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Full time Boarding School in the South West

(21 Posts)
lizzielu Wed 05-Feb-14 17:06:09

We are looking for a full time boarding school for our DD from Year 7 in the Devon/Somerset/Dorset/Wiltshire area. We live overseas (English expats) so it's difficult to know the local reputations of the schools. Can anyone give feedback on Sherborne Girls, Godolphin, Bryanstone or recommend any others that have a majority of full time boarders as opposed to weekly boarders? Thanks

Roisin Wed 05-Feb-14 20:00:03

happygardening Wed 05-Feb-14 20:00:31

Bryanston is definitely primarily weekly boarding as I believe is Godophin. The reality is that proper full boarding school are now few and far between.

goinggetstough Wed 05-Feb-14 20:49:39

I agree with HG neither of the above are full boarding. I am not sure about Sherborne Girls. Godolphin has no Saturday school but do have Saturday activities. As an overseas parent I think Saturday school is a must although I know not all will agree with me.
It may not be your style of school but Millfield has a large number of full boarders. They only have one fixed exeat a year ( November) in addition to normal half terms when the school is shut. Pupils are allowed to take a certain number of exeats each term ( from Saturday after sport to Sunday night) As your DD would be of prep school age she could attend the prep school for the last two years. A number of DCs join at this point as we looked into it for our DC and then move onto the senior school two years later.

TippiShagpile Wed 05-Feb-14 20:51:31


AuntieStella Wed 05-Feb-14 20:52:38


I don't know how many of the boarders stay at weekends, though.

exexpat Wed 05-Feb-14 20:55:23

Badminton School in Bristol has a lot of overseas students (British expats plus other nationalities) so is definitely geared up for full-time boarding as well as having some day pupils. Senior school starts from year 7, so that might work well for you. It does have a reputation of being quite high-pressure academically - what sort of atmosphere are you looking for? And are you looking for single-sex or mixed?

exexpat Wed 05-Feb-14 21:00:05

By the way, have you got a copy of the Good Schools Guide, or a subscription to their website? You might find it a good starting point. They also have an advisory service to help people find the right school (quite expensive, but possibly worth it if it saves you a trip back to the UK to tour schools).

happygardening Wed 05-Feb-14 23:20:19

I think Sherbourne Girls might have quite a few full boarders,
Marlborough (Wiltshire) is the obvious choice, one of the last roper full boarding schools, the vast majority are full boarders. Not for me but it's over subscribed and plenty love it.

happygardening Wed 05-Feb-14 23:20:43

Proper not roper!!

CiderwithBuda Wed 05-Feb-14 23:26:10

Taunton School has full time boarders.

New house parents in the Prep School this year and there are lots of things going on at weekends for boarders. Prep school up to end of year 8. Senior school from year 9.

happygardening Thu 06-Feb-14 07:06:06

My children have full boarded since yr 2. It's vital to get it right especially for younger children and with parents outside the UK. So I think if I was in your position I would look at a prep school till year 9 it's likely to be smaller and more nurturing, Somewhere like Port Regis in Dorset which used to have lots of full boarders although I don't know about it's current numbers and then a senior school from yr 9 somewhere like Marlborough or maybe Cheltenham Ladies. The prep head would be able to give you good advise as to where your daughter would be happiest and also should have a good idea about full boarding numbers etc.
IME schools are very cagey about the number of their proper full boarders (they want your money) many years ago we looked at a school who claimed to have 60% full boarders but on direct questioning "so exactly how many of the 60 boarders were in all of last weekend?" We were told 13 (across 5 yr groups). My maths isn't great but even I know that's not 60%. Another friend when looking at a prep who claimed to have "lots" of full boarders on her guided tour stood at the end of every bed and asked if the child who slept in it was a full boarder or a weekly boarder "lots" turned into 10%! The ISI reports don't help either they state the number of full boarders but their definition is not in all weekend.

ihaveacrazycat Thu 06-Feb-14 07:19:32

I think Queens College (it is actually a school) have a good number of full time boarders. Certainly used to a few years ago. I'd be careful with milfield, having grown up in the same area & spent a lot of time competing against its sports teams there used to be a lot of rumours about drugs etc.
Marlborough has quite a good rep & I know people who went there.

Slipshodsibyl Thu 06-Feb-14 10:06:15

St Marys Calne fits geographically and is proper boarding. Badminton is outside your stated area of preference and has many day girls. Cheltenham Ladies' is also further away than you request but is full boarding.

beboo Sun 20-Apr-14 16:15:42

Hi-are you still looking?? DD1 and DS1 both board at Forres Sandle Manor...over 100 weekly and full boarders with many staying in at weekends...a "proper' boarding school and the weekends aren't just full of "overseas" boarders either!! Worth a look??

Flum Mon 28-Apr-14 03:37:07

Ooh, glad to find this thread, we are in a similar position.

MillyMollyMama Mon 28-Apr-14 11:59:01

You could look at Godstowe Prep for Girls in High Wycombe, Bucks. which has many boarding in years 7 and 8. It is a top girls boarding prep school and non selective. They are very good at working with you to aim for the senior school you think is suitable and they can recommend schools too. This may be a better approach than a scattergun trawl through parental recommendations because you will not know where to start without proper guidance.

Donki Mon 28-Apr-14 12:02:48

Sidcot Friends' School?

LittleMissGreen Mon 28-Apr-14 12:08:49

I used to go to Bruton aka Sunny Hill. At that time it was definitely mainly termly boarders, but don't know any longer.

alli1968 Mon 28-Apr-14 12:13:46


Millfield in Glastonbury Board from Year 6 and is predominantly boarding at prep and Senior SChool. Pastoral care has been excellent there - have a look at the ISI report.

middleagedspread Mon 28-Apr-14 17:23:29 I think a lot of the girls go on to Bryanston.

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