5 Essential Life Skills Students Build at Boarding School

Life Skills Students Build at Boarding School

In boarding school, the learning never stops. Lessons extend beyond the walls of the classroom to encompass social skills, independence, self-confidence, tolerance and more. That’s because top boarding schools like Lakefield College School (LCS) aim to shift the focus away from purely academic education, instead supporting the broader development of the whole person.

Strong academic preparation will help your child succeed in an Ivy League university, but boarding school can also teach them essential skills they will need to thrive outside the classroom. Here are five of the most important life skills your child can build in boarding school.

1. Boarding School Spaces Promote Lasting Conflict Resolution Skills

When boarding school students have disagreements, small class sizes and communal relaxation times encourage them to naturally work through them. Instead of fighting and moving on to different friend groups, they learn to resolve disputes and work toward sustaining long-term, positive relationships. This means clique behaviours do not thrive in boarding schools the way they do in typical high schools.

“There’s no hierarchy or anything like that, there’s no cliques,” explains a second-year LCS student Tavis Simms (now in Grade 12). “It’s very… together.”

Practicing conflict resolution and learning to sustain healthy relationships will serve students like Tavis well later in life, helping them effectively manage conflicts with future roommates and employers, among others.

Students at LCS (including Allie Avard, centre) work together at a school spirit event
Students at LCS (including Allie Avard, centre) work together at a school spirit event

2. Children Learn Independence and Personal Responsibility at Boarding School

At a private boarding school like LCS, students learn to be responsible for themselves and their possessions, developing character traits like self-reliance and independence.

“Being a boarder has taught me that I’m a little more independent than I thought,” explains Allie Avard, a first year student (now in Grade 10) at LCS. “I’ve learned that I can do things by myself that I never thought I could do.”

If you enroll your child in boarding school, your child will practice independence within a broader community environment, building up confidence in their abilities to manage their schoolwork, stay healthy and thrive in the ‘real world’ after graduation.

3. Boarding School Students Develop Strong Work Ethics

Boarding schools have a well-deserved reputation for academic excellence that encourages in students disciplined work and study habits. Part of the reason for this excellence is the outstanding professionalism and passion of the instructors your child will encounter in boarding school. Their caring and commitment is responsible for motivating students to fulfill their academic potential.

Through supervised study sessions, accessible offices, and open door policies, students gain close access to their readily available support. And as studies show, it’s easier for students to become invested in their work when their teachers are role-models for this kind of academic dedication.

Tavis Simms (centre) enjoys outdoor recreational time with his friends at LCS.
Tavis Simms (centre) enjoys outdoor recreational time with his friends at LCS.

4. A Boarding School Can Boost Your Child’s Confidence in Social Settings

Every child is unique, and social skills come easier to some than to others. The supportive social environment fostered at boarding school offers benefits for all. It immerses students in living and learning environments of their peers, mentors and faculty, where every voice is valued.

Ongoing social interactions let boys and girls grow together, helping each other lay foundations for mutual respect and lifelong self-confidence. Students learn what it takes to find success in group environments and what they, as individuals, can contribute to their community.

5. Time in Boarding School Promotes Tolerance and Acceptance of Diversity

Canadian boarding schools attract students from all over the world. They host a diverse range of international and domestic students who share meals, sleeping quarters, and classes – fostering a close bond that transcends gender, geographical, racial, or ethnic differences.

“The school year’s not very long, it’s about 8-9 months,” says Tavis, “but the amount of trust that can be built through that is…really crazy.”

As students at boarding school share personal stories, cultural insights, and new experiences with each other, they learn to see beyond categories of difference. They learn that a person’s character is as meaningful as their background – a deeply important lesson they can take with them for years to come.

Interested in learning more about how boarding school educates the whole child? Hear Allie describe it in her own words:


Or visit LCS to learn more about enrolling your child in a private boarding school in Canada.