On Board

In January 2019, the BSA launched its ON BOARD Community Action Programme to highlight work in the community by boarding schools. The aim is to increase support for local communities from boarding schools and to highlight this to external stakeholders, including the Government and parents.

To participate in the programme, BSA member schools must:

  1. Carry out some sort of community-based action at least once a term, involving (but not exclusively) boarding pupils
  2. Let the BSA know about the activity and agree to be promoted as a BSA ON BOARD partner school.

In return, the BSA will:

  1. Send partner schools a signed certificate to display
  2. Include the school’s name, and details of its community work, on the BSA website
  3. Promote BSA ON BOARD partner schools via social media and the media, and to the national Government in their area.

Examples of community-based activity

There are many ways schools can support their local community, including:

  • Volunteering
  • Litter picking
  • Fund-raising
  • Visiting elderly people
  • Supporting disabled people
  • Environmental planting.

Existing activity

Many schools already have community action programmes so would be eligible to become ON BOARD partners. However, the BSA would expect any participating partner to increase their community action work as well.


Schools interested in becoming ON BOARD partner schools should contact BSA Chief Executive Robin Fletcher through


  • Aysgarth School

    RNIB Aysgarth to Aysgarth Walk

    On Sunday 19th May, the pupils of Aysgarth School, their families, friends and staff undertook a sponsored walk in aid of RNIB. The walk took place over the 16 miles from Aysgarth Falls, where the School was founded, to Newton-le-Willows, the current site of Aysgarth School. Over 370 walkers took part in the event, with younger children joining the route at either the 10 mile or 5 mile points.


    The pupils were inspired to take on this challenge by fellow pupil Archie Hare (aged 10), who is visually impaired. Archie addressed the school in assembly and explained about the importance of the work that RNIB carries out and how the charity had supported him. Archie walked the full 16 miles, with his fellow classmates walking part of the course using blindfolds in an effort to raise awareness and to experience just an element of what Archie experiences daily.

    There was an incredible atmosphere on the day; the school community came together to support each other through the challenge, culminating in the assembled crowds cheering Archie through the last stretch of his walk as he arrived back at school.  

    The event has now raised in excess of £36,000 with Archie has himself rising over £14,000.

  • Campbell College
    On Sunday 9th June, sixty students and staff from the boarding community at Campbell College took part in the recent March for Men, in Belfast.  March for Men is a UK wide initiative raising awareness and funds for Prostate Cancer. This is an ideal event for the boys to participate in for multiple reasons: it supports research into an issue of men’s health; it raises awareness of that issue within a male boarding community; and it encourages the boys to contribute to a charitable cause. The event is now firmly part of our charitable calendar as this is the second year that the boarders have participated. Our involvement has helped to foster and develop a sense of our place within the community, an increased awareness of the issue – as well as helping the boys to work up an appetite for Sunday brunch!

    Mr John Rea, Assistant Head of Junior Boarding (Assistant Head of Boarding, Key Stage 3)

  • Giggleswick School



    Charitable work, fundraising and community service are key elements to life for boarders at Giggleswick School. The leading northern co-ed boarding school has a range of long-established initiatives which pupils enjoy year after year.

    One of the most popular is Gigg2Gigg. This bi-annual fundraiser makes the most of the school’s location in the Yorkshire Dales, on the doorstep of some of the finest outdoor landscapes in the country.
    Gigg2Gigg is a 56km circular walk from the school’s doorstep which takes in the three highest peaks in Yorkshire – Penyghent, Whernside and Ingleborough. This is not just any Three Peaks challenge, but a gruelling 16 hours of continuous walking with a total ascent of over 1,600 metres to test the limits of even the most experienced walkers. Said headmaster Mark Turnbull: “This is a genuinely tough challenge for all concerned and it has been wonderful to see so many of our pupils keen to take part. This year over £5000 was raised for Ananda Marga Orphanage.”


    This contributes to the £15000 which the school and all pupils raise annually on average for good causes. Initiatives are varied, such as an annual Race For Life for Cancer Research UK, fundraising dinners and balls and bake sales. Charities to have benefited in the past include: Teenage Cancer Trust, Oxfam, Northwest Air Ambulance, Leeds Hospital Cancer Care and ShelterBox.


