The benefits of boarding two or more nights

Hatherop’s boarding house has continued to go from strength to strength over the last few years, ever increasing in popularity. We are delighted that the vast majority of the prep school have tried boarding for at least one night.

Some children have done so because parents are away, others because their friends are boarding and many because they are looking at senior schools that are full or weekly boarding. No matter the reason, we have seen so many children benefit from regular boarding, particularly those who board more than one night a week.

Learning to get along with others.

I’m sure that many parents would agree that no matter what line of work, organisation or interests you have/are in, that people skills are some of the most important skills that you need. In boarding, the children learn to be able to get along with others from different cultures, backgrounds and interests. This, from a young age, is crucial to develop their understanding that everyone is different.  Children need to tolerate those that they might not always see eye to eye with and celebrate other’s successes, this is something that we heavily promote. The more time that children spend in boarding, the better understanding they will have of this.

Independence is key

Learning to organise themselves and building independence. For the most part, children who board one night a week or board on an ad hoc basis are organised by their parents, who will often take ownership over packing bags etc. However, in boarding we promote the children to gain independence by taking ownership over their own organisation. Of course, we recognise that many will need different levels of support when organising clothes for the following day or locating lost items. Creating a culture, where the children are preparing themselves for each day, sets them up well for senior schools, where the emphasis is on the child to manage their own time and organisation. We notice that children who board two or more nights learn this skill significantly quicker than those that board on a less frequent basis.


Following rules and routines. School is not dissimilar to the modern working world, it is governed by rules and most jobs require a rigid routine in which we need to comply to. Giving the children a routine for the evening allows all the children to:

  • Provide a predictable home environment which will help the children feel safe. As children are growing up, many factors change in their life, we are their constant which helps the children cope in these times of change.
  • Allocating time for organising themselves for the next day, phoning home, having fun and getting ready for bed allows the children to maximise their use of time.
  • As children buy into their routines, they will find that they need less supervision from staff and will realise that they are able to start organising themselves and become more independent. Routines can help reduce stress, which in turn is good for a child’s immune system.
  • Daily routines help us to set our body clocks, allowing children to learn how much sleep is required each night.

These are just a handful of the reasons your child should board more frequently. I, as a boarding parent, see significantly more progress with children who board two or more consecutive nights. By boarding consecutive nights, the children start moving away from the “sleep over mentality” and recognise that for the nights that they are staying, the boarding house will become their home. Yes, we always want your child to have fun and enjoy their experience in Hatherop’s Boarding House, but there is so much more that can be gained.

If your child is thinking about going to a senior school where they will board, I would highly recommend that they start thinking about two or more consecutive nights at some point in Year 6. This ensures the boarding house is a constant for them whilst there is so much change moving on from Hatherop at the end of Year 8.

These are skills that I feel are essential to a child’s development, particularly for Years 5 to 8. A Prep School is designed to prepare your child for their senior school and their journey into adulthood. Hatherop’s Boarding House helps do exactly that. For more information about boarding, contact Mr or Mrs Nish, our Hatherop House Parents.