Boarding school for sixth former

(113 Posts)
ALong151 Mon 11-Mar-13 04:45:42

We're expatriates and looking to place DD at a good boarding school that would allow her to stay over exeat weekends or have no exeat weekends. As DD is rather academic, we"re looking or some place that would be able to nurture her and explore her potential to the fullest while encouraging her to do her best.She is also an all rounder with music and sport so would want to look for someplace that has facilities and opportunities over the weekends to keep her occupied. Since we are away , we would prefer a school which has mostly full boarders so she would not feel that the school is empty during weekends.

The problem is we are looking for her to start in sept, 2013 and it is rather late in the day applying now but news of our continued posting overseas just came in.Originally, she had been with us but we feel that we would want her to get back into the uk education system to get her ready for university. With no pressure from us at all, DD is aiming to enter oxbridge. Have written to many schools, but the reputed top schools have already allocated their places and do not accept anymore.

Great if we can get any feedback here.

scaevola Mon 11-Mar-13 06:46:54

Yes, it is after the applications/allocations round and most schools will be full. Schools generally stick to their admissions round (or it all descends rapidly into chaos).

Are there any parts of the country you prefer (near family/friends?) and do you want single sex/co-ed/either?

Bonsoir Mon 11-Mar-13 07:04:18

Ask Gabbitas for help. I know families who have required urgent boarding school solutions for sixth-formers later in the year than you and Gabbitas helped to identify the DCs' key strengths and market them to the right school.

forevergreek Mon 11-Mar-13 07:05:28

Kings school in Canterbury is good

Bonsoir Mon 11-Mar-13 07:05:52

Schools are more lenient than you might imagine when there are extenuating circumstances for clever DC coming from abroad.

scaevola Mon 11-Mar-13 09:23:11

There is wiggle room, but more commonly found in day schools: if the beds are full, it's just not possible to fit in an extra boarder.

If the extension to your posting has been so late in the day, presumably you had a day school lined up for her. Any chance the head/admissions team there could give you some advice?

happygardening Mon 11-Mar-13 09:36:15

I would have thought it is defintely worth contacting a few schools you like the look of. If your looking for a super selctive and are prepared to sit it out to the last minute you might be lucky and find that another child already in the school does unexpectedly badly in their GCSE's as is asked to leave.
Also from my experience lots of girls leave single sex for the 6th form and go co ed so you might find it easier to get a place at a girls school.
Schools with a mix of full boarders weekly flexi and day might be more likely to have a spare bed than an all full boaridng school.
As a last resort it is highly likely that within a few weeks or in my friends DD's case a few days of starting at a new boarding school in the 6th form someone will hate it and leave again if you make you enthusiasm for a school known to the admssions ofice you might be lucky.
Hope this helps.

ALong151 Mon 11-Mar-13 10:37:44

Thanks to all for responding.

We are looking for full boarding facilities and we are not particular about co-ed or all girls; DD had experiences in both and coped well.

We tried King's , Canterbury but they have closed admissions. We have applied to many but many have not reverted yet, probably because most of them are still on half term break. When they do revert, would probably need further advice here before the final decision. We have somehow lost touch with the schools in UK having been away for more than 10 years so would really appreciate your feedback here.

forevergreek Mon 11-Mar-13 11:53:12

Kings often opens up admissions I think. I know my sister attended for a year when parents worked abroad and only applied July time for sept start

Bonsoir Mon 11-Mar-13 12:02:44

If you want full boarding with good weekend provision, try Benenden.

Bonsoir Mon 11-Mar-13 12:04:26

Less academic but nevertheless sound and prone to losing pupils to the grammar schools and Sevenoaks for sixth-form - Kent College Pembury.

derektheladyhamster Mon 11-Mar-13 14:49:45

Christ's Hospital takes applications throughout the year if you aren't after a bursery or scholarship.

Pyrrah Mon 11-Mar-13 14:54:18

Have you looked at Cranbrook - the boarders there tend to stay at weekends (not sure about exeats though).

There are only 2 girls boarding houses, but worth asking.

