The idea of boarding school might be scary if you have never gone to one before. In this article, we answer some common questions from parents and children who are thinking about boarding school.
If you‘ve never been to a boarding school, it might be difficult to picture what life is like. Every school is different, but all schools will encourage you to come and visit before you decide if it‘s for you. We have answered some common questions below to help you start thinking about whether it‘s the right choice for you or your child.
Where do pupils sleep?
In a typical British boarding school, pupils are housed in individual boarding houses. Although it does differ from school to school, these days most boarding schools provide modern, purpose-built student accommodation.
So, instead of traditional dormitories, you can expect to share with one room-mate in younger years and progress to a single study room as you reach senior school. Common rooms and dining halls mean there is usually plenty of space for informal socialising.
Who looks after the pupils?
The boarding houses are looked after by a house master or mistress and a team of staff, who live in the boarding house and look after the personal and academic welfare of pupils.
The team usually includes a matron who is responsible for medical welfare, usually in liaison with a nurse and/or doctor at the school, and a personal tutor who meets with individual pupils on a regular basis.
House staff are usually the main point of contact for parents as well, since they well placed to keep up to date with the daily ups and downs of teenage life.
Is it easy to make friends?
In most British boarding schools, a sense of belonging to a house is warmly encouraged among pupils. Strong house traditions usually help this sense of affiliation.
Schools find that dividing the school population into smaller units makes it less daunting for new arrivals, and means pupils settle in easily to their little community.
Generally, a house includes students from different year groups, so younger pupils can be supported by the older ones and develop their self-confidence in a supportive atmosphere.
What happens after class?
One of the great advantages of boarding schools is that pupils have lots more time to get involved in extra-curricular activities.
In every boarding school, the choice of after-school activities will include dedicated study and homework time, as well as a chance to study extra classes, focus on a hobby or take part in sports tournaments.
Pupils at boarding schools are strongly encouraged to make the most of this extra time to fulfil their potential and try as many new things as they would like.
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