Boarding School or Day School? Or Both?
With size and diversity comes the opportunity to grow in self-knowledge and understanding and tolerance of others
For some families the decision is simple.
The family home is at too great a distance from the school for daily travel, or family circumstances make day schooling impractical, so that boarding is the only feasible option.
Being a day pupil is the obvious choice for others when family circumstances and preferences dovetail conveniently with local schooling.
For other families, however, the decision is less clear-cut. Either option is possible. Day schooling is attractive because it enables the closer maintenance of links with family and the local community. Boarding attracts because it gives the option for a broader and richer school experience and the fuller development of the team skills and the interpersonal skills which for most people will be the key to success in adult life.
It is no surprise then that an increasingly popularly option is flexi-boarding, pupils boarding regularly or occasionally on some but not all weekdays, or boarding at certain stages, perhaps for a few weeks or a single term, perhaps for longer, for example for their GCSE and/or sixth form years.
Distinctive to boarding is the experience of living in a bigger and more diverse community than family life can provide. With size and diversity comes the opportunity to grow in self-knowledge and understanding and tolerance of others. The working environment for today’s pupils will require strong team skills and the ability to recognise and respond to the strength and weaknesses of others.
The sooner such learning begins, the more secure it is likely to prove. Boarding gives space to test a young person’s developing independence and the understanding of how to interact positively rather than negatively with others.
Certainly boarding at Rye, whether for its full boarders or its flexi-boarders, meets with warm approval. In the words of the most recent boarding inspection report, ‘the boarding team is energetic, enthusiastic and, importantly, they like children… Boarders describe the system as “great” and say staff are “very supportive”’. The enthusiastic praise of pupils, their parents and the reporting inspector led to inspection judgements detailed in the red box above.