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Canford vs Culford for sixth form?

(14 Posts)
Alexis705 Tue 11-Mar-14 05:50:28

DD is very keen on going to boarding school for sixth form. We're living overseas at the moment so haven't had a chance to visit any schools yet.
She's quite academic but also arty and loves sport (particularly water sports) and music. At the moment she seems to like the look of Canford and Culford the most. Does anyone have any experience with these schools? Any information at all would be brilliant, thanks.

diabolo Tue 11-Mar-14 08:02:52

My DS is at Culford, but in 4th form, (year 9 equivalent).

He is very happy and we are too, it is everything I hoped it would be and more.

Many children join for 6th form and from all over the world. The sporting facilities are excellent, a second hockey pitch is shortly to be built and you are probably already aware of the excellent swimming facilities.

Academically, again, we could not be more pleased, those who have the potential to do well are pushed to do so, but not at the expense of everything else (which is why we chose the school in the first place).

Pastoral care seems to be outstanding, there is a real sense of camaraderie in the houses, with a little natural competition between them.

The children all seem to be very happy - lots of smiles and laughter. DS loves it so much he wants to board for 6th form too.

Please ask if you want more details and I will pm you.

Alexis705 Tue 11-Mar-14 11:18:01

DD was very interested in the sport options, they mention they have a pool and also offer sailing and scuba diving (she loves both), do you happen to know if many people do those sports?

I'm a little worried about the academic side of things, DD is in the top 1% of her age group but if not surrounded by motivated peers/good teachers she might start to underachieve. Have you any idea of the teaching quality?

Pastoral care is very important but the website doesn't seem to have many details on boarding so I have no idea if it's single sex/co-ed boarding, what the food's like, what the rooms are like...these things would be really important because we'd be sending her form overseas and wouldn't want her to be miserable, it would be great if you would be able to give me some info on that.

Thanks so much!

diabolo Tue 11-Mar-14 11:43:46

DS is currently learning scuba dive there, his housemaster is a PADI instructor. Many of the students do this and there is an annual scuba diving holiday, usually to Red Sea resorts or Canary Islands.

I don't know about sailing as we don't. There are a large number of very good swimmers / swimming scholars, same with tennis, hockey, rugby, netball.

There are two senior boys houses and two senior girls houses. These are totally mixed with day and boarding pupils so there is no cliquey-ness, all the pupils mix well at social times. Food is abundant and of very good variety and quality according to DS.

All of the teaching staff are very well qualified and several have PhD's. The school is not thought of as a top academic school although is easily the best in my part of the world. Top sets are full however, of determined and very bright pupils, several with academic scholarships. Many go on to top Universities including Oxbridge. Your DD will have other very clever peers to compete with and be stimulated by.

I did not want an academic hot-house for DS where only the pursuit of A*s matters, and chose this school specifically for the all round education it offers. Opportunities seem endless for those who are interested.

Communication is excellent, I receive half termly written assessments and twice yearly full reports. DS always knows what he has to do to improve. The school communicate with me via a weekly email.

I believe sixth formers each have their own bedrooms, these are not large but are modern and well equipped. The house common rooms have plenty of space for work, pool tables, table tennis etc, a kitchen and if I remember rightly, the sixth formers have their own common room too.

diabolo Tue 11-Mar-14 11:54:55

Also, the split is about 55/45 in favour of boarding pupils, but in sixth form around 90% of pupils board - I don't know if that is relevant for you

propatria Tue 11-Mar-14 14:20:13

Culford has never claimed to be an academic school,lots of talk of value added etc and thats fine,so Im suprised Diablo states its easily the best academic school in her world,if thats the case then her world cant stretch 30 miles to Ipswich let alone the 40 or so to The Perse,as the op is talking about boarding,I imagine her world is a bit bigger.
Actually if you want co ed boarding for a bright child with good sports facilities then neither would be high on my list,now if I wanted a school in very nice grounds,they would be high on my list.

diabolo Tue 11-Mar-14 16:01:04

Propatria, I know you have been quite negative about Culford before on a thread I started a couple of years ago, are you a past or current parent or is it all here say?

My "world" doesn't stretch to Ipswich - I don't want DS sat on a school bus at 7am thanks, and we are unable to drive him there and back twice a day.

The Perse was not considered for similar reasons, but this time a 7.15am train along with the fact that I want more from DS's education than 10 A*.
He could achieve those at the local High performing Academy.

diabolo Tue 11-Mar-14 16:14:26

Apologies Propatria, I seem to have muddled you up with a poster with a similar name.

propatria Tue 11-Mar-14 16:35:55

As you say youve confused me with someone else,so in fact Culford is the most academic school in your world because your world doesnt stretch to a school bus or a train ,why do people who have children at these local private schools try and pretend they are something they are not,Culford is not in the slightest an academic doesnt claim to be so why would a parent pretend it was.,if you lived in Bury and all you want is to have a child at a private school its fine but as a first or second choice co ed for a bright sporty child from abroad,not in a million years...

diabolo Tue 11-Mar-14 16:54:22

What? What on earth are you talking about? In Suffolk the best schools according to GCSE results are:

1. Ipswich High School for Girls.
2. Ipswich School.
3 Woodbridge
4. Culford.

This has been the case for the last 5 years or so. I live an hours drive from the first three, one of which is girls only, and therefore they are not local to me.

The OP asked about a school of which I have current personal knowledge. What is yours?

And as for pretending it to be something it is not - where have I done that? It's sports facilities are excellent, it's top sets are full of bright children, one of whom is mine but there are many cleverer than him there with scholarships aplenty, the opportunities for extra curricular activities are vast, the students are happy and go on to good universities. FACT.

The OP's DD has done some research and come up with a choice of schools she likes the look of.

What is your problem?

diabolo Tue 11-Mar-14 18:12:08

OP, I hope someone comes along with direct knowledge of the other schools you are interested in.

Please check out Culfords website and the school league tables for reassurances about exam results. Many boarding schools in the UK were historically less academic, obviously people want a return for their investment nowadays, so schools have had to invest quite heavily in the academics. The registrar at the school is called Karen Tompkinson and she is very helpful for any queries you might have.

Please PM me if you have any more questions. Bye.

propatria Wed 12-Mar-14 09:30:11

Wow,the 4th best private school gcse results in Suffolk,truly worth flying into the uk for...but wait it is a school that has scholarship children,imagine that,a private school that gives out scholarships,what a novel idea,it may catch on,and the children go on to "good universities"" some may do but as the school doesnt give year by year destinations its hard to tell when anyone got into a good uni,but several of the unis it lists as destinations arent exactly top notch are they.
Still you are very happy with the school and that in the end is all that matters.

diabolo Wed 12-Mar-14 09:51:46

Actually 4th best in Suffolk. Of ALL schools, not only independent.

It may or may not interest to you to know I work in state education in the area and have extensive knowledge of that. I'm guessing you might as well? Perhaps we know each other.

You clearly have some issues with the school, but these seem to be of your own imagination, rather based on any facts.

I won't be discussing this with you any further as it is a waste of mine and the OP's time.

propatria Wed 12-Mar-14 10:02:59

All of apologise and take back everything I said,its truly an academic school par excellence..why would anyone look elsewhere....

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