Although Cayman has excellent schools, many parents will look to broaden their children’s horizons by sending them to overseas boarding schools.
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Over the years the image of boarding schools has changed immeasurably; the transformation from the hardship and coldness of Dickens’ Dotheboys Hall to the spellbinding excitement of Hogwarts has been both evolutionary and revolutionary. However, the changes in perception and the reality are not works of fiction; boarding schools in Britain and North America are flourishing and should be a real consideration for families thinking about the future schooling of their children.
Why Choose Boarding School?
- First Rate Education
The reputation of leading schools in the UK, USA and Canada is not just a label of prestige from the past; the academic, sporting and social success of these schools is in the present and the future. Academic excellence, their successes in international exams and their students winning places at Ivy League and Russell Group universities speaks for themselves.
- All-Round Education
Boarding schools are concerned with much more than academic prowess; pupils exceeding their potential in the classroom is paramount, of course, but the ability to be involved in whichever sporting, creative or intellectual pursuit that stimulates a child, is of huge importance too. All these things are on the student’s doorstep; schools are extremely busy places where children are seldom bored or lonely and, rather charmingly, it is still seen to be cool to do something rather than nothing.
Success is achieved through sound teaching and individual care and attention. Staff at boarding schools are with their students 24 hours a day and are there to ensure that every child is happy and performing well at all times, addressing problems swiftly. Boarding schools are well-equipped and qualified to support most learning requirements and a wide range of schools offer specialist additional support for learning and emotional needs.
Boarding schools have some outstanding facilities and offer beautiful spaces in which youngsters can grow and develop. Academic and sporting facilities can be state-of-the-art, and boarding houses are often not far of a reasonable hotel.
Whilst boarding school pupils can no longer rely on the ‘old school tie’ to garner success in later life, a boarding education exposes youngsters to a huge array of people – some of whom will become life-long friends. They will probably know these people better than they know anyone else in their lives. The ability to live and work with such a huge number of people is what gives boarding school students the confidence and maturity to excel in their future worlds. Exposure to the wider world and internationalism also helps prepare students for the world of business.
Boarding school fees can seem eye-wateringly expensive – fees can be as high as GBP£32,000 or US$59,000 a year. However, boarding schools are working increasingly hard to ensure that they are not ‘elitist’ and seek to attract the students who will most benefit from all the school has to offer. It is always worth asking about bursary and scholarship assistance.
There are people who can advise you about UK or North American private schools, and it is worth seeking guidance – this is, after all, one of the most important decisions you will make for your child.
However, it is important to choose a consultant who really knows the full range of British or North American independent schools and the complicated admission procedures involved.
Remember to ask them about things that you cannot find out from reading a school’s prospectus: whether the school is kind; what the pastoral care is like; does it run a house system and if so what are the benefits; does it empty at weekends; does it have a reputation for having a drug problem; does it cater well to special needs or learning support; will your child flourish academically there or drift to the bottom third of the academic group.
There are a small handful of education consultants that specifically work with Cayman families who you can touch base with:
Two school fairs take place in Grand Cayman each year offering parents the opportunity to meet representatives from various overseas boarding schools.
British Schools Fair Cayman Islands
The British Schools Fair is usually held during the first weekend of November. The 2019 the school fair was held on Saturday 2nd November from 2pm-6pm at the Marriott but the 2020 school fair never went ahead due to Covid-19. They hope to resume the school fairs in November 2021.
When they can come back, the school representatives will often spend a few days in Cayman on either side of the school fair weekend and are happy to conduct school interviews or have a private meeting with you. For information on which schools usually visit see www.bvs-education.co.uk/british-schools fairs.
Caribbean School Fair
The Caribbean School Fair usually comprises the top US and Canadian schools and was last held in Cayman on Sunday 17th November 2019 from 6pm-8pm at the Marriott Resort. The 2020 School Fair went ahead via an online Zoom forum and at least 40 US and Canadian boarding schools attended. For more information please email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Cayman has no boarding schools, so choosing an international boarding school is difficult, as visiting overseas schools is a huge task. Start by making a list of your child’s needs and wants and then choose to visit schools that tick those boxes.Read More
Boarding School Options
The following boarding schools in Britain, Canada and the USA all seek students from the Cayman Islands and are popular with Cayman families.
Numerous boarding schools visit Grand Cayman either during the British School Fair or the Caribbean School Fair, both of which are very worth attending. Often the Headmaster/Mistress of each school will visit and it is a great way to get a feel for what the school has to offer. They are more than happy to answer your questions and show you photos. They also conduct school entrance interviews while they are here.
Here we list a few overseas boarding schools that are popular with Cayman families: