Behind the scenes with Tim & Fliss Jones, our Prep Boarding House Parents, who tell us why the multi-cultural ‘family’ in Marshall House is so special.
Tell us a bit about what you do?
As House Parents, our role is to provide pastoral support and guidance to the children in their home away from home. Boarding is such a unique environment; the children are away from their own homes, but they become part of a really unique family environment here. They are loved and supported, and develop a deep sense of loyalty, responsibility, kindness and courage, helping them to thrive in other areas of school life, as well as nurturing characteristics to see them into adult life.
How do you create such a warm ‘home from home’ environment?
A lot of it comes from the children themselves. Boys and girls, across all age groups and nationalities, come together as one big family in a very natural way. They genuinely look out for each other, 24 hours a day, every day of the week. We see our children here develop such a strong sense of loyalty towards Marshall House, and it’s a very happy place for them to be.
The sense of community here is something special. We seem to have drawn on the best of the traditional British Prep School model – keeping pupils active and entertained, nurturing individual interests and community spirit– whilst drawing on top qualities from the international system – notably the empathy and understanding that comes from the wonderful mix of different cultures, and the lifelong friendships it fosters. Ask any of the boarders what they love about it here, and friendship will be top of the list. Marshall House is a unique ‘family’ of friends.
How do you keep everyone entertained and happy?
As well as the in-house team (us, the assistant House Parents, Penny and Steve, and the house matron, Amanda) we have a rota of Prep staff who bring an extensive range of evening activities into the mix. It includes everything from fun sports, to more relaxed or creative options. Some of the more popular activities have been dodgeball, ultimate frisbee, face painting, drama, slime-making, baking, photography and Mr Dawson’s famous Scottish dancing!
On weekends, highlights include going to the beach, catching the latest movie, ten-pin bowling, exploring some of Thailand’s best water parks, trampolining, laser tag, pizza-making, ziplining, rock-climbing, marshmallows around the campfire… the list goes on and on.
How does boarding fit with the school ethos, ‘the whole person, the whole point’?
The ‘whole person, the whole point’ aims to help pupils reach their potential not just academically, but also in sports, music, the arts, drama and equally in the formation of their character, morals and manners. Boarding provides a supportive environment where we actively encourage all of these things; but also where pupils are happy and healthy, allowing them to make the most of all the activities offered to them throughout the long school day. Instead of travelling long distances or sitting in traffic each day, boarding pupils can immerse themselves in all that Rugby School Thailand has to offer. And that’s a lot, right on their doorstep!