Boarding Schools, in general, are purposed to train students, aged 12 to 18 years old, to be independent by instilling in them the ideals and principles needed for caring for themselves and others. Boarders get to dive into a pool of opportunities which enable them to attain emotional intelligence, savour independence and uphold integrity alongside their fellow mates.
Day to Day Boarding
Boarders rise early to plan and prepare for their day ahead. They tidy their rooms and walk to school for breakfast at the school cafeteria. Boarding facilities allow students to have enough time for themselves to be prepared for school. After school, they go back to their respective boarding houses for a rest before their evening sports. However, this varies when parents make special arrangements for private tutoring or music lessons after school. After their evening sports and dinner, they head back to the boarding house for their preparatory time.
The boarders spend some time together with their housemates at the main chill-out area on completing homework or revision. On weekdays, students have the liberty to unwind or make calls after completing their preparatory work but are expected to have their lights off by 10:30pm. A great aspect of Westlake International School (WIS) Boarding is that the House Parents and certified on-campus nurse will keep an eye on the health and wellness of the boarders, in terms of food intake, hours of sleep and screen time to ensure they are in good shape and have sufficient energy for other vital tasks.
Why Boarding is Best for Your Child?
Every parent’s huge desire is to witness their children blossom into people with the best attributes and academic profile in life, and enrolling them in a boarding school is a small price to pay to achieve that. Although parents have to sacrifice witnessing their children grow every day, boarding happens to be the persistent and favoured choice among them. Boarding is an ideal choice for busy parents, juggling between career and home life. Boarding offers a balanced programme that aims to nurture students especially in a multicultural environment.
Boarding Fosters Independence
Boarding is especially known for fostering independence within students from a very young age as it is undeniable that one’s character is built through facing and overcoming challenges. That may sound difficult at first, but it is worth learning how to deal with hardship as the individual will reap the benefits in the long run. When boarders are away from their comfort space, they will have to make their own choices, be it right or wrong, on a daily basis. This experience inevitably fosters a culture of responsibility, maturity and competence and facilitates the transition towards a life beyond education.
Parents who are concerned about their children’s safety do not need to worry because the security and comfort of students are our top-most priorities. The school is safe and closely monitored with guards and CCTV monitoring at all times. Parents should be at ease knowing their child is safe in a boarding school. Boarders are monitored and guided throughout their day- to-day activities. Depending on the school, boarders are provided double and single bedrooms with attached bathrooms and air-conditioning in every unit. This is where they socialise, form friendships, study or simply read peacefully.
Constant Care and Support
Parents may wonder whether their children’s needs are being attended to, especially during difficult times. There should be no cause for concern. The management and staff of the school are very attentive to the physical and emotional welfare of boarders at all times, whether it has to do with the provision of food, organising bonding sessions and movie nights and just providing opportunities for friendly interactions. Boarding provides pastoral care to enhance the intellectual and emotional well-being of the students.
Boarding instils a family atmosphere. For example, boarders are able to share their feelings and memories during meals and leisure pursuits. Students engage in the performing arts, vocal training, playing musical instruments, and other activities that sharpen life skills needed for future prospects. The house parents are empathetic, and focused on ensuring that boarders are comfortable, excel academically, and are socially engaged.
What Do Students Gain from the Boarding Experience?
One of the crucial benefits gained by students from boarding is that they learn how to improve in terms of attitude, time management, and productivity. Students gain the multi-tasking ability where they perform domestic chores and finish up school assignments single-handedly. In doing so, they start believing in their own capabilities and efforts and work towards becoming the best version of themselves, in every respect.
Students cultivate a positive attitude in a conducive learning arena by prioritising areas that matter. This in turn gradually motivates them to achieve decent grades in academic subjects and improvements in behaviour and attitude. Boarding does not only promote quality education. Students also get to discover more about themselves through participation in extracurricular activities such as the Duke of Edinburgh programme which highlights the best qualities and hidden talents of students as well as giving them life-enriching memories. Students are also encouraged to acquire multiple soft skills such as leadership, decision-making, social networking and team-building to prepare them to step into the college lifestyle.
How Does Boarding Prepare Students for Life after School?
Students must expect a highly diverse life once they leave school as they will be surrounded by people from different backgrounds, in terms of the languages spoken and their cultural outlook. Fortunately, most boarding schools prepare students for university life. Students will have learnt to think and act for themselves without biased assumptions in most situations. They will also be able to hold their own whilst adapting to different viewpoints others bring to the table during interactions.
Boarding helps students cultivate discipline. This enables them to manage their time better while leading a balanced lifestyle. The boarding experience fosters independence and helps the students to stand out among others when applying for admission in universities. They will have no problem adapting to dorm lifestyle at university. Boarding also ensures students have the skills to manage their basic finances, food, needs, as well as to mingle with unique people who come from different places.
In short, students breathe in the essence of self-reliance throughout their boarding experience. They say confidence is the key to success and the boarding school experience equips the students with the confidence and skills needed for university and for life.
For more information, please visit www.westlakeschool.edu.my
Dion Ooi, Director of Marketing, Boarding and Operations (MBO) of Westlake International School, shares his thoughts on what to expect in a boarding house.