8 things you didn’t know you could learn at a British boarding school


Excellent facilities, an in-depth curriculum, exciting activities and friends for life are just some of the benefits of choosing to study at boarding school. Far from draughty corridors and strict teachers, boarding schools are increasingly geared to offer a unique learning experience, focusing on life skills and helping students develop their interests and talents. In fact, boarding schools succeed where many public schools fail, enabling students to acquire new life skills and develop a different mindset which will serve them during their school career and beyond.

A boarding school education ticks numerous boxes where public school fails, from helping students develop a more global mindset and grow into mature individuals, to even learning a new skill or sport.

The benefits of choosing a boarding school education are huge! Read on to find out about 8 things that you didn’t know that you could learn at boarding school:

1. Learn to be more independent

Decision making, homesickness and a new environment are tough factors for students to deal with, but you need not worry. At boarding schools students rapidly learn to be mature and be self-sufficient with the help of the extensive support system provided by house mistresses, tutors and, of course, friends.

Independence and the ability to think on their feet are skills which will stand students in good stead during their boarding school education and beyond.

2. Work-life balance

With so many activities on offer, and homework to finish, students will soon have to learn some time management skills. The boarding school day is longer than a day school day, and carefully structured so that homework, activities and downtime easily become routine.

Combining fun activities both inside and outside of the classroom means that students have to be on the ball – there are only so many hours in a day after all!

3. You will even fit in a new hobby…

Cooking, horse riding, mountain biking and even polo are just some of the exciting and varied extracurricular activities on offer at boarding school. In fact, boarding school provides the perfect opportunity for students to pursue different interests and hone particular skills and talents, all while supervised by highly qualified teaching staff. You might discover a hidden talent, or maybe even hone a special skill that could help you earn a scholarship with a top university! With an outstanding range of facilities and support on offer, boarding schools tick all the boxes that day schools cannot.

Pic: Students of Woldingham School benefit from Prue Leith cookery classes (restauranteur & cookery writer).

4. Learn more about the world

At a boarding school, pupils have the chance to experience both a local and international atmosphere. Many local students choose boarding schools for their structure and the days packed full with activities. That, together with increasing numbers of international students who are looking to U.S. and European boarding schools creates a diverse and multi-cultural learning environment.

Experiencing different cultures broadens students’ mindsets so they develop into tolerant, forward-thinking individuals.

5. Learn to know your teacher

While in public school larger class sizes and a rushed curriculum can mean that students will not always benefit from teacher-student contact time, at boarding school this is quite the opposite. Time is taken to ensure that students are able to ask multiple questions, tested to their full capabilities, and more importantly, enjoy the topics on offer with plenty of one-on-one attention to help them reach their full potential.

6. Learn to think ahead and find the best university

Choosing the right university or college can be a difficult choice, but at boarding school students are encouraged to think ahead from day one. A UK boarding education is the ideal springboard into both UK and global universities as the A level curriculum is internationally recognised as gold standard. 

UK boarding schools provide expert university advice often with specialist Oxbridge, US and international programmes – so whatever you want to progress on to next you can be assured you will receive all the help and support you need in preparation.

Yes, it’s important to enjoy your time at school but so too is taking the time to think about what you want to do in the future and how you can achieve your goals.

Pic: Flickr

7. Become part of a second family

Supportive teaching staff, lifelong friendships and a home away from home are just some of the benefits of choosing to study at boarding school. The friendships and bonds formed in boarding schools are considered to be among the strongest anywhere, sometimes for life.

A happy and caring community of teachers, house mistresses and tutors make the students feel like they’re part of a second family, pitching in to form a close knit community where everyone helps each other.

Pic: Woldingham School

8. Teachers actually love to teach

Boarding school teaching staff are among the most passionate anywhere. In short, they love the subjects that they teach. Very often they hold a higher degree in their subject of choice, delivering engaging and unique lessons to small class sizes where students gain an excellent grasp of the subject matter. At boarding schools, teachers love their job and this will be reflected in students’ learning.


This article was sponsored by Woldingham School, a Catholic boarding school for girls aged 11 to 18 in the stunning green hills of Marden Park, Surrey. At Woldingham, the school’s 550 girls benefit from outstanding teaching and pastoral support while learning to become confident, curious and compassionate young women. Examination results are outstanding and the majority of girls leave for Oxbridge, Russell Group, US, and renowned international universities. Each and every talent and interest is nurtured and encouraged, from horse riding to choral singing. Girls are provided with a well-rounded education, thanks to the academic enrichment programme and wide range of clubs and activities on offer. The school’s excellent facilities, award-winning food and homely boarding accommodation provide a home away from home, meaning that girls can enjoy their time at Woldingham both inside and outside the classroom.