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Creative secondary school for my son

(21 Posts)
fern3 Sun 11-Aug-13 21:27:15

Hi there, I am looking for a secondary school that would suit my son. He is 11 years old and loves spending time building and making things. He is coping ok at school and his grades are on track, but he is not an academic child. I am finding that all the schools in our area are more academic than not and the timetable is quite rigid - for example there is not much of a range of sporting activities, only traditional sports on offer. We try and do stuff outside of school but it would be good to find a school that offered more to suit his needs. Can anyone suggest a school (state or private) that places more emphasis on creativity? I guess I would be looking for a strong DT department, photography, art, design and a bigger range of outdoor activities like climbing, kayaking etc. This king of school might not exist! but any suggestions welcome please - we live in Surrey but any suggestions would be worth me looking into.

BeckAndCall Mon 12-Aug-13 13:09:38

Have you looked at Frensham Heights in Farnham? Boarding or day, co ed, massively creative ( fantastic performing arts facilities for example).

It might even be just up the road from you!

fern3 Mon 12-Aug-13 17:59:03

I have heard of it and I will look into it more closely. A friend said it was a bit too creative which kinda put me off but I will look at it for myself as it isn't that far away. Thanks for that.

yotty Mon 12-Aug-13 21:06:06

How about Bryanston? In Dorset so he would have to board

Au79 Mon 12-Aug-13 21:18:28

Are you looking at state comprehensives too? I have a DD1 in a large one and have been impressed with the range of activities available- it's not academic enough for my DD2 who hates all that creative sporty stuff so I've looked at lots of schools. You really have to visit and ask your list of questions.

Clavinova Tue 13-Aug-13 16:37:21

Is your son starting Year 6 or Year 7 in September as he is 11 already?
For less academic private schools look at Box Hill (co-ed)) or Ewell Castle (boys, co-ed sixth form). Box Hill is big on adventure activities and Ewell Castle has a great DT Dept. Otherwise, St John's in Leatherhead (very expensive 13+ co-ed) has fabulous DT and Art and compulsory CCF for one year.

Inclusionist Tue 13-Aug-13 17:44:51

I think Bedales has a reputation for having a very extensive co-curriculum.

You might also look into whether any 'studio schools' are being set up around you. I think they are meant to be focused on practical stuff.

Inclusionist Tue 13-Aug-13 17:46:53

Studio Schools

Labro Tue 13-Aug-13 18:47:47

Just a note that St Johns have already closed their registration for 13+ entry in 2015 and pretest in yr 7. Is your son going into Yr 7 in September as many of the private schools in Surrey now 'pretest' if 13+ entry or will have already held entrance exams in January for this year 7 intake. Other than that, theres Box Hill and Duke of Kent who don't.

Labro Tue 13-Aug-13 18:52:35

State schools really depends on which bit of Surrey you are in, many secondarys have 'specialist' status of one type or another but they would have to have space (check with your LEA if any you like)

LIZS Tue 13-Aug-13 18:53:29

Agree with Box Hill or perhaps Lord Wandsworth at Hook, Churchers or Bedales near Petersfield, Ardingly or Hurstpierpoint ?

fern3 Tue 13-Aug-13 22:03:19

Hi thanks for all this info and feedback - it's the first time I've used the forum and it's great! Will look into all these ideas. He is starting year 7 in September so I would be looking for later this year or year 8. I think St Johns is too academic and as is mentioned there is pre-testing and lists are closing. I'm going to look more at the schools that don't have rigorous entrance tests. By the way I looked at Box Hill as it is quite close to us and I wasn't sure. Can anyone give me some feedback on the school? Thanks again.

Clavinova Wed 14-Aug-13 08:49:31

Friends of friends are very happy with Box Hill and their daughter is doing very well there. You may be too late for St John's (you won't know until you phone and ask - don't assume) but if your son is 'on track' I wouldn't think it too academic judging by the sample entrance papers on their website;I think the school caters for average and above.
Have you looked at Reed's in Oxshott? Pre-test Oct Year 7 for Year 9 - list may have 'closed' but phone as I know a number of children offered 'late' places at many private schools, such is the effect of waiting lists.

LIZS Wed 14-Aug-13 09:06:41

Alternatively you could look at RAAS which is a state funded boarding school with flexi boarding near Redhill. Occasional places come up outside the usual 7,11 and 16+ entry points, more often boarding than day unless you live very close by.

LIZS Wed 14-Aug-13 09:15:12

RAAS here . There are others too

Labro Wed 14-Aug-13 20:34:37

Reeds pre test is end of September for Yr 9 entry in 2015. lists for this are 'closed' but if you are looking for late year 7 or year 8 entry then definitely worth ringing.

Biscuitsneeded Thu 15-Aug-13 22:14:27

Isn't there one called Hurtwood or something near there that's all about the creative industries?

Labro Fri 16-Aug-13 07:38:53

Yes, Hurtwood House - though its 6th form only.

LIZS Fri 16-Aug-13 10:33:18

If he is ok academically how about trying for Trinity in Croydon ? Their facilities for DT and range of activities are great although it is more well know for academics, music and sport.

molly77 Tue 10-Sep-13 17:19:32

Duke of Kent in Ewhurst is a very creative, caring environment in a beautiful location. Not academically pushy at all (although there were still students gaining all As and A*s in recent GCSEs). It's a really lovely school.

minidipper Tue 10-Sep-13 23:36:11

Reeds is ace. Have you seen its new state of the art DT department? And they now have some sort of connection with Lego in terms of design. They are very sporty, have a pretty art department, some excellent drama and music. It's getting a lot more academic but I get the impression that if you get in you can then focus on what you love, rather than get pushed to swot for A*s.

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