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    There was an interesting programme on C4 last night that followed three families as their young children began their first term at boarding school.

    Boarding school to me is quite an alien concept, I attended a state school and had never known of anybody who had boarded until I got to uni. Furthermore, the idea of sending a child away at such a young age and for such long periods of time seems a bit unnatural to me.

    I understand that most parents probably send their children to boarding schools in good faith. They may have hectic jobs and lifestyles that mean limited stability for their children. The families in last night's show were army families and it was their belief that the children would have a more stable and consistant environment in a boarding school. Additionally, I appreciate that these schools can provide children with a rounded education and much opportunities to participate in sports activities, learn to play instruments etc.

    Whilst watching the programme, my boyfriend and I couldn't help but feel uneasy and sad at the thought of these eight year old girls being taken from their homes and family and everything that was familliar to them only to be abandoned in an alien place with strangers.

    I can't help feeling that some of the parents are putting their careers before their children. Why have children if you are going to send them away for most of the year?

    Did anybody else see this programme, if so what were your thoughts on it?

    I'd also be interested to hear of those who attended a boarding school from an early age. Was it a mostly positive/negative experience and would you consider sending your children?
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    (Original post by *Darcie*)
    There was an interesting programme on C4 last night that followed three families as their young children began their first term at boarding school.

    Boarding school to me is quite an alien concept, I attended a state school and had never known of anybody who had boarded until I got to uni. Furthermore, the idea of sending a child away at such a young age and for such long periods of time seems a bit unnatural to me.

    I understand that most parents probably send their children to boarding schools in good faith. They may have hectic jobs and lifestyles that mean limited stability for their children. The families in last night's show were army families and it was their belief that the children would have a more stable and consistant environment in a boarding school. Additionally, I appreciate that these schools can provide children with a rounded education and much opportunities to participate in sports activities, learn to play instruments etc.

    Whilst watching the programme, my boyfriend and I couldn't help but feel uneasy and sad at the thought of these eight year old girls being taken from their homes and family and everything that was familliar to them only to be abandoned in an alien place with strangers.

    I can't help feeling that some of the parents are putting their careers before their children. Why have children if you are going to send them away for most of the year?

    Did anybody else see this programme, if so what were your thoughts on it?

    I'd also be interested to hear of those who attended a boarding school from an early age. Was it a mostly positive/negative experience and would you consider sending your children?
    I went to boarding school from nine and I loved it. but its more of a boy thing as you have more of an outdoors lifestyle as we played a lot of sport, sailed and did loads of famous five kind of things. It does toughen you a lot. but I think it does give you some problems.
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    I went to a boarding school as a day girl though. All of my friends just go on with life and didn't really care about it. In fact, they were much closer to each other and much more mature than they would be if they didn't to go a boarding school. A lot of them went to boarding school because their parents were often working abroad and to be honest, I think it would be a bit unreasonable to expect them to give up their job as these weren't the type of jobs that you could just request to have a UK based job, it was do the job or don't do it. And yes, i'm aware that they chose to have the children but it doesn't have to be a death sentence to the parents's jobs.

    Also, the experience at boarding school was such a great one. I know if i'd gone to a comprehensive school i wouldn't have got into such a good university, i wouldn't be doing the degree path i'm doing now and i wouldn't have a really really good set of qualifications from extracurricular activities. I feel like a much more fulfilled person for going to a boarding school, even as a day girl.

    I'd also point out that once the boarders got over their homesickness they just got on with their day to day stuff as normal. It's just like going to university, i was homesick at the start of it but you get used to it. It doesn't really matter what age you leave at, you're still going to feel homesick.
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    Both my boyfriend and I were watching is as well and had the same views as you and your boyfriend. A couple of those families were military families and I kind of thought it was the kindest thing to do in that situation-kids need stability. However, when the kids started saying "i dont go home at the weekend because its easier to stay here, so i dont miss my mum" I kind of thought-that's a tough thing for an 8-10 year old to be saying, too tough. That little April girl broke my heart because I could see how much she missed her mum-she seems more empathetic of the lot and I was struck down when, at 8 years old, she goes "I think it's unnatural not to miss your parents". I personally would never send children that young to boarding school; you miss the golden years. When they've grown up a bit, I think it's probably be character-building. My boyfriend went to Christ Hospital and loved it, but he went at an older age. I think it's all about the specific situation; if I was a military wife and moved around every month or so, I think I would definitely put my child into a boarding school. But otherwise, no.
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    I can only add a little to the arguement as I have had a number of friends who attended boarding school, I almost went to one, but the decision to not send me was made last minute for reasons I don't know about (as i was quite young). However harsh and draconian they may seem all my friends (5) who went to them really enjoyed their time there and I remember when I was 7 I was genuinley excited about the prospect of going.
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    Like you, I went to a state school.... but I don't think I would've minded boarding school.

    It would've made me a lot mroe independent than I am, and probably would've prepared me a bit better for leaving for university.

    Also, Stephen Fry points out in his autobiography that the day he left for boarding school made him realise how much his mum loved him, he didn't feel abandoned or anything. Plus, the place is really only alien for a week or so, then you get to used to it. Secondary school is like that, too, really.

