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Boarding School

(147 Posts)
RosieWoodCelt Thu 26-Apr-18 11:58:56

DH and I are choosing schools for daughters 10 and 9. We don't want state education as both think it underachieves and lacks proper discipline. Same applies to grammars. Eldest is exceptionally bright and we want a boarding education where she will be pushed hard academically from day 1. From looking at leagues Wycombe Abbey seems top. Anyone able to advise?

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PotteringAlong Thu 26-Apr-18 12:00:51

What’s your second daughter like? Do you want them both at the same school?

RosieWoodCelt Thu 26-Apr-18 12:03:47

Second is also academic and already ahead in her year. We thought might be good to board them apart so not compared. Main thing though is the school must support high achieving girls. Considered CLC too.

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aprilanne Thu 26-Apr-18 12:13:01

are they not very young to be seperated from both there parents and sibling .is there not any good day schools near you

RosieWoodCelt Thu 26-Apr-18 12:18:01

They would board at 11. Just in the selection of schools phase. There is Cheltenham Ladies' College here but DH both think boarding is an essential part of an education. Other than CLC here, though, there are no schools we would consider locally.

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Catkins0877 Thu 26-Apr-18 12:44:22

I have a son who's exceptionally bright.... he goes to state school and is extremely happy.. Myself I instill in him that his academic achievement is only one form of intelligence and that in the future he will do things he may not be good in..and he will benefit from others intelligence in other areas.Personally I feel from working with kids myself that children who are expected to perform excessively well are being put under extreme unattainable pressure to achieve. I have seen children break down so often emotionally over a 99 percent mark or a incorrect spelling.

While I recognise your right to choose what is best for your child I feel your post really is quite belittling of other children and state schools and comes across with the lack of awareness on your behalf of the benefits and joy children of all intellectual abilites bring to a classroom environment. Personally I'd hate for my son to value only one form of measurable intelligence in life.

I am privileged to come from a very comfortable home where both my husband and I have academic achievements.Nevertheless it is not the degrees we have achieved that brings joy into our day. Today it was the "intelligent son" who came into my bedroom when he got up to cuddle the dog in her basket.But each to their own.I respect that.

But here's a serious shout out to all the non academics who are my friends in everyday life and in classrooms who make me smile and make my day worth / job worthwhile grin

RosieWoodCelt Thu 26-Apr-18 12:49:04

Sorry if posts came across as you say. Simply a case of a personal belief in the ethos of independent schooling. We both like its traditions and the fact that facilities are way better than in states. We simply want the best for our daughters and, without any belittling intended, want them experience the fun of boarding as well as the amazing high-end academic progress we both want them to make.

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AveEldon Thu 26-Apr-18 12:59:16

For the money you are going to spend it may be worth getting expert advise from an educational consultant - I believe the Good Schools Guide offer this service although there are others

Hoppinggreen Thu 26-Apr-18 13:01:33

Or you could, you know, parent your children yourself
Boarding schools aren’t necessarily fun and I would move heaven and earth it to send my children away
My dd is very bright and goes to an Independent School - but she comes home at 4 each day

RosieWoodCelt Thu 26-Apr-18 13:05:49

Excellent advice ref. getting ed. consultant. Be a wise move and will suggest to DH when he's back next week. I understand your point @Hoppinggreen but our own lies are so hectic that we feel they will get more stability from boarding. They will still get half-terms and holidays here but with the stability during term of having to have a nanny on school runs, etc. when DH and I are away

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helloallllll Thu 26-Apr-18 13:08:15

hmm- I went to boarding school and was very happy but I think you may be kidding yourself on the discipline etc- you can get up to all sorts and probably more so these days with technology etc
There are great independent schools and dreadful ones and great state school and dreadful ones, please don't get sucked into 'private is always superior'.

RosieWoodCelt Thu 26-Apr-18 13:13:20

I boarded too from age 11 as did DH age 8 so completely accept your point ref. children and mischief! Totally agree some very poor quality Independent Schools which is why getting professional guidance sounds fantastic idea before we decide on choices.

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SpikeStoker Thu 26-Apr-18 14:08:07

My DD has been at CLC since year 7 and we have a DS at another school (obviously). DCs at different schools can be challenging and I would think carefully about it. Holidays and exeats are often different, which if you both work can be difficult. Also when they are the same pick ups are awkward as you can't be in two places at the same time. Check what the train journey home would be like when looking at schools so that when they are older they can come home on the train, less easy at the beginning and end if term with all the stuff, though. So saying I have always though that you should, if you are fortunate enough to have the choice, chose the best education for each child. If you want to know anything specific about CLC please feel free to pm me, we have been delighted with CLC and DD loves it. We did look at other all girls boarding options, but CLC was our firm favourite.

stateschoolparent Thu 26-Apr-18 14:46:22

Would have to disagree that "state education ..underachieves and lacks proper discipline" although obviously it may depend on where you live.There is in fact plenty of evidence to show that in general middle class kids do just as well in state schools as in private ones . However as regards the specific question, for decades now Wycombe Abbey has been the most 'academic' girls only boarding school and its academic results are consistently better than the others. For some London parents it is considered the boarding equivalent of SPGS.However my own view is that if your DD is exceptionally bright she will do just as a well in any decent school and there is plenty of evidence to suggest that it can be better to be the brightest child in a not so academic school than average in a top school..

