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Does independent school leave your child with no time?

(43 Posts)
cricketnut77 Wed 11-May-16 10:31:58

My son has been offered a sports scholarship to an independent school which will take around an hour to commute to every day . He is a very good all round sportsman but my concern is that he won't have time for hardly anything outside of school . Will he be shattered ? He is going into year 7 and I'm thinking thinking of leaving it till year 9 so he can still be a kid or is this a big risk? How do other sporty kids at private schools go on and do you ever see them ?

Pagwatch Wed 11-May-16 10:36:00

My DD is at independent school. She's a regional standard swimmer.
She's busy and she gets tired but she's active and she enjoys it. The hours she uses swimming just mean she has zero interest in electronic stuff/tv/games except messaging her friends.

It's what she enjoys.

Pagwatch Wed 11-May-16 10:37:00

In take at year 9 will be much much smaller si it's a big risk unless it's not a particularly over subscribed school.

Balletgirlmum Wed 11-May-16 10:37:43

Well yes & no

Independent schools are often very sympathetic to children who compete in sports or perform in music/dance at a high level. The reason I send dd to a independent school on a dance bursary is because she was struggling to fit it all in.

Ds is not very sporty but got involved in school drama so for the Autumn term he has little free time.

This term however he isn't involved (our commute is approx 30-40 mins) & so he does lots outside school (hockey club etc)

If your dd is on a sporting scholarship I assume he'll be involved in evenin practice & saturdsy matches like my dd with dance. But I would have hardly seen her snyway apart from being a taxi service.

Pagwatch Wed 11-May-16 10:38:52

grin sorry - doing this in chunks

What part of being a kid will he miss out on? He'll presumeably just be getting up earlier to get his train/coach and doing his homework on the way home like most of the travelling kids.

cricketnut77 Wed 11-May-16 10:46:40

Well he plays football with his mates on Saturday mornings for a little team which has been going since he was 6 which I know he will have to give up which will particularly hurt him. He goes up the park for a kickabout all the time and he likes riding his bike on the local track and in summer is always at the cricket club playing and messing about in the nets. He has a bit of a nice life really perhaps one that many kids can't do or can't do as easily .

Stillunexpected Wed 11-May-16 11:16:34

Remember that he will have longer holidays at private school so while he will inevitably miss out on some stuff during term-time he will have more time in summer for cricket and other stuff.

happygardening Wed 11-May-16 11:34:56

I would have thought it very much depends on how seriously the school take sport and your DS's sport as well.
A friends DD is on a sports scholarship she was already at the school and was captain of her sport so it seemed to be more about a reduction in fees rather than anything else.
On the other hand another friends DS is a school where rowing is very big, he trains 6 days a week and runs every morning with his crew go to the gym regularly etc and the school provides a dietician, sports psychologists and physio etc for free. they go abroad for on regular training camps etc during holidays. He expected to prioritise it over everything else and except during exam periods organise his study time around it's a big commitment but having said the not all the crew are on a sports scholarship but they are still putting in the same effort.

SAHDthatsall Wed 11-May-16 11:59:23

DS is on something similar, but it was an all-rounder for cricket, football and musical instrument.

First of all - is it an hour in reality? How easy is it to travel home following an after school training session? DS gets the school coach so if there is after school training it means picking him up.

DS played all the school football matches (20+) in terms 1&2 and will play all the cricket matches this term (about 10). I think we play as many as most schools. There was no after school training for football, matches were Fri pm in games and Saturday mornings. Cricket is after school once a week plus in games. Year 7.

I would say that with all the homework etc then he has struggled to do much more than work plus school sport - and he played rugby on Sunday mornings in winter. Cricket is now training at school 2x/week and club 1x/week and 3-5 matches per week, so yes my life is spent on the edge of a sports field somewhere... :-) He does a guitar lesson once a week (if possible!) We used to spend hours down the cricket club nets but there isn't time for that now - but I did expect that.

Seeline Wed 11-May-16 14:48:16

Leaving it til Y9 is a risk - will the school honour the offer of a place and/or scholarship or will you have to go through the whole process again?
If other kids are starting in Y7, most of the teams will be well established by Y9 so your DS may not get much of a look-in in any case.
The difference between primary and any secondary school is quite big, and with homework/travel etc, he will have less time to do what he wants in any case.
My Ds is musical rather than sporty, and spends a lot of time rehearsing/preforming/touring with the school (indy) and because he isn't very good at motivating himself, spends most of the remaining time trying to get homework done, so not much time for himself - BUT he loves doing the music so there is no big loss.
DD so far isn't so involved with school stuff (Y7 indy) but is heavily involved with dance outside school as this doesn't feature as part of school activities. If it did, she would probably do it there as it would involve less travelling etc, and possibly give her more free time.

SAHDthatsall Wed 11-May-16 15:07:33

this... If other kids are starting in Y7, most of the teams will be well established by Y9 so your DS may not get much of a look-in in any case.

is wrong... when the new lot join in Year 9 it is a level playing field for the school teams. Seen it before with older DS1. Current cricket coach said at Year 9 intake sometimes they get a whole new team almost, and sometimes just the odd new player.

Though personally I preferred Year 7 entry, I feel it gives them the 3 years to settle in properly and then start GCSEs properly, which is better than just 1 year.

