Boarding at an independent school

In choosing a boarding school for their child, parents are signifying the greatest possible level of trust in that institution. It is an investment that no good boarding school takes for granted.

  • School Partnership

    Schools together in partnership

    Independent schools have been connecting with their local communities and collaborating with state schools for many years, but it is only in recent years that we have begun to collect data which clearly demonstrates this. Thousands of mutually beneficial partnerships now exist between independent and state schools, unlocking new educational experiences for all involved. In addition, independent schools save the taxpayer £3.5 billion every year, boost local economies and support choice and innovation in our diverse education system.

  • Schools as communities

    Schools as communities in the widest sense

    Schools today have a much wider focus within their communities. Whether that is because they want to be seen simply as a ‘good neighbour’ or they actually want to make a contribution or difference is down to the leadership. Certainly, independent schools, and particularly those with a boarding element, take their responsibility to the community very seriously, both internally and externally. A wide international mix of pupils helps to broaden horizons in the classroom and in the boarding houses, and small ‘sleepy villages’ can come alive during term time with the mix of pupils passing through the local shops.

  • Developing

    Developing thinking skills across the curriculum

    For the first time as educationalists, we are attempting to prepare young people for a future we do not recognise. A pupil moving into Year 7 this year is likely to enter the world of work in around 2030 and continue to work until about 2080 or maybe even longer. 

  • PSHE

    PSHE? SMSC? The acronyms of a priceless education

    When I was 17, I spent three weeks of my summer holiday planning and delivering a holiday to a group of children from a school in Cheshire who had severe learning difficulties. They travelled annually to my boarding school in North Wales where they experienced their first-ever holiday without their parents. It is one of the strongest memories I have of my school career. In today’s terms this is SMSC (spiritual, moral, social and cultural) education ‘in action’ – the idea that school is far more than learning the curriculum. SMSC is, quite simply, the term used to embrace this broader dimension – not just through Religious Education (RE), PSHE (personal, social, health and economic) education, wellbeing lessons or even through planned projects like the experience I have described.

  • Boarding – a community based on respect, responsibility and relationships

    Moving to a boarding environment means joining a tight-knit and supportive community. In a boarding community pupils not only gain a great deal but also make an important contribution. This community is founded on respect, responsibility and relationships.

  • Teamwork

    Teamwork, leadership and service – enrichment in schools as a key to character development

    A well-rounded education which develops children mentally, physically and socially relies heavily on the strength of a school’s co-curricular programmes. This is particularly important in a boarding environment where pupils have less time away from the school and enrichment activities provide an essential avenue for expression and personal development.

  • Supporting character

    Supporting character development in a boarding school

    Young people today need first-class tuition and the finest academic qualifications to succeed, but they also need strength of character and skills such as communication, teamwork and resilience, to build happy, fulfilling and worthwhile lives. A boarding education can provide the building blocks for character and success. 

  • power

    Using the power of technology wisely

    Anyone who spends time with young people will know what a dominant force digital technology can be in their lives. The hours spent clicking and swiping, liking and emoting, can seem endless with the phone or tablet an apparently constant fixture. But a survey conducted by the Headmasters’ and Headmistresses’ Conference (HMC) reveals that young people themselves may be less enamoured of the technology than their actions suggest.

  • Terrorism

    Talking with children and young people about what to do in a terrorist attack

    The attack that spilled out of Fishmongers’ Hall and on to London Bridge on 29 November 2019 was a chilling reminder of how acts of terror can arise unexpectedly. Those events are still being investigated but the Chief Coroner’s report1 concerning the previous attack in London Bridge and Borough Market in June 2017, makes many pertinent observations.  His summary describes the beginning of that tragic event: ‘…the  three  men  quickly  left  the  van. They  were  armed  with  the ceramic knives (strapped to their wrists) and were wearing what appeared to be suicide vests  (but  which  were  in  fact  reasonably  convincing  fakes).  They began stabbing people at street level, before descending to the courtyard of a restaurant… There, they attacked many more people’.


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