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 an all boys 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.
Horizontal Boarding vs. Vertical Boarding
Horizontal Boarding is a term used by schools to describe how their boarding houses are organised.
This is when a boarding house caters for students who are all in the same year group.
Advantages of Horizontal Boarding
- 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.
Disadvantages of Horizontal Boarding
- 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.
Advantages of Vertical Boarding
- 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.
Disadvantages of Vertical Boarding
- It can restrict the number of friends a student can have of their own year group.
- The boarding house needs facilities to cater for a variety of ages.
Many schools do 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 & school will best suit your child talk to our Placement team who will discuss all the pro's & cons.