Boarding - Barnard Castle School or Durham School?(9 Posts)
We are an expat family and planning to move back to the UK for the kid's secondary education.
Our son will be joining one of the two schools for the 2.term of Year 9 as a full boarder for two terms, then as a weekly/full boarder in Year 10.
He is a B/C Student and he is sporty.
We are looking for good pastoral care , good academics(but not too competitive), many extra-curricular activities.
Can't decide which school though!
The Durham School has an excellent rep for pastoral care. I've spent a couple of days there for training/teachmeets and was really impressed by the students - they seemed lovely, happy, thoughtful people. The staff were the same.
Can't comment on Barnard Castle as have never been there.
Barney school has been attended by many of my family. Good for academic stuff and sport is encouraged. Back in the 1980s there we're more boarders than day boys. However, now a good mix of day and boarding and it is firmly co ed. Lovely location on the outskirts of town. Also, it's not too pretentious if you know what I mean.
As a parent of a boy at Barnard Castle School I can highly recommend it. The academic and sports facilities are excellent (Tanni Grey-Thompson's daughter goes there!). They've just opened a brand new dedicated sixth form centre as well. I don't have direct experience of boarding but it certainly has a good reputation and was highly praised by inspectors. You can also do flexi boarding, which I know working parents find really useful. The most important thing for me though is that my son is very happy there, as all the pupils seem to be, and there's a really good family atmosphere with parents involved in all sorts of events. It's such a lovely place to be. I'd suggest you go and have a look round if you can then you can get a better idea of the feel-good factor there.
I went to Barney School (boarding and day pupil) and loved it and would recommend a look round or a taster day if possible to get the flavour of the school. I remember the thing that struck me most when I started there is that the teachers actually seemed to like teaching and like children - sadly not the case in my previous school!
There are lots of extracurricular activities on offer, and all the teaching staff seem to run a club or two that directly reflect their interests hence they are passionate about their clubs or trips away.
One thing I was most impressed by, in hindsight, is that the school is split into houses, and there are many many house competitions over the school year, so even if you aren't madly interested in singing, debating, hockey, rugby, cake decorating, running etc you get swept up in the competitions and end up trying out lots of different things and having an enormous amount of fun.
I would go for Barnard castle over Durham school - better all round reputation.
I would firmly recommend Barneys pastoral care as second to none (as picked up in the recent inspection). The pride and enjoyment the pupils have in their school is palpable. And new pupils are very quickly and easily accepted and absorbed into their cohort. It's a beautiful site as a pp has said too. Definitely worth a visit so you can get a feel for the place for yourself.
My nephew went to Barney. Great for rugby and also had additional help with learning difficulties
Hi, I have 3 boys at Barney School (ages 16, 12 & 5) Both of the older boys have boarded full time for a term as a temporary measure and have also been one off boarders on numerous occasions. All 3 boys love the school and are all very different. My eldest has learning difficulties and the support from the school has been briliant, in comparison to his previous school in South Wales. The school has also been fantastic in their support through a fairly acrimonious divorce, their focus was on supporting the boys throughout. The pastoral care is second to none. I hope whichever school that you choose is the right one for you x
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