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Boarding schools for girls at sixth form...advice please!

(27 Posts)
Totallycluelessmum Sat 25-Aug-12 12:39:43

We are thinking about boarding school for our DD at sixth form. She is in an academic day school at the moment and particularly loves drama and music. We thought a boys school that admits girls at 6th form may make life easier socially at the beginning.
We'd wondered about Westminster, Charterhouse or maybe Shrewsbury or I'm sure many others I've missed??
We've heard that some schools empty from Sat pm-Sun night as kids go home, we live in Yorkshire and could easily travel to London or further for shows/exeats etc but every Sat/ Sun to Godalming etc may get annoying!
Any advice welcome on an academic school with good drama.
Thanks smile

cathyandclaire Fri 17-Jan-14 09:33:12

I'm bumping this sad neglected post grin as I'm now looking for DD2, DD1 stayed at her day school for sixth form in the end and is very happy.
DD2 is in a friendship group full of endless drama, so hoping to get her away from all that!
So...any recommendations for mixed sixth form, good drama with a arge intake of girls?

MrsBright Fri 17-Jan-14 09:55:22

Frensham Heights (Surrey)

Eastpoint Fri 17-Jan-14 11:50:37

Hurtwood House, in Surrey, starts at 16, is mixed & specialises in drama. I'm afraid I don't know anything more about it than that. I presume you are looking for 2015?

Peanutsandwine Fri 17-Jan-14 11:56:03

Queen Margaret's! 90% full boarding, despite some of those being local Yorkshire parents as they all buy into it. Girls from all over the UK go though. 100% boarding Friday nights as all the day boarders have beds and no weekly boarding at all.
Amazing, amazing drama, and a good intake to Oxbridge each year on the academic side.
One of the best "value added" schools in the country, but that doesn't mean non academic. Just they get the potential out of every girl, and the super academic ones are included. Results the same as Peter's, etc.
It's where my daughter's going to feel free to PM me.

Peanutsandwine Fri 17-Jan-14 11:56:48

All girls though clearly. But it works.

cathyandclaire Fri 17-Jan-14 12:03:15

Thanks, will definitely add those to my list...yes looking for 2015 entry.

DD2 not right for Westminster we don't think but likes the look of Charterhouse (and we may be spending more time in and around London, so not too bad for weekends etc)
I've heard of Hurtwood House and the drama sounds amazing, just worried she'll ignore her academics and just perform constantly!!

cathyandclaire Fri 17-Jan-14 12:09:15

Sorry cross-posted, thanks Peanuts that does sound great but I think DD is fixed on co-ed having previously been in a girls' school.

reddidi Fri 17-Jan-14 14:14:09


I'd say it is actually easier for a girl to join a co-ed school - most co-ed boarding schools take a lot of girls into the sixth form to bring numbers up to 50:50 whereas with only a handful of girls it can be a bit intimidating (although some girls may thrive on the attention - it certainly makes it easier to get female lead in plays!) Also note that of the 50 girls joining Charterhouse many will already be part of a established social circle (or a good fit with it) which could be difficult to break into (read the GSG entry).

Plenty of great schools nearer Yorkshire - Oundle would be the obvious choice for top-notch music and great drama facilities.

So many schools are moving towards weekly boarding I'm not sure who's doing what now, you need to check.

MillyMollyMama Fri 17-Jan-14 15:14:04

Also be aware that in many schools it is the overseas girls who stay in. Also often in upper 6th they get more exeats, not less, so choose a school nearish to home. Breaking into eastablished friendships can be difficult where the intake is small or mostly from abroad. Do select carefully and do not select on numbers staying in, it is who stays in that'd counts and what there is to do. The schools that empty at the weekends have manic weekdays, especially for girls who are rehearsing and playing sport. Everything is crammed into 5 days, not 6. The fees are the same as full boarding but less value for money.

TeenAndTween Fri 17-Jan-14 15:55:06

Sedbergh (Cumbria) ?

