What options does my child have for boarding and how does it work?
The National Mathematics and Science College offers 2 boarding options for students:
- The Oaks residence next to the college.
Open to students 16 years of age and over.
Open to students aged 15 years of age and over.
Each option offers different benefits for students so please take a look at the individual Hall of Residence or Homestay pages for more information.
What are the Curfews for Boarding Students?
Sunday – Thursday
Curfew 10pm / 10.30pm for student aged 19 and over.
Lights out by 11 pm to encourage a good night’s sleep.
Friday and Saturday
Curfew 11pm for all students.
Lights out by 12pm to encourage a good night’s sleep.
If students miss curfew, the Boarding Team activate the College’s missing person’s protocol. There are sanctions for missed curfews. Please see our Behaviour, Discipline and Sanctions Policy.
How does the college help students to settle in?
In the first week at the college, there is a full induction programme including tours of the College and local area, introductory talks on the different aspects of College life – enrichment, UCAS, trips and the College Code of Conduct – as well as fun ice-breaking activities for all new students on arrival. Students meet their Form Tutors and Tutor Group and are also buddied up with returning students to help them settle in. All students are allocated to one of our College Houses, which helps them to get to know students across the College and across the year groups.
What if a child does not settle easily or has not boarded before?
All our staff are on the look-out for signs of homesickness and our Induction programme and weekly tutorial sessions help students to settle in quickly. In the boarding residence, communal mealtimes and events such as film nights help our new students to settle into life in the UK. We also encourage students to keep in contact with home, as we feel it is very important to maintain regular contact with their families. In College, we encourage new students to join clubs and become involved with all aspects of College life. Getting used to new routines, college food, and UK weather is a common experience for the vast majority of our students.
What happens at the weekends at the Residence?
There is a film night every Friday evening in the hall of residence which is organised by our boarding staff. College students in Homestay are welcome to attend these events. Students attend the Belgrade Theatre programme on Saturday mornings from 10.00 – 12.00. Gym activities are made available (yoga, circuit training) to students on Saturday afternoons. Sundays are often spent relaxing and/or studying in preparation for the week ahead. There are also planned activities and outings to places of interest for new students during the first term.
Can parents and children communicate regularly with each other?
We do not place any restrictions on parents and children communicating with each other (other than during lessons) as we believe it is vitally important to maintain communication with Home for our students. Students have access to wi-fi in our boarding residence and throughout the College. All Homestay homes also have wi-fi which students are able to use. We do ask parents to be considerate of the time differences and not to disturb their children between the hours of 11pm and 6.30 am GMT.
What happens during the holidays?
The boarding residence remains open during half term breaks as do Homestay houses. At the end of term, the boarding residence remains open for period of 24 hours after the end of the term and re opens at 9am on the Saturday before the term begins. Parents should refer to the Term Dates which are posted on the college website.
Does my child need to bring bedding?
No. All bedding is provided by the College for those in the boarding residence and by families in the Homestay. If students wish to personalise their bedding, this is also possible. In the boarding residence, all beds are double sized. Bedlinen is laundered once a week by the boarding staff. 1 bath sheet and 1 hand towel are also provided for students although they may also prefer to bring their own.
What other equipment will my child need to bring?
Details of what equipment will be needed is set out in the Student Handbook and the Boarding Handbook which will be sent to all parents before the start of term. Please note that stationary may be purchased in Induction week when there will be an organised outing for all students to the local shopping centre for a shopping trip.
Will my child’s special dietary requirements be catered for?
The caterers (Belgrade Catering) do their best to provide a range of meal options to suit: the dietary needs of vegetarians; those holding religious beliefs – such as Muslims requiring halal food; those who have allergies or intolerances to certain foods. Further individual arrangements and needs may be catered for upon request and we ask parents to inform us before the start of the year so that our caterers can plan appropriate meals. Food will be different from that which some students are used to consuming back home while trying to cater for a range of international tastes and appetites. Sample menus can be found on our website under the Accommodation tab.
Will my child be able to cook in the boarding residence?
Yes. The boarding residence is equipped with 2 full-sized and fully equipped kitchens on each floor. It should be noted that cooking is not allowed in bedrooms for fire and safety reasons.
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What is Guardianship and why is it important?
The National Mathematics and Science College sets the highest standards in safeguarding the welfare of every student and requires parents, who do not live in the UK, to appoint a guardian to act on their behalf for all students regardless of their age.
Appointing a guardian is a parental responsibility. The law protects the right of children and makes ‘proper and appropriate care’ a compulsory requirement. The UKVI authority also requires a letter from parents confirming the care arrangements they have put in place for their child as part of the visa application.