As an international boarding school in England, King’s College Saint Michaels specialises in providing a rigorous education for students from all over the world. With all students coming from overseas the boarding houses and facilities need to meet the demands and expectations of parents searching for a private education in the UK.
Whereas many traditional boarding schools in the UK place students in dormitories with many students in one large room, Saint Michaels has only single and twin rooms. A proportion of these rooms have en-suite bathrooms, and the school operates a first come, first served policy which means those students who pay their deposits early may select their room for the following academic year first. Many tutorial colleges, along with some other boarding schools in the UK, have complicated pricing structures for their accommodation which give students the option of half-board or full-board, or requires extra payment for a single room or en-suite. Saint Michaels believes that, as a boarding school in England, they have an obligation to provide students with a high standard of accommodation whilst ensuring nobody pays a premium for extra amenities or luxuries. Boarding schools in the UK should be places for students to come to learn about one another’s culture on an equal footing, rather than a way for students to compare whose family can afford the most luxurious accommodation.
Although Saint Michael’s is a relatively small boarding school in England, the accommodation comprises 6 boarding houses which have been named after historic figures in the school’s long history which memorialise them and add to the charm of the school. The accommodation is all located on campus and each building has spacious and comfortable rooms. Jubilee, our newest residence, is only three years old and is reserved for our final year students. Each student here has a single room which allows students to focus on their studies without any distractions. Not only does this enable students to get top grades in their most important year of study, but it also gives them a sense of what life will be like at university living in student halls.
As one of the only boarding schools in the UK to offer a university foundation programme, students are encouraged to prepare for life after Saint Michaels. For many students, boarding schools in the UK can become a bubble where they get used to having everything done for them. Although Saint Michaels does provide meals and a laundry service for all students, they are also taught how to cook basic meals as part of our cookery club. Additionally, although our domestic team clean students’ rooms and bathrooms we expect each student to make their bed every morning and keep their room tidy. By outlining our expectations to students when they arrive, we aim to prepare them for university life and ensure that they learn self-discipline and grow into mature, respectable and socially considerate young adults.
The school is also able to arrange homestay accommodation with local families in the area. Some students feel that by living with a family they will improve their English much faster. Whilst this may be true for some boarding schools in the UK where there is a predominance of a single nationality, Saint Michaels has 28 nationalities all living together in the residences. Whilst we have many families eager to host our students, the vast majority of the students at Saint Michaels prefer to stay on the campus with their friends.