Private schools in Great Britain are still the place where many business people willingly send their children.
Let's find out what makes British boarding schools so attractive.
What is a British private school?
There are only 500 private boarding schools in Britain. They are really elite and quite expensive institutions. Some names are on everyone's lips - Eton, Harrow, Rugby, Marlborough - and some say nothing to the uninitiated.
A typical boarding school is a kind of small town. As a rule, any school has excellent conditions for classes, academic and not only, and quite modestly organized life. Students tend to live in dormitories of three or four people. Discipline, active sports, a busy daily routine.
At what age can a child be sent to a boarding school?
Education in boarding school starts at age 8, but students from abroad, usually starting at 13 years. This means that you have to start preparing a year or two before that. Some schools have an entrance test at the age of 10 - these are usually the ones where there is a particularly strong emphasis on academic achievement: success in the general subjects, as well as broad mastery of different fields (e.g. art, photography, excellence in sports and music, passion for literature, 500 word essay, community service, helping animals).
In such schools, children are expected to be appropriately motivated: to find their own path and exciting direction so that in high school they can concentrate on their chosen subjects. It is not uncommon for children to enter boarding schools and at the age of 16 for the last two years of high school, where they study the A-Level program and study three or four major subjects in depth, which are necessary for entry into university.
What are the advantages of boarding schools?
Raising an Independent Personalities
Boarding schools actively shape the personalities of their students, and this process is not always comfortable. Boarding school creates difficulties for independent coping literally at every step and encourages children to make their own decisions: what subjects to choose, what pace of self-study to apply, how and with whom to interact, how to adapt and get along with the very different people with whom the child is brought to boarding school.
The inoculation of independence is guaranteed. More often than not, future leaders come out of the walls of private schools, people who are able to build their lives independently and take responsibility for it, who can look at the world openly and accept it, because they acquired these skills in childhood.
Adaptability and openness
Going to boarding school, a child enters a new environment to which he has to adapt, literally every minute. As a result, the child develops unique skills such as openness, the ability to communicate and negotiate, to show initiative and find compromise, self-confidence.
An important feature of an English school is the team spirit that is developed in common projects, participation in inter-school competitions and simply in the course of study, because every department or house is a kind of community, a collective.
The ability to overcome oneself
It is greatly aided by all kinds of sports activities which are compulsory for all and which one does regardless of the weather, for example, in the rain or snow.
As strange as it may sound, the students of expensive private schools really learn to think beyond themselves: all schools are involved in social projects to raise funds for the needy, for environmental protection, and for scholarships for children who cannot afford to pay for school.
Building on tradition
This is one of the pronounced features of British boarding schools. Traditions related to dress, traditions of gatherings, dinner parties, centuries-old rituals such as religious rituals.
Interestingly, the reverence for centuries-old traditions, such as the compulsory attendance of Sunday services, goes hand in hand with the super-modern equipment for studies: computers, recording studios, laboratories, etc.
What are the disadvantages of boarding schools?
Stressful for both, children and parents
First, getting into an unfamiliar environment is always stressful for both children and parents. It is most difficult for parents: they do not see what is happening, and cannot help their child. Imaginary fears are always greater than real ones.
Schools also have a negative attitude toward attempts at total control by parents and are not inclined to make concessions. Three times a year, you will receive an email with a detailed report on the child's progress and progress in the subjects.
The child may not adapt to the new environment
There are cases when they have to be taken away. You need to understand that this form of education is not universal: for example, it will not suit a child who, for whatever reason, is completely unable to interact with society. For him or her, an encounter with the new world can be a tremendous trauma.
The specifics of boarding life can provoke some weaknesses
For example, a child with, shall we say, a pronounced commercial vein runs the risk of immersing himself in the underground trade in some small things (and getting in trouble with the school administration). Excessive softness or, conversely, authoritarianism can be subject to serious tests in unfamiliar walls.
Problems with discipline and diligence
In a situation where there is no petty control over academic performance - no one will make you do your homework in boarding school, and parents are far away - some children run the risk of becoming procrastinators. They study the subjects they are interested in, and catch up on the rest before exams.