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BOARDING

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Who is a mentor? Who is a team leader?

A mentor is a member of staff who acts as your parent while you are in the boarding house. Each year group is allocated a mentor at the beginning of the year. If you are not comfortable discussing issues with your mentor, you can approach any member of the boarding staff.

There are regular mentor meetings where all sorts of issues are discussed. You have to attend mentor meetings, but if you have any urgent matters to discuss, just find your mentor and arrange a meeting. Your group may want to go on a mentor's outing once a term. Your mentor also writes your boarding report at the end of the term. Do not hesitate to discuss anything with him or her.

A Team Leader manages a team of boarding staff on duty each day. The Team Leader makes decisions regarding the effective implementation of boarding house systems on a daily basis.

What do I do on the first day in the boarding house?

You can unpack your clothes and put away all valuables securely. Hand in your travel documents and any money in your possession. Try to arrange your clothes and make a habit of keeping your belongings neat – it might earn you House points later in the term. If you are new to boarding, someone from your room or your year group will assist you to get to know the place and help you make new friends. You may also ask a prefect to help you.

In the evening, after supper, there is a general meeting where new students are introduced and the boarding rules are discussed. Make sure you have all you need for school prepared before you go to bed that night. If you have any concerns, talk to any member of staff and ask for help.

What happens during prep time?

Preparatory school students have their prep before supper. The staff will assist you if you need help. You may also be required to read to the teacher on duty during weekdays. Make sure your diary is signed and remember to bring your library book daily.

Secondary school students have their prep in the rooms allocated to their year groups. The boarding staff on duty supervise your prep. You will be expected to appear for roll calls at specific times during the day. Evening prep is one such time, and is compulsory for all students.

Afternoon subject clinics are provided by the teaching staff in Term's 2 and 3. These clinics are compulsory for examination candidates unless you are excused for a sports fixture or other scheduled school activity. You cannot use electronic devices (such as discman, mobile phone, ipod, mp3 player) during prep.

What are praises and sanctions in the Boarding House?

Assemblies are used to congratulate students on their achievements. If you keep your room tidy and go out of your way to be polite you will be awarded House points. There are four Houses in the boarding house: Amboseli, Mara, Samburu and Tsavo. They all compete during the term in different aspects of student life.

If you break the boarding rules, you will receive an appropriate punishment from the boarding staff. Punishments range from a verbal warning through to suspension/expulsion, depending on the severity of your misdemeanour. If you misbehave during prep or disobey a member of staff, you may be placed on detention. There are prefects in the boarding house who assist teachers in organising students. You should always respect them and assist them whenever you can.

What do I need to bring to the Boarding House?

All students should report to the boarding house with the items indicated on the list of Boarding House Requirements. Each item should be labelled with printed labels available from the uniform distributors. All clothing (home and uniform), including socks and underwear, should have similar labels.

You will require a small padlock (with a combination lock) to keep your personal belongings safe. The spare padlock keys should be deposited with the boarding staff. Parents should complete and sign the contact list for Boarders, the Conduct Sheet and the Permission slip for outings, on arrival and update these forms as the need arises.

You will require enough stationery to last you at least half a term or the whole term if you come from outside Kenya. The school will only provide textbooks and exercise books. If you are in Year 5 and above you might require special stationery for project work for that term. You might want to include markers, colour pencils, paper, files, folders, glue stick and anything else you would use to present your work well.

Parents must ensure that their child has current in-and-outpatient medical insurance cover. The medical insurance cards should be deposited with the Boarding office. Students with medical insurance covers that operate on a reimbursement scheme must make a deposit with the Accounts office. All children with asthma require personal inhalers. The medical form should be submitted to the school nurse.

You will need some money for outings or other personal needs. Parents should deposit this pocket money in the Accounts office.

You will be expected to read the Boarding rules and regulations with your parents on arrival. After a discussion, you will sign a copy and hand it over to the member of staff attending to you. After all the formalities are finalised, you will be shown to your room. Your parents are welcome to see the room too. If there are any concerns, the matter should be brought to the attention of any member of the boarding staff.

How do I communicate with my friends and relatives?

You might want to use a mobile phone to get in touch with your friends and relatives. Boarding students in Year 9 to 13 are allowed to use mobiles. However, you need to keep it safe as the school will not accept responsibility for any loss or damage caused to the mobile. Preparatory students are required to deposit mobile phones with the Boarding staff.

