Many parents ask why they should consider boarding as an option. Sending your child away to boarding school is a big step and the families we speak to raise concerns about losing sight of children’s work, friendship groups, induction and integration as well as their daily experience.
There are however a number of proven advantages to boarding, some obvious and others less so. We would like to share our top six:
- They will be in a 24/7 learning environment
Boarding is an immersive experience dedicated to growing pupils both academically and personally. Boarding schools tend to offer a richer curriculum and wider variety of activities that last well into the evening as well as lunchtime and weekends. At Leweston boarders have supervised evening study in the school library giving them access to academic staff when completing their homework. Teachers also act as ‘Florins’ or boarding tutors in the boarding Houses to offer additional help and advice.
- They will have more time
In cutting out travel time boarders can take advantage of everything the school has to offer and do more important things like socialising, studying, playing sports or learning a new skill. Often as pupils approach Sixth Form they will become boarders, or increase the number of nights they board so they can study more effectively and take more time for university applications. It also means they can access the sports, arts and study facilities in the evenings and weekends.
- They will get to live away from home.
Children need to learn to live in a different community, at some point they will fly the nest and have to learn to cope with life and its high and low points. Boarding provides the opportunity to learn these lessons in a protective and supportive environment, under the watchful eye of professional Houseparents who can act as mentors and advisers. Whilst living away from family can be hard, boarders become adaptable, flexible, confident and more able to transition between different environments.
- They will learn to be responsible for themselves.
Taking lots of little steps towards maturity is one of the intangible advantages of boarding school. Boarders have to learn to get along with others because they are sharing the same space. They learn to be responsible for themselves and the life lessons learned in boarding will lay a solid foundation for adulthood. Older boarders have a lot more independence and responsibility for their own studies so when they do leave school, they are well prepared for university life.
- They will gain important social skills
Boarders learn to communicate, cooperate and solve problems together. In a modern world where employers seek these intangible skills the ability to build good relationships with others, emotionally regulate their responses and keep life in perspective can go a long way.
- They will make friends for life.
Most boarders look back at their years in school as a time when lasting friendships were established. Coupled with that is the building of a network of friends who know you and care about you. Boarding often introduces pupils to people whom they may have never otherwise met, they leave with a global outlook on life which is an increasingly valuable thing in the world we live in. There are academic benefits to this as well. Friends tend to influence and adopt each other’s behaviours. The positive and motivated environment in boarding encourages pupils to support and stimulate each other.
Leweston offers a number of different boarding options which range from one night a week to all seven. Many of the advantages explored above apply equally to pupils who join boarding on a weekly or flexi basis.