Sutton Valence School share how they build social skills in students

At Sutton Valence School, we place a high value on the importance of developing students’ and boarders’ social skills. We believe that these skills are essential for success in life and are integral to our approach to education. Our boarding system has been designed to foster a balance between achieving academic potential, great learning outside the classrooms and developing social skills. (Boarders also benefit from superb living facilities – we were national finalists in the Boarding Schools Association awards last year following significant refurbishment and investment in boarding areas.)

One of the ways we encourage bonding is by having all boarding students share breakfast and dinner together each day. This not only provides a sense of community, but also allows students to practise social skills. Additionally, once a month, we have a cultural food celebration theme at dinner, which helps to broaden students’ understanding of different cultures and cuisines.

After dinner, students have designated prep time in which they complete homework and consolidate their learning. This allows them to focus on their studies while also having time to socialise with their peers afterwards. Many students choose to do this by participating in supervised sporting activities in the sports hall or other social gatherings of a creative nature.

At weekends, our boarding team arranges trips for our students. These range from outings to local bowling alleys and cinemas, to adventures further afield such as theme parks and theatre visits. These trips provide opportunities for students to bond with their peers and experience new things together. A number of boarders also volunteer at local charities and in the community in their spare time.

“All boarding students share breakfast and dinner together each day. This not only provides a sense of community, but also allows students to practise social skills.”

We are particularly proud of our boarding student leaders, who take an active role in organising student-led activities such as house singing competitions, film nights and quizzes. These activities provide a platform for students to showcase their talents and develop leadership skills. In the Houses, students have great relaxation and cooking facilities that they share with each other.

At Sutton Valence School, we believe that developing social skills is an essential part of a well-rounded education. Our boarding system is designed to foster a balance of academic achievement and socialisation, with a range of activities and opportunities for students to socialise, bond and develop their social skills. Find out more at

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