Bute girl’s home away from home

Elizabeth Homewood (17) moved from Bute to Helensburgh six years ago to join Lomond School as a boarder.

Elizabeth Homewood (17) moved from Bute to Helensburgh six years ago to join Lomond School as a boarder.

At the young age of 11 and a two-hour journey from home, it was quite the move to make solo. However, becoming a boarder meant that she would be surrounded by plenty of support from the pupils and teachers around her.

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Elizabeth revealed more about her life now, the best things about living in a boarding school, and what she misses about Bute.

She said: “I start my day at half seven, waking up in my room at Lomond School’s boarding house where I’ve lived during term time for the last six years. I’m currently studying for my Higher exams and the house parents and tutors have been a great support in establishing a good routine for study.

“It also helps to be surrounded by friends who are studying the same subjects as we help each other out and can talk through any worries we have. Once up and ready, we all have breakfast together which is a great way to start the day.

“What I particularly love about boarding is that you get to know so many people of different ages who come from all around the world. I share a room with my friend, who came to Lomond from New Jersey in the USA, and I have really close friends from Hong Kong, Italy and Spain. I’m planning to go and visit another friend from Leipzig in Germany soon. It means I get to learn about so many different cultures, and they can learn about life in Scotland from me.

“After breakfast, I go over to registration, and then it’s time to start the school day. At the moment I’m studying English, Geography, Biology and Art. I’m still figuring out what I’d like to do after school, but I think it’ll be something to do with Biology, which is my favourite subject along with Art.

“After finishing lessons, I go back to the boarding house where there’s always a snack waiting and a friendly welcome from the matrons. I have some free time for a couple of hours which usually means meeting up with friends. There are tutors, who help us with homework and study. They live on a different floor to us and before dinner I tend to catch up with them about my homework or revision.

“We eat dinner together, and often have menus themed around foods from different countries; we recently had a Greek mezze meal. In the evenings we get our own time to spend with friends or do extra-curricular activities. I love playing hockey, and I go along to the sports hall or astro-turf to play with the school team.

“On the weekends, we get to have sleepovers where friends come and stay with us, which is really fun! I’ve had some of my friends who are day pupils come and stay too – the house parents try to keep life here as similar to home life as possible and, just like at home, we get to earn more freedom as we get older. This sometimes means taking a trip into Glasgow ourselves at the weekend. There are always activities planned for us and recently I’ve been to laser quest, paint-balling and the cinema. We can suggest trips that we’d like to go on too. One of my most memorable was when we went on an expedition to climb Ben Nevis, which was an amazing experience to have with my friends.

“I do miss my friends back in Bute, but we keep in touch which makes it easier. I go home quite often for holidays and long weekends and my parents come to visit me.

“I think boarding school has really increased my confidence, and I actually won the Winifred Macdonald Award for Progress in Boarding last year. I feel like having the independence of living away from home has helped get me ready for life after high school next year.”

Lomond School has launched 40-day pupil and boarding scholarships to mark its 40th anniversary. The means tested scholarships will be offered to young people who excel academically or in music, creative arts and sport, with a special tribute for an ‘all-rounder award’ to its founder David Arthur who sadly passed away in December. For more information visit www.lomondschool.com/