    That said, I love my school. It's two minutes walk from my house, which has saved me a lot of bus fare.
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    (Original post by Mayowa)
    I went to boarding school from nine and I loved it. but its more of a boy thing as you have more of an outdoors lifestyle as we played a lot of sport, sailed and did loads of famous five kind of things. It does toughen you a lot. but I think it does give you some problems.
    Just to add to my previous post, this is the impression I got from my friends who attended, and also the reaosning behind me being excited about going.
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    Both my parents went to boarding school - my mum from the age of eight, my dad from the age of 11. My mum went because her dad was involved in international banking and so travelled around the Middle East a huge amount, and thought it was both disruptive for my mum to move to a new country every two years and it was safer for her considering that there was such a risk of violence at the time, and my dad went to a school that was around the corner, because my grandparents wanted him to have an all-round education, life as well as schooling.

    I think they both loved it. They found it difficult at first, but they seemed to enjoy it, and are both in contact still with people from school. I've got to run, but will expand on this later.
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    My mum went to boarding school, and she loathed every second of it, and thinks that's where most of her emotional problems stem from.

    Tbh, if I had a job where I had to travel a lot, I'd seriously consider it. I'd rather my kids were in a stable, and constant place, rather than moving around a lot which I think has more of a negative effect.
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    (Original post by psychocustard)
    My mum went to boarding school, and she loathed every second of it, and thinks that's where most of her emotional problems stem from.

    Tbh, if I had a job where I had to travel a lot, I'd seriously consider it. I'd rather my kids were in a stable, and constant place, rather than moving around a lot which I think has more of a negative effect.
    Considering your mum's negative experience, I find it slightly surprising that you would consider sending your children. Do you think your mum would try to change your mind?
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    (Original post by *Darcie*)
    Considering your mum's negative experience, I find it slightly surprising that you would consider sending your children. Do you think your mum would try to change your mind?
    Not sure. My mum didn't have a fantastically stable life anyway - her dad died in a car crash when she was 7, her mum was a nurse and worked a LOT, and she was basically brought up by aunties until her sister (who is actually a completely insane, bullying cow) got a music scholarship to local boarding schools and got to go too.
    But also, these schools have changed a lot since she left - bear in mind it was the 60s when she went, not a time particularly famed for their sensitivity to children.
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    (Original post by NW86)
    Just to add to my previous post, this is the impression I got from my friends who attended, and also the reaosning behind me being excited about going.
    Also if u don't fit the system i.e really sporty or popular. then there is a certain extent of institutional bullying. Really individual people don't cope well.
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    Sending children away that early teaches them independence. I'm all for it.
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    Those three families were army families who would have to move a lot, so I can understand them sending their children to boarding school. While it may be hard initially it's better in the long run IMO.

    I watched the show and I felt for the kids but I think the intentions are right. While I don't go to BS my parents vowed I would stay in one school from year 7-11 as my mum had to move around a lot when she was younger, and she hated it.

    If I could avoid it when I'm older I'd consider it :yes:
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    Ooh, I'll have to watch that!

    My dad went to boarding school from a young age, and he's not that close...well not at all close actually, with his family now, and I think he resents them partly because of that. When he wasn't at boarding school they lived in different countries and he sometimes says he really envies mine and my brother's education/homelife (comp). It did affect him I think, only seeing them in holidays and not hearing from them that often.

    Then again Stephen Fry seemed to have got on alright in his autobiography (putting aside extraneous variables like thieving etc) so it obviously works for some.

    I'd hate it personally.
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    I went to boarding school.

    It was alright.
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    (Original post by psychocustard)
    Not sure. My mum didn't have a fantastically stable life anyway - her dad died in a car crash when she was 7, her mum was a nurse and worked a LOT, and she was basically brought up by aunties until her sister (who is actually a completely insane, bullying cow) got a music scholarship to local boarding schools and got to go too.
    But also, these schools have changed a lot since she left - bear in mind it was the 60s when she went, not a time particularly famed for their sensitivity to children.
    That's a sad story. As you say, I'm sure boarding schools have come a long way since your mum went. However, I still think it could cause problems for such young children, abandonment issues etc.
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    I was interested in watching this too and also understood why they felt they needed to send their children there.

    I attended a crap state school but my ex's dad spent most of his life in one and is very bitter about it, mostly towards his mum. She lives here and he lives in Australia now though and he says it doesn't matter that he is so far away from her because this is how it had always been. I don't know why he was sent but I met his mother and she was pretty eccentric and mad, she was on her third degree at 79. He is doing really well for himself in life now though so who knows. I'd definitely consider it because I'd anything to ensure my children have a better education and life than me and I plan on working really hard in my career for that so yes, I'd consider it.
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    I went to boarding school from the age of 10 and loved it . Yes it's hard at first, but the teachers and boarding staff are trained to deal with homesick kids, so there's a brilliant support network. I was first sent to a boarding school because my parents were in the army and I was fed up of switching schools every 2 years, but when my dad retired and they moved back to England, I actually chose to stick with boarding, even though they gave me the option of becoming a day girl. I genuinely think boarding was one of the best things that could have ever happened to me - before I started, I was very lonely (when you change friend groups every 6 months or so as regiments move, you end up spending a lot of time alone!), awkward around people, and my grades were terrible.

    The only thing I regret from boarding is that I don't have a strong network of friends at home - as all my friends boarded, we're now spread out all over the world! Yes I get great holidays going to stay with them all , but school holidays used to be very boring because I didn't really know anyone.
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    I was going to go to one and I still want to go to one.
 
 
 
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