Five benefits of boarding from Year 7

Posted: 7th June 2024

In this staff view Nikki Donson, Assistant Head, Pastoral and Boarding, explains the benefits of boarding from Year 7.

Nikki Donson and boarders at Burgess Hill Girls

There are a number of reasons why it is advantageous for children to start boarding in Year 7.

We list five key reasons below.

First and foremost, we would like to emphasise that though boarding can provide wonderful benefits to a child’s development, including independence, enhanced social skills, resilience and establishing deep lifelong friendships, it is not for every child and family. Similarly, while some children will be ready to start boarding in Year 7 or even younger, some might not be ready until they are a little older. These five key benefits are for those families who know their child is ready.

1. Starting with lots of other students

Like many schools, Year 7 is our largest year group for new joiners. We are a welcoming and inclusive school, so students should be able to join at any point and quickly feel at home but it is advantageous to start at the same time as other new joiners, as children will all be learning the ropes together.

Boarding Burgess Hill Girls

2. Faster development of English language

It is well documented that the younger you start learning languages the better, so for any students joining us where improving English is part of the motivation for boarding then it is advantageous to start from Year 7, our first year of boarding. By starting in Year 7, students’ level of English should be excellent by the time GCSE study commences in Year 9.

3. Mastering new sports

As with English, it is advantageous to start sports as early as possible. Athletic students should be able to pick up most sports quickly but with certain sports it does take a year or two to pick up and understand all the different rules and tactics. If you are learning new sports in Year 7 you are less far behind others who might have only been playing competitively for a few years.

Volleyball Boarding Burgess Hill Girls

4. Girls mature earlier

It is well documented that girls mature earlier than boys, so whilst it may be recommended that boys start boarding later, many girls are ready for the independence and adventure that boarding offers by Year 7. Certainly we find this to be true at our girls only boarding school. As girls only we have a strong cross year group boarding community where the older girls are only too happy to support younger boarders development and help them feel at home.

5. Priority access into competitive schools

Most schools will only have so many places per year for boarding. So if you want to ensure your child can get into your preferred school, starting them in Year 7 should help you secure their place without any problems.


The final bit of advice we would offer is to check the proportion of boarders in your preferred school who are full or weekly boarders. If your child will be full or even weekly boarding it is important that the majority of the other boarders in the community will be doing the same so your child will always have lots of friends to play and socialise with in the evenings and weekends.

We hope you have found this article useful. If you would have any questions about boarding at Burgess Hill Girls please get in touch with our admissions team.

Boarding From Year 7 Burgess Hill Girls