In addition toregular senior schools, where the pupils come and have lessons during daytime and in the evening they go home (Day Schools), Boarding Schools are very popular in Great Britain. Children live and study there during the whole year and return home only on holidays. The British, whose work connected with business trips: they are military officers, diplomats, businessmen, commercial travelers and other people, who can’t find time for their children for some reason or other, send their children to private Boarding Schools. Even wealthy parents who have an opportunity to hire a family tutors and teachers for their children prefer to send their children to privileged boarding schools. The network of Boarding Schools exists for a long time and it is as traditional as the network of Day Schools.
British Boarding Schools are a system and its primary goal is all-round growth of children. School subjects, sport and art are seamlessly combined here in one program of children’s education, which was being formed over a number of years, withstood the test of time and continues being advanced.
There are two types of Boarding Schools in Great Britain: Independent/Private Boarding Schools and State Boarding Schools. Generally, Private Boarding Schools educate children from 5 to 11 years old. There are just few State Boarding Schools for children from 5 to 11 years. Both Private Boarding Schools and State Boarding Schools for children from 11 years are widely spread. State Boarding School Association performs management of State Boarding Schools.
Some of Boarding Schools are elite. There are two ways to enter such school: on a competitive basis or upon the recommendation. But most of the Boarding Schools are of general type and every child can enter this school. There are also Boarding Schools for children, who are in need of specialized health care. Boarding Schools for boys, for girls and mixed schools are equally spread among both Private Boarding Schools and State Boarding Schools. It fits all views on education and upbringing of the children in different families. Some parents prefer separation of the sexes in school; the other parents prefer mixed schools.
Education in State Boarding Schools in Great Britain is free of charge and living and meal expenses are partially paid by State. That’s why children of different social stratums study in State Boarding Schools. A lot of British consider it to be one of the advantages. Children can make a lot of friends there and it is very useful in their further individual lives. Minimal educational program is confirmed by the government and it is obligatory for every State or Private Boarding School.
In some of the State Boarding schools only those children study there who also live there, these are so called “closed schools”. There are a lot of advantages of children’s education, typical for expensive private boarding schools. But also there are State Boarding Schools, so-called open schools, children who live there and children who go home after the lessons every day study there. Openness of the system and an opportunity of a wider communication with herd mates are also advantages of these schools. All Private Boarding Schools (almost without exceptions) are of a closed type. By virtue of availability of different types of Boarding Schools, parents can choose the most relevant type of studying for their children.
As already mentioned, a lot of Private Boarding Schools admit children from 5 years old. Most of State Boarding Schools admit children from 11 years old and some of them admit pupils from 13-14 years old. Over the last 10 years residential colleges for pupils from 16 years old have become very popular. The British believe that living and study in Boarding Schools help children of this age to prepare themselves for individual collegial life or work away from home. Under the supervision of tutors, young people complete an education there, prepare themselves for entering a university, develop professional skills and acquire such character traits as self-belief, sense of purpose and ability to get on well with people; these are core skills for building a career.
As a rule, every school has its library, ICT room, gym and play-ground, working room and laboratory, rooms for self-tuition and playrooms. In their free time children unite in different sports or membership clubs. Experienced tutors coordinate their efforts and use their capabilities in preparations for school specials, holidays and sports tournaments. Tutors are responsible for all aspects of pupils’ normal life, their health and mental conditions. Every Boarding School must have doctor’s office with competent nurses. Usually schools have an agreement with a local doctor, which conducts medical examination of pupils and can arrive when it’s necessary and deliver medical care at any time of day or night.
The main aim of Boarding Schools for children from 11-12 years old is to provide them with secondary education and prepare graduates for obtaining General Certificate of Secondary Education, which is an analogue of our incomplete secondary education. Children from 12 years old have to study 5 years in Senior School. After it they have to finish apprenticeship or to enter Sixth Form of Senior School, which is usually finished at the age of 18; beginning from this age pupils can enter a British University.
The main aim of Sixth Form is to provide pupils with knowledge of additional general subjects and to prepare them for study in University or College. On graduation from Sixth Form of Boarding School graduates have to pass the exam for correspondence with GCE/A Level. Certificate of GCE/A Level is one of the requirements for continuation study, leading to bachelor’s degree.