Confused about whether you should send your child to a boarding school? Here are 6 ways boarding schools can help your child’s development
here are many reasons families consider boarding schools abroad for their children. These range from personal family situations to the desire to provide a better learning environment for their child. Below we outline what boarding schools can offer for an overall development of your child:
1. Extensive infrastructure
Boarding schools abroad boast excellent infrastructure. For example, Charterhouse School, in the UK is a 400-year old boarding school, where students have access to nine cricket squares, a 9-hole golf course, 14 grass football pitches, a fully functional theatre as well as a newly opened Studio-a spacious purpose-built art facility, all on campus. In cities such as Mumbai, traffic can limit the number of activities in which children can participate.
“As Jash is interested in golf and is also a strong student academically, Charterhouse was a great option. Not only can he pursue golf and play in tournaments across Europe, but Jash is also in a rigorous environment academically, so he can excel there too. It’s a win-win!” says Minal Parekh, whose son just started at Charterhouse in grade 11 last month.
2. Specialised programmes
Some boarding schools offer specialised programs, making them an attractive option for parents. Brehm Preparatory School in Illinois, for example, offers programs for students with learning disabilities.
“Brehm Preparatory School supported our son’s learning differences with excellent staff and facilities unmatched by anything available closer to home,” says G Singh.
For children who are passionate about sustainability and energy, Hawaii Preparatory Academy offers a learning environment with access to its state-of-the-art Energy Lab where students collaborate on meaningful projects and research.
3. STEPPING STONE TO COLLEGE
Boarding schools abroad offer a safe and supervised environment for students to learn about a new culture, become more independent and flourish in an international environment.
“My two years at Sevenoaks School were invaluable to my years at the London School of Economics and Political Science. The transition from school to college was seamless as I was used to living on my own and had learned how to manage my time and prioritize,” says Sanjana Shah, who graduated with a degree in Economics from LSE.
4. Accessing better colleges
Highly ranked boarding schools in the UK and US are often considered feeder schools to top global universities.
For example, both Philips Exeter Academy and St. Paul’s School, located in New Hampshire, USA send about 30% of their students to Ivy League colleges annually. In the UK, Eton sends about 26% of its students to Oxford or Cambridge each year.
Parents use these boarding schools as a means for their children to gain the best access to the most respected and reputed universities around the World.
5. Avoid tuitions
The tuition culture is thriving all across India, with classes opening on every street corner. This parallel schooling system, where five out of 10 Indian students are enrolled in supplemental academic programs can lead to students being overly stressed and unmotivated.
“I was fed up with the tuition culture in Mumbai. I wanted my son to be in an environment where he enjoyed learning and the focus was not only on preparing for a board exam,” says Sheetal Vora whose son completed 11th and 12th grade at the Woodstock School in Mussoorie.
At boarding school, students cannot take private tuitions and must lean on their teachers for extra support, making them more independent learners.
6. Personal family situations
Parents who are divorced or who need to constantly travel for work might not be able to provide a stable environment for their child’s education. Boarding schools offer excellent pastoral care, where highly qualified faculty look after all aspects of the child’s growth.
Many boarding schools accept children at ages 11 (grade 6), 13 (grade 8) and 16 (grade 11). Children as young as five can enrol in junior schools such as La Garenne in Switzerland.
However, boarding schools may not necessarily be the best decision for all students. Besides school fees being higher than most day schools, it may be difficult for the child to adjust to a new environment far away from home.
Parents need to consider their child’s goals, aspirations and temperament, visit the school, meet with the faculty and speak to current students before deciding if boarding school is the right choice for their family