4 months have passed since I came here, Christ’s Hospital, UK. This Michaelmas Term had finished 4 weeks ago and the Christmas holidays are at its height. In this report, I’d like to reflect on this term.
《The First Impression》 I remember my feelings of the first day clearly. It was composed of surprise and hope and a bit of worry. Indeed the school was much bigger and grander than I expected. Everything I saw was like in the film and I really appreciated this chance to came here to study.
In the beginning when I came here, I was looking forward to communicating with the various kind of people and studying to a high quality. But I started to feel fear and worry and thought it would be difficult since my small vocabulary was obvious and the English they spoke made everything mysterious. Actually I couldn’t grasp almost all of the contents of the assemblies during the first days.
Yet, despite my concerns, the situation became better. When I talked to other pupils and explained that I’m from Japan, they spoke with me willingly. Especially as, some Japanese culture were popular among them like anime and martial arts. While Spending more time with them, I could come to understand their English gradually. The teachers and other pupils are very kind to support me in academic and life. Thanks to their kindness I could get used to the school life early considering my language level.
《The Dormitory Life》
All students stay in the dormitory during the term. In the dormitory, there are 6 years of 50 pupils
and some teachers who keep their eyes on us and also Matron to help with our washing and food. A table tennis table, the television and some video game consoles are equipped within the house so that we often play while chatting.
I had imagined life in boarding school would be more strict. But, they only demand some basic things such as punctuality, responsibility and keeping tidy etc. For example, not flushing toilets and scattered food often can be seen surprisingly. I understand how important the boarding system is for pupils here.
In order to learn more responsibility, year 12 pupils are appointed some duties in our house. For example, doing roll call with a teacher, cleaning assembly room and watching youngest pupils studying. In other words, I took parts in those duties as well and doing roll call which was difficult for me. It just requires the skill to call the names of 50 pupils, but at the first time, some of them didn’t respond as I couldn’t call their name properly. I was indebted to everyone for the mistake. Eventually, I could master it correctly but personally feel it’s hard to identify each person’s name and face because their names are similar for me and they often abbreviate it.
There are various competitions held against each house. For example, chorus, rugby and academic competition. Unfortunately, our house didn’t win any of the competitions and not even 3rd prize, but I believe it is a good opportunity to get familiar with them.
|8:10||House roll call||Wake-up time is free and need to finish preparation and breakfast before the house roll call|
|8:20>||(Chapel or Assembly)|
|8:35~||lessons||One class is around 75 minutes|
|13:25||Lunch and marching||Marching into the dining hall in order|
|Activity||Do the activity which you choose each term such as sports, volunteer activity, music and supplementary lessons etc.|
|19:00||Dinner and House roll call|
|Prep time||There is certain time to do the homework (prep). After finishing the prep, it’ll be free time.|
↑the timetable of weekday in year 12
↑marching (left) and dining hall (right)
Marching is like a ritual event of this school. When I came this school at first, I needed to practice how to master the marching steps and how to curve at the corner. We march into dining hall except on Sundays if it’s not raining. There are some visitors who come to see us marching. Moreover, on 22th September, year 12 and year 13 went to London to do this marching. We walked more than 30 minutes and arrived at Guildhall. It was a good experience and it is one of the traditions of this school.
Concerning lessons, I am studying A-level and I chose Further maths, Economics, Physics and Chemistry. I have since dropped physics in November after consideration. In the class, we are required actively to participate and also to work outside of class room.
↑timetable from this November
As you can see, there is much more free time here compared to when I was in Japan because of less subjects and less lessons. To put it another way, we may need to study by ourselves during the free periods. I was recommended to go to supported prep which is like a study room with the teacher and we can ask the teacher questions if we had any. I have just started to go supported prep and I already can find the benefits of it. Similarly, I was surprised at the difference of attitude for asking questions. When I was in Japan, I was encouraged to think more so I tended to focus on thinking but here we are told to ask questions immediately if you don’t know something.
《Saturdays and Sundays》
Regarding the Saturdays, roughly speaking, it’s same with other weekdays, but there are some events at night such as disco and movie night.↓At the disco, there is pop music being played and we dance in a room. We get excited over dancing.
Another key points, we are allowed to drink alcoholic beverage and you can stay up late.(you can drink if you are older than 16 and have a permission from your parents.) We drink with a member of year 12 and house masters in same house. I personally don’ t drink the alcoholic but it’s enjoyable to stimulating conversations.
↑drink with decorating room for Christmas
In terms of the Sundays, there are no lessons and activities. What’s more, it’s the only day we are allowed to go outside of school during the week. We can go to Horsham (takes only 4 minutes by train from school). I’ve been to Horsham to eat out Japanese food and go to the supermarket.
Lastly, in this term I have learned from the experiences that I have encountered. Yet there are still lots of factors that I have to improve such as vocabulary and participation. Thanks to everyone’s support, I would like to learn and will make more effort next term.