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Non-Selective Independent PASTORAL school Hampshire/Dorset/Wil
Hi there, I am currently trying to find an independent secondary school for my year five son.
He is very shy; he needs a lot of encouragement and has some SEN but needs a mainstream - but with small class sizes which everyone agrees are essential so he can't do state schools.
So I need a private school that is very pastoral, is either non-selective or has a lower pass rate than the academic hot-houses, and has a small school feel (eg small classes) even if it's got lots of pupils. Day or boarding. From age 11 or 13.
Academically he's never going to get A*s; he might get a couple of As, a couple of Bs, Cs and Ds for example.
Does such a caring and idyllic school exist within a couple of hours of Bournemouth please?
I know about the following, so I am looking for those (perhaps further afield) that I may have missed:
King Edwards Soton - too academic, too boisterous I believe. He won't pass the entrance exam.
Canford - too academic, he won't get in. Too pricey.
Dauntseys - looks good.
Hampshire Collegiate. Possible but I don't know how hard the entrance exam is. It looks quite academic.
Sherbourne - possible
Ballard - possible
Clayesmore - possible
BCS - possible
Bryanston - too expensive
Kings Bruton - have already told me it's not the school for my son!
Milton Abbey - ditto
Millfield - ditto
Are there any mainstream independents that I have missed please?
Many thanks for your help and advice as always.
I don't get the impression that HCS is particularly academic (hearsay). It has lovely grounds though and (hearsay) pastoral seems OK in the upper school.
Have you looked at King's College Taunton or Warminster School?
Bit further afield Shebear in North Devon or Kingsley
Seaford College in Petworth
King Edwards Witley
Couple more Sherfield in Hook www.sherfieldschool.co.uk/your-journey-learning-support.aspx
Bedes near Eastbourne
Would also suggest King Edwards, Witley - One of my friends taught there until recently...It tends to cater for all...lovely grounds... it does attract a lot of students from abroad because it offers IB and A Levels.
Thank you all, I shall be investigating all of these.
Claire's Court, Maidenhead? Probably too far as only day but seems to meet your criteria
I would have said Clayesmore or King's Bruton - interested to hear why they think it's not the school for your son. Or Dauntsey's. Any idea what sort of CAT scores he gets?
From your list, my opinion:
King Edwards Soton - academic
Canford - academic
Dauntseys - good pastoral, nice school, good learning support
Hampshire Collegiate. Don't know it
Sherborne - fairly selective, OK pastorally
Ballard - don't know it
Clayesmore - excellent pastorally, excellent learning support. Not selective
BCS - don't know it
Bryanston - relatively selective, not great pastorally
Kings Bruton - not v selective, good pastorally
Milton Abbey - not selective. Improving. Good pastorally
Millfield - not pastorally good
An idea of his CATs and why King's Bruton and Milton Abbey said know would definitely help. What sort of SEN does he have and how does he get supported in school currently?
Boundary Oak, Hampshire
Sexey's is state boarding, not independent
Frogspawn - thank you.
His cat scores:
Non verbal 72
Kings Bruton said they couldn’t support a child who has 25 hours per week LSA one to one. They missed my point though that the way it’s funded means he actually gets 5-6 hrs per week in his prep school and they’re saying that in his small class sizes he doesn’t really even need this.
He has a condition similar to Asperger’s so needs help socially, with friendships, social skills, and to access sorts of the curriculum which are abstract. Some language issues but consultants say he’s doing really well and he’s reasonably academic. He has 1:1 5-6 hours per week plus friendship club, inference work, and fine motor skills work.
OK, in which case, rule out Bryanston, Sherborne, Canford, King Ed's.