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Finding the right Public School

(38 Posts)
HarrietHongKong Wed 09-Jul-14 09:11:05

We are from Monaco, so we are not far away from the UK, but I am struggling to find the right public school for our DS and DD.

I am originally from the Far East so I am not that familiar with public schools in the UK. We are looking for a public school for our DS and DD. They would need to board from approx. 13 yo.

The academic status of the school isn't that important, neither of our children are very "academic", but we want our children to enjoy their schooling, and to make good friends, enjoy their social life and have good contacts in the UK and abroad.

I am encouraging both children in polo, so it would be an advantage if polo could be offered. We are happy for their ponies to be moved to the UK from Monaco to help this.

Our children enjoy interacting with lessons and we want the education to be good, but realistically we want our DS to go onto the family firm when he gets older, so getting a straight A outcome is not really important. We are happy for a DD to go to university, but again we cn offer her a job if she wants one later in life. Rather we would prefer the children to make good friends, be educated, develop their polo, enjoy their social life, and have a good mix of people from similar backgrounds.

Can you advise what would be the best schools to look at? We would prefer single sex rather then co-educational.

OP’s posts: |
atticusclaw Wed 09-Jul-14 09:13:32

I'm going to assume this is genuine and check that you're talking about them boarding.

Needmoresleep Wed 09-Jul-14 09:23:40

Interesting dilemma. You might start here:

www.supa.org.uk/website-pages/senior-schools

marialuisa Wed 09-Jul-14 09:29:54

A shame you want single- sex because Millfield would be perfect.

scaevola Wed 09-Jul-14 09:34:28

Quite a few schools have polo clubs. I don't know which if any let you take own ponies.

Your polo-playing friends should be able to tell you if it is better to be at a school at offers polo, or if it should be a school near a good polo club.

The school that springs to mind is Millfield.

fishybits Wed 09-Jul-14 09:37:32

Stonar School near Bath is probably a good one for you to look at.

Single sex from 11-18, excellent equestrian facilities and good pastoral care.

fishybits Wed 09-Jul-14 09:38:29

Sorry forgot to add that Stonar is for girls.

grovel Wed 09-Jul-14 09:53:05

Radley has a polo team.

propatria Wed 09-Jul-14 09:55:17

You sound as if Queen Ethelburga's would be just right for you and your dd.

grovel Wed 09-Jul-14 09:56:45

These schools enter the schools' polo tournament:

Bloxham School
Bradfield College
Cheltenham College
Cheltenham Ladies College
Dauntseys School
Dean Close School
Felsted School
Harrow
Heathfield School
Lord Wandsworth College
Luckley Oakfield
Malvern College
Marlborough College
Millfield School
Pangbourne College
Queens College
Rugby School
Sandhurst School
Sherborne School
Shrewsbury School
Eton College
Radley College

flightdove Wed 09-Jul-14 09:57:11

Mayfield or Worth

happygardening Wed 09-Jul-14 10:20:22

Not all schools have stables/grazing for children's own polo ponies, many attend local polo clubs and use their ponies. Not all schools with equestrian facilities do polo.
Milfield of course will take their ponies and as everyone has said sounds just what your looking for.
You dont say how old your children are but unless your DS is already registered for Radley he would have to get a place of the Wardens List which his not easy, Eton you have to register before a boy is 10yrs and 6 months. Eton is considered very academic Radley is not far behind.
Frankly is you want "similar backgrounds" to yours looking at that list I would consider Radley Eton Sherbourne Milfield Marlborough and Cheltenham Ladies. Rugby is full boarding but is known to be more "normal" and "down to earth" than those listed above. You are most likely to get children of "similiar backgrounds" in traditional primarily full boarding schools which all the above are. Most of the others listed are either primarily weekly boarding schools (so often more local parents) or schools with a smallish number of full/weekly boarders but day children dominate so again are local.
If the standard of polo matters to you do check it out carefully.

IndridCold Wed 09-Jul-14 10:22:04

The Good Schools Guide run an advisory service to help people find the right school. Link here.

happygardening Wed 09-Jul-14 10:24:19

Im not sure either Worth or Mayfield offer polo.

happygardening Wed 09-Jul-14 10:27:38

Stowe is not on the list they play polo and I would have thought tick nearly all of your boxes.

scaevola Wed 09-Jul-14 10:30:12

SUPA (linked above) lists 28 senior schools which are members and so must be pretty serious about polo.

Assuming that polo provided by the school (rather than a school near the right calibre of club) is indeed going to be the right way round.

happygardening Wed 09-Jul-14 10:39:05

I think youll find that due to the traditional management of polo ponies, that traditionally polo ponies are literally just that, they don't do other equestrian activities, the fact that it's primarily played in the summer and the cost of purchasing top quality polo ponies means that most schools don't have their own polo ponies scaevila but attend nearby club. Just because they take the children to a club doesn't mean it do t be serious, clubs like the Beaufort and Cirencester Park are very serious polo playing clubs.

scaevola Wed 09-Jul-14 10:54:43

Apologies for unclear drafting. I did not mean ownership of ponies.

I meant those schools which have polo as a school co-curricular activity, organised by the school even if delivered by a club; as opposed to a school which lets pupils out on an individual basis for activities (whether polo, other sport, unusual musical group, whatever) for which there is no school-run programme, but where there is a suitable local provider. If the latter is acceptable, it could widen the choice of schools significantly.

flightdove Thu 10-Jul-14 01:09:17

At mayfield they have stables.

summerends Thu 10-Jul-14 03:31:37

OP, if you definitely want single sex for both your DS and DD with polo as an activity for some what about the two Sherborne schools?
Co ed schools might give you more choice for your criteria. (as mentioned above). Cheltenham College must be well placed for polo clubs!

hopgarden1 Thu 10-Jul-14 04:23:30

Stowe has amazing stables and they play polo on Fridays in a local club. It's co-ed though, consider it though as it's one of the most beautiful places to grow up

happygardening Thu 10-Jul-14 07:45:39

flightdove stables don't mean they play polo many schools don't or that there is a good polo club or even any polo club near by.
I'm not criticising Mayfield I just happen to know about horses, ponies polo etc, if you read their website they don't mention polo at all they field teams in many other branches of equestrianism but not polo this would not be uncommon because polo ponies as I've said about are very specialised.

flightdove Thu 10-Jul-14 08:52:18

I know happy! I have 3 of my own.

happygardening Thu 10-Jul-14 09:00:02

I'm not disputing it has fantastic equestrian facilities and I'm sure it's a great school (I've got boys) and great if you want to do most other horse related activities but do you think it's the right place for a keen polo player? That area isn't know for it's polo clubs either unlike parts of Gloucestershire/Berkshire etc.

HarrietHongKong Thu 10-Jul-14 13:30:10

Thank you very much for your input.

I had not thought of Millfield, and will look at Stowe.

It has been interesting getting input from a wide range of people. From our own research and from recommendations in Monaco we were favouring Harrow and Roedean or Beneden, so really interesting that not one person on this board mentioned any of these schools.

Also interesting comment about Beaufort and Cirencester Park polo clubs. Can anyone tell me if any of these schools we have mentioned near these clubs?

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