Meet your boarding school family: Prefect
At UK schools, prefects are students who help to uphold school rules, organise social events, look out for younger students’ wellbeing and help new students to settle in.
Sixteen-year-old Alexandra Hamilton, from Spain, is balancing her A-level studies with her responsibilities as a boarding prefect at Prior’s Field, a girls’ boarding school in Godalming, Surrey. From worrying about settling in to movie nights, designer fashion shows and fundraising, she shares her first year as a UK boarding student…
‘Hi, my name is Alexandra and I’m 16 years old. I moved from Barcelona to study in the UK, and this is my first year at Prior’s Field. When I first came to Prior’s Field I was worried that I would have trouble fitting in, but as soon as I arrived in the sixth form house I was introduced to all of the girls and the bonding activities allowed me to settle in and make lots of amazing new friends.
‘The school is very friendly and gives you lots of opportunities. So far I have helped with charitable events such as raising money for the reconstruction of a local church.
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'Even before I was made Boarding Prefect I would visit the junior house every week and read the younger girls a story, or have a chat about their day. I enjoy spending time with them and we really have a fun time. This prepared me for the responsibility of being a prefect and looking after the younger girls.
‘I would now like to encourage more sixth formers to do something similar, so we can get to know the younger girls. It is important to be a good role model and we can all learn from each other.
‘My first year of studying A-levels has passed quickly and I have received support from all my teachers. Studying away from home could be difficult, but at boarding school the staff get to know you really well and can support you during critical times such as deadlines and exams.
‘This year I am studying Spanish, French, Textiles and Business Studies. I have lots of one-to-one tuition in languages, I am able to attend workshops at lunch times and after school, and I have conversation classes.
'I really enjoy Textiles too, and I love the fact that I can use the school facilities after school and during prep (study) time in the evenings.
‘I enjoy lots of things at Prior’s Field, from doing Zumba with my friends to going on amazing trips with my classmates. Next Monday I’m off to an Alexander Mc Queen exhibition in London for my A-level textiles project.
‘I would never have imagined my time at Prior’s Field would be such a lovely experience. The teachers are supportive, the pupils are friendly and the boarding staff are just like our family! They make the sixth form house feel like home.
'One of my favourite memories of the sixth form house this year is when we projected films in the loft common room and the boarding staff bought us delicious popcorn, chocolate and sweets. Movie nights are definitely my favourite way of relaxing with other boarders!’