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Brighton College or Canford School or Badminton School or Caterham School

(29 Posts)
kerelena Wed 30-Jul-14 15:51:44

Hi,um, i am new to here so i am not really sure this is the right way to post. I am sorry for any mistakes made smile

Actually i am struggling among some schools my daughter has chosen because i am not sure they fit her or not. These schools are:
1. Brighton College
2. Canford School
3. Badminton School
4. Caterham School
So, can you please give me some advice and information about these schools,especially on the bullying issue. (my daughter prefers Canford)

Thank you very much

happygardening Wed 30-Jul-14 17:14:45

I take it you're looking for boarding, are you looking for full boarding? I know children at Canford, the parents really like it their DC's are very happy, it gets good reviews on here, but it's not full boarding, I recently met a girl at Badminton she seems very happy but I'm not sure about the boarding there, and Brighton is definitely weekly boarding. no Saturday school, I have a 1 1/2 hour one way driving rule, (we learnt the hard way) I would apply this to train journeys as well, and if you're looking at weekly boarding you really need this unless as I've said before you've nothing to do all day, list driving as your main passion and hobby or own a helicopter.

kerelena Thu 31-Jul-14 04:32:50

Re happygardening
Thanks for replying smile And yes, i am looking for full boarding for my daughter since it's too far from home.

happygardening Thu 31-Jul-14 07:59:29

What age is your DD? What are her interests and how academic is she? Are you UK based or abroad and if in the UK where roughly do you live?
I know nothing about Caterham except that I believe it's a day school with boarders.
Frankly if you want full boarding i.e. Your daughter is going to have to stay in school every weekend then your better to choose a full boarding school of which there are not that many in the grand scheme of the things. Friends were saying the other day that their chosen senior school turned out to be primarily weekly boarding, they wanted full boarding and what a disaster it had been they're DC was often 1 of only 2 in Saturday evening and all day Sunday.

LIZS Thu 31-Jul-14 08:06:45

How old is she ? Caterham is about 25% boarding (180ish iirc) but relatively fewer below year 9 when many more join from overseas, and again in 6th form. There is a full boarding programme with 2 exeats and half term. No Saturday school. Brighton seems much more weekly based with fewer staying over at weekends. What is she looking for and why do you feel these choices may not fit her ?

yotty Thu 31-Jul-14 08:15:47

I agree with Happygardening to an extent about the weekend boarding situation. However, there are so few true full boarding schools sometimes you have to go with a compromise/best fit. I don't know anything about Badminton but the 'full' boarding at canford would be more 'full' than at Brighton because there are a few weekends throughout the year where everyone has to stay and they are kept busy until Saturday afternoon. The new head at canford is aware of the weekend situation for the long distance boarders because our prep school head has drawn his attention to it, so he is supposed to be sorting it. No Saturday school at Brighton, but it is in the town so there is somewhere to go.
Has she visited the schools? Why did she like Canford?

happygardening Thu 31-Jul-14 09:08:43

I would have thought that its difficult to address the number of full boarders, the vast majority of UK based parents want weekly/flexi boarding, the small number of true full boarding schools reflects this. The other problem we've found is that even full boarding schools usually allow children home on Sunday before or after some sort of religious service, approximately 2/3's of my DS's house/year go home on Sunday after chapel, this is fine if you live within a sensible commute but tougher for those who don't. Of course many schools do organise activities on Sunday afternoon especially those in more rural settings it's worth checking.

kerelena Sat 02-Aug-14 08:59:58

Re Yotty
My daughter likes Canford more because she has seen pictures of the school and she thinks that the school is beautiful and massive. Also, she told me that the ECAs there are more suitable for her but most importantly, she knows some Canford students on facebook.

By the way, she is applying to year 10 (forth form).

Thank you smile

dozily Sat 02-Aug-14 09:06:42

I assume Baffled

dozily Sat 02-Aug-14 09:08:36

Oops! I assume Badminton offers full boarding as I've heard there are a lot of overseas pupils (primarily Chinese).

kerelena Sat 02-Aug-14 09:32:29

Thank you all for sharing your thoughts to me smile

My daughter is applying for year 10 (forth form). And our family moved to Hong Kong before she was born, so she grows up in Hong Kong, but we do have friends and relatives living in UK, Brighton, where our second home is.

