Boarding at sixth form ???(4 Posts)
DD is in year 11 and predicted 10 A* at GCSE.
She attends a good city comprehensive in the UK which she has loved but lately seems restless and says she wants a change.
Today she suggested the idea of boarding at sixth form.
I know nothing about boarding schools in the UK. Any views from people with experience of boarding welcome -of the idea in principle or recommendations of particular schools.
She is into music, singing , song writing , drama and not at all sporty. Likely to do A'levels in music, maths and English.
She may have left things a bit late as application processes will be well underway. However most schools would still consider a good late applicant and there are state boarding schools which may be worth a look. Boarding fees are typically 25k upwards per year, is that an issue? You could look at the iscis website for ideas as to where might be a good fit , look at individual websites then hit the phone and speak to the admissions secretary.
I boarded for sixth form and had a great time. I think you'll find you've left it too late for some places, but perhaps not all. Main things to consider:
- some boarding schools are all/mostly boarding, some have only a few boarders; the former probably better if you are boarding, though this may matter a bit less at sixth form where you have more freedom anyway
- some boarding schools are essentially weekly boarding, with almost everyone going home on Friday evening/after Saturday school, others are "true" boarding schools with most people in most weekends. If you are traveling too far to make weekends at home doable, then you probably want the latter.
- several boys' schools admit girls only in the sixth form - would she like that or would she prefer a school that's mixed all the way through? Advantage of the former is that all the girls will be new at 16
- if a girls'/mixed school, find out how many join at 6th form - it's not easy boarding for the first time and being one of only a handful of new pupils
- with those GCSE predictions, you'll want to be asking about scholarships/bursaries I imagine
- be realistic (though not alarmist) about what goes on in terms of sex/drugs/drink at boarding schools. Lots of people seem to assume that boarding school is more "sheltered" from this sort of thing than e.g. a city day school. Not necessarily, in my experience!
Your choices might be limited I think most of the academic big names might have already offered places for this September if not they're about too. I''m assuming your based in the UK. Where roughly are you based? I have a 1 1/2 hour one way driving rule I also wouldn't want the M25 between my home and any potential school. I might over the 1 1/2 hour if there were fab public transport link between your house and the school. Are you looking for full or weekly boarding? Are you able to pay the 35k+ pa fees or are you thinking of a state boarding school or a bursary?
There are many on here who are anti boarding and it's not right for everyone obviously but the vast majority of children thrive and develop very useful life skills.
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