Seeline Wed 11-May-16 15:29:56

SAHD it may not be your experience, but it does happen. It is something that the OP would need to consider and perhaps ask about.

SAHDthatsall Wed 11-May-16 16:06:41

Ok fair enough but I think it is something that is very unlikely to happen. These schools are generally trying to win things so to not select better players goes against the typical ethos. And in this particular situation to not select someone that I would guess is County standard would not happen. (IMHO)

Balletgirlmum Wed 11-May-16 16:47:12

I think it really depends on the school/area

At ds's school where there is only 1 prep up to age 13 with a tiny handful of children who stay onto CE there is only a tiny intake in year 9/10 - usually children who are unhappy with their allocated state school or those moving into the area.

At dds school there is a larger year 10 intake sometimes from children who have been 'assessed out' of a couple of other schools or who were not ready to leave home before.

Sleepinghooty Wed 11-May-16 20:23:27

Yes, he won't have a lot of time. But if he is anything like my Ds he will love it. Like other posters on a sport scholarship- lots of practise and matches and term time is very busy but We still fit in out of school sport and the holidays are long so lots of time for seeing friends.

meditrina Wed 11-May-16 20:38:26

I bet he won't be the only one who moves away from the current Saturday footie once they all go up to secondary school.

They'll still be able to meet up for kick arounds, and the long summer holidays mean oodles of opportunity for mucking around at the cricket club.

Is there something else that's causing the cold feet at the moment?

ThroughThickAndThin01 Wed 11-May-16 20:46:48

I'd wait.

DS had a sports scholarship. At 13 it was a total pain in the arse. I definitely wouldn't take it up at 11.

Sleepinghooty Wed 11-May-16 21:42:28

Through - why was it a pain? yes it is a commitment but as Ds would do sport all day given a chance it's not a problem for us

cricketnut77 Wed 11-May-16 22:16:49

Thanks for all your replies. The school that has offered the scholarship has traditionally been 13 plus but have always had good prep school. They want him to join in year 7 though. My son is in the cricket county age group side and is a very good rugby player which is a bit of an issue as I'm not massively keen on him carrying on with that sport .

homebythesea Wed 11-May-16 22:20:56

If one if his sports is rugby the school will strongly advise against also playing outside of school because of head and other injury risks. Also he will be required to prioritise school teams and matches so Saturdays are likely to be taken up with that and not his local team. Almost none of my DS cohort does sport outside of school - only those that do something niche like squash that isn't offered do so. School sport is everything. Also bear in mind the school day is likely to be longer (DS end of day is 5.20) so less opportunity to do most things on a weekday

NewLife4Me Wed 11-May-16 22:24:30

Hi cricket

My dd is music school, but obviously similar in the times.
She is kept very busy and only has an hour/ 90 mins free time at night.
So she swims. Everything is done during that time including school work.
A little time with friends, private time etc.
Little time to get up to mischief. grin
She started y7 but is a weekly boarder.

Aducknotallama Wed 11-May-16 22:25:18

My ds in yr9 at a sporty independent school has no time outside of school. He attends from 8.30-4.30 weekdays and 8.30-12.30 on Saturdays. He is part of an lite player rugby squad which is 6-9pm on Mondays (organised by school and they take him) and has fixtures for rugby, hockey and cricket throughout the year on Sat afternoon usually getting home around 6pm.

ealingwestmum Thu 12-May-16 11:28:37

Will he be shattered ? Yes. For sure at the start, but will hopefully get easier as routine settles

do you ever see them ? Not much!

Does he have a view at joining in Y7 or Y9? Is this his worry or yours? I guess I am countering the many comments you will get like when does he get to play, relax, have downtime etc that can make us a little defensive, but those on here with children that do these things to high level/training hours etc, we know we cannot make our children do it if they don't want to. And if they don't want to, then the risk of accepting the scholarship is high.

For some children who, for whatever reason, struggle with the multi tasking, organisation and doing homework on the run/when it's set may struggle to start, but a good school who is offering these awards should help and support the child to manage the academic and talent side without the 'are you doing too much' attitude that is often met with those that don't get kids like this. Y7 is a big change though, but some need it and adapt really quickly, it so depends on the child.

But, go in with your eyes open, of course there's a quid pro quo for the scholarship, and your boy has got to want to do the sports (and know he will have less time to ride the bike during the week), but hopefully adapts on when he does stuff

The hours she uses swimming just mean she has zero interest in electronic stuff/tv/games except messaging her friends

Agree with this 100%.

SAHDthatsall Thu 12-May-16 12:08:33

Since you are also a cricket fan, I would add that don't expect the quality of cricket to be that high for Y7 and Y8, it tends to improve in Y9 when prep schools etc. join.
Whilst we have a pretty decent Y7 team, I see sides that we have played and due to play as having no great players and the likelihood is that you will have many one sided games. A really poor team I heard about was bowled out for 7 recently... what a waste of time for all involved.

cricketnut77 Thu 12-May-16 12:28:07

Thank you Ealingwestmum. We are very ordinary family who could not dream of sending him to a private school without large bursary or scholarship. The college has a tie in with the county age group cricket and have until now only offered cricket scholarships at 13. Most of the concerns are mine but he is worried about his mates and his football team . My wife is all for it and I think it is an amazing opportunity but perhaps might be best in a couple of years

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