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Good indy school for average boy

(90 Posts)
bulletpoint Thu 15-Nov-12 21:02:24

Colleague of mine is looking for a very good independent school for his academically average boy. Child has flashes of brilliance from time to time but rather lazy so dad looking for school that will stretch him/keep him on his toes. So basically not Eton, but not Shiplake either. Colleague leans more towards traditional type boarding schools.

I was going to suggest Oundle but looked on gsg and now not so sure, does Oundle do well by average boys ?

bulletpoint Thu 15-Nov-12 22:20:49


BabsJansen Thu 15-Nov-12 22:22:49

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

bulletpoint Fri 16-Nov-12 06:38:56

I did said " traditional boarding" in my post, single sex or coed doesnt matter.
Sporty boy but not top teams, grade 3 (i think) guitar.

EdithWeston Fri 16-Nov-12 06:43:37

I don't know much specific about Oundle, but have never heard anything bad about it.

Does your colleague want that part of the country?

bulletpoint Fri 16-Nov-12 06:49:07

Yes, based in watford so SE areas fine, but closer the better.

difficultpickle Fri 16-Nov-12 07:59:37

Harrow? Not that far fr

difficultpickle Fri 16-Nov-12 08:02:23

Harrow? Not that far from Watford and definitely traditional boarding. Do you mean schools which are full boarding rather than where lots do weekly boarding?

happygardening Fri 16-Nov-12 08:53:24

I'm not sure either Oundle or Harrow would consider themselves suitable for an "academically average" boy. Harrow is also exceedingly over subscribed more so than Eton.
If its primarily full boarding your looking i.e. where the vast majority or even all are full boarding your friend is going to struggle. if you friend will settle for weekly boarding there are loads of choices near Watford is Haileybury for a start.

difficultpickle Fri 16-Nov-12 09:02:07

I got Harrow's prospectus yesterday and it has photos with comments from parents. One says how well her son has done particularly as he was academically average at his prep. Made me think it is the perfect school for the OP's friend's son!

happygardening Fri 16-Nov-12 09:55:01

According to the FT Harrow came 53rd in its league table with 72% getting A's at A level this says one of two things either your really can spoon feed for A levels or there are not lots of "average boys" there.

difficultpickle Fri 16-Nov-12 10:02:25

You would hope paying those sort of fees that the definitely wouldn't be average by the time they leave but the prospectus does seem to indicate they take average boys! Can't put my finger on it but it isn't I school I'm going to consider for ds. My fav (on paper as not visited yet) is Winchester. They are also the most efficient in sending out their prospectus. I filled in their website form last week in the afternoon and the prospectus arrived the next morning. They also managed to get my name and address correct, something neither Harrow nor Eton did.

joanbyers Fri 16-Nov-12 10:18:05

King Edward's Witley

crazygracieuk Fri 16-Nov-12 10:24:20

Average at what sort of school?

Xenia Fri 16-Nov-12 10:24:54

If he's pretty average he is not likely to get into Winchester or Harrow. Look at the FT secondary league tables and pick if you want boarding boarding schools for boys or mixed which are lowish down the A level results table perhaps.

joanbyers Fri 16-Nov-12 10:27:30

Bradfield College

bulletpoint Fri 16-Nov-12 10:44:13

Thanks all. I think Winchester will be pretty much out of it. Still not sure about Oundle and how selective it is (ive seen their website), i know a few kids there and they're certainly not einstein, I'll definitely mention Bradfield, completely forgot about Haileybury. I dont know wether full boarding or weekly, but im guessing the further away it is the more likely it'll have to be full.

Lilymaid Fri 16-Nov-12 10:49:38

The Leys School Cambridge?

happygardening Fri 16-Nov-12 11:01:59

Bisjo as you know IMO Winchester for the right boy/parent is the best in the world but definitely not for an average boy. St Edwards Oxford? Fab school again I admit my bias (arisien from a different reason) although liberal so may not be suitable but 90% full boarders results are likely to significantly improve with new head. Very happy children. Lancing traditional and high church (wince) lots of weekly boarders, Kings Canterbury maybe too selective (full boarding and a handful of day children). Uppingham only full boarders very traditional, Stowe used to be the thick mans Eton but more selective now I personally think the Head is hideous but others disagree, Sherbourne again very traditional, Shrewsbury ditto. Cranleigh very sporty and parents conservative with a small c so likely to be traditional.

bulletpoint Fri 16-Nov-12 11:16:30

Ive just looked at Sherborne's website. Does anyone know anymore about the school ?

willyoulistentome Fri 16-Nov-12 11:19:58

Oratory at Woodcote nnorth of Reading. Does boarding and day.

Dannie Fri 16-Nov-12 11:25:08

Bede's, near Hailsham, is non-selective on entry and nowhere near as sporty as everyone claims

Xenia Fri 16-Nov-12 11:42:29

I know someone with children at St Edward's Oxford - I was going to add that they are a bit .. well not that bright and I have now... so it may be good. My own concern and with that person is that if you hand over a child like that you lose all your influence. Most of us can find really good fee paying day schools and we can keep our own influence - not berate the child in holidays for bad marks but instead be there each night gently encouraging them.

IndridCold Fri 16-Nov-12 12:29:51

I was going to suggest Sherborne, it would certainly suit an boy of average intellegence although obviously it has bright boys too. It has a wonderful music department and lots of clubs and societies. The town is very nice and being where it is there are quite a lot of outdoorsy things to do. The previous head really brought it up academically, and the new head has been there a couple of years now - I really liked him, although I have heard others criticise him for mentioning Eton (his previous school) too often!

I can only speak as a prospective parent, we really loved the school and were going to send DS there, but he was promoted from the Eton waiting list quite late in the day so he went there instead. About 12 boys from DSs prep school went and they are all loving it.

Definitely worth you looking at I would say.

grovel Fri 16-Nov-12 12:43:47

Sherborne, Bradfield, Radley, Oundle, Haileybury, Marlborough.

All good trad schools.

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