Structure of education in British boarding schools
A boarding school in Cambridge is a closed educational institution with a segregated campus on which children both study and live throughout the school year. Boarding schools in Cambridge can be week-long or part-time or full-time. Full boarding schools are the most common form of education among British private schools.
Such schools combine both British and foreigners within their walls. Occasionally there is a co-educational arrangement whereby programmes are taught simultaneously to students who live on campus and to incoming full-time students: this improves the atmosphere within the institution and makes the student body more balanced and diverse. There are boarding schools of mixed education, as well as separate male and female boarding schools.
Studying at a British boarding school is divided into three stages:
⦁ Primary school – elementary school, infant school, junior school, pre-preparatory school and preparatory school (the latter names are more often used specifically by private boarding schools in Britain) = from age 4-5 and up to age 11-13
⦁ Middle classes – secondary school, high school and senior school (the last term is more often used by private boarding schools) = from 11 to 13-16 years
⦁ Senior, graduating classes – Sixth Form= 16 to 18 years old.
Usually living in a boarding school is provided for children from 7 to 11 years (the concrete age should be specified separately in each school), till this moment children can study on a full-time basis. As a rule, the main wave of international students enter English boarding schools at the age of 7, at 11-13, at 14-16 – this parameter depends on the educational goals of the student.
Private boarding schools are usually not limited with standard educational programs: they arrange short-term courses, vacation programs during the whole year, and summer camps. This is a great opportunity to get acquainted with the priority school, try living on a British campus, and prepare for studying abroad on a longer and more challenging program.
Benefits of boarding schools in Cambridge
- Being able to make choices that really matter and taking responsibility for yourself. After all, living on your own is not always easy. Of course, there is always support from teachers, counselors, and older friends, but no matter what, you need to take care of yourself and take responsibility for your actions at a much higher level than if you lived at home. Despite having a clear structure to your day, you will still have to constantly make choices about how to spend your time, what activities to participate in and what opportunities to take advantage of, and how to create an acceptable work/rest balance. You will be able to make decisions that have a direct impact on your life at boarding school. For parents, this means: a more mature child, more independence and a superior level of preparation for university.
- Being in an environment where trying new things is encouraged – going to boarding school is a journey into the unknown. Like any new journey, it means taking a risk because you think the reward at the end of the journey is worth it. But everyone else going to boarding school is also taking a risk. You will be part of a community where the desire to explore is inherent in everyone. You will meet new types of people, find your place in a new community, learn new skills, and test yourself to the highest academic standards. With each new challenge, you will learn a little more about yourself and become a little more comfortable with yourself. For parents, this means that the student experiences steady personal growth and increased self-confidence.
- Having fun and forming a helpful circle of friends – boarding schools usually become an unforgettable time in your life. Imagine living in a house with the company of your best friends. It’s common at boarding schools that dorm buddies become your closest friends and support structure.
- Having a wide range of friends – Boarding schools actively attract students from a wide range of geographic, racial, and socioeconomic backgrounds. Many schools have students from all over the UK and dozens of different countries.
- Teachers as Friends – Students interact with faculty members all the time, both during school hours and in their free time. Because faculty members are available throughout the day, getting academic help becomes much easier. This kind of atmosphere offers learning and mentoring opportunities impossible in other settings.
- Being part of a proud community – Boarding school students take great pride in their school. The traditions and history of many boarding schools give each school its own unique character and influence every student who studies there. The shared experience of these traditions and histories creates a powerful group of people and a sense of community that lasts a lifetime.
Why choose a British boarding school? Features of schools in England and Cambridge.
Boarding schools in Cambridge offer an outstanding education that has earned respect and a reputation for centuries. All schools in the UK meet rigorous government standards for teaching quality, facilities and student care. They are unique in many ways educational oases that help the young generation to succeed in life, future career and personal development.
Many boarding schools in Cambridge are housed in beautiful, century old buildings, yet have modern classrooms and facilities. For the demanding parent, it’s hard to beat boarding schools in today’s education system. They offer the best environment in which a child can grow, develop, and absorb new knowledge. The environment provides the opportunity to learn a lot about the cultures of different countries, to meet children from all over the world, as well as to make real friends in different parts of the world.
Without exception, all of Cambridge’s boarding schools are attended by both international and local children. There are students who live at the school and students who live with their families and return home after the school day is over.
Nevertheless, communication between the children who live on campus and their parents is essential. Parents are in touch by email and phone with school staff who can provide up-to-date information on their child’s progress and well-being. The children themselves are also in constant contact with each other via the Internet, and there are regular meetings with the parents.
Boarding schools usually close for the long summer and Christmas vacations, and students return home to their parents. In some schools during this period there are language courses for international students who want to improve their English.
During the short vacations some schools remain open. As a rule, there are no regular classes during this period, but children are under the supervision of staff and can take part in various activities.
In a mixed boarding school, girls and boys are housed in separate rooms. There is at least one member of staff who lives in the boarding school and supervises the students around the clock. He takes care of the students and helps with their welfare needs. The boarding school staff receives professional education in courses organized by the Boarding School Association. They have not only domestic knowledge, but are also educated in the psychology of communicating with children of different ages.
The staff work hard to make the transition to boarding school life as comfortable as possible for the child. Especially if the student comes from abroad. Each guest is sure to have his or her own personal space. He or she can personalize his or her space as he or she wishes. In such a setting children learn to understand the specifics of different nationalities’ behavior, make new friends, and learn the basics of mutual respect, respect for personal boundaries, mutual help and support.
Most boarding school have comfortable and convenient common areas where students can relax, socialize, and watch TV with their friends.
Admission to a private boarding school in Cambridge
Usually parents have to fill in an application or registration form. Your child may be offered a competitive stage, which includes an interview and an entrance exam. International centers that specialize in educating children and adolescents whose native language is not English have more lenient requirements.
After receiving a certificate of secondary education in public school, British teenagers choose a private school with an in-depth study of subjects. For parents, this option of preparing their children for university allows them to cut costs by limiting the period of paid education to two years.
Foreign children coming to Britain at school age should have enough time to successfully integrate into the British educational system, which begins at age five. They are likely to need to master the basic GCSE programme before they can start their A-level subjects.
Private boarding school tuition fees in Cambridge
The price paid by students of private British boarding schools can vary: it depends on the rating and prestige of the institution, its popularity and elite, location and historical significance. You can be guided by the amount from 30 to 47 thousand £ for an academic year: it is teaching and living on a full board basis, free use of all the infrastructure of the campus, additional extracurricular activities, clubs and sections.
There are also more budget options, for example, with the cost of 17500-19000 £ per academic year – these are good, top-rated schools with high results of graduates.