The school landlines may also be used as means of communication. Phone calls may be received at set listed times. You have to make sure that your friends and relatives are familiar with this timetable as phone calls will not be put through to you any other time unless it is an emergency. If you want to write a letter, use our mailing address: P O Box 24987 Nairobi 00502 Kenya. All boarding students are provided with E-mail addresses.

Can I use the school computers?

All students are allowed to use computers after school from 4.30 pm to 5.30 pm. If you require more time for a project or coursework, consult the Team Leader and provision will be made, depending on the availability of staff to supervise. You may use Internet sites for your research. However, serious sanctions will apply if you visit sites that are unsuitable. Make sure you save your work on the Z drive to avoid disappointments later. Organise your time in such a way that you have enough time to complete your assignment. Take into account possible competition for space and the network speed. Do not use flash disks to save your work as they may introduce a virus onto the network.

What personal items am I allowed to have in my room?

You may bring a limited amount of home clothes with you; casual wear and a few smart outfits for outings. Make sure the clothes are easy to wash. The laundry will not accept responsibility for delicate items. You will require enough items for your personal hygiene to last you at least half a term. It is useful to have some washing powder for those items you might prefer to wash yourself.

Avoid bringing expensive items as they can be easily misplaced.

Year 12, 13 and IFY pupils may bring a personal laptop computer to the boarding house at your own risk. It should be kept in the boarding office for safe custody. Keep your personal belongings in your wardrobe and use a padlock. The spare keys should be kept with the Boarding staff. If you happen to misplace your key, the duplicate will be used to help you to access your belongings. If the duplicate is missing, the matter should be reported to the Housekeeper who will request the school carpenter to break the lock. Do not undertake this action yourself as you may damage the wardrobe.

If any of your possessions are damaged through negligence on the part of the school you will receive compensation up to a set limit. It is worth checking lost property regularly. If you damage any of the school property during your stay in the boarding house, you will have to pay the cost of repair.

Who do I see if I have a problem?

The first person to see is your mentor. If the problem requires immediate intervention, inform any teacher on duty. If you are not feeling well, plan a visit to the Health Room during the hours specified for boarders. If it is an emergency, the nurse will be called to see you immediately. Talk to your mentor about difficulties you might be having in class in addition to discussing any matters of a personal nature. Your mentor acts as your parent for as long as you stay in the boarding house.

What do I do when I feel unwell?

If the problem is a minor one the nurse will administer first aid to you. You need to follow the hours indicated at the entrance to the Health Room. If you have been injured during a sporting event, AAR will be called to assist you. If you find yourself feeling unwell during the night, inform a member of staff in your block.

Your medical cover will be used in case you need a doctor or hospitalisation. Make sure that all medication is kept in the Health Room to be administered by the nurse. This information should be provided in writing by your parents. If you have any medical conditions, inform the nurse. Ensure that you carry your inhaler with you at all times if you are asthmatic. Any food allergies need to be communicated to the nurse too.

Where will I have my meals?

You will be served three balanced meals each day in the dining hall. There are also snacks provided for morning and afternoon break. Try not to waste food and only take what you can eat. You may have second helpings. During the weekends, sodas or juice are served at lunchtime for all boarders. You will also be able to enjoy a barbeque by the swimming pool during the term.

What I am allowed to do in my room?

You should make your bed daily and keep your room tidy. Respect everyone in your room, all teachers and all adults on site. If a misunderstanding arises, take the issue to your mentor or address it through the student council. You may request the office to move you to another room if you are unable to cope with others. However, the matter will be left at the discretion of the boarding staff and it is subject to the availability of space. You should strive to keep your environment clean at all times: use the waste paper baskets provided in the rooms and litter bins around the school. Do not misuse electricity and water. Switch off the lights before you leave the room.

You may not bring visitors of the opposite sex into your room. You may study in the study room after regular prep by prior arrangement with the Team Leader on duty. Use blue tack if you want to stick any pictures on the walls. Do not eat or store food in your room. You may only keep soft drinks. The set lights out times must be strictly adhered to.

What is the Brookhouse uniform?

You will be expected to appear for breakfast dressed in full uniform on weekdays. The teacher on duty may request you to return to your room if he/she is not satisfied with your appearance. Pack your books and arrange your uniform the evening before. Keep your shoes polished (you have to do it yourself) and keep your hair neat. If you need to visit a barber or a hairdresser, you should arrange to do so during exeat weekends, half-term breaks and holiday periods.

