Last term two familiar faces in LGS, Craig and Hannah Blackman begun their own journey as boarding masters of Denton, taking on the role after Jeremy and Sarah Parton stepped down in the Summer after 25 years.
We caught up with Hannah and Craig to see how their first term in the boarding house has gone:
Can you summarise your first term as Denton Boarding Masters?
The first term as Boarding Masters has cemented a fact we already knew – this is a wonderful school, characterised by boys who throw themselves into the extra-curricular activities that LGS offers.
We have a House of multi-talented students. Most evenings, the sign-out board shows boys enjoying basketball club, football or the Music School. They have set up a Chinese Club for younger students who want to learn a new language, performed in School productions such as Macbeth and competed against other schools in football, rugby, badminton, and basketball. Year 11 students are in the process of setting up a Mahjong (traditional Chinese game) competition and Clash Royale (video game) competition, open to any student in LGS to enter.
What has been a standout experience so far?
We cannot agree on this one so we will have to cheat and give you two. I enjoyed the trip to York. Most boys were impressed by York Minster and enjoyed shopping on the Shambles, one of the oldest streets in England. Craig has said the trip to the Etihad Stadium in Manchester.
What are your daily routines like looking after the boarders and teaching as well?
We wake the boys up at 7:30 and are treated to a glorious breakfast each morning in Burton Hall. The boys shoot off to start the school day and we meet with our form groups. Craig is a Sixth Form tutor, and I am at the opposite end of the school, looking after Year 7. When we are not teaching History and English, we are back in Denton, taking care of admin ranging from how to develop the garden to sorting out the term’s trips. We have a fabulous team of evening tutors, matrons, housekeeping, and catering staff who support us in taking care of the boys.
We are lucky in that most of the boys will come to sit in the communal areas of Denton in the evenings. We will sit in the kitchen or common room talking to boys, watching them play FIFA or heated chess games.
What have you learnt from the boarders themselves?
Their sense of purposefulness is impressive. Of course, it is normal (and healthy) for children to have some down-time, but these boys are invested in their futures and keen to do their best. Their work hard, play hard approach is great to see. In a lot of ways, I would say the majority of the boys are keen to ‘make the most of the opportunity’ they have coming to LGS, which is inspiring.
Boarding has a long history at LGS, and the Housemasters are an integral element to its success; they create a home away from home for those that come from across the world to board at LGS, supporting the boys in all aspects. We wish Hannah and Craig all the best in their new role, and we are sure they will do an excellent job!
You can also find out more about the history of boarding at LGS all the way from 1647 – 2021, in 2 volumes that have been written by our archivist, John Weitzel on our Digital Archives.