State boarding schools/Cranbrook(6 Posts)
I'm currently educating my 11-year-old daughter at our home in Greece. This is hugely rewarding for us both but eventually my daughter will need a wider and deeper educational, social and sporting experience than I can provide. She'd like to go to boarding school in England, yet our budget is limited.
Does anyone have experience of state boarding schools in the U.K. - and in particular Cranbrook, which seems an attractive option? What is the quality of pastoral care and boarding experience in these schools? And how hard is it to win a boarding place, given that children with social needs are necessarily given priority?
I'd very much welcome any insights.
I know many children boarding at Cranbrook, and they all love it. It is a very good school, academically and pastorally. The boarding is very well organised and very flexible and the children are very well looked after AND have a lot of fun.
It is (supposedly) slightly easier to get in as a boarder. The exam consists of VR, maths and a short English creative writing paper. Your daughter should do some practice papers for VR to get the hang, and be up to speed on the maths (requirements are on the Cranbrook website).
Do ask about anything else.
Where abouts in Greece are you? <nosy>
It may say that children with social needs are given priority but I don't know how that actually translates into numbers. I think we have something similar in our admissions and I am not aware that we are over-run with ' need to board ' students (and we have a higher percentage of boarders than Cranbrook).
I don't feel that I can extrapolate from our experience and comment generally about boarding life because we are boy-only comp and you are co-ed Grammar, but our school is fab. You will hear scare stories on MN about boarding, but times have moved on a lot since the days when most MNers were at school.
I do know a couple of families with children at Cranbrook. They don't have social needs and live quite close to the school. In both cases they failed the Kent test at 11, stayed on at their prep school and took the Cranbrook test in year 8. The school has good sports, drama and music facilities rivaling many expensive independents. I was quite keen for my DD to have a look round it but she wanted to go to a girls school. I'm hoping she'll change her mind and consider it for 6th form.
I read that as skate boarding school.
Cranbrook is in my opinion a very good school. DS1 was offered a boarding place there when he was 13 but he decided to turn it down and moved abroad with me for 3 years instead. I was very impressed with the school and would have been very happy for him to go there.
DD (aged 14) goes to a different state boarding school and I'm very happy with it. She started in year 8 and after a few worries the first couple of weeks she settled in well and loves it. As others have said, they may say that there is a priority for certain categories of children but DD had no problems being offered a place, indeed she was offered the place immediately on the day of the interview.
A friend is considering her DD going there next year for A levels and had an interview later this month. They do have a lot of overseas boarders and I believe it is easier to get in as an overseas boarder than a 'local'.
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