As the latest academic year draws to a close, pupils – and staff – share their secrets on successfully settling in their new surroundings. Here, Ellen – a year seven student from Christ College Brecon whose father is serving in Germany with the Army – tells us how she has been getting on…

How have you found your first year at the school?
I found it really fun and it’s a different experience from other schools, I usually have to move from place to place. I have felt homesick but it hasn’t been that difficult because my dad is always away a lot and I like having a set place where I have friends. There’s lots to do in the house and I have really good friends here, they’re really nice to me.

What have you enjoyed the most?
I’ve enjoyed the lessons and all the activities and all the sports we do like swimming, netball and rounders. I like the activities we do as boarders and the excursions. My favourites were go karting, the Trampoline Park and the Leisure Centre.

What new skills or hobbies have you picked up?
I’ve learnt how to play netball a lot better. I’ve actually started to draw a bit better. I’ve learnt how to get over my homesickness. I feel more confident and grown up since I started boarding.

What did you find was the biggest challenge?
Homesickness is a really big challenge for me but I’ve learnt to overcome it by keeping busy with other things in the house.

What advice would you give to someone starting at the school in the next academic year?
I would say to them, if you’re a boarder do all the activities you can do. I realised that it’s really fun and the best thing to do to make new friends and not exclude yourself. Also to do your prep as soon as possible!

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