Should I Send My Child to Boarding School?
The decision to send your child to boarding school is a huge step for both you and your child. Boarding school may not suit every child but for many it can offer a tremendous boost to their personal and academic development. In this article, we consider the benefits of sending your child to boarding school. If you have decided to send your child to boarding school but are struggling to select the right school, call one of our education consultants for independent advice today.
1. Smaller Classes
More often than not, children will be assigned to smaller classes in a boarding school than in a regular day school. In many cases, smaller classes are associated with higher levels of engagement from both the child and the teacher. For a child, this can help to increase the amount of guidance and support they receive and gives a teacher the opportunity to tailor their approach to be in line with a child’s specific strengths and needs.
2. Extra-Curricular Activities
One of the accepted benefits of boarding schools is their ability to offer a greater variety of extra-curricular activities. This can range from less conventional sports, such as Taekwondo and scuba diving to specialised performing arts programmes. Having these opportunities is not only integral to the personal development of your child but will also contribute to the success of their university application. Schools such as Millfield and Uppingham have state-of-the-art sporting facilities and reassuringly, still maintain fantastic academic results.
3. Academic Progression
Boarding schools attract particularly dedicated teaching staff because for many of them who live on campus, school is a way of life. Their passion for and immersion in the fabric of the school itself help to inspire children and to encourage their drive to achieve pastorally and academically.
Most children will not experience a true sense of independence until they leave their home for university. By attending boarding school, children are given more independence earlier and will learn to adapt to living in a community outside of their family unit. This enhances their preparation for life beyond education, helping to develop their maturity and independence before entering the adult world. One caveat to this is that in a single-sex boarding school many parents feel the single-sex environment can stifle maturation and create difficulties with relationships in early adult life that could be avoided by sending their son or daughter to co-educational school.
5. Fewer Distractions
It is often easy for a child to become distracted at home with television, social media and games all in close proximity. Even if your child tries to focus on their work, the temptation of being distracted is all too prevalent. In contrast, boarding school offers an environment that is specifically set up to be conductive to learning, with an ethos of, ‘work hard, play hard’, the benefit multiple after-school clubs and scheduled prep time to complete homework. The ever-present housemaster or housemistress plays an integral role in limiting such everyday disturbances and encouraging your child to focus on learning.
6. Stronger Alumni Networks
Stronger alumni networks go hand-in-hand with the boarding school experience. The boarding school environment is intensive and each school fosters its own unique identity that helps to deepen friendships, in most cases, giving your child an enhanced self-confidence and sense of identity (albeit it a manufactured one). These networks continue into the professional world, opening new avenues and opportunities along the way.
7. International Students
International students can also particularly benefit from attending boarding school. By having the opportunity to immerse themselves in the British culture, they not only pick up the native language fluently, but also gain a key understanding of the country’s education system and a ready-made social network and alumni group to help them progress in the working environment. Another major advantage for international students is that boarding school provides a safe entry into another culture, with excellent pastoral care to help students overcome homesickness and culture shock. As a minor caveat, parents may want to check that the boarding school they choose makes sufficient effort to integrate international students; a very small number silo them into separate residential units.