Providing a child with a boarding school education is one of the greatest gifts a parent can give.
Many of the world’s kings, queens, presidents and prime ministers were educated in a boarding school. Take a look at a list of Fortune Global 500 CEOs, and you may be surprised to see just how many studied at a boarding school.
With so many options when it comes to giving your child the right type of education, it can quickly dawn on the considerate parent that little can be left up to chance. Every parent wants their child to flourish academically, athletically, socially, artistically, emotionally and intellectually. While there is a surfeit of schools that can provide one, or a few of these, to achieve them all, students require a strong community and structured life experience centred around the student’s growth and development. This is where boarding schools excel.
Because boarding schools are similar in structure to colleges and universities, those that attend boarding school are far more likely to succeed in college and consequently adult life when compared to private day and public school students. Boarding school attendees are also far more likely to earn an advanced degree and achieve faster career advancement.
The rich culture of challenging academics, friendship, abundant arts, athletics and intellectual discourse under a supervised, structured student life experience make for the best possible foundation for life.
So why aren’t more students attending boarding schools?
If you need help finding a boarding school for your child, Linden Educational Services’ team includes 10 full-time educational consultants to help you choose the boarding school which best fits your child's needs. For more information, please contact Linden Educational Services by email.
Boarding School Myths
When one mentions a boarding school, there are perhaps certain images or ideas that may spring to mind. Many of these thoughts are commonplace, but frequently untrue.
Myth #1: Boarding schools are just for rich kids
A family does not have to be wealthy to send their child to boarding school.
A good education can often require sacrifice: having to drive a little further each day to reach the better school; organising a tutor to get the exam results; sometimes even having to move house, but none of these are necessary when it comes to boarding schools.
If you think you may not be able to pay for a boarding school education though, there are a surprising number of grants, bursaries and financial assistance available. To speak to a boarding school consultant, click here.
Myth #2: Boarding schools are only for academically gifted students
You don’t have to be academically brilliant to go to boarding school. While many of those who graduate from boarding school can be considered gifted, that is not to say accepted students are all preternaturally skilled when they arrive.
Boarding schools take pupils from all walks of life and from all geographies and have a track record of bringing the best out of students and encouraging them to achieve their true potential whether they are academically gifted or not.
Myth #3: Going to a boarding school means being far away from family
While a boarding school student will have less family time compared to say, a public school, the benefit is a more regimented and successful school life. You can also find boarding schools in a wide variety of places throughout the world, not just in North America and Europe as it so often assumed.
Occasionally, boarding schools can also sometimes allow students to return back home each weekend and of course for holidays too. So it can feel not dissimilar to a more typical school experience.
Myth #4: Children are at boarding school because their parents work overseas
A lot of students will go to boarding school because their parents work outside of their home country. However, most study at a boarding school because of the superior education they will receive.
Myth #5: Boarding schools are too focused on academics/athletics/discipline
More so than private day and public schools, boarding schools offer a wide and balanced curriculum for students with the intention of developing the best possible person. That can sometimes mean that teachers are strict when it comes to studying, homework, or sports. But it also means that students are given space for themselves, to be creative, to rest, to engage in extracurricular and to have fun.
Many who went to boarding school recognises it as one of the best times of their lives. Busy, perhaps, but rewarding and fulfilling too.
If you need help finding a boarding school for your child, Linden's team includes 10 full-time educational consultants to help you choose the boarding school which best fits your child's needs. For more information, please contact Linden Educational Services by email.
Boarding School Facts
Boarding School Will Develop Your Child
Boarding schools have an outstanding tradition of academic excellence, built on an educational model that delivers diverse curricula, taught by highly qualified and exceptionally motivated teachers, in small classes that encourage meaningful interaction with the students.
Faculty hold high expectations as they share their passion on a subject. Teachers frequently live on campus and are available for extra help after the school day ends. Weekend study sessions are the norm.
Learning Continues Beyond the Classroom
At boarding schools, learning extends beyond the classroom. Since staff and students live together, students benefit from countless teachable moments both inside and outside of the classroom.
Boarding school students also participate in far more extracurricular activities than students in state schools, whether playing sports, engaging in creative endeavours like music or painting, or participating in student government and school club activities.
Facilities are Typically Excellent
There are countless options for athletics, the arts and community service. Boarding school facilities are extensive and typically include performing arts spaces, visual arts studios, multiple playing fields, indoor courts for basketball and squash, an ice rink, swimming pool and fitness room. More unique athletic offerings such as crew, golf and equestrian training enable students to develop skills local high schools may not provide.
