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Girls' Boarding Schools for Sixth Form

(67 Posts)
jadeyang66 Fri 14-Jun-13 14:32:20

Hi. I'm looking for a suitable all-girls boarding school in the UK for my daughter for her A-Levels. We're from Malaysia, however, my daughter speaks English fluently and we use it as our first language. It would not be too hard for her to adapt to the academic system in the UK as she already studies the British syllabus at an international school here in Malaysia and will be taking her IGCSE's when she's in Year 11. I would say that she is academically inclined. She also enjoys singing, and plays piano and guitar but not to a high level. She is not a very sporty person although she swims and plays tennis. Her favourite subjects are mathematics and science. I also do not want to send her to a school that is too pressuring. Any thoughts or suggestions?

williaminajetfighter Sat 15-Jun-13 12:40:12

Jadey nice residences at Headington and good mix intl. Oxford itself tends to be quite intl due to lots of people coming from abroad to be/work at University and hospitals. Have a look at their website. Very good results and lots of the girls head to Oxbridge if that's what you fancy...

Copthallresident Sat 15-Jun-13 12:41:58

I would add lardass that one of my closest friends has a DD there so I know that for an academic girl who enjoys the traditional Boarding School experience it is a good choice.

samuelwhiskers Sat 15-Jun-13 12:48:00

Maybe have a look at St Mary's Shaftsbury, St Anthony's Leweston nr Shaftesbury, Dorset and The Royal High School in Bath. Both good schools, I have known girls who have boarded at all three and been happy. They suceed academically but not pushy. Some less sporty than others.

burberryqueen Sat 15-Jun-13 12:54:34

oooh i finally clicked what u meant by CLC, well at least it was established to prepare girls for work and university unlike some of the others mentioned, but then I am biased having attended its sister school.
Miss Buss and Miss Beale,
Cupids' darts do not feel.
Miss Beale and Miss Buss,
How unlike us!

jadeyang66 Sat 15-Jun-13 13:10:37

Copthall Thanks! smile I would prefer the boarding to be on-site (just a personal opinion) but I get your POV on the benefits of being able to walk home. About the networking group, I'm not sure if we have one here but I'll be sure to look around. Still deciding on where to visit, so far CLC and Roedean are on my list. Do you know any other girls' schools which are internationally integrated? You've been a great help, thanks.

lardasss Sat 15-Jun-13 13:20:23

copthall - don't be sorry - i'm sure this lost candidate did just fine somewhere else as you say - but it would be short sighted to go by one person's bad tour experience. there are loads of great schools where that could happen. i would judge a school by the girls that you know that have actually gone there. i had a friend whose daughter's tour consisted of a goth 6th former who announced that the school was 'crap' - and this is a top london day school. my sensible friend took it with a grain of salt - both of her daughters have flourished at this 'crap' school! and btw - i'm sure lost good candidate at cambridge is in good company with loads of WAS girls!

lardasss Sat 15-Jun-13 13:28:48

also agree boarding onsite is pretty vital. can't imagine it any other way really. have heard great things about kings canterbury btw - and brighton college if you go the mixed route.

Copthallresident Sat 15-Jun-13 13:48:31

lardass I'm not sure it is worth arguing the toss but this wasn't about one girl giving a tour, it was the attitude of the Head ( not the current one who incidentally was a heroine for coming out in public on the GCSE scandal, which DDs' Head was in denial about, even to the parents) Head of Boarding House, Head of First Year and when we asked a sixth former who had joined from a similar school to their International School she also admitted she had had a tough time losing the stereotype and getting to be seen as another girl rather than an "Asian girl". All that contributed to my reaction and DDs friends decision that it wasn't the school for her. Ironically the Head was about to fly to Asia but openly admitted she was only going to visit certain schools (not British International Schools) with whom they had developed a relationship because they produced the sorts of candidates "that we like to apply to Wycombe" which knowing the schools concerned read to me as very hothoused and very rich. It was a very blinkered approach.

jadeyang66 Sat 15-Jun-13 13:49:48

lardassss thanks for the suggestion! smile will take it into consideration. Do you know of any other internationally integrated girl schools? Thanks!

jadeyang66 Sat 15-Jun-13 13:57:46

Copthall Just wondering if you knew any more internationally integrated girls' schools? grin I want to look up on more schools before deciding where I shall visit.