As for her hobbies, she loves reading, doing experiments,cooking, debating and drawing. But the thing is, she participates in a lot of things but she is just not really good at them, eg. playing the piano(grade 7, she doen't like it), playing flute(for 1 year, still bad at it), doing sports (swimming, cycling, playing badminton, running,ice skating), learing foreign languages (French, for 2 years. However, up till now, she only knows the basics).

As for her academic results, she is pretty good in her school which is one of the top 20 schools in Hong Kong. She is good at Maths, Science, Chinese and English Literature. However, i am worried about her English, her oral is quite good but her grammar is relatively bad so she got a C in the subject. And Brighton College replied that they shared the same thought with me.

Actually, we(my family and I) limited our targets on these schools because of a few reasons. Firstly, the academic results of the schools are quite good and the students there are nice and friendly, from my experience. Secondly, our agent company and some of our relatives did recommend these schools to us as they are famous and a lot of Hong Kong people studied there.

However, i am just worried that she will not be able to adapt to the environment and being bullied. Still, i have to admit that she is a cheerful, friendly and nice girl.

Oh wow that is such a long message.
Thank you for reading and showing your concerns smile


LIZS Sat 02-Aug-14 09:38:51

Caterham offers an EFL programme however she may still be expected to take another MFL. Gr7 piano is pretty good !

yotty Sat 02-Aug-14 10:07:59

Kerelena, I can see why your daughter thinks Canford is beautiful, because it is. The fact that the ECA appeal to her is great. Perhaps you should go and visit the school and one other so she can compare. I do know lots of children who go to Canford and the vast majority are very happy. The children I know live far enough away from the school that they can only go home on exeats, half term and holidays. All manage the weekends in school by being quite self reliant. They either arrange to go home with a friend on Saturday night or are happy chilling in school on Saturday night/Sunday. There are a couple of weekends each term that all the boarders have to stay in all weekend. How far away from the school will you be? There is a minibus service to southampton airport on exeats/holidays if that helps.
I have to admit I really like Canford. It is not super selective, yet gets very good results. They generally have a cohort of 30 odd pupils who apply to Oxbridge, about 12/15 get in, so plenty of bright children to spark off. However, if you really mess up your GCSEs you will be asked to leave. I liked the fact that it seemed the least pretentious of all the schools we looked at, not too hooked up on old traditions. The sciences are very strong and obviously lots of sport. I love the theatre. I have never heard of anybody having a problem with bullying. That is not to say it doesn't happen, that would be nieve. Perhaps it gets dealt with quickly!? We are considering it for our younger son.
I'm guessing, but I would imagine that Brighton College would be quite similar, but it is more of a day school than a boarding school. 4pm Friday afternoon till 9am Monday is quite a long time to entertain yourself. If I lived within 1 and a half hours I would consider it.

Beastofburden Sat 02-Aug-14 10:13:54

Brighton college is a really good school, though, and she would keep up her mandarin there. And the weekly boarding thing isn't so bad if you have family in Brighton. I would visit there too. Brighton is a nice city and she can get to know London a bit.

Beastofburden Sat 02-Aug-14 10:15:03

Actually, just seen it was Hong Kong, don't think they do Cantonese but might be wrong.

yotty Sat 02-Aug-14 11:15:43

Just seen your post mentioning that you have family in Brighton. Would they be people your daughter would like to spend time with? If so, then that would be great. If she is used to living in a city she will either love or hate Canford. It feels quite isolated. There is only a very small town nearby which I gather the children mostly don't bother going to. If she likes the buzz of a town she may be happier in Brighton.
Re the bullying thing. Unfortunately, that is one thing you cannot control. It can be completely random and just be unfortunate that there is some horrible child in your child's school. You just have to hope that the school deals with any issues and teach your own child how not to lay themselves open to being a victim. If your child is easy going and generally gets on with others she should be fine.

