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prep school boarding or day?

(46 Posts)
charleswokingham Tue 09-Feb-16 22:27:56

My DS got the offers for year4 entrance to Ludgrove, Cothill, Summerfield and Papplewick, he is bright, academic and sporty boy. I prefer Ludgrove(full boarding from year 4) for my DS, but Mum prefer Papplewick for day school(full boarding from year year7).

Any comments from you?

Thanks in advance.

Roseformeplease Tue 09-Feb-16 22:40:34

At what, 8, you want to send him away?

Please don't do this. It will fuck him up for life. Keep him at home where he is loved and use the money for a day school and family holidays. It is not worth it academically at that age and certainly emotionally disastrous. (And I have worked in that system and know many, many fucked up products).

Whendidyouseeherlast Tue 09-Feb-16 23:23:18

Hello,My 9 year son has just started at full boarding prep.We live two hours away so the day option was not there for us.He is having a wonderful time.The first few weeks were tricky,as much for us as for him.The school has been so supportive and I know we have made the right decision.He is an only child and we feel already he is making real friends,who he will hopefully go on to senior school with.

When I speak to my son I can hear that he is happy and we get the joy of receiving a lovely letter each week.Parents are encouraged to watch matches and there are concerts etc. throughout the year so you will see your son often.If your son is bright ,loves sports and is willing to get stuck into all the school has to offer I would say boarding will be wonderful for him.

peteneras Wed 10-Feb-16 03:38:28

It would help matters to know which senior school you wish your son to go to after prep school. Are you also hoping for scholarships to senior school?

charleswokingham Wed 10-Feb-16 07:21:36

Tnank you very much for your information.

charleswokingham Wed 10-Feb-16 07:22:44

Our target is Eton, Harrow or Winchester.

Gruach Wed 10-Feb-16 08:02:27

Are you saying that you and your son's mother entered him for these particular schools without having previously agreed about boarding?


Move to North Oxford. Have him attend the very lovely north Oxford school as a day pupil until all three of you feel he is ready to enjoy the full boarding experience they offer.

TinkerBellThree Wed 10-Feb-16 09:16:32

Our DS has offers at all three of your target schools and he has not done anything but flexi boarding. He does a day here and there, and the occasional week. He has asked us to up his boarding to 1-2 days/ week next year (Y8) as well as the odd week or two. In our family, DS has been the one deciding on the boarding and only a handful of times has it been for our 'convenience' - this way, he has settled into it with excitement, come to love boarding and actively seek it for himself.
What I am trying to say is that there is no need to do full boarding from y4 to gain a place at any of the schools you mention, thus do what feels right for your DS and your family. I hope this is of some help.

charleswokingham Wed 10-Feb-16 09:24:48

Thank you fooor your information.
That is why my wife wants our DS to papplewick.

Gruach Wed 10-Feb-16 09:38:09

What does your son think?

charleswokingham Wed 10-Feb-16 09:53:18

He prefer summerfield and ludgrove since the facility.

TinkerBellThree Wed 10-Feb-16 10:51:51

But does he understand what full boarding is? Does he like the idea of boarding? Full time? Or would you think he was more suited to being eased into it?

In my experience, young minds can easily be swayed by a shiny that, or disuaded by a wrong coloured this... (I have heard children picking schools based on the uniform), and as such the facilities might not be the right basis on which to make such a big desicion. Just my two pennies worth.

NickiFury Wed 10-Feb-16 11:06:35

"We get the joy of receiving a lovely letter each week"

How marvellous hmm. Personally I find much more joy in, you know, hearing my child's news in person and not in the form of letter forced out during prep once a week.

MarmiteAndButter Wed 10-Feb-16 11:14:46

Equally worked in the system and know many many children and adults not the remotest bit fucked up by boarding 🙄
My eldest would have loved boarding at 8. We lived in a variety of boarding schools and she saw just so many positives. It was, and is, suited to her.
As it is, she is only just going this year aged 13. And I will miss her to bits of course.
My youngest is 8 this year, and would hate boarding.
It entirely depends on the child and on the parents.
And as day students, I get such a muttered shortened version of their daily lives I often think I should make them write to me instead 😂
Seriously, take some time and really talk about this the three of you. And remember nothing is irreversible!

peteneras Wed 10-Feb-16 11:29:18

It's obviously marvellous and joyous for Whendidyousee to receive a lovely letter each week from her son like she said she does and nobody asked you whether you get more joy receiving news from your child in person.

peteneras Wed 10-Feb-16 11:32:15

I think both parents are generally agreed on boarding, Gruach, and all 4 schools are overwhelmingly boarding Prep Schools though I can understand why Mum prefers Papplewick which offer day and partial boarding until the last couple or so years.

