What are the Advantages of Boarding School?
Boarding schools are a home away from home – a place where children flourish and become the best of their unique, wonderful selves. Long gone are the days of stuffy old boarding schools – and while it might not be Hogwarts, there’s still plenty of magic to be found at Clayesmore. Here are a few of the benefits of going to boarding school.
Formative, Fun and Friendly
Friends are the family we choose for ourselves – and this might be truer at boarding school than anywhere else. Close bonds are formed that will last a lifetime; hobbies will be shared, laughs will be had and schemes will be plotted, all in the name of friendship. With children from all over the world, the rich mixture of ideas and cultures makes the boarding experience as socially educational as it is rewarding.
Of course, friends are made at day school too (or any place where children come together), but the ties at boarding school are immediate, close and long-lasting. It’s easy to see why more and more children want to be part of boarding life.
Teachers and House staff play a huge role in the fun, friendly atmosphere – organising amazing events, keeping the mood light and helping children to focus when it’s time. But they act as mentors, always on hand to help and guide children through their troubles and worries with an objective, experienced approach. That mentorship and guidance is part of the boarding experience; a holistic approach to education that nurtures children in every way, not just academically.
Explains Mary Bailey, Clayesmore School’s Deputy Head, Pastoral: “The well-being of the child comes first and pervades everything we do at Clayesmore. Because we are a relatively small school we can get to know pupils and parents well. In the end, the best pastoral care is all about good tutors and house staff listening to the child, communicating with each other and having trusting, honest relationships with parents.”
Most students would agree that one of the biggest advantages of boarding school is the feeling of independence – almost like a mini, age-appropriate university experience, with as much support as they need to be their best.
Academia and Artistry
Academically, children flourish in day schools as much as they do at boarding school, and their interests at school are often the things that they pursue in their free time – like arts and sport. When they’re passionate, children just can’t be stopped; they’ll play their favourite sports after school and practice music or dance in their free time.
Boarding school provides the facilities to practice art and sport on site, meaning children can enjoy their favourite activities in their spare time, in an environment best suited to encourage development. It’s not just about “being better” – it’s about the enjoyment, participation, respect and appreciation of their craft. Boarding helps children find their passions, through the exposure to new ideas and experiences – offering a new dimension to their education that will stay with them for life.
Children spend the majority of their free time at boarding school – so facilities are often bigger, more accommodating, more varied and more up to date than at day only schools. With ongoing, extracurricular sports coaching, as well as after-school tuition in art, music and drama, children are stimulated and grow in confidence. Boarding school is a place where young people can blossom creatively, academically and personally.
And of course, all the facilities available to boarding students are available to day students too – including guidance and support.
Making Time for Family
The most common misconception of boarding school is that parents push their children into it. More often than not, it’s children asking their parents if they can board – so they can spend more time with friends and doing the activities they love.
But – with all the time away from home, is family time sacrificed?
The split of term times and school holidays give children and their families real quality time to connect – time to plan activities, talk and share stories. With Exeat weekends, children go home on average every three weeks, and school holidays are usually longer.
Balance in all aspects of life is important – and getting the split between home and school right is just as important as facilities, subjects and teachers.
We recognise that family comes first. With instant messages and video calls, home is just a few taps away – but real family time is what counts. Many families find themselves closer and more appreciative of each other because of boarding – but it can take adjustment.
And we’re here to help you with that too – get in touch with us to talk about making the best family and school life for you.
A Different Kind of Boarding School
We are Clayesmore School, a day and boarding school in Blandford Forum, Dorset. Children love being here, making friends and pursuing their passions – and we love helping them become the best that they can be. Come and see us at our next open day, we’d love to show you around our school.