Windlesham House(6 Posts)
We Are doing a taster day and night at for our son (he would most likely go to boarding school at 11 years old, possibly 10 if he's keen to go earlier). We live overseas but are British.
We are choosing between Windlesham House in Sussex (and Port Regis in Dorset as my husband's parents live in Dorset and DHs sister teaches at Port Regis)
Does anyone have any knowledge about Windlesham? We are very keen that it is not empty at weekends, that most kids stay and that it isn't just the "foreign" kids that are there at weekends. Both DH and myself full boarded and remember the weekends as being fun bonding times - obviously more important if your child is overseas. He will come home at half term and holidays and my husband is over on business so will go and see him, plus we have 2 sets of grandparents in the UK. He is sporty, average academically (although in a better school, I think he could be over average), finds social interaction a little bit of a challenge (this could just be environmental in his school I think), but I'm thinking this will change with the right environment. The pastoral care is very very important. We are not terribly interested in it being a pushy school or a feeder school into any amazing school. He is bright, he will do really well in the right environment but ultimately we want him to be happy and make friends!
So if anyone has any insight into Windlesham - good or bad,mid love to hear it. We will be making a decision most likely in the next few weeks as we will have seen both schools and done tasters at both. We do have many aqua instances/friends with children at Windlesham and they have nothing bad to say about it. Initially we were reluctant to send him to a school where there are so many other people from the country we live in, as well as someone who has just left DS's school, but given the positive reports, we would be silly not to consider it.
Please share any good or not so good things about Windlesham House (a boarding school in Sussex NOT the day school in Surrey). Thx.
Hi there (again)
I commented on your previous thread.
Both my DS are at Windlesham. I can confirm at weekends there are at least 100+ boarders in school. They are a mixture of both local and international children. The pastoral care in the boys house is excellent. Every dorm has their own Matron to look after the children in their care. The staff are extremely friendly and really get to know your DS. I can ask for no more than that! Like you, I read the comments on this website and have to say they are pretty much accurate.
However, Port Regis and Windlesham are very different schools. PR has a senior school feel about it...fab facilities...but the school does empty at weekends. It is also a huge campus, which does not suit every child. In contrast, Windlesham is a big house where everyone lives as one community. New sports hall and swimming pool will be ready next year.
There are so many pros and cons to consider. However, if your sons are to be successful boarders, is having all your family so close to hand a positive or negative thing? I guess that is the bigger issue.
Hello. No direct experience of PR but do have of WHS. DS was there for 2 years from age 11 and DD is there for 3 years from age 10. We have been both overseas and in the UK during this time. Taking each of your points in turn:
* WHS does not empty at weekends. Saturdays are normal full-on days so the children are all there anyway. Sundays have 4 x activity sessions with choice of activities, as well as events viewable in Calendar and a chance for downtime.
* Uncertain what the relevance is of the nationality of children at weekends, but one observation I have made is that often children who appear to be "foreign" by nature of appearance and/or name are actually UK residents.
*Pastoral care is fantastic. Communication with parents likewise.
* School is completely on top of travel arrangements.
* WHS might be closer airport-wise than PR perhaps for visits?
* Thinking of top 3 things about WHS, I'd say 1) I love the ethos/general vibe + 2) Very professional staff whether teaching staff or support staff (particularly customer-focussed, eg. emails are responded to within minutes even if late at night or the weekend) + 3) both academic and co-curricular offering is broad, thriving and buzzing and available at the right level for the child
To conclude, I highly recommend WHS. Hope that helps!
My DCs were at WHS for 5 years each and I totally agree with underthe acertree . Also they provide for a cross section of abilities. My DCs have now left senior school but are still in contact with WHS members of staff. In fact we went back to a retirement party last summer for my DCs language teachers. The DCs said it was just as if they had never left. In our opinion WHS is a very special place.
Only reason I mentioned Nationality was that when I was at Boarding School, there were some nationalities (such as those from the Far East) who totally stuck together and generally never mixed with anyone and spoken their own languages between them. I am certainly all for a multi cultural /international environment, I think it's s great thing - my comments stem more from my own previous experiences. I very much realise how people look is not a reflection of their nationality. But that said, I wouldn't want him to be in the minority's at weekends i.e one of the only kids where English wasn't their first language.
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