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Boarding schools which are renowned for art

(54 Posts)
musu Thu 09-May-13 23:20:12

Ds year 4. Very good at art and also very musical (sings, plays two instruments bit lazy practising). He has decided he wants to get an art scholarship to senior school. Financially we would need a bursary (he has a substantial scholarship at prep) or a 50%+ scholarship.

According to ds's prep school head I am supposed to come up with a short list of schools I want to consider for ds and I have to submit that list to school after half term. Ds's list is Winchester, Radley and Eton. All of which I would put at the most ambitious. I need to select one of those and also come up with a middle tier and a reserve.

Ds is very much an individual but does well in a structured setting. He currently does flexiboarding and loves the structure and order that accompanies this. We are in the South East (Home Counties) and I'd consider schools that are within a 2 hour drive (Eton is 15 mins).

I feel a bit at a loss to know where to start. We are going to an Open Day at Winchester next month but only because they do an Open Day for boys in years 3 and 4. I had thought I could visit schools in year 5 and discuss with his prep this time next year so I've been a bit gobsmacked at having to do this so early.

happygardening Fri 10-May-13 07:26:48

No art scholarship into either Eton or Winchester not sure about Radley but both offer bursaries to non scholars Eton currently are saying 50% and maybe more, Winchester average bursary is about 65%. Winchester's open day is for yrs 3 and 4 because if you decide you like it you have to choose a suitable housemaster as it is him that you register with and he interviews your DC and offers him a place or not. This can be a bit of a long winded process you usually meet three either with or without you DS and then return with your DS to see whether or not he likes him. Places in popular houses can go quickly.
We trotted round lots of schools including Eton when looking for somewhere suitable our DS's the best art ie the most unusual striking and IMO original but then I'm a serious lover of modern art lover was at St Paul's. Bedales was frankly underwhelming, ditto Stowe, Marlborough but Bryanstons I seem to recall was pretty impressive. Art obviously varies yr on yr because the calibre of the pupils will vary yr on yr especially at super selective who don't offer art scholarships but interestingly we visited St Paul's over a period of three years and each time the art blew us away.
You mention Radlley I'm assuming you've already registered for it as if not yr 4 is going to be too late and St Paul's also has a ridiculously early cut off date.
If you want to know more about Winchester including its art dept do PM me.

senua Fri 10-May-13 08:08:43

According to ds's prep school head I am supposed to come up with a short list of schools I want to consider for ds

Eh? I thought that it was supposed to be the other way round. I thought that he - the professional, the one with all the years' accumulation of inside info - was supposed to advise you on which schools would be best-fit.

musu Fri 10-May-13 08:18:14

Thx happy. It's bisjo/Mollieo I've name changed (and probably just outed myself!).

We had to attend a talk from ds's prep head last night and he said we have to come up with a list. I'd thought I could start thinking about choices and visiting in year 5 with a view to identifying options this time next year. I'm surprised they want to know now. We are attending Winchester's open day in June and ds was registered for Radley when he was 6 (in the waiting list but likely to get offered a place).

Whilst he is very musical he is very very keen on art and appears to be talented. I wondered about Bryanston as a middle choice. I also need to come up with an insurance choice and I'm struggling with that. I like the look of Sherborne but think that is on the outer limits re travelling. I definitely don't see ds at Marlborough or Wellington but other than that I'm open to suggestions. I like the look of Uppingham and Oundle but think they are too far away. Also possibly Tonbridge. However I want a school that doesn't empty out at weekends so not sure about Tonbridge.

I also need to quell my rising since of panic and get a grip. Ds is 8. A lot can change in 5 years.

AntoinetteCosway Fri 10-May-13 08:38:07

Stowe is meant to be good for art. How about Christ's Hospital?

Ampleforth has fantastic art (and drama) but I'm guessing is too far north for you.

bruffin Fri 10-May-13 08:42:33

Haileybury offer Art Scholarships

happygardening Fri 10-May-13 08:43:05

Tonbridge is fab. headmaster was the Surmaster at St Pauls and has created a school with a similar ethos but it does empty out at the weekend and sport is very big. On the plus side excellent train links into London although not sure how helpful it is for your neck of the woods. Friends with DC's at Bryanston are currently very pleased with it but it also empties out at the weekend although again a good train service from Salisbury and coaches to Richmond on exeats etc. I'm labouring under the impression Sherbourne is more or less full boarding but could be talking crap friends DS who was there thought it was ok.
Have you looked at St Edwards Oxford again full boarding all arts meant to be good (not actually looked myself) its liberal so may or may not suit pastoral care standards are legendary, newish head is pushing up academic standards although this will take time to filter through to actual leavers results.
A word of warning Win Coll open day as you've probably read can leave you underwhelmed.

happygardening Fri 10-May-13 08:48:54

We know of an international award winning child (admittedly their extraordinary talent lay in modern art although he had his own unique style he was heavily influenced by the Surrealists Dali et al so not everyones cup of tea) who didn't get an art scholarship into Stowe. I wasn't surprised this reflects the unimaginative art we saw on display when we visited.

happygardening Fri 10-May-13 08:49:38

Kings Canterbury? Again a bit crap for you area.

