Top 5 life skills from Boarding Schools


Students learn an array of invaluable life skills from boarding schools. Students gain independence and opportunities for personal growth from a young age.

‘Modern boarding’ offers a range of opportunities for students from different backgrounds. Students are taught solid life skills from boarding schools.

Richard Stokes, CEO of Australian Boarding Schools Association believes the “structured” nature of the boarding school routine is key.

“It keeps them on the right track and on the right framework.”

He believes boarding schools actively teach life skills.

“It’s become a really important part of boarding, probably in the last 5 years, that whole concept about teaching skills for life outside of the boarding school, rather than just maintaining their support. I think that is probably the critical thing.”

Top 5 Life Skills from Boarding Schools

1. Independence

Students in boarding schools have a great sense of independence living outside of home from an early age.

“Great boarding schools teach kids to be independent.”

Boarding school students are responsible for their own chores, studying, class and dinner attendance and more.

“They can stand on their own two feet and they know what they need to do to make life work. We see that time and time again when kids are really good independently because they’ve had to grow up quite quickly.”

Students become responsible for their own actions. As independent learners, boarding students need to use their time wisely to complete homework, socialise and take care of their wellbeing.

2. Practical Life Skills

Students also learn practical life skills from boarding school. Many boarding students are faced with tasks that parents often help out with at home.

Mr Stokes points out that many boarding schools have staff that teach students practical skills.

“Boarding schools are going more and more extensively into the exercise of making sure they do a good job of teaching life skills themselves.

So things like how to cook meals, how to manage their money and finances, mental health, how to manage those…resilience issues and exercises… even ironing clothes and sewing up buttons… so there’s a big range of those sorts of skills that boarding schools are working really hard at training kids to do.”

The NSW Government recommends allowing your children to practise practical tasks at home before attending boarding school.

This may include tasks such as making their bed, using a washing machine and dryer, and folding and ironing their clothes.

3. Interacting with others

Students in boarding schools are working and living with people with a range of different attitudes and personalities.

“They learn to relate with others whether they like them or not.”

Learning to interact with other people is one of the most important life skills from boarding school.

“There’s almost a tolerance learning involved where they get an opportunity to learn to put up with those that they don’t like and learn to get on with lots of people really well.”

Learning to interact with others helps boarding students prepare for the real world, meeting new people and in the workforce.

4. Teamwork and Community

While non-boarding students live with their family, boarding school becomes a community with other students.

Students naturally gain team building and teamwork skills by learning together, studying together and living together.

life skills from boarding schools. boarding students at dinner table.
Credit: Assumption College

Boarding school is a great way for students to learn teamwork skills they can carry into their future professional careers.

Mr Stokes explains this was especially emphasised during the COVID-19 lockdowns.

“It’s taught them the value of community because our kids really missed being with the kids that they lived with and our international kids got stuck here. So they learnt to value the power of that community to support them. I think those sorts of skills are ones that COVID certainly taught us.”

Students also become good and valuable members of the community.

“They learn to live with each other really well … when they have finished school and have to move into a flat, they’re very good community based people because they’re used to living with people around them.”

5. Work Ethic

Many students attend boarding school to save time and strive for academic excellence.

Boarding students have a clear set routine and are surrounded by students completing their study and homework.

Boarding students often have a strong work ethic. Many students are influenced by their peers or are able to share notes and learn together.

Summary of life skills from boarding school

1. Independence
2. Practical life skills
3. Interacting with others
4. Teamwork and community
5. Work ethic

Choosing a school for your child can be difficult, if you wish to receive further information including our Boarding Supplement please see Choosing a School NSW 37 or Choosing a School VIC 34.

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