Beastofburden Sat 02-Aug-14 11:59:58

Bullying- the head teacher of Brighton used to be the deputy head i/c discipline at the school where my DS went. I would be very surprised if he rang school where bullying went unnoticed. He was a very effective deputy head. My main concern for you with Brighton is that is a school with high academic standards, and it may not be a good fit if your DD has different strengths and her English is still developing. But you should ask the school about that, as they won't lie to you just to get your business - they are oversubscribed anyway.

kerelena Sat 02-Aug-14 16:50:18

Thank you !! smile
After reading messages from Beastofburden and yotty, i feel much better now, it seems that bullying is not really serious in those schools and the students there are all happy and being take cared.

As for my house in Brighton, it is being rented currently but my daughter do love to spend time with our relatives there. But the thing is, i don't really want my daughter to disturb the life of them since the family consists of 3 children and the youngest is just 3 years old.Also, their home is quite far from the train station.So i guess full boarding seems necessary, still, i encourage her to visit them during holidays and term break.

Re the Cantonese issue, yes, people here speaks Cantonese, but Mandarin is being taught in school, so her Mandarin is still ok.

Re Lizs thank you, she is just quite lucky smile


kerelena Sat 02-Aug-14 16:52:21

Oh, by the way, i have heard someone saying that Brighton School issues a letter to leave if you are not performing good. Is that true?

LIZS Sat 02-Aug-14 17:03:51

I believe that is true but many selective schools weed out lesser academic performers and those who repeatedly seem uncommitted to working hard. I would have thought they wouldn't admit her into y10 without a strong sense that she would be ok. However make sure she is on course to achieve the minimum GCSE targets for 6th form entry otherwise you might have to move her again in 2 years' time.

yotty Sat 02-Aug-14 18:25:13

I agree full boarding is necessary. Your daughter may find that she is very happy to stay in school over the weekend, but by having family/friends not too far away it gives a bit of flexibility. She may occasionally like to spend some of Sunday with family.

summerends Sat 02-Aug-14 18:55:42

Kerelena is n't Canford a bit remote from your family base at Brighton (and a main airport)? Ditto Badminton. I personally would be more reassured to have family / guardian not too far away especially for the first couple of years.
I just wonder unless you have good reasons to limit yourself to the schools on your list whether it would not be worth considering other full(ish) boarding schools. Your daughter sounds able. Is this for entry in September? You definitely need a school with good EFL to enable her to progress more rapidly.

kerelena Sun 03-Aug-14 10:36:49

Re summerends, the entry is for Sept,2015 but the schools require applicants to hand in their application form 1 year early.
I actually have some other choices in mind too, eg. St Mary's School and St. Catherine's School. But money have to be paid first if we request an interview and they are quite expensive, so we decided to limit ourselves to these four schools first.

Re yotty, i agree with you too, it's better to have family and friends there, that feels much nicer.

Re LIZS, you are right. The result of GCSE does matters a lot to her future in the school. I hope she will reach her full potential and be independent.

summerends Sun 03-Aug-14 14:33:18

Kerelena sorry to keep asking questions but cannot you not fit a visit to the UK with or without your daughter at the the start of the next term, arrange several school visits and then register if you like them and they fit your criteria. I am sure that would be soon enough for all but the most oversubscribed for entry in September 2015. It would also give you an idea of transport times to airports and Brighton. If your DD is extremely independent and has more than just very superficial FB friends there then Canford sounds a good school for her. However if she might have some initial wobbles and you want easy access to your family then look within an hour and half transport radius from Brighton using something like the Good Schools Guide search facility.

kerelena Mon 04-Aug-14 07:10:49

Re summererends. Actually, i am really glad that you asked questions, hahasmile

To be honest, i really like your suggestion to go visit all the schools and check out the transportation arrangement while we travel back to UK. I will try to convince my dd and dh to spare sometime for it(they always CLAIM that they are busy....and lazy)

Now, i am going to use the Good Schools Guide search facility first. Thanks for suggesting.

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