Some background:- A meeting about a completely unrelated matter resulted in the head telling me that he thought these schools should be right up there on my list. This list is completely different from that discussed with head of year recently and none of these have been anywhere near my radar.
My instinct is that the head doesn't 'get' my son (for various reasons I won't go into), but I'm wondering if I'm completely wrong. He does after all have a lot of experience in the area whereas I have only my one son to place. Given that he will be writing the crucial references I am keen to get other more informed views on whether people would bucket these three schools together as being indicative as suitable for a certain 'type', and what that type might be? Eastbourne, for example is so left of field that I have no idea at all what to make of it.
What would this list suggest to you?
Some pointers:- DS very good at sports/music. Challenged by self-esteem issues, dyslexia, dyspraxia. High IQ and sometimes referred to by teachers/head as gifted (but always hopeless in exams). Needs to be pushed as not competitive in the slightest, and will also need good pastoral care.
I'm curious as to what was on your short list? All are well regarded Oundle is probably the most academic of the three its large and has a mixture of day/weekly/full boarding, Uppingham is average size, only full boarding it has a reputation for being traditional with lots of traditional twin set and pearl/Boden clad parents, Eastbourne has a reputation for being caring the "nicest most popular" boy in my DS's prep went there, and taking SEN, I believe hardly any full boarders. I would have thought it comes down to personal choice have you visited any of them?
Ah, HG. Wasn't sure if you were still around - delighted to see you here. We spoke privately a while ago (I had a different name) - my DS is currently at JKS (although we have a meeting with Head of Wellesley next week..).
Haven't visited any of these three as have been looking at the schools on original list (per previous discussions with head of year). Would never have considered Uppingham or Oundle as neither to my knowledge are very SEN/pastoral focused. What I'm trying to find is a school as pastoral and inclusive as Shiplake, but with the academic rigour and larger size of Tonbridge (loved Shiplake but it felt like a prep school to me, if that makes sense - too small, too soft, perhaps). I'm flip-flopping between these two, and planning on visiting Bryanston later in the year. Have visited and ruled out King's C and King's R. Langton is also on the radar although am not sure he can get in now that it's superselective. Sounds as if Eastbourne might be one to add to the longlist...
We loved Uppingham and if we lived nearer it would be the only school on our list. I just thought it was understated, had a lovely atmosphere and the nicest staff and pupils we've met anywhere. I liked that it was reasonably academic but that the arts and sports carried equal merit. In terms of contact it has been in a league of its own.