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Why city boarding could be the perfect fit

“Location, location, location” has long been the mantra for shrewd house-hunters and the same could be said for choosing a boarding school. Parents will have many criteria as they look for a home-from-home for their child, writes Martin Priestley, Headmaster of The Leys, Cambridge. City-based schools offer many advantages.

Finding the right one for your child is a highly personal choice. Some children may feel more at ease in the peace and quiet of a rural location, while others will respond well to the buzz of city life. A combination of both could be the ideal, offering pupils the right balance of calm and stimulation.

Parents concerned that access to a city may offer too many temptations for their teenagers can rest assured that a well-managed boarding school will have plenty of entertaining and constructive activities to help children develop and flourish on campus. Excellent pastoral care will ensure the safety and well-being of young people as priorities of the highest importance.

A city location does offer a great many advantages. We are fortunate at The Leys, Cambridge, in having a large and leafy campus in the city that gives pupils “the best of both worlds”. Our 50 acres of well-tended grounds and playing fields are an oasis of greenery and calm just a stone’s throw from the cultural attractions of one of the most famous university cities in the world.

City schools are well plugged in to all sorts of useful networks. Good transport links make getting to and from school easier – for example, Cambridge is just 45 minutes from London by a regular mainline rail service. As they get older, pupils can travel independently with greater ease and boarders’ parents can enjoy the pleasures of the city when they visit. Civic and cultural life is readily accessible, too: museums, parks, galleries, businesses and other educational establishments.

Being in a city means a school can be part of a much wider and diverse community. Pupils can easily engage in voluntary work, sports tournaments, local art and debating competitions and much more. They can also just have fun: visiting the shops or the market or going to the city’s fireworks display, for example, allows pupils to engage with the city, and get off campus from time to time.

City schools do not exist in splendid isolation and that makes it easier for pupils to prepare for life in the world which lies beyond our gates.




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