Summer Boarding Courses
How can a summer school experience help prepare young learners for boarding school?
So Many Reasons for Summer School
There are so many reasons why Summer Boarding Courses are the perfect choice to help prepare your child for British boarding school life.
Since 2008, we have provided 15,800 overseas students with the chance to experience what it is like to learn away from home in a residential setting on a summer school programme. Offering so many, this wonderful experience for the very first time.
As you may expect from an education provider with ‘Boarding’ in its name, our track record in providing fantastic accommodation and welfare provision is ranked highest in the industry. As demonstrated in our Number One ranking by The EL Gazette and by our British Council inspections, which have received perfect scores on more than one occasion.
To show how SBC can be a truly influential stepping stone in preparing students for all parts of boarding school life, let’s look at all the key areas to help show you the difference a summer school can make, in helping; build social skills, educational development, and the chance to meet fellow students with shared interests from different backgrounds.
Boarding School Challenges
Even though there are so many advantages to boarding school, such as high educational development in a tight learning community, added independence, and increased discipline, it undoubtedly comes with unique challenges of its own. Especially with moving away from home.
This is why the warm and nurturing atmosphere of a summer school can go a long way in helping young learners adapt more easily to change. Every year our compassionate and supportive team helps enable students to overcome real personal challenges of dealing with homesickness, and it is common to see students who found the experience challenging at the beginning, to be moved to tears as they leave at the end.
As well as professional development and proactive student learning, learners have every chance to make new friends, try a whole whirlwind of exciting activities, learn fascinating new subject knowledge and explore wonderful new places – making summer school an incredible place to prepare young people for the challenge of adapting to boarding school.
Academic Preparation at an International Summer School
At a summer camp, we are about so much more than fun and play. We believe in summer school being a transformative experience where students can develop the skills for future academic success; especially in helping learners adapt to the scholastic demands of boarding school and university.
In each of our courses, we offer academic programmes with a strong focus on independent learning and developing research skills, which very much mirror the level of challenge students would face in a boarding school learning environment.
With our Time to Shine research projects, students are required to take responsibility. They have to meet tight deadlines, perform under pressure, and practise public speaking; which is the perfect preparation for meeting the academic expectations to succeed in a high achieving education setting like a boarding school.
Becoming familiar with the Boarding School Curriculum
With several classic academic subjects on offer, ranging from History to Art & Design, learning at Summer Boarding Courses can provide students with a real head start once their boarding school journey begins.
Or alternatively, summer school is a fantastic chance to enrol on a more specialised course like Architecture or Law, that may not be available in regular term time; ensuring that families don’t miss out on their children exploring unfulfilled potential in a subject they have a keen interest in learning more about.
A common aim that Summer Boarding Courses share with so many boarding schools throughout the world, is to prepare students for academic life at university. With spaces available on vocational programmes, such as Medicine, we are passionately invested in providing students with the best possible chance to gain the experiences they need in the early stages of building successful careers.
By providing students with similar academic experiences they have at a boarding school, learners will be much more familiar with their future boarding school curriculum. Enabling them to start their new boarding school classes with confidence. Through gaining valuable knowledge of what to expect, students are much better placed to reduce anxiety that learners commonly experience in making the transition to an unfamiliar learning space.
Developing Study Habits and Time Management
Each teaching day on an SBC campus, a student is effectively following the same daily routine as they would at a boarding school. They wake up early, get ready for a day of lessons, have breakfast, join assembly, before arriving on time for class. By repeating this routine, even for as little as two weeks, a young learner is growing their independence and maturity, enabling them to make the transition to boarding school as smooth as possible.
The same obviously applies for the afternoons and evenings, with the exception of having to do homework or study. Instead of housemasters, student accommodation has house parents and house wardens to ensure the highest possible levels of safety. Similar to a boarding school, summer school has a curfew and a lights-out routine which varies between younger and older age groups.
Adapting to a Residential Learning Environment
For students who have never lived and studied in the same place before, summer school can provide invaluable experience in helping them settle. By experiencing the boarding school lifestyle beforehand, students are able to adjust to; a more structured schedule, spending longer periods on campus, and are able to adjust to the communal experience of sharing a living space with others.
Through early exposure, students are better positioned to adjust to campus life, enabling them to deal with the day-to-day reality of balancing free time and study. But even more importantly, by attending a summer school as preparation for boarding school, students can build the necessary social skills to help them make new friends and to work effectively alongside new classmates. When talking about the value of making new friends at summer school, Alexander a student from Germany told us:
“In Germany after the fourth grade, you’re going to a new school and after that you stay in that school forever, which is why I haven’t made new friends in like six years and it’s a very important skill that we possibly don’t learn anymore. But after these two weeks, I have a feeling that I got better at it.”
Alexander, Student, Germany
Building a Foundation for Advanced Learning
With the help of expert tutoring, all of our courses provide students with the chance to further their understanding of complex subjects and work towards relevant academic achievements. Topics are introduced by passionate teachers, and are explored through student-led project work and exciting activities, providing students with constant engagement and the chance to acquire a great deal of new knowledge over the course of two weeks. Our Introduction courses in: STEM, International Relations, and Political Science & Governance as well as Psychology and Engineering, are designed to be an accessible gateway for learning, encouraging students to discover their passion for fascinating new subject areas.
“I felt like the classes were very interactive and fun and full of information, but not in a way that I couldn’t understand. For me, I considered myself a complete newbie to psychology. Yet at the same time, it never felt incomprehensible, but something I could gradually learn. I feel like that’s a very good aspect of it. That, and the lessons were so much fun.”
Social and Cultural Integration
Very often, boarding schools are multicultural learning environments that enable cross-cultural relationships to thrive, and summer schools, in this sense, are identical if not even more culturally rich. Since Summer Boarding Courses began we have welcomed students from more than 150 different countries, creating lively cosmopolitan classrooms full of varying belief systems and different ways of looking at the world, creating an environment built on a culture of understanding one another and the constant showing of mutual respect. All of which are absolutely essential when sharing a living and learning space together at a boarding school.
To describe the academic and social experience of his course, Toby from The UK said:
“Not only has Engineering given me more insight into what I want to learn, I also really enjoyed it, so much that it’s pushed me more into doing it at university. I’ve also made a lot of good friends, especially people from abroad.”
Building Independence and Confidence
Living away from home gives students, particularly younger learners, a fantastic chance to develop the independence they need for boarding school. For our youngest age groups, this may mean brushing their teeth or taking a shower without being reminded, making their own bed, or for older students might mean going to the gym for the first time after class.
At many of SBC’s campuses, classrooms and dining halls are spread out, meaning that students have to arrive on time independently. Each year we see so many younger learners grow and mature from the larger sense of freedom that summer school brings, even within as short a space of time as 14 days.