Sedbergh School Cumbria

(45 Posts)
Ceebeejay Wed 28-Sep-11 11:36:32

Has anyone on here any recent experience of Sedbergh? We are interested for our 2 DC both good at sports and bright but are concerned that several parents at their current school say it is not academic enough for them! We want a broad education with academics, sport and arty things in balance. We liked the new head and were impressed. many thanks!

fannybanjo Wed 28-Sep-11 11:38:28

My good friend's daughter just finished there. Fantastic school by their accounts. Anything you need to know?

Ceebeejay Wed 28-Sep-11 12:15:29

Hi and thanks for replying fannybanjo!! what age did she start the school and did she go to the Junior section first? Also was she a full boarder?

fannybanjo Wed 28-Sep-11 12:20:12

She only did 6th form unfortunately so probably not able to answer many of your questions re Juniors etc but she was a full boarder.

We bumped into an old friend up there in April when our 18yr old son was playing in a rugby tournament there. She was just about to send her oldest boy there, aged 13, having looked into things thoroughly. I don't know how academic her son is, but both parents are bright,and son has a sports scholarship.

goinggetstough Wed 28-Sep-11 14:22:17

Hi, We had friends who visited Sedbergh but decided against it due to location they thought it was a wonderful school. Check out the ISC for boarding numbers. It says 128 girl boarders from 8 to 18 years. If that is spread it would be 12 per year, but experience tells me that there will be substantially more in the sixth form. Ask for the full/weekly boarding break down too in each year group for girls. Schools don't usually lie but they can be economical with the truth especially if they are trying to encourage full boarders!

cairnterrier Wed 28-Sep-11 14:24:56

OP - if your DC's are girls, it might also be worth looking at Casterton School, just down the valley from Sedbergh.

I heard a good report of Casterton.

Loshad Thu 29-Sep-11 23:07:12

Sedburgh is a school for thick rugby players. I have yet to meet an adult who went to Sedburgh who is normally nice (iyswim) they mostly are arrogant bullies, one or two are totally crushed by the whole experience. Only a school for very confident rugby players ime (disclaimer - know pupils from current y10 upwards, plus old boys aged from 22 - 75).
Loads of fab northern boarding schools out there - Barney, St Petes, Ampleforth for the catholics, no reason to opt for Sedburgh.
Plus despite their avowed rugby status they don't enter the daily mail so it is not possible to judge their standard nationally.

Dustylaw Thu 29-Sep-11 23:37:13

My nephew really wanted to go to Sedburgh because he's rugby/sports mad - I think his parents decided against it because it was a bit less academic than they wanted and had his sister to consider as well. However, think they had favourable comments from what they had seen and heard from others so it was an 'on balance' decision to opt for another school rather than outright rejection. Still a sporty school but I bet the children do as well academically as they have potential to do. Also suggest you look at Giggleswick if you are looking for boarding/day school around there - heard many good things about that. Neither school will wow the league tables but that is such a con anyway since it doesn't measure how well an individual child has done and how much good fun and broad education they have had and good friends they have made.

Loshad, you are correct in saying that they don't enter the Daily Mail Cup, but they have a Super 10's competition at the end of the season and invite about 20 schools. My son's school were Semi-Finalists in DM last season and found it a very hard competition. They also play other top rugby schools like Whitgift (won DM last season), Warwick (previous winners recently), Llandovery College (recent Welsh Champions), Oakham (DM Runners Up last season) Millfield etc. Having said that they have lost to Colston's this term having thrashed them last season.

Ceebeejay Sat 01-Oct-11 21:18:43

Many thanks for all the replies - have been away for a few days so catching up now!! I have two DD's who are bright but really into sports and drama. Are currently at an all girls hot-house that is always in the top 5 of schools nationally - they have been told they can stay where they are but I just think they would be happier at a school that values things other than academic grades. Interesting what Loshad said as its pretty much what another parent said!! I am just worried that the academic level would be a lot lower than where they are now -
Thanks for the suggestions about other schools - will look on their websites too!! smile

hels71 Sun 02-Oct-11 10:53:46

I would certainly look at Casterton then.

Dustylaw Sun 02-Oct-11 23:20:24

Ceebeejay, if your girls are transferring from a top 5 school then you just have to reckon on a very different proposition. Top league table schools top the league tables because they have excellent teaching allied to extreme selection from a very large pool of candidates - that's something they would all acknowledge and you just can't get that cohort unless you are in a city or have a national pool to draw on. If you are looking at different types of school then I suggest you look at what results the schools have with their cohort (ie what does the school actually accomplish?) and whether the final results indicate that there are enough bright pupils to spark your own bright girls. I think from the stats as well as what I've heard that both Sedburgh and Giggleswick are OK on both counts and Casterton too if you want to look at a single sex option. Plus if you are looking at boarding then there are other options too. Of course you will get your own opinions as you visit and then the decisions may seem easy!

