In the belief that education should be a shared enterprise, we greatly welcome and encourage the close involvement of parents with the school - with all aspects of their son's work, activities, and progress at the school, and also with the corporate life of the school in a wider context. Free and frequent communication between school and home is essential to that end: and parents are warmly invited to attend a wide variety of school events and functions.
The immediate and main link between school and home is a boy's Housemaster. Most parents establish a close and friendly relation with their son's Housemaster early on (often before their son joins the school), and it is hoped that parents will always feel free to contact the Housemaster by telephone or mail if there is any matter they would like to discuss with him. The Housemaster likewise will contact a boy's parents if there is any cause for concern or need for consultation. When important choices have to be made (of GCSE subjects, A level subjects, universities and courses) booklets giving full details of the options and procedures are sent to parents well in advance. At an appropriate stage of every year the parents of boys in each year group are invited to spend an evening at the school to meet all members of staff who teach their sons. Full reports are written on every boy each term, and sent to parents shortly after the end of term together with a letter from the Headmaster.
Parents receive a copy of each term's calendar, and are most welcome to attend a wide range of school or House events and activities - Chapel services, plays, concerts, school and House matches. On several Sundays each term all the parents of the boys in one House are invited to the service in Chapel and to a reception afterwards. There are school matches on most Saturdays, and tea is served after the matches for all parents and friends who have come to watch. The major social event of the school year, attended by most parents, is Skinners' Day, the last day of the Summer Term: on this day are held the Commemoration Service and the annual Prizegiving, various exhibitions, and receptions in each of the Houses.
All parents are invited to join the flourishing Parents' Arts Society, whose aims are both social and cultural. The extensive annual programme includes evening lectures at the school, a variety of trips and expeditions in this country and abroad, a summer garden party in the Headmaster's garden, and a summer ball. For more information, please see the Parents' Arts Society page.
Exeats and Weekend Leave
In addition to the half-term exeats, there are two weekends each term which are general exeats for the whole school.
The arrangements for other weekends during term are flexible enough to suit the variety of needs and circumstances among boarding families. Except on the first weekend of each term and the weekend of Remembrance Sunday (on these four Sundays there is a morning Chapel service), weekend leave home may be taken, by those who so wish, from after games or other school commitments on Saturday afternoon until a full school choral Chapel service at 7.15 p.m. on Sunday, which parents are of course very welcome to attend. This service is followed by Sunday evening prep. Boys and parents are free to make as much or as little use as they wish of weekend leave (in this rather narrow sense of "weekend"), and practice varies of course with individual circumstances and commitments - rehearsals for concerts and plays, for example, are often held on Sundays. A substantial number of boarders stay at school for most or all weekends, others make occasional use of weekend leave, and some more frequent use. All the facilities of the school are open over the weekend, and a range of social events and other activities is organised each term.