Reasons for Choosing a Boarding High School

Boarding schools are residential schools that provide well-rounded education to students that get admitted into them, thus preparing them to be successful in the future, both in college as well as life.
EduZenith Staff
Boarding high schools are generally fee-charging educational institutions where some or all the students study as well as reside in during the term, usually along with their teachers. Hence, the term 'boarding school' refers to providing lodging and food, along with educational facilities.

Brief History
When the British Empire spread during the colonial expansion, it gave rise to the classic British boarding school. The British colonial administrators who had to live abroad could therefore make sure that their children got the British upbringing that they wanted for them. This education became popular with the local rulers too, who sent their sons to these schools. Then, British-run boarding schools began to come up locally too where junior expatriates sent their children to. These schools even began admitting selected children of the local populace who lived at considerable distances. They inculcated their own cultural norms and values, thus becoming an effective method of de-culturizing the native populations from their own culture, in order to develop them into people who inculcated British ways and systems, in order to help the British accomplish their imperial goals.

Reasons for Opting for a Boarding School
Apart from the cultural aspects, some of the other reasons parents sent their children to boarding high schools was that they could develop a wider perspective, and also give them better opportunities than they could provide. These schools can determine the culture of families for several generations, plus, by sending their children to a classy boarding school, parents have aspirations for better future prospects for their children, since they are able to mix with children belonging to wealthy and upper classes on equal terms.

Typical Characteristics
These are preparatory schools for college, and are known for their high academic standards, small sizes of classes, individualized attention students get from their teachers as well as advisors, and wide choices in the curricula.

They generally have a number of residential houses, either within the school premises or close to the facilities of the school, like sports facilities, dining rooms, and classrooms. Housemistresses and housemasters appointed here assume a parental supervisory role, being responsible for the students in their house, especially outside school hours. They may be helped with the domestic management by a housekeeper, as well as other teaching faculty who supervise the students in the evenings.

Boarding facilities can vary at different schools. While some schools provide a common dining room where all the students have their meals, others may provide separate eating facilities for each residential house. The living accommodations in the houses can also differ from house to house and school to school. While in some, there may be individual bathrooms for every room, others may have common bathrooms. Most residential houses provide a common room where students can play games, read, and watch TV.

Apart from the usual facilities for academics like laboratories and classrooms, they usually also provide various other facilities like swimming pools, theaters, cinemas, squash courts, boating facilities, music rooms, and so on. Some schools also provide religious molding to the students, and hence, have a school chapel on the campus.

During regular holidays and the half-term break, students usually go home. Special leave may also be granted during the weekends, allowing students to go somewhere or home. Students usually opt for a school that is within easy traveling distance from their homes, so that they can visit their families often enough.

Many boarding schools also admit day-boarders, who attend school during the day along with the boarders, and then go home after school. Even though they may live off-campus, they have their meals with the boarders at school.

Types of Boarding Schools
While boarding schools are a type of residential schools, not all of them are the classic kind. Some other types are:
  • Therapeutic schools, wherein students that have disabilities like obsessive compulsive disorder, Asperger's syndrome, severe anxiety disorder, and/or those with socialization problems and substance abuse problems are provided clinical inpatient services.
  • Boarding schools for students that require special educational needs, with or without disability.
  • Specialist schools like stage schools or choir schools.
  • Universities and colleges with residential halls.
  • The kibbutzim of Israel, where children are educated and live in a commune, but can also have daily contact with their parents during particular hours.
  • Private boarding high schools are those that are not dependent upon funds from the government, and are run by private funds and trusts. They usually have their own admission processes, regulations, and curriculum. This type has always been popular with the elite and affluent.
Benefits of Boarding Schools
According to research, students who attend these institutions display higher rates in achievement, both socially and academically. Good quality schools become extended families, wherein students and teachers learn and live together. This 24-hour environment enables the teaching staff to utilize every moment, whether in the playing field, dormitory, or classroom, to teach the students. Students get an all-round education in a stable, caring, and safe environment. This enables students develop abilities that will ensure future success, both in college as well as later life.
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