Girls or Mixed Boarding Schools for Sixth Form(84 Posts)
My d is not very academically inclined but very interested in music, drama and sports. Any suggestions for a good boarding school for girls or a coed with a balance of this
Hi, what area of the country are you looking at and are you looking for full boarding or weekly boarding?
Any views on Clifton College and Badminton? What about Benenden and CLC?
Is Canterbury too far? I went to Kings for sixth form which at the time was very strong on music, and had lots of drama stuff too (I wasn't so interested in the sports, although I believe they have very nice facilities). It was 20 odd years ago though!
I believe CLC to be fiercely academic - also has good music, drama, sports, but possibly better for an academic child who ALSO has an interest in these things rather than a less academic child for whom they are the main draw.
(Shuld emphasise that my position is as an observer not a parent)
Would agree with CLC being academic and Kings Canterbury too.
Have you considered St Edwards Oxford - coed?
A bit further out but on a direct line from Paddington.. King College Taunton (would tick all your boxes)
Do ask how many extra boarders they take in the sixth form as it can be difficult to join a year group if there are only 5/6 new sixth formers who are joining a year group who have been together since age 11 or 13.
There aren't many additional places at Benenden and it's very academic as is Kings Canterbury. Kent College Pembury (girls) is lovely and great for drama and I've haeard good things about Kings Rochester (mixed). A bit further out, Bedales would tick a few of your boxes but it is a "marmite" type of school
Badminton has a very high emphasis on academic results but also quite sporty.
Clifton College has very good drama and music facilities and also sport - not really an academic hot-house although many students do get great results.
Have you looked at Bryanston? Lots of DS's sporty/musical friends are going there this September. I know nothing else about it personally, apart from the fact that it looks lovely.
Any views on Shrewsbury? Some friends were talking of Malvern too. Haven't visited any of these schools so not much insight on any. Saw the boarding houses for girls in Charterhouse. Facilities looked great. But tough to make a choice.
Have heard varying reports about Shrewsbury but only have friends with boys there.
Also have friends with both DSs and DDs at Malvern and they are very happy - DCs are of varying academic ability, lots of sport.
Charterhouse again is quite academic and does a number of pre-u courses.
Have a look at Ashford School: 35 min from St Pancras with good music etc.
Will do some more reading today. Wonder how accurate are the league tables and the school guides on this. Being overseas its tough though it's clear she wants to take up A levels and not IB.
Have a look at Queen Anne's caversham (Reading).
Really fantastic all round school with brilliant music, drama and sport facilities... Even though an all girls school, has events with local boys sixth forms too. Great for boarding in sixth form and a really friendly and happy environment! I know cos I used to go there!
Shrewsbury and Charterhouse have the advantage that all the 6th girls will be new and therefore keen to make friends. Haven't visited Shrewsbury School but know the town and surroundings, and it's lovely. Less 'metropolitan' than schools nearer London with the problems that can bring.
We did visit Charterhouse with DD, and whilst the facilities were 4* I was put off by boys hanging over the bannisters giving girls marks out of 10 for looks. And it's very focused on academic achievement.
sue52 - Kings Rochester doesn't have boarding for girls (not when I was there anyway), and very few students board.
I wouldn't send my children there - and def. wouldn't recommend it!
Benenden and Kings Canterbury are good, but as said before, very academic.
I would second goinggetstough suggestion St Edwards it is either full boarding or day over 600 out of approx 750 children board but the school is more flexible about coming home for the odd weekend than others, exeats every three weeks, a broad range of abilities, it has a reputation for being very sporty but also fab drama art etc. The standard of pastoral care is becoming legendary and many are trying to copy it. It is more liberal than others and IME less formal which may or may not suit you. Oxford is lovely and many children come from London.
Kent College/King Rochester doesn't have many boarders relatively speaking but we've friends at both with day children and they're happy. Friends at Bryanston are delighted with it although primarily weekly boarders but good links into London, I've recently heard worrying things about Bedales. We know children at Cranleigh it's very sporty mainly weekly boarders and they're very happy, Milfield is of course very sporty lots of negative postings on MN but a friend who has four children there is pleased with it, another friend with 3 DC's at Kings Taunton is pleased. But I would start with St Edwards if I was you.
Meant to say St Edwards also has a good mix of overseas and UK studentts, Having full boarded my DS's now for over 7 years if your child is not able to come home at weekends for what ever reason only consider a school where the majority full board because whatever the individual schools websites will tell you it's much harder and lonelier to be "in" at the weekend when everyone else has gone home.
The problem is that many state boarding schools only have a relative small number of proper full boarders and I am going to keep saying this because we've been in this position if your child is going to full board then full boarders need to be in the vast majority. If there are mainly full boarders the whole school is geared up to children being there 7 days a week. Also without turning this into a state versus private debate although state boarding is cheaper the facilities at a school like St Edwards et al re going to be vastly superior.
Following on from what HG said about Millfield I too know people who are very happy with it. They said not to be worried about the size of it 1200 as it is broken down into small groups. The houses are the same size as other schools as are the classes. Yes it is excellent for sports but there are numerous activities that pupils take part in that aren't sports orientated.Music and drama are taken seriously too. I believe there is also a large intake at sixth form (100 approx) and a solely sixth form girls house that takes all the new girls. The sixth form is 600 strong I think but you'd need to check.
Agree too about Cranleigh. Great school but full of weekly boarders.
Good luck with your search.
Plus state schools don't often have Saturday school which IMO is important as it pupils have to stay at school and there isn't a mass exodus on Friday evening. Great if you live nearby maybe but potentially disastrous if you are the full boarder left behind.
It's about 125 miles north of London, but worth having a look at Oakham. Coed, offering both A levels and IB, it's very good all round. It's about half and half boy/girl and about half full boarding, but with Saturday activities and a lot of flex boarders too it is a proper community.
I forgot Oakham it's got a very good reputation but am unsure how many real full boarders IME schools are rather vague about actual numbers. If this matters to you ask specific questions "how many in this boarding house were actually in all weekend? And what year groups were they in? One friend actually walked around a house and at every bed said "was this boy in all weekend?" the so called 50% dwindled to 15%!
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