If you are involved in a match, you must wear your sports kit. Try to wear sensible and comfortable clothing for outings. When your clothes become dirty, you need to take them to the laundry. There are specific days for washing uniform, linen and personal clothes. You will receive the timetable at the beginning of the term and are expected to adhere to it. All items in need of washing need to be entered in your laundry book. The laundry does not accept unlabelled clothes. It operates on a cycle, with laundry deposited mornings and collected evenings.

There are prefects in the boarding house who assist teachers in organising students, including monitoring uniform standards. You should always respect them and assist them whenever you can.

How do I use my pocket money?

Your parents will deposit a set figure into your pocket and activity money account at the beginning of the term. All pocket money is kept in the boarding office. If you need any money for an outing or other needs, you can make a withdrawal at lunchtime in the boarding office. Make sure you plan your time well and do not delay returning to class. You can only withdraw funds within your limits. Pocket money is not designed to cater for pre-published school activities, such as MUN, PAS, school trips, etc. If you are in the Preparatory School the money requests should be forwarded to the Boarding staff. Your parents will receive an expenditure balance sheet at mid-term and end of term to enable them to monitor how you use the money.

How does the student council work?

At the beginning of the year you will choose your representatives. Meetings are organised on a regular basis to discuss any difficulties and offer constructive suggestions. If you have any concerns, forward them through your representatives. The Head of Boarding will meet with your representatives regularly to sort out problems.

What do I do if I want to worship?

Every Sunday there is a service organised in the boarding school hall. There is a member of staff in charge and you may participate in making arrangements. If you wish to visit a mosque or a temple, inform your mentor to help you make arrangements. There is also a Bible study group for interested students.

What do I do in the event of a Fire Drill?

You will be expected to respond to a continuous bell immediately. If it happens at night, a member of staff or your roommates will wake you up. You will then proceed quietly out of the building to assemble in your year groups. Members of staff will take a roll call and then dismiss you. In the event of a real fire, the same procedure will be used.

When can I watch TV?

The TV sets in all common rooms have satellite reception; some channels are blocked so that you cannot see anything unsuitable. Preparatory children may watch TV after reading and later after completing their homework. A-level students are allowed to watch the news after evening prep. During the weekend you may be allowed to watch TV more. However, the teacher may decide whether what you are watching is suitable for your age.

What about other personal issues?

You may celebrate your birthday with your friends, but inform your mentor first. Preparatory children may bring birthday cakes to take to their classmates. Your parents need to arrange that for you. If you are invited to someone's birthday, make sure that arrangements are made through the boarding office. Your mentor may assist you to order the cake from one of the bakeries, but you will have to pay for it from your pocket money. Secondary students are not allowed to visit members of staff in their houses. However, younger children may visit the Boarding staff if they are invited. Do not plan any sleep-over parties while you are in the boarding house as you will not be allowed to sleep in a room other than your own. If you need to buy something during the term, make your request to the Boarding staff and the items will be bought for you. You will be billed through your pocket money account.

When can I leave the Boarding House?

You can go out of school for boarding outings and school trips. Make sure your parent/guardian signs the return slip for your school trip. There are no slips required for boarding trips, but you must be on time for roll call before the departure.

Your parents may pick you up twice a term during exeat weekends. If your parents are not in Nairobi, an authorised person from your contact list may sign you out of school. Make sure your name appears in the IN/OUT REGISTER that is kept in the boarding office. If you need extra exeats, your parents may obtain special permission from the Head of Boarding. You must be back in the boarding house by 5.30 pm and the person escorting you should sign you in.

Brookhouse Boarding has very high expectations of their students and we trust that you will behave in a mature manner. Students should not come to school after exeats under the influence of prohibited substances. If you do, you will not be allowed on the compound.

Your visitors will be required to use the gate by the Boarding House. Make sure you are not receiving visitors after 5.30 pm. All vehicles coming in will be registered and monitored by the security staff. All visitors will sign a visitor's gate pass, and visitors may not be taken to your room.

On the last day of term, you should leave the Boarding House by 4.00 pm. If you are travelling from outside Nairobi your parents should make sure that you report with a return ticket. You will be met at the nearest point of arrival, but make arrangements in advance.

During mid-term holidays all students should have arrangements in place to go home. Examination candidates may stay in the boarding house over the half-term break in Term Three.





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