How a boarding school can encourage children’s social, spiritual and academic development
- Credit: Archant
Mr Ian Murphy, Headmaster at Stonyhurst St Mary’s Hall – a leading co-educational Catholic boarding and day school in Lancashire - discusses the advantages of boarding for both the pupils and their parents.
Q: How does boarding benefit the students and their parents?
A: Rather than just gaining academically, pupils who board receive a much fuller and holistic education and the opportunity for growth and personal formation. Pupils make friends with peers from all walks of life – from other areas of the country, and from all around the world. Children make friends for life.
Young people who board enjoy extensive school days and weekends where they can enhance their learning in sports, drama, music and more. Boarders have the time and freedom to use our spectacular facilities as they wish. From tennis to astronomy, there’s plenty to be involved in. In the evening pupils have downtime to relax, much like they would at home.
Boarding can support parents who work long hours or travel for business – pupils take part in all of their usual after school activities on campus omitting the need to be driven elsewhere so time at home over the weekends is quality family time.
Q: How does the boarding at Stonyhurst work?
A: The pupils board in their age groups looked after by houseparents who live in the same house. Pupils are supported from the time they awake till they go to bed, just as parents would. They’re very dedicated, passionate and supportive people recruited specifically to be members of the boarding house. This is their primary and only role.
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Boarding starts from the age of seven with parents choosing from full, weekly or flexi (occasional) boarding. It is a home from home and a family like no other!
Q: What would you say to people who may be assuming that boarding schools are strict?
A: We’re reinventing the wheel - we take pride in our heritage, but the school is embedded in the 21st century and utterly child-centred.
We believe so much in the benefits of boarding for our pupils that we’re a boarding school first and a day school second. Our day pupils often stay late during the week and at weekends to join boarding activities. 90pc of our children would board if they could!
Q: How can people find out more?
A: We’re hosting a number of Open Day events during this term and families can also request a private visit.