The benefits of boarding schools and the philosophy of Anglo-Saxon education

As the article on "Study in France "1 shows, the French-language education system is losing ground in the minds of pupils and their parents.

Learning methods are seen as obsolete, the curriculum is heavy with long hours and the teaching is theoretical and abstract. The educational model also has a reputation for being rigid, with a grading system that devalues the student.

These are all reasons why some parents send their children abroad to study. Many of them turn to the Anglo-Saxon educational model, particularly in the UK and the USA, which places greater emphasis on stimulating children’s curiosity. A more inductive methodology based on observation followed by deduction. The aim of this approach is to make pupils want to learn through experimentation, more practice and greater autonomy. A direct impact on the student’s motivation and commitment to learning.

Children and their development as the focus

There are no “bad pupils” in the Anglo-Saxon system. Each child has his or her own particularities, strengths, and assets. The British model places the emphasis on more personalised and individualised support, to reduce the feeling of failure engendered by a rigid grading system. The British system aims to highlight the student’s strengths so that they can gain confidence in their abilities and support them in developing their areas for improvement.

In this way, students can be given credit for their leadership skills, their sense of values and friendship, their oral skills, etc. These are skills that are far removed from the usual academic benchmarks that can be found branded in red on an exam paper. Yet these are important qualities in a professional career. The education system strives to meet these individual needs, offering personalised learning paths. What’s more, students take part in a wide range of group work and simulations. These experiences enable them to acquire unique skills such as team spirit, respect for others, and the ability to adapt to a wide range of situations.

Beyond ‘simple’ language acquisition, the advantages of such a system are numerous:

  1. Critical thinking and problem solving: students are encouraged to question, analyse, and evaluate information rather than passively absorb it. This approach aims to develop students who can think independently and make informed decisions.
  2. Holistic approach and development: which encompasses not only academic knowledge, but also character development, social skills, and emotional intelligence.
  3. Student-centred learning: students are actively involved in their own learning process, encouraged to explore their interests, and take ownership of their education.
  4. Experiential learning: involving practical activities, placements, projects, and real-world applications of knowledge. This approach enhances practical skills and reinforces classroom learning.
  5. Global perspective: Anglo-Saxon education recognises the importance of preparing students for a globalised world. It often includes elements of global awareness, cultural diversity, and international perspectives in the curriculum.
  6. Meritocracy: students are encouraged to strive for excellence and opportunities are generally open to those who work hard and excel in their studies.

It is important to note that while these principles generally characterise Anglo-Saxon education, specific practices and approaches may vary from one school to another and from one education system to another in English-speaking countries. In addition, educational philosophies are constantly being developed and adapted in response to the changing needs of society and educational research.

The benefits of boarding school

Independence and autonomy are at the heart of the Anglo-Saxon school system. A boarding experience gives students the opportunity to live away from home and take responsibility for their own lives. In fact, boarders often develop a strong sense of responsibility as they must manage their day-to-day activities, including lessons, homework and extra-curriculars, without the supervision of their parents. This can help them develop the skills and confidence they need to become independent, self-reliant adults.

Here again, there are easily a host of secondary benefits, which will be favourable to students in building and future life:

  1. Focus on studies: boarding schools generally offer a structured and focused learning environment. With fewer distractions and longer study hours, students often achieve good academic results.
  2. Exposure to diverse cultures: boarding schools often attract students from different backgrounds and locations, promoting cultural diversity. This exposure strengthens students’ global perspective and intercultural skills.
  3. Strong peer networks: living and studying together fosters close relationships between students, which can lead to long lasting friendships and valuable networking opportunities in the future.
  4. Extra-curricular opportunities: boarding schools offer a wide range of extra-curricular activities, from sport to the arts, encouraging students to explore their interests and develop a well-rounded set of skills.

A flexible system tailored to individual needs

After a broad knowledge base, students have the opportunity in their final years to select the subjects they wish to pursue. This flexibility increases students’ motivation and personal involvement, allowing them to tailor their training to their interests and career goals.

Furthermore, the qualifications awarded by Anglo-Saxon education systems are widely recognised and respected internationally, leading to study and employment prospects all over the world. A student who struggles in maths, but is passionate about drama, will always find a recognised path that can lead to an exciting career.

In a world where globalisation prevails and borders are constantly being pushed back, it is important to take these considerations into account when building your future.

In light if the above, we should also mention the existence of BTECs (Business and Technology Education Council). A type of vocational qualification awarded in the UK and several other countries. BTECs are designed to provide practical, work-related learning and are often taken by students as an alternative to traditional academic qualifications such as A-levels.

The advantage of BTEC qualifications is that they provide students with a more hands-on approach to education. They often involve assignments and assessments that reflect real-world scenarios, helping students to develop practical skills and knowledge. They are an attractive alternative, providing access to many universities. For employers, they are seen as valuable qualifications that demonstrate practical skills and knowledge.

Lifelong learning

As we have seen, the philosophy of Anglo-Saxon education has many advantages, both in terms of child development as well as creating opportunities on the international market. By developing their independence, pupils gain in confidence. By offering courses adapted to different profiles, individuals feel valued, flourish, and succeed.

This is a source of great enrichment, which students will carry with them well beyond their formal schooling. Anglo-Saxon education promotes a culture of lifelong learning, encouraging individuals to continue acquiring knowledge and skills beyond the classroom, to become agile and adaptable adults.

At EDUCOM, our mission is to prepare your children to become citizens of the future, ready to take on the challenges of tomorrow. We offer tailor-made solutions, adapted to your child’s profile. And if an Anglo-Saxon education isn’t what they’re looking for, we’ll find a solution to help them thrive and succeed.