Help me find a school for DS for 13+ entry - complicated and suddenly urgent!(12 Posts)
I'm hoping for some help narrowing down potential schools for DS to apply for. I thought we had another year to figure this out, but have seen that a number of schools require an application for 13+ entry by the end of year 5 (i.e. in a few weeks....)
Our situation is that we are currently living overseas, expecting to return at some point in the year before DS would join a school at 13 / year 9. He went most of the way through the UK primary school system, but for the last year - and the next few years - he has been at school in the US (one of the top performing areas, but different curriculum)
He is bright and has taken part in various extension / G&T schemes, and does well at exams and interviews. He isn't a genius, though, and probably wouldn't get an academic scholarship. Similarly, he is sporty and a good all rounder, but being out of the U.K. means his cricket and rugby skills have stagnated, so no sports scholarship - though it will be important that he goes somewhere with great sporting opportunities.
Location wise, London, Herts, Surrey, Sussex and the midlands are all possible. We would prefer a day school with the option of boarding later on, rather than somewhere like Charterhouse that would seem to strongly prefer boarding only. Anywhere that only takes from their prep school is also out, as we won't be there.
So please help with suggestions! There are so many schools I'm struggling to whittle the options down so I can get on with the application process (I'm thinking we will need to apply to 3-4 schools to get in the system, and next time we come back we can do some visits and make decisions then)
Bumping to say that we would prefer co-ed, but boys only is ok. No family connections to any schools; no siblings to take into account either
Olennas just to help you whittle down the options consider what sporting opportunities he would like. For example in the summer he may prefer a school that has strong coaching for tennis or athletics rather than a school that considers these very much as minor sports compared to cricket. Similarly if he wants to play football rather than rugby in the winter or wants a school that he can play all squash all year round.
What about Abingdon? Primarily day but does have boarding, academic and very good sports programme.
What about Bromsgrove? They have mix of day and boarding and strong international links. I don't believe you need to register too far in advance. Rated as one of the top sports schools in the country.
You could look at Oundle, Kings Canterbury or Wellington are all within reach of your location criteria and accept day children too.
Sevenoaks. Commutable from London, IB curriculum, day and boarding. Co-ed, good combination of highly academic, sporty and arts.
Shrewsbury school if you go to the Midlands
It sounds like The Leys in Cambridge is a close match for what you want.
It depends so much where you want to be based. If London you could look at Dulwich and Whitgift. North London less academic Mill Hill. Herts Hailebury. Surrey /Sussex Hurst, Ardingley, Reeds, Brighton College.
Are you looking for a big name? Do you want everyone to start at 13? Quite a few schools have a 11+ and 13+ entry.
Merchant Taylors in Northwood has a later application deadline so you could have that as a reserve.
Thank you for all these responses!
Sports-wise, I would previously have said cricket was essential, but genuinely no idea what DS will be like on that from when we return... I think it's more important that sport (and competition) is prominent in the school more than necessarily particular disciplines, IYSWIM
Not fussed about 11+ vs 13+ entry, provided it is realistic to look at 13+ , that is they take more than a handful of "top up" new students
Interested in "big names", provided they are a genuine good fit for DS. I've read in previous threads on here about how many of them have a particular character that appears to some boys more than others. Without the benefit of being able to go on tours to get a sense of that ourselves, any insight is very much appreciated.
Brighton College is definitely one to look at. I'm a student in the Upper Sixth but when I joined at 13+ there were quite a few new additions to the year from all over the world who weren't previously on the roll as a few students do drop out after the first half term.
Excellent sport, best in Sussex and Hampshire for almost everything, and now competing on the London circuit.
A lot of people do start as day pupils and then move to one of the boarding houses. I'm a boarder from Surrey at the moment and my housemaster is great.
Very very well regarded on the Russell Group and Oxbridge front, 39 places this year at Oxbridge which is one of the highest in the country (we were better than Harrow last year). High attainment at GCSE and A-Level but you don't necessarily have to be a high-flyer to begin with.
School is supportive and teachers go above and beyond to ensure that everyone achieves their potential. This is not through hot housing but by working with students to find the methods of learning that work for them.
If you have any questions about College life you can ask me here or if you want to know more about admissions phone the school and talk to one of the lovely ladies in the office, they will be more than happy to help.
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