Elite boarding schools that prepare students for university and beyond
Sherborne School

Boarding schools offer several benefits for young students. These spaces are so much more than just a live-in school; elite boarding schools instil values in students that set them up for bright and successful university careers.

They do so by equipping them with skills that help them transition to university and beyond. At boarding school, children naturally learn how to be independent, as well as how to work in teams and collaborate with others.

Leadership qualities are also often developed at boarding schools, moulding students into confident, capable individuals once they graduate from school.

Since teachers are aware that these children are away from home, they strive to develop closer relationships with them than those who attend day schools, spending plenty of time getting to know them outside the classroom.

In many cases, they act as trusted mentors who help students realise their ambitions and set them on the path towards achieving them.

Elite boarding schools have plenty of extra-curricular activities, excursions, sports and such to keep students busy when they’re not in lessons, so they are continually developing their talents to become well-rounded students.

Here are four elite UK boarding schools that are help students adjust to university life and beyond.



This independent all-boys full boarding school is located in the beautiful town of Sherborne, Dorset, and has a 460-year tradition of providing rich and varied educational experiences for boys aged 13–18.

From the moment boys arrive at Sherborne, preparation begins for them to step out confidently into the world. As a boarding school that functions seven days a week, Sherborne is uniquely placed to do this by creating the time and space to nurture boys’ dispositions and prepare them for the future.

Boys are stimulated, inspired and supported at every turn, thanks to the combinations of academic stretch, co-curricular opportunities and first-rate pastoral care.

The boys are resilient, persistent, confident, respectful, collaborative and independent. These values are intrinsic to a Sherborne education and prepare them for life at university and beyond.

Sherborne’s approach is configured towards the goal of readying pupils for the next step. As they progress through the School, this takes on a sharper, more practical focus. Staff ensure they have what they need to achieve their ambitions when they leave. For most, those ambitions involve studying at Oxbridge or a Russell Group university.

Thanks to Sherborne’s extensive professional networks, boys secure valuable placements within a range of industries. In addition to the School’s own careers department, the active Old Shirburnian Society is also invaluable in providing mentoring, career guidance and support to pupils.

There is no fixed formula for success at Sherborne. But by offering individualised support to every boy and encouraging them to find their distinct talents, Sherborne prepares them for a bright future in which they’re set to flourish.


Strathallan School is a leading Scottish co-educational independent boarding school that holds an excellent reputation in academics, sports and the arts.

The campus is located in rural Perthshire, close to Edinburgh and Glasgow, offering the perfect environment to develop well-rounded students.

Here, students get an immersive educational experience, as 60 percent of students are boarders and the majority of staff live on-site.

The school has invested over £20m to provide exceptional sporting facilities, modern accommodation and contemporary learning environments, so students can enjoy a first-class experience.

This school excels in all things sports, as since 2015, 90 pupils have represented Scotland and Great Britain, while 100 percent of 9 to 15 year-olds have represented the school in team sports.

There are also opportunities for students to develop their creativity, as 50 percent of pupils in the senior part of the school and 100 percent of pupils in Riley take part in personalised music lessons, and Strathallan offers more than 60 performance opportunities each year.


Both boarders and day-boarders here live in a close community, where they learn to be considerate and respect others, as well as develop close friendships with their teachers and peers.

This leading UK boarding school, founded in 1584, teaches both boys and girls aged 13-18.

In terms of academics, students here are encouraged to develop their intellectual curiosity, and are taught how to think critically and engage in topics that cross a wide range of academic disciplines.

This approach to academics is beneficial in university and beyond, where students are expected to articulate their own thoughts and participate in classroom discussion.

Outside the classroom, there are several kinds of activities students can be immersed in during their free time to develop their personal talents and interests.

These include music activities, sports, theatre and drama, art and design, co-curricular activities, as well as various trips, tours and expeditions.

The school is also committed to service learning, offering many opportunities for fundraising and involvement in charitable work.


This academically selective independent day and boarding school is located in London – the thriving UK capital.

Here, academics are focused on effective learning where students take ownership and responsibility for their own learning, and are able to make connections between knowledge, concepts and skills, among other things.

The school also encourages collaborative learning and classroom discussions so students can engage in meaningful and deliberate practice during lessons.

This forward-thinking school has based its principles on 21st century education, so the adaptable skills students acquire will be useful in the future working world, where employers will increasingly look to hire innovative students.

Offering a holistic education, the school is committed to providing students with a vigorous arts programme so they can develop their personal skills and talents, setting them up for thriving futures and a well-rounded life. 

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

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