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Choose among Shrewsbury, Uppingham, St Mary Calne, Dauntsey

(14 Posts)
silvermoonlight Sat 11-Mar-17 13:35:55

We are looking for boarding school for DD 13+. Currently overseas so location might not be an issue. Our criterias including: strong academic; full boarding with lots of boarders at school over weekend; good in visual art would be a plus. either Co-ed or girl is fine as we have no preference.

Would like to have any comments regarding the above schools. Or any other school recommendations.

paperbattles Sat 11-Mar-17 15:09:58

Depends what you want - Uppingham and Shrewsbury are well known public schools with all the facilities and are mixed, whereas St Mary's Calne is clearly much smaller, girls only and more academic/exam focussed. They are all very good schools (Sorry I don't know much about Dauntsey - it's not so well known). There are pros and cons for both - you need to decide between co-ed and single sex as they are very different experiences.
A top prep school head said to me recently that he was super impressed with the full boarding experience at Uppingham (as opposed to some other schools). It's more rounded than an academic hothouse, but if your daughter is academic any of the top schools should focus her achievements anyway. They should all have fabulous art departments and opportunities for creative development.
If you visit the schools you will see the differences and your DD will get the feel for single sex or not. School communities differ at boarding school depending on the houses and housemaster/mistresses, eat in houses or big hall, values of the school. Uppingham is well known for music as well as sport; Shrewsbury known for sport. Obviously being mixed sport is fundamental to the ethos and free time of the pupils. St Mary's Calne is very highly regarded for music and sport for single sex, but the experience of school will be very different. You need to think about your DD and what she and you want.

happygardening Sat 11-Mar-17 18:45:28

I work with a women who's DC goes to Dauntsey she talks very highly of it but full boarders are definitely very much in the minority so I personally wouldn't do it if you're looking for full boarding which I'm assuming you are.
Kings Canterbury (which has an annual arts festival week least it used too) , Marlborough and St Edwards Oxford all offer only full boarding (the majority) with a small(ish) number of day pupils.
All are known to be strong in the visual arts. Kings and St Edwards have a good mix of UK and international students. Marlborough (which is very subscribed) pre test in yr 6, has less international students. I don't think St Edwards or Kings pre test.

silvermoonlight Sun 12-Mar-17 08:38:53

Lots of information here. Thank you very much. DD prefers Coed but we will decide on that after school visit. Shrewsbury and Uppingham are quite similar in terms of academic results. Both are full boarding offering lots of activities. Hard to tell difference. I heard that Shrewsbury may not be able to attract as good pupils as other schools due to distance. Dauntsey seems quite well known in the local area. I didn't see any negative comments. St Mary Calne has the best exam results among these, but previous threads suggested that there are many young state teachers there.

silvermoonlight Sun 12-Mar-17 08:39:03

Lots of information here. Thank you very much. DD prefers Coed but we will decide on that after school visit. Shrewsbury and Uppingham are quite similar in terms of academic results. Both are full boarding offering lots of activities. Hard to tell difference. I heard that Shrewsbury may not be able to attract as good pupils as other schools due to distance. Dauntsey seems quite well known in the local area. I didn't see any negative comments. St Mary Calne has the best exam results among these, but previous threads suggested that there are many young state teachers there.

silvermoonlight Sun 12-Mar-17 08:39:03

Lots of information here. Thank you very much. DD prefers Coed but we will decide on that after school visit. Shrewsbury and Uppingham are quite similar in terms of academic results. Both are full boarding offering lots of activities. Hard to tell difference. I heard that Shrewsbury may not be able to attract as good pupils as other schools due to distance. Dauntsey seems quite well known in the local area. I didn't see any negative comments. St Mary Calne has the best exam results among these, but previous threads suggested that there are many young state teachers there.

SpikeStoker Sun 12-Mar-17 08:50:56

I'm wondering, given the named schools here, whether you've considered Rugby School. It as been co-ed for ages with an almost 50/50 split if boys and girls whereas Shrewsbury is still in transition to full co-ed. Transport links for Rugby are also excellent. It is proper full boarding with plenty to do at weekends and a real feel of a school flexing it's academic muscles about it. Might be worth a look.

silvermoonlight Sun 12-Mar-17 10:19:26

Thanks SpikeStoker. Will definitely add Rugby into our list.

SpikeStoker Sun 12-Mar-17 13:18:29

While you are at it check out Cheltenham Ladies' College. Also full boarding, but with a healthy mix of day girls. Large entry at 13+ and "not as posh as everyone thinks" (my DD). Good luck.

Dancingdreamer Sun 12-Mar-17 15:51:54

If you are looking at St Mary Calne I would definitely look at Marlborough at the same time. Marlborough is more international than it looks. It doesn't have vast numbers of Chinese or Russian students like some other schools however there are loads of nationalities there. My DD has friends from all over the world. Have 3 of them here for exeat this weekend!

Also second Rugby. I have heard loads of positive feedback from those who have DC there.

silvermoonlight Sun 12-Mar-17 21:16:04

Thanks Dancingdreamer. I didn't think of that. Good reminder. Do you mean that St Mary Calne has many Chinese and Russian students?

Dancingdreamer Sun 12-Mar-17 22:06:30

I dont know personally about Mary Calne (I will find out as my DD's friend was there) but Malvern certainly had a largish Russian and Chinese community. Malvern also suffers from being hard to reach from the South East so fills up with lots of forces children and international children. In a good school the children of all nationalities will be well integrated and in a few weeks no one will actually remember where they all come from.

Suki2 Mon 13-Mar-17 06:02:24

I"d highly recommend Shrewsbury. DS is in his second year there and he loves it. The school attracts pupils come from all over the country (and some; I think 10-15% from overseas). The school puts on a fleet of coaches at coach weekends and end of term/ half terms to cater for distance. We needed full boarding as we are a British family living overseas; we didn't want DS to feel left out at a school where everyone clears out at the weekends.

The school is large so is able to cater for all interests, whether it be visual arts, academics, music, sport...it has a busy productive atmosphere and the ex pupils I've met have all been extremely positive about it. DS is academic and sporty; the school caters for his needs 100%. The academic standards are higher than any school I've seen abroad, presenting DS with some welcome challenges. You must go to visit!

EdithWeston Mon 13-Mar-17 06:23:23

If you are going to look at Uppingham, see if you can visit Oakham too, as the schools are close to each other (easy to compare two, without taking up too much time).

Oakham has a mix of day and boarding, but enough if a boarding community (including those who stay for the weekend) for it to work. It's a lovely, rounded school.

I know one family with DC at Dauntseys and they are very happy with it.

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