West Nottingham Academy
Boarding school students live and learn in a service-minded, global community where they establish relationships that last a lifetime. Source: West Nottingham Academy

In today’s increasingly complex and interconnected world, superior academic preparation for college is not enough to succeed. Young people need a myriad of academic, faith, service, artistic, and athletic programmes to build a competitive edge. Boarding schools provide these — and more.

Here, pupils learn, live and love in a combination they won’t find anywhere else: demanding academics, tough character-building challenges, and a healthy, authentic community culture that supports them every step of the way. In this service-minded, global community, they nurture friendships that last a lifetime.

Below we explore the US boarding schools that exemplify the finest of this niche sector:

West Nottingham Academy

West Nottingham Academy

West Nottingham inspires curiosity, teaches critical-thinking skills, and cultivates a passion for life-long learning. Source: West Nottingham Academy

If you’re looking for a campus that offers the best of many worlds — urban and tranquil, established and future-forward, academic and athletic — then the West Nottingham Academy (WNA) is the place to be.

On the academic front, the US’s longest-standing boarding and day school stands out for its 99% acceptance rate, college-level prep and signature programmes in environmental sustainability, STEM and innovation, and the arts. WNA offers nearly 90 courses, including a number of Advanced Placement (AP) courses geared toward the national exams, as well as Advanced and Honours courses. These offerings inspire pupils, embedding critical thinking skills and cultivating a passion for lifelong learning in them.

Another unique advantage? A beautiful 100-acre campus situated in the rolling countryside of northeastern Maryland. It is just a few miles from the headwaters of the Chesapeake Bay and within a two to three hour drive to cities like New York, Washington DC, Philadelphia, and Baltimore.

Living and learning here is a diverse, enriching experience. After the academic day is done, pupils can join a student body representing 15 different countries and nine states in the United States in a wide array of extracurricular activities right on campus.

With its strong education-based athletics programme, they build character, evolving into well-rounded graduates with sportsmanship, spirit for competition and integrity. Whether it’s soccer, volleyball, basketball, dance, tennis, or badminton, each represents an opportunity to grow, learn, and find success. To learn more about how WNA inspires and educates socially aware leaders and innovators, click here.

The Village School

The Village School

The Village School offers an integrated, balanced curriculum, supportive environment, and inspiring teachers. Source: The Village School Facebook

As one of the best private schools in Houston, The Village School aims to create meaningful experiences, connections and memories that create a love for learning. “At Village, it is our responsibility as educators to set high expectations for our students, to provide them with support and to encourage their ambitions,” says Head of School Katherine Brewer.

Integrated, balanced curriculum; engaging, supportive environment; inspiring teachers — this 28-acre campus offers enriching opportunities to discover, collaborate, and grow at every grade level. At the beginning of their 11th grade year, students join the Entrepreneurship Diploma programme, where they learn about finance, leadership development, negotiations, decision-making, marketing, strategy, international business and trade, money management and more. 

The school’s International Baccalaureate programme has helped TVS students earn places in the world’s top universities. It allows students to study a wide range of classes in Theory of Knowledge, complete an experiential learning programme called CAS (Creativity, Activity, and Service), and choose which subjects to study in greater depth for their finals exams.

Another feature that makes TVS stand out is its membership within the Nord Anglia Education (NAE) family of schools. Through this affiliation, the school works with world-leading educational institutions like the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), the Juilliard School of Performing Arts and UNICEF to offer students more life-shaping opportunities. 

Virginia Episcopal School

Virginia Episcopal School

VES’s commitment to excellence in learning means being in tune with the world and always looking ahead. Source: Virginia Episcopal School Facebook

The Virginia Episcopal School is an educational community of inspired learners and leaders prepared to adapt confidently and engage responsibly in our changing world. At this boarding and day school for grades nine through to 12, students learn in a supportive, nurturing environment designed to foster student engagement and authentic learning. 

The 160-acre campus is home to a small, globally diverse educational community dedicated to excellence. They offer fresh perspectives, making every class challenging and thought-provoking. The school’s Learning Resources Programme provides additional support and assistance to students in need. 

VES’s commitment to excellence in learning means being in tune with the world and always looking ahead. Signature programmes such as the Ninth Grade ARC; Science and Math Advanced Consortium; Advanced Studies and Speakers and Arts Series prepares students to navigate college and career once they graduate. 

At VES, students are leaders in the classroom, in student government, on sport teams and clubs, in every aspect of school life. As a result, they are more likely to take risks, speak their minds and develop a strong sense of self. 

Chapel Hill-Chauncy Hall School

Chapel Hill-Chauncy Hall School

At CH-CH, classrooms are small by design to create a stronger bond between teachers and students. Source: Chapel Hill-Chauncy Hall School FacebookThe Chapel Hill-Chauncy Hall School (CH-CH) shapes the trajectory of a student’s academic growth with challenging learning experiences, and a myriad of opportunities for enrichment both in and out of the classroom. When you join CH-CH, students not only get an education, but they join a community. Located 10 miles from Boston, CH-CH students are involved in a range of pursuits – from academics to arts to athletics to co-curricular activities – all in a place that supports and challenges them. 

Curriculum at CH-CH incorporates programming in areas such as afternoon activities, athletics, physical fitness, health education, community service, student presentations, residential life, student clubs and organisations, and leadership training opportunities. The school’s wide range of academic courses across departments provides learning experiences that can be tough, fascinating, meaningful, and, yes, fun. 

CH-CH offers a chance to go further. And do more. Here, classrooms are small by design to create a stronger bond between teachers and students. To streamline the transition between school and college, personalised college counselling is offered to students who seek guidance. By the time students graduate from CH-CH, they’ll be more than ready for what’s next. 

*Some of the institutions featured in this article are commercial partners of Study International