Girls boarding school - 11 or 13?(9 Posts)
Hi, does anyone have up to date experience of girls boarding schools - I appreciate it will be different in every school, but back in my day (!) it was more normal for girls to start at 11 and boys to go at 13 after prep school. Now must prep schools have become co-ed has this changed? I know a lot of all girls boarding schools still start at 11. Do many girls join at 13 and do they feel they have started 'late' like they did at my school 25 years ago...? Many thanks for any advice.
I understand if you don't think children should board at all, but this is something we are looking into, so I would be v grateful if this didn't turn into an anti boarding thread.
It really depends on the school. Some schools only have a few new girls at 13 whereas others have a high proportion. Which girls schools are you looking at?
My DD went at 13 to an all girls boarding school. We thought it was important that she finished her time at her co ed prep school when it ended at 13. So she was able to be at the top of the school with the responsibilities that brought with it.
My DD went at 11 as that was when the majority intake was. She went from a coed prep that went to 13. She was ready for the move, and we thought the greater extracurricular activities, wider sports opportunities and not being on the 13+ treadmill (having been through it several times with her brothers - yawn!) meant she had an opportunity to enjoy education for 2 years (yrs 7-8) instead of the endless round of mocks and the narrow curriculum leading upto 13+. The school still has a large intake at 13+, but in the end we felt starting at the beginning with the majority was the best thing for her.
The most important factor is your DD - is she ready to go at 11 or would she benefit from waiting until 13.
My daughter went at 11, from a day coed prep that went to 13. She was very keen to board and was looking forward to all the extra activities. It has not been a success, and we are moving her at the end of this year to a London day school.
I really wished we'd left her at her prep for 2 more years and moved her at 13 with the extra maturity and resilience.
Her boarding school treats the Year 7 and 8 girls in a very similar way to the Year 9 and 10 girls - single or double bedrooms, lots of free time for them to manage themselves and an expectation that they will not need much support. I'm sure it works for some, but not DD.
If you decide to choose boarding at 11, I would want a set up that is much nearer to Year 7 at a boarding prep - lots of organised activities, gappies to jolly them along and larger dormitories so one girl doesn't get stuck for hours with a 'challenging' peer.
The school my DDs went to had loads of activities for the younger boarders and a separate House for Y7 and 8. So choose wisely. DD1 went at 11 as that was the age she had to transfer,but our other DD was at a girls' boarding prep school that was primarily a 13 plus transfer. Her education from 11-13 was broader at the senior school than that offered by the prep, less exam angst, and she made loads of friends. I was not convinced she would have been given any responsibility at the prep school. We were not in line for any of that!
It appeared to be more difficult to settle at 13 if there were few starting at that age, as the 11 plus entry had established friendships. It is something to consider. Your decision can only really be formed by visiting and really talking to the girls at the school's you are thinking of. What do they do at weekends, what are the sleeping arrangements and how do the younger girls integrate, or not, with the older girls. Make sure you choose a school that meets your needs.
Depends on the school. If the school you are considering has a good number of 11 year old boarding then great, if not I would delay as the last thing you want is for her to be boarding with girls who are 2 or 3 years older than her and of a different maturity level.
My DD started full time boarding at 10. She is at a school where you can board from 7. I eased her in over a few years to get her used to boarding. She is now 18! My 3 DS who are 13, 10 and 8 did do and are doing the same too. They all love it
it depends on the child imo.
Going at 11 has not done my dd any favours and she is quite a confident girl. We wished we had waited until she was 13 as she had this choice too.
However, other girls have settled at her school at 11, even those who are a bit shier have settled well.
If there are any sn or if your dd is not pushy and confident to make the first move with friendship groups then she may struggle at 11.
They are expected to be pretty much self sufficient and this can come as a shock to some children.
There's only you who knows your child, what type of character is she, maybe somebody can help more if they have a picture. Also, what is the school like ito intake at this age, how many per dorm in school year etc, if you have chosen a school.
There is a boarding thread in education, if you want to ask there too.
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