Finding a boarding school with a truly full boarding environment is important for children whose families live overseas. It ensures that evenings and weekends are busy with activities, trips and time to enjoy the facilities that the school has to offer. Many schools now offer weekly and flexi boarding and we advise families when they are visiting schools to ask how many full boarders and how many boarders there are in school at the weekend. Having said that, with Saturday morning lessons and sports matches in the afternoon a boarding life is very busy and the boarders appreciate a bit of down time with a late brunch on a Sunday!
The number of boarders in a school tends to increase in the older year groups; boarding in the sixth form is a good stepping stone to university. Teenagers love to be with their friends for social reasons as well as supporting each other in independent study during GCSE and A Level or IB courses. Schools in the East of England and Midlands with a good full boarding environment are Uppingham School, Oakham School, Cheltenham College, Haileybury, Ellesmere College, Shrewsbury School and Royal Hospital School, among others.
UK boarding schools have always been at the forefront of innovation when it comes to the development and care for children with special needs. Adapting the learning programme of each student to ensure that they gain the maximum benefit from all that the school has to offer and making sure that every effort is made to provide support that will ensure each child has the opportunity to succeed.
Boarding can be a particularly beneficial experience for a child with special needs. By providing individually-tailored support, students are stretched, supported and challenged within varying levels of natural academic aptitude. There is no ‘standard’ pupil. Everyone is unique and this is reflected in the teaching, as well as other aspects of care.
There are mainstream schools that have very good Learning Support Departments that cater for Dyslexia, Dyspraxia, ADHD etc, and schools that cater for more severe specific difficulties such as Cerebral Palsy, hearing loss, Autism, Asperger’s and a variety of physical handicaps. Finding the best school for a child that needs that extra support is often a huge relief for the family.
UK boarding schools are very flexible in their outlook, particularly when recruiting boarding students. They are proud of the international mix and diverse student body which provides a stimulating and exciting cultural mix. Students may be joining that have not studied the British Curriculum before or who follow a different academic calendar. Expat families may have an unexpected move and require a school place for an immediate start or part way through the school term.
Further information about schools located in East of England and Midlands and other areas across the UK is available from Anderson Education, a UK Boarding School Specialist that Offers Free Impartial Advice and Guidance to Expat Families www.andersoneducation.co.uk
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