    The school also has a Service at School (S@S) scheme which aims to provide a range of opportunities for Giggleswick students to volunteer and help within the local community. This year students have continued to work in the local charity shops in and around Settle, the nearest town to Giggleswick, as well as helping at a local nursing home.


    Settle Library faced funding cuts recently and Giggleswick pupils stepped in to help a community effort to support the facility. The library is now staffed mainly by local volunteers; two sixth form students have joined the team and they have been kept busy helping out at this vital local resource.


    S@S co-ordinator and school chaplain, the Rev Alex Ladds, said: “Service to the local community is the primary focus of S@S, but the extra benefit to the students from being part of the S@S is the valuable life experience and skills that they gain, as well as the sense of satisfaction from a job well done.”

  • Headington School

    2019-20 is the Year of Community at Headington School so students will be busy throughout the year working on community involvement and charitable endeavours.


    Girls at Headington have been working on decorating Harvest collection boxes and donating foodstuffs as part of their support of their local Community Emergency Foodbank.










    Image from @HSO_Activities via Twitter.



    Recently, Headington girls had a stall at the 'Healthfest' festival at Warneford hospital. At the stall the girls will demonstrate how to make bird feeders and bug hotels, they will speak about the health benefits of being active outdoors. The theme for the festival is 'Living Well Through Activity'.


    The local community link with Warneford hospital is long standing. Groups of girls volunteer there as part of their DofE award; helping tidy the grounds, water plants and maintain the allotment there.


  • Tudor Hall School

    Students at Tudor Hall School will be spending half term on trips spanning three different continents to do charity and volunteer work!

  • Badminton School

    Badminton School Science Outreach Team's Summer of Science

    Badminton School have celebrated a distinguished summer of Science this year with their Science Outreach Team invited to present at national and international festivals throughout the summer months.  
    Whilst many schoolchildren were taking time off from school activities, the Science team at Badminton School travelled the UK and Europe promoting ‘Girls in STEM’ with their dramatic science demonstrations. Invited to present alongside CERN, the European Organisation for Nuclear Research, the schoolgirls aged 17 to 18 took to the stage at ‘Colours of Ostrava’ festival in the Czech Republic, impressing the audience with their selfchoreographed demonstrations using liquid nitrogen and superconductors in “Physics in the Freezer”. 
    Closer to home, the Team presented at Bluedot Festival, situated at the UNESCO World Heritage Site, Jodrell Bank alongside the National Space Centre and Jodrell Bank’s own Discovery Centre. The Festival took place under the Grade 1 listed Lovell Telescope on the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 mission: the first to take astronauts to the Moon. 
    The girls caught the attention of Professor Jim Al-Khalili, BBC Click’s Spencer Kelly and frontman and activist Peter Gabriel at WOMAD Festival a week later with their interactive shows “The Compressed Guide to the Atmosphere” and “The Mysterious Realm of Superconductors”. On the very same stage, Roger Jones of both Lancaster University and CERN presented later that day. Last on the schedule of events was Green Man Festival in Wales. Placed as the first science engagement in the music festival’s Omni Tent programme this year, the girls shone and kicked off day two of the Festival’s science programme to a triumphant start. 
    Georgina, part of the Outreach Team, has said that participating has “lead me to consider using Physics in my future career” as the Team continues to demonstrate such “advanced level of scientific knowledge [that] the majority of universities do not even cover until at least second year, if at all!”. Georgina continued to say her confidence in “presenting to all sorts of audiences” has continued to grow and is thrilled at the “brilliant opportunities” the programme has given her.  
    Headmistress at Badminton, Mrs Tear said: “Our Science Outreach Team never fail to impress me with their adaptability of communication and enthusiasm for science. Their presence at such large festivals this summer is only part of their programme of events; their professional and passionate presentations continue when they visit local primary schools, giving children of all ages and genders a magical and inspiring insight into science”.