But don’t be sold completely on this, OP, there are only a handful of day boys at Papplewick and many quite quickly switch to full boarding after seeing most of their peers are having a great time boarding and parents fearing their DC might miss something (by not boarding) generally go along too. After all, they will have to board from the summer term of Year 6 onwards. And what better experience in preparation for senior schools like the ones you mentioned?

peteneras Wed 10-Feb-16 11:38:31

Congratulations, OP, for achieving offers from these four schools. It is wise to work backwards from senior school to assess which is the more appropriate prep school for that particular senior school. The three senior schools that you mentioned - Eton, Harrow and Winchester - are in a way, quite different from each other:

In reverse order:

Winchester - Generally agreed to be a very academic school for boys who have (not generally agreed) not much other interest in life.

Harrow - To a certain extent, the opposite of Winchester, i.e. boys spend a lot of time doing all sorts of things except getting to be more academic.

Eton - The best of both worlds, a fine balance between the above two schools and giving them a good run for their money - academic, sports, drama, anything . . .!

And so on to prep schools:

Ludgrove: Not generally a school at the tip of tongues of potential prep school parents. If not for the royal princes who went there, most parents would not have heard of this school. I note you have favoured this school for your own good reasons. Maybe you are local to this school judging from your username and if that’s the case, I’d suggest you do not allow this to determine your choice of schools.

Cothill: A school I’d say which is more popular with parents outside London. A good feeder school to Eton and Harrow but not so much Winchester which gives you a general idea the kind of school this is.

Summer Fields: A prolific feeder to Eton and one that impresses me much by the number of King’s Scholarships their boys won (regularly) in the last 15 years. I’ve also been much impressed by the good manners and the way they carry themselves when talking to adults of boys from this school.

Papplewick: Another prolific feeder to Eton and a notable many to Harrow. Its presence in Eton’s annual KS Election Roll is notable considering only 14 boys from the UK and the rest of the world make it to the Election Roll.

NickiFury Wed 10-Feb-16 11:39:23

And yet I commented anyway, as that is the ethos of MN. You know discussion and opinions? It's always entertaining to read your ridiculous posturing and justifications though Pete grin

lookoutitsapiano Wed 10-Feb-16 11:39:27

I actually prefer Summerfields out of those, I think its a bit more modern and the facilities are great.

peteneras Wed 10-Feb-16 11:48:01

The discussion here, Nicki, is which of the four schools to opt for. All are boarding and I think the Charles family have their minds made up. You're doing them a disservice.

NickiFury Wed 10-Feb-16 11:53:18

I really wish there was a boarding school topic actually so that I didn't have to see this kind of triggering thread. Why don't you suggest one Pete? That's a serious suggestion by the way.

peteneras Wed 10-Feb-16 11:56:45

On the contrary, Nicki, perhaps you might want to start a thread on boarding vs non-boarding?

Drinkstoomuchcoffee Wed 10-Feb-16 12:02:31


It is just not true to say that the majority of children at Papplewick are boarders. In 2013 there were 126 boarders out of 213 students. Given that all have to board from Summer of Y6 that means that the majority of students in the junior years are NOT boarders.

Unless there are particular circumstances at home eg illness, highly mobile family, parents working long irregular hours, rural home) there are few if any convincing arguments in favour of boarding at 8 - and a lot against.

NickiFury Wed 10-Feb-16 12:05:03

Why would I? I'm not considering boarding in any way shape or form for my children.

I AM going to suggest to MNHQ a new board for it though.

peteneras Wed 10-Feb-16 12:08:52

And yet you are always criticising others for boarding their DC. I've never seen one criticism the other way round, have you?

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