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Boarding at sixth form after being at a day school...how have your DC found it?

(8 Posts)
cathyandclaire Tue 02-Dec-14 08:34:43

DD was keen to board at sixth form. Now after exams she has confirmed places, Rugby being the favourite I think. However now that it is coming to crunch time, she is having a bit of a wibble about losing her freedom, missing her friends, not being able to go to parties at the weekend sadly nothing about missing her lovely Mum or any focus on academic pursuits

I'm trying not to persuade her either way, I will miss her horribly and selfishly would like her to stay but can see that this could be great for her. DD1 is in upper sixth and stayed at the day school and feels frustrated and bored there (although doing well, lovely friends etc), I think she wishes she had moved.

So, lovely MNers did your DC love it or feel frustrated by the regimentation or go bonkers away from home and fail their A-levels?

Leeds2 Tue 02-Dec-14 18:46:29

My DD loves it, although she stayed at the school she had been a day pupil at and is a weekly boarder, so home every Friday evening and back Monday morning. She loves being busy doing school things in the evening that she wouldn't otherwise have been able to participate in, and also not having to get a bus to and from school every day. That said, if she had to stay in school at the weekend, I don't think she would've done it.

Bonsoir Tue 02-Dec-14 19:38:19

Not an answer to the OP exactly, but we looked into sixth-form boarding for DSS2 in a serious way and DP, DP's exW and I were all quite keen, based on DSS1's experience of day school. However DSS2 didn't want to go and moved in FT with us instead (so definite change of his circumstances). With the benefit of hindsight I am really glad DSS2 didn't go to boarding school.

summerends Tue 02-Dec-14 20:57:36

Cathy we had a similar dilemma I suggest you ask Rugby to allow your daughter to stay a Friday night /Saturday next term. That will give her more of an insight into what it is like and how friendly the girls in her potential house are.

cathyandclaire Tue 02-Dec-14 21:03:29

Thanks all, Summer that's a great idea. She really loves the idea of going but loves her friends and freedom too. What did your DC decide in the end?

summerends Tue 02-Dec-14 21:12:53

I'll pm you.

celestialsquirrels Tue 02-Dec-14 22:18:13

My dd has just started boarding at Rugby in sixth form this year. Previous at all girls day school. She loves it - has really flourished, grown up a lot, is working really hard (and likes the structured day which has helped her with that), getting good marks, enjoys the co-ed social life, has made great friends. It has been entirely positive so far I must say. She had about 3 or 4 days of initial homesickness and now our problem is getting her to return our texts and phone calls... We have had to threaten her with dire consequences if she doesn't contact us in some meaningful way once a week!

happygardening Tue 02-Dec-14 23:05:17

I think a lot depends on your DD's personality. Is she a party animal? Does she hate rules and loves her own freedom to come and go as she pleases wear what she wants, do what she wants? Does she make friends easily? How good a friend are the current friends? How far from Rugby are you can she come home on Sunday and see them.
Boarding by it's very nature is going to have rules probably more than she has at home. How else can you organise a house of 60 different personalities? I've absolutely no idea how liberal or not Rugby is, and one mans fair and sensible is another mans strict and petty. What sort of parents are you? We're slack, crap liberal rule breakers so don't impose many rules on our children so we and our DC's would hate endless rules but you might feel different. We know a big name school which in my view is petty and strict definitely not suitable for us as family but very popular with others. Try and get a feel for a Rugby.
Most boarding schools let U6th go to the pub on Saturday and many have an in school drinking arrangement for L6th, often a place where the year group can get together, house dinners/parties etc at many schools occur termly at least. But unless you're exceedingly strict still not the freedom she might be used to or was expecting at this age if she'd not boarded.
I also think it can be hard sometimes to break into an existing group of girls, or boys for that matter, in a boarding house especially if they've been together for the last three years. Of course a lot depends on your DD, how friendly she is, how many new boarders start in the 6th form in the house she going into and also how collegiate the school is. I suspect it's much harder when it's very collegiate.
I think most boarders and their patents will tell you it's about the balance between the good and the bad, whilst the scales are tipping in favour of the good things about boarding then the less good things are cancelled out. But when the bad things are tipping the scales then your DC and you are going to be unhappy.
Weigh up the pros and cons: your going to miss her and she's going to miss you and her friends but she can choose A levels she can't do at get currents school, get better sporting opportunities or play in a better orchestra, you know the sort of thing if yes will this make it worth boarding for?

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