    Badminton School raises £2,500 for local charity Caring in Bristol on Friday 15 September

    Badminton School raises £2,500 for local charity Caring in Bristol On Friday 15th September, two of Badminton School’s recent Upper Sixth Leavers were proud to present local charity ‘Caring in Bristol’ with a cheque for £2,500. The money was raised at the school Summer Ball in July and will help keep their 365 shelter open for a month.   

    Caring in Bristol is a local charity working to deliver support to homeless and vulnerable people in Bristol, 365 days a year. Their projects include their 365 shelter which provides fifteen rough sleepers with a safe alternative to a night on the street, Bristol Nightstop which involves the recruitment of hosts for young and vulnerable people facing homelessness and Caring at Christmas where their 800 volunteers help to provide shelter, food and clothing for people in need over the festive period. 
    Rebecca Tear, Headmistress at Badminton School, commented: “We are very pleased to be able to make a difference for some of those in need in Bristol. At Badminton we support a wide range of charities both national and international, however it’s always great to work with one so close to home because for our students it has real meaning and context and helps them see the importance of undertaking such fundraising”. 

  • Duke of York's Royal Military School

    This term, students from DOYRMS will be doing the following charitable and community work:

    • A walk along the White Cliffs of Dover to carry out a litter pick
    • Singing at the Christmas light switch on in Dover, followed by attending a local care home to sing for the elderly residents.
    • One of our boarders is undertaking a fundraising glowstick walk for Autism NI.



    Dukies conquer stormy Irish Sea in three-day charity row

    To row across the Irish sea is already a Viking-like expedition. When combined with a wrathful storm, enormous waves and a series of unfortunate events, it seems all the more unachievable. Thus when Felix, a current Dukie who is a quadriplegic and has been in a wheelchair since birth, embarked upon this mighty charity row from Rock (Cornwall) across the Irish Sea to Cork, his endurance and character were sure to be tested. Felix, 17, his father and two other team members rowed a herculean distance of 194 nautical miles (223 land miles) in just three days and nights.



    Felix and his father, former student Simon Daglish, raised a staggering £11,551.25 which they donated in a 50/50 split to The Dukies’ Foundation and the charity Walking with the Wounded.


    After a year’s training in the Duke of York’s Royal Military School extensive sporting facilities, Felix felt determined and ready to face the challenge ahead. Yet his initial expectations were far from the reality that awaited him out on those choppy waters. Opting to have no support boat and a team of just two handlers on shore, the confident rowers set off on July 22 after a delightful family barbecue, filled with optimism and excitement.

    Shortly after their happy send off, raging storms broke out, the wind whistled and rain whipped down on the team. The all too important Auto-Navigation system broke, to which Felix responded ‘Absolute Class, I Know’. This complicated matters, especially with the storm working hard to make life difficult for the resilient rowers. Using their initiative and quick thinking they came up with a system, each member would complete one hour of rowing, one hour of steering and one hour of sleeping in rotation.


    The boost in efficiency they had hoped for was not so easily realised, although they were back on track and no longer rowing in large circles, which was definitely a bonus. The next hurdle they faced was the ‘near impossible’ sleeping conditions. With only a thin gym mat on which to sleep and little to no protection from the gale force winds, stamina was being driven down by the testing conditions. In addition, their only sustenance was protein bars and energy gels, as Felix says: “It’s obviously impossible to cook in a storm on a row boat”.


    After three gruelling days they arrived in Cork at 10:30pm to the sound of a single person applauding from the dock: their handler. Though Felix says it was a tad ‘anticlimactic’, the true sense of pride came later after they’d enjoyed a well-earned kip. Yet despite his disabilities, Felix’s pride lay not in his incredible completion of the expedition, but rather in realising just how much had been raised, as many donations were made while they toiled away at sea. He valued the charitable donations of his supporters as far more important than the significance of his own achievement.


    Felix’s motivation came in two distinct forms that supported him at different times. First and foremost, his desire to contribute to charity as is tradition in the Daglish household, with both his father and brother completing other grand charity challenges and raising a great deal of money collectively. His father actually completed the same row when he was Felix’s age and, to repeat history, the pair elected to do it together. The second was the sense of team spirit which Felix believes is rooted both in his experience of Dukie life in the boarding house, and in the powerful sense of ‘responsibility, belonging and unity’ he felt as part of the team during the three days.