OldBeanbagz Fri 17-Jan-14 16:07:40

What about Giggleswick? They must take their drama seriously up there, haven't they got their own theatre?

Or there's Woodhouse Grove which has a great music department.

Both in Yorkshire so no long journeys up & down the M1!

greedygoose Fri 17-Jan-14 18:43:34

If you are in Yorkshire have you considered Sedbergh? I have heard some great things this year...

greedygoose Fri 17-Jan-14 18:44:52

Sorry didn't finish ~ it's a proper 24/7 boarding school if that's what you are after, there are not many of those around wink

cathyandclaire Fri 17-Jan-14 19:05:59

So much great advice thanks and I think my DDs will have visited many of the northern schools on sporting fixtures, so will pick their brains although may be limited to quality of after-match sandwiches...and I will now burn the midnight oil on the GSG!
If in or near Yorkshire, exeats, weekly boarding etc are totally fine, if further afield weekly boarding may be trickier due to travel time.
Do love the sound of Oundle but they accept so few girls at sixth form it may be tricky to break into established cliques.
Fell very grin that my thread got much more answers this time.

WorkingItOutAsIGo Sat 25-Jan-14 19:35:57

Rugby? Friends of ours sent their DD for sixth form there and she loved it. Full boarding so would work for you. Great drama. Mixed.

RandomMess Sat 25-Jan-14 19:37:54

Christ's Hospital doesn't empty out at weekends and has fantastic music and drama. Their theatre is amazing and it is of course very academic too.

Dancingdreamer Mon 27-Jan-14 00:11:28

My DD also considering boarding for 6th form. We really like Rugby too.

Spoke to Charterhouse and they were very clear that only interested in really bright girls from local independent day schools. They select on basis of academic potential only and were told that don't really look at any outside interests. This attitude really put off my DD. Shame as it did look ideal in many ways

Oundle only take 2-3 girls max in 6th form but otherwise does look like a super school.

I know it's a controversial school (know 2 people with polar opposite opinions on the place) but what about Wellington? I believe that they have lots of drama and dance. I think they also offer a scholarship for dance students.

cjsevern Mon 27-Jan-14 12:16:27

I can recommend Shrewsbury and Stowe. Have had children at both. Very different but both very good. Shrewsbury more academic with girls in 6th form (about to take them all through) but an all rounders school. They take drama productions to Edinburgh Fringe every year pretty much and sometimes to London too. Stowe beautiful happy place, excellent Head, and again good for all-rounders. Neither have the problem of alot of schools in the home counties area of children absconding to London at weekends. Stowe because it is in the middle of nowhere and Shrewsbury because it is too far away. Both fully boarding.

nickymanchester Mon 27-Jan-14 15:43:24

Do love the sound of Oundle but they accept so few girls at sixth form it may be tricky to break into established cliques

If you're thinking about Oundle then I would also seriously suggest Oakham as well. They also do IB as well as A levels.

AntoinetteCosway Mon 27-Jan-14 15:47:39

Ampleforth has brilliant drama and lots of new girls into the sixth form each year. Lovely school. You don't have to be Catholic though most are.

cathyandclaire Mon 27-Jan-14 15:56:04

Like the look of Rugby, also Uppingham and Shrewsbury, off to check out Stowe and Wellington. Just looked at GSG for Charterhouse hmm something along the lines of.. You don't have to be clever, beautiful, rich and from Surrey to fit in as a girl, but it helps! < imagines lots of tall gels swishing glossy hair>
May just look at several and see where feels right for her (and where she can get in) , may see you there dancingdreamer smile how old is your DD?

cathyandclaire Mon 27-Jan-14 15:59:36

DH just phoned after 7 hour work journey from hell to Surrey today < gets large black marker and crosses out all schools south of London!>

RandomMess Mon 27-Jan-14 21:51:35

LOL it's def worth ensuring you can get there by train rather than driving!!!

Dancingdreamer Mon 27-Jan-14 23:43:55

Forgot to say that Rugby have a girls' 6th form house so all girls there start together so not only one or two breaking into established groups.

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