Posted: Tuesday, Feb 14, 2017
Author: Michael Farley, Head Master
Our Head Master, Mr Michael Farley explains why boarding gives students the edge academically and socially
At Harrow Bangkok, boarding is in our DNA – our affiliated school Harrow UK, in London, has all students boarding and has done for centuries, and the benefits are clear. Boarding students are able to completely immerse themselves in their school and build extremely deep bonds. Around 20% of our Upper School students are boarders, but approximately 50% of our Head Boy and Girls have come from the boarding community. At weekend events, in showcase concerts and on the sports fields, our boarders are strongly involved. They fully commit to their school life and benefit in a range of ways as a consequence:
The quality of relationships that boarders have with the Harrow Staff is extraordinarily close, resulting in an improved ability for our Team to fully support the academic, social and emotional needs of the children. Put simply, our boarders thrive because we know how they’re doing and what they need to make the next step. For example, this could be an early intervention with a subject teacher to unblock a learning issue before the matter becomes more serious.
Our boarders benefit from Harrow teachers, including senior tutors, visiting for prep (homework) sessions every evening. Many day students choose to use external ‘tutor colleges’ in the afternoon or evening, which is time consuming, expensive and often goes against the teaching in school. In boarding this support of prep is directly connected to the students’ learning in the day school – and it’s free.
The friendships established in boarding last a lifetime. Due to the ‘24/7’ nature of the bond, boarders know each other inside out and have been together through good and bad times. The network of friends and associates established in boarding school provides the ideal professional and business network in adult life. Due to Harrow Bangkok’s location in a hub of the ASEAN Region, these networks remain close at hand throughout adult life – old school friends aren’t on the other side of the globe.
Boarders have access to the Campus throughout the week. In the evenings they can head over to the Art School, play badminton or throw a rugby ball, use the climbing wall or ride their bikes, safely and with their friends. Involvement in our Sports Academies is free for boarders (except for Golf – though rates are highly competitive) with the Football, Tennis, Swimming and Gymnastics Academies offering numerous sessions close to the Boarding Houses.
Finally, there are some very practical reasons why boarding is a good idea. Many of our Thai day students spend too long in the back of a car commuting to school when they could be getting further support from our teachers, on the sports fields or socialising with friends. Many of our families are very busy throughout the week, so the weekly boarding option can be a sensible solution, allowing the students to be fully supported in boarding from Monday to Friday and free to enjoy family time over the weekend.
In short, boarding at Harrow Bangkok gives opportunities for the children to achieve their true potential. Our staff, facilities and procedures are the best in the Region and the relationships established in the boarding houses will last forever.