Frequently Asked Questions

This section will help you find the answers to any questions or worries you might have about starting at HBS.

When do I start at HBS?

Click here for details of the 2019-20 Term Dates

What uniform do I need?

Click here for details.

How do I find my way around?

You can print a useful room plan by clicking here.

What if we get lost at school?

There is a map of the school in your homework diary. To start with you will have most of your lessons with your tutor group, so you tend to all stay together.

What is the House system?

All boys at HBS become members of one of four ‘houses’: Mattocke (yellow), Pierson (red), Radcliffe (blue) and Skynner (green). Your school tie will have a coloured stripe depending on which house you are in. Housepoints are awarded for good work, and the houses compete in sport, chess and music competitions. At the end of the year, the house with the most points wins the Times Shield.

Where do I get lunch?

Lunchtime is from 12.30 – 1.30pm. You can buy a main meal in the Dining Hall for £2.50, but there is also a wide range of sandwiches, pasta, jacket potatoes and other snack items available. You can also bring a packed lunch. Boys in Year 7 are not allowed to leave the school premises at lunchtime. New Year 7 students are usually given priority in the lunch queue for the first few days.

How do I pay for lunch?

Food can be purchased from the Dining Hall using a Smartcard with your name and photo on it. This will be issued at the start of term to all boys. You can top-up your card using cash or cheques on certain days of the week. Parents can also top up the cards using the online WisePay payment system. A fingerprint system for paying for meals is being introduced.

How many lessons do I have each day?

You will normally have five lessons a day each lasting an hour. Most days are as follows:

8.45 – 9.10     Registration/Tutor time

9.10 – 10.10   Period 1

10.10 – 11.10 Period 2

11.10 – 11.30 Break

11.30 – 12.30 Period 3

12.30 – 1.30   Lunchtime

1.30 – 2.30     Period 4

2.30 – 3.30     Period 5

Are we taught in sets or with our tutor group?

To start with, you will be taught with your tutor group for most subjects, except for Design & Technology and Games. You will be put into Maths sets in October. Your sets in Year 8 for Modern Languages and English will be decided on the basis of assessed work during Year 7 and your end of year exam. Most boys do a second foreign language in Year 8 (currently German or Spanish).

What happens if I get detention?

Hopefully you won’t, but if you do, we have lunchtime detentions for half an hour, Department detentions after school and School detentions also after school. If you get three School detentions you will get a Saturday detention, so be warned!

How much homework do we get?

In Year 7 you will on average get two 20-minute pieces of homework each weekday. This will increase as you move up the school. You can look at this year’s Homework Timetable on the website here.

Are there lots of clubs and activities to join?

There are lots of clubs and activities taking place at HBS before school, at lunchtimes and after school. The new list will be put together near the start of the new term in September, but you can look at the current list of what is on offer here.

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