The joys of boarding school off pat

18th November 2011 at 00:00

Richard Knights appears to have little knowledge of boarding school either in the past or now (Letters, 11 November).

As a child in Liverpool my parents sent me to private school because they were unimpressed by the local council schools.

The one they chose had its main school in Liverpool and its prep department in the Lake District - a remnant from Second World War evacuations. We were encouraged to appreciate the environment, which included climbing trees and building tree houses. There were no rules about not stamping in cow pats, but one learnt that it was not a way to become popular. There was swimming in Lake Windermere, skating on the tarns, our own garden plots, Scottish dancing on Wednesday evenings, attendance at every Gilbert and Sullivan performance that came to the area, a three-mile walk to church on Sundays, sharing experiences with those whose families were overseas, visits to anywhere that could be conjured up - including Ark Royal aircraft carrier because one girl's father happened to be the captain ...

On finishing prep, I went to the upper school in Liverpool where my parents gave me the option of boarding or day. I chose boarding. Boarding gave me plenty of independence. It was child pleasure, not child cruelty.

Jane Giffould, Ex-Liverpool, now Essex.

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