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Bedes School, Sussex

(4 Posts)
FfZzBbGg Thu 28-Sep-17 20:31:49

Does anyone have any info on this school? I keep hearing about the "unique" atmosphere/ approach, but nobody can tell me what this actually is.

I've also heard that the parents tend to be rich and in media / arts, is this correct?

Would the education on offer there better suit a DC needing a traditional structured environment or a self-motivated child who could organise themselves?

I heard that years ago the school had a very high % SEN. is this still the case?

I'd love to hear from any current parents.

Caddyshack Sun 01-Oct-17 22:42:20

I'm a new parent at Bede's - my son is a weekly boarder, so I don't know a lot of other parents yet. Those I've met are really lovely and welcoming.

As for what's unique about the school - and why we chose it... Bede's really cares about the individual pupil, and focuses on bringing out their strengths. The teachers focus on individual learning styles and needs, and figure out how to provide what students need to be success. And it seems like faculty and administrators are extremely good at tracking student performance across a wide range of indicators, which means the pupils don't fall through the cracks.

This also means that it's great for students with mild SEN, and those without. My son struggles with handwriting, so it's automatically assumed that he use a laptop in class, and submit his work electronically. All the prep is posted on line, which is incredibly helpful for students who might struggle with organisation. At the same time, I think this kind of approach to education benefits all pupils, not just those with SEN.

When I first looked at the school, I was worried because it has a reputation as a sporty school. My son enjoys physical activity but has no real affinity for football or cricket. No matter - he's found activities and sports that he really enjoys, and it's great. No pressure whatsoever to fit a certain mould.

It's only been a month, but I can already see my son's confidence growing by leaps and bounds. I know it's early days, but so far the school has exceeded my (high) expectations. I hope this is helpful at some level!

FfZzBbGg Thu 12-Oct-17 23:09:51

Thanks CaddyShack. All of that sounds really wonderful. Can you comment at all on what sort of personalities of children tend to go to Bedes?

I did ask in my OP and I’m not sure if you can answer this or not, but would you say the school would better suit a child who likes a structured disciplined environment or a child who is a self motivated learner with good organisational skills? I’ve heard the school has a reputation for being quite ‘hippy’, so I wondered if it was closer to the latter? Or is the hippy reputation untrue?

Any idea about the anti bullying ‘ pastoral side of things? I suppose it may be hard to judge after only a few weeks.

How is your DC finding the boarding? Are there big differences between houses? For example, some schools have the older moe prestigious houses and the more modern ones.

Last question, has your DC ever said if there is anything he would change about the school?

Caddyshack Tue 17-Oct-17 17:56:30

HI there! Since we are so new, I can only give my personal impressions based on our experience... I definitely don't think of Bede's as a "hippie" school, but I think it takes a very progressive view toward education, which is the main reason we chose it. By that, I mean that it is absolutely focused on the individual aspirations of each student, and tries to help them achieve them. That's why, when you ask if it suits a certain kind of learner more than another, I'd have to say no.

In our case, my son is organisationally challenged :-) but the school's intranet lets him access all his prep and important course materials - this has been fantastic. His teachers quickly picked up on his areas of academic strength and are very encouraging, which is great for his confidence (and leading to good results). His teachers are learning what makes him tick, and using that to get the best from him.

Plus, the school has a massive range of courses and activities to choose from, so there really is something for all. No joke, there are about 100 activities to choose from. There's a wide range of GCSEs, A levels and BTEC... Sport is very strong at the school (however, my DS is not sporty in a traditional sense, but it's not an issue at all). There is a very wide range of children with hugely divergent interests, but somehow it all seems to gel. I would add that the school can provide these opportunities because it is larger in size (750+ over 5 year groups) but the house system creates smaller communities within the larger one.

I assume that the various houses have their own culture, but I don't think one is more prestigious than another. They seem to create a real homely atmosphere. There are 5 boarding houses (3 boys, 2 girls), all but one were built in the last ten years, so they are very nice!!

Pastoral care is excellent. The faculty and prefects have done loads to be sure that the newer boys settle in to the house. On a year-level, the school takes all year 9 students off on a week-long outdoor adventure trip, very good for bonding. My son definitely has settled in well - no signs of bullying; if any should take place I have no doubt it would be dealt with effectively.

I guess that's it - my DS is really enjoying the school, and he thinks it's miles better than his previous one... so at this point I think he's just enjoying the experience! I definitely recommend you go see it for yourself to see what you think...

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