    Finally, Felix comments that irrespective of the additional physical challenges he faces, this will be the first of many great expeditions which he will embark upon in the near future to raise money for charity, and he encourages everyone to get involved in any way possible as ‘there is no better feeling’. 

  • Taunton School

    Swimmers take on Solent to raise £8,000 for charity

    Students at Taunton School recently took on the tough challenge of swimming across the Solent to the Isle of Wight.

    Just before half term ten students completed an epic 5km swim across The Solent battling cold water, chop and a biting northerly wind. They have raised nearly £8000 for Aspire, the spinal injury charity.

    The ten swimmers, ranging in age from 12 through to 16, plus two members of staff, swam the stretch of water from Fort Gilkicker to Ryde on the Isle of Wight. A well-recognised open water swim, this stretch of water is a considerable challenge. As the crow flies it is a 5km swim (the swimmer’s half marathon) but the challenge of this stretch of water from tides, swell and wind – not to mention ferries, hovercraft, pleasure boats and marine life – make it more a cross country half marathon in the sleet and snow.

    Student leads national mental health campaign

    Rights advocate and Sixth Former Bethan Collier led the national ‘Our Minds Our Future’ campaign recently, which launched on International Human Rights Day.

    For the last year, Bethan Collier (Year 13 BTEC student) has been working as a rights advocate for Make Our Rights Reality, a national youth rights project movement for young people.

    Her campaign focus has been around mental health, and on International Human Rights day, the school supported Bethan with the launch of the national campaign, ‘Our Minds Our Future’, led by young people fighting for improved access to mental health care for 16-25 year-olds.

    She called upon the support of her peers to raise awareness of the campaign by holding up meaningful statements and having their photo taken, then posting on social media with the hashtag, #MyRightsMyMind.

    Taunton School hosts inspiring Science event for girls

    Taunton School recently hosted the annual ‘Skirting Science’ event, aimed at encouraging girls to get interested in STEM. It was a resounding success with over 230 Year 9 girls from local Somerset schools in attendance.

    The 13- and 14-year-old girls had the opportunity to take part in some fascinating workshops, including “Space Detectives” by Institute of Physics, Forensics with UWE Bristol and “Can you Build a Leg” Prosthetics with North Bristol NHS Trust. The event, which was hosted in Taunton School Science labs, was organised by the Soroptimist International Taunton charity and has been growing in popularity since it started four years ago.

    Many local schools took part including Huish Episcopi Academy, Court Fields School, Holyrood Academy, Chilton Trinity, Bishop Fox’s, Castle School, Bridgwater College Academy, Kingsmead, Heathfield and Taunton School.

    There were 16 organisations at the science event, each running their own inspiring workshop. Organisations who took part included The UK Hydrographic Office, Rolls Royce, Plymouth University, The Met Office, The University of Bristol, The Institute of Physics and UWE.

  • Shrewsbury School

    Shrewsbury School students create a mural at a local care home

    Shrewsbury School Concert Party

    A group of volunteer musicians take live music performances to parts of the community that would otherwise have little or no access to live music performance. This is usually to Carehomes, Primary Schools, hospitals etc.

    Between seven and 16 students are involved with 'Concert Party' on a weekly basic on Thursday afternoonrs. Pupils are usually from 5th and 6th form and the group usually perform in front of audience of between 15 and 40. This is the fourth year of this activity and it proves a popular activity for the students, as well as their grateful audiences!

    Age UK Tea Party for the Elderly

    On Field Day, once a term, Shrewsbury School hosts a tea party for the local elderly to help reduce loneliness. The tea party, complete with student provided entertainment, tea and cakes also made by pupils, welcomes local elderly people through Age UK.


    In 2014, Shrewsbury School set up Volunteering as an activity choice for pupils. Each Thursday afternoon, students register and then head out to get involved in their local community, volunteering in several sectors - charity shops, primary schools, food banks, nurseries and secondary state schools.

