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One outstanding benefit of boarding according to everyone questioned is the access students have to academic support, which helps them to develop positive study and learning habits. Many schools offer a structured study and homework program to boarders known as prep. “Prep is in the library each week from 4 to 9pm,” says Nonie Ayling, head of boarding at Wenona, “giving the girls enough time to plan study, participate in sport and have dinner. “It is not class time and lessons are over, however two teachers and the boarders’ prep supervisors are there for them … it is boarders’ own time and their opportunity to practise self-reliance in a well-supported place of study.” Andrew Wei, a Year 10 boarder at Cranbrook School, says: “Studying is made so much easier as a boarder as we can easily access afterhours tutoring and studying in groups. This means we can all share ideas and help each other.”
While students and families offer up myriad of reasons for deciding on a boarding school education, there is a lot of consensus around the benefits of doing so. Andree Rice, dean of boarding at Stuartholme School in Queensland, says students themselves often mention the lasting friendships they make and the sense of community, feeling like they belong to something bigger than themselves, as the principal benefits of their boarding experience.
Quality boarding experiences are not just available in the city; Australia’s rural schools offer an environment that caters to the unique needs of country kids.