Parents will always be greatly concerned about the growth, health and safety of their children; whether they are just five metres away from them at home, or thousands of miles away at boarding school. And in this day when the world is still combating the spread of the Corona Virus (COVID-19), enrolling in a boarding school can be a ‘great’ time to be anxious for both parents and children. It is very important to provide children who are transitioning to adulthood with a learning environment healthy enough to provide the best education and instil personal development, confidence, innovation, resourcefulness, and capacity to form basic life skills on their own.
Today, it is not surprising to see a good number of boarding schools in the UK with African students enrolled and benefiting from a system with policies that will enhance concentration. Boarding schools make it easy for the students to remain engaged as well as active in school by slashing down distractions brought on by phones, television and other electronic gadgets especially when both parents of the student(s) are mostly busy. In the UK, you will easily observe that boarding schools have two strong arms of community approach to living and individualized approach to teaching; with which the best kind of education for African students is formed.
If we consider a school like Bootham School located in York; which by the way was voted the safest UK city for students in 2018, where a proper British education is given to international students from 11 to 18 years, they record a 100% pass rate for all students and 75% of all graduating students get into their first choice universities like Cambridge, Oxford, LSE and imperial college. Aside offering the best education in the world, their boarding facilities have been designed with the familiarity of a home; its freedom and fun particularly for African students. There are so many good reasons why UK boarding schools are the best for African students, let’s consider a few of them:
Although moving to another country to study can be challenging, the ease to get to the UK in short flights from Ghana, Nigeria and other African countries is more convenient than travelling to other countries in Europe or anywhere else.
Also, thanks to the frequency of Africans travelling to and from the UK, there are very convenient flight schedules / departures.
2. English language
Unlike universities in France and Germany, English boarding schools are comfortable for the children from Africa because English is commonly spoken in most African cities and not seen as a foreign language, especially in affluent families. Some boarding schools like Bootham School still have a free one year English course for African students who have English as their second language.
3. Seasoned, Secure and Communicative systems
UK boarding schools have extremely high standards of safety and security and also place emphasis on communication of human and children’s’ rights. The boarding schools in the UK provide a community of young people that is safe and nurturing by admitting only the best teachers and caretakers who are accountable to the wellbeing of the students.
4. The value of early independence
The importance of mastering independence cannot be overemphasized. Besides academic excellence, boarding schools in the UK are known to be excellent training grounds for students to learn how to management their time, have self-discipline and be focused. The seasoned boarding school ‘home’ system imbibes in students a balance of liberty and structure, helping them plan their own schedules, using their time efficiently, managing their studies along with also taking responsibility for other aspects of life as they grow. It is known that products of boarding schools develop a far more proactive attitude and build admirable life skills and self sufficiency, in comparison to day scholars.
5. Teachers and staff are like family (A home away from home)
UK’s boarding school have on board the most qualified and experienced teachers, counsellors, and house staff to play the role of parents, helping guide the students every step of the way. A school for boarding kids is not just about going to class and academic learning. Outside of the classroom, the campus is their home; they develop strong, lifelong bonds with other students as well as school staff, share a strong kinship and supportive attitude towards one another, and help each other grow while they live and learn together.
6. More extracurricular activities are encouraged
Boarders are given a wide range of exciting activities to choose from for their extracurricular activities. Unlike non boarding schools with limited time, boarding schools have ample time to invest in the interest of the student so as to produce a well rounded individual, academically sound, mentally prepared for the future and independent. Most African students are gifted when it comes to sports, music and dance and so an so having a wide range of these fun extracurricular activities will serve them well.
7. Early building of strong social and professional network
Part of what makes boarding school most memorable and worth the while is that the students make connections and form strong bonds with each other; classmates from all kinds of backgrounds from all over the world meet in the boarding house and grow on the same platform. These established friendships could last a lifetime and benefit everyone within that connection.
8. Great Academic results
The UK has always been known around the word to provide the best kind of education for any level in academics. There is reassurance to all parents and guardians in Africa that their children will gain the full academic potential at a UK boarding school thanks to the testimonials of past African scholars.
9. It is a good place to start planning towards attending a university in the UK
Aside from being guaranteed a first class education, attending a boarding school in the UK makes the university application process easier. UK boarding schools support their students to make the right choice of university and program of study in their first choice degree in any of the top universities in the UK.
The leadership in UK boarding schools determine the depth to which their school staff and students respond to values and abide by policies, as such, you will hardly ever find a leadership uninterested in heritage, culture, and style of both British history and many other nations.
11. Information and Technology
UK Boarding schools are very inclined to the use of fast technology in academics and even extracurricular activities. USB drives and large books are fading off; rather the use of short and precise videos and focused PowerPoint presentations are used. Generally, iPads and iPhones are dominantly used to disseminate information.