Quotes from Boarders

‘When being shown around Ratcliffe, I was shocked at how I was immediately hopeful, that I might actually find a place to fit in and get through the next 2 years.   I was dreading it because of the major change I was about to embark on.   Now, I’d gladly stay my whole life here because of how comfortable and welcome this school has made me feel, from the moment I was shown around by a lovely 6th former.  I’m now a part of the jigsaw puzzle that is Ratcliffe, and I feel as though I fit perfectly. Not having been ‘the new girl’ in 16 years, made me feel scared about moving to a place where absolutely everything was new.  With the new friends and people I’ve met here, I feel prepared to take on any challenge.’

‘When I first started boarding, I was quite emotional. I didn’t know where to go or who people were. After about 3 days, I gained my confidence and now I know everyone I bump into. I now think that boarding is great! It provides me with a lot of facilities and HAPPINESS! I think that the boarders and boarding staff are such fun. As I walk through the door with my suitcase I am welcomed by them all. I think boarding is great! I ♥ boarding!’ - Year 7 boarder

‘Boarding is great. In the evening we have so many options to do activities and have fun. If you want to relax, the boarding staff are happy to let you. At the weekend they put on many things. I have enjoyed a fun day, cooking, a shopping trip into Leicester and many other activities. There is always plenty to do. When I first came, I was terribly homesick, but with the support of the boarding staff and the girls in boarding I became settled and within a term Ratcliffe College boarding has become like a second home. I really enjoy boarding and I am really glad I came. Everyone is really friendly and nice.’ - Year 9 boarder

‘There is a homely atmosphere in boarding; it is good to have your friends around you all the time; boarding is like having an extended family; you can ask the older students for advice.’

‘I like boarding in Ratcliffe because when you’re one of the youngest all the other boarders look out for you and it is a good chance to get to know people who aren’t in your year. There are always lots of activities on in the evening, such as sports hall, swimming, art, the fitness suite and Wii in the Sixth Form Centre. This all happens after quiet hour, when you make sure all your prep is finished.’

‘All the people who work in Girls’ Boarding aren’t strict, they are very fun and kind. When you are ill there are sisters who are always there for you and are so kind as well. All the staff make sure your work is done for the next day.’ -  Year 6 Boarder

‘The quality of the boarding staff is exceptional; they are very friendly and there is a good relationship between the staff and the students; you can see lots of different staff in the evenings and at weekends, to talk to them about work or other matters; the Gap students are really nice and you can talk to them as a halfway point between students and staff.’

‘You can take part in lots of different activities; you don’t get bored because there is always lots to do; you can get lots of work done in prep and quiet hour.’

‘Boarding helps you to develop your social skills because you mix with everyone; you can learn about different cultures; boys and girls mix well together; there are no cliques because everyone knows everyone else; there is not even a hint of bullying; people stick up for each other.’

‘Boarding makes you independent; it really helps your personal development.’

‘There are good facilities for work and leisure; the Sixth Form Centre is a real bonus and you have good access to computers and the school network.’

‘It is difficult to think of anything bad about my boarding experience at Ratcliffe; I have no criticisms at all.’

‘It has been a unique year in my school career. From the first day on I felt the very homely atmosphere at Ratcliffe. All the dedicated staff and the other students helped me so much to settle in quickly and so I became a member of the Ratcliffe Community. I could develop my talents, especially in languages and sciences and I got the opportunity as well to learn new sports like Rugby and Cricket. The learning was made very easy, as there were only small classes of about 15 students as well as very supportive teachers you could always ask a question. Furthermore, the school is well equipped, making it easy for example for showing experiments in science. And of course you can´t let the excellent sport facilities unmentioned, which help to develop the individual talents of each single student. I much appreciated a Catholic education and the pastoral care in the boarding community of students of other faiths sharing the same values. I could enjoy the others‘ company and was able to contribute to the school community. That is really important as it highlights once more what life in the spirit of the gospel actually means.’ By Johannes Fritz, Year 10, July 2014

‘I have been boarding for 4 years. Boarding helps us to be more independent as we are far away from home, friends and family. I have learned to manage my time for studies and leisure. Boarding provides good facilities for studies – especially the study room in girls’ boarding and the Sixth Form Centre. Also, boarding is a good place for you to learn lots about people from different countries.’

“我在Ratcliffe college 住了四年.寄宿可以幫助你更獨立,因為我們是離開家鄉,朋友和家人很遠.當中已經學會了管理好時間進行學習和休閒。寄宿提供良好的設施,尤其是研究自習室和中六中七學習中心。另外,寄宿你了解更多的不同地方文化的好地方. Maggie Wong, Year 13, July 2014

Letters from Ex-Pupils

‘I know that this letter comes so late, but I thought – better late than never.  So I actually just want to say thank you.  Thank you that you let me take this huge opportunity to go to Ratcliffe College.  This year was honestly the best time and experience of my life.  I never thought that in 11 months I could find a completely new home, that Ratcliffe would be my new home.  When I arrived on the 1st of September, yes I remember this day so well, I was so nervous that I asked myself why I actually did this?  Why did I decide to go for one year abroad?  Why did I decide to go to Ratcliffe?

When I talk about this year, or when people ask me to describe how it was, I always compare it as a journey on a rollercoaster.  A few seconds before you go on you don’t actually realise that it is about to start, and you don’t really think about it.  But as you take your seat and they ask you to put your seatbelt on, you are getting so nervous and of course a little afraid.  You ask yourself was it the right decision and what kind of problems could you get.  And then it starts.  You get this weird feeling in your tummy as if you could fly.  You try to capture every single moment and wish your eyes could record the moments so when you look back, you could play them over and over again.  You forget all the fears which you had and even if you feel a little sickness in the middle of your journey it doesn’t last for long and nothing can affect your happiness which you get.  You try not to close your eyes because you are afraid that you miss something but then you close only one eye and half of the journey is over so you just force yourself to not close the other eye because you are afraid this could end so soon.  But then you can’t stop it and the journey ends so quickly.  And as you slowly get off the seat and your feet touch the ground again, you feel proud that you did it, a little happy that you survived it but most of all you just want to get back on the rollercoaster and do it again.

So to come back to my question why I decided to go to Ratcliffe.  I decided to go to Ratcliffe because Ratcliffe is home.  It is family – and yes, it is school.  You meet people who let you feel that you are not a new kid, moreover they let you feel that you knew them for ages.  You get all these awesome opportunities to give of your best and show everyone what you are capable of.  The teachers support you so good in what you are doing that I actually liked to go to lessons and study.  And I can tell you, that doesn’t happen really often.  I never felt once homesick in Ratcliffe because Ratcliffe is home.  And if someone would ask me if I would do it again, I would not even have to think about it to say yes.

I know my grades were not really the best and probably some people were not happy about it.  And I am really sorry about that because I know I could have worked harder but this is sadly not a DVD where you can just go back and try again.  It is life and you could always be a little better, could work a little harder; but for now I’m proud of myself that I took this huge step and decided to go to Ratcliffe and I regret absolutely nothing.  So thank you again for everything.  You truly have an amazing school with amazing people.  A little heaven on earth.’
Pauline von Obernitz, 2014