It’s the final blog of the Kickstart Your Boarding School Research series!

Dive in deep to the final part of your Boarding School research by reading this final installment of the 3-blog-series and use the final part of the checklist (located at the bottom of each of these blogs) to ensure you’ve covered each possible sector of research. This should help you round up your boarding school research so you can confidently find the right school for your child’s education journey.

Of course our advice doesn’t stop here, we have many education experts, the right one is waiting to work closely with you to finalise this crucial decision. Book your first call with one of our experts here.

Use these blogs as a step-by-step guide to drive discussion at home before you start your research. If you’ve already started your research, use them to check you have the right schools on your radar. Answering these key questions will enable you to come up with the right road map of what you are looking for in a boarding school. 

Use the checklist at the bottom of this blog to keep your research organised and make this process more enjoyable.

  1. Do you like the Head of the school and does their approach to education seem in line with your thoughts?

Most schools now have video of the head on their website. Do you warm to them? Would you trust them with your child? Do you agree with their approach and the points they have chosen to highlight as important to them and their school? Good schools rely on strong leadership so it’s no good choosing a school if you don’t like the head.

  1. What evidence is there of inspiring teaching?

We all recall our most inspiring teachers, as well as perhaps the ones at the other end of the scale. Your child needs to be inspired within a school environment where they feel happy. The approach to teaching might be very formal, or less structured. What is right for your child. Teaching may be very teacher led and directed, or there can be more individual research and independent learning. What suits your child and your thoughts on learning?

  1. Are you looking for co-education, single sex, or a mix of the two at different ages in the Diamond model?

What type of school would best suit your child, enabling them to thrive?

  1. Are you looking for a school to feed into a particular future school at 13+ or 16+?

Strong school to school links is a bonus to support your future applications. Make use of these where you can. For example, a prep school that is a strong feeder to a particular top senior school at age 13 might give your child more focused preparation for the entry assessment process later.

  1. Do you have preference for traditional British curriculum such as GCSE and A Level or are you more a fan of the IB programme perhaps?

Do you have thoughts on subjects that your child is keen to study such as psychology, mandarin or food technology? Might BTEC qualifications in sixth form be more appropriate for your child. Make sure you research the curriculum offered by each school you are reviewing to ensure it offers the right subjects and curriculum to meet your plan for now and the future.

  1. Assessment, monitoring, and parent feedback are crucial to ensure your child succeeds at school.

If you live overseas or a long way from the school, reviewing how you will receive feedback or how a school will raise concerns with you is important.

  1. Is the curriculum traditionally taught or is there flexibility to tailor it for each individual child?

How are sets or streams for academic subjects decided and can a talented child in Maths, who struggles with English, still be stretched in the areas where they excel? Doe the school use any educational philosophy in their learning delivery which you feel is right for you. For example, some schools approach learning with a growth Mindset. What type of learning environment will your child succeed in?

THE FINAL WORD – FAMILY
  1. Sibling schools, parent and grandparent alumni schools, school suggestions and thoughts of friends and peers are all important to bear in mind.

However, don’t let any of these override the hard work you have done via all the questions above which are all focused on your child as an individual, as well as your thoughts as parents, who know your child better than anyone. Try to keep the focus on your child at the centre of every decision you make.

Ok, so that is all of the important factors you should consider when kickstarting your boarding school research. Here’s the CHECKLIST (Remember the checklist covers elements which are in all 3 blogs – all that are now available here!)
Use it to summarise your decisions from the questions above. It should create a Mind Map of what the perfect school for your child and family looks like.
Don’t forget, we are here to help. Get in touch and arrange a no obligation call with one of our team of expert boarding school consultants to find out how we can assist you in taking the pain and confusion out of this huge decision.
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We look forward to talking to you very soon.

All best wishes

Catherine Marx (Founder)

  • Academic Level

  • Current Interests/Talents

  • New Opportunities

  • Learning Needs

  • Career Aspirations

  • Competitive vs. Nurture

  • Starting Age, Year and Date

  • Current School Thoughts

  • Type of Boarding

  • Saturday School or Other Weekly Commitments

  • Location Criteria

  • Transport Access Points

  • Fees Budget per Year

  • Scholarship Application

  • Bursary Needed

  • Single-sex or Co-educated

  • Head’s Philosophy

  • Traditional or Less Formal

  • Feeds into which Future Schools?

  • Subjects or Exams Offered

  • Family and Friends thoughts