A boarding school works where a tuition fee is payable, junior & college prep students live, sleep, socialize and are k12 educated. Parents will want to make sure it’s the right environment, type of school and choice for they’re son or daughter.
Boarding school students can excel academically with quality teaching in smaller classes that are well resourced. Students grow personally & socially living & taking part in sports & extra curricula activities that fosters competition and team spirit.
What happens at boarding school
You’re paying for a residential educational service that’s important for a child’s future and it starts with questions you have, and applying for enrollment.
Admission to the school
All perspective students to a boarding school require completing formal admission criteria that include an assessment to see if the school is a good fit to you and the school, teaching language ability and present level of education.
When I was teaching at private school more than one international student didn’t have enough English language skills in my class to understand all teaching instruction or comprehend what’s go on, the school tries to avoid this situation.
Interviews involve parent/s visiting the school along with the student that wishes to enroll were admission written and verbal testing take place. In addition, the student will have a face to face interview with the head master or other senior person at the school.
International students and people that live a long distance away can be interviewed via online methods. Students attending a boarding school interview should expect a less formal one face to face meeting talking with a member of staff.
Remember, interviews are two way you are also looking to see if the school would be a good fit for the education and living lifestyle you’re looking for.
School house system
Students are placed in a school house for social gatherings, trips, event and information, that compete with other houses at the school.
Communication if through teachers, housemistress/master or other appointed school staff either face to face or through the schools education and contact website portal.
School day schedule & teaching timetable
Student boarders living and sleeping at private school follow a routine & schedule Monday-Friday and weekends it changes at boarding school, although times & schedule is different for each school or type.
Students day at boarding school
|07.00-07.30 Get up, wash & change into school uniform, roll call by houseparent|
|08.30-08.45 School assembly|
|08.45-12.15 Morning class lessons & short 15-20 minute break|
|12.15-13.15 Lunch break in dinner hall|
|13.15-16.15 Afternoon classroom lessons|
|16.15 End of school day timetable lessons|
|16.15-19.00 Extra curricula activities|
|17.30-18.30 Evening meal in dinner hall|
|19.00-20.00 Homework & study time|
|20.00-21.00 Evening snack & drinks|
|20.00-10.00 Student free personal time|
|22.00 Students required being in own boarding room|
|22.30-23.00 Lights out|
Private schools can be all residential boarding or include day attendance students where they return home each day after lessons as they don’t live at the school. Once class lessons start boarders & day students mix, socialize; attend lessons and extra curricula activities together.
Boarding schools that have been long established will have traditions and routines than newer schools offering residential education for students.
On school days from get up, lessons, activities, meals, cleaning to bedtime and lights out you’ll be expected to be at certain places and on time.
One feature of life is the daily schedule of lessons, extra curricula activities, personal time and social events & activities throughout the academic year. Boarding and private school days are longer although there offset by longer vacation time during summer and other holiday season dates.
Education & subjects taught
Each student is given a schedule of timetabled lessons that may be single or double sessions to attend with occasional progress tests given by teachers and end of year internal exams.
Subjects taught are all compulsory up to a certain age, then from around 14-16 years old students can choose optional courses to study towards exams.
All the normal English, PE, maths, sciences, history & other elementary and high school subjects are taught.
Private school has smaller class sizes, and if co-educational school they’ll have male & female students in each class, although all boy school will have only boys in class.
Education is also off school campus with occasional academic field trips students will be transported using the school buses, or other means of transport.
Facilities at boarding school
Well equipped classrooms and school facilities & resources for educational lessons are available for students in each lesson.
Living and amenities facilities include all the normal dining room, seating areas, computer rooms, auditorium and school grounds for students use.
Sports and recreation for different types of indoor & outdoor activities are available all year round for a variety of ability levels or interests.
Student & teachers follow rules & guidelines
Private boarding schools are fairly strict with procedures for when, where, how and whom you’re with at certain times of day. Each school will have written rules & regulations students must agree, and all teachers must follow, otherwise there are consequences.
After 2 weeks or so you’ll relies there’s a relaxed atmosphere once settled into the schools routine and have learned the ropes.
Rules to follow in lessons & around school are fairly rigid for teachers and students adhering too so to uphold discipline, avoid trouble and smooth efficiency of teaching & learning and everyday life at school.
For example, only authorized teachers and staff members are allowed to enter the accommodation area for students boarding rooms & living facilities area at anytime of day or night.
Also if the school is co-educational boys are not allowed into the girls accommodation block and vice versa for any reason.
Student personal time after lessons
Once lessons have finished and any required study or extra curricula activities participation has been fulfilled students will have 2-3 hours personal time in evenings during the school week.
From my experience and time as a teacher students would spend personal time they have including:
- Talking to friends at school.
- Contacting friends and family back home.
- Surfing the internet.
- Listening to or playing music on an instrument.
- Out walking or relaxing in the school campus grounds.
