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In education, and as parents and carers, we often talk about transition points for children. For example significant moments can include: when a sibling is born, learning to ride a bike (and discovering the independence that brings), or in our context, when a young person moves from Primary School to Senior School. The latter can be a stressful time for a child as they move from a safe, familiar and – in many cases – smaller school environment, into a much larger and complex Senior School setting. 

Becoming a boarder for the first time is also one of these key transition points. Managing these transition points independently of each other can give young people the opportunity to navigate these changes at a pace that suits them, rather than feeling overwhelmed by ‘everything changing in their lives’ all at the same time.

Deciding to send your child to boarding school is a huge decision for any parent or carer; the timing of when to do it often being the next choice many families have to make. Here in Australia, Year 7 feels like the natural entry point. However, in countries such as the United Kingdom, boarding from Year 6 is a very common pathway. In that example, over 5,000 Junior School age students opt to board prior to making the step up to Senior School. 

So, what are the benefits of boarding in Year 6?

I guess the most simple answer is: There is no better way to ‘prepare’ for Senior School than to send a child to ‘Prep’ school. As the name suggests, preparing students for Senior School is what Preparatory schools do best. From a boarding context, it is no different. Students have the opportunity to familiarise themselves with Scots in the smaller and less complex environment of our Preparatory School, allowing them to focus more of their energy into making the adjustment to boarding for the first time.

Scots has a dedicated boarding house for Years 6 and 7 boys only. We are able to provide a specialised and age appropriate program in a much smaller and family orientated environment. This provides an excellent grounding for the social, organisational and academic requirements of boarding in the Senior School, and, is a great segway into, not only the culture of Scots but also, the demands of a busy city school. Many of our boys have vastly differing Primary School experiences. Boarding in Year 6 allows for bespoke academic and pastoral support, providing teachers with an opportunity to begin closing any gaps that may be present, or in some cases, extending a boy’s current abilities further.

The continuity of care and education that boarding offers is invaluable in providing a stable platform for a child’s development. Boarding teaches children to take responsibility for themselves, organise their time, and provides a structured study environment in which they can access experienced teachers, tutors and peer support. Why not give your son the Year 6 boarding advantage?

To find out how your son can experience the Scots Advantage from Year 6, download our Boarding Prospectus.

The Scots College is a proud member of the following associations.

The Presbyterian Church (New South Wales) Property Trust T/A The Scots College, Sydney Australia
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William Elder


Mr Alan Elder was born in Scotland and migrated to Australia with his parents at a young age. He attended The Scots College for all his schooling, graduating in 1944. He played 1st XI Cricket and was a member of the College Cadet Unit. After leaving school Mr Elder studied accountancy and retained a life-long love of the College, especially the Pipes and Drums. Mr Elder never married, however the significant bequest he left will allow his Scots family to remember him through the Lang Walker Business Centre.