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Independent schools with non-team-sport options

(25 Posts)
JoanBias Mon 22-Oct-12 12:00:52

My DS is at a prep school in Surrey. We are investigating senior options.

DS is spectacularly un-coordinated and I think 7 years of four hours a week of 'rugger' or hockey or football or whatever is a bad idea.

He doesn't object to exercise in spite of this. The one thing we have found that he does well is climbing, but he also cycles albeit that he's not perhaps the most competitive so I'm not sure he is actually good at this.

Anyway I wonder if there are some senior independent schools that would perhaps cater for this?

I don't really want to be told 'oh but we have 8th XV in rugger, every one can play'. No, what I want to hear is 'we don't subject people who hate it, to silly ball games'.

Mintyy Mon 22-Oct-12 12:03:16

Sorry but I think it is good for children to do some things they don't enjoy and some things they aren't the best at.

JoanBias Mon 22-Oct-12 12:06:02

Well I don't, and I'm paying, so I'd like the choice. smile

crackcrackcrak Mon 22-Oct-12 12:08:05

I went to st Christopher school in Herts which is independent and progressive. Though they do/teach team sports the emphasis is very gentle and when I was there no one was pushed to compete much. That's not to say it wasn't encouraged if pupils chose to pursue it. I recall v successful volleyball teams etc. I hated games at school and so did lots of kids I knew. They just let you get in with it really.

I strongly disagree that team sports are something you need to put up with. What rot. Exercise is important as is learning to work as a team but they don't have enforced through bloody rugby.

happygardening Mon 22-Oct-12 12:14:25

My DS is at Win Coll (only full boarding) he had to do football in the first year no more than two afternoons maybe one for the first half of the first term and that's it. In the second term he did Winchester College football once a week sometimes twice but again only for half a term and then he dropped it and in the third term cricket and tennis are the main sports but he hates both of these so didn't do either just pursued his own interests. I've got three virtually unworn rugby shirts and a pair of virtually unworn football boots which he tells me with evident pleasure and relief thats now he's a second year he will never have to wear again!!
Every afternoon bar Sunday his housemaster expects them to undertake some sort of activity but it can be a "cultural" one or a sporting one of which there is a very wide choice. The boys do have bikes there and are allowed to use them to go cycling (not organised by the school) and that seems to be an acceptable afternoon activity.

JoanBias Mon 22-Oct-12 12:15:20

I'm not sure if DS would like a school where the teachers are called by their first names. I think he want somewhere structured, and focused on science rather than arts, but not somewhere you get bullied in the showers after your daily session of rugger, IYSWIM.

happygardening Mon 22-Oct-12 12:15:41

Forgot to say there is no rugby at Win Coll.

Mintyy Mon 22-Oct-12 12:17:19


crackcrackcrak Mon 22-Oct-12 12:18:10

Thought that was the point of public schools wink

happygardening Mon 22-Oct-12 12:18:55

Although not everyones cup of tea dons are not on first name terms at Win Coll (needless to say), its very science focused the two moat popular Pre U's were chemistry and physics and my DS has not experienced any bullying in the showers!

JoanBias Mon 22-Oct-12 12:19:21

happygardening, I read about Winchester and it does seem the right sort of school (judged from afar, and I'm not 100% convinced on boarding, but not opposed necessarily either), but it seems you need to be taking the housemasters to the Black Rat for lunch from when your son is about 7 in order to identify the right HM for your child.

I spoke to admissions and she said DS could do a scholarship exam in two years time, but from what I understand it's too late now for normal house entrance for 2015.

PeskyPiskie Mon 22-Oct-12 12:20:16

Most independent schools have cross country running as an option in the winter and athletics in the summer. My DD's school also has rowing and if this option is taken then there is no time for any other team sports. Could you look at a rowing school? Maybe some also have swimming? If you DS is a particular sporty child or likes being outside then Millfield are excellent for all sorts of sports.

