Leading Boarding Schools that encourage independence
Source: Annie Wright Schools

Every parent wants to see their child flourish; to find their passions, meet a diverse range of people and gain the independence that better prepares them for adulthood. A parent’s work is never truly done but when your child takes their first few steps away from the family home, it feels good to know that your child is safe as you take a backseat.

Boarding school brings your child into an international community where they are encouraged to grow as an individual, also spending their formative years learning from a diverse mix of young people.

Saying goodbye to your child at the start of term will always be tough, but knowing they are receiving an unparalleled education – all while forming lifelong friends and a clear sense of self – is something that cannot be priced. It may feel too early to think about college, but the independence your child will gain prepares them for university life and the world beyond education, giving them an edge when it comes to those crucial future applications.

In the boarding school environment, students are immersed in a 24/7 learning experience both in terms of their personal development and academic prowess. The community feel of boarding schools is similar to that of a college campus, but students here are given access to much more help and guidance.

Source: Shutterstock

Boarding school learners leave prepared for higher education in their academic success, maturity and ability to cope with real world situation. Your child will be able to navigate life’s highs and lows alongside a community of like-minded people going through the very same things as them, all with the support of caring teachers at every education stage.

And when the time comes for your child to take their first few steps outside of the classroom and into the exciting graduate world, their lives can truly begin. Boarding school allows students to take baby steps towards their future, but what starts out as a few inches, quickly turns into miles.

Here are four outstanding boarding schools you should consider for your child…


Annie Wright, an International Baccalaureate (IB) World School, caters for students from age three through to their high school years, offering mixed-sex Lower and Middle School settings plus two Upper Schools for boys and girls. The institute provides a diverse range of internationally-recognized programs geared towards preparing students for the real world while allowing them to explore things that make them tick.

What sets Annie Wright apart from the rest is its electric range of activities. While compulsory for all, the activities are tailored to match individual likes and dislikes. The activities change year-in, year-out to keep up with the diverse range of passions and interests held by the current student cohort.

These activities range from business and entrepreneurship to arts to robotics and often include school trips that provide creative ventures or competition opportunities. These experiences allow students to gain real-world skills based on unique interests.

But the fun isn’t reserved for off-site events. The school’s historic campus, situated in Washington, is home to a grandiose theater, an indoor pool, two gyms, science and technology labs, art and music studios, outdoor gardens, play areas, athletic fields, stunning open spaces and more. Student life here is enriching and fun – so much so that graduates don’t want to leave.

Source: Annie Wright Schools


Building meaningful relationships is at the heart of the Shawnigan Lake philosophy. In the school’s wholesome environment friendships are allowed to flourish, and kindness is part and parcel each and every day.

In the beautiful setting of Vancouver Island, Canada, students here benefit from all kinds of outstanding facilities. The school is dedicated to ensuring your child has a positive boarding experience, all while allowing them to grow and develop in body and soul. With 90 percent of students and over 60 members of staff living on-campus full-time, this is a community that’s thriving with something always going on.

Teachers here inspire students to explore their passions; sports coaches are dedicated to pushing students to unleash their full potential, maybe even in sports they were yet to consider; while fine arts instructors are passionate about allowing students to realise the many ways they can express their creativity.

The school system is designed to “create a sense of belonging and a never-ending exploration of the world of solid values and respectful behavior.”

Shawnigan fosters personal development above all else, fondly reminding students: “The character you build, is yours forever.”


Nestled in a beautiful village named Lakeville in Connecticut, Hotchkiss is an independent boarding school educating a cohort of just over 600 students in grades 9 through to 12, as well as a handful of postgraduates. Students from all over the world and the US are taught in small groups of around 13 pupils, benefitting from he chance to mix with their peers, making friends for life as well as invaluable future connections.

Hotchkiss’ state-of-the-art facilities include The A. Whitney Griswold Science Building, home to an optics lab, grow room, scanning electron microscope, computer resource room, 13 laboratory classrooms and an impressive lecture hall that seats over 100 people. The building is also home to the Photography and Film Department’s five black-and-white and color darkrooms, a video editing room, and two screening spaces that double up as secondary classrooms.

When studying gets too much, a breath of fresh air is right on students’ doorsteps… literally. The school is surrounded by 827-acres of woodland, fields, and farmland in an extraordinary landscape rivalled by few other schools in the country and the world.

Source: Shutterstock


Powered by an exceptional college placement record and a dedication to helping students achieve their goals, the Webb Schools is an institution that sits proud. On one campus, the two schools sit side-by-side, just a hop, skip and jump away from the prestigious Claremont Colleges – the buzzing hub of Los Angeles and the Pacific Rim.

Here, students explore the great outdoors, try their hand at competitive team sports and become heavily involved in the arts while qualified staff support their learning and development.

Webb educates and inspires students to become leaders and big thinkers, working to solve problems and better the world.

The school describes itself as “a global village,” with all the benefits of a small but close community in a homely environment, plus a diverse global perspective gained from students from all over the world. This tight-knit community extends through a global alumni network, made up by successful professionals of all kinds; from doctors to lawyers, scholars to politicians, entrepreneurs, and more.

One of the most exciting things about the Webb Schools is its very own AAM-accredited museum found on campus grounds. The Raymond M. Alf Museum of Paleontology allows students to delve into many different aspects of science, learning from the engaging artefacts and materials this elite museum holds.

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

Liked this? Then you’ll love these…

Achieve your full potential at Annie Wright Schools, Tacoma

Exceptional Boarding Schools that defy educational barriers