Boarders' Lockdown Stories

Boarders' Lockdown Stories

Posted: 17/09/2020

There are a number of Bromsgrove pupils who have stories about the impact of COVID-19 on themselves and their education when the School was forced to close, but there are a few who have given us an incredible insight into the months they spent at the School, during the peak of lockdown, when they were unable to go home to their families overseas. Two of those, David, now in Year 8 at Bromsgrove Preparatory School and Irene, now a Year 12 student, have shared their recollections with us.

David was one of just a handful of boarders who had not seen his family since Christmas due to the increasing travel restrictions as the pandemic spread around the world: “My time in Oakley was hard but interesting. My father had decided that it was best for me to stay at School and board in Oakley, the House allocated to the remaining boarders, during lockdown in the UK. In the House, I made some new friends and I had a lot of things to do, even though I was the only Prep School boarder left. Miss Limbrick and Ms Paling did a lot for the boarders who stayed during lockdown and there were lots of activities to take part in on campus, especially as we were not allowed outside of School, not even into Bromsgrove town itself. I took part in my usual Zoom Lessons, and later it was good to welcome another two Prep students to Oakley. At the end of the Summer Term, I left Oakley for London and then on to Austria. It was hard to get my visa to fly to Austria because of the travel restrictions and I could not go back to China because of the situation there. I eventually spent the entire Summer holiday in Austria. I left at the end of August, and I came back to Bromsgrove to start my travel quarantine all over again – it was ok because I had been through it before, although it was just as strict because we could not go out of the School grounds. After I finished my two weeks of quarantine, I went back to School and started the new academic year as a Year 8 pupil.”

Irene was a Fifth Form student at the time, boarding in Mary Windsor House: “It was a very unique experience to stay at Bromsgrove School during lockdown. I was overwhelmed by the fact that I could have a double room myself. Some of the memorable activities that I took part in around the School was the Easter Egg Hunt – there was a lot of chocolate but very few boarders, but that was definitely a bonus! The dining hall even prepared three course meals every Thursday during some of the holidays as we weren’t able to go outside of the School grounds. We made face shields in our spare time, and these were sent to nearby hospitals and medical facilities – it was good to give back to the local community. Overall, it was nice to stay at the School when no one else was there, other than a few boarders and the residential staff looking after us.”


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