JoanBias Mon 22-Oct-12 12:23:43

Rowing seems quite a demanding sport, physically. You can just coast downhill if you are cycling. grin And I can see him whacking someone on the head with an oar (accidentally) as well. Wouldn't really like to commit to 'DS is a rower' with no experience of it at all (well, I think we did some kayaking once and he sort of pawed at the surface of the water a bit).

happygardening Mon 22-Oct-12 12:29:15

You cant register your son with a house till he's 8 and usually the HM meets you and often invites you for lunch on his house. Interviews are two years before entrance so would be being done next spring for 2015. When my DS applied he had a friend who did not register with a house till just before the interviews or you can be interviewed by the registrar and you can be offered a place and then a house at a later date.
Speak to the admissions office they are really helpful.
The election (scholarship) is notoriously difficult what does your prep school head say?
Full boarding is always controversial on MN, my DS and many of his friends have full boarded since 7 so far all have excellent strong and very happy relationships with their families and not a dysfunctional sociopath amongst them!

JoanBias Mon 22-Oct-12 12:41:39

I feel that if you are going to do boarding it might as well be full boarding really. Some boarding schools seem to have half day and half boards and charge about £20k/year for day and I can't help thinking 'why not just go for a day school for £7k less'.

Have just emailed the head of Hawkins house at Winchester.

happygardening Mon 22-Oct-12 12:47:44

The admissions office will know which houses have closed their waiting lists for 2015.
You may be interested to know that Win Coll does have half days Tues, Thurs and Sat and compared with others we seem to have very short terms although less exeats.
Good luck.

APMF Mon 22-Oct-12 13:29:29

IMO a very sporty school is an ideal choice for your son. At DS's school they did rugby in term 1 of year 7. Kids were selected for team A and B. The remaining kids did athletics the next term.

Contrast this with a non-sporty school where everyone has to do a particular sport even though they suck/hate it.

JoanBias Mon 22-Oct-12 13:43:17

I think that would depend on the particular sporty/non-sporty school. We went to one that made a big thing about having a 6th XV/XI as well as winning lots of 1st XV/XI prizes (I don't remember the sport tbh, I'm not interested at all, so I really don't care if it was rugger, fugger or hugger).

APMF Mon 22-Oct-12 16:44:02

Celebrating being a winner is an ethos thing whether sports, academics, music etc. I mean, if a school is a selective one then all the above will apply.

At our school winning prizes for debating or public speaking is celebrated as much as the sports stuff.

So, if this 'winner' thing turns you off then pethaps a selective school is not for you.

Having said that, there are kids at our school that our neither sporty or very academic (by the school's standards) and they aren't made to feel inferior.

LIZS Mon 22-Oct-12 17:20:58

At dc school the boys can opt out of team games but compulsory until Year9.

gelo Mon 22-Oct-12 17:24:06

After year 8 don't most schools offer a range of sport options not all of which are the trad. team sports? Ds did sailing & swimming from year 9 onwards which worked well for him. He did do the rugby etc in years 7 and 8, but those entering in year 9 (ie from prep school) would miss that. We are nowhere near Surrey, but I'm surprised this isn't fairly standard.

iseenodust Mon 22-Oct-12 19:07:03

We are nowhere near you but a school I recently looked round did a term each of rugby, football and cricket in the juniors. Swimming is also in there somehow. In the seniors there are timetabled options of fencing, tennis or a session in a very well equiped gym.

JoanBias Mon 22-Oct-12 19:09:07

He did tennis when he was about 6. He was absolutely hopeless. Rugby, cricket, football are likewise out.

He's not much of a swimmer, but gym might be ok.

Notquite Mon 22-Oct-12 19:13:01

James Cracknell said during the Olympics that if he'd had the coordination to play football he'd never have been a rower.

difficultpickle Mon 22-Oct-12 19:13:49

Why don't you call the schools you are interested in and ask?

Ds is rubbish at team sports too but is talented in other areas. I'm sure not every boy at senior schools are good at sports.

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