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【SCMP Education Post:Boarding Insider】Count your Luckley stars

Boarding 101


Britannia StudyLink was recently the proud host to a variety of top UK schools for its third British Boarding Schools Festival. One School in attendance was Luckley House – a small and close-knit school with a reputation for excellent pastoral care, a vibrant co-curricular programme and a knack for helping international students adjust swiftly to boarding school life …


Luckley House School, which is located in the historic market town of Wokingham in Berkshire, is built on the Christian foundations of love and service. Historically an all girls’ school, Luckley began the transition to becoming a co-educational school from September 2015, with boys admitted into Years 7 and 12.


Despite the move to coeducation, Luckley has a modest target to grow from its present cohort of 250 pupils to 300 by 2020. Therefore, the School will remain small and close-knit in nature and relations between pupils and staff are naturally excellent. During an interview with Britannia StudyLink, Desni Ennis, Marketing, Admissions and Development Manager at Luckley House School, said: “Pupils are known so well by all staff so that individual needs can be met, such as access to tailored work experience.” It is the case that care and hospitality are deeply ingrained in the Luckley ethos which allows for a seamless transition to boarding school life. I believe, therefore, that Luckley suits the profile of Hong Kong children who may initially be very shy.

An area in which Luckley truly comes into its own is the way in which the House system develops pupils’ teamwork skills, healthy competitive spirit and other soft skills. Indeed, Luckley’s House system thrives just as much as those which belong to some of the household UK boarding school names. House teams participate in a wide range of events, such as music and drama performances, and House competitions, such as the House Bake-off and the Christmas Apprentice. Luckley also holds Masterclasses on a regular basis, such as one on ‘vocalisation’ delivered by an expert in the theatre world. The School also collaborates with the London College of Fashion and sessions for boarders have taken an in-depth look into the world of fashion, leading to a Masterclass on logo design.


It is clear, then, that Luckley can offer its pupils abundant opportunities to develop their leadership skills. All Sixth Formers will become prefects and role models, while there are also more senior positions within the prefect system for those who are keen to develop these leadership skills. The Senior Team is responsible for organising Inter-House competitions, as well as coordinating the annual food bank charity event and the termly RAG Week, which enables students to organise parades and fundraising events to raise money for good causes. According to Desni Ennis, these leadership roles “help develop management and organisational skills, as well as the mentoring and coaching of younger students.”


Also worthy of a mention is Luckley’s wider co-curricular programme and the School’s role in the local community. Overseas trips are extremely popular, with South Africa, the USA and Spain (sports tour) among recent destinations. Luckley pupils also enjoy taking part in local, regional and national competitions, and prizes have been scooped in a range of areas, including the Teen Tech awards, the Royal Academy A Level art competition and Microsoft Digigirlz – a programme which also gives girls opportunities to learn about technology-based careers. Finally, Luckley pupils like to show their community spirit. They have ‘dressed the Christmas tree’ for Wokingham Town Council, participated in the Wokingham Schools’ Gardening Competition and engaged with local youth groups to enable them to use some of Luckley’s facilities.


Having just mentioned Microsoft Digigirlz, Microsoft has, in fact, come to play a significant part in the academic running of Luckley. In September 2016, every pupil was issued with a Microsoft Surface 3 which will be in their possession until they leave the school. Office 365 enables girls to gain access to files via while opportunities for collaboration are also increased. Luckley believes firmly in empowering pupils with technology and the school goes to great lengths to review the ICT curriculum on a regular basis.


Britannia StudyLink holds the view that Luckley is an innovative and very caring school which can get the best out of international pupils. The school has an impressive range of partnerships in place to ensure that Hong Kong students have the best chance of succeeding, be it in terms of character development or academically. On the academic front, a partnership with the London International Study Centre (LISC) provides a range of study options for overseas students to help them prepare for studying A Levels at Luckley House. Overall, Luckley House School is doing all the right things in all the right places and I am happy to recommend this school to Hong Kong families.

Samuel Chan is the Managing Director of Britannia StudyLink.

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