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6th form state boarding schools

(22 Posts)
cheval Mon 18-Jul-11 23:27:17

Would be so grateful for any info re 6th form state boarding colleges. Any tips or inside info for which are good/how to get in them/are they a good idea??? Have a son at London's apparently top state school - but really need to get him out of the toxic/party/don't work vibe. Second time around on this so really trying not to get it wrong again. But also limited funds. Please help!

Theas18 Tue 19-Jul-11 09:31:04

Not much help I'm afraid, but they are very competitive I understand and if your son has no worth ethic it's going to be hard to make him stand out amongst the other applicants I fear, though I can see why you are trying to do this for him. You need to contact the schools, it could be that some specialise in trying to sort out kids like him though, you never know.

Good luck!

oshgosh Tue 19-Jul-11 09:41:26

Sweeping questions! Where to start?

If you do a search you will find that SBS do get discussed quite often. They are like all other schools ... in that every category has good 'uns and bad 'uns.[not very helpful emoticon]

Ours operates as a preparation for University so they expect the students to take responsibility for their own lives. There is support but no spoon-feeding.

mummytime Tue 19-Jul-11 10:22:17

I have heard the sixth form in Winchester is good. Otherwise look at the other SBS they do have very different flavours eg. Gordons and Royal Alexander and Albert.

mrswoodentop Tue 19-Jul-11 11:17:19

Wymondham college in norfolk has a very good reputation

oshgosh Tue 19-Jul-11 11:46:47

OP don't forget to check the ratio of boarders to day students.

If you are looking at weekly boarding i.e. he comes home at the weekend then you will want somewhere within easy commuting but if he is heavily into his sport or other extracurricular then his Saturdays will be committed so he might stay the whole week and only come back for exeats

TalkinPeace2 Tue 19-Jul-11 12:54:36

www.psc.ac.uk/sfc/boarding/home.php

My DC are all at Burford College in Oxfordshire in (Burford funnily enough!). DD1 is about to start Year 13, DD2 Year 12 and DS is starting his GCSE years in Year 10. Excellent school, great boarding facilities (they all started in Year 7). It's a Science and Technology School and has fantastic facilities. In a beautiful part of the country. Takes me about 1½ hours to get there from Clapham.

There are about 1200 pupils at the school with around 100 boarders. 6th form has about 100 each in Years 12 and 13.

Personally I can't recommend it highly enough, my children have LOVED their time there and all have a wonderful group of friends.

oshgosh Tue 19-Jul-11 13:30:35

RoskSock: is that 200 pupils per year and then half of them leave at the end of Year 11? We go the other way round: we double in size for sixthform because we are so popular. <smug>

TalkinPeace2 Tue 19-Jul-11 13:33:16

www.burford.oxon.sch.uk/Boarding/admissions.aspx

cheval Tue 19-Jul-11 14:06:31

Thank you all so much for that. Am trying to work my way through the list on SBS website. Don't think I'm very good at this!
Theas18 I know exactly what you mean, I may be clutching at straws, can hardly face doing it, but I have to give it a try. Just too many distractions for teenagers round here.
Oshgosh are you able - or willing! - to say which school is yours?
Will keep you posted. Thanks again

cheval Tue 19-Jul-11 14:08:08

Oh and meant to say, co-incidentally I drove through Burford yesterday. It is lovely! I'd like to be a boarder there!

hannahsmummsy Tue 19-Jul-11 15:43:52

colchester royal grammer school ( for boys) has a state boarding house

oshgosh that's about right. A lot from both DDs years have gone in to schools and colleges in and around Oxfordshire. They are quite selective in 6th form as well. Which one is yours if you don't mind saying grin

cheval Burford is so lovely isn't!? The boarding house (two separate buildings for boys/girls) is down at the bottom of the hill by the church. The actual boarding bit is the original Burford School building 1650 odd. My kids really do love it, they are all achieving brilliantly there - girls are very academic and thrive on the atmosphere and DS is extremely sporty and is pushed to his full potential. DD2 took a scholarship for one of the Girls' schools in Oxford, got it, but decided she wanted to stay on at Burford. If you want more in depth stuff answered, do PM me and I can put you on to the DC for a 'true' assessment from their pov.

cheval what year is he? Is he ready to go into Year 12 now? I wonder where he's at.... I know a lot of kids at certain 'top' state schools in London grin as mine were all at primary there.

WkdSM Tue 19-Jul-11 17:49:32

Ashby de la Zouch has one of the most inspirational heads I have ever met - School House is about 10k a year and they go to the state school that is attached.

oshgosh Tue 19-Jul-11 18:36:21

I thought that my name was a give-away!
This is our school. It is near to Birmingham and all the big city excitement that that entails but also not far from the countryside. We have a fair few boarders from London; the train journey is easy. The lower school is comprehensive but there is selection for new entrants to the sixth form so we run the full range of students, from getting E grades through to students getting places at Oxbridge. The school is primarily boarding so offers lots of opportunites for the older boys to supervise and mentor the younger ones (leadership skills).

Our sixthform entrance system is quite good, assuming that it is still the same and they haven't changed it recently while I wasn't looking. You have to pass an entrance exam but they give you the questions a few weeks in advance so you can prepare. There is a lot of data to sift through and it takes some effort to plan an answer and then fine tune it. When DD took the exam she said that there was one boy who had patently never looked at the paper before he got in the exam hall - he spent the whole allotted time just reading the questions and didn't have time to formulate any sort of answer. It sorts out those who have a mature attitude and can settle down to a project, as opposed to those who fly by the seat of their pants. There is nothing to stop parents and others helping out beforehand but they are on their own in the exam hall and there is a lot of answer to try to recall.
You also need 7 GCSE and there is an informal interview. It helps if you have some skillset (the usual sport, music, etc) that you can boast about.

cheval Tue 19-Jul-11 20:14:55

hi rockstock, he's at Fortismere in year 10. In theory fine, but he's hit that age when he's far keener on acquiring bad habits than studying.
Thanks oshgosh, I'm a bit slow on the uptake with computer abbreviations. The school looks lush.
Am about to check out the others. Thank you all.

cheval yep - I've got a DS of that make too! I'm so glad he's NOT at school in London tbh - I've seen quite a few of my friends pulling their collective hair out in he past couple of years.

Good luck with your looking, please do PM if you have any questions - very happy to answer those that I can.

4merlyknownasSHD Wed 20-Jul-11 12:03:27

Second what OSHGOSH said about OSH. I would suggest, however, that if your son is not an extrovert he may find that his friends are limited to other day pupils. This is because the boarders, having spent 5 years living together, can become rather clique-y. At OSH, if he plays rugby then he will have no trouble.

NL3 Wed 20-Jul-11 12:07:28

Cheval - deepest sympathies - same year, same school, same problem - am watching the suggestions with interest - have you thought about switching day schools perhaps - Woodhouse??

cheval Wed 20-Jul-11 18:30:42

Ah, NL3, you feel my pain! This is second time round, too. Tried to get first son into Woodhouse, but no good. I really like that college, despite rude things Michael Macintyre writes about it in his auto-biography. Will try again, but am trying to work out other options as it's so over-subscribed.
Thanks rockstock for the offer. This is all quite depressing. Really didn't think he was going to do this.

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