For over 100 years, students have been coming to the UK to enjoy the benefits of a world-class boarding education. Children, as well as parents, are aware that a boarding education can offer them the best of both worlds – home and away – and are almost always prime movers in the decisions that families make about the most appropriate school for them. For international students, immersion in an English-speaking environment from an early age can make the difference between technically accurate command of the language and confident, natural fluency. In today’s global market, this can be a huge advantage.
International students may be accepted at UK boarding schools for short periods such as a term or a year, as well as for two-year A-level, Higher, International Baccalaureate or Pre-U courses, two-year GCSE courses, or for the whole of their school education from age 7+, or for their senior school education from age 11/13+. Boarding schools are able to offer the following benefits:
High academic standards: Many of the UK boarding schools are top of the league tables for public examinations, expecting the best standards from their pupils and staff. Highly qualified and experienced staff teaching small classes enable considerable achievements on the part of their pupils, who then access the best universities. Less academic children also thrive in such an environment.
A safe environment: High standards of professional pastoral care are the norm, and are assured by regular inspections by Ofsted, producing published reports. Pupils will be well cared for in a happy community in comfortable surroundings. Healthy eating is encouraged and schools maintain high standards of medical care of pupils. Many schools are also fortunate in having superb buildings and grounds in which to grow and learn.
Support for international students: Schools are alert to the particular needs of international students, and value the huge contribution they have to make to the academic and social life of the schools. Respect for different cultures is fostered in the mixed communities, which prepare pupils for the modern world. Most schools ensure that individual or group lessons in English as an additional language are available, and broad programs of activities are available.
An extracurricular life: The activities a pupil enjoys after school and at the weekend will be wide-ranging, challenging and fun. With excellent facilities for sport, music, art and drama at their disposal, and tutors and coaches on call, schools make a different world of opportunities available to pupils outside the teaching day.
Excellent choice: UK boarding schools offer a wide variety of choice, with every school creating its own unique atmosphere from the combination of academic approaches, facilities on offer and the traditions that each maintains. To name just a few of the choices, parents and students can select from co-education or single-sex schools, from those with many boarders or those with few, or from those that place an emphasis on, for example, sport or those that are more religiously inclined. Some schools can be very formal, with students addressed, for example, by their family name, while others emphasise self-expression. The range varies enormously, but one thing that is certain is that a very good match can always be found to the needs of an individual student.
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