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Pros/ cons of 'all through' independent schools?

(30 Posts)
anniejane100 Thu 16-May-13 14:35:26

I was wondering if anyone has recent/ current experience of 'all through' independent schooling with DC? We're considering three indies for DD at the mo and two of them cover 3-18/ 4-18 yrs. I just don't know how I feel about DD potentially being with the same kids for 14/ 15 years! Add to my confusion the fact that one of the two is all girls. We didn't expect to like it but we really do. Heck - no boys during whole school lifetime? Hmm. Not sure. DH went only to indies, I went only to state schools so we have a mixed bag of personal experience! Would appreciate your thoughts.

BooksandaCuppa Sun 19-May-13 21:36:57

Yep, ds's school has three sites for pre-prep, prep and senior and separate Heads and slight changes in uniform. He's only been there since senior but I understand there is a lot of movement of pupils at all the natural stages and, of course, the staff and rules are also all different - but with a continuation of ethos and shared 'big' events - cathedral services etc.

I'm sure I wouldn't let it put me off if I liked the school a lot!

deste Sun 19-May-13 21:49:21

My DS and DD both went to the same school from 5 through to 18. It never entered my head to change them. As someone above said they still have some of the same friends they had when they were 5. My DS is now 35 and my DD 26.

glaurung Mon 20-May-13 22:48:25

one of mine went all the way through and I couldn't have wished for a happier child or a more successful outcome - nothing to fault, no issues at all. The other chose to move away being a 'grass is greener' type, but though she's done very well, in some ways I suspect she would have done better had she stayed put - she wouldn't have been as happy though as she had itchy feet (but no concrete issues with the school other than having been there too long), so maybe not.

I don't see a problem with this type of school at all, if it isn't working out for your child they can move, if it is they can stay.

happygardening Tue 21-May-13 09:14:07

When my children were little the concept of an "all through school" looked very attractive. You chose the school you like when their 3 yrs old and that the end of it.
We moved and didn't have that option and I think its for the best. You just don't know at three what your children will want or need from education when they're 11/13 and changing to a senior school. All through schools obviously want you to stay and are also less likely to know about other schools so therefore no one is going to give you independent advise about what senior schools are going to be most suitable for your child and they are also less likely to prepare you DC's for CE and scholarships into other schools. The other thing you have to watch if the senior schools is very selective then entrance into it senior school is obviously not guaranteed if your DC joins at three and as a couple of friends discovered they were then advised to look for somewhere else for their DC's. This can be rather unsettling when a child's friends are moving on to the senior school but they're not.

ICanTotallyDance Tue 21-May-13 10:23:23

Thought I had posted on this thread, apparently not.

I have very recent experience of an all through school with my family and I enjoyed my time at one as well. Attended from the age of 3.

It is good the schools you are considering have a change at senior. This is important, in my opinion.

Basically, progressing the school will be not very different than if you attended, say, the local schools in a small town. That is to say, some children will leave, some children will arrive, and several kids will be familiar "life-timers" who stick through the whole way.

I do think its important to, even if you become very attached to your child's school, be ready to move them on if the environment is not longer suitable.

In my school, a lot of girls left to go boarding between 11-15, and we had big influxes at 8, 11, 13, 15 and 16. There are always new faces.

Interesting point by Farewelltoarms, not something I really considered. It wasn't a big deal at my school, children had plenty of opportunity to change and grow, especially as children progressed through the school and discovered new passions. Having said that children were branded "smart" even if they lost that edge ( when their tutors retired ) so that was one way girls could have been branded. On the other hand, no one was really branded as "stupid" mainly because there was always something they could beat you at.

The school I attended was small, Christian, all girls, 3-18 and I loved it. However, you do have to be wary of how insular that environment is and also how soul shredding bullying could be in that situation (not something I encountered but just imagine being with a bully for 15 years).

Also, make sure the school matches with your family ethos. 7 or more hours a day at that place for 13-15 years and you better believe you kids will come out with the school motto stuck in their head and the values ground into them, so if they don't match with your values, it is cause for concern!

Anyway, good luck with the school hunt.

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