  • Dover College

    Beach Clean

    On Saturday 5th October Dover College organised their very own Beach Clean event. The community event took place in Deal and Walmer just minutes away from the College with the aim of helping the environment and the immediate local area around the College.

    The College group collected, bagged and recorded any litter or waste found on the beach, this was then returned to the College and recycled through our own system. The whole group showed terrific community spirit throughout the three hour event and it was much appreciated by the local community.

    The group of 80 included boarding and day pupils, boarding house staff, teaching staff, parents and siblings.

  • St Edmund's, Canterbury

    Soup Kitchen

    As part of the annual St Edmund's Day celebratory activities, Junior pupils ran a Soup Kitchen, making soup and bread for the charity Catching Lives, a local charity caring for the homeless in East Kent.

  • Berkhamsted

    Volunteering hours in the local community

    At Berkhamsted, boarders are given the opportunity of volunteering in their local community. The school has partnerships with several different charity shops, Cancer Research, Keech and Barnardo's, and students also volunteer by providing support at a local school and at a nearby Hospice.

    This is a great, ongoing, community programme that encourages boarders to give back.



  • Forres Sandle Manor

    "Barefoot Britain"

    After being inspired by Anna McNuff’s epic ‘Barefoot Britain’ challenge, FSM’s Girl Guides presented a  splendid assembly to the whole school. GRIT (Guts, Resilience, Integrity and Tenacity) was a key focus and children were encouraged to take on their own challenges.

    Following FSM Guides' inspirational assembly, the Humphreys boys headed to the south coast to join Anna Mcnuff for her Poole to Lymington leg of her epic Barefoot Britain run. Halloween outfits were donned and the boys ran alongside Anna, merrily chatting away all the way to Boscombe pier. Eight miles was a long way for Jack's little legs but the final two were run barefoot in solidarity with Anna and her cause. Well done Anna. The end is in sight now and all of FSM is sending you the best. Go the skeleton crew!!! 


  • Reading School

    Promotion of charitable activities

    Reading School promotes the involvement of pupils and staff in the wider community, including:

    • Community Service Programme, which helps sixth form students to find regular volunteering placements wiith local charities and primary schools
    • Hosting the Primary Academy supports academically gifted Year 5 pupils from six local primary school students, to try new subjects and to improve thinking and communication skills, and to raise their expectations and ambitions
    • The Reading School Charity Committee is run by students

    Pupils and staff also support local and international charities with aims that are in keeping with Reading School's ethos. Recent partners have included:

  • Beachborough School


  • King's Ely

    Teddies go travelling

    More than 70 teddy bears and soft toys were donated to The Teddy Trust by generous King's Ely Junior pupils, families and staff during the festive period.

    Sisters Aoife and Odhrán, pictured, who are both pupils at King's Ely Junior, organised the collection for the charity, which collects unwanted teddies and cuddly toys and sends them to underprivileged children living in countries such as Syria, Malawi and Kurdistan.

    Thanks to Aoife and Odhrán's collection, King's Ely Junior donated an impressive 74 teddy bears - well done everyone!

    Twelve Charitable Days of Christmas

    Boxes and boxes of edible goodies have been donated to Ely Foodbank in time for Christmas thanks to community-spirited King’s Ely students, families and members of staff.


    The ‘Twelve Charitable Days of Christmas’ initiative was spearheaded by King’s Ely Junior and pupils in each of the school’s Houses were encouraged to bring in three different items of food and/or drink which could then be donated to the local foodbank.
    From Christmas puddings to stuffing mix and tins of custard to jars of pickles, the King’s Ely community went all out to support the campaign, resulting in dozens of boxes being filled with festive goodies.

    Ashley Handscomb, Manager of Ely Foodbank, visted King's Ely Junior on December 6th to collect the boxes, which will be sorted by the foodbank's team of volunteers and distributed to local people in need during the Christmas period.
    Ashley said: “I’m overwhelmed by the amount of food and drink items donated by King’s Ely Junior and would like to say a big thank you to everyone who supported the collection. Demand at Ely Foodbank and at foodbanks across the UK has never been higher, so donations like this really do go a long way to helping those in need.”

