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Coed Boarding 11+

(39 Posts)
plainsailing123 Mon 23-Mar-15 19:09:08

We're looking for a co-educational school with good boarding for our eldest D, starting 11+. She's in a state primary at the moment, and we don't want to put her into prep if we can avoid it. She's probably upper-middle in ability (we've moved a lot, though, so find it hard to tell - she finds maths hard, English easy, but can lack confidence). She's really into drama and singing. I guess what we most want is a rounded school, which will be supportive, but still with some aspiration.

So far we're looking at:
- Dauntsey's, Devizes (near family)
- Sevenoaks
- Leighton Park, Reading
- Lord Wandsworth

Any experience of these, or suggestions? Thanks smile

summerends Mon 23-Mar-15 19:26:06

Lots of girls' boarding schools start at 11 but not very many co-ed boarding schools. Do you need full boarding because that may influence your choice?
Sevenoaks is the most academic of that choice.
Your other alternative to widen choice would be to go for a prep which is a major feeder for the senior school so that although she would be changing schools she would be moving up with already established friends. She would have the advantage of a gentler more cosy introduction to boarding

plainsailing123 Mon 23-Mar-15 19:32:28

Hi Summer, thanks for replying. Full v weekly boarding is difficult. We're in the UK right now, so want the option of weekly. But we will be in overseas soon enough, so full boarding needs to be possible. I guess overall really good weekly, and 5+ people doing full, would be okay.

Prep: we're nervous of doing that as we've put her through too many schools already, and breaking into established friendship groups can be hard. But if you had a cracking suggestion (we've wondered about Mill Hill).

mummytime Mon 23-Mar-15 19:42:21

I thought Frensham Heights with the Drama?

Almostnever Mon 23-Mar-15 19:45:35

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

DragonRojo Mon 23-Mar-15 19:45:38

Very good experience with LP so far, but my son doesn't board. There are a few boarding girls in Y7 and they all look happy. Feel free to PM me if you wish

plainsailing123 Mon 23-Mar-15 19:47:16

Oh, good one. Just looking at Frensham now. The drama might be a little bit of a red herring though. She loves it, but it's not a vocation yet! I think the main thing is a school willing to be a little nurturing: she's come through a journey already (we moved back from Sweden when she was in Y3, with her having had a great time painting and playing in the woods, but not much national curriculum / spelling tests etc!)

summerends Mon 23-Mar-15 19:48:49

Oundle school take at 11 but that is east rather than west. Rugby school has Bilton Grange as a major feeder. Lots from the large preps such as Cheam or the Dragon in Oxford (pricey) go to coed schools such as Marlborough or St Edwards.
Clifton College in Bristol has a major feeder prep.
If your DD is academic enough and is likely to fit IB then Sevenoaks is a good fit. Oundle is probably the next most academic for entrance.

summerends Mon 23-Mar-15 20:18:26

Sorry just to add Brighton College as another 11+ option (if she is bright enough to have a go at Sevenoaks)

michaelrB Mon 23-Mar-15 20:24:26

Also have a look at Ashford school in Kent. Good music, drama and described as exceptionall creative by ISI.

karmagetsyou Mon 23-Mar-15 20:25:51

Hurst Lodge - Ascot for Drama/Singing

plainsailing123 Mon 23-Mar-15 20:41:15

I don't think we knew Sevenoaks was v academic (we've no background in private education, let alone boarding - and it's hard to tell through all the marketing). Brighton College certainly looked too academic, and we weren't sure Oundle would be nurturing enough.

LIZS Mon 23-Mar-15 20:43:47

Sevenoaks is easily as academic as Brighton, if not more so. Epsom is going to take 11+ soon.

MsMargaretHale Mon 23-Mar-15 20:49:32

Have you thought about Junior Kings Canterbury? Full or weekly boarding and lots arrive in Year 7 so no need to worry about breaking into established friendship groups. Lots of full and weekly boarders. If they accept you at y7 you usually get an automatic place at Senior Kings. If they do not think you will be up to it they will tell you and advise on an alternative.
Sevenoaks does not have many y7/y8 boarders - I think there are only about 10 girls and they usually go home at the weekend, so would not be my first choice if you are looking for full boarding. Very different at 13.
Brighton College does not take y7/y8 boarders. You have to go to Handcross and transfer in at 13. Handcross has only a handful of full boarders.
Windlesham House is full boarding, has a big 11+ intake and will advise on future schools...but you won't get the continuity.

jo164 Mon 23-Mar-15 20:50:17

Don't think anyone has mentioned Oakham school yet. It has a good mix of day and boarding, and most boarding pupils stay in at weekends which would be good if you move overseas. They do have expats but can stay with friends or family. A good 'all rounder' in my opinion, for academics, sport, drama, music etc.

jo164 Mon 23-Mar-15 20:51:58

Sorry autocorrect, 'exeats' not expats.

summerends Mon 23-Mar-15 21:23:32

Kings Junior is a good idea as Kings Canterbury would be one of the best senior co ed options that fits a range of pupils.

plainsailing123 Mon 23-Mar-15 21:54:04

Lots of helpful messages. I must admit it's a bit daunting. So many to choose from, with really even our visits helping us to knock a few off the list. We had firmly thought 'no prep', as we didn't want to add another school. Think I will read up on Frensham and Oakham.

Does anyone have experience of Leighton Park? It's Quaker, and very much not a hot-house (I saw a previous threat describe it as hippy) but we quite liked the vibe.

mummytime Mon 23-Mar-15 22:47:27

I liked Leighton Park, but I'm not sure how much boarding it does? (I think my BIL went there a long long time ago.)

balletgirlmum Mon 23-Mar-15 22:54:37

The Hammond School in Chester has a specialist drama strand & the singing is also very strong.

It's co-ed & a small school.

Dustylaw Tue 24-Mar-15 00:19:13

Have a look at The Leys in Cambridge. There is a junior entry at 11+ which includes a separate boarding house (with very homely feel). Main entry at 13+.

Sycamoretrees Tue 24-Mar-15 00:37:55

Have you considered a state boarding school like The Royal Alexander and Albert in Reigate, Surrey?

Stealthsquiggle Tue 24-Mar-15 01:04:20

My DB went to Leighton Park, back in the dark ages. Unless it has changed it has a very strong Quaker ethos, in a good way - very good at treating each child as an individual and acting accordingly. Definitely worth considering but I would look carefully at the proportion of full boarders IIWY.

Pepperpot69 Tue 24-Mar-15 08:02:50

OP you mention that Oundle might not be 'nurturing' but it has a house especially for 11+ entry with a Dame instead of a Housemaster. All the children starting at the same age so level playing field for all and moving in to the senior school together. With good road & rail networks it may be worth re-considering. Excellent theatre and drama too!

Pepperpot69 Tue 24-Mar-15 08:06:52 - sorry Housemistress not a Dame!

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