The joys of a boarding school education
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The joys of a boarding school education

The joys of a boarding school education

“Become a caring, respectful and courageous individual”. “Helped me to become organised”. “… ameliorated the cliquishness” of other high schools.. “… be a better person”.

These are what graduates and parents have to say about their boarding school experiences.

A boarding school is more than a physical space for a young person to study and live at.

From Winston Churchill to Kate Middleton to Jawaharlal Nehru, these alumni are the product of the special kind of education – academic or otherwise – that only can happen at these schools.

Reports of snobbishness and entitlement may grab headlines. But the experiences of many others speak of an experience that enriches their lives in more ways than one.

There is no greater bond than one forged living together in dorms, among friends and peers, in the crucial formative years just before adulthood. Where co-ed high schools force unnecessary fixation on appearance and the other sex, single-sex boarding schools provide an environment that is more supportive and non-competitive.

When applying to college, probably the most stressful days a teenager has to face today, the process is made easier here with the help of dedicated guidance counsellors and without the appreciated but mostly counterproductive influence of parents. 

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Source: St Andrews College

Writing to the New York Times, alumna of Emma Willard School Jennine Shohan Pommier said: “Many of my fellow alumnae agree that there couldn’t have been a more healthy environment for our teenage years.”

Head of Miss Porter’s School M. Burch Tracy Ford argues its increased relevance in an age where most parents work and the traditional institutions of values, like churches and neighbourhoods, are diminishing.

“In boarding schools, a kind of utopian community can be fostered, where the learning, with its rigour and ritual, underpinned by the values of safety, integrity and trustworthiness, is lived out day to day,” according to Ford.

Data from The Association of Boarding Schools confirms this: 95 percent of boarding school students are happy with their experience.

Chances are, if you’re planning to move to Australia, your child will be happy too at these four boarding schools:

XAVIER COLLEGE – VICTORIA

Founded in 1878 by the Jesuits, this is the all-boys Catholic boarding school to go to in Australia.

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Source: Xavier College

It is backed by a strong legacy in boarding, located in world-class grounds which look across to the city just five kilometres away. The school boasts wonderful facilities and a skilful and dedicated team of teachers and staff.

This potent combination makes for a boarding experience that is holistic in nature and pastoral in the manner in that it offers care to each individual student.

Just ask former student Changkuoth Jiath. CJ, as he is known, developed his academic skills, his faith journey and his love of sports at Xavier College.

The graduate, originally from Ethiopia said: “As you could imagine, it was quite daunting at first, having left my family. Credit [goes] to the Xavier community. They helped me settle in really well. The connection between the boarders is something I will hold on to for the rest of my life.”

Life at Xavier College Boarding House is never boring. Here, boys from Years 9 to 12 will find a community based on Jesuit values, building a love for knowledge and nurturing friendships that will last a lifetime. They become leaders and responsible members of society striving always for excellence.

Each boy receives individualised attention from boarding staff who live adjacent to the Boarding House while a team of nurses is available for wellbeing and health care needs.

Click here to learn more about boarding and tours available at the Senior Campus.

THE KINGS SCHOOL – NEW SOUTH WALES

Located in the heart of Australia’s largest city, King’s is Australia’s oldest independent school. It is also the alma mater of Crown Princes, leaders of political parties, authors, actors, leaders in law, medicine and in a wide range of other professions.

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Source: The King’s School

It offers education to boys from Pre-Kindergarten (four years of age) through to Year 12, following which most proceed to university or college.

History, curriculum and famous alumni aside, it is its vibrant and supportive community that it has built a strong reputation for. 

Year 7 boarders stay at the transition house – Gowan Brae – with a housemaster, nine residential tutors and a residential matron. The senior boarding houses have been undergoing upgrades since 2011, where they were amalgamated into four.

All boarders have access to a range of academic facilities during the school day and after hours, including the Centre for Learning and Leadership, Technology, Drama and Music facilities. King’s sporting facilities include 17 ovals, adjacent bushland, the Sports Centre (with its weights room and three indoor basketball courts), two swimming pools, six outdoor basketball courts, about 20 cricket nets and 12 tennis courts.

BRISBANE BOYS COLLEGE – QUEENSLAND

A Brisbane Boys College (BBC) graduate is one that is a critical thinker, problem solver and leader; creative, communicative and collaborative. He is also curious, willing to take initiative, persistent and adaptable. 

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Source: Brisbane Boys College

There are many explanations as to how the Queensland boarding school achieves this. 

Chief among them is a community of teachers and staff that are always there to support pupils.

Graduate Tom Yarrow remembers his teachers who “were always there to help me throughout my time at the College”. 

“The enthusiastic attitude displayed by all teachers made learning fun, and also brought an exciting atmosphere to the classroom. Furthermore, teachers at BBC will always make time to help you if you are ever struggling in a particular subject.”

The same goes for the entire BBC community.

“BBC has such a unique and supportive environment, where everyone supports, encourages and looks out for each other. I encourage all younger boys to embrace this type of environment as they progress through their years at the College,” Yarrow said.

ST ANDREWS COLLEGE – NEW ZEALAND

St Andrews College is an independent, co-educational day and boarding school in the heart of Christchurch, New Zealand.

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Source: St Andrews College

It has a Pre-school, Preparatory School, Middle School and Senior College, through which students can transition seamlessly from one stage to another. 

It is founded on the Prebysterian faith in 1917, a history that it is proud to fuse with the contemporary today to ensure their students excel and shine.

This can be seen at its boarding houses, which are staffed with modern and state-of-the-art facilities. For example, at the senior boys’ Boarding House, Rutherford, students share twin or quad rooms, divided into semi-private spaces encompassing a comfortable bed, desk, wardrobe and storage facilities, and a pin board.

There are spaces where students can relax and socialise together, with day lounges on each floor and television with limited SKY options, along with free Wi-Fi and complimentary tea and coffee making facilities.

Complementing these physical perks is a team of teachers and staff to guide students if and when they need it.

According to the school: “We have a great team, who encourage the students to respect each other, make responsible choices, show kindness, honesty and courage, participate, and achieve their potential.”

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

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