Dustylaw Mon 11-Mar-13 23:48:37

Two schools that would fit your criteria are Roedean and Uppingham - Roedean has a lot of overseas and expat boarders and doesn't close at exeat weekends and Uppingham doesn't have fixed exeat weekends and is very much for full boarders. You could also consider The Leys - some locals leave after GCSE to the excellent local sixth form colleges so there are quite a few new sixth formers and dedicated sixth form boarding houses for them so they are not on their own - also excellent having Cambridge on the doorstep. FYI, Christ's Hospital does empty on exeat weekends (every 3 weeks) so that's probably not a good fit. But don't write - do get on the phone and try and talk to the person in charge of admissions. Good luck.

steppemum Tue 12-Mar-13 00:13:12

Cheltenham Ladies College is good academically and is mostly full boarders. No idea about admissions now for sept though

ALong151 Tue 12-Mar-13 02:56:07

We tried all the above but DD is looking towards some form of scholarship to help ease the burden as she has 3 other siblings who would need schooling soon enough.CLC ,the Leys ,and King's are full. The rest have yet to revert. Does anyone know anything about King William's in the Isle of Man, Royal High School of Bath and Adcote school in Shropshire?
On another note, how reliable are the league tables? A search online reveals several from BBC, the Guardian, the Financial Times and the Independent. They all seem to have varying data so it's rather confusing.
Hope some of you could enlighten me here.

soapnuts Tue 12-Mar-13 03:38:52

I (and more recently my sister) went to Badminton in Bristol (well westbury on trym) they have a lovely caring atmosphere and v good academics. It's not huge but might just have space - we both had a wonderful time there. Re Exeats - you could always stay if you needed to - my parents were abroad and I did stat once or twice for the peace and quiet! I remember being invited to go home with other girls more often than not. Just another one to have a look at.

ripsishere Tue 12-Mar-13 03:47:32

have you looked at Concorde college? it's in deepest darkest Shropshire but is a phenomenal place.

gruber Tue 12-Mar-13 04:23:44

I had friends at (Russell Group) university who came from King William's & RHS Bath. Both could well have gone to Oxbridge academically. Both loved their time at school. I've visted RHS Bath & very impressed. Don't know anything about their admissions though, sorry!!

happygardening Tue 12-Mar-13 07:25:59

The only one I know where you can definitely stay in on exeats because lots do is Gordonstoun. Results on paper don't look that great but we know someone with a DS there who is exceptionally able and doing exceedingly well. The last I heard they have an excellent gifted and talented stream the very bright are identified early and given lots of support extended work etc and very much aimed at Oxbridge the Ivy League etc.
I doubt over subscribed might be worth a look.

happygardening Tue 12-Mar-13 07:26:38

The only one I know where you can definitely stay in on exeats because lots do is Gordonstoun. Results on paper don't look that great but we know someone with a DS there who is exceptionally able and doing exceedingly well. The last I heard they have an excellent gifted and talented stream the very bright are identified early and given lots of support extended work etc and very much aimed at Oxbridge the Ivy League etc.
I doubt over subscribed might be worth a look.

Dustylaw Tue 12-Mar-13 09:52:03

An alternative approach is to look at state-run boarding schools (just google them). The big difference is you only pay for the boarding element so half the price of an independent boarding school. RE league tables, they are only quite useful ie they will often simply be a reflection of intake. Pay more attention to the individual stats for the school - do the exam results and the leaver destinations look good given what the school is saying about its intake?

scaevola Tue 12-Mar-13 10:06:11

I think you'll probably have to abandon the idea of a scholarship. These will certainly have been offered and accepted by now.

If cost is a constraint, and you are UK passport holders, you might want to extend your search to include state boarding schools.

Bonsoir Tue 12-Mar-13 10:13:31

You don't have to hold a UK passport to access state boarding schools - any EU passport suffices.

derektheladyhamster Tue 12-Mar-13 14:04:50

Christ's hospital does stay open on exeats, they keep a couple of houses open for overseas students and for those who can't stay.

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