 11pm, whichever is the earlier.
St Margaret’s House (Girls)
The Housemaster and Tutors may be contacted on: 0044 (0)1634 888533
(There is a message facility on this telephone)
E-mail address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Pupils may be contacted on the following number: 0044 (0)1634 847882
Alternatively, pupils may be contacted on their mobile phones during free time. Please note, however, that it is expected that mobile telephones will be turned off during lesson time (8.50am – 4pm), during prep (5pm – 6.30pm, 7pm – 8.45pm) and after lights out, or by 11pm, whichever is the earlier.
We pride ourselves on the excellent levels of communication between boarding staff, parents and guardians.
Who can boarders speak to if they need help?
Boarding staff are all experienced in how to listen and deal with specific pastoral issues related to boarders and are always readily available to them. Supporting the work done by the boarding staff, the school nurses regularly welcome boarders who chat to them about a variety of issues. The School also has a qualified School Counsellor, whose services are offered free to any boarder who may wish to talk to her and boarders also have free access to various national helplines. School prefects are always available too.
No matter what the problem, Boarders can talk to any member of King’s staff or any of the Sixth Form prefects: they are all trained in child protection.
How does King's support boarders with their academic progress?
Most boarding staff also teach here at King’s and most have had teaching experience in other schools too at some stage during their career. They will assist with any homework problems and check that homework is completed. Boarding staff have direct, quick and immediate access to subject and form staff and gain regular feedback on the boarders' academic progress, so boarders really do benefit.
Is there support for overseas boarders with English as a second language?
We have a specialised department to help pupils whose first language is not English. Our EAL (English as an Additional Language) department offers support both to small groups and on a one-to-one basis if needed. We offer IELTS and Cambridge Preliminary and First Certificates and there is an extra charge for these lessons.
Does the school offer support for boarders with learning difficulties?
King's has a dedicated Learning Support Department which helps pupils who have certain learning difficulties. This usually takes the form of one-to-one lessons with a trained professional.
How safe is the King's community?
Although King’s is situated just two minutes from historic Rochester’s High Street, we pride ourselves on providing a very safe environment for all our pupils - their safety and well-being are our top priority and our security is excellent. King’s staff have advanced child protection training, fire safety training, first aid training and health and safety training which is updated annually.
In addition, each Boarding House is protected electronically and entry is by a proximity card system. Each pupil is given a card which will give access to the pupil entrance to the House between certain hours.
How do we apply for a boarding place?
· Contact our Registrar, Mrs Lynne Davies, on 01634 888590
or by email on email@example.com
· Contact your agent
· Contact the school via the school website: www.kings-rochester.co.uk
Does King’s have Exeats?
King’s usuallyhas 2 exeats every term, one in each half term.
What are tthe term dates?
All term dates appear on our website. There are 3 terms per school year.