Boarding School Program - Erfahrungsbericht England

Helen hat zwei Jahre an der Sedbergh School in Cumbria, England verbracht.

Now that I’m back in Germany it is time to look back and reflect an amazing two years it has been at Sedbergh School. Although interrupted and shaped by the covid pandemic, I am beyond grateful for my time in the Dales and I can, as a Sedberghian, proudly say that it has been the best two years of my life.

The education at Sedbergh School, defined by committed and dedicated teachers is one of its strongest assets compared to a German state school. The year group is split into six sets, according to levels of academic performance and each set and exam is designed to challenge every pupil on the right level. I did not come across this system previously in Germany and working with others equally engaged and interested in a subject has been a great experience.

In addition to great education, Sedbergh School offers an exceptional extracurricular programme, ranging from lake swimming to rifle shooting and a devotion to cross country with the annual Wilson Run, said to be the toughest school run in the UK. Teams in netball, hockey, rugby, shooting and cricket regularly compete on national level and the daily games and activities provide a well-deserved break and balance from the busy everyday life.

When I came to Sedbergh in September of 2019, I had never boarded before and was very nervous to meet my roommates and house year group with whom I would, at least that’s what I expected at that time, be spending an entire three terms with. From the first second on I stepped into Robertson House, my boarding house, I felt welcomed, cared for and it quickly became my second home and I made lifelong friendships.

A typical day at Sedbergh School is very busy with little time to yourself and lots of running around. Assemblies in both Powell Hall and Chapel with the entire school before lessons bond the community even more and most fun are the congregational hymn practises with overenthusiastic music teachers once a week. Every two lessons I came back to my boarding house (get used to walking FAST and bring blister plasters). Break after period 2 is my favourite meal of the day with a changing selection of muffins, croissants, sausage rolls and bread from the most annoying toaster in the world. After lessons there is games every day which allowed me to try many sports in the past two years: I played tennis all throughout, hockey, netball, swimming, I fell in love with shooting, running and gym. The evenings, although officially dedicated to a two-hour prep time slot, are filled with chatting to your friends, hanging out in each other’s bedrooms and (depending on the duty teacher) hiding in the bathroom to not hand my phone in :)

Another very defining characteristic about Sedbergh School is the weather up north. The countless times I ran back to house being completely soaked by an unpredictable downpour, the miserably wet afternoons and the horrible wind when running on High Winder. All of this however is worth it when the sun finally comes out and Winder in all its beauty and majesty appears towering behind Main School.

In Lent term, my second term, the covid pandemic hit Europe and I had to fly back home in March full of uncertainty about the future. Remote learning has been remarkable at Sedbergh with Microsoft Teams being set up within a few days and smooth transitioning from the classroom to #SedberghAtHome. Compared to my German friends at home I did not miss a single day of lessons and benefited from the time difference by being able to stay in bed till 9:25 :)

In the summer term, in which I was at home, I faced a hard decision. I realised that returning to my German school was not the best step to make. After talking to my friends, tutor, and parents I decided to stay at Sedbergh School for another year to do my GCSEs. I was granted an academic scholarship which also helped my decision-making process. Year 11 was very different from year 10 as we spend a lot of time preparing for our exams which ended up being cancelled. Although Year 11 was disrupted many times by Covid, I made so many memories and new friendships for which I will always be grateful for.

For Sixth Form I decided to change schools and was very lucky to get offered a place at Sevenoaks School, one of the world’s leading IB schools and I look forward to two more years of boarding in England. I want to thank my friends, parents, my tutor Mrs Parry, my housemistress Mrs Christy and Ms Auweiler who recommended Sedbergh School to me and stayed by our side since nearly 3 years.