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Independent Senior School for ds

(24 Posts)
MadAriadne Sat 01-Mar-14 09:48:13

He's 10 and I need to start thinking about it. We're in London but might consider looking at boarding as well as day schools.

A bit about ds:
He's quirky
He's curious
He has an interesting pov on the world

He lacks any competitive urge and isn't too of his class
He doesn't play a wind instrument at a high level (or at all)
He's only in the C team for rugby
He doesn't have a tuck box
He doesn't have tousled floppy hair

Even worse, his untousled hair is not blond

I have failed him, haven't I? Where can he go?

MadAriadne Sat 01-Mar-14 09:52:05


cakeisalwaystheanswer Sat 01-Mar-14 10:05:23

Not Harrow!

elastamum Sat 01-Mar-14 10:14:59

Bedford? Very broad ability range and also do mon-fri boarding if you dont want to do full time. Know quite a few families who send their boys there and they all seem very happy.

SoldeInvierno Sat 01-Mar-14 11:05:03

Leighton Park? They do weekly boarding and the direct train from Reading to Paddington only takes 35 minutes

Needmoresleep Sat 01-Mar-14 11:35:04


NigellasDealer Sat 01-Mar-14 11:37:07

mmm there are some lovely tuck boxes here
so fear not! all is not lost!

OwlCapone Sat 01-Mar-14 11:37:58

Is this another dull thread about a thread that's meant to be amusing?

NWgirls Sat 01-Mar-14 11:49:19

Owl: Yes, I actually thought the first parody thread was quite entertaining (although not in on most jokes), but I am also surprised by the need for this copycat thread when the first ones (the original and the first parody thread) have not yet reached their 1,000 post caps. The comedians should ideally combine their talents on one thread, but not sure MN has a "merge threads" function??

<Now off to enjoy the week-end with the family, enough MN>

SpikeStoker Sat 01-Mar-14 12:32:17

Why? What's deal with everyone being negative about Harrow? Just curious...

WhiskyTangoFoxtrot Sat 01-Mar-14 12:37:09

Because Harrovians of a certain age are strange

Which is probably utterly irrelevant to what that school's like now.

OP: are you actually looking for advice?

MrsSteptoe Sat 01-Mar-14 13:44:13

I'm fairly sure the OP's genuine. I think she contributed to the fantastically insane "Westminster: greatest school on earth?" thread.

MrsSteptoe Sat 01-Mar-14 13:44:58

(her contributions were not insane. The thread was. A bit.)

michaelrB Sun 02-Mar-14 15:24:30

Try Ashford School, Kent; 35min from St Pancras. Good for all sorts.

MadAriadne Sun 02-Mar-14 21:46:08

I was alluding to the other thread(s), NW, but I am serious. I genuinely don't know what sort of school would suit ds. His older siblings are academically accomplished, and while he doesn't (yet) appear to be so, he is very witty, good at puns, a creative thinker (I've just found an amusing rap style voice recording on my phone), but also a stubborn boy who knows his own mind. I don't know how this profile would square any easier with a fairly local weekly boarding school than with the fiercely competitive London Day Schools.

northlondoncat Sun 02-Mar-14 22:35:39

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Needmoresleep Mon 03-Mar-14 08:11:32

Sorry, I had assumed it was a wind up. I thought the Harrow thread was amusing. Making fun of the various London day school private school threads seemed a better approach than complaining about them. These are not only major investment decisions but decisions that affect the future happiness and well being of your child. People are bound to ask.

It does not seem to be unusual for the younger child to be less focussed than older ones. You cant really tell at 10 what will happen. Ours started to get it together when they were about 13 or 14, but equally may not have done. Entry into London Day schools is increasingly competitive and schools which would once have been seen as a safe bet for an ordinary child no longer are.

Ideally you want a school where a good child does well but where there is sufficient range for a less academic child not to fall to the bottom. Plus lots of other activities to help self esteem and confidence, which then hopefully plays across to academics.

A few years ago this might have been Latymer Upper, which is a big busy school with lots of things other than academics, but competition for entry, especially for boys, has gone through the roof. Depending on where you live I would look at other co-eds like KGS or Highgate, as girls will ensure a wider spread of interests and so there should be more scope for boys to develop as individuals. If you could get to it, Harrodian is worth a look, though it is relatively small so again can be hard to get into.

In terms of boarding, we have known less academic siblings go to: Shiplake, Bedales, Frencham, or Reeds, though some of these have reputations as Marmite schools, which people either love or loathe. Bradfield and Oundle are more trad and reasonably academic, but seem to appeal to people looking to get away from the London rat race. There will be more. .

mikulkin Mon 03-Mar-14 08:17:53

I could have written this about my DS (though he recently got into B team in rugby). We looked almost at every boarding school in the UK and day school in London. He put on the top of his list (and I think it was a good choice for his character) UCS as day school and Oundle as boarding. He had offers from other schools of higher academic standard but he didn't feel he will be happy there.
Good luck!

NWgirls Mon 03-Mar-14 09:50:04

OP, I appreciate your humour, and I am sorry for not taking you seriously the first time.

My own impressions and prejudices about boarding schools (I have never even visited one, and I would fear that my kids would become stuck up and/or literally distant), would suggest day school, if I were in your shoes - but that is me, and without knowing your boy.

I know little about day schools for boys, but can second Latymer Upper as worth trying if he is doing well (level 5) in both maths and English.

The one boarding school I feel I can recommend as worth looking at is actually Christ's Hospital (see the parody thread re yellow socks etc!). Due to lots and lots of bursaries it seems to have a much more representative cross-section of society than other boarding schools. It is coed, not too far from London and is doing well enough academically: 70 percent A/A* at GCSE, 70 percent A*-B at A-level, sending 10 to Oxbridge. I know two kids who love it.

MadAriadne Mon 03-Mar-14 15:30:55

Thanks everyone. I'm going to look up these schools. It's tricky, looking round corners to try to get a sense how your kids will shape up. Needmoresleep I completely agree, they can change a lot at 10-11+, then it can be easier to work out which school(s) might be suitable. We had that phenomenon with an older dc who began to flourish academically from y6. I think I'll put ds's name down for one of the academic day schools we 're already familiar with, in case he's made of similar stuff. But if it emerges he's not in with a chance of getting through the pretest, we won't make him sit. Meanwhile I have a lot of food for thought here, thank you. We're in N London btw.

Oubliette0292 Mon 03-Mar-14 18:58:48

Just wanted to add that Bedford School has a large number of day boys as well as the borders, so perhaps a broader spectrum of backgrounds than a school where the majority are borders. Don't know if this is important to you...

MillyMollyMama Tue 04-Mar-14 15:46:52

Day children can still be "stuck up" too and boarding schools do not make children distant from parents as you have opportunities to see your children pretty frequently if you wish. Seriously though I would look at Rugby and Haileybury.

JennyWithers Tue 04-Mar-14 15:58:15

DS1 is quirky, curious, unposh and at Bede's, which is independent but not a traditional private school in the whole tuck box and floppy hair sense. I shall be eternally grateful to his lovely former prep school head who told us to look at it.

hertsandessex Tue 04-Mar-14 16:22:06

What about Hockerill - a state boarding school that is itself quirky, curious and with an interesting pov on the world?

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