The big Eton, Harrow, Radley, Winchester question...

(65 Posts)
TinkerBellThree Thu 27-Feb-14 14:29:25

I have been reading a lot of threads on this site and found it hugely informative (and sometimes quite amusing). I hope you don't mind me picking your brain as I find that I am increasingly confusing myself.confused

Our DS is in year 5 and we have started to visit senior schools for him.
We have seen Radley, Harrow, Eton and Winchester, and been to a few co-ed schools as well, but have decided that single sex is probably more right for DS.

DS is quite academic (though I tend to believe he is not as much so as his school tells me he is), sporty and very competitive. He is very social and he loves to try out new things.

Our DS' Prep is adamant that he is made for Eton and Eton is made for him, and I must admit we loved the school when we visited, so we have put his name down there. However, it is exceedingly hard to get into and I am not counting my chickens (and I think the likelihood of a place is slimmer than slim) so I believe we need (several) back-up(s) - so here is where I am getting confused...

Radley (who I understand is a "normal" backup for Eton) is not encouraged by our DS' school (not sure why) and Harrow worries me a little with its reputation of not being very challenging academically (has this changed?).

Originally we ruled out Winchester as it was not "sporty" enough, but having been to visit, we have had to re-think as we found there were lots of opportunities for our DS to do sports. Our DS' Prep think it should be on our list - but is a boy so "suited" for Eton really suited for WinCol?

All the above schools are within easy reach of where we live, so we will have ample opportunity to see matches etc.

Where should we put DS' name down? For all the schools on our list + some (as he may not get into any of the above)? Or should we be more focused?

I know a lot of you have vast amounts of experience and possibly been through the same conundrum yourself, and I would really very much appreciate your input.

IndridCold Fri 28-Feb-14 10:40:53

I'm a bit confused reading this OP. Are you asking about Winchester as a back up to Eton? I would have thought that it was just as hard to get into.

Your DS does sound like an excellent fit for Eton, so he probably has a pretty good chance, although numbers applying do seem to be increasing.

handcream Fri 28-Feb-14 10:46:05

There is little difference between boarding fees for say Eton, or Bradfield. All virtually the same

TheBeautifulVisit Fri 28-Feb-14 10:50:52

It isn't compulsory to send your 13 year old to boarding school you know. There are day schools. And at 13 you can't claim a childcare problem.

propatria Fri 28-Feb-14 12:35:22

If
the op asked for single sex full boarding schools that are selective then the list makes sense,just as if they are asked for co-ed I imagine for example Rugby and Oundle were on the list.

Lottiedoubtie Fri 28-Feb-14 12:40:58

Quite rude Thebeautifulvisit the OP is allowed to ask about boarding schools simply because that is her preference for her son. There doesn't have to be a reason to justify it.

TheBeautifulVisit Fri 28-Feb-14 12:56:16

If he goes to Radley he gets to put his Maltesers in one of these:

www.shepherdandwoodward.co.uk/radley-college/tuck-box

Surely that should be the decider?

mateysmum Fri 28-Feb-14 13:39:41

Beautiful. If you want to argue the toss between private/boarding or state education, there are plenty of other threads on which to do so. The OP has made her choice and simply wants guidance between schools.

Sorry OP, I have no knowledge of any of your short list schools, just wanted to respond to Beautiful.

Have you visited Winchester yet? Did it feel like a suitable alternative for your DS?

Lottiedoubtie Fri 28-Feb-14 13:46:11

That kind of comment would fit in well on the thread you started that Zero linked to, fwiw it's a very funny thread. as most well observed satire is.

It's not really relevant to the OP's question and pretty rude in this context though.

nongnangning Fri 28-Feb-14 14:12:22

Coo, I am loving the tuck box. Left wing or not I am thinking of getting one now I have seen it. Not for my DS, obviously ... for me grin grin

TinkerBellThree Sat 01-Mar-14 08:12:56

Zero - thank you for the link to that thread! Made my morning wink. Should I be upset my DS is not blond - do you think i have to bleach his hair??? Will that better his chances grin

TinkerBellThree Sat 01-Mar-14 08:52:26

Thank you all (most of you) for your insight!

Ingrid - I am, sort of - but not a back-up as such, more a "contender" for our list and worth going for. I was surprised that a boy who could be a good fit for Eton could also fit at Winchester.

Fwiw - I don't believe anyone would base their decision on what they are told in a forum such as this - it is just one more piece of information to the puzzle which is the bringing up of our DC.

TheBeautifulVisit Sat 01-Mar-14 12:14:04

Tinkerbell - he may not be blond but I bet your son's brunette locks are luxe. And when the sun catches a lock of his hair and an elixir of honey and sweat bead from his handsome brow, I'll bet his hair creates a rainbow of hi lights in tones of deep caramel, saffron and Manuka honey. grin. Good luck with the choice of schools.

grovel Sat 01-Mar-14 13:05:49

A Winchester teacher (slightly tongue-in-cheek) once said to me that there is a spectrum of boarding schools. At one end is Winchester - an unashamedly academic/intellectual environment with some high quality extra-curricular activities to keep the boys alert. At the other end of the spectrum are the "country clubs with a bit of teaching thrown in".

I'd put Eton at Winchester's end of the spectrum but closer to the middle.

TheBeautifulVisit Sat 01-Mar-14 13:43:18

grovel - I like that. smile

dellon Sat 01-Mar-14 14:05:42

agree completely with that analogy grovel

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