Wingshoes Mon 10-Oct-11 17:27:35

Ceebeejay, like you I wanted a broad education for DD who is currently at Sedbergh. She is bright, arty, musical and in to drama. Her academic potential is recognised and nurtured. School is busy with lots going on and I think that boarding is particularly good. A visit is essential to experience the atmosphere of the school. It's a great pity that the stereotype of Sedbergh being only a school for rugby players persists - it is fantastic for sport - but for much else too ( music is excellent )The new head brings a fresh academic focus and vibrancy to the school, and DD is encouraged to branch out on every front. HTH ....

1666 Fri 21-Oct-11 21:13:24

Ceebeejay, my DD is currently in the upper sixth at Sedbergh, having gained an all rounder scholarship at the age of 13. She has been extremely happy there, thrived in both her sporting achievements, her music and the ever important academics. Having gained 8A*2A at GCSE she is predicted A*A*AA in maths, further maths, chemistry and physics at A no it isn't just a place for thick rugby players. I would say two things though. 1. Almost all the pupils (98%) are full time boarders. 2.I think Sedbergh is very much a 'marmite' sort of a place, a young person would either love it or not settle at all.

Ceebeejay Fri 21-Oct-11 23:13:31

thank you so much Wingshoes and 1666 for your replies - we have tried the tester boarding which went well and its now down to the entry exam and the sport and academic!! smile

lizziebee123 Wed 02-Nov-11 21:41:42

Fantastic school. My son started this year and has had the best start possible. From a shy young boy he is already gaining in confidence and cannot speak highly enough about all the teachers and opportunities there.
He describes the school as awesome.
My only reticence to tell others how wonderful the school is on ALL fronts; sport, music and academic, is the competition it will bring my younger son who already aspires to go there.

Ceebeejay Thu 03-Nov-11 09:55:41

thank you for the reply lizziebee123! We were impressed with the school when we saw it - dd did a summer sports course there this year too and loved being in the dorms!! It is so hard to know what a school is really like though from the tours as they try to make everything positive so your comments are really important - Am worried that we will miss her though!! blush

Daveschooks Thu 03-Nov-11 18:43:49

My friend's two sons go there and are thriving, lovely, polite young men.

MiniMonty Tue 08-Nov-11 04:15:44

I know little about the school but a LOT about where it is. It rains in Sedbegrh a LOT (it's at the bottom of a three sided valley) and in winter it is often (and I mean often) completely cut off by snow and ice on the two roads in and out - one to the M6 the other to Kirkby Lonsdale. It ranks high in the UK "fewest hours of sunshine" per year table. Average July temperature is 11 degrees. Even in Birmingham it's 10 degrees warmer !
The school may be great or awful - but it's not a place I'd like to spend my childhood...

MiniMonty Tue 08-Nov-11 04:19:39

PS - talking about rugby (or all the canoeing and climbing etc.,) - the nearest decent sized hospital is in Lancaster. My DC grew up in Sedbegrh and when he had an emergency one night the ambulance took 55 minutes to arrive and an hour to get him to a doctor. In London you'll wait 8 minutes for an ambulance and be at hospital in another ten. That's 20 minutes vs 2 hours. Worth thinking about ?

lirsh Mon 18-Feb-13 08:57:37

A bit late responding to this message, I hope you are happy with your decision for your DCs and have sent them to the right school for them. My daughter went to Casterton, and it couldn't have been more right for her.

Ceebeejay Thu 21-Feb-13 11:08:44

Hi lirsh
I chose Sedbergh in the end and DD started last September - its about 1/3 girls but she has settled really well and is very happy - have some teething problems regards her sport as they don't have the same excellent systems in place for girls sport as they do for rugby/cricket but hopeful we will get there!!
I am missing her though - wasn't expecting that!!

wairy Tue 26-Feb-13 09:55:35

Hi - I have 2 girls at Sedbergh - both started in Junior school, one now in Senior one due to go to Senior in Sept - Fantastic school for them both - teaching inspired and boarding bit wonderful - highly recommend

greedygoose Tue 26-Feb-13 16:02:29

You may want to look at the website today - Sedbergh and Casterton are merging and Sedbergh Junior School is moving to Casterton site - very exciting times......I have met many Sedbergh boys and girls and they have all been a real credit to the school

Gracie76 Tue 26-Feb-13 16:50:21

Yes, I also saw that too, on the BBC.
The new school is going to have such fantastic facilities. I agree with what you say about the boys and girls being a credit to the school, greedygoose. I went to the annual Jazz and Swing concert last month, as a guest, and I was so impressed - not just by the quality of the performances but by the genuine passion and enthusiasm the boys and girls showed and the way they were so mature and welcoming. Some of them waited on tables, some performed, and some did ad lib interviews with the host. It really did feel like a jazz club. I also saw Cabaret at Casterton a few years ago, well probably about 10 years ago, and was really impressed with that, too. They're going to be a formidable combination and it's not as if girls are new to Sedbergh. It's over ten years since they went co-ed.

