What extra curricular activities are there at UK boarding schools?

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What extra curricular activities are there at UK boarding schools?

What extra curricular activities are there at UK boarding schools?

If you’re an international student coming to a boarding school in the UK, you might be thinking about the activities on offer outside the classroom. Boarding schools place a lot of emphasis on extra curricular activities as they allow students to improve skills, teamwork and also have fun! The skills and lessons learned through extra curricular activities at UK boarding schools are often just as important as those learned in the classroom. We cover the most popular activities at boarding schools, but many schools offer over 75 clubs to choose from! No matter what your child’s interests, there will be an activity suited to them.


students playing hockey at schoolSport is a big part of UK boarding school life, and schools are keen for students to get involved in sports teams. Boarding schools offer excellent facilities, with many having rugby and football pitches, tennis courts, squash courts and indoor swimming pools. The sport facilities and staff expertise at UK boarding schools see a number of pupils go on to achieve at professional level. Click here to read our blog about the recent Olympic success of some of the UK’s boarding schools.

The most popular sports at boarding school include hockey, rugby, football, lacrosse, netball, basketball… the list goes on!

Whether you have lots of sports experience or are a beginner, Boarding school sports are for everybody and are a great way to get involved with school life. There may be sports that international students coming to boarding school are not familiar with yet, but playing sport at school can help improve confidence, teamwork and leadership. Sports teams also have the opportunity to compete against other schools and travel abroad for tournaments and competitions.


Just like sports, music makes up an important part of boarding school life for many students. Boarding schools offer a range of music groups including orchestras, choirs and bands. Some popular bands at boarding schools include Jazz Band, Pipe Band and Ceilidh Band. Students will often have the opportunity to receive 1:1 music tuition for a specific instrument too.

Duke of Edinburgh Award

The Duke of Edinburgh Award (also known as DofE) is a personal challenge that many boarding school students will undertake. Students can work towards Bronze, Silver or Gold by completing activities in sections including volunteering, physical and skills. They will also complete an expedition section which requires several days of walking and camping with a team. At Gold level students also undertake a residential section which runs for a week. DofE is a great opportunity for students to improve their independence, resilience and teamwork.

Combined Cadet Force

Also known as CCF, Combined Cadet Force offers young people a range of exciting, adventurous and challenging activities. CCF aims to enable the development of students’ responsibility and self-discipline. CCF training includes weekend camps and courses, summer camps and field days. Students will have change to gain qualifications in first aid too.


Boarding school theatre showMany UK boarding schools have fantastic Arts programme where students go on trips to watch plays, musicals, orchestras, operas. Schools may also produce their own shows, allowing students the opportunity to perform with their peers or work backstage. Students can gain experience in lighting and sound, directing, costume and publicity.

Remember that these activities are only a very small selection of the vast number of activity choices that students will have. One of the best things about coming to boarding school in the UK as an international student is having the opportunity to try new things!

This article appears in the following categories  Boarding School Life

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