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Caterham School or Bromsgrove School??

(22 Posts)
maverick123456 Wed 05-Feb-14 04:43:48

Hi. We are from abroad and DS has been offered a Sixth Form full boarding place in both Caterham School and Bromsgrove School for Sep2014.

We know that Caterham consistently places higher on the school league tables.

Any advice on both schools which will ease the decision process will be appreciated.

maverick123456 Wed 05-Feb-14 13:20:51


LIZS Wed 05-Feb-14 13:23:36

What extracurricular does your ds enjoy ? Caterham is fairly urban despite the grounds.

maverick123456 Wed 05-Feb-14 14:35:56

He is sporty. Plays football, badminton and table tennis.

LIZS Wed 05-Feb-14 14:48:18

C doesn't do football competitively just rugby and hockey.

MissMilbanke Wed 05-Feb-14 14:53:20

Rugby and Hockey at Bromsgrove too. Football isn't really played at some schools at senior level.

I think Bromsgrove school does OK, but I do remember it being quite pricey when we looked at it.

Have you visited any yet ?

Bowlersarm Wed 05-Feb-14 15:10:27

Football is played at a number of schools. If it's important to your DS, look at Ardingly, Charterhouse, Eton, Lancing, Bradfield, Winchester College.

maverick123456 Wed 05-Feb-14 16:34:59

Thanks all for the input. Keep em coming.

MissMilbanke, can't afford to visit anytime soon as DS is busy with preparations for IGCSE. Websites and prospectuses will have to do, unfortunately.

DS is fine with the fact that football isn't played competitively. Maybe he can take up a new sport..

MissMilbanke Wed 05-Feb-14 16:55:33

Well bromsgrove is a lovely little place, good motorway and airport connections, not sure how well it's serviced by rail.

The children look smart and respectable when they walk through town and I would imagine the town is proud of their school.

LIZS Wed 05-Feb-14 17:02:30

You really do need to visit . Could he not take a few days off his studies or study while over here ? How selective are the intake criteria , could that explain the difference in league table position or that some B students opt to take IB instead of A levels (which would your ds prefer to do)?

maverick123456 Thu 06-Feb-14 14:39:50

He was there in Nov to sit for Wellington College entrance exams. 400 applied for 40 places and he could only get a place on the waiting list. Can't afford to visit again. Hectic schedule ahead.

Opting for the A-levels.

LIZS Thu 06-Feb-14 17:00:55

did he not visits either . I'm afraid I really don't understand the culture of sending dc so far from home without having been to visit or met the staff into whose care he will be placed. The problem is you are comparing schools a couple of hundred miles apart, very few will have experience of both.

reddidi Thu 06-Feb-14 18:51:49

Both Caterham and Bromsgrove do play football (called soccer at Bromsgrove like a number of other public schools where the word football is only used occasionally as part of the description "Rugby Football"). It is not a major sport at either, but Bromsgrove is a sportier school than Caterham generally and seems to field 2 U18 teams.

Bromsgrove has some of the best sporting facilities in the country, so if this really is his thing and in the absence of any other factor (ignore league tables and leavers' destinations, they are entirely irrelevant to what your individual child will achieve) this might be a decider.

But you really should visit: all schools are very different, for instance at Bromsgrove there is a separate boarding house off-site for sixth form boys and girls together which obviously gives them a lot of independence, whereas Caterham has the more usual arrangement with sixth formers taking positions of responsibility as the senior members of houses of 13-18 year olds of their own gender.

You are presumably committing to a number of long-haul flights over the next 2-5 years anyway, one more round trip to get this right must be worth it. If you really can't manage this you need to talk to an independent school consultancy (Gabbitas, Good Schools Guide etc.) who can try to advise you on fit - the big ones have overseas representitives who can meet your DS to help form a picture.

As for looking at other schools, you already have offers from two good schools; all aspirational schools have long waiting lists for sixth form at this stage (in fact most have taken five figure deposits from overseas applicants) so I wouldn't waste your time with any of the schools mentioned - if you do want to broaden the search, again a consultant is the way to go.

LadyMuck Fri 07-Feb-14 00:04:37

It is possibly worth contacting the schools and seeing if they're happy for your ds to do a skype call with some of the current boarding pupils, preferably a 5th former who will be a peer, and a 6th former doing some of the subjects that your ds will be doing. I would have thought that both schools would be happy to do that.

The current Head of Boarding at Caterham, who has been there for decades, retires this summer. I note that the ad for his replacement indicates that whoever takes the position is a likely candidate for next Headmaster in I guess 5 or so years. Not sure that that helps with your decision, but it does indicate a strong commitment to boarding, and that the next head will probably be fairly dynamic.

The other thing worth getting hold of is the boarding manual for parents (certainly Caterham have one), and it may be worth asking for this if you haven't already seen it, as it gives you a good idea of the ethos and rhythm of the school.

Finally it is worth thinking about what your ds is likely to want to do for university, both in terms of course and locations. For some courses getting relevant work and voluntary experience is pretty key in 6th form, and location could make a difference.

maverick123456 Mon 10-Feb-14 09:52:55

Bromsgrove has close to 400 boarders out of 900+ students.

Should I be put of by the fact that Caterham only has around 150 boarders (60 senior boys boarders) out of total community of 850 students? Will this mean less there will be less a activities offered during the weekend?

Does anyone have children in any of these schools? Any comment?

Greendragon123 Tue 06-May-14 06:22:40

Hi, I've son at Caterham 6th form. Let me know if you need any more info.

0verseasmum Tue 06-May-14 10:03:42

Don't know about Caterham but my DC at Bromsgrove in Sixth Form and has loved every minute. Very sporty, lots happening at weekend, DC academic and sporty and doing well there. The opportunities they have had have been immense and we are very grateful. Been overseas for many years was good for them to come back to settle before uni. As an expat I understand the problems with flying over, we visited the school once and then hoped for the best and thank goodness it all worked out. Luckily my DC very open-minded and is able to see the positives and acknowledge the negatives because there will be both. The more boarders the better for my DC. PM me if you need more info. I wish you both best of luck.

ngpl Tue 13-May-14 02:46:07

Greendragon123, would appreciate if you could let me know how is the school environment in Sixth Form. We are from overseas and are keen to send our son to a boarding school in UK for A levels. We are shortlisting a few schools at the moment and Caterham is one of them. We are interested in a school that has good academic results and some extra-curricular activities. Good discipline is important. Thank you.

Charlene6630 Thu 28-Jul-16 08:13:36

Any parents from Bromsgrove School? I need your commons, thank you!

Charlene6630 Thu 28-Jul-16 08:16:24

Any parents from Bromsgrove School? I need your comments, thank you!

DoItTooJulia Thu 28-Jul-16 08:17:21

Charlene this is an old thread and it puts people off commenting. Start a new one and ask the parents what you'd like tonknowbthat way to get the best response.

Good luck!

DoItTooJulia Thu 28-Jul-16 08:18:05

*to know, that's the best way to get the best response that should say!

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