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’.