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Ardingly College - ?

(18 Posts)
BCBG Sat 11-May-13 20:43:22

Just that, really - I don't know anyone with children there and I would love some feedback - am thinking of it for Yr9 entry for not very sporty girl? Thanks

AntoinetteCosway Sat 11-May-13 20:56:20

I don't know much about the school but I used to know the current head. He's very into sport, quite a 'lad's lad' but generally kind and caring. His wife is lovely.

Mutteroo Sat 11-May-13 21:03:05

Friend's DD went there, but left 5-6 years ago. She was a day pupil, bit horsey but not into any other sporty activities. It's a school with a great reputation OP. If your daughter is already at a private school, what is her HT saying?

LIZS Sat 11-May-13 21:07:42

Wide academic range, although the criteria are perceived as lower than many others, and does still have a sporty reputation tbh. Prep should be advising you as to suitable schools. Hurst, Christ's Hospital and Worth could be worthy of consideration of you are looking in that area.

BCBG Sat 11-May-13 21:19:33

Her siblings all went to King's Canterbury but she is dyslexic/dyspraxic and current opinion is that although she would manage academically, the atmosphere might be quite stressful and that she would do better in a campus style environment. Also considering Lancing, Bedales and Performing Arts/Tring. Hadn't considered Worth but will Google.

LIZS Sun 12-May-13 07:38:20

If she is into performing arts , Hurst , Hurtwood House, or Arts Ed Chiswick may be an option.

Mutteroo Sun 12-May-13 10:33:02

What about Bedes? It's near Hailsham in Sussex & non selective at intake. Yes it's a sporty school if you want to be sporty, but its also a great school for art, dance & yes even academics! DS has dyslexia & gained A*-B grades at GCSE, so I can safely say the support for dyslexia is top notch. 800 pupils, 300+ boarding. Huge range of activities from chess to wind surfing.

It's a school you either love or hate IMHO. We loved it, but that's because we're a square peg/round hole kind of family who find traditional public schools a bit stuffy.

Other options are Hurst & Lancing. Know of parents of pupils at both, however I'm not sure how pupils with dyslexia are supported.

majurormi Sun 12-May-13 12:04:02

Went to open day there yesterday. Not impressed compared to other schools I have seen. Very international and our German guide told us that the Germans, Chinese etc do tend to stick together in packs. This is contrary to the long speech given by head. Head didn't really sell school just tried to rebuke myths about what they are not. I would have rather heard what they are, I wanted to be convinced why I should let them educate my children for an obscene amount of money and what makes them unique. Facilities okay, many closed for the open day (sports hall, science labs, D&t) which I though was poor. Staff rather than trying to mix with parents stood on the side while a not very informed, shy 13 year old tour guide spent time with us. I really wanted to love it as our prep head raved and thought it would be a great fit for our ds - it is off our list. Open days are an easy thing to get right, if they cannot present a happy, interesting place with a can do attitude then, I suspect the day to day must be worse!

impartialme Sun 12-May-13 13:47:26

That's such a shame, majurormi, because our 3 have (or had, as eldest is now at Oxford Uni) a fantastic education at Ardingly. I recommend it highly, so it's really sad to hear that the school got the open day wrong. If it's off your list that's sad - but am sure if you wanted to give it a second chance you could arrange a personal visit on another day of the week.

BCBG Sun 12-May-13 19:29:08

Thats interesting majurormi and impartialme because we went yesterday as well, and yes, our response was mixed, which is why I started the thread. I felt that they got the boarding exactly right (have had experience of other schools) and the sixth former who showed us around was lovely and a credit to the school. Felt underwhelmed by Head who seemed to emphasise sport and debunking myths which seemed very odd....personally I found the staff extremely approachable and with the right balance of interest, but I thought a lot of the buildings were poor and run down, and that the school didn't really show off what it can do - it all felt a little bleak sad.... great to hear you recommend it, impartial me.

Never heard of Hurst, Hurtwood House is 6th Form only I believe (know two pupils there) and Lancing was on the list but its the same group as Ardingly so not sure how it will differ. Would love to hear more about St Bede's - I have only negative preconceptions as I know a fair few who went through in the last seven years and disliked it - one was the only British child in a dorm of Chinese, so I was told. I am not too worried about the international element to any school, as it is an increasing fact of life but it is worth seeing how each school approaches integration and how the balance is kept.

LIZS Sun 12-May-13 19:33:46

Hurst - lots going on and offers flexi boarding. Not far from Ardingly.

BCBG Sun 12-May-13 20:36:57

That makes more sense now - I know it by the full name because I used to live around there aeons ago - thanks for link smile

impartialme Sun 12-May-13 22:12:13

Yes, the boarding at Ardingly is great. Also the tutor system/pastoral care is excellent. It's a Woodard School, just like Hurst and Lancing, so the ethos of all three stems from similar roots. As I say, Ardingly has been great for each of our kids - ranging from the eldest now at Oxford to the others who are more artsy/musical.
Good luck making your choice!

MABS Mon 13-May-13 07:27:50

agree Ardingly is great, lot friends there. Mine both at Hurst, totally love it , drama brilliant, not not sure re dyslexia support in truth and many years are full. Good luck !

happygardening Mon 13-May-13 09:35:56

''Open days are an easy thing to get right, if they cannot present a happy, interesting place with a can do attitude then, I suspect the day to day must be worse"
We've done lots of open days and have been underwhelmed at most of them including DS2's present school whose open days don't have a fab reputation. Open days by their nature are usually very impersonal bright eyed and bushy tailed students showing you around telling you how wonderful their school is, the usual heads chat etc etc. My advise is go back on your own preferably more than once try and talk to a variety of pupils/teachers/HM's and the head of special needs if applicable etc and try and get a better feel for the place.
You have to remember ones parents fab school is another ones nightmare and at the end of the day most of these schools are very samish its usually in the micro detail that variations arise and this I think is where problems also occur.
A friends DS went to Bethany's meant to be good for dyslexia/dypraxia don't know if this is true but its in that area and might be worth a look.

midsussexmum Mon 13-May-13 11:01:13

Hi - can't recognize Ardingly from that description of the open day. My daughter is now lower sixth and been there since year 3 and doing brilliantly academically, loads of music and drama and so happy. She was a day girl in a boarding house and has Chinese and German friends as well as loads of local Brits and expats - huge range of girls and never, never seen any cliques.

BCBG Mon 13-May-13 20:14:40

Hmm...think I am going to go back and take DD on a normal school day. The Lower Sixth girl who showed us around was outstanding, really lovely. Next on the list are Bedales and Tring....;)

lottie4576 Mon 19-Aug-13 18:53:08

Bedes, it's a great school! Takes anyone but gets results and its one of very few schools that I can actually say truly cares for their pupils.

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