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If Winchester College don't accept DS1 what about Charterhouse?

(224 Posts)
yotty Mon 14-Mar-11 19:36:17

Probably going to apply to Winchester for DS1. If he does not get offered a place would Charterhouse be an alternative? He is bright, quirky and likes drama and music, but not good at sport or art. He would have to be a full boarder as we live a short plane ride away. I'm worried that the boys will all be busy playing sport or going home at the weekend. Should I be concerned or am I just being neurotic?

LittleCheesyPineappleOne Tue 15-Mar-11 23:00:36

Wellington is the right end of Berkshire - might not be too far?

LadyWellian Tue 15-Mar-11 23:32:36

I know it's not in the same league but given your geographical bounds I'd just urge you not to consider Cranleigh. My unsporty DH went there and hated it with a passion. That was 30-odd years ago but the OC magazine still majors on sporting achievements even now.

He was musical (not in a conventional sense) and his first proper band were mostly from Charterhouse (and no, it wasn't Genesis grin )

I used to work for a Wykehamist who is just the loveliest person and still a close friend.

Your DS is very fortunate that you are able to give him this opportunity and I hope a) that he does get in to Winchester and b) that if he doesn't, you can find somewhere that is just as good for him.

I'm a comprehensive-educated oik myself and DD (Y6)will be the same, though we've been lucky enough to be offered one of the good ones. I'd still send her private in a heartbeat (assuming we found a good school that would take her grin ) if we had the extra money to play with.

LadyWellian Tue 15-Mar-11 23:35:04

BTW, 'bright' and 'quirky' would probably be the first two adjectives I'd apply to my Wykehamist friend.

grovel Wed 16-Mar-11 00:30:14

If you'll consider Dorset look at Canford. Or Bryanston.

JeffVadar Wed 16-Mar-11 07:45:45

From your description of your DS I think he would be ideal for Eton. They have fantastic music and drama facilities, and they are not hung up on sport at all.

Don't write it off before seeing it, it is the most amazing place. I had a lot of negative preconceptions about it, all of which were completely dispelled when I visited it.

For what it's worth we were warned off Winchester by DSs head, he felt that it had slightly lost it's way under the current head.

grovel Wed 16-Mar-11 10:04:17

JeffVadar, I agree. Eton "do" sport well but there is no hero worship of sportsmen as there is at some schools. A good musician, actor, artist, theatre lighting expert or academic is just as likely to be respected by his peers as a centre forward. A very civilised atmosphere.

MarshaBrady Wed 16-Mar-11 10:09:47

I love the sound of Eton. Adore it. All that civilised excellence sounds great.

grovel Wed 16-Mar-11 10:27:45

Marsha, I assume you are being tongue in cheek but I'll reply anyway. The "civilised excellence" is only relative. Eton is made up of 1,300 teenage boys whose instincts are the same as any other teenage boys.

MarshaBrady Wed 16-Mar-11 10:30:41

No I'm not! Really, I love all that stuff. We had Latin grace and academic gowns at dinner at university. I'm a sucker for tradition. I should really check it out because it may be it is larger in my mind than in reality.

grovel Wed 16-Mar-11 10:34:03

Fair enough. Sorry to have made an assumption.

MarshaBrady Wed 16-Mar-11 10:35:36

Must be my posting name! I've had this too long to change it now.

yotty Wed 16-Mar-11 10:51:49

I would be curious to go and see Eton to compare it to the other schools we are considering, unfortunately my DH will not even consider it so there is little point. I think Winchester appeals to him because he thinks DS would really enjoy the curriculum and the location is perfect for our family in the UK. I don't know anybody who has gone to visit Eton and Winchester recently so it is difficult to judge. DS's headmaster is definitely steering us towards Winchester and yet he is steering others towards Eton so I feel we are on the right track. Just looking for a back up.

FloreatEtonia Wed 16-Mar-11 11:08:28

My son got into both Eton and Winchester. In the end we opted for Eton because DS would have been allowed to become even more of a boffin at Winchester and we felt he needed broader horizons. Charterhouse is a roughty toughty boys school.