JoSavage Tue 26-Feb-13 22:17:28

Sedbergh and Casterton just announced a merger!!!

hels71 Wed 27-Feb-13 09:33:10

Hmmm....merger? More like Casterton is closing and Sedbergh are taking over the buildings for their prep school with exisiting Casterton pupils being allowed to join Sedbergh without having to do an entrance exam.....

mrsshackleton Wed 27-Feb-13 09:41:51

"I have yet to meet an adult who went to Sedburgh who is normally nice (iyswim) they mostly are arrogant bullies, one or two are totally crushed by the whole experience."

Two of the loveliest adults I know (and one is extremely successful, the other doing just fine) went to Sedbergh, just to rebalance.

Ceebeejay Wed 27-Feb-13 12:33:37

Wairy - your youngest dd must be with mine then - is she sporty?
I am happy about the move to Casterton mainly because the school was outgrowing the junior section - my main concern is regarding the boarding houses at the Casterton site as the ones at the moment are so nice!

Highoaks Mon 04-Mar-13 15:46:09

Hello - I notice that some people have mentioned the merger between Casterton & Sedbergh Schools. Can I just say as an update, that over two thirds of Casterton parents are opposing this merger and are in the process of taking legal advice. School Governors announced the merger to a school assembly of 11-17 year old girls, many of whom are boarders with their parents on the other side of the world, without any consultation with parents. Most parents only found out when their distressed daughters telephoned their parents after the announcement. Sedbergh seem keen to rush it through. Parents of Casterton school are asking why that is?

thegreylady Mon 04-Mar-13 20:45:17

Our next door neighbours at our previous house sent their son To Sebergh and he was extremely happy there.He was more sporty than academic and a lovely boy.

chocolateshoes Mon 04-Mar-13 20:57:31

Helis - I heard exactly that - that Casterton was closing and that Sedbergh had pounced as they did a few years ago with Bentham Grammar.

Casterton openly admit they have a problem getting numbers in.

PolkadotsAndMoonbeams Tue 05-Mar-13 11:58:55

That's a bit of a shame really, I had friends at Casterton who loved it. Also choosing an all girls' school that then becomes mixed is more of a problem than doing it the other way around!

P.S. Ceebeejay, is your DD's sport lacrosse?

JoSavage Tue 05-Mar-13 21:47:27

I would be furious if I were a Casterton parent.. They signed up to single sex education, not possibly the roughest PS in the country! It is very bad form from the Casterton Governors.. It would have been better form to close gracefully..

FelicityWasCold Tue 05-Mar-13 22:15:42

What about the Casterton staff- are they out of a job?

JoSavage Thu 07-Mar-13 23:11:25

Staffing will be 'announced' at the end of March

FelicityWasCold Thu 07-Mar-13 23:18:38

So probably yes then- it must be horrendous for them all confused sad

chocolateshoes Fri 08-Mar-13 16:36:22
hels71 Fri 08-Mar-13 20:43:09

Apparently the Casterton parents have put forward a rescue package but the governors can not possibly meet them until after the deal is done...

Ceebeejay Mon 11-Mar-13 16:10:23

PolkadotsAndMoonbeams - it was one of her sports pre Sedbergh - they don't do it at all in Junior so she has done none since Sept.
hels71 - how many girls are transferring over to Sedbergh? I agree the schools are completely different - Sedbergh is a really friendly school though - no idea why JoSavage calls it the roughest PS in the country? Sport is really high standard but the boys/girls that play at really high levels are perfectly nice off the sports field!!

PolkadotsAndMoonbeams Mon 11-Mar-13 22:01:24

Ah ok. It was when you said before there had been some teething problem with her sport, I wondered if it was lacrosse because it was my favourite as I thought it was probably the most unusual out of the ones played at her last school! (I've been on threads about there with you before, but have name changed since.)

I do feel sorry for the girls (and parents) who've chosen an all girls' school and are now either going to have to go co-ed or move somewhere completely new. It seems a shame to split the forms up like that, although I can see there are advantages. It's harder to see when you're the one without any choice in the matter though.

Storemansteve Tue 13-May-14 19:26:29

What a pity that the person who wrote the comment about Sedbergh being only for 'thick rugby players' could not even spell Sedbergh correctly!

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