While sifting through brochures and information about why you should send your child to boarding school, commonly, a determining factor is the international appeal. The idea that learners have the chance to enhance their independence and cultural confidence, as well as academic performance, is always a bonus.
As an experienced student herself, Helen Waldron explains that there are many advantages to the boarding school regime. “As a boarding school lifer, (29 years and counting), I’ve seen hundreds of students flourish in the rich culture of learning, friendship, arts, athletics and intellectual discourse. Why? Because boarding schools are twenty-four hour, intentional communities created with the student’s growth and development at the centre. With a college campus feel, this includes challenging academics, abundant arts and athletics offerings and a supervised, structured student life experience.”
Regardless of common misconceptions, the boarding school scene has upped its game and mirrored the expectations of the 21st-century world. By providing students with modern residential facilities, coeducational classrooms and technological gadgets that encourage learning, it’s only the misconceptions that are stuck in the past.
Recently, there was a great deal of media attention placed upon the boarding school sector due to the Department of Education (UK) launching a new service for vulnerable children. As many boarding institutes incorporate a community culture, it’s a great place for children to discover opportunities and provides a highly-focused academic environment that they never had access to before.
Students could attend a boarding school in sunny Malaysia, for example. As a country filled with many cultures, day trips and excursions here consist of jungle treks and incredible educational ventures. On top of receiving a world-class education that exceeds the global standard, students here gain a unique experience of the natural world and an understanding of their place within it.
With regards to the fact that boarding schools harbour a homely and academic atmosphere, this type of institute is the perfect solution for students who are cautious about moving away. No matter where they are in the world, your child will always have the school’s daily support. For that reason, parents are persistent in securing a boarding school space for their child, recognising the benefits of a home away from home – especially one that’s focused on the student’s future.
Here are 5 ideal destinations for boarding education…
Jerudong International School’s (JISBrunei) surroundings are the ideal location for any student. Bordering the South China Sea and primary Borneo rainforest, there’s no better way to take a break from the books than paddleboarding or trekking in the neighbouring forest reserve. But here at JISBrunei, there’s also always the option of staying in and making the most of a truly incredible campus.
With boarding facilities (recently rated as ‘Excellent’ on a recent British Schools Overseas (BSO) Inspection report) that can accommodate up to 250 residents, there are plenty of opportunities for students to interact with fellow learners from around the globe. New students are bound to settle in right away and embodying the boarding ethos designed to develop a sense of community; where trust and respect for each other are the governing principles.
Recently, in London, the School received The British International School Award won for its’ Outstanding Strategic Initiative in establishing the Outdoor Discovery Centre. The school’s commendable community engagement efforts, consistent after-school activities and exceptional educators are just a handful of leading factors that led to the school’s success – much like the student-led Outdoor Discovery Centre, which members of the Royal family, the Earl and Countess of Wessex, found to be extremely significant during their visit.
Spread across 10 acres in the historic Old Town district of North Tacoma, Annie Wright Schools are in a prime location. Nestled in Tacoma’s thriving museum district are the Tacoma Art Museum and Museum of Glass, both of which feature works unique to the Pacific Northwest. There’s also the The Washington State History Museum for student history buffs, with interactive exhibits and a wide variety of artifacts on display to showcase the state’s rich history.
As for the school itself, staff love to fill students up with knowledge through highly-informative classes. With a wide array of co-ed programs up for grabs, Annie Wright helps learners achieve their full potential. Outside of lessons, faculty ensure that students get to live out the American dream. That’s why there are regular athletics events, team-based workshops and exciting excursions in place.
Summer is when the school truly comes to life. Every year, boarders can participate in the Camp Wright, Camp Junior and Speciality Camp programmes. So long as the student is registered, they’re all set up for a summer of creativity and joy!
Over in Ontario, there are 700+ students from various countries enrolled in the Ridley College boarding programme. The college is fully focused on providing life-shaping experiences and enriched learning trips to amplify student independence.
Since 1889, Ridley has offered the world innovative art, academic and athletic schemes which show no signs of stopping. Consisting of the lower school and upper school departments, Ridley caters for students of all ages and backgrounds – especially since it’s one of the only three schools in North America that are authorised to offer the International Baccalaureate (IB) continuum.
To make the most of its location, Ridley offers the Discover Canada Experience. Designed for 9-15-year-olds who are either English language learners or fluent English speakers, there’s a huge selection of events catered towards those who wish to explore their surroundings. For instance, visits to Niagara Falls, the amusement park, Canada’s Wonderland, and trips to Toronto are vital parts of the package.
This Australian Anglican boarding school is committed to developing men of character with a firm focus on the welfare of boys. Built on the slopes of Mount Nelson, this school is around five km away from the thriving city of Hobart.
Attracting Tasmania’s finest talent, Hutchins School has its own Performance Arts Programme where co-curricular activities are provided. Through this creative outlet, community spirits are lifted and students begin to feel part of an international family. Hutchins understands how daunting it must be for non-native students, providing a wealth of opportunities for learners to de-stress. And if the head teacher spots a student with exceptional ability, there’s always a chance that he will grant them a sought-after scholarship.
Hutchins has recently expanded its creative arts network and released the Hutchins Australian Contemporary Art Prize (2018). Winners have the chance to win AU$20,000 if they secure first place, and runners-up receive materials and a people’s choice award. Amazing, right?!
Positioned in the idyllic Perthshire region, this Scottish school blends traditional buildings with contemporary learning styles. Glenalmond is known for its gorgeous architecture and the north woods, which you can view via this interactive map.
Despite the fact that Scotland is a little less sunny than other locations, this school doesn’t let the weather get the better of student learning. In fact, there are all-weather pitches located around campus, as well as cross-country and orienteering excursions for those adventurers who are ready to take on the challenge. They also accommodate the Dukes of Edinburgh’s Award Scheme, giving learners the chance to showcase their talents in the great outdoors.
A central part of the college is the Glenalmond Chapel. Six days a week, the school comes together for a service so every student has the chance to appreciate a sense of community and the importance of faith. It is, however, important to note that this school welcomes children of all faiths and has its own Episcopalian foundation.
*Some of the institutions featured in this article are commercial partners of Study International