Pomfret School - Review #8
Reflections and Advice:
1.) What do you think makes your school unique relative to other boarding schools?
Pomfret School's strength, aside from academics, is it's location and community. The campus is in a rural area of northeastern Connecticut isolated enough to be its own community, but only about an hour from the major cities of Boston, Providence, Hartford and Worcester. There is a strong sense of community, and from that a sense of family, that extends far beyond the campus and graduation. Visiting as a graduate is like going home and visiting very old friends in familiar surroundings. Meeting Pomfret grads outside of campus is like meeting the old friend you never knew you had: you can discuss your time at Pomfret, the teachers you may have had in common, the sports or activities you participated in, and its all as familiar as talking to your best friend from Pomfret. For me, Pomfret is truly a second family.Pomfret was also very good at introducing new technologies into teaching. My time there saw the start of the personal computer era, and computer based video. I had my first class in computing and computer science during my time there, which introduced me to operating systems, compilers and early word processing programs. We also got to work with early video tape and editing systems, which had a direct influence on my future career path.
2.) What was the best thing that happened to you in boarding school?
I came to Pomfret in my Junior (5th form) year. Pomfret was my third high school, and was a life changing experience. It gave me a sense of structure, community and belonging that not only continues to this day, but also has served a guide for me in helping set up similar structures at other schools I have attended and work for.
3.) What might you have done differently during your boarding school experience?
Boarding school can be tough for those first experiencing it. My advice would be to stick it out. It is lonely and a little bewildering in your first couple of weeks, but the beauty of how Pomfret works is that it welcomed me with enough freedom to deal with my feelings of loneliness until I made friends, but with enough structure and experiences to quickly provide me with friends and a support structure that I had never had at a school before. And not even in my family. It was well worth the experience.
4.) What did you like most about your school?
I LOVED the campus. It is a beautiful spot, really neat buildings with plenty of places to find your own favorite spot. The whole experience is worth having.
5.) Do you have any final words of wisdom for visiting or incoming students to your school?
Check out the Observatory. It wasn't there when I was a student, but I've visited it quite a bit since it was built and its really cool.There are lots of really cool little spots to get to know and enjoy. The chapel is a neat place to hang out and study, the roof of the chapel has a great view. The Vanilla Bean is a restaurant just about a mile from campus on the same road. They have great meals and its a nice place to get to know the locals. The Episcopal Church just down the road is a neat place to commune or seek solace as well, even for those who don't practice episcopaleanism.
1.) Describe the academics at your school - what did you like most about it?
All of the teachers and academic staff members are focused on creating a structured learning environment. Teachers get directly involved with students, help when the students aren't up to speed in a class, and are involved in the life of the school in addition to teaching the classes. Pomfret has always been good at providing meaningful technology to the student body, but also keeps its feet firmly planted in the academic basics of writing, reading, and studying. The workload is extensive and occasionally a challenge to keep up with, but at the end of each term the work load felt appropriate and a good challenge accomplished.
1.) Describe the athletics at your school - what did you like most about it?
Pomfret made sure that I was involved in athletic activity, even though a childhood injury prevented me from participating in most vigorous physical activity. When I wasn't actually participating, I was a manager and made a contributing member of teams that I could not play on. I was required to participate in athletics that did fit with my physical injury. Being required to participate allowed me to be feel a part of the team and the overall school spirit. Pomfret is quite competitive in numerous sports, have excellent facilities and equipment, and travel to comparable schools in New England but not so much as to set athletes apart from other students. All students are athletes at Pomfret.
Art, Music, and Theatre:
1.) Describe the arts program at your school - what did you like most about it?
I participated extensively in this program. Pomfret has a tradition of stage plays, but also has an excellent video, film and audio program allowing for students to participate in a band, sing in a chorus, practice music on their own, make videos, shoot film, shoot still pictures and generally experience and learn the beginning tools needed to participate in the arts later in life. A number of my fellow class mates have gone on to careers in the arts.
