5 Common boarding school myths debunked

Some parents may be apprehensive about sending their children to a boarding school. Either because of rumours about them in the media or from others, or they simply don’t know what to expect.


All boarding schools are different. The cultures of the boarding houses vary by type of school, curriculum, location and religious nature of the school. There are very traditional boarding schools where heritage, tradition and customs are prominent, but they aren’t the only kind.


We’ve talked about the benefits of a boarding school education before, but here we’ll debunk common myths about boarding schools.


Myth 1: Boarding schools are for families with problems.


The perception that parents send their child to a boarding school because of problems at home is far from true. The fact is boarding schools provide children with accommodations during the school week.  Additionally, both public and private boarding schools globally provide ideal educations for children not just academically, but socially. It also enhances their extracurricular life.


Busy parents who aren’t able to spend much time with their child during the week may find boarding schools ideal. Indeed, they provide the benefit of other adults mentoring their child, in addition to teachers and peers. Children also develop time management and study skills they may not have the chance to gain if they were living at home.


Students can go home after school at the weekend, however most teenagers enjoy boarding school life especially at the weekends. The weekend is when all the fun trips and social activities are at their best!

Parent involvement and regular get-togethers are encouraged and welcomed. Whether it’s attending their child’s sports games, taking them out for the day or visiting the campus. All of these are essential to maintaining a healthy relationship with them. While children could spend each weekend with their parents, not doing so can give them a healthy dose of independence. And, for some families, regular visits aren’t geographically always easy.


Myth 2: The media portrays accurately what the environment at boarding schools is like.


It is well known that the news looks for stories that will capture people’s attention. This means they may report on negative activities at certain boarding schools rather than on the positive benefits of them. It is important to avoid only looking at the media, TV or movie portrayal of boarding schools. Instead, parents should visit the boarding school campus and conduct their own research. This can be done by talking to faculty, teachers, students and parents and by observing classes and activities, if possible. Consider all aspects of a new school your child might attend, even if it wasn’t a boarding school. You want a place where the culture, activities, and level of challenge is appropriate for your child.


Your child should also visit campuses to see for themselves what the atmosphere is like at a boarding school.


Myth 3: Boarding schools lack the same amount of supervision than if the child was living at home.


On the contrary, students have more adult supervision at all times of the day at boarding schools. Boarding schools maintain busy schedules with less opportunity for unsupervised free time. Teachers are with students during the day, and others supervise them after school hours if they’re involved in extracurricular programs. All of which which is common for most students at boarding schools.


In the evenings, study rooms, communal areas and bedroom corridors are supervised by adults.


Myth 4: Acceptance into a boarding school is guaranteed if a sports coach is interested in my child.


Boarding schools are competitive and seek strong candidates, but the school’s admissions office has the final say—not teachers or coaches. Although academics are important, schools also seek students who are the right fit for the school’s culture. Ultimately, that is determined by the admissions department and acceptance is never guaranteed.


Myth 5: Sending my child to boarding school guarantees a good college placement.


The name of the high school your child attends has little effect on where they will go to college. Rather, college admissions departments want to see well rounded students. This means performing well academically and an involvement in other activities in, or outside, of school. In the end, this is what makes them stand out among other students.


For more information about our boarding school, contact our Admissions team at admissions@sisd.ae. You can also take a virtual tour of our school, or visit the campus on a daily school tour from 4 to 5pm.

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