Girls' Boarding Schools for Sixth Form(66 Posts)
Hi. I'm looking for a suitable all-girls boarding school in the UK for my daughter for her A-Levels. We're from Malaysia, however, my daughter speaks English fluently and we use it as our first language. It would not be too hard for her to adapt to the academic system in the UK as she already studies the British syllabus at an international school here in Malaysia and will be taking her IGCSE's when she's in Year 11. I would say that she is academically inclined. She also enjoys singing, and plays piano and guitar but not to a high level. She is not a very sporty person although she swims and plays tennis. Her favourite subjects are mathematics and science. I also do not want to send her to a school that is too pressuring. Any thoughts or suggestions?
How about st Catherine's bramley, near Guildford ? Superb academic record, has just invested lots in some lovely new buildings and in a village setting but easy to reach from london (40 miles) for visits. I wouldn't consider it laid bak academically, but if your daughter is the type of student you suggest it may well suit. They have a long history of international pupils and the boarding is very
much integrated on the heart of the site.
I went to CLC for first year sixth form (left as I had until then attended mixed day school and couldn't adjust to boarding school life). The teaching was really good, without being pressurised and there was plenty of arts and sports on offer for those so inclined. I would give it a thumbs up as long as your daughter is happy with the idea of going to a strict boarding school (in my day it was back at the house by 5.30pm in winter, later in summer and we had classes on Sat mornings too).
Another vote for Wycombe abbey! My dd is thriving there. The integration between cultures is fantastic, my dd has friends from all over the world. It's a wonderful school, with so much on offer.
You should look at Westonbirt, it is really good in 6th form and the teachers help you loads and don't put pressure on you unless they think your not trying, we do sports but if your not sporty you don't have to do much and in 6th form you get a choice of what sports you want to do. The music side is really good too, and you can have music lessons and join school choirs. It's and amazing school and you should look at it.
I would strongly recommend Woldingham School. Very good academic results but not pressurised. Fantastic performing arts provision. Super indoor pool and extensive tennis courts. Pastoral care is second to none. Chose it for DD, who is very happy and flourishing. Used to work there and can testify to the quality and care of the teaching staff.
I've heard good things about St Swithun's in Winchester. They have a good mix of international students, not just 'Asian' students and the majority of 6th formers board these days (particularly for U6). I believe the new head has made a concerted effort to improve the boarding experience and my friend's daughter is very happy there.
good point xpat - maths and science are very strong - and excellent preparation for medicine. also very good on US uni guidance i think. Leys sounds excellent too - nice to have all the newbies together i reckon.
Just in case you are willing to consider a mixed school, have a look at The Leys in Cambridge. It's got a great position in relation to Cambridge - on the outskirts so walking distance to the station, just by the meadows and a safe ten minute walk from King's College and the town centre. There is enough of a regular intake at sixth form to have a dedicated house (one for boys and one for girls) for new sixth form entrants. It is a civilised school with a good ethos - it has been mixed throughout for some years now - not a hostile environment for girls! As mentioned above, having a place to go is important and you can't beat Cambridge as an interesting educational, cultural and social place (and also as safe as you can get). Academically the results are very good and the result of making sure each person does the best they possibly can.
If you DD strength is in Maths and Science, and most likely doing these subjects for A level, I will certainly, like Lardasss suggest, do go and visit Wycombe Abbey too. The 6th Form science and maths are very strong, and many girls go on to study Medicine, bio chem, physics, maths in Oxbridge and other top universities.
My DD went there too. The standard is high, Students from Far East, (like HK, Singapore, Korea, and Malaysia) most went through British In't school like your DD, all speak fluent English, and able to mix well with all other students.
The girls there know what they are aiming for, hence, they all work hard to achieve their goals. As WAS is a selective school aiming for high achiever, the pressure may exist, but much less so than any school in Asia.
I'd add Godolphin School Salisbury to the list. The boarding is thriving there, lots on, good all round education. (They take a wide range of girls, and while stretching girls academically, they are also musical, sporty, arty etc) 6th form houses are on site but separate from the houses for younger girls. The school looks over the hills but is actually on the edge of Salisbury which gives the girls the opportunity to go down into the old part of Salibury in a 5 minute walk which they value as they get older.