- Using the games & recreation area.
Student personal time to call home or other activity can be spent in authorized areas, such as a student boarding room, accommodation common room & kitchen or around the school campus or grounds, not out of bound zones.
Family & friends home contact
No doubt sometimes a student will want to keep in contact with family & friends they know out with the boarding school stating if good or not experience.
Students are allowed a mobile phone, and also are allowed a laptop computer in most USA or UK schools in they’re boarding room to use during the evenings or weekend, although not during timetabled lessons.
Every school has computers to video chat and telephones available for students and teachers to use to contact someone every day in the outside world.
Contacting home and family or friends in the country or internationally with a laptop or mobile phone should be no problem in the 21st century as the school will have wifi and students can also use a prepaid dongle for internet access.
Expect the school wifi to be switched off overnight week days for boarding room accommodation blocks; this is to insure students get some sleep and not surfing or chatting on the internet half the night.
Student boarding rooms & accommodation block
Once a student arrives at boarding school they’re allocated a shared room with one other student the same age if under 16 or receives a boarding room at school on they’re own if 16-18 college prep age or disabled.
Each student has a space, normally half the room with bed:
- Wardrobe to hang clothing.
- Storage space for personal or school items.
- Drawers for clothing.
- Chair & study desk.
Students clean they’re own boarding room themselves, including arranging bed sheet change or washing.
Some schools have better education and accommodation block facilities than others, possibly because of long time being established or they specialize in boarding student education as opposed to day education.
A few schools have dorms with 3-6 people sharing for elementary age or high school students, such as military schools.
School accommodation block facilities
- Student boarding rooms or dorms.
- Showers & toilets.
- Games & recreation rooms.
- Vehicle parking for older students.
Acceptable deliveries that are sent to students or ordered by a student are normally allowed, but be aware teachers and house parents are on the lookout for contraband that’s not allowed on the school campus or students possession.
Brining friends back to the accommodation block maybe allowed if they’re a student at the school, but not usually if they are local children not associated with the school.
Very rare for any students pets allowed at private boarding school, expect not to be allowed, although you may see a resident dog or one or two teachers may have cats or a friendly dog living with them at the school.
Teachers living in the accommodation area of the school students will see in casual clothing and will be more approachable and relaxed, although they’ll always keep a social and working distance away from students.
Weekends for boarding students on campus
Saturday morning at boarding school might be a normal teaching day until 12.15, but not many.
Weekends at private school is when whole school activities are arranged for students on campus, school trip, sports, movie night or other individual activity students can participate.
Students don’t require to participate and can choose to relax instead are allowed to leave the school campus to visit the local shop are a trip to the nearest town or city in groups of 3-4 for junior students.
At equestrian schools students can ride horses or ponies or you could attend the livery stable when a student is allowed to bring a horse or pony & own riding tack equipment.
Nights and weekends students will be allowed to wear makeup, as the school wishes you to individually express yourself the way you wish.
Certain times of the year a band, actors or other performance acts may come to the school to provide entertainment, or a play is performed by students and teachers themselves.
Parents are allowed to visit they’re daughter or son at boarding school, normally during evening or weekends, not clashing with normal teaching time.
School extra curricula activities
You’re son or daughter will have a varied extra curricula program of events that or individual, two’s or teams participation that’s physical or non exercise based.
- Chess club & board games.
- Music practice or performance.
- Computer club.
- Fitness & exercise.
- Art & drawing.
- Equestrian jumping, trail riding or instruction.
- Mounting biking.
Boarding students will see the more relaxed human side of teachers that live on the school campus as they get involved in activities with students, sometimes in team events and sports.
Wellbeing of school students
Safety for all students at boarding school from outside & inside the campus is paramount. Only vetted authorized staff is allowed to be unaccompanied on campus and any visitors are chaperoned or monitored.
The school want you’re stay as a student to be uneventful in relation to issues, although help & assistance is available 24 hours, 7 days a weeks for students from teachers and staff do its not a bad boarding school experience.
Leaving boarding school is allowed with prior parent permission and sign in & out.
Students are only allowed to leave for certain visits, such as doctor, instruction or shopping in town.
Junior age students are chaperoned by staff members are out in small groups, older students leave in pair of 2-4 with senior allowed to leave alone to be back before a certain time,
Making friends is normally easy as there should be at least one other students you like and get on with, expect to dislike some students, as a person doesn’t normally like everyone they are in contact with in life.
There’s very few discipline issues with students at boarding school. A few students will stretch or break rules, of leaving the school campus without permission, persistently late to class or occasionally get into a disagreement shouting match with another student.
Medical care nurse is available at larger schools should a student have a minor illness or cuts & brushes from a trip or fall or the school will send or take you to a doctor in the schools bus or an ambulance will be called.
Students are able to talk to a teacher if not doing well at school for any reason or feels a bit down being away from home.