    Ely Foodbank was launched in 2012 by local churches working in partnership with a diverse range of organisations and members of the public across the city. Today, it has grown to support people in need across East Cambridgeshire and Fenland.


    King's Ely community raises a whopping £34,000 for good causes

    Over the last 12 months, the King’s Ely community has been doing all sorts of weird and wonderful things to raise money for the school’s two chosen charities for 2018/19 – Cancer Research UK and the Wildlife Trust charity.

    An incredible £34,000 has been raised – £10,000 of which is from a Charity Ball organised by a group of King’s Ely parents and which took place in Ely Cathedral’s Lady Chapel in June.

    The rest of the funds – one of the highest totals to date – were raised in a whole host of ways, including non-uniform days, cake sales, sponsored challenges, King’s Ely Junior’s Soapbox Race and the inaugural King’s Ely Colour Dash, to name just a few.

    Heidi Connell, senior local fundraising manager for Cancer Research UK, attended the school’s Michaelmas Mid Term Service at the Cathedral on October 18th to receive a cheque for £17,685. The Wildlife Trust charity will be receiving their £17,000 soon.

    King’s Ely is well-known for its community spirit and fundraising work. Just a couple of days prior to the cheque presentation to Cancer Research UK, a team of Sixth Form girls organised a special green-themed non-uniform day, which raised around £1,000 for Greenpeace UK.

    The week previously, the King’s Ely community came together to donate a huge number of items to Ely Foodbank as part of the school’s and the Cathedral’s Harvest Festival celebrations.

    The school will be supporting numerous charities this coming academic year, including East Anglia’s Children’s Hospices (EACH), the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at Addenbrooke’s Hospital and the Pidley Mountain Rescue Team.


    King's Ely Junior pupils send Postcards of Kindness to care home residents

    Year 7 and 8 pupils at King’s Ely Junior have been supporting the wonderful ‘Postcards of Kindness’ initiative, spearheaded by national care home provider, Your Health Group. The campaign was launched in 2018 and has grown rapidly to the point that more than 1,200 residential and care homes are now involved.

    Speaking about the campaign, the charity said: “We want to combat loneliness and isolation across the country and remind our residents that there is always somebody thinking of them, regardless of where in the world the postcards have come from.”

    King’s Ely Junior pupils have loved writing and sending their postcards and have been delighted to receive some back!

    King's Ely Sixth Formers get their hands dirty in support of local primary school

    Thirteen Sixth Formers were part of a green-fingered team from King’s Ely who removed a huge area of weeds and prepared the soil ready for Isle of Ely Primary School pupils and staff to start planting their new garden.

    The Sixth Form students were accompanied by Chris Youngs and Will Temple, who are members of the King’s Ely Garden and Grounds Team; Jane Halls, Sixth Form Supervisor at King’s Ely; and Celia Etchegoyen, King’s Ely’s Director of Outreach.

    The volunteering was organised under the umbrella of the Cambridgeshire Educational Partnership, of which both King’s Ely and Isle of Ely Primary School are members. The partnership was launched in May this year to bring together school headteachers, education professionals and young people from across Cambridgeshire.

    Its aim is to work together for the mutual benefit of all pupils, in both independent and state schools, and to provide opportunities for students from schools within the partnership to gain access to a variety of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths), MFL (Modern Foreign Languages), Arts, Sport and Enrichment activities.

    The partnership also aims to create opportunities for collaboration and dissemination of good practice within the teaching community, to develop, support and retain the best teachers in our schools, and to raise the aspirations and accelerate the progress of our young people.


  • St Mary's Shaftesbury


    Christmas shoe box packing

    On Thursday evening, the Chaplaincy Team delivered Christmas shoe boxes, for vulnerable families in Southeast Europe. It was a great experience to see the commitment of the volunteers and getting the chance to support them. The boxes will lighten up many children’s eyes and bring much joy. Thanks to generous donations, an impressive amount of 92 shoe boxes were put together!