Have a look at Queen Anne's School in Caversham. Good mix of day & boarders, good academic results but not too pressured, lots of art, drama and music to high levels, and some GB squad sportswomen. Good all round mix and inspirational head with some v progressive projects focussing on how to get the best out of each girl.
hmmm... saturday night in the sixth form at school? maybe during exam revision ... but most sociable girls within spitting distance of london will be at a party somewhere i suspect!
I would back up slips points. I think the main problem I have had to deal with as a Guardian is the "Is it appropriate for my daughter to spend the weekend at this home" one, plus the lure of the London clubbing scene, plus getting carried away trying to be "cool" at school. I felt I had to put some fairly stringent boundaries on my DCs (because lots of parents don't ) and there is essentially little difference between day schools and boarding schools on that score. You are not immunised from the influences on teenage girls. This came as no surprise www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2326606/Kate-Middleton-Boarding-school-attended-Duchess-cancels-annual-leavers-ball-pupils-run-riot.html?ito=feeds-newsxml but the issue is will the Boarding School take the same approach as you would? DH seem to have acted appropriately and promptly.
I should also say that generally by 17 your DCs know who they are and want to be and don't fall prey to peer pressure.
slips my DD goes to Headington and loves it. The mix of girls tends to be broad. Indian, asian and a lot of people literally from around world - across Europe etc. They claim '30 different nationalities' (that's from their website) Can't quickly find %ge boarders but it says 240 in all across age groups. See more here: http://www.headington.org/content/boarding-options
Also Oxford very easy place to live, close to London. A bit dull but probably better than begin stuck in the countryside with little option to go anywhere...
There are a lot of international students at Westonbirt. Girls school, heavy on the boarding although there are also day pupils a lot of them stay over from time to time. The head is fantastic very down to earth.
Headington sounds a lovely school. But how many girls of sixth form age are actually there on a Saturday night? And of those who are, is there a spread of nationalities?
I was going to say Headington. I was an international boarder many moons ago. I know things change but the boarding side was very international when I was there. It is a suburban school and has all the benefits of Oxford on its doorstep.
slipshod you make some excellent points re: day girls and location. i think almost all boarding schools make sure if parents are overseas that there is adequate guardianship here in England. (i am guardian for some cousins for instance) independence and life outside school are vital - so make sure that there is ample opportunity. most girls by the time they are in the 6th form want a bit of freedom and being a reasonable distance (ie not too close but not too far either) from civilisation is important. reminds me of advice i was given about a certain remote scottish boarding school which i foolishly thought was miles away from the fleshpots of temptation (london!) only to be reminded that it gets dark at 2 in the afternoon and there is nothing to do but get high.
Oh and my comments echo Copthalls except that I have not , myself, had a negative experience visiting Wycombe)
Once they reach Sixth Form, girls do not really want to be cloistered on a campus a weekends and so campus based schools are more likely to be empty of company as girls go home or you might find your daughter will be asking you to allow her to accompany her new friends which is sometimes a hard call if you are far away in Malaysia.
Many of the schools mentioned here have very large numbers of day girls so this tendency is more pronounced. You will not want your daughter to be lonely at weekends and, like it or not, the outside world impacts on boarding school life in a way it didn't it the past.
You need to ask some detailed questions of how and where girls spend their weekends and decide if you, as a family, can work with the replies you get. I would not get too worked up about pressure but choose a high performing school. My concern would be about trying to imagine her day to day life from 16 to 19 years and finding a school that will help her to mature so cially and have some independence and social life in addition to good teaching.
lardass Going on the Catholic families around here who sent their daughters there even the suggestion that these are more secular times would not go down well.....
The Mount School in York? Small, friendly, excellent boarding atmosphere. Strong academically with great care for those to whom it doesn't come easily.
My dd at Headington - great school and certainly streets ahead of somewhere like haileybury, results-wise. Pastoral care is fantastic, results excellent but it done ant feel unduly pressured. Worth a look. It is a day school with boarding rather than an out and out boarding school though.
Not a Girls' achool, but my sister has just left Dauntsey's School in West Lavington where she boarded for 6th form and she absolutely loved it.
Join the discussion
Please login first.