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Bryanston school

(28 Posts)
Tonytiger Mon 28-May-12 00:07:08

Does anyone have any experience of bryanston school in Dorset . Planning to send ds next September ..... Looks great but any inside info would be really helpful. Thanks.

OP’s posts: |
JenniferClarissa Mon 28-May-12 00:10:58

Not personally, but have 2 sets of friends who had DCs there and were very happy with it both academically and pastorally. HTH.

happygardening Mon 28-May-12 07:01:59

It generates quite a bit of negative views on MN but we've got friends with children there and they too are very happy and doing well. it has a relatively new head and I suspect the negative comments about drugs, hair died green, and multiple piercings are out of date as I believe she's tightened up on all of this. Even the no uniform policy on close scrutiny is no longer "you can wear whatever you like" there are quite strict guidelines in fact I wouldn't say it was no uniform I seem to recall in a recent conversion with one of my friends DS's; dark troussers (no jeans) polo shirt and dark jumper not exactly no uniform in my view.

happygardening Mon 28-May-12 07:03:49

The only thing is not many full boarders he comes home at the weekend at every opportunity.

fivegomadindorset Mon 28-May-12 07:12:06

My nephews went/go there, as far as I know they are very happy.

shushpenfold Mon 28-May-12 07:13:51


BringBack1996 Mon 28-May-12 09:13:44

Friends of mine also have DC there, very happy and they love the freedom it gives in comparison to other big name public schools.

Personally I don't think students with green hair and piercings detracts from a school, surely disallowing this is stifling their creativity and individuality? My friend was telling me when the changed the dress code but I would be more inclined towards the school if it was how it was before and each student could express themselves how they wanted to.

Tonytiger Wed 30-May-12 23:56:44

Thank you everyone for your input..... My Ds and I went along for a visit and was on the whole very pleased by what we saw. Unlike many traditional public
Schools in the Uk it seems to have achieved a good balance between being liberal without being sloppy and encouraging each child to be the best that they can be.It seemed to encourage an attitude of hard work rather than entitlement
Something I value enormously. We'll see, still struggling with the prospect of boarding can't seem to get that idea sorted out in my head. Any help with that
Little conundrum ????

OP’s posts: |
difficultpickle Thu 31-May-12 00:15:09

Why send your ds to a boarding school then if you are struggling with boarding? confused.

happygardening Thu 31-May-12 12:44:45

What aspect of boarding are you concerned about? The MN anti boarding brigade will happily regale you with horror stories about their dysfunctional sociopath other halves whose problems stem from being “sent” to boarding school at an early age or how they cried every night for 7 years and now suffer from separation anxiety. Boarding schools have changed enormously children heads are no longer flushed down the loos as part of an initiation process. Parents no longer drop Henry off in September and pick him up in December, dormitories have heating and loos and have looks on the doors!
Both my DS’s full boarded from 7 years old neither are dysfunctional I’m not going to pretend to you that it was all plain sailing but both are normal happy teenagers.
My younger DS (13) still full boards the intellectually stimulating education and the extracurricular activities that he’s able to participate in cannot be achieved by a day school be it fee paying or state and no parent can possible provide the variety of things that he exposed too. Boarding also teaches you live alongside others from a wide variety of backgrounds, to mix with teachers and other adults outside of normal lessons and many form lifelong friendships with both their fellow pupils and the teachers who care for them. IME it is a positive life changing experience.

happygardening Thu 31-May-12 12:46:18

I dont think Im going to apply for a job as a proof reader meant to say; loos have locks on the doors!

Tonytiger Fri 01-Jun-12 22:23:01

Happy gardening, thank you for your reply it was really helpful. The biggest problem I have is the separation from my Ds and the idea that he will become
less close to me and his younger brothers. I am hoping to agree a more flexible arrangement with the school but I'm not sure how keen they are to accommodate us . We plan to relocate somewhere around Bath to try to manage the flexi plan !!! You put so eloquently all the reasons why one would consider a boarding school and it is with many of those reasons in mind that we
decided to consider a boarding model for senior school. We also have the added complication of all our ds's being quite dyslexic which brings me to bisjo's question of why board if you are not entirely comfortable with the idea. Our options are quite limited ,sadly.Thanks for all your thoughts , I'm sure we will
get there in the end.

OP’s posts: |
Yellowtip Fri 01-Jun-12 22:31:12

DH's nephew was recently suspended for a drinks/ drug lark and then chose to leave (possibly before he was pushed).

I myself couldn't see the point of the fees, but then I'm staunchly day school myself.

happygardening Fri 01-Jun-12 22:38:29

OP I have one in a day school and one full boarding as I've already said he's full boarded from 7 yrs old we were before he started boarding very very close and 7 yrs later we remain exceedingly close. As he said after he'd been boarding a few weeks "!i realise when you really love each other you don't have too see each other every day" yes he is very independent but being independent is not an alternative to loving someone the two are mutually compatible.

Yellowtip Fri 01-Jun-12 22:43:08

I don't hold those who choose to board in contempt at all happy, I just don't see the point of the fees or why anyone would want to if they enjoyed daily life with their kids.

goinggetstough Sat 02-Jun-12 09:25:56

tony I remember your previous posts on schools so I am glad to see you have found one for your DS. I agree with HG our DCs have boarded from a similar age and we are still a very close family.
You mention that you want to try and get Bryanston to be more flexible in their boarding approach... I obviously realise that this would mean more contact with your DS and would be good for you but IME this hasn't always worked for the DCs concerned. If a DC is not a boarder in the same way the others are and has extra exeats etc some find it harder to settle as they are not there for the fun/ impromptu team activities. The watching a DVD after ordering pizza etc ( before anyone says it, not every night is taking up eating pizza at boarding school but that was the first example I could think of!) and other activities that bond them together and become talking points the following week. This happened to a DD I knew a few years ago and her family thought they were doing the right thing but in the end she didn't settle and left.
Bath is a lovely area to live in so I hope it works out for you.

difficultpickle Sat 02-Jun-12 10:33:43

If you are reluctant about boarding and have the flexibility to relocate anyway why not move somewhere near a good day school that provides support for dyslexia?

Have a look at Shiplake College near Henley that has a very good reputation for dyslexia support and is a day/boarding school. It has a good bus network so you don't have to live in Henley (we live in a village about 15 miles from Henley and there is a school bus service there).

happygardening Sat 02-Jun-12 10:44:34

You get pleasure from other things. I hear parents moaning about having their children at home during holidays especially the summer holidays I never moan I he my DH his brother and even the dogs are so excited when he's "coming home we love having him at home." He tells us about all the things he does, the opportunities he has, the fun he has, he would not do a quarter of the things if he wasn't boarding. We've also removed from our lives many sources of conflict no nagging about prep revision computer games etc.
We know lots of children who've boarded from an early age all without exception have very good relationships with their parents we've friends with much older teenagers happily participating in family activities which non boarding children gave up years ago. Children who board maybe value simple family activities more because they don't have them all the time. On the other hand unlike those who havent boarded they are not going to be home sick when they go off to uni (a surprisingly common problem I recently discovered), they are used to shifting for themselves, grabbing every opportunity living with people who you may not necessarily naturally gravitate too, those with boarding experience are not afraid to try something new.
When we first sent my DS the mothers in the play ground of our primary school were horrified making the usual comments "are you worried that your relationship will change for the worse, won't you miss them" etc etc. but what really interested me that when pushed most mothers said they couldn't do it because they wouldn't want to give up control of their child's life they as mothers wanted to be sure their child was eating the right things wearing the right clothes doing his prep revision and was happy they didn't want to hand all of this over to someone else a complete stranger frankly I find a relief that someone else is happy to take all this from my shoulders and just leave me with the good bits!

happygardening Sat 02-Jun-12 10:48:16

I too agree with * goingetstough* what ever you choose for your DC it will only work if it's what the overwhelming majority do. You are lucky plenty offer flexi boarding look at Whycliffe in Gloucstershie it has flexi boarding and a very good learning support unit.

Mutteroo Sat 02-Jun-12 18:46:16

DD was a day pupil from year 9 at a predominantly girls boarding school. DS was one of 340 boarding pupils at a co-ed school. Is my relationship any different between them ? Yes because they are different personalities. Is my bond any less with either one of them? Categorically NO, but because DS is away during the week, I look forward to the weekends so much more. I'd say the same thing if DD chose to be a weekly boarder.

