The Complete Guide To UK Boarding School Open Days

In the UK, Boarding School Open Day is a unique opportunity for potential students and families to visit amd learn more about a school. You can find out how they operate on a day-to-day basis and have a taste of what life would be like living as a boarding at the school. In this guide, we’ll cover the essentials of boarding school open days, what you should know, and what kind of questions you should ask while you are at the school.

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What Is A Boarding School Open Day?

A UK boarding school open day is an event organised by the school to showcase its facilities, academic programmes, extracurricular activities, and overall day-to-day life to prospective students and their families.

These events typically include guided tours of the campus, presentations by school staff, opportunities to meet current students and faculty, as well as Q&A sessions to address any queries or concerns.

Open days offer a chance for families to gain insight into the school’s atmosphere, teaching approach, and community, aiding them in making informed decisions about enrolment.

In short, open days are an important step in the admissions process, allowing families to experience firsthand what the school has to offer and whether it aligns with their educational goals and values.

What Are Areas You Should Explore During An Open Day?

There are lots of cover during the open day, so it’s important to hone in on the essentials and areas of interest to help you evaluate the school. Here are some key areas to explore:

  1. Explore the Academic Side: Engage with teachers and academic department heads to inquire about class sizes, teaching methodologies, subject offerings, homework and other academic support. It may be worth requesting information on student achievement levels, exam results, university placements, and any special academic programmes or initiatives offered by the school.

  2. School Facilities: Visit classrooms, laboratories, libraries, and other academic spaces to assess the quality of facilities and resources available for learning.

  3. Boarding Facilities: Tour dormitories, common areas, dining halls, and recreational facilities to evaluate the boarding experience and living conditions for students.

  4. Extracurricular activities: Ask about clubs, sports, arts programmes, music programmes, field trips and other extracurricular activities offered at the school to understand what’s available for students.

  5. Pastoral Care and Support Services: Learn about the school’s approach to student well-being, mental health support, counselling services, and pastoral care systems in place to ensure students feel supported and safe.

  6. Student Life: Interact with current students, teachers, and staff members to get a sense of the school’s culture, community dynamics, and overall atmosphere.

  7. Academic Support: Inquire about tutoring services, academic enrichment programmes, and support mechanisms available to help students excel academically and overcome challenges.

  8. Safety and Security Measures: Ask about safety protocols, emergency procedures, and security measures implemented by the school to ensure the well-being of students and staff.

  9. Parental Involvement: Explore opportunities for parental involvement, communication channels with school administration, and ways parents can participate in their child’s educational journey.

  10. Surrounding Area: Take note of the school’s location, nearby amenities, transportation options, and accessibility to urban centres or recreational areas to assess the overall suitability of the environment for students and families.

What Questions Should You Ask During The Open Day?

Here are some helpful questions to ask to find out more about the school and whether it will be a good choice for you:

  1. Academic Aspects:
    • What is the average class size, and how does the school ensure individualised attention for students?
    • Can you provide details about the qualifications and experience of the teaching faculty?
    • How does the school support students who excel academically or require additional assistance?
    • What advanced placement or specialised programmes does the school offer to challenge high-achieving students?
  2. Extracurricular Opportunities:
    • What clubs, sports, arts programmes, and other extracurricular activities are available to students?
    • How does the school encourage student involvement in extracurriculars and foster a well-rounded education?
  3. Boarding Life:
    • What are the boarding accommodations like, and how are students’ needs catered for in the boarding environment?
    • How does the school promote a sense of community and belonging among boarders?
    • What recreational facilities and weekend activities are available to boarding students?
  4. Student Support Services:
    • How does the school address the mental health and well-being of students, particularly those living away from home?
    • Are there counselling services, academic tutoring programmes, or peer support networks in place for students who need assistance?
  5. Pastoral Care:
    • How does the school foster a supportive and inclusive community, including the integration of international students?
    • What measures are in place to ensure the safety and security of students, both on-campus and off-campus?
  6. Parental Involvement:
    • How does the school facilitate communication and collaboration between parents, teachers, and administrators?
    • Are there opportunities for parents to participate or be involved in school events, committees, or volunteer activities?
  7. Future Opportunities:
    • What university guidance and career counselling services does the school offer to prepare students for higher education and beyond?
    • Can you provide information about the university acceptance rates and destinations for graduating students?

How To Join A Boarding School Open Day?

The first step is to determine the list of schools you are interested in. Then, make a list of all the open day dates for each of the schools. You can refer to our open day school list below for the open day dates of some of the most popular boarding schools in the UK.

Finally, you’ll have to register your interest in attending the open day events. You can apply on the school’s respective websites or speak with our team here at Britannia and we can help you to make arrangements.

List of Boarding School Open Days For 2024

Here you can find the open day dates of some of the most prestigious boarding schools in the UK:

  • Oxford International College – 18 May, 22 March (Virtual)
  • Concord College – Available all year round 
  • Eton College – Available all year round 
  • Cardiff Sixth Form College – Not yet announced. Register your interest here.
  • Westminster School – June and September, registration opens in April
  • Wycombe Abbey – August 2024. Register your interest here.
  • Brighton College – 27 April 2024.
  • Queen Ethelburga’s College – 9 March and 27 April.
  • Cheltenham Ladies’ College – 8 June.
  • Harrow School – Saturdays from 16 March to 8 June
To apply for a school visit, contact us here.


The Different Types Of Open Days

There are in-person open days and live virtual open days. If you are located overseas, you can attend the virtual open day sessions and ask questions about the school. They can also provide you relevant information pertaining to your queries such as virtual tours, videos, presentations and more.

Another way you can evaluate a school by not being there is by reading the OFSTED reports. OFSTED conducts inspections across a range of educational and children’s services in England, such as schools. These inspections assess various aspects such as the quality of education, care, leadership, and management, aiming to ensure statutory requirements are met and to drive improvement. This can be a valuable resource for you to evaluate a school. Check out our full OFSTED guide here.


Attending an open day at a boarding school offers families an opportunity to explore various aspects of the institution, including academic offerings, extracurricular opportunities, boarding life, student support services, and more.

By asking thoughtful questions and exploring the campus and facilities, families can gain insights into the school’s environment, culture, values, and educational philosophy. The information gathered during the open day can help families make informed decisions about whether the boarding school aligns with their child’s needs, interests, aspirations, and educational goals.

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