Brighton College Boarding(8 Posts)
My DD seems very able and getting v high CAT scores, so I feel Brighton College might be a good school for her. She says she wants to be with bright children and be stretched but I'm a little concerned about how she'll react to being surrounded by equally bright kids. We have no option of day school so she would have to board but it looks like quite a minority that do. Furthermore there are fewer girls than boys. Does anyone have experience of boarding there, how they mingle with the day pupils, how many girls board, whether they're rather left out or have few friends to really choose between and what the pastoral care is like? Any reflections or anecdotes gratefully received.
I can't answer specific questions about Brighton but in general schools select pupils who they think will thrive and be academically suitable. I would not worry about that. Lots of boarding schools let students home for the weekends so check what Brighton expect. They will have lessons with day pupils but sometimes meals are taken in a boarding house and not all together in school. If you are worried about too few boarders, why do you not look at schools with a much higher proportion of boarders? Does it have to be Brighton?
No, it doesn't have to be Brighton. I have a few other schools on my list but those were my only worries about the school so just searching for data to get more of a sense of the place. Others on the list are Wellington, Wycombe Abbey and Benenden, which is my other favourite but possibly not as academic.
I think Brighton in Mon to Frid only which could be great if your able to pick your DD up on Frid evening and return Sun night Mon morning or if you've got good public transport links.
Al, will claim to have good pastoral care and at every school they be lots who agree and a handful who tell a different story. Intergrating/friendliness will very much depend on your DS's cohort, the staff, and let's not forget your DD herself. My DS did 11+ years of full boarding my advise is that if you want a boarding school with it offers choose one where boarders are in the majority. If you need/want full boarding choose a school where full boarders are in the majority (there are increasingly rare).
Lots of bright capable girls from DS's prep went to Benenden all did really well there, all say it's very "girly" but a really great school for those who would suit this ethos.
Benenden not as academic? Really? Until girls arrived at Wellington, plenty of people would have siad Wellington was not remotely academic and was populated by badly behaved boys. Schools change.
Sometimes choosing a school where your child fits in is far more important than the academic achievement of others. No school on your list will be unable to get the best out of your child but the co-ed schools will be different from the all girls' schools. With boys around, they just are! Small schools tend to have variable cohorts. Sometimes the odd genius turns up and sometimes they do not. Sometimes a group will get into Oxbridge, sometimes no-one. There are many very bright girls at Wycombe Abbey and this is a different environment from Benenden. I think rather than look at academic results, look at the ethos of the school, will your child fit in, what do they do at weekends, what activities would your DD enjoy and how would it fit into your life.
You are SO right bojorojo. Having looked at the latest Parent Power results they're all offering a high standard so it should be ONLY about what environment my DD would most flourish in.
The majority of boarders at Brighton weekly board, so they can go home Friday (or Saturday, if they have a match and prefer to go from school) and return on Sunday evening or Monday morning. About 30% of boarders full board. There are similar numbers of male and female boarders, but slightly more boy day pupils because of Brighton and hove high school.
Pastoral care is excellent
Old thread but I can give some insight as we have a DD who started at Brighton College last summer and weekly boards.
About thirty girls board per year (from a total of 80ish girls in the year) - dont know the precise figures. Girls seem to be about 40-45% of the total (my guess); presume there are other attractive girls schools around (seem to be quite a few on the hockey / netball circuit).
As you can probably tell, we don't know the area at all well as we are one of the London contingent (sizeable number) who have gone down the weekly boarding route. Other boarders are from the Sussex region and a small (1-2) number of Chinese etc (who fully board).
Our DD travels independently from central London (often meeting friends on the train either on a Monday am or a Sunday pm). Sport matches on a Saturday can involve staying over on the Friday or travelling down on the Saturday.
Boarding is well-organised with a rotation system in the choice of room-mates, and the house system works well (big fan of younger girls mixing with older ones in joint ventures etc).
DIscipline is based on mutual respect but there have been a surprising number of expulsions in older years (not something we have experienced in London day-schools).
Overall, our experience is good. The pupils seem well-balanced, polite and 'ordinary' (within a mono-cultural home counties population). The Headmaster is smooth, proactive, ambitious and fastidiously on-message. Quality of teaching seems to be good and the prep workload not especially onerous as compared to a couple of academic London day schools I could mention.
Communication and marketing is much superior to other schools we have gone through with weekly news letters running to 10-15 pages and the IT is impressive. Sport at the higher levels is impressive and can be nationally competitive. Music and drama are, I think, also satisfactory but TBH i have really got a feel for them yet.
One issue I would raise is that teacher recruitment may be problematic. If a gap arises mid-term, significant delays in identifying a replacement has arisen (? geographical limitations). Provisional GCSE choices were also requested remarkably early to allow planning for teacher numbers.
Academically, the standard is high and improving and notably the school is attracting better pupils (apparently this year has the highest CAT scores / MIDYIS).
Perhaps my most favoured impression is the sheer breadth of activities and events for the children. The opportunities are immense and day-pupils often stay well into the evenings from what I can gather.
Hope that helps
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