1.) Describe the extracurriculars offered at your school - what did you like most about it?
Pomfret has an extensive number of student organizations. The usual year book and school paper exist. Additionally, a radio station, TV station (during my years), arts organizations and groups exist. Each dorm and floor is its own community to the point where, years later, one of the first questions one asks when meeting a fellow Pomfret grad is what dorm we lived in (I was 'Lower Three', which actually means something!). Pomfret also has the Acheons and Ionians, which are named for ancient Greek tribes. There's no Greek part to it, but all Pomfret students are assigned to one or the other and several times a year the school teams meet in different competitions (athletics, academics, fun stuff). It's quite a tradition!Although Pomfret is in rural Northeastern Connecticut, students who have permission (and maintain the quality of their schoolwork) are allowed to travel off-campus for volunteer opportunities. They are usually chosen by the student (like participating in Junior Achievement, tutoring students in area public schools), but are enabled by the school as long as academics and other prerequisites are met.
1.) Describe the dorm life in your school - what did you like most about it?
Dorm life was very pleasant. Each floor tends to become its own community, and each dorm its own broader community. Each dorm is small enough to get to know the dorm master/mistress(es) very well, and many times one feels a member of their family as well. Room mates are selected for you as a freshman, but if you make good friends you are allowed to pick each other as room mates in future years. Some singles are available as well, usually for upper classman. The rooms were spartan but very nicely functional. We were permitted to decorate as long as we didn't damage the room.
1.) Describe the dining arrangements at your school.
Dining was quite good. There were periods of 'mystery meat', but even then it was edible if a bit tasteless. Breakfasts were full and freaking awesome. Variety was wide for all meals. The Boston creme pie during my years was my personal favorite. We had open breakfast times only on Sundays, the rest of the week was at a specific time. Lunches were open times within a window and buffet style. Dinners were ALWAYS sit down with catering provided to the tables by fellow students. Every one acted as a server one week out of a month, and only seniors in their final semester were exempted from serving. We were assigned tables, but assignments changed each term so we could get to know our fellow students, teachers and staff members.
Social and Town Life:
1.) Describe the school's town and surrounding area.
Pomfret is in a rural area of northeastern Connecticut. It is only about an hour from Hartford, Providence, Worcester and Boston. The closest town was the village of Pomfret itself, and the closest real town was Putnam. Pomfret is an integral part of that part of Connecticut, with locals involved in the school, school students involved in local theater, schools and churches.
2.) Describe the social life at your school - what did you like most about it?
Social life is extensive. Regular trips off campus (beyond athletics), involvement in local theater and other activities, team sports and other team building activities are encouraged and many times required. We had the usual weekly movies, parties with our dorm mates, chapel services (mostly non-denominational), the annual prom, and group building activities.
End of classes; athletics & afternoon activities begin
Free time or activities continue
Study hall (or dorm study if permitted)
Lower formers must be in dorm rooms
Upper classmen must be in dorms; doors locked; further study time in room permitted.
8am to 11am: buffet Sunday breakfast
Some Sunday sports activities depending on time of year; free time for the rest of the students
Buffet lunch 11am - 1pm
Sunday study hall (8-10pm)
Lower formers must be in dorms
Upper classman must be in dorms; studying can continue in rooms; doors locked
Alumni Reviews Review School
Pomfret School Alumni #1
Class of 2017
Class of 2017
Pomfret is unique because of the focus on STEM topics in all aspects of learning. Pomfret has shifted its use of technology in the classrooms to reflect the importance of math and engineering into the. . .
Pomfret School Alumni #2
Class of 2017
Class of 2017
The sense of community is something that is discussed a lot at Pomfret, but for a good reason. I toured a multitude of schools across both Canada and the United States and nothing compared to. . .
Pomfret School Alumni #3
Class of 2016
Class of 2016
We have a special program--called project Pomfret, in which students focus all their time in the two and a half weeks between thanksgiving and Christmas breaks on a project, i.e. geocaching, teaching children, learning about. . .
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