Boarding Students Discover Self-Reliance
Boarding school environments can range in character from arts-focused to militarily-oriented, but all almost always feature a student body composed of young people from a diversity of backgrounds. Since they are not living at home, they are required to learn how to live with, trust, and respect their peers in an environment of controlled freedom.
There are few substitutes for having to manage your own academic and personal responsibilities at a young age.
Boarding Graduates Lead Exceptional Lives
Boarding schools also offer the priceless gift of preparing young people for future success. The academic rigor and the training in negotiating the responsibilities of independence set boarding school graduates on a path to prosperity—professionally, socially, and culturally.
Boarding school provides a unique chance to develop the skills needed for college. Boarding graduates feel well prepared for the non-academic aspects of college life, such as independence, social life, and time management.
Small Class Sizes Lead to Greater Focus
A class size of twelve is the average at most boarding schools. Small classes allow teachers to provide individualized attention and the students have plenty of access to their teachers. The humanities classrooms are often set up in the Socratic method, with the teacher as facilitator and mentor. In these classes, students are provided with questions, not answers. Encouraged to think and share, students find their voices. They actively participate in their learning.
A Once-In-A-Lifetime Opportunity
It is often said that at boarding school, students "live to learn" since they spend large parts of their day engaged in learning activities. But they also "learn to live" by shouldering the responsibility that comes with greater independence.
Without question, boarding school shape lives for the better. Unsurprisingly, the experience leaves a positive impression on graduates and over 80% say they would repeat the boarding experience – given the chance.
Choosing the Right School
Like every child, each boarding school is unique. It is important then, when deciding which school would be best, to take the time to research and find the best possible destination. Here are some helpful hints that will assist you in making an informed decision.
Step 1: Look at numerous schools
Start by taking a look at every school that catches your fancy. Between fifteen and twenty is a good place to start. Take the time to browse each school's website. Many have excellent video tours with testimonials from students or parents, or official reviews from overseeing bodies. Also check out independent boarding school review websites that do not filter student comments.
Step 2: Narrowing your list
This can be time-consuming because you need to sit down with your child to review each school on the list. As you work through the original list, discard schools which don’t appeal and aim to produce a shortlist containing a maximum of five schools.
Whittle down the original list by asking questions such as:
· Do you want a single gender or a coeducational school?
· Do you want a small or large school?
· Do you want a religious school?
· Does the school cover special interests such as sport or drama?
· What about special needs?
· What are the class sizes?
· What is the standard of residential accommodation?
· How good are the recreational facilities?
· Is your child a good match for the school and vice versa?
· Is your child likely to pass the entrance exam?
Step 3: Visit the shortlisted schools
While not always possible, visiting the schools and meeting staff and students can be a very valuable exercise. If you are unable to visit, then there may be other options, such as visiting an education fair, where you speak with school representatives in person. Fairs such as Salão do Estudante (Brazil), Expo-Estudiante (Latin America) and the Global Education Fairs (UAE and Vietnam) are good places to consider.
Step 4: Admissions Testing
Now is the time to submit your child for the admissions tests.
Many schools use the SSAT and/or the ISEE which are standardized admissions tests. There will also likely be an essay and a few other bits of writing which you and your child will have to undertake. So make sure your child has plenty of practice well in advance of the tests.
Step 5: Apply
Most schools have online applications which simplify the process. Download the forms in September (this may differ depending on the school calendar) so that you can hand out the teacher recommendation forms and get those taken care of early in the autumn.
If you need financial assistance, ensure you file the financial aid request forms in good time. These will include a review of your finances including tax returns and supporting documentation. Most private schools offer generous financial aid packages. Some even offer a free education if your family fulfils a means test.
Do You Need Help Finding a Boarding School for Your Child?
Linden Educational Services’ team includes 10 full-time educational consultants to help you choose the boarding school which best fits your child's needs. These consultants provide the support necessary for one of the most important decisions you make for your son or daughter.
· Student and family advisory services
· Informed, personalized school recommendations and rationale
· Junior and secondary boarding school and independent day school advisory services
· Special needs and therapeutic placement
· Preparation for campus visits and interviews
· Application assistance and essay guidance and review
· SSAT preparation, testing and evaluation
· Referrals for psychological educational testing and evaluation