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Boarding School Angst need to make a decision

(38 Posts)
LCR1973 Sun 14-Oct-12 22:35:42

Good evening

We are looking to send our DS and DD to Bromsgrove School as boarders and wondered if any one had similar decisions to make and if so what helped you to make the decision

Many thanks LCR

seeker Sun 14-Oct-12 22:38:17

If you have doubts don't do it. You have to be completely committed to the idea of boarding school to make it work.

Fabulousfreaks Sun 14-Oct-12 22:40:48

Agree with seeker

suburbophobe Sun 14-Oct-12 22:48:53

I notice this is in Primary Education.

Unless it is totally necessary (i.e. work abroad or whatever) I would never send primary school children to boarding school.

I think they are too young at that age, they need a home environment.

I went to boarding school at 12 for 4 years.

I have a DS who I deliberately did not send to boarding school at all. But I wouldn't judge any parents who do. Every family is different. I do think primary age is too young tho.

Quip Sun 14-Oct-12 23:01:33

Mn is anti-boarding on the whole. Expect to be flamed by lots of people with no experience of boarding. I'm afraid I don't know bromsgrove school but I boarded at primary age and it was very good - certainly better than the alternatives available to my parents at the time.

Tincletoes Sun 14-Oct-12 23:09:57

I didn't go to boarding school and could never imagine sending children of any age away to school. However, I would imagine it's hard for anyone to comment without knowing the context - I am sure there are circumstances where boarding school offers stability and consistency simply not available in the parents' "normal" life.

Asmywhimsytakesme Sun 14-Oct-12 23:14:25

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

difficultpickle Mon 15-Oct-12 08:56:55

Ds (8) has just started boarding and loves it. He is currently doing 2 nights a week (did 3 when I was away recently). I miss him hugely and am surprised by just how much I miss him. I asked him this weekend whether there is anything he doesn't like about boarding and he said no, he loves everything.

The decision was made for me as ds is a chorister so whilst he doesn't have to board yet the boarding master's recommendation was to start off doing a few nights as soon as possible. I had planned for ds to do the occasional night in year 4 and build up in year 5 but because all the other choristers are boarding ds wanted to do it sooner.

difficultpickle Mon 15-Oct-12 08:57:43

I'd add that one of the perks for me is not having to wash ds's sports kit grin

DameEnidsOrange Mon 15-Oct-12 09:10:04

DH and his siblings boarded from prep school age.

They all have poor relationships with their parents as a direct result of this - less so with their father who was working abroad, so less to blame for it in their eyes, but they all resent their mother who stayed in this country but still "sent them away"

DameEnidsOrange Mon 15-Oct-12 09:10:59

Pressed send too soon.

MN is very anti-boarding and while it is not something that I would chose for my DCs I do think that there are some benefits to it.

I do think it depends on your reasons for doing it, but if you have reservations then I think you need to look at those reasons more closely.

EdithWeston Mon 15-Oct-12 09:20:11

Are you committed to boarding, and wondering about final decision on this particular school; or wondering whether to board or not?

Felicitywascold Mon 15-Oct-12 09:25:59

Please also remember that negative opinions based on boarding in the past do not reflect the feelings of most current boarders. The old feeling of being 'sent away' is greatly reduced/eradicated by schools generally being more open places, increased dialogue between pupil, parent and housemaster/mistress, the advent of cheap mobile phones, free Skype and social networking. The days of the lonely boarder hoping desperately for a weekly letter are (thankfully) long gone.

In the last decade their has been huge change in boarding - both practicalities and ethos. I would make sure any advice you take is school specific and very current.

difficultpickle Mon 15-Oct-12 09:39:21

I wouldn't have let ds go to boarding school if I thought it was going to destroy our relationship. I can't comment on what boarding schools were like 30 or 40 years ago, I can only comment on what it is like now (at least for ds).

It is like a holiday camp after school. Ds gets to play computer games, watch films, have sweets, play water polo/badminton/dodgeball. He gets to play with his schoolfriends. He has his own bedding from home. The boarding staff are young (late 20s/early 30s) and they have gap year students who live in and help too. If he runs out of tuck he gets some of the older boys to buy him more from town (they get permission to go in after school on a Wednesday).

The food also is excellent. Ds gets a cooked breakfast/lunch/dinner and after school they get home made cakes before they start their evening activities. I reckon he eats better at school than he does at home (he doesn't get a full English breakfast here!).

Ds is a very very confident child and good at making friends. I'm sure that helps him and I know he is the sort of child that if he isn't happy about something he will speak up.

FireOverBabylon Mon 15-Oct-12 09:48:13

Maybe post this in "Forces Sweethearts" as Forces parents will have more experience of needing their children to board at school, so you may get a more useful response.

lurkingaround Mon 15-Oct-12 09:53:31

I went to boarding school.
I wouldn't send my children to boarding school.
Unless there are particular circumstances that necessitate attending a boarding school (like working abroad) I think both parents and children lose out. Parents because they miss fostering a relationship with their emerging adult children, and guiding them and all of that.
and children, for the same reasons. You guides are your inexperienced peers.
Lots of reasons really. there will be someone more articulate along soon to elaborate.

While school was fine, all about it was fine. I had left this home with love in it, and went to a home without love. A building with no love in it.

Startailoforangeandgold Mon 15-Oct-12 09:56:40

Bromsgrove school food was certainly lovely 16 years ago. I had a temp job there, not teaching, or for long enough to comment on the school.

The campus is pretty, the there's been loads of building since I left.

Bromsgrove, was and I guess still is, a bit of a culture free dump. Too near Birmingham to have a soul of its own.

Certainly not somewhere I'd want to board as a sixth former if I got any freedom.

difficultpickle Mon 15-Oct-12 09:58:42

The other thing that helped was ds was very keen to board. He did a boarding trial before we committed to the school. I assume there are particular reasons why your dcs have to board but there are lots of schools that offer boarding so I would look at a few to see what is on offer and which ones you prefer.

We looked at 2 and had planned to look at a third when ds said he didn't want to as he was happy with our first choice.

difficultpickle Mon 15-Oct-12 10:02:14

lurking your post is so sad. It sounds as if you hated boarding and it is so sad that you went through that. I assume you didn't have a choice about boarding, which probably makes it harder. Having said that ds tells me how lovely everyone is. When I dropped him off this morning we saw a teacher and ds said to me Mr X is a very kind man. Lots of the boarding and school staff seem lovely (I've quizzed ds if they are still nice when I'm not around!).

seeker Mon 15-Oct-12 10:05:16

Personally, I don't think an 8 year old should make a decision like that.

difficultpickle Mon 15-Oct-12 10:08:46

seeker we will have to agree to disagree on most schooling issues. In his case ds had to be the one deciding on boarding and choice of school as he is the one who has to sing for 20 hours a week and live in. There is no way I could order him to do something like that even if I thought it was for his benefit.

It must be great to have children who do exactly what you tell them to do whether they like it or not! The version I've got is highly opinionated and very vocal about expressing those opinions. Weirdly I believe that his opinions matter.

Felicitywascold Mon 15-Oct-12 10:14:14

Seeker I'd agree that an 8 year old shouldn't be making the decision soley on his own- but I don't think anyone is advocating that.

If Bisjo thought it was a terrible place for her DS she wouldn't be allowing it. But she is happy with what she sees, backed up with the testimony of the boy who is living the experience. Sounds healthy to me.

colditz Mon 15-Oct-12 10:19:27

I would let a child over eight go and board, if her desperately wanted to go. But they'd be at mine at the week end until they were much much older!

Dinglebert Mon 15-Oct-12 10:20:28

So much depends on the child I think. There's talk on here of great fun, fantastic activities etc, but little talk of the emotional side of things. I have family who have boarded and don't think they deal with emtional issues too well as adults. I think it is especially a problem for sensitive or particularly 'thinking' children.

colditz Mon 15-Oct-12 10:21:26

And two nights a week is nothing, many parents who split have their children less than this. Knowing they are having a brilliant time is essential, and really I wouldn't count two nights a week as boarding, that's just sleep overs!

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