LIZS Fri 10-May-13 08:51:55

I think there is a mixture of weekly/full boarders at Tonbridge . Even the weekly's don't always come home for more than a quick overnight on Saturday as there is so much going on. What about Kings Canterbury or Sevenoaks? For some you would already need to register for Year 6 pretests though.

happygardening Fri 10-May-13 09:03:03

I looked at Tonbridge and loved it but the head who knew we wanted full boarding/HM/boy who showed me round/current parents with children also at our prep and our own prep head were all quite adamant its weekly boarding, For a start over 40% are day and the overwhelming majority go home Sat PM leaving only 2-3 in. .

musu Fri 10-May-13 11:06:40

Thx. Definitely don't want a school that empties out at the weekend, or if it does it needs to be on our doorstep! By the time ds gets to senior school he will be used to boarding Sunday morning through to Friday. He is keen to do full boarding, preferably boys but would c

musu Fri 10-May-13 11:07:43

consider co ed at a push.

We will definitely look at Teddies as the less academic insurance possibility.

mrsshackleton Fri 10-May-13 11:16:36

Marlborough and Bedales both used to be fantastic for art, info out of date but worth a look

happygardening Fri 10-May-13 11:47:04

Bedales of course has a fab reputation for all the arts. When we visited quite a few years ago we were underwhelmed by the art we saw. I was expecting something really special and contemporary but just saw more of the same old stuff that I see everywhere. Of course it might have been the ability of the current artists at the school. There's lot of money (parents) at Bedale's and it again is primarily weekly boarding. We thought all the children looked exceedingly happy there the happiest we saw on all our trips round schools possibly not over burdened with academic studies but certainly happy! But in the last few years friends DC's have sadly not had very positive experiences there. This may be a combination of factors but it was disappointing to hear.

musu Fri 10-May-13 13:55:06

I reckon ds needs somewhere pretty academically rigorous. At the moment he is as lazy as he can get away with but slowly realising that if he makes a little bit of efford he gets a big reward. The discussion of senior schools amongst his peers at school is making him think more about what he wants to achieve. He is surprisingly competitive too.

derektheladyhamster Fri 10-May-13 14:11:50

I'm not familiar with 'posh' boarding schools grin but Christ's hospital offers scholarships for art and music, and of course most of the pupils are in receipt of a bursery. I think the scholarship is 20% off the assessed fees.

With regards to music there of course is the marching band but there are other orchestras.

I have only compared the art with other state schools, but as a lay person, I was impressed grin

happygardening Fri 10-May-13 15:19:06

"I reckon ds needs somewhere pretty academically rigorous. At the moment he is as lazy as he can get away with but slowly realising that if he makes a little bit of efford he gets a big reward. The discussion of senior schools amongst his peers at school is making him think more about what he wants to achieve. He is surprisingly competitive too."
Bedales might have changed though I think the head is the same one when we looked I personally don't think its the place for a lazy but bright boy with a competitive streak.

11112222 Fri 10-May-13 15:38:24

You can enter Radley without being registered. Only by winning a scholarship though. No need to register until Scholarship time approx 6 months prior to entry. They also offer pre-auditions to see if he is "on-track" and bursary proposals too. Scholarships on offer are Academic, Music, Art, Sport, All-rounder, and possibly drama???

So don't rule Radley out.

happygardening Fri 10-May-13 16:47:14

Its a good school but you do have to like rugby!

musu Fri 10-May-13 17:45:00

Ds is registered for Radley albeit on the waiting list. I feel a bit poleaxed at the choice and I'd rather the school suggested possibles rather than me. The head did say in his presentation that parents need to be realistic but how are we supposed to work out what are suitable options for a school ds won't start at until 2017? Also I've no experience of dcs going through the process and have no clue whether the schools I may be considering are in any way suitable. All I can think is it must give the teachers a good laugh when they receive the parents' forms!

I may email ds's form teacher and ask her for suggestions.

happygardening Fri 10-May-13 18:03:24

OP when my DS started at his boarding prep in yr 3 we had our heart set on St Pauls within about 4 weeks of starting the then head suggested Winchester (the prep traditionally fed onto Eton rarely Winchester) but still we had our heart set on St Pauls. It was his English teacher who persuaded us to look at Winchester. She'd considered for her DS but hadn't felt it was right for him but felt it was right for my DS. Without her encouragement we might never have gone. She saw him most days and could see things in my DS that us as parents often dont see. She felt he was eccentric in a family of extreme eccentrics we felt he was relatively normal, she thought he was not just very bright but also very intellectual, we couldn't see it and so on so yes ask his form teacher.

lapsedorienteerer Fri 10-May-13 19:48:01 (not the one in London)

lapsedorienteerer Fri 10-May-13 19:49:47

Sorry, link didn't work. Oratory

BoffinMum Fri 10-May-13 20:03:20


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