DS has decided 3 years of boarding is enough for him and will attend sixth form at a local college. Something Happygardening (I think?) wrote on another thread struck home with me when they said you need to 'fully accept the decision for your child to board', or words to that effect. I've never accepted it because I didn't want DS to board in the first place. Maybe that has been why he never fully embraced boarding? He had two senior options, one a day place where 60% of pupils board and the school he attends. He discounted the only predominantly day school early on. To be honest DS school is the best fit for him and if Bryanston is the best fit for your child then fantastic! If we lived nearer, I know DS would probably want to view it and would love its ethos also. I know he'd prefer the more relaxed uniform as he's already tried to throw out his trousers & blazer even though he has another 2 weeks after half term!

The above is my short answer, my son's mixed feelings towards boarding led to us needing to review options in year 10, but it was DS who chose to stay where he was. We've been grateful for a magnificent housemaster who I could sit and praise for hours, closely followed by the matrons.

If we could turn back the clock, my son has already said he'd choose his school again so maybe boarding wasn't so bad after all? Maybe it was his over protective mum who didn't help matters...

happygardening Sun 03-Jun-12 08:16:57

Boarding is not for the protective parent or those who need to be in control of everything. If you going to do it you have to believe that its absolutely the right thing for your DC regardless of what you might be feeling inside. It is only natural for a child of whatever age to be apprehensive (as he would be if when he started at a new day school) and he/she needs to know that you are 101% committed to the idea.
We have looked at quite a few boarding school with our DS's if we cant sort the wood from the trees thanks to schools very effective marketing department who on earth can children? If they want to board at St Elsewhere then accept it don't take it as an insult to your parenting skills, be proud of the fact that they are happy and confident enough in themselves to take this big step and live away from you and stay positive even when they have days when they're not happy because nearly all children will have this in the beginning.
Finally IME (I work at a boarding school as well) the ones who struggle are the one whose parents keep dropping in to take them "out to tea" keep ringing morning noon and night leave them alone let them find their own way, let them resolve the problems with their own friends/housemasters/matrons etc and if you leave them alone they will also find their own interests.

Dustylaw Mon 04-Jun-12 10:27:09

Beautifully expressed by happygardening's son - you will not lose your closeness through your son going to boarding school. Don't mistake a certain degree of practical independence with loss of emotional closeness! I also agree with happygardening and goinggetstough that you have to give them the precious gift of leaving them alone (which is about giving them some degree of control). Do not try to set up 'special' boarding arrangements for your son - that is not the way to give yourselves the best opportunity to settle in. Give it a little time so that you can see what the usual pattern is. You may find that son is home anyway most weekends but if possible give him the opportunity to decide whether he is coming home or not. I think you may all be amazed at how well it works out.

Also, your younger children may need a little extra fuss otherwise it can sometimes seem as if it's a case of the boarding sibling always being the focus of attention.

gorblimey Wed 06-Jun-12 10:37:29

Bath is miles away from Bryanston!

you can do weekly boarding, most do.

Tonytiger Sun 10-Jun-12 00:08:03

Thank you everyone for taking the time to reply to my question. It is incredibly
helpful to hear how other families have coped with the whole boarding scenario.
I feel reassured that my relationship with my son is unlikely to suffer and l can now better appreciate the opportunities that boarding offers whilst at the same
time ensuring that we make the most of the time we do have together. I have given a lot of thought to the idea that integrating fully into life at school is important and l accept my ds will be missing out if l am constantly taking him home ...... Hopefully he will be telling me he would like to stay !!! Perhaps then I too will be able to rejoice in the fact that l am not doing battle over homework
etc .
Although I have some difficult decisions to make, I am looking forward to a new chapter in our lifes.
Thank you all very much ..... Now I've got to work out where to live !!!!!!!!

OP’s posts: |
budvytyte Fri 30-Aug-19 14:14:20

My daughter was at Bryanston school. She has achieved quite lower grades in her IGCSE exams than her friends from the previous school. Her friends were in the same sets as she. All of them used to get very similar grades at the age of 13. However, her friends went to different independent school. I am confused and do not know if it is my daughter's or Bryanston school's fault.

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