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Public schools

(36 Posts)
AmandaHuggankiss Sun 30-Sep-12 19:25:12

DS has been at day prep school, we were thinking of a day senior school, but before we commit to that, I wanted to check out some of the real public schools (Eton, etc.) for full boarding at 13.

He is quite outgoing, likes the company of others, computer games, etc, but is not sporty. He benefits from structure, rules and routine, rather than somewhere liberal and self-motivating.

Any thoughts on which of the top public schools might be a good fit?

amber2 Mon 01-Oct-12 18:46:14


thanks for that - I have replied to your PM. Good advice...You've made me rethink and I may take him to teh Open Day after all ...I just wanted to see what I thought of Eton myself first but you are right ...if he does not take to it then I will have saved myself the registration fee and the trouble..on the other hand it may motivate him to try hard to get there

happygardening Mon 01-Oct-12 19:03:03

The open day is famous for being pretty awful even those who are big fans of Eton will tell you this! Some friends of ours had sent their oldest DS there and when they took their youngest round some 6 years later said they have wouldn't bothered to even register him if they didn't already know from personal experience what a fantastic school it is. When I went round with four other parents from my DS's prep only one came away wanting to send their DS the the rest of us thought it was ghastly and opted for Winchester Harrow etc. Apparently if you can attend a school function you will get a better feel for it.

IndridCold Mon 01-Oct-12 20:45:52

Yes, I keep reading this on MN but this was not our experience. DS, DH and I all came away loving Eton smile.

happygardening Mon 01-Oct-12 21:21:00

Indrid maybe that's the point if you love the open afternoon/guided tour then it's the right school for you and your DS.

dapplegrey Mon 01-Oct-12 21:22:52

We thought the open day was great. We were given a thorough tour of the place and the lady showing us round was charming and helpful.
Anyway, our ds went there and it was the best thing that ever happened to him.

IndridCold Tue 02-Oct-12 08:46:29

happygardening yes, I think you are right. I just didn't want people to be put off going because other parents didn't like it.

grovel Tue 02-Oct-12 10:32:53

The Eton test was designed (by Durham University) in such a way that tutoring would be futile. When my DS took it, the master in charge told parents that he hoped the boys would come out saying that it was "quite fun and quite hard". He also hoped they wouldn't be able to remember any of the material in detail. He was spot on.
Eton are not just looking for the cleverest. The interview counts too. The test is to establish that the boys will be able to keep up. The interview is about whether they will take advantage of everything Eton has to offer.

amber2 Tue 02-Oct-12 12:39:57


Sounds like a good test - one you can't prepare for with hundreds of hours of special coaching ...wish the others were like that ...I would not want for DS to go somewhere where he would struggle to keep up or was in the bottom sets ... I think the system for selective entry (be it grammar schools or indy VR/NVR pre-tests) we have in the UK is crazy ..and takes little account of development over the next 2/years means so many feel forced to get tuition to the test (11+) etc. which has little to do with real education...or enhancing curiosity of learning which should be what years 4 and 5 are about. I feel like I am getting sucked into the system myself even by doing some DIY practice with DS at home but I kind of resent it - would rather he just stick to reading about what interests him outside the curriculum eg astronomy, than doing Bond 11+ practice tests. I read somewhere recently that the ages of 9 and 68 were remembered by most people (not a scientific survey) as the most care free in their lives....I wonder if current 9 year olds will rembember it that way when they grow up..

grovel Tue 02-Oct-12 14:26:14

amber2, I could not agree more.

Eton, happily, do not obsess about exams. Their view is that if they get able boys and teach them in a way which engages them then good results will just happen. Of course it's easier to take that approach if a school is selective.

IndridCold Sun 07-Oct-12 19:04:55

amber2 you might find this article about slow, non-hothousing education interesting. One of the authors is an Eton housemaster.

malinois Sun 07-Oct-12 19:13:49

If he's good at climbing and wants to pursue it then surely somewhere near a climbing area (not Eton or Winchester then...) and with an active climbing club would be a good bet?

If he's really interested in climbing as a sport he needs to be climbing or bouldering at least 4 times a week, a bare minimum of one session of which should be on real rock rather than an indoor wall.

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