You can say the independent schools in Britain built its empire. Their historical impact is immense — so few citizens who attended these institutions went on to exercise such influence nationally and internationally. No other post-Renaissance country can be said to match this feat.
Today, boarding schools continue to produce prime ministers, award-winning artists, prolific sportsmen, renowned scientists, C-suite leaders and so forth. A significant portion of the UK Cabinet are typically alums of these institutions, as are its House of Lords, law courts and media organisations.
As their parents knew, the incentives of attending boarding school often lead their offsprings on gilded paths. Whether it’s in the US, Canada or the UK, they are the top options today with few acceptable alternatives when it comes to quality education, comprehensive pastoral care, an abundance of co-curricular activities and invaluable networking with the progeny of today’s who’s who:
Uppingham School is a vibrant and energetic full boarding school for boys and girls aged 13-18. Founded in 1584, it is an institution with a long and proud heritage, but is fundamentally forward-looking in its values and approach as it develops an educational experience to shape young minds for the 21st century.
With a wide-ranging curriculum, Uppingham is committed to offering pupils a holistic education that supports their personal qualities, values and aspirations. The School achieves excellent exam results, but most importantly caters to the strengths of each pupil, enabling them to make the most of their school life and progress into the wider world as successful, mature individuals.
Within its walls, young people are guided, nurtured and inspired through the School’s commitment to encouraging intellectual rigour, exploration, critical analysis, creativity, risk-taking, communication and teamwork. While pupils are taught and inspired in the classroom, Uppingham also values deeply the broader aspects of the curriculum, such as the arts, music, theatre and sport, to give each person the opportunity to grow and develop their skills in a field that they are passionate about.
As a full boarding school, Uppingham offers an outstanding and well-rounded education in an inspirational environment where young people can flourish. Historic architectural beauty, natural splendour and the finest modern amenities offer the staging for pupil interactions which are fostered by supportive teachers and exceptional pastoral care.
Led by headmaster Dr Richard Maloney, Uppingham School understands the importance of empowering pupils with the skills, confidence and capabilities they need to navigate their own paths and reach their full potential. Discover more about what an Uppingham education has to offer here.
Phillips Exeter Academy
At this coeducational residential school founded in 1781, every student has access to the very best education — one that fuses the ideals of both goodness and knowledge. Today, more than 1,000 high school students from the US and 33 foreign countries call its 675-acres campus in historic Exeter, a charming southern New Hampshire town, home.
The Exonian community celebrates curiosity and cultivates potential. With a student-to-teacher ratio of 5:1, more than 450 courses in 18 subject areas, and the opportunity to study on five continents, there are various opportunities for discovery and exploration, of both self and subject matter.
Exeter’s curriculum and diploma requirements balance breadth of exposure and in-depth pursuit of a student’s strongest interests. Those who attend the school for more than one year will experience coursework in seven different academic areas. Electives are wide-ranging, encompassing social innovation, accelerated Arabic, art of protest, modern China and more.
College counselling here is just as student-centred. The College Counseling Office created active and open-minded collaboration with students and parents. It starts with identifying goals and interests, then managing a complex process and finally, making informed decisions about higher education. Every Exonian is equipped with the self-evaluation, research and application writing that is essential to good college selection. It’s the final step in students’ transition from adolescence to young adulthood.
As Principal Bill Rawson says, “The founders wrote, ‘the time of youth is the important period, on the improvement or neglect of which depend the most weighty consequences, to individuals themselves and the community.’ … It is the singular reason our school exists today.”
Since its founding in 1903, thousands have emerged from its picturesque urban campus in the heart of Toronto as great women. They go on to the best colleges and universities around the world. They make a difference in various fields and endeavours. They forge awe-inspiring careers and lives.
Their success is a direct reflection of the Branksome experience. At this all-years IB World School, students take part in an academically-excellent programme in tandem with unmatched commitments to global engagement and well-being.
From Junior Kindergarten to Grade 12, Branksome girls receive the full benefits of the IB curriculum. Branksome Hall is the only independent girls’ school in Toronto to offer the International Baccalaureate exclusively. They study English, Mathematics, Sciences, Technology, Physical Education, the Arts (Drama, Music, Visual Art), humanities and a foreign language every year. Whichever subject they take, they are nurtured to become critical thinkers and effective communicators of their ideas and opinions. The result? Habits that last through a lifetime of shaping a better world.
As Karen L. Jurjevich, who has served more than two decades as Branksome Hall’s principal says, “Branksome Hall will change your life.”
In The Sunday Times Independent Schools Guide, widely acknowledged as the most authoritative survey of the top schools in the country, Brighton College was awarded the prestigious title of School of the Decade by The Sunday Times. It was described as “one of the hottest tickets in independent education.”
In the past 10 years, “Brighton has become the leading co-educational independent school in the country. Under the excellent headship of Richard Cairns for the past 14 years, the school is progressive in outlook and the children are taught kindness and respect for one another,” the editor of the Schools Guide wrote.
Headmaster Richard Cairns credits this award to the college’s wonderfully inspirational teachers and energetic and positive pupils. With passionate teachers, pupils get to develop a life-long love of learning. They also attain 99% A*AB at A Level and 96% 9-7/A*A at GCSE — making it one of the top performing schools in the country.
At its new School of Science and Sport, students get to complement their academic programmes by enjoying sports at its double-height sports hall, rooftop running track, a 25-metre swimming pool and a state-of-the-art strength and conditioning suite. With an arts calendar full of a range of music, dance, art and drama events, there is no shortage of opportunities for pupils to get involved in. This includes the annual musical in November, a carol service, regular music recitals and art exhibitions, and pupil-directed plays.
*Some of the schools featured in this article are commercial partners of Study International