Quaker schools - any advice?

(22 Posts)
domesticsunray Wed 21-Nov-12 14:43:07

Hi all, first time post so sorry if I make mistakes! We are looking for potential boarding schools ( forces family) and I am really drawn by the ethic of the Quaker schools. Have a DD and a DS with differing needs (don't they all) and think the key may lie with the Quaker schools individual approach. Does anybody know anything about Sibford or Leighton Park? There are a couple of older posts but would be grateful for any up to date opinions. Many thanks for your help! :-)

RedHelenB Wed 21-Nov-12 19:05:07

There's Ackworth as well in West Yorkshire

michaelaB Wed 21-Nov-12 19:18:40

I know The Mount School in York and can recommend it for girls. Quaker ethos of reflection and individuality is very strong.

runningfast Wed 21-Nov-12 19:27:10

My DS is at Leighton Park and absolutely loves it, he's far happier than he ever was at his previous schools. The new headmaster is great and gradually making his mark on the school. The focus seems to be on getting the best out of each child and encouraging them to want to do better and achieve their potential.

I went to a Quaker school in Ireland and the ethos on getting the best from the child is indeed very strong.

There is also one in Saffron Walden by the way.

LynetteScavo Wed 21-Nov-12 19:36:59

This will probably be the most unhelpful post ever, but if I were looking for my children to board I would only send them to a Quaker school.

I went to Ackworth, and have looked around Sibford for DC1 (although not recently) - and myself 20 years ago, lol!. This will sound silly, but Sibford doesn't have that traditional private school feel, (unlike Ackworth).

The Mount and Bootham were always considered "posh" by Ackworth folk grin.

LynetteScavo Wed 21-Nov-12 19:40:55

And to be even more unhelpful...you do realise Quakers are pacifists, don't you?

There were DC of parents in the forces when I was at school, but your DC will receive mixed messages.

There were quite a few children from military families who boarded at my school, and I don't recall them having any problems.

They even had a memorial board for those old scholars who had died in service in the world wars, though it was kept outside the main school, in the dining hall.

LynetteScavo Wed 21-Nov-12 19:50:27

No, no, don't get me wrong, I don't think for a moment they would have problems at school because you are a forces family.

domesticsunray Mon 26-Nov-12 15:27:13

Thanks everyone for the input. I used to live in York so I know about the schools there, but for traveling etc it would be best if they were down South. I do also know about the pacifist ethos - part of the reason I would like them to attend a Quaker school as I think it will help them to have balance in their lives. to be honest, possibly the biggest pacifists you'll meet might be service families, in a weird way, as it's the last thing we want to have happen! Good to hear that your DS is loving Leighton runningfast, that's the impression I get from reading the bumf is that it really is an individual approach. Is Leighton selective as I see there is an entrance assessment, or is that just to see where they are at point of entry? Just out of interest Lynette, wondering why you would only send your children to Quaker schools, can you sum up what it is about them? Thanks again everyone, really appreciate it - guess I just need to go and see them 'in the flesh' and make up my mind....

NessaYork Tue 04-Dec-12 21:13:56

The Mount is the only all girls' quaker boarding school in the UK, so it has the quaker ethos and all the single-sex education advantages going for it. Not sure if you saw the recent study from the Institute of Physics on how girls in mixed education are at a disadvantage in subjects which are traditionally seen as 'boys' subjects. My dd are there and thriving. The school has recently revamped its boarding houses and there is a real buzz about the place.

domesticsunray Wed 20-Mar-13 07:55:10

Thanks Nessa for the info. I would really like to keep them both in the same school if possible as they are very close, so really looking for co-ed.

givemeaclue Wed 20-Mar-13 10:29:44

Sidcot is co- ed Quaker boarding school

crazymum53 Wed 20-Mar-13 13:14:54

And Sidcot is in Somerset, just south of Bristol, so is in the South of England.

runningfast Wed 20-Mar-13 20:13:38

Sorry, domestic, I missed your question back in November. Yes, Leighton Park is selective, but from what my son said, the entrance exam wasn't too challenging.

The headmaster, Alex, left at Christmas which was a shame, but he has been replaced by Nigel who has been at the school for 19 years and seems determined to maintain the LP ethos and sense of community. My son continues to thrive at the school and really has become part of the community. He has just chosen his GCSEs and has some fantastic teachers who really have worked wonders in enthusing him and getting him to realise what he is capable of.

domesticsunray Wed 20-Mar-13 20:33:43

Thanks runningfast, that's useful info, glad your DS has thrived at school it's lovely to hear. I think I will go and visit a few of them, especillay LP and Sidcot and Bootham just in case as we may end up in York too. It is so useful to hear of other people's experiences too though, many thanks :-)

domesticsunray Wed 20-Mar-13 20:34:33

oops I mean smile !

My mum is Librarian in one of the Quaker schools mentioned on this thread. She has been there about 18 months, and it is a really lovely school. Although obviously I can't talk about what it is like to be a pupil there, I have spent some time there and the atmosphere is lovely. All of the children I've had contact with have seemed very happy, and on the whole have been nice, polite children. The staff are really lovely on the whole (obviously from an adult perspective, but they were very welcoming to my mum, and it just seems a very friendly school) and the lessons I have observed have all been excellent. Obviously I can't give an inside perspective, but I know that my mum is very happy there and settled very quickly, having been in her previous job for 18 years. Just a slightly different perspective!

domesticsunray Sat 23-Mar-13 22:10:30

Thanks for that input purple - good to know too.

slippysofa Mon 25-Mar-13 16:33:30

I am desperate for my DD to join Bootham in the 6th form. I'd send her now but she's in the middle of Yr 10 and didn't want to move last September. We've looked round 4 other schools and Bootham is definitely top of the list as everyone is so kind, the Headmaster is inspirational and if you could ever pick up an ethos from a school and drop it into a girl, that's my girl.

I promise I don't work there! But we did go round one Bootham open morning with my disabled mum and the staff looked after my mum whilst DD and I looked round the rest of the school (with all the stairs and corridors). Also, my DD loved the place as "dog walking" counts as a sport and she HATES SPORT! She's a size 8 and 5ft6 so she just isn't overweight, just not into hitting people with sticks and balls.

domesticsunray Sat 13-Apr-13 22:09:18

Haha! slippysofa, that's another reason why I liked it. Mine like sport but not necessarily traditional public school type team sports. they like swimming, daughter loves dance, son wants to try fencing which it seems they do at Bootham coincidentally. I think I am going to have to take alook soon. People do seem to love it. Thanks again everyone. Any more opinions welcome, I am getting into info obsession mode, scouring websites and brochures, just in case I missed some vital nugget of info. Driving myself slightly bonkers over it all.

Sunnyshores Mon 22-Apr-13 21:12:35

We have slightly different criteria, DS having ASC, but after MUCH research, have found that a Quaker school offers the support, non pressurised, more individualistic approach towards education - both in terms of academic lessons and an amazing range of extra-curricular activities.
We didnt look at Leighton Park as it didnt have a Prep, but absolutely love Sidcot. I finally think that DS may enjoy school.

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