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Scottish boarding schools?(19 Posts)
DHs job is moving to England in the next few years so I'm looking for a boarding school for DD, starting sixth form/S5 in 2019 hopefully! Our family are mainly in the central belt but I think from most places in Scotland DD could take public transport home for exeats etc? I don't have much experience in boarding at all but sixth form seems a good point to board imo.
DD is mainly academic, predicted mostly As and a few Bs. We don't have a preference for highers or A levels really, we have experience of both systems. She is also musical, plays violin and sings, loves drama too! Not especially sporty, but will give it a go and doesn't mind playing, just not first team level in typical hockey, lacrosse etc.
We have visits lined up for some schools, but inside information or recommendations are really helpful!
Fettes and Loretto are ruled out on DDs behalf, and she isn't sure about all girls so guidance on that would also be really appreciated! Thank you so much for any help!
A friend of ds went to Gordonston. She really likes it.
A friends son is at Lathallan and really happy. He went for the sport opportunities though.
Dollar Academy - co-ed, day + boarding, loads of space, quite sporty/outdoorsy but not excessively so, looks like good drama & music. Ethos is very much about trying things and getting involved. Location good for central belt.
(We've recently joined at top of primary, but secondary looks good.)
I really like the look of Lathallan, Ive arranged a visit! Dollar also looks great, good location and it seems really friendly, quite a small number of boarders compared to the size of the school though.
I wasn't so sure about gordonstoun just because of all the outdoor activity, they play sport every day and I don't know how DD would feel about that!
St George's is meant to be very good, I haven't heard much about the boarding though I think it's quite small?
That's true re Dollar - though boarders are mostly top end of school so maybe works out higher ‰ boarders in top years.
If you are going for a school that is mixed day and boarding v full boarding you need to find out how many pupils stay at weekends etc if that is what your DD will be doing.
Can be depressing if only a few rattling round at weekends-mostly overseas students.
Schools tend to over exaggerate the full boarders in these cases-ask how many stayed in the last weekend...
if she doesn't want Fettes or Loretto (neither did my daughter funnily enough) I wouldn't consider Gourdounstoun or St. Leonards (in St Andrews) either as they would both be a complete pain to get down south from in my opinion. We have done it the other way round (son went to boarding school in London whilst we live in The Central Belt) and exeats are so short and the travel become onerous. Wouldn't consider any of the other schools in Edinburgh as they are without a doubt primarily day schools so she could find she has none of her friends at weekends and in the evening (can be quite depressing and isolating). That only really leaves boarding in Perthshire. I wouldn't do Dollar for the same reason as the Edinburgh day schools, far too few boarders. There is Kilgraston (all girls), very small all through school, not sure I'd want it as a 6th form experience for my daughter although I like the headmistress, she seems a very capable sort! There is Strathallan, Lathallan and Glenalmond. I know nothing about Lathallan but have been to Strathallan and daughter has friends who attend and like it very much. Our impression was a good all round perhaps leaning more to the sporty type of school. Our daughter chose Glenalmond. It has a large proportion of boarders to day, is co-ed, is a good all rounder school but they cater well for the academics in the school, really good music and drama. She is very happy. They have a bus that travels to Edinburgh Airport for exeats etc or a bus that takes kids to Perth railway station if they prefer to go by train. She might find the uniform a bit of a shock though! PM me if you want any more info.
What about Mary Erskine they do lots of drama ana get good result and yes there is boarding just less children board.
Strathallan many boarders go home at w/e but they won’t admit to it! Glenalmond would be a great choice, lovely school, know lots of very happy kids there inc girls in 6th form!
I would have a look at St Leonard’s in St Andrews. The train station is 5 miles away and fast train to London is just over 5 hours. It does the IB rather than A levels of highers. It has an excellent music and drama department. Boarding houses are lovely,some of them recently refurbished to a very high standard.
Yes St Andrews is just a taxi or bus to Leuchars station then straight onto a mainline train.
St. Leonard's I've heard is really good, and I imagine it's very handy with the university! Im not sure about the IB though? DD isn't very good with languages and hasn't taken one for GCSE, would that be an issue if she has to take one for IB?
That's why my brother didn't go there. The language thing.
Glenalmond seems to be popular, I'll try to arrange a visit!
I think Mary Erskine is a good day school, but very few boarding, so it could get quite lonely at weekends?
St Andrews is a lovely place to be at that age though.
Glenalmond is in beautiful countryside but is remote, partuiculary if you are a teenager. It does however get the best out of all students.
Students is St Andrews in the 6th form have the freedom of town. I think you may need a language to do IB abut I would double check that.
I've had a look at the website and they offer Spanish ab initio so DD could possibly take that, but I'm not sure how she'd feel taking a language at all really as it's something she tried very hard to give up for GCSE! I'll ask her about it though and see what she thinks as St Leonard's looks very good otherwise
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