For students to become leaders of tomorrow, they must start their education on the best possible foot. An excellent education takes students beyond the four walls of a traditional classroom, immersing them in an experiential learning experience that stays even as they graduate into a more demanding academic environment and become global citizens.
As such, finding the right school to provide the greatest value for your child’s future is crucial for their academic and spiritual development. In these schools, your child will learn under the tutelage of experienced educators, spanning numerous settings and mediums. Comprehensive after-school programmes allow your child to explore and pursue their hobbies, interests, and passions.
If this is the outcome you seek for your child, consider these college preparatory schools in the US:
Spanning an expansive 500-acre campus in the Blue Ridge Mountains, Christ School is an Episcopal boarding school with a full college preparatory curriculum for more than 290 boys from 18 states and eight countries. Here, four pillars guide Christ School in shaping boys into the best versions of themselves: academic rigour, leadership, spirituality and the dignity of manual labour.
A blend of a positive learning environment, small class size, and individualised attention prepare students to join the likes of Harvard, Princeton University, University of Pennsylvania, Duke University, and the University of Toronto in the last five years. Along the way, boys identify their leadership style so that their Christ School education will last long after graduation.
Outside the classroom, boys become future leaders by participating in a wide range of leadership initiatives. They play sports, explore the outdoors, care for their campus and join community service. As they are located just south of Asheville, North Carolina, students capitalise on the opportunity to interact with their environment through hiking, biking, rock climbing, and much more. Proximity to major cities like Charlotte, North Carolina and Atlanta, Georgia means students get to attend architecture study tours, NBA and NFL game visits, and much more, too.
Their character development does not stop there. Students gather regularly to worship, and that shared fellowship is the glue that binds the community together. At this school committed to inclusivity and diversity, students from all major world religions and those with no faith background are welcome. To study at a school that prepares your child for the most competitive colleges in the US, click here.
Cambridge School of Weston
At The Cambridge School of Weston (CSW), it’s easy for students — between the grades of nine and 12 — to get a glimpse into their future, both on and off-campus. Set on 65 acres of lush woodlands, about 12 miles away from Boston’s finest universities, students enjoy the best that a world-class dynamic city and the tranquillity and safety of a contained, suburban campus have to offer.
CSW brings to life active, experiential, student-centred learning to complement diverse interests and aspirations — an education that remains relevant and responsive to the evolving needs of generations of students and the changing world in which they live.
CSW’s signature academic model, the Module System, is based on research about how adolescents learn best, and divides the year into six, six-week terms known as “mods,” in which students take no more than three academic courses at once. Rigorous courses in the expressive arts, English, language, history, maths and science lay a solid foundation.
With guidance and support from teachers, advisors, and coaches, students can choose from CSW’s over 250 courses that provide incredible depth into specific themes or subject areas. This highly individualised approach empowers students to explore and engage with choice, curiosity, courage, self-awareness, discipline, open-mindedness, and a sense of personal responsibility.
The Pennington School
Just a five-minute walk from historic downtown Pennington is the Pennington School. A private (independent), coeducational school for students in grades six through 12, the School guides young adults through Middle School and Upper School by applying the Pennington formula for transformational growth.
The School’s curriculum is individualised and tailored to each student to create a safe, challenging and inspiring learning experience. It believes in providing challenging courses and programmes – consisting of Advanced Placement and Honour Courses along with two Special Certificate Programmes – balanced by tailored support, such as extra daily help in every subject, a robust advisory program and a dynamic campus atmosphere consisting of students from 40 countries.
Here, a dedicated faculty strive to deliver a student-centred learning experience. The 6:1 student-to-faculty ratio allows faculty members to place students at the centre of the discussion and encourages them to find their voice. They teach individuality and spur students to pursue their private dreams for the public good.
Artistic aspirants can find their voice through the Pennington Art programme. Middle School students delve into a range of disciplines, with courses in visual art, music, and theatre built into the school day. Similarly, Upper School students are empowered with possibilities – with courses ranging from acting, music theory, and video production to ceramics, studio art, and photography.
The Putney School
Creative yet practical, visionary yet grounded — the Putney School is one of the most progressive schools in the US. That’s not all. This co-educational boarding and day school for grades nine to 12 is distinctive in many other ways.
One is its culture of vibrant intellectual curiosity within an informal environment. Free from the race for grades — it does not teach the Advanced Placement curriculum or any other standardised tests — they learn in compelling ways. They are in charge of the destiny of their education. By operating the school’s dairy farm, participating in physical work programmes, getting elected to the governing board, sitting in as members of the admission committee and more. It’s an effective approach too — the majority of Putney students win places at top colleges and universities.
The second reason is its project-based learning, integrated curricula and hands-on education. Although only recently implemented by other schools, the Putney School has been practising these for over 75 years. Its academic arts programme encompasses a wide range of disciplines in the visual and performing arts, one of the central Putney experiences. Students engage and explore a topic meaningful to them.
The third reason? Support. Learners of all stages and experiences are celebrated here. There are English language classes for international students. The Afternoon and Athletics programme ensures Putney students are not just active, but reap the full physical and emotional benefits of exercise. Across the curriculum, issues of social justice and race are taught.
*Some of the institutions featured in this article are commercial partners of Study International