Good indy school for average boy

(90 Posts)
bulletpoint Thu 15-Nov-12 21:02:24

Colleague of mine is looking for a very good independent school for his academically average boy. Child has flashes of brilliance from time to time but rather lazy so dad looking for school that will stretch him/keep him on his toes. So basically not Eton, but not Shiplake either. Colleague leans more towards traditional type boarding schools.

I was going to suggest Oundle but looked on gsg and now not so sure, does Oundle do well by average boys ?

bulletpoint Fri 16-Nov-12 12:53:25

Just had quick confra with colleague, so far he's shortlisted same list as grovel with the exception of Radley and Malborough.

Kids name not down for Radley as you know, one has to register before conception!

Malborough not particularly "rocking his boat", sounds like the students are a bit too "affected".

Is anyone here an Oundle parent ? Keep hearing mixed reviews.

OBface Fri 16-Nov-12 12:59:16

Oundle IME is fairly academic.

What about Stowe? Seems to tick all the boxes.

happygardening Fri 16-Nov-12 13:09:14

Marlborough is also over subscribed and selective thus may not be keen on "average" ability.
Oundle no exeats could be a problem??
I've heard very bad things about Stowes pastoral care and as I said head is hideous although not quite Anthony Seldon who's in a league of his own.
Rugby a girl I work with sends her DS there they like it again pretty traditional.

That could have been my DS you're describing, 3 years ago. He's now at a prep school that has evened out the flashes of brilliance to a point where I'm not so worried about CE any more, and that has encouraged a love of sport, and interest in music and theatre. I had thought Winchester would be a good fit for him, but DS's tutor and housemaster steered me towards Sherborne. Better to be middle to top than lurking at the bottom of class, they said. hmm

After getting over the fact that DS isnt top flight academically, we had a look at Sherborne. The school feels just right for DS who thrives in a more traditional environment, and will benefit from the single sex education to GCSEs. A friend of mine, whose son IS very academic, also goes there and is doing really well. He's come out of his shell, and is loving every minute. I think academic standards are improving all the time, and Sherborne clearly has room for those at the top and for those who need encouragement.

happygardening Fri 16-Nov-12 13:12:32

Heads a bit up himself at Sherbourne but I understand that the teaching is pretty good.

IndridCold Fri 16-Nov-12 13:33:09

Have you met him happygardening?

Xenia Fri 16-Nov-12 13:36:06

I certainly know a good few people who seem to have been able to get a child into Stowe without much notice who may not be that bright a child so that might be one to consider. There is always Millfield for the mentally challenged but sporty too.

happygardening Fri 16-Nov-12 13:36:48

Yes once attended a function thing with a friend with a DS there. But then aren't many heads like this as I've said Seldon is in league of his own but maybe it sort of goes with the job.

bulletpoint Fri 16-Nov-12 13:36:52

Chinup- thanks for sharing your experience. It is quite tough accepting one's dc isn't academically tops especially where both parents are very high achievers, you tend to assume you will spawn lots of little Einstein's. But thankfully there's a place for everyone to shine and develop.

Indrid - are you the lady who took ds to Sherborne as hadn't heard from Eton and then mid unpacking in his room got the call from Eton that there was now a place and immeadiately started repacking everything back into the car and went of Eton ? I read it on MN a while ago, made me laugh with tears.

happygardening Fri 16-Nov-12 13:38:34

Xenia I suspect Milfiled like many otters is keen to move away from the "mentally challenged but sporty" image.

happygardening Fri 16-Nov-12 13:42:22

And if otters have this image Im sure they are keen move away from it too!!

bulletpoint Fri 16-Nov-12 13:45:30

I certainly know a good few people who seem to have been able to get a child into Stowe without much notice who may not be that bright a child so that might be one to consider. There is always Millfield for the mentally challenged but sporty too

Xenia you are very condescending, an average child is still a human being but obviously not worthy of your respect. Let's hope you don't fall off that high horse of yours one day, with all your acheivements you're not very bright at all.

difficultpickle Fri 16-Nov-12 13:53:59

happy I wasn't suggesting Winchester for this boy, I was simply commenting that Winchester appears to be more efficient than Harrow (and Eton). First impressions etc etc!

