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Which boarding school? Cothill, Windlesham, Ashdown House, Dragon, Woodcote House?

(47 Posts)
Mumindoha Fri 16-Nov-12 14:25:34

We are expats about to send DS (Year 5) back to UK for boarding and so we need a school that doesn't empty at weekends. As we are going to be so far away the priority is a home-from-home feel, and a school that will get him through CE and to Radley or Harrow, perhaps Eton. Advice or comments on these 5 schools?

lovebeanie Fri 02-Aug-13 12:08:41

I have just found this conversation, and would love to hear some further thoughts on Ashdown House. We are trying to make the difficult decision of which school to send our son to, and we have Ashdown House as a possibility. However what are the latest thoughts on the Cothill Trust, I would be most grateful for anyone's input.

Tatie23 Wed 26-Jun-13 13:56:27

I was an overseas boarder myself and although mine are not was aware of those requirements when looking for schools. I cannot speak too highly of Ashdown House there is a really good mix of overseas, London based and country based children. To me and I've had one child through and another still there it has been a magical and extremely happy experience for both parents and children. Children do flourish there and there is an dedicated team of staff who get them into their first choice schools whilst amazingly letting them have a really fun time too. An incredible contrast to the children I see of the same age in London where it seems school life is solely driven by academic achievement. My advise would be to go and see the schools, my list was the same as yours and it came down to gut reaction and it was definitely definitely the right choice. Haydon Moore having previously been deputy head is the now headmaster with his wife Annie and as a parent I would not hesitate in sending my child there to be under their care.

Mum0579 Sat 15-Jun-13 20:55:01

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TinTin1234 Wed 29-May-13 19:44:09

We also looked at Ashdown..but it is part of the Cothill Trust. I understand the Trust are under a lot of pressure as numbers in their schools are not what they could be. They are shutting St.Aubyns near Brighton.

We are also from Dubai..chose Windlesham House. Lots of information about this school on the site. Our DS are very happy there. lots of Expats!

lovelazysundays Sat 25-May-13 22:02:40

hanjam.... have you considered ashdown? lovely school popular with expats from dubai.

Hanjam Sat 04-May-13 17:59:48

Hi mumindoha - we too are living in Doha and are considering Windlesham for our child. It would be interesting to know whether you have decided to send your son there....many thanks

withep Wed 10-Apr-13 15:32:12

Please be careful if you are deciding on any of the schools under the Cothill Trust umbrella.
We are a small independent school in Brighton that was aquired by the Cothill Trust, which took over the running of the school in Sept 2012.

They have now decided to close the school and sell off the assets, leaving 150 children to find alternative arrangements and they are not helping in the search for new schools. The reason for this is that the cothill trust is not viable anymore and the schools under the Cothill Trust banner are hanging on by a thread - it looks as though other schools within the trust could be up for closure in the not to distant future.

TinTin1234 Fri 05-Apr-13 18:40:23

Hi Buttercup38,

My two DS joined Windlesham in September( After a lot of research). I also spent time looking through Mumsnet. The advice was good and honest!

My DS never boarded before but they just love it. You are right...Windlesham has really lovely staff. Even though they have over 200 full boarders, they still seem to have time for everyone and really know your child.

We are very happy there. Please feel free to message me.

Buttercup38 Wed 03-Apr-13 18:53:07

I toured Windlesham and was very impressed - with staff and students. It's a serious contender in our search for a Prep School

4happyhours Tue 12-Mar-13 22:20:37

I can heartily recommend The Elms near Malvern as excellent prep for co-ed, strong pastorally, excellent preparation for CE in the big schools.

DumSpiroSpero Thu 28-Feb-13 14:18:45

Lovely to see lots of positive comments about Windlesham House.

My DH used to work there - it was a lovely place. smile

grovel Wed 27-Feb-13 14:23:11

anabellee, can I suggest you start a new thread with both schools in the title thread? You'll get more traction.

anabellee Wed 27-Feb-13 14:17:48

Please does anyone have thoughts on Wellesley house school and on Sandroyd school. Trying to find a very good co-ed prep for my DS and DD. Must have is fantastic pastoral care, good CE and schilarship record. Sports and Music must be big. Wellesley is logistically better but I wonder wehre children go on to after.

Bunnyhop2013 Mon 14-Jan-13 00:46:56

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SuiGeneris Fri 11-Jan-13 21:31:42

What happened, Bunnyhop?

Bunnyhop2013 Thu 10-Jan-13 08:45:11

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Mumindoha Wed 28-Nov-12 17:19:41

Thank you so much to everyone who has posted really useful advice. It's so hard to get objective opinions on the net - this is the place though!

aroomofonesown Fri 23-Nov-12 20:13:12

Hello Mumindoha. I am also Middle East expat mother with DS who started at Windlesham House in Year 7. Here is link to an earlier trail from when I was looking for a suitable boarding prep which you may find of interest: I cannot rate Windlesham and its employees highly enough; academic and support staff are fantastic across the board. This is an extremely professional outfit with a lovely atmosphere, lovely pupils and parents, and a really kind and friendly feel. A big appeal for us was having decent numbers of pupils in school at the weekend. My DS, who had not previously full-boarded, has been very happy there. Do PM me if you would like any other details.

difficultpickle Wed 21-Nov-12 21:12:48

Eagle House is a feeder for Wellington (it is in their grounds) and attracts those who are keen for their dcs to go on to Wellington.

BCBG Wed 21-Nov-12 18:31:51

Sorry, should also have said that there are many more full boarders than the 38 official tally, as most of us like to register our DC as weekly boarders so that we have the option if we want to, but in practice, most of them stay in on the weekends! grin.

BCBG Mon 19-Nov-12 19:56:50

goinggetstough full boarders are spread from years 5-8 but with greater concentration in the last two (CE) years as some children prefer the flexible approach and are allowed to build up at their own pace, For example one of mine wanted to fb from the beginning and did, another took a couple of terms to build up the confidence. We loved the fact that the school supported her to go at her own pace. It was a great build up to full boarding at her senior school and she has never looked back. She wrote to the school after she left (unknown to us) to say that they had been the best days of her life! no comment on me as a parent grin .

blameitonthecaffeine Mon 19-Nov-12 19:40:19

Have also heard great things about Windlesham.

In the home counties area you might also want to look at
Winchester House,
Swanbourne House
Eagle House.
I have friends with children who board at all three of these schools and love them.

Thewomanwithnoname Mon 19-Nov-12 18:08:37

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goinggetstough Mon 19-Nov-12 17:52:00

BCBG congratulations on your DC's academic scholarship. As you have DC at Wellesley can I ask about the full boarders. In the inspection report 2011 it says there are 38 full boarders. Do you know if they are evenly spread across the years from 7 - 13 years or do they tend to be concentrated in the last 2 years? Thank you.

BCBG Mon 19-Nov-12 17:29:39

Well each to his own, but four of ours have gone through Wellesley (one still there, full boarding very happily) and one with excellent Academic Scholarship to senior school.

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