Independent schools in and around Bristol(12 Posts)
We decided to withdraw our son from his state secondary just before Christmas for a variety of reasons, not least that the behaviour there was pretty bad and we felt we were starting to 'lose' ds. He's easily led and distracted, and a bit chatty, not academic but fairly sporty and musical. There are no other suitable state places for him at the moment in Bristol.
Can anyone tell me which of the independents in Bristol and Bath are the least academically rigorous? He needs more pastoral care and vocational education, I think, so anywhere that is academically selective will be a struggle for him. Thanks in advance.
Colstons would be your best bet. I'm not sure any of the independents offer much vocational education but it is the most mixed ability of the Bristol schools. Clifton College - if you can afford those kind of fees may be worth looking at and finally Clifton High. QEH and BGS very academic. In Bath I would have thought Monkton Coombe was the one to look at.
Agree with jo BGS very academic and doesn't offer vocational education. Am not sure if Clifton college does either but has a good reputation for sport/music.
My other suggestion (if not too far away) would be Sidcot school as this has a good reputation for pastoral care.
You have said there are no suitable state schools actually within Bristol - have you considered looking at more rural state schools that are a bit further away?
My other thought OP is that you haven't said how old your ds is. There are some specialist technical colleges that take pupils from aged 14 (year 10) e.g. Bristol Technology & engineering academy but am not sure if this is the type of vocational education that you would consider suitable.
Isn’t Frencham heights near Bristol and very progressive / whole child? I’m north so don’t know myself but have heard others mention it
Frensham Heights is near Farnham/ Guildford.
Thanks for the replies. DS is 13 and Year 8, so a bit young for college.
We have considered rural schools but the only one that has spaces presently is St Katherines, Pill, which we didn't feel was any better than where we have removed him from.
We went to visit Sidcot today and loved it, but are nervous about travel. We would like to visit Monkton but because we live NW Bristol ds would have to board there, and the costs...
We have an appointment to visit Clifton High, and I will get on and try Colstons as well.
QEH and BGS are both currently full, but don't sound like they would suit him. Clifton College is a bit too exclusive for us.
Very grateful for opinions!
I do know people who have moved their dcs to St Katherines school and found it has worked out well for them (from a different part of Bristol). I don't think you can tell on paper without a visit (and a chance to ask questions) whether one school would work out better for your child than another one. So it depends what your feelings are based on. If it's just a similar percentage GCSE pass rate that says very little about a school's ethos and environment.
Have you looked at Castle in Thornbury and KLB in Wootton Under Edge, both accessible from North Bristol. There are school buses to both from various North Bristol /South Gloucestershire points.
I know of a lot of children at Colstons and it seems to suit a wide range of academic abilities - hence it's results aren't as high, but classes are smallish and expectations high I am led to believe. Lots of sport-including Saturdays.
The state schools will probably have more vocational courses though.
We have been to see St Katherine's and felt it a similar environment to where we have just moved him from. I think that, having spent some time looking into independent education, it is probably where he is going to do best. Any kind of state school, even the very best one (he did year 7 in an 'outstanding' state secondary), is just not going to give him the kind of environment we are beginning to think he needs.
jo164 have emailed those two schools you recommend to see if they have spaces but, as above, I'm becoming less and less convinced that state will help him do his best
Oh, and Colston's is on my list of places to call. Thanks for the tips!
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