Copthallresident Sat 15-Jun-13 14:00:14

jade I am afraid that the other schools I would recommend because they have worked out as for International pupils I know of, are mixed which clearly you are not looking at. I would probably visit some of the other girls' schools simply because it gives you a point of comparison and you might find that they appeal to your DD . Why are you against mixed? They have pretty tight boundaries on any sort of risky behaviour and it is a good preparation for university. Haileybury in particular is popular with expats. Also if you really don't want pushy Bryanston is quite popular , very good for creative arts, although actually otherwise pretty much a local school.

jadeyang66 Sat 15-Jun-13 14:11:08

copthall are CLC, Roedean & Downe House a good few schools to visit? Any views on Badminton and Benenden? How about St Teresa's? Thanks smile

lardasss Sat 15-Jun-13 14:33:33

St mary's Ascot? heard good things about. also Benenden supposed to be a nice slightly gentler place. St Swithuns is very good - friend's DD has flourished there - also quite sporty. St Cat's?

jadeyang66 Sat 15-Jun-13 14:45:48

Is Benenden internationally integrated? How about Badminton?

Copthallresident Sat 15-Jun-13 15:26:36

No experience of Badminton or St Theresa's, St Mary's Ascot and St Mary's Shaftesbury are strongly Catholic, you are signing up for a very Catholic ethos with all the bells and whistles, and St Mary's Ascot is very selective.

Benenden is beautiful, lovely buildings and grounds but very closeted deep in the country, good pastoral care but I felt it was somewhere to hide away your Princess from the big bad world and the academics and facilities did not stand up to comparison with the other schools we saw.

I would visit four schools altogether to give you a basis for comparison.

lardasss Sat 15-Jun-13 15:59:27

cop - do agree a bit re: the selection process with the now departing head and the HK hothouse schools. but still differ on the relationships and integration of the girls once they are there. Bryanston is beautiful btw - wished we'd sent our No 1 son there. my daughter would def have preferred a less 'chapel centric' educational experience FWIW - but thought St Mary's Ascot wasnt' that catholic bells and whistles in these more secular times?

Tweetinat Sat 15-Jun-13 16:11:37

Not a Girls' achool, but my sister has just left Dauntsey's School in West Lavington where she boarded for 6th form and she absolutely loved it.

celestialsquirrels Sat 15-Jun-13 16:17:23

My dd at Headington - great school and certainly streets ahead of somewhere like haileybury, results-wise. Pastoral care is fantastic, results excellent but it done ant feel unduly pressured. Worth a look. It is a day school with boarding rather than an out and out boarding school though.

AntoinetteCosway Sat 15-Jun-13 16:23:25

The Mount School in York? Small, friendly, excellent boarding atmosphere. Strong academically with great care for those to whom it doesn't come easily.

Copthallresident Sat 15-Jun-13 16:23:46

lardass Going on the Catholic families around here who sent their daughters there even the suggestion that these are more secular times would not go down well.....

hf128219 Sat 15-Jun-13 16:26:17


Slipshodsibyl Sat 15-Jun-13 16:40:53

Once they reach Sixth Form, girls do not really want to be cloistered on a campus a weekends and so campus based schools are more likely to be empty of company as girls go home or you might find your daughter will be asking you to allow her to accompany her new friends which is sometimes a hard call if you are far away in Malaysia.

Many of the schools mentioned here have very large numbers of day girls so this tendency is more pronounced. You will not want your daughter to be lonely at weekends and, like it or not, the outside world impacts on boarding school life in a way it didn't it the past.

You need to ask some detailed questions of how and where girls spend their weekends and decide if you, as a family, can work with the replies you get. I would not get too worked up about pressure but choose a high performing school. My concern would be about trying to imagine her day to day life from 16 to 19 years and finding a school that will help her to mature so cially and have some independence and social life in addition to good teaching.

Slipshodsibyl Sat 15-Jun-13 16:53:59

Oh and my comments echo Copthalls except that I have not , myself, had a negative experience visiting Wycombe)

lardasss Sat 15-Jun-13 18:30:43

slipshod you make some excellent points re: day girls and location. i think almost all boarding schools make sure if parents are overseas that there is adequate guardianship here in England. (i am guardian for some cousins for instance) independence and life outside school are vital - so make sure that there is ample opportunity. most girls by the time they are in the 6th form want a bit of freedom and being a reasonable distance (ie not too close but not too far either) from civilisation is important. reminds me of advice i was given about a certain remote scottish boarding school which i foolishly thought was miles away from the fleshpots of temptation (london!) only to be reminded that it gets dark at 2 in the afternoon and there is nothing to do but get high.

BramblyHedge Sat 15-Jun-13 18:38:43

I was going to say Headington. I was an international boarder many moons ago. I know things change but the boarding side was very international when I was there. It is a suburban school and has all the benefits of Oxford on its doorstep.

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