Pythonesque Thu 26-Apr-18 15:10:43

Visit schools and see how they feel, look for a "fit" for your children. I agree it's great to consider them individually.

My eldest is boarding at Cheltenham College - she is very bright but when we visited Wycombe Abbey it just didn't feel right for her (I'm pretty sure she would have got in). A friend of hers locally has gone there though. We are quite impressed by what CC are doing to stretch and extend their top end. The boarding provision is quite flexible and might meet your family's needs quite well. I'd recommend having a look if you haven't already, especially if you think your second will suit a different school to her sister.

My youngest will not be following his sister there, other schools have proved a better fit for him.

Pythonesque Thu 26-Apr-18 15:11:31

Meant to say, co-ed boarding has the potential to be "best of both" in that you get co-ed education but the boarding environment is single sex.

flumpybear Thu 26-Apr-18 15:15:27

I’m sorry .... split the children into different schools? Don’t you care about their feelings, being completely alone? Ffs have a speck of heart for your kids

Hoppinggreen Thu 26-Apr-18 16:39:44

Yes flumpy she wants to separate her dc from ALL their family
Unless there are very very compelling reasons for a child to board then I’m totally against Boarding schools
Still, not my dc so not up to me

DairyisClosed Thu 26-Apr-18 16:41:06

Send her to a school that offers IB. Much higher standard of education that A levels which have been funded down to help state schools look better.

Zodlebud Thu 26-Apr-18 17:04:17

Don’t discount other schools simply on the basis of exam league tables. WA gets brilliant results because they only accept the brilliant girls in the first place. Having such high achieving girls all in one place works for some, it doesn’t others. A significant number of WA girls go elsewhere for A-levels for a wide range of reasons, but it is widely acknowledged it is a very pressurised environment, compounded by the boarding element.

The only way to tell if a school is right is to visit. It may well be exactly what you and your daughter are looking for.

I have discounted it for my DD as it just didn’t feel “us”. We have actually chosen a reasonably non selective boarding school as my daughter just lit up from the moment she walked through the door. I have no worries that her needs won’t be met academically. I wouldn’t have visited though if it hadn’t got a reputation for being exceptionally strong in an extra curricular pursuit my daughter excels in. Just goes to show that your gut feeling and looking beyond the academics can sometimes lead you to the right answer.

sendsummer Thu 26-Apr-18 18:39:34

I know students from both schools.
WA is not more disciplined than CLC. High achievers in both places are encouraged but usually self driven, occasionally pressurised by their parents as well. If anything staff will try to counteract the self inflicted or family inflicted pressure as it can be detrimental to progress as well as happiness.
I would also say that I know students who were boarders despite living very close to either school and had the full boarding experience so don't discount CLC because it is local.

RosieWoodCelt Thu 26-Apr-18 18:49:43

Fantastic replies and advice. Soooo appreciated. Even though CLC on doorstep we would sill opt for boarding as that is the ethos we want for DD. Sounds great school as does WA. Would love D you, SpikeStoker and be interested know which year group your CLC DD is in. Also totally get the point you make, DairyisClosed about dumbed down A level so states can say achieving more. IB sounds fantastic opportunity to excel for a girl. I really appreciate all of the input I am getting here. Thanks for taking the time. At moment the options are prob. CLC, WA, SPGS or Downe House.

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Notusuallyonetocomment Thu 26-Apr-18 19:19:29

Some posters banging on about how dreadful boarding schools are clearly have no idea what they're on about 🙄

OP I'm from a family of boarders and not only did we get a fantastic education we also all had a brilliant time. For the right sort of child it really is such a good choice if you're fortunate enough to have the means to fund it...or bright children who will get a scholarship!

If you're interested in the IB (and personally I think it's a superior choice when pitched against A levels) then do take a look at King Williams College on the Isle of Man

Very solid school and one of the longest established IB settings
The school has a lot to offer and the island is just wonderful

RosieWoodCelt Thu 26-Apr-18 19:52:07

Appreciate the postNotusuallyonetocomment I think there is jealousy about mums who choose boarding for DD. It is simply wanting the best opportunity for her. I was at Benenden and LOVED it.

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flumpybear Thu 26-Apr-18 20:23:06

Believe you me I'm not jealous of you .... I'm mean how can I be jealous that somebody else is going to essentially bring up my child, be there for them every day and essentially farm out being a parent - no jealousy at all thank you! I've a busy job, I'm a high achiever and I manage to look after my own kids, husband and home

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