The benefits of boarding: A parent's perspective

Boarding schools have long been known for providing students with a unique educational experience. For parents living in rural areas or seeking specialised education for their children, boarding schools offer an excellent opportunity to access quality education and a nurturing environment.

To gain insight into the advantages of boarding school life in Australia, we spoke to Jacqueline Collins, from Ganmain, NSW, whose daughter Lucie is a Year 8 student at PLC Sydney.

Enhanced Social Opportunities

One of the most significant benefits of boarding school is the unparalleled social environment it offers. Jacqueline mentioned how her daughter loved the companionship of so many "sisters" at PLC Sydney. Living with peers and engaging in school and boarding house activities fosters lasting friendships, teamwork, and a sense of belonging. The shared experiences and support from peers and staff help teenagers grow emotionally and socially, enhancing their communication and interpersonal skills.

Smooth Transition to Independence

Initially, the transition to boarding school can be challenging for some students, especially when coming from a smaller school environment. However, Jacqueline observed the boarding experience helped her daughter become more independent and self-reliant. “The transition from a small country town school to PLC Sydney was difficult for Lucie at first, but she tried so hard to be strong. Taking care of herself, navigating the huge campus and senior school curriculum took a while to get used to.”

Boarding schools encourage students to take responsibility for their daily routines, personal organisation, and time management, preparing them for life beyond school. These skills prove invaluable as they step into adulthood, furthering their education or entering the workforce.

Jacqueline Collins with her daughter Lucie, a boarder at PLC Sydney.

Supportive and Nurturing Environment

Parents often express concerns about leaving their children far away from home, but boarding schools like PLC Sydney prioritise creating a supportive and nurturing environment. Jacqueline  highlighted her confidence in the school's director of boarding and staff, knowing her daughter is well-cared for in her absence. This trust allows students to flourish and focus on their academic and personal growth, building resilience and self-assurance. “I miss her terribly, but Lucie and I have so much fun together when I visit on the weekends during the term. School and boarding house activities are a highlight throughout the year, to participate and get to know staff and other parents”, says Jacqueline.

Exposure to a Diverse Community

Boarding schools typically draw students from various regions and cultural backgrounds, creating a diverse and inclusive community. This exposure broadens students' perspectives, instills cultural awareness, and fosters an appreciation for diversity—a crucial skill in today's interconnected world. Lucie's experience at PLC Sydney reflects the positive impact of such a diverse environment, enriching her education beyond academics.

Holistic Development

Boarding schools often emphasise holistic development, focusing not only on academic achievements but also on character building and extracurricular involvement. Jacqueline  noticed her daughter's maturity and the positive influence of the school's ethos and structure. The College offers a range of extracurricular activities, encouraging students to explore their interests and talents, leading to well-rounded individuals ready to face life's challenges.

Lucie has loved the companionship of so many 'sisters' in the Boarding House

For families seeking a comprehensive educational experience and personal growth opportunities, PLC Sydney offers numerous benefits. Boarding at the College shapes young minds, nurtures independence, resilience, and a sense of community. The supportive environment and diverse experiences equip students with invaluable skills that extend far beyond their academic years, fostering lifelong friendships and cherished memories.

PLC Sydney is offering a number of scholarships and bursaries for the 2025 intake. Click here to find out more.