Horizontal and Vertical Boarding
Horizontal and Vertical boarding
There is no doubt about it – trying to choose the perfect boarding school for your child is hard.
- Should we choose a co-ed school or a single sex school?
- How about IB or A Level?
- What about a school in the country or one in the city?
When you come across terminology that sounds like it belongs in a Maths exam, the choice can be even harder.
Below are two basic terms to start off with which describe how boarding houses are organised.
This is when a boarding house caters for students who are all in the same year group.
- Students bond as a year group and develop lifelong friends.
- House staff can focus and cater to the specific needs of an age group.
- Boarding house can have facilities appropriate for that year group.
- Students need to move boarding house each year and therefore have to form new relationships with the new boarding staff and get used to new house routines.
- There is a risk of constant comparison of performance between students of the same age group.
- Shy students may find it hard to speak up in fear of being embarrassed by their peers.
Vertical Boarding is when a boarding house caters for students from different year groups.
- Older students support younger students and can become friends and mentors.
- Younger students can learn from older students.
- Boarding staff can closely monitor how a student develops academically and personally throughout their years in the house.
- It can restrict the number of friends a student can have from their own year group.
- The boarding house needs facilities to cater for a variety of ages.
How do I choose between the two boarding styles?
Many schools have a mix of both Horizontal and Vertical Boarding, offering horizontal for younger boarders (for example, in the Prep years – ages 8 to 13) and again for Sixth Form (ages 16-18). And then they switch to Vertical Boarding from ages 13-16.
For more advice on which boarding style and school will best suit your child, talk to our Admissions team who will discuss all the pros and cons.
This article appears in the following categories Boarding School Life, FAQs & Resources, School Admissions
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