Sedbergh School Cumbria(45 Posts)
Has anyone on here any recent experience of Sedbergh? We are interested for our 2 DC both good at sports and bright but are concerned that several parents at their current school say it is not academic enough for them! We want a broad education with academics, sport and arty things in balance. We liked the new head and were impressed. many thanks!
My good friend's daughter just finished there. Fantastic school by their accounts. Anything you need to know?
Hi and thanks for replying fannybanjo!! what age did she start the school and did she go to the Junior section first? Also was she a full boarder?
She only did 6th form unfortunately so probably not able to answer many of your questions re Juniors etc but she was a full boarder.
We bumped into an old friend up there in April when our 18yr old son was playing in a rugby tournament there. She was just about to send her oldest boy there, aged 13, having looked into things thoroughly. I don't know how academic her son is, but both parents are bright,and son has a sports scholarship.
Hi, We had friends who visited Sedbergh but decided against it due to location they thought it was a wonderful school. Check out the ISC www.isc.co.uk/school_SedberghSchool_Sedbergh.htm for boarding numbers. It says 128 girl boarders from 8 to 18 years. If that is spread it would be 12 per year, but experience tells me that there will be substantially more in the sixth form. Ask for the full/weekly boarding break down too in each year group for girls. Schools don't usually lie but they can be economical with the truth especially if they are trying to encourage full boarders!
OP - if your DC's are girls, it might also be worth looking at Casterton School, just down the valley from Sedbergh.
Sedburgh is a school for thick rugby players. I have yet to meet an adult who went to Sedburgh who is normally nice (iyswim) they mostly are arrogant bullies, one or two are totally crushed by the whole experience. Only a school for very confident rugby players ime (disclaimer - know pupils from current y10 upwards, plus old boys aged from 22 - 75).
Loads of fab northern boarding schools out there - Barney, St Petes, Ampleforth for the catholics, no reason to opt for Sedburgh.
Plus despite their avowed rugby status they don't enter the daily mail so it is not possible to judge their standard nationally.
My nephew really wanted to go to Sedburgh because he's rugby/sports mad - I think his parents decided against it because it was a bit less academic than they wanted and had his sister to consider as well. However, think they had favourable comments from what they had seen and heard from others so it was an 'on balance' decision to opt for another school rather than outright rejection. Still a sporty school but I bet the children do as well academically as they have potential to do. Also suggest you look at Giggleswick if you are looking for boarding/day school around there - heard many good things about that. Neither school will wow the league tables but that is such a con anyway since it doesn't measure how well an individual child has done and how much good fun and broad education they have had and good friends they have made.
Loshad, you are correct in saying that they don't enter the Daily Mail Cup, but they have a Super 10's competition at the end of the season and invite about 20 schools. My son's school were Semi-Finalists in DM last season and found it a very hard competition. They also play other top rugby schools like Whitgift (won DM last season), Warwick (previous winners recently), Llandovery College (recent Welsh Champions), Oakham (DM Runners Up last season) Millfield etc. Having said that they have lost to Colston's this term having thrashed them last season.
Many thanks for all the replies - have been away for a few days so catching up now!! I have two DD's who are bright but really into sports and drama. Are currently at an all girls hot-house that is always in the top 5 of schools nationally - they have been told they can stay where they are but I just think they would be happier at a school that values things other than academic grades. Interesting what Loshad said as its pretty much what another parent said!! I am just worried that the academic level would be a lot lower than where they are now -
Thanks for the suggestions about other schools - will look on their websites too!!
Ceebeejay, if your girls are transferring from a top 5 school then you just have to reckon on a very different proposition. Top league table schools top the league tables because they have excellent teaching allied to extreme selection from a very large pool of candidates - that's something they would all acknowledge and you just can't get that cohort unless you are in a city or have a national pool to draw on. If you are looking at different types of school then I suggest you look at what results the schools have with their cohort (ie what does the school actually accomplish?) and whether the final results indicate that there are enough bright pupils to spark your own bright girls. I think from the stats as well as what I've heard that both Sedburgh and Giggleswick are OK on both counts and Casterton too if you want to look at a single sex option. Plus if you are looking at boarding then there are other options too. Of course you will get your own opinions as you visit and then the decisions may seem easy!
Ceebeejay, like you I wanted a broad education for DD who is currently at Sedbergh. She is bright, arty, musical and in to drama. Her academic potential is recognised and nurtured. School is busy with lots going on and I think that boarding is particularly good. A visit is essential to experience the atmosphere of the school. It's a great pity that the stereotype of Sedbergh being only a school for rugby players persists - it is fantastic for sport - but for much else too ( music is excellent )The new head brings a fresh academic focus and vibrancy to the school, and DD is encouraged to branch out on every front. HTH ....
Ceebeejay, my DD is currently in the upper sixth at Sedbergh, having gained an all rounder scholarship at the age of 13. She has been extremely happy there, thrived in both her sporting achievements, her music and the ever important academics. Having gained 8A*2A at GCSE she is predicted A*A*AA in maths, further maths, chemistry and physics at A level......so no it isn't just a place for thick rugby players. I would say two things though. 1. Almost all the pupils (98%) are full time boarders. 2.I think Sedbergh is very much a 'marmite' sort of a place, a young person would either love it or not settle at all.
thank you so much Wingshoes and 1666 for your replies - we have tried the tester boarding which went well and its now down to the entry exam and the sport and academic!!
Fantastic school. My son started this year and has had the best start possible. From a shy young boy he is already gaining in confidence and cannot speak highly enough about all the teachers and opportunities there.
He describes the school as awesome.
My only reticence to tell others how wonderful the school is on ALL fronts; sport, music and academic, is the competition it will bring my younger son who already aspires to go there.
thank you for the reply lizziebee123! We were impressed with the school when we saw it - dd did a summer sports course there this year too and loved being in the dorms!! It is so hard to know what a school is really like though from the tours as they try to make everything positive so your comments are really important - Am worried that we will miss her though!!
My friend's two sons go there and are thriving, lovely, polite young men.
I know little about the school but a LOT about where it is. It rains in Sedbegrh a LOT (it's at the bottom of a three sided valley) and in winter it is often (and I mean often) completely cut off by snow and ice on the two roads in and out - one to the M6 the other to Kirkby Lonsdale. It ranks high in the UK "fewest hours of sunshine" per year table. Average July temperature is 11 degrees. Even in Birmingham it's 10 degrees warmer !
The school may be great or awful - but it's not a place I'd like to spend my childhood...
PS - talking about rugby (or all the canoeing and climbing etc.,) - the nearest decent sized hospital is in Lancaster. My DC grew up in Sedbegrh and when he had an emergency one night the ambulance took 55 minutes to arrive and an hour to get him to a doctor. In London you'll wait 8 minutes for an ambulance and be at hospital in another ten. That's 20 minutes vs 2 hours. Worth thinking about ?
A bit late responding to this message, I hope you are happy with your decision for your DCs and have sent them to the right school for them. My daughter went to Casterton, and it couldn't have been more right for her.
I chose Sedbergh in the end and DD started last September - its about 1/3 girls but she has settled really well and is very happy - have some teething problems regards her sport as they don't have the same excellent systems in place for girls sport as they do for rugby/cricket but hopeful we will get there!!
I am missing her though - wasn't expecting that!!
Hi - I have 2 girls at Sedbergh - both started in Junior school, one now in Senior one due to go to Senior in Sept - Fantastic school for them both - teaching inspired and boarding bit wonderful - highly recommend
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