Boarding at age 14(13 Posts)
I want to go to a boarding school (prob Cheltenham Ladies College) at age 14 but parents are unsure. I'm quite an introvert and they worry I would struggle socially. (That is why I left my last school) Any advice? Also does anyone have any experience with CLC in particular, especially St Margarets boarding house at CLC. All comments appreciated
Boarding is rather a strain for the introverted. There's almost no time alone unless you have your own room at school.
What are your specific reasons in favour of boarding and in favour of this particular school?
To be honest, I chose this school because it is the only boarding school within 2 hours from my home that still had spaces for September (I have been accepted into the school and have been given the choice of boarding or day). I want to board, because only 20% of the school is day girls, so only about 20 girls in my class are day. Day girls are typically friends with day girls (I know having been at a day girl at a boarding school) and as a total introvert I don't like my chances of finding close friends out of a group of 20. I much prefer my chances of finding a close friend in a group of 80. Also, since the school is 30mins away, that is 2hours journey away, which is time I should be using for preparation for GCSEs. If I board, there are study rooms in each boarding house so I would have more time for work.
That said, I really don't know if I could cope in a boarding environment - constantly surrounded by other girls.
I personally think you should just go for it as a boarder. It seems like I have a similar personality to you so I know how this feels, and I am also moving to a boarding school where I will board for the first time. The chances are that in larger schools, like CLC, there will be loads of people to mix with who all have different backgrounds and are from many different countries, so you are bound to find at least a few who you will become close with. It is also one of the most academic girls schools so you will be in a mostly positive environment with people who want to achieve their best, which will hopefully motivate you to do likewise. Boarding is a great opportunity for people who aren't so confident to begin with, as they will gradually learn to be around people all the time and they will make a lot of friends. There is a reason why schools like Wycombe, St Swithun's and CLC are the top girls schools in the country because they are mostly boarding which clearly has a positive effect on their results.
Can your parents afford the (minimum) of £34k a year for the next 5 years for you to board? Or are they trying to put you off without telling you that they cannot afford it / don't want to spend £170,000 on this...
There are always places to get peace and quiet at boarding schools, with the exception of just before bedtime. I went to a different boarding school but know CLC and it wasn't much different.
It will depend on the school ethos and how much they might force joining in - if you just want to study, might as well be travelling or at home and save £15k a year?
Thank you so much purpleday and everyone else. This is really informative and helpful.
Without meaning to sound snooty, money isn't really an issue. And I would only be spending two years at CLC (planning on going to a school in Wales for sixth form).
I think I probably will board, or at least make it clear to my parents that I wish to. I am pretty scared about fitting in, and know that I probably will be pretty worn out the first few weeks, but I believe it is worth the extra money.
Finally, does anyone know someone who has information about the St Margarets boarding house - that is the house I would join, but I have pretty much NO information on it.
I applied to CLC last year for sixth form entry so I only know about the sixth form houses but I think there are details of the houses on their school website
Have you seen the school and had a tour? If it's not too late then you could look around the house and other aspects of the school.
I have had a tour of some of the school, but it seems to be under quite heavy construction and a lot of parts are shut off. In terms of visiting the boarding house, I will have the opportunity to do so in early September, but that will be IF I decide to board there - it is pretty much a blind decision on my part. The CLC website gives absolutely no information on the house I would join, (other than mentioning who the house mistress is) and I can't find any pictures of the dorms online.
Lorna CLC like many other boarding schools have a lot of structured activities during weekends etc for your age group. That can be a bit wearisome if you need time-out on your own but is good for cohesion and opportunities for feeling part of a group. Since you have an opt out to go back to day I think starting boarding is a good idea to widen your opportunities for friendships.
Academic work and results are of course important and you sound very motivated and mature. However you will be happier in any new school and life generally if you invest sufficient time to getting to know people. I would suggest that if you are introverted and find it difficult making friends telling people that you are definitely going to move again in two years may not be helpful as it may sound as though you do not care about making longer term friendships. By all means apply to other sixth forms to keep options open, other girls will also especially those from London for co-ed schools like Westminster. However if you are introverted good friendships may take time to build and moving again just for academic reasons reduces the chances of those happening.
Forgot to say that from friends with daughters at CLC one of whom was at St Margarets, it is a popular house. It is the furthest from the main school but near the sports centre and tennis courts. I am afraid that I don't know more details but it sounded as though they were happy with the accommodation (--and they were quite fussy--)
Thanks for the info and advice sendsummer.
Having taken these points to my mother, I think she may be coming round to the idea of me boarding, and I'm going to FaceTime my dad some time today to explain it all to him.
Hello I was wondering what you decided in the end. If you chose to go there, how are you finding it atm?
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