Why boarding could be a sensible option during these uncertain times

Posted on 6th Apr 2021 in School News, Boarding, Malaysia

The International School of Penang (Uplands) looks at the benefits a boarding school can provide and why it is an excellent option for many students. 

Interest in boarding amongst parents is on the increase. During these challenging times with online learning taking place more frequently, parents can be in two minds about sending their children to boarding for a variety of reasons. Letting children be brought up by non-family members, the cost of boarding, and not wishing to be seen as uncaring are often cited as reasons why families shy away from boarding.

However, parents are now beginning to realise that the benefits of boarding outweigh these concerns. Boarding can be “a home away from home” where teachers, who are fully aware of the wants and needs of a growing adolescent, act in place of the parent. Living in a close-knit community with their peers, students can safely express their worries, fears and achievements. Boarding provides a safe haven for students to concentrate on their studies and exams. During the pandemic, boarding has seen an increase in short-term stays. Boarding also has facilities and services which are scarcely matched at home, such as an on-site nurse, gym, swimming pool, games and study rooms to name a few. The Boarding House also provides fun activities to improve children’s mental, physical health and well-being. Boarding is a place that provides routines, structured study hours, as well as much needed time to socialise.

There are many reasons that families choose flexi-boarding as an option. One example is described below.

Recently a Year 13 student, in his final year of study at Uplands discussed the option of flexi-boarding to help him focus on his academics and to prepare for his exams. He said that he really wanted to join boarding, “so that I would have enough time to study for my mock-examinations. Where I live, collectively it takes a minimum of two hours of my day travelling to and from school, so this saving in travel time allows me to be able to study longer and sleep for an hour longer each day. I no longer have to wake up at 5:55 am to go to school, but wake at 7:00 am, shower and come downstairs to breakfast. For me, life is a whole lot easier now, as I have reduced the stress from travelling and waking up so early.”

This student has also enjoyed the social side of the boarding house, using the great common area facilities such as the weights room and swimming pool during free time, these are things which he does not have access to at home.

He goes on to say, “It is great that I am also able to discuss areas of academic difficulties with my fellow students in boarding who are taking the same courses as I am, this has helped me to study more effectively and efficiently. I would definitely not get this type of support at home.”

He feels that this flexi-boarding experience has been well worth it and will be coming back to join boarding prior to his final exams in May.

Whether your child is a short-term stay (flexi-boarding) or a full-time boarder, enrolling a child into boarding is increasingly seen as a positive move by many parents, particularly for students beginning to transition to life beyond school. Students are able to socialise, exchange ideas and work together on projects, relax in the common room while still maintaining a well-balanced routine of study. A cozy home environment makes students feel comfortable and cared for. Boarding provides a safe, secure and structured environment for our students where they can become more independent whilst making friendships with their peers that will last a lifetime. The bond created between the students in boarding is unique and assists their social and emotional development, preparing them for the next stage in life. The feedback we receive from parents, students and Universities are unanimously positive related to how Uplands Boarding has played an integral role in preparing them for the challenges of tertiary education and life beyond school, providing them with the life and social skills that set them up for success.

We are proud of our rich history as a boarding school. We are proud of our world class boarding house facilities, and we are proud of our 65-year history of being a boarding school that nurtures its boarders to become globally-minded citizens who actively contribute to their local and wider community. If you are interested in finding out more about our boarding facilities and programme, please contact admissions@uplands.org