College – Issue 41

“The culture has changed for the better, with attitudes improving and expectations being higher, creating an environment where people feel safe and can foster more positive relationships than when I first started at school,” he says. “That said, there is still work that needs to be done to ensure the environment is more enjoyable for everyone, and aspects that must be refined so the boys become more accepting of all.” One school-wide shift, which he applauds, is the focus on wellbeing and mental health. “It is becoming more and more acceptable to go and see the counsellors and to be proactive about looking after one’s own mental wellbeing. “The school’s push in this field is helping the change occur, and will help staff be more attuned to these matters.” Henry believes 2021 will be a memorable one for boarders, with most remembering a good boarding programme.

“Having small events with staff and the boys around you – like going out to get a burger at Riverside, or having a barbecue with a year group – are the most special experiences, and it’s nice to see more and more of these happening,” he says. “I think having speakers come in to talk to – or hold workshops with – boys about issues important to their age group, social and physical nutrition, acceptance and compassion to those different from them, healthy relationships and so on, would be a good idea. “But we also need to remember not to fill up boarders’ time too excessively, because boys need time to relax, complete school

work, socialise and fulfil other commitments.” Henry says despite all the responsibilities, he has found the role valuable in terms of leadership and interpersonal skills. “My advice to the Head of Boarding next year is to be proactive, but also to look after yourself. Year 13 is a very different year, and comes with a variety of challenges, and so keeping on top of your own wellbeing is important, too. Set reasonable goals, think about what you want to leave behind, and, above all, be a good role model for the boys to look up to – be caring and be someone people can talk to.”

“I wanted to improve the student voice, and I wanted to encourage wellbeing and create more accepting, progressive attitudes within the boarding Houses – to initiate a culture change within the boarding Houses.” Henry Briscoe

College Issue 41 2021


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