Boarding at Westlake International School

Boarding school used to mean sending your child abroad usually to the UK. There are now viable alternatives in Malaysia offering termly and weekly boarding options.

Photo: WIS

Why do parents send their children to boarding school? The main reasons include encouraging independence and being in an environment conducive to learning and improving social skills. Located in Kampar, Perak, Westlake International School has excellent boarding facilities catering for full time (termly) boarders and weekday boarders (Sunday evening to Friday afternoon). 

The decision to send your child to board is not one to be made lightly. As a parent, handing over the supervision of their academic, emotional and social wellbeing to a school means being able to trust a school’s abilities and competence—WIS prides itself on not only providing top-notch education but also boarding facilities. The last few months have seen tremendous changes taking place within education – from home-schooling to how parents are thinking about what is best for their children. The option of boarding far from home has become much less attractive, and why should we send our children abroad when there are great choices here?    

The heart of WIS Boarding Programme
The WIS team aims to instil values within the boarding framework through three pillars – character development and wellbeing, academic progress, and sports and talents. Programmes such as assertive mentoring are held once a week through interaction with Boarding House Parents (BHP) who are in close contact with teachers and provide the necessary support needed. This includes engaging boarders in sports, encouraging the pursuit of music or arts, developing life skills, as well as offering opportunities for leadership training. Each pillar is reinforced through the competence and abilities of the BHP and engaging in structured activities. 

A parent’s experience
Mr Steven Ng from Hong Kong has two children boarding with Westlake International School and had this to say, “My eldest son was 17 when he went to university in the UK. The first three months were a nightmare as he had to learn to cope with all the changes. My two younger children began boarding at WIS in Year 7 and 5, so they found it easier to cope with the change from living at home to boarding.” When asked what set WIS boarding apart, Mr Ng continued, “The ratio of Boarding Parents was higher, positive attitude of the boarding parents, weekend management of the boarders and the excellent activities.” 

Accommodation
There are cosy single and double rooms with air-conditioning, attached bathrooms, and comfortable shared spaces in each cluster where boarders can interact, socialise, study or just read quietly. Each floor has 4 rooms which open to a shared kitchenette area.  Every room is equipped with a bed, study table, wardrobe and shelving. 

A typical day
A typical school day sees boarders waking up early to prepare for the day ahead, tidy up their rooms and be ready to walk to school in time for breakfast at the school cafeteria. When school finishes, they return to their boarding houses where they have the option of self-regulated study, sports and dinner. After dinner, they have preparatory time when they all come to the main chill-out area to spend more time focusing on the completion of homework and revision. Weekday bedtime is at 10 pm with time given to relax or make phone calls before lights out. An added advantage of boarding is that health and wellbeing is always taken into consideration, e.g. screen time is closely monitored and controlled by BHPs to ensure students have enough rest and time for other activities. 

 

Boarding House Parents 
An integral part of the school’s pastoral care are the full-time Boarding House Parents (BHP) who are the backbone of the boarding system. The ratio is one boarding house parent to 13 boarders. They ensure boarders are adequately taken care of and are the first point of contact for parents who want to check on the wellbeing and progress of their child. These experienced house parents are what sets WIS boarding apart and are equal parts empathetic, fun and focused on making sure boarders are happy, progressing, excelling academically, keeping healthy and socialising well. 

WIS works closely with Boarding Schools’ Association (BSA) UK to provide an extensive boarding programme. As a part of BSA, we follow the Boarding Framework as a guideline for our boarders. Students are given the right care with academic coaching twice a week where WIS teachers monitor the academic progress of boarders. BHPs conduct assertive mentoring on Sunday as they welcome the weekday boarders back and prep fulltime boarders. This is also to keep them on track in terms of emotional and mental wellbeing. 

WIS is located in Kampar, Perak, which is known as a university city and only two hours drive from Kuala Lumpur. The school is surrounded by nature, lakes, cycling lanes and has a bird-watching area. By being far from the distractions and pollution of the city, the school provides a conducive environment for learning. 

WIS offers full boarding (Monday to Sunday) and weekday boarding (Monday to Friday). 

For more information on the school, life in Kampar, boarding facilities and curriculums, visit https://www.westlakeschool.edu.my/
 


Tags: News & Features, Advertorial, WIS, Primary, Secondary, IGCSE, A levels, Boarding
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