When pupils attend boarding school, the benefits extend beyond academic goals. While some erroneously view boarding schools as cold, rigid places, they overlook the warm and caring environments where students can develop to their full potential.
Within these boarding schools, pupils have multiple opportunities to build important skills like independence, self-reliance, adaptability, interpersonal communication, and more.
These students generally mature faster as they’re expected to take care of their personal belongings and keep to their routines, becoming self-disciplined individuals.
However, when they need a supportive ear or a shoulder to cry on, or even just someone to just look out for them, parents can rest assured that these types of boarding schools offer caring faculty members and a close-knit community.
The excellent facilities at quality boarding schools allow students to explore their interests and develop healthy, active habits such as sports and immersion in the arts.
This is particularly beneficial for busy parents who have to shepherd their children from one extracurricular activity to another. At boarding school, children have plenty of time after classes or on weekends to engage in fun activities with peers.
Many of these boarding schools have day boarders too, so there’s a good mix of pupils from diverse backgrounds and cultures who equally thrive and develop strong friendships with one another.
In the UK, boarding schools are an established part of the academic culture, dating back to colonial times.
Here are four elite UK boarding schools that deliver a holistic experience, where pupils thrive and grow into capable, independent adults.
Situated in the coastal town of Helensburgh, Scotland, on the edge of Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park, Lomond School offers pupils from overseas the opportunity to immerse themselves in British culture, improve their language skills and make friends for life in a supportive environment with academic success at its heart.
As a day school with boarding, Lomond School is somewhat unique in its offering. They welcome boarders from the age of 8 years and the school passionately believes that education should be about empowering their pupils to be successful, confident and respectful of the world around them, ready to make a difference in our global society.
Living at Lomond School as a boarder is an enriching experience. The boarding house is a modern facility, separate from the main school campus, offering a home away from home, family feel for both boys and girls.
Pupils are immersed in a culture of hard work where excellent academic achievement is supported by small class sizes, dedicated teaching staff, superb facilities and a significant emphasis on happiness, health and wellbeing. Despite being a small non-selective school, exam results show that pupils here thrive academically, and their ambitions and successes are celebrated by the whole community. Twenty percent of 2019 school leavers went on to study Medicine, Law, Dentistry and Veterinary Medicine, and a great number of pupils are successful in sport, music and the arts.
Outside of school, pupils are kept busy with trips to the cinema, hill-walking and a wide range of extra-curricular activities that encourage them to explore their personal interests and develop holistically.
Located in Bath, England, Kingswood School is a day and boarding school that balances academic rigor with pastoral care so pupils get to develop in all aspects of their lives.
With an extensive range of co-curricular activities, pupils are encouraged to discover new activities and hobbies that are not only good for their physical and mental development, but become lifelong interests.
Some examples of these activities are Debating, Public Speaking and Model United Nations, Music, Drama and academic societies.
Pupils are well taken care of with daily pastoral support, overseen by House Parents and Deputy Head (Pastoral) Mr Gordon Opie.
Pastoral care given to all pupils includes education on a range of topics, such as online safety, sex education, drugs and alcohol awareness, and eating disorders.
Parents know their children are in safe hands as their well-being is a priority, with a 24-hour medical centre at the school and a team of counsellors that offer additional support when needed.
As the school is built on Christian values, the Chapel is central to daily life at Kingswood School, where the school community comes together for worship and Whole School Service once a week.
Sherborne is a boarding and day school for girls ages 11 to 18, where pupils thrive in a friendly, compassionate and caring environment.
Here, pupils’ personal interests are identified early on so they can be nurtured and developed throughout their school years.
Developing strong and independent 21st century women, the school places emphasis on a culture of ambition so pupils can receive a well-rounded education.
The school embodies Individualised Learning where teachers plan to meet the needs of individuals, understanding that it’s not one-size-fits-all when it comes to academic learning.
When they’re not focused on their studies, pupils participate in extra-curricular activities such as astrology, Zumba, music and drama.
There’s also the Adventure and Leadership programme where girls in Years 7 and 8 regularly participate in activities where they develop self-confidence, teamwork and outdoor skills through outward-bound weekends and timetabled Adventure and Leadership sessions.
Pupils at this school become well-prepared for university life and beyond through the many ways that the school nurtures holistic development.
Situated in Bristol, England, Badminton School is a boarding and day school for girls aged 3 to 18.
The small size of the school ensures pupils are in a secure and close-knit community where everyone knows one another.
The girls are supported in every aspect of their lives, learning in a strong female community where they are encouraged to pursue their personal interests.
Recognising the lack of female representation in STEM fields, the school also has a Science Outreach programme where students engage in exciting practical work so they can develop interests in science-related fields.
Weekends are filled with trips to local attractions such as the Bristol Aquarium and Westfield Shopping Centre, or even the nearby North Devon coast for surfing.
Pupils are sorted into one of three boarding houses where they live and study alongside their peers, developing independence so they’re ready for university life and beyond.
*Some of the institutions featured in this article are commercial partners of Study International