Sidcot School, Somerset

(17 Posts)
Sunnyshores Fri 18-Jan-13 20:13:53

Looking for experiences of the above school please.

I'm looking for a small school for my DS who has some social skill difficulties (ASC traits), so needs a calm, non-confrontational environment, he is relatively bright but lacks motivation and needs to be inspired to learn. He would be starting in Yr7. Ideally DD (no SEN) would also join in Yr2.

I'm really impressed with the Quaker side of things, valuing the individual, inclusiveness, environmental ideals, huge choice of extra-curricular activities, excursions etc - DS would love all of this time spent outside the classroom!

Leighton Park in Reading seems to be similar and gets loads of good remarks on MN, but there's nothing much about Sidcot.

Any advice please??

directaction Fri 18-Jan-13 21:41:24

Friend sent her son to Sidcot for similar reasons. Four years on she is extremely happy with her decision. Having observed the young man at a polite distance over those four years, I would say that Sidcot has done wonders for his confidence and social skills.

Friend is very clued up and choosy over education issues, so I'm sure I would have heard if she was dissatisfied in any way. Well worth a visit.

nongenderbias9 Sun 20-Jan-13 12:02:51

I was a boarder at Sidcot school from 1965 to 1972. A lot has changed since then. I don't recommend boarding schools because it obviates you from the rewarding task of parenting, to a great extent. The consequences of your child living with what replaces your parenting at school is not very nice.
I don't think there are boarders there anymore and I think this is a good thing. The fact that it is a Quaker school has not held much relevance to me. Human beings are much the same wherever you are. There is a Meeting House next door where we used to sit in controlled silence every Sunday supposedly with Godly thoughts in our heads. Personally I think local schools are best, where you can have a hands on approach to supporting your child. I came away at the end of sixth form with no passes at "A" level, but did alright in the end with a degree after catching up later at a local Tech. College then University. Good luck

Sunnyshores Sun 20-Jan-13 17:37:32

Directaction - thanks, thats just the sort of experience I wanted to hear of.

They wont be boarding, we will move to live locally.

I would disagree that human beings are much the same, especially in regard to finding a suitable school for one's child.

I've visited alot of schools in the last few years and most seem to think that your child should have some sort of special skill or talent to get into their fantastic school, woebetide any average child or any child who may need extra support, or not like rugby.... Most have a very fixed idea of what a child should be like.

Non selective schools should solve this problem, but few are truly non-selective. So, this is where the Quaker school ethos appeals (and I say that as someone who is really quite anti-religion).

Any other experiences?

neversaydie Sun 20-Jan-13 18:50:07

I don't know Sidcote at all, but the headmaster there was previously head of Beaconhurst in Bridge of Allan. My DS has been at there for the last 3 years, since the start of J6. Beaconhurst meets most of the wish list in your OP, and this is very much down to the qualities of the former head. I was very sad to see him go.

Sunnyshores Sun 20-Jan-13 19:20:04

Thanks for that, whatever the ethos is, the Head is so important in interpretating that, so great feedback.

Sunnyshores Thu 24-Jan-13 17:34:48

Thanks to the Mum who PM'd me - new to MN and cant find my messages now!

FlatsInDagenham Thu 24-Jan-13 17:41:33

I know someone who was a pupil there in the 1950s and was very very happy there. As if that's any help at all!

Trishbradley Fri 25-Jan-13 09:47:06

My son started boarding yr 9 in September. We chose Sidcot because we liked the Quaker ethos and when we visited we got a good feeling from the school. The staff I have spoken to are behind the new headmaster and the fresh ideas he has brought to the school. They seem to be very strong on sciences and the arts, with a wonderful arts centre which is used regularly for local art exhibitions. There is a good choice of after school activities, like most schools it is up to the child to take up the opportunities. The children are well mannered and happy. We are so far very pleased with our choice and our son is also very pleased that he is there.

Sunnyshores Fri 25-Jan-13 21:43:39

Great, def going to arrange a visit after half term.

sassyandsixty Thu 28-Feb-13 16:09:16

I went to another Quaker school in the 60s and have always appreciated having gone - still see friends made there. We all got mediocre exam results - but times were different then - less pushy academically. We spent a lot of time going on anti-war demos! I very much valued the Quaker thing then and am very involved now. My cousins went to Sidcot and loved it. It was a special experience that gave me a lot more than just education in the usual way. Couldn't put a price on it.

Rach4 Sat 08-Jun-13 23:17:20

We chose this school for my son exactly for the reasons you state.
We have been very pleased, a lovely school which seems to have a magical ability to bring out the best in people in the way they work together, behave, value others and themselves.
We definitely feel he has been nurtured and encouraged to be himself, this school definitely encourages individualism and not a sheeplike mentality.

Sunnyshores Thu 20-Jun-13 22:13:50

Updated - both children are going to Sidcot and I'm really excited about it, it seems a fantastic school...just need a house now (panic)

LondonBus Thu 20-Jun-13 22:23:09

I have only heard good things about Sidcot (not such good things about Leighton Park - but that was a while ago)

Randomly we happened to drive past last year, and the area was so lovely, I would be happy for my DC to be there. Great that you can move there smile

Sorry, nothing constructive to add!

SidcotCommunications Tue 23-Jul-13 15:22:59

Hi Sunnyshores

We are very much looking forward to your children starting at Sidcot! If you ever need anybody to talk to, Valerie and Rachael in our Admissions department are very approachable and will be more than happy to help.

Nick Allam
Communications Officer | Sidcot School
communications@sidcot.org.uk

Megamama Wed 02-Oct-13 16:50:21

My son is at Sidcot and I'm really pleased with it. He's sporty and academic and he's thriving there. He has a good bunch of friends and it's a small, friendly school with plenty of activities to choose from. They have just started polo lessons in their Equestrian Centre which look really good too.

tbtest Wed 06-Nov-13 14:34:41

My daughter is in her 5th year at Sidcot (Y11) and I would thoroughly recommend it. She is encouraged to fulfil her potential in many areas, has gained hugely in self confidence (but without any arrogance), is very aware of ethical and social justice issues, and is generally thriving. Most importantly, she is really happy there.

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