Bradfield puts all the year 9s in a boarding house together which has rather put me off the school as I'm not sure that is such a great idea. Also if your ds is at a boarding prep now it will seem a bit odd not to have older boys in the boarding house. My ds would hate to be stuck solely with boys of his own age.

happygardening Fri 16-Nov-12 13:59:09

bisjo your right Winchester is very efficient with correspondence etc.
I too have serious reservations about all year 9 in one house Bryanston do it as well. I can see on the surface of things it looks like a good idea especially when you looking and your DC's are still at prep but now my DS is at a senior schools Im less convinced of the advantages.

IndridCold Fri 16-Nov-12 14:17:38

happygardening I was curious because I had a long chat with him when he visited my DSs prep school, and I really liked him. A big personality, but amusing and approachable. He spoke compellingly about the challenges and rewards of educating boys and he is fighting hard to prevent them all going home every weekend - for which I commend him.

DS met him when he went for a music scholarship and also really liked him (I think he rated a 'Cool').

A friend of mine with an older boy at Sherborne told me that in four years she had never actually met the previous head, so I imagine he is quite a contrast with what went before, and I can understand that too many references to Eton would not go down too well. I wouldn't put him in the same category as Seldon (if there is one other than being Seldon smile).

bulletpoint No, that wasn't us, thank god, although there were times when we discussed at what point would we draw a line. There is no way we would have made the switch that late though.

Apparently it did happen to the cousin of someone I know, and it was Harrow not Sherborne - assuming it's true, and I have heard it from a number of sources.

dinkybinky Fri 16-Nov-12 15:53:32

Millfield is delighted that four pupils have successfully secured Oxbridge places to study Maths, Philosophy and Modern and Medieval Languages.

A record number of pupils have secured their first choice places to study at the prestigious Russell Group Universities. Pupils will study courses as diverse as Government and Politics at LSE, Aerospace Engineering at Queen Mary, University of London, Italian at Leeds, Biomedical Science at Imperial College London and Theatre and Performance at Leeds.

There is always Millfield for the mentally challenged but sporty too

Zenia, your comments, as always, are disgusting.

dinkybinky Fri 16-Nov-12 15:54:37

OP have you looked at Berkhampstead?

kerrygrey Fri 16-Nov-12 16:18:25

If you're looking in the area of Oundle you might consider Oakham. Not too difficult to get into but they do very well by their bright children. Co-ed, half boarding, half day but a big school so lots around at weekends - some of the day children come in for the weekends because there's so much going on. Loads of extras too. I looked at Oundle, Rugby, St Peter's in York, and Oakham for a fairly bright but lazy DD. We chose Oakham; she had a great time and did very well

QTPie Fri 16-Nov-12 16:27:18

Hi. Maybe too far, but have you considered Monkton in Bath? Not academically selective, but very good pastural care, good sports etc, great weekend activities for boarders, very friendly C of E ethos. We looked at pre-prep for DS (we are local).

Bath is a great city and good transport links to London.

Xenia Fri 16-Nov-12 18:06:04

There will be the odd bright one. It's a pretty easy exercise you look at a position in A level tables.

Millfield position 646th and Westminster 1.

I am not making all this up and I was asked to recommend schools for boys who were average or not very bright. Millfield is a good suggestion particularly if you are into money and a bit new money ish too perhaps.

goinggetstough Fri 16-Nov-12 18:56:49

Xenia it is not the fact that you suggested Millfield but the derogatory comments that you attach to that suggestion. You are correct Westminster is a highly selective school and therefore is first in the tables, Millfield takes DCs from across the ability spectrum. I have seen school data that shows their top 100 students got 87.78% A* to B for last summer. This still obviously doesn't put them in the same league as Westminster but it does show they cater for all abilities.
Just out of interest Xenia as you often comment can I ask have you ever been to Millfield?

EBDTeacher Fri 16-Nov-12 19:19:07

YY Bradfield, Wellington (although it helps to be sporty), Haileybury, Teddy's Oxford.

Maybe Rugby although that's a bit further.

joanbyers Fri 16-Nov-12 19:51:18

lol @ a bit new money ish too perhaps.

So cutting.

NewFerry Fri 16-Nov-12 20:03:58

Daunteys. I know of only boy who went there, the school was the making of him.
Sorry, don't know about the percentage that board, but its 109 in the league tables so I guess to doing something right

EBDTeacher Fri 16-Nov-12 20:05:06

My DH was at Berkhampstead for a conference recently and really liked it.

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