We are aware that boarding is a new experience for many of our students. Our boarding staff members strive to make Nobel International School Algarve a “home away from home”, both for new students and those familiar with boarding.
We provide constant supervision to ensure our boarders’ safety. From Monday to Friday our boarding staff are on campus from 15:00 to 09:00, and they are present 24 hours a day during weekends and bank holidays. Experienced in pastoral care, these boarding staff make sure that all resident students have time and space to do their homework and that they receive assistance if needed. Our boarding staff strive to:
- set an example of civility, tolerance and responsibility
- show equal respect and attention to everyone under all circumstances
- respect the boarders’ right to privacy, for example knocking before entering rooms
- encourage all boarders to participate in boarding activities
- be committed to the boarding house values and standards
- ensure a warm, home-like environment and positive atmosphere at all times
Additional Academic Support
Our residential and non-residential boarding tutors all have degrees in pedagogy and years of professional experience. They are on campus during all non-school hours, understand each student’s individual needs, and provide both guidance and a listening ear. They supervise homework, monitor free time and ensure that our boarders have plenty of opportunities for recreation.
Family Visits and Contact
We recommend that parents of boarders only visit during school holidays to avoid disrupting school life. There is regular communication between the school and parents in the form of short monthly reports. In the case of illness, inappropriate behaviour or other unforeseen incidents, parents will be informed immediately.
We realise that living with other students can be challenging and requires patience, consideration, and diplomacy. All boarders are encouraged to speak up about inappropriate behaviour before it becomes harmful. When such cases are brought to the attention of a boarder or a staff member:
- Students involved in an incident are brought together to discuss the issue with the Head of School, tutors and witnesses. Most first cases will be dealt with in a non-disciplinary manner, but more serious ones may incur sanctions.
- All the concerned are expected to write a report of the incident.
- If the bully continues and the victim continues to feel hurt, a formal disciplinary procedure will be applied.
- Parents are kept fully informed throughout the process.
The issue of bullying within the boarding house is reviewed regularly at staff meetings. A Boarding Council of three elected boarding students is established to educate students to be responsible for themselves and for their fellows. The Council provides general orientation about many aspects of daily living and working together including: conduct, dress code, cell phones, IT-issues, laundry and hygiene, and other issues as needed.
Homesickness is normal and is often triggered once the initial excitement has waned and the first challenges are faced. Signs of homesickness include excessive phone calls or emails, requests to go home, refusal to take part in organised activities, isolation and obvious signs of unhappiness.
As parents, it is important to realise that this is a natural part of an adjustment process. Most students go through a period of homesickness during the early stages of boarding. Establishing new confidantes at the new school takes time, but homesickness is usually temporary.
To help your child overcome homesickness:
- Recognise the symptoms early and be prepared to talk and, more importantly, listen to your child.
- Establish a regular telephone “check-in” time to help your child build a sense of normality and security away from home.
- Encourage your student to get involved. Ask about your child’s extra-curricular activities, clubs and sports.
- Stay in touch with our Head of Boarding as well as your child’s tutors and teachers.
Together we will monitor progress carefully. Handled sensitively and positively, most cases of homesickness pass within a few weeks.
We highly recommend you inform boarding staff know about any special circumstances that might affect a student’s life at school, however trivial they may seem. It is important that our staff are aware of any problems that have arisen at school or at home so that these may be dealt with sensitively and swiftly, and appropriate support can be provided.