Both tours at Eton and Winchester are crap. The problem is that everyone wants to go on a tour - even if they don't have a son shock - so it is fairly impersonal and a whirlwind tour. However we were very fortunate to have a close friend with a son at Eton and we were able to see what it was really like and what the boys were like. Undoubtedly it is the best school in the country and to not even consider it would be a diservice to your son. I have come across many people who say, "We're not Eton parents" and they have never stepped foot in the place. There is no such thing as an Eton parent!

slipshodsibyl Wed 16-Mar-11 11:17:39

How does your husband think the curriculum at Winchester differs in any real sense from that at Eton or other, similar schools which have the resources to go beyond the exam curriculum? I'd respectfully suggest that he isn't talking from an informed postion re curriculum if that opinion is anything to go by.

While you might well visit both and decide you prefer Winchester, it seems illogical simply to refuse to visit Eton.

A good school suits a wide variety of children, not just a certain "type".

Heads of prep schools keep their senior schools "sweet" by sending a proportion to each, though I am not suggesting you should ignore advice as they know your child. Make your own minds up.

Unless your family are really near (within 20 mins or so) the distance is not going to make the difference you think - he will be so busy that he is not going to see them as much as you might think - even less if you are really just a short plane ride away and will be able to attend parents' evenings, get home for exeats etc.

Floreats'a final sentence is correct.

MarshaBrady Wed 16-Mar-11 11:18:36

Yes I suppose it could be a bit of a touristy tour.

The other thing is I went to a school that adored sport. And it got so much more interesting for me in the higher years; when it was seen to be good to be the top in the top set of physics or advanced maths. (rather than everyone focussing on the fastest runner etc)

Of course my children might be different. Ds1 is not sporty at all, not sure about ds2.

JenaiMarrHePlaysGuitar Wed 16-Mar-11 11:25:22

This is probably completely irrelevant but back in the mists of time I went out with a lad from another boys boarding school, one which hasn't been mentioned already. He was an arse. Took the piss out of my personal stereo because it was some obscure, cheap brand, laughed at my record player - that kind of thing.

His friend however - who was at Eton - was horrified by this twattish behaviour. Maybe it was noblesse oblige or something, but it made a profound impact on me. Didn't hook up with the Eton boy though, which is a shame. He was nice. We could have married. And I bet he's loaded these days... grin blush

propatria Wed 16-Mar-11 12:15:31

Floreat and Jeff are spot on.

snice Wed 16-Mar-11 12:26:29

I used to work with a load of public school boys-the ones from Eton were without exception the most charming and (relatively) normal.

grovel Wed 16-Mar-11 12:34:29

We are in danger of being unfair to the OP. She and her DH have chosen Winchester as their academic school of choice - and it's a very good school. Her question is about a fallback if Winchester don't make an offer. I don't think Eton fits the bill in that regard. I would look at Canford, Marlborough etc ahead of the Home Counties schools (Charterhouse, Wellington etc). But that's highly subjective on my part.

FloreatEtonia Wed 16-Mar-11 12:42:49

Boys get into Eton and not Winchester and vice versa so it can be a fall back.

happygardening Wed 16-Mar-11 12:44:10

We looked at both Eton and Winchester for my younger son who is very very academic a little eccentric and does not follow the crowd. He got offered a place at St Pauls and Win Col and we choose Winchester. The head sold it to us in the end my son is not very pushy and as the head said not a "trampler". He is a alrounder, he likes sport but doesn't particularly excell at any one sport loves art and has strong views and opinions and is very articulate but is also a deep thinker. We were told by everyone we met that he is perfect for the school. The open day is hopeless, go and meet the house masters and if possible have lunch in one of the houses and talk to the boys then you know if it feels right.

ZZZenAgain Wed 16-Mar-11 12:47:59

yotty what is your dh's reason for not even considering Eton? Did he go there himself and dislike it?

grovel Wed 16-Mar-11 12:48:12

I (maybe wrongly) sensed that the OP wants the fallback to be marginally less academically selective.

propatria Wed 16-Mar-11 12:51:30

Some schools mentioned that I really dont see as suitable for a child that is aiming for Winchester,well at least Bedales hasnt been mentioned...

ZZZenAgain Wed 16-Mar-11 12:58:04

I always like the sound of Bedales. Do you think it isn't academic or structured enough?

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