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A Complete Guide to UK Boarding Schools

Choosing the ideal UK boarding school has always been one of the most important decisions for parents who are planning to send their children overseas.  You may already have heard of other parents discussing about the benefits of different UK boarding schools, but how should you decide on which schools to apply based on your child’s academic background?  What are the hidden truths behind boarding school rankings?  To help you understand the application strategies behind UK boarding school admissions processes, our UK graduates explain how school policies, academic developments, and culture may affect your child’s upcoming admissions plans.

Want to know how traditional boarding schools assess student applications?

First of all, parents should consider the following when deciding on the ideal UK boarding schools:

  1. Academic Curriculum (UK boarding schools offer A-levels or IB curriculum)
  2. Academic Development
  3. Culture

3 Things to Consider When Choosing the Ideal Boarding School

1. Academic Curriculum

The A-levels and IB curriculum suits different types of students.  The A-levels are more exam-oriented whereas IB focuses both on public exams and internal assessments.  As such, most local students will find themselves more comfortable with taking the A-levels.  However, if your child currently studies at an international school with limited exam experience, the IB curriculum may be more suitable.

2. Academic Development

Based on our experience, your boarding school’s reputation may directly affect your upcoming university applications.  For instance, you may have heard of how prestigious boarding schools such as Eton, Winchester, Tonbridge, Cheltenham Ladies or Headington have created top Oxbridge candidates.  While your boarding school does not guarantee an offer from the top UK universities, traditional boarding schools’ academic resources and opportunities will set a strong foundation for any student who is academically driven.

3. Culture

Most parents are concerned with school policies regarding the safety and well-being of students.  To make an educated decision in boarding schools will be understand how the school’s culture foster personal and academic development.

Application Strategies

Once you have decided on the boarding schools to apply for, the next step will be to determine the year of entry.

 We set out below the year of entry of UK boarding schools and the age of students at the time of each year:

  • Year 9 (13 years old at the time of entry)
  • Year 10 (14 years old at the time of entry)
  • Year 12 (16 years old at the time of entry)

Most traditional boarding schools begin accessing student applications 3-4 years in advance.  This means students should begin preparing their applications starting from Year 5 or Year 6.  If you decide to have your child study in the UK starting from Year 12, you may consider beginning the admissions process around Year 7 to Year 9.

More Questions?

We know that applying for UK boarding schools is an important decision.  For this reason, we have prepared for all attendees a 1-to-1 free consultation with our admissions specialists (valued at HK$1,000) in order to better understand your admissions plans.  All attendees will be provided a full consultation report with our suggested boarding school choices and application timeline, providing you with everything you need to know about your child’s admissions plans.


Application for UK boarding schools should not be predetermined by grades and rankings available online.  Parents should carefully consider the overall strengths and suitability of each boarding school choice.  This is a decision that will affect a student’s academic career.

Event Details

Date :18 September, 2021Time :11:00 - 12:00Location :ZoomPresented by: John Cheung – Head of AdmissionsFee :Free


日期 :18/09/2021時間 :11:00 - 12:00地點 :Zoom主講:John Cheung – Head of Admissions費用 :全免

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