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Bedales vs. Frensham Heights

(12 Posts)
SchtenGraby Wed 06-Apr-16 14:46:23

DD is going to go to either Dunhurst (prep for Bedales) or the equivalent at Frensham Heights.

Does anyone have views on the advantages and disadvantages of both?
Particularly around:
Culture (especially with regards to bullying/eating disorders)
Arts/Performing arts
Exam results
All-round education

(please no posts about going to an entirely different school)

Lonecatwithkitten Wed 06-Apr-16 16:55:07

No specific details, but I know someone who whilst a teacher a bedales took DC out of Dunhurst and sent them to local primary.

SchtenGraby Thu 07-Apr-16 15:29:32

Many thanks Lonecatwithkitten - do you know if they took their DC out for financial or other reasons?

SchtenGraby Sun 10-Apr-16 08:31:36

Does anybody have any other thoughts at all? Thanks a lot!

Lonecatwithkitten Sun 10-Apr-16 18:13:32

Not financial reasons. The DC was described as blossoming in the new school.

SchtenGraby Mon 11-Apr-16 09:44:41

Interesting - many thanks poster Lonecatwithkitten.
Anyone else have any other thoughts at all?
Thanks a lot!

mummytime Mon 11-Apr-16 10:09:43

Just look at the prospectuses, they are very different schools. One obvious thing is the number of GCSEs students do.
Which is closer to you?

I have known one child who flexi schooled at Bedales (and her parents loved it).
I have know a few children go to the Senior school at Frensham, and for the right child it is great.

If you are looking at the Junior schools you are probably looking more for a school which suits you at present, but as your child grows up they may change or need a different kind of school.

SchtenGraby Mon 11-Apr-16 11:49:46

FH is marginally closer, but not much in it. I've been to both and looked at the prospectuses (prospecti?! :-), but they say very similar things and actually feel very similar - to me at least.

Mummytime - why do you think they are very different? It sounds like you're more in the Bedales camp than the FH one - is that correct?

Current thinking is FH from 8-13 then Bedales from 13. This is not just a financial decision for the middle school, but is largely so (allowing us to save towards Bedales proper). Is this a false economy?

mummytime Mon 11-Apr-16 12:16:23

I'm actually more for FH - to be fair. But our child for whom we very seriously considered it, themselves didn't want to go there (I think they would have hated Bedales).
FH is an alternative school which gives you pretty standard exam results at the end. Bedales swims their own way, and I know is recommended by Preps for their "less academic" types (some of the time).
I would think very hard about why you are considering these two schools. Because it is much more usual to be considering one alongside more traditional/academic schools. And if the underlying concern could be a SEN/SN then neither might be the ideal school (although I also know both have done brilliantly with some children with SEN/SN).

I certainly wouldn't be planning on sending to one and then swapping at 13. I just see that as possibly very disruptive for no really good reason (if they are unhappy then that is a different matter).

SchtenGraby Mon 11-Apr-16 12:37:16

The alternative nature is fine, though both Bedales seems to do better at both GCSE and A Level (albeit marginally), though obviously both do much worse than equivalent more academic schools.

The reason for thinking maybe FH 8-13 is that I've heard Dunhurst (the Bedales prep) is the weak link and that they've had a number of issues there of various types over the last 5 years. Does anyone know if this is true?

MIlesdavis Wed 06-Jul-16 16:55:45

The "various issues over the last five years" you describe at Dunhurst has meant my DD and DS both left for other schools, as well as several others in their years. It is the weak link and I just could not recommend it. FH on the other hand has a great headmaster and I am very impressed with it. My son finished his first year there. It's excellent.

Sing2012 Sat 07-Jan-17 18:25:40

Coming in late to this conversation but now face a similar dilemma. Have two bright but independantly minded kids. We live overseas and aren't familiar with the uk boarding system / public schools. Loved the sound of bedales and liked the facilities. Older Son seems to like it. Younger Son not so impressed with dunhurst and preferred FH. Can't afford for both to do dunhurst / bedales. Could put older one in bedales and younger in FH. But - would older Son get a similar education at FH? I've had a liberal upbringing myself but also worry I should be pushing them into more academic / respected schools for recognition in the workplace further down the line. Any thoughts?

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