Roedean - brilliant school or over-hyped?(18 Posts)
I have a daughter - very young, just started pre-prep. We are in london but we are currently looking for land to build a house on - long project etc. I love Roedean - the look, the ethos, the feel. I personally dont know anyone who went there/have kids there, but i always said if i had a daughter - i would love for her to go there. We were thinking of buying land close to roedean - if she was to a a pupil, i wouldnt want her to board. Anyone have personal experience of this school?
I also have a son so i will need to look for school around the area for him before we take the plunge and buy some land!
Every girl I've known who went there was either crackers, party mad, or had an eating disorder.
Cheltenham Ladies seems to turn out more balanced girls.
It may be difficult attending a boarding school as a non boarder. I've heard they have a high number of overseas children.
Boarding schools can tend to have a lot of activities at weekends which non boarders can be required to attest school can take up a lot of your weekends.
Way too early to decide on a school for your DD.
All of the leading private schools are great for the right child. They would not survive if they were not. But the secret is in matching the right child to the right school.
Being one of a minority of day students at a mainly full boarding school is a bad idea. Just as being one of a minority of full boarders at a predominantly day/weekly boarding school is a recipe for unhappyness.
If you are set on that area and want day then Brighton College could be the answer for both children. But you wint know whether they are bright enough for a long time.
thank you for your input evryone.
overnightangel unnecessary rudeness really.
Being one of a minority of day students at a mainly full boarding school is a bad idea
Just to prove your point that different schools suit different children - my dd is a day girl at a full boarding school. She loves it!
OP with the best will in the world you sound a bit bonkers. Build the house in the area you love. She can board anywhere.
Well it has changed a lot in the last few years.
It used to be a British girls full
Boarding school. Then it went to over 50% Chinese girls.
Crisis mode. New head.
Now it’s mostly day/flexi/weekly boarding and local.
So before you get opinions from people, find out which version of the school they are talking about 😏
FWIW, I think it’s a great school and if we lived close, I’d be seriously considering it as a day/flexi boarding school when they were older.
It's now about 1/3 boarding - less in early years, more in 6th form, and sorted out lots of stuff in recent years.
30 years ago you'd have been right about crackers/party mad/eating disorder (often more than one per girl) but Cheltenham seemed pretty similar with extra drugs at the time...
The security and safeguarding nowadays is huge.
I have a DD at Brighton College but I did look at Roedean for Y7 entry a while ago. New Head Oliver Blond was very impressive and I'm sure he'll turn this school around. It did have a reputation locally as not that academic and full of Chinese girls (from China, so culturally different to London Chinese) I hear things are changing now with more local girls going, but their entrance requirements are not as academically demanding as Brighton College. A lot easier to have your kids at the same school. BC is situated in the heart of Kemptown, whilst Roedean is rather isolated up on the cliffs. The BC kids spill out and mingle with the locals (and the druggy drinkers!) at lunch and after school, so they are not as sheltered as the Roedean girls.
Do parents choose a school on the basis that their children can mix with druggy drinkers to prove they are grounded individuals? That's a new one!
Roedean isn't really the fairly posh full girls boarding school it maybe was, or anyway had a reputation of being in some of the media. Very international for a while, apparently at least 50 per cent from abroad. Now more flexi and weekly boarding and day girls encouraged, probably partly to get the numbers of British girls higher. For a while they also had Roedean scholarships to try to get bright London girls to become weekly boarders for day school fees - not sure if these are still going. But if you are happy with all this, and have means to build a house, going to Roedean as a day pupil could work well.
I'm considering it for dd. Feel free to pm me. i think mr blond (great name) is pretty awesome and he will get it where he wants it to be but I'm not sure it's quite there yet
Watched DD play netball there in the national championships. In Winter those courts are unbelievably bleak! brrr...
DD went there as a day pupil. She had no problem intergrating with the boarders. She left a few years ago now & it was at a time when it was a mostly full boarding school with a high percentage of Chinese pupils. DD absolutely loved it & the quality of teaching was high so she even managed to achieve some academic work; mind you, she unfortunately preferred the social side of school life.
I have a daughter who has just completed her first half term as a day girl at Roedean. I can honestly say that it has been nothing short of transformative for her. She is being nurtured and challenged in all the right ways and it is all I can do to get her to leave at the end of the day. Creative and physical subjects seem to have an equal billing to the academic subjects on the curriculum offering the girls a good rounded experience. Exam results are an important consideration for many parents and the exam results are improving every year with Mr Blond. I do not get the impression that they are achieved at a cost to the students mental health. The head seems genuinely passionate about offering the girls the very best all round educational experience they can have at school in order to reach their individual potentials and they are encouraged to look beyond the confines of the priviliged environment they are in. He is pragmatic and approachable. There are a lot more day girls this intake than boarders and flexi boarders and there is less of an international feel than I expected (which I personally am slightly disappointed about) but I have heard that the Head is keen to attract more local girls ie south east and beyond and I am very glad that my daughter is one of these girls. There are many girls here on scholarships (again, my daughter being one of them). The staff are hugely approachable, the grounds are amazing and whilst the school can look bleak and imposing on the outside (especially in the winter), the inside is warm, modern in a traditional setting and has a calm bustle. It is a friendly, happy school and I would definitely recommend you have a look around when your daughter comes of an age to attend secondary school.
DD been to BHHS and Roedean. Still at Roedean. If your child just wants a no frills school, go to BHHS. You will get perfectly adequate results and a few good friends. Positivity is lacking at BHHS with the exception of a hardcore group of around 20 who work hard - be prepared to accept an equal sized group of "school haters" . Your child may not be one of them but they tend to make a lot of noise. If your child wants more from life, go to Roedean. Girls are now predominantly local many from BHHS Prep. There is a mix of teachers to suit all types. Roedean is better for any special talents although BHHS is trying to compete. I know children still at BHHS - it still has a narrow focus and the girls are very "samey". DD didn't go to Brighton College but has a lot of friends there. A new girl has just moved to Roedean from BC and she says the vibe at Roedean is amazing - she is one of those outgoing clever types so worthy of note. BC suits many for 3-4 years then it just wears them down - you should also know BC are good at partying - no, I mean really heavy partying if you get my drift. Also at BC you will not be allowed to stick with A levels choices if you don't get an A at the end of first term. Overall, my best advice is to pick the school you like and if it doesn't match up to the hype, leave. Do not stick around to save face - life comes with choices for a reason and moving around private schools is VERY common even in the middle of term. Last tip, hand in notice at the hint of trouble, you will save yourself a lot of money when you want to jump ship. The pragmatic truth is that "fitting in" is difficult as our children are changing all the time and sometimes they need a change of environment - ultimately there is no right or wrong school.
I was a pupil at Roedean in the 1980s and I loved it. The setting is amazingly uplifting. At that time it was 100% boarders, but now the school takes flexi-boarders and day pupils as well. My friend's daughter is a flexi-boarder at the moment and she is very happy there.
I would suggest waiting until your daughter is older and then going to have a look round with her.
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