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Choosing a boarding school for daughter

(10 Posts)
lesliexanita Mon 22-Aug-16 15:46:41

Hi, I am new here and I am a parent from Hong Kong. My daughter will start attending boarding school in 2017 Sep. She will be 15 then, which means the year group should be year 11. But then most schools don't have entry at 15+ or year 11, so I think she should apply for year 10 14+ or year 12 16+? My daughter wants to skip a grade to year 12, but I don't think it will be good for her. Any opinions? She does not want to repeat a grade.
Ok back to the main topic. I have applied for some girls schools, but it seems that my daughter prefers coed. We have applied for roedean, badminton and woldingham. We are now thinking of applying to kings school Canterbury and kingswood school, as my daughter wants coed. I think it may be because she is not very happy at her current school, which is girls school, so she wants to try coed. This is also why she wants to go to change and go to boarding school, as she does not like her current school. Any opinions on the schools I mentioned?
Also, I have heard that some very exclusive boarding schools are like a bubble. I don't want her to attend schools like this. I want her to attend a school which better prepares her for real life and is not too soft on her. Of course I want her to be happy at the boarding school, but I don't want her to be too comfortable and pampered and spoiled as this is not good preparation for real life. Any recommendations for schools like this?
Lastly, I am a bit worried about the problem of bullying. Is bullying common at boarding schools? Does anyone have experiences with this?
Thank you in advance for all your help.

lesliexanita Mon 22-Aug-16 16:10:14

PS. If it is of any help, my daughter enjoys performing art like dance, drama and singing. Her personality is quite strong and stubborn and she likes to 'be herself'. Right now she is attending a very traditional and academic private girls school. She hates it because she says all the girls there are 'fake and bitchy' she doesn't like the atmosphere at all. But it is supposed to be a very good school.
Also, I saw from some schools that you can go in in Jan 2017 instead of Sep 2017. Is it possible? My daughter says she wants to change schools 'as soon as possible' but I am not sure if it is good to go in Jan 2017.

Thank you and sorry for so many questions!

Noitsnotteatimeyet Mon 22-Aug-16 17:00:06

I don't know much about boarding but I'm sure other people can help with those aspects

However year 11 is complete the wrong time to change schools as all the pupils will be more than halfway through their GCSE courses and there's no way your daughter would be able to catch up. It would also be a tricky time socially as most schools have intakes at Y7,9 and 12 - integrating into established social groups at the start of Y11 would be tough.

What curriculum has she been following so far and what are her plans for when she leaves? If she's thinking of a university in the UK she'll need GCSEs or equivalent.

I suspect most private schools would want her to go into Y10 so she could start GCSE courses alongside a group of peers.

As far as being in a bubble is concerned, boarding schools are not going to have a particularly diverse intake as such a tiny percentage of the population can afford the eye-watering fees to go there

mary21 Mon 22-Aug-16 17:45:59

I believe Mill Hill International does a one year GCSE course. Agree starting in year 11 is difficult. Most schools may have admin staff in this week. Outside of big name schools you may find vaccancies for September.2016 for boarding.Kings wood is worth a try as they get quite a lot of army children. West Buckland may also be worth a look but along way from an airport

mary21 Mon 22-Aug-16 18:49:45

Arid let might also take pupils in year11 if you are set on sept 2017

mary21 Mon 22-Aug-16 18:51:25

That should read Ardinley

Avebury Tue 23-Aug-16 22:14:54

What about Harrow in Hong Kong? If she is set on coming to the UK you probably want to find a full boarding school that doesn't empty out at weekends.

dotdotdotmustdash Wed 24-Aug-16 23:42:04

Have you considered any of the Scottish Boarding Schools? There are some amazing schools.

lesliexanita Thu 25-Aug-16 13:06:45

Thank you for all your replies. @dotdotdotmustdash, I don't think we would consider schools in Scotland, as our guardian is in London and we would prefer the school to be somewhat in the south, or close to an airport. @mary21, I don't think I've heard of ardinley yet. Do you mean ardingly? I will check it out. Is it an academic school? @avebury, I think that coming to UK would be a very good experience for her, and help her learn English. So I guess we are set on UK. @noitsnotteatimeyet, she has been following the HK curriculum which is different from the UK system, 6 years secondary school and 4 years uni, with the DSE exam in form 6, kind of like a levels before. I applied for year 10 for all schools, but one school in particular thought she was applying for year 12! So that got me thinking, I am kind of doubting but is this a good alternative choice if she's bright? Or will it be way too hard to cope? Sorry as I don't know the system well, have you got any other opinions? hmm

CaptainMax Thu 25-Aug-16 18:15:25

A few years ago, a couple of students that I had taught up until the age of 16 opted for a uk boarding school.
They chose this one:

They thoroughly enjoyed the enriching experience and maintained their excellent academic achievements.

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