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Myth Busting Boarding

Everyone has an opinion on boarding, positive or negative, but is everything you think you know about boarding actually true?
Myth #1 Boarders are lonely and bored

Boarding school is an immersive experience. One of the reasons families choose boarding is because of the wealth of activities on offer which last well into the evening and at weekends. Boarders engage more frequently in sports, the arts, community service, and other co-curricular pursuits. They travel into town during the week and participate in trips and visits at the weekends, accompanied by their day pupil friends. There is very little time to be bored.

For parents that worry there is no 'down time', boarders have the independence to choose how to spend free time and are welcome to hang out with friends watching tv or playing games if that is what they want to do.

Myth#2 All House Staff are like Miss Halligan

At Leweston each House is led by a House Parent who is in this role because of his or her desire and ability to connect with young people. They are advocates, confidantes and stand-in parents for each pupil in their care. They are the first person a boarder can turn to if they are falling behind in class or have a stomach ache. They serve as an immediate point of contact for parents, often building lifelong relationships with each boarder and their family. At the same time, they also focus on the little things that make the transition to boarding school easier, like creating a comfortable living space and celebrating birthdays..

Our House Parents pride themselves ourselves on running a well-ordered community where individual freedom is exercised within a framework of simple, clear and universally applied rules. Mutual respect is vitally important and courtesy and common sense are valued qualities. Poor choices are dealt with equally and fairly. 

Myth#3 Boarding school doesn't prepare you for real life

There is nothing more real than learning to live and work alongside people you don't know. In fact, boarding builds independence, self-confidence and adaptability making it the perfect preparation for university and beyond. Boarders learn to communicate, cooperate and solve problems together. In a modern world where employers seek these intangible skills the ability to build good relationships with others, emotionally regulate their responses and keep life in perspective can go a long way. 

Boarding schools are diverse communities of day and boarding pupils from all over the world. The residential experience allows boarders to form friendships with peers they wouldn't meet in other settings. 

Myth#4 The food is terrible and the dorms are freezing

Many people still think that boarding schools are dark, dank institutions worthy of Charles Dickens. Modern boarding schools are colourful, vibrant and fun places where pupils can relax and feel at home. Boarders are encouraged to decorate and 'own' their space in the dormitory, or study bedrooms when they get one. 

Our school caterers Chartwell’s Independent provide pupils with three meals every day. At lunch we offer meat and vegetarian options as well as jacket potato and pasta bar, daily homemade soup and salads. There are also a range of deserts available. Boarders are provided with a similar selection at breakfast and supper and also enjoyed themed nights featuring cuisine from around the world.

Myth#5 Boarders have little contact with their parents

The myth perpetuated by the movies that children are left at boarding school never to see their parents again is not true.  Boarding parents at Leweston see their children regularly. They attend matches, visit when their children are performing in a concert or starring in a play and, sometimes, just come to say hello. Boarders can return home at weekends if they want to. Boarding parents are very involved in the lives of their children. 

Families talk often (if not daily) through a variety of channels and parents are in regular contact with their child’s House Parent and follow Leweston Boarding Instagram to get regular updates on boarding life. Teachers email just as regularly as any teacher would to any parent, as often as needed. 

Myth #6 Boarding schools are only for the wealthy

Boarding school does cost money and some schools are very expensive, especially for families with more than one child to educate. However boarding fees do vary and, in reality, boarders come from a range of different socio-economic backgrounds. Boarding fees include tuition, food, laundry and the vast majority of activities. Boarders are looked after by specialists in the care of young people and have access to academic staff and facilities outside of school hours. The opportunities on offer alleviate pressure on busy parents shuttling their children to and from after school clubs and activities. 

If you would like to find out more about Leweston boarding please contact June Smith, our Registrar, on 01963 211015 or