Advice for the boarding school selection(12 Posts)
Any experience, knowledge, opinions of Sherborne school for boys and Eastbourne College, please?
Sherborne is a popular choice from our prep. Have friends there and very happy as far as I know. Sherborne is a nice town and often see the boys walking around. It is full boarding though few are day as far as I know.
Eastbourne college isn't perceived as highly academic but more rounded. Check the ratio of full/weekly boarders.
Thanks for the comments 😊
Salsamummy, I search from the previous comments that Sherborne was a academic school, isn't it ?
LIZS, thanks for your reminder, I Chk from the school website the ratio of the boarders is almost half.
It's really hard for me to make a decision. Both seems to be a good school. May I have more advices between them, many thanks
I get the impression that Sherborne is a good all rounder. I am going to probably look around it in the spring.
You need to go beyond the website. How many full boarders do they have, especially in lower years. Will it be busy enough at weekends or are there relatively few. What do boarders typically do in their free time? Have you visited as these schools are in rather different locations.
I have friends who live overseas who sent their daughters to Eastbourne. The girls have been very happy and are lovely people. The older is exceptionally good at art and this must have been nurtured by the school.
Both are lovely all rounder schools. Eastbourne is co-ed and 50/50 day boarding. Sherborne is boys only and has a far higher proportion of boarders so very different feel. Which do you want for your DS? I always think that overseas students are much happier at schools where all the boarders stay in for the weekend. There will be more of them at Sherborne.
Both are good schools as you say. But neither is what I would describe as a "top flight academic" school. Eastbourne in particular has a lot of competition from more academic schools in the area so may not be a first choice for bright boarders. But both will do well for their bright children. And also pure academics is not what you are buying from a UK public school. The experience is much wider than that.
But remember you are only really concerned about how the schools will cater for your DS. So if he is clever you want to know that there is a critical mass of clever students who he will spark off. Ask how many top sets there are there. How big are they? If you are from China/HK you will want to know how they cater for gifted mathematicians for example. If your DS has never done French/Latin before you want to know there will be a beginners sets so he does not feel overwhelmed by sitting alongside those who have five years of these languages behind them. It does not matter if there are also several lower sets catering for the less academic.
I would ask detailed questions about future university destinations. An academic school will have most leaving for Russell Group Universities. Schools which send a significant number on to Oxbridge, LSE, Imperial etc tend to highlight this on their websites. So if there is no mention of this you can draw a conclusion.
Also when asking about University destinations, make sure you find out how many going on to top Universities have been at the school since Year 9. Some schools will recruit a handful of very bright- often overseas- students into 6th form. If your DS is joining in Y9 you want to know about that cohort.
A friend works at Eastbourne it's definitely primarily weekly boarding/day. But it is a very nice caring school. Sherborne only has a handful of day pupils and I think it's full boarding but you really do need to check this, as I've frequently said before never forget that most schools want your money and are struggling to fill their vacancies what ever their websites, etc might say (most UK parents lack both the appetite and money for full boarding) and therefore are economic with the truth especially when it comes to the actual number of full boarders.
Just to be clear, these two schools are not bad choices at all from what I know so you can feel reassured about that and you have comments which back that up. The other posters have made good points. I have no personal experience of either school (except a friend at university had been an overseas boarder at Eastbourne) but my experience of schools/boarding schools is that you need to focus on what that school will offer your child and do for your child. Academically, you should expect excellent teaching in a group of pupils around his own ability range so that your child has the best chance to achieve the best results for him. For sport, what are the opportunities for your child to participate and enjoy it as opposed to just the most gifted - or, if gifted, to play at the right level. As EleanorRigby points out, you should be satisfied that your child will be getting the whole broad experience of a boarding school education. An important part of that is choosing a school which feels comfortable and happy because it will be a second home for your child so make sure that the school gives you that feeling. For younger boys, that can just be as simple as having family-style brownies and film night on Saturday evening.
Thank you all SO much!
That's wonderful of you all and very helpful.
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