Uppingham or The Royal School Haslemere?

(10 Posts)
Alanxsj Tue 14-Jun-16 18:36:15

Hello everyone! Could you provide me any idea that which one is better to choose for entry as a grade-9 girl? Uppingham or the Royal school?

The thing is that I have a niece from China and she wants to apply for a secondary school here in Britain. She is hesitating between that two. Could you offer any advise for the school selection? Any idea is highly appreciated. Thank you! smile

Dustylaw Tue 14-Jun-16 21:32:43

I can recommend Uppingham based on family experience - two young family members have been very happy there - excellent academic education along with huge range of extracurricular opportunities and facilities. Uppingham is renowned as one of the few 7 day a week boarding schools left (ie everyone boards full time and it doesn't empty on Friday evenings or Saturday afternoons). If that is what you want then it is a great option but of course if you positively want flexi or weekly boarding then it is not a good option. I don't know the Royal School at all but would caution you to investigate the number of boarders (full time) very carefully. If your niece is going to be boarding full time you don't want her to be one of a handful left in the school at weekends. Weekend programmes are all very well but nothing makes up for having at least a reasonable number of pals in school at the weekend. If you actually want a weekly boarding experience for your niece then there are a lot of schools to choose from.

Alanxsj Tue 14-Jun-16 21:47:28

Thanks a lot for your prompt and detailed reply!

Yes, I must admit that weekend boarding issue is a topic that I've left behind. Your advice hints me that I should pay more attention on this sort of things.

mummytime Tue 14-Jun-16 23:19:57

I would also caution that the Royal School needs to be investigated as to boarding numbers. The only girls I've known there were all day pupils.

Dustylaw Wed 15-Jun-16 00:53:37

Weekends do matter if you are going to be boarding full time. You don't have to insist on a school which has full time boarders only (and as I said there really are not many of those left) but the weekend experience is key. There are schools which have a mix of day pupils, weekly boarders and full boarders and those can still work well for full boarders. Things which make the difference would be 1) are there are enough boarders staying over the weekend? 2) is there Saturday morning school (makes it less worthwhile for pupils to hop off for the weekend)? 3) I think it can also be helpful if the school is near to a safe and interesting town/city so that pupils have somewhere to go and something to do that doesn't have to be an organised outing.

An example of a school which works well is The Leys in Cambridge. The Leys has a mixture of day and boarding pupils but there always seem to be a good number of pupils staying for the weekends - Saturday morning school and Saturday afternoon sports fixtures make it less worthwhile to go home for the weekend. Five minutes safe walk will take you to the centre of Cambridge and pupils are allowed some town time with their school friends (times and conditions vary according to age) which means they can explore Cambridge a bit at the weekends - Cambridge being about as nice and safe a place as you can get Boarding schools tend to be full on so the option of a relaxed Sunday and somewhere nice to stroll with your friends is quite attractive. But most important for boarders at the weekend is that you don't want to feel like the only one there! Good luck with your research and choices.

happygardening Wed 15-Jun-16 09:16:35

I too know pupils at Uppingham who are very happy there. As Dusty says its full boarding onlly IMO essential if your coming to school from abroad unless you or some else can be around at weekends.
I don't know the The Royal School but Ive quickly looked at their website they are primarily a day school that offer flexi, weekly and full boarding. I've spent over 11 years with my DC's boarding what that will mean is that at the weekends all that only small minority of children will be in school and they most likely will have come from outside of the UK. This type of school will have a completely different feel and ethos to it when compared with a full boarding school. I'm sure there's nothing wrong with it and if you love locally to the school and want to have you children and home at weekends etc then it's a great option but it's a completely different animal to a full boarding school. Your neice and her parents need to decide what sort of experience they're looking for. I personally would choose Uppingham.

happygardening Wed 15-Jun-16 09:19:36

Meant to add schools are notoriously economical with the truth when it come to the numbers actually full boarding, never forget they want your money, and ISI reports seem to classify what most people would describe as weekly boarding at best as full boarding when they list the number of full boarders.

Alanxsj Wed 15-Jun-16 21:18:18

Thanks a lot, Dustylaw,mummytime and happygardening. Your precious suggestions remind me a lot! Really appreciated!

Alanxsj Fri 17-Jun-16 13:52:27

Sorry for bothering again everyone.blush

After some specific researches, I narrow down the selection range to 3 schools, the Uppingham, the Ashford School, and the Malvern College. I've checked the boarding information of Ashford, it says 'most of the 150+ boarders are full boarders'. And haven't found any detailed boarding information about Malvern yet. So does anyone have a clue?

Besides, I think academic atmosphere is also considered by her parents, as they wish to have a promising chance of getting into a good college eventually.

Your opinion is highly appreciated!

happygardening Fri 17-Jun-16 15:20:15

A friend visited a school where "most of the children full board" advised by someone that he numbers of full boarders weren't as great as she was originally lead to believe by the enthusiastic head. on her second visit stood at the end of every bed asking whether this child was a full/weekly/flexi boarder in turned out that "most" was actually about 15% of their boarders!
Secondly I know Ashford school a little, even if 100 full board the rest are weekly/flexi and most importantly I think you'll find the majority are day pupils. This creates a different kind of ethos/environment to the sort you'd fund at a full boarding only school like Uppingham.
Im not sure about Malvern Colleges numbers. A few years ago there was a thread where it was mentioned, a few weeks prior to this I'd been standing in a queue in a shop and got talking to mum and her DS who was at Malvern College she told me what a great place it was and that they choose it because they wanted a weekly boarding school that they were close enough too to bring their DS home every weekend. Another poster then said their DS was there and it was a full boarding only school!!! When full boarding schools are mentioned on this board it is never mentioned. The other schools which are definitely full boarding with a handful of day pupils are Marlborough (they pre test in yr 6 and its over subscribed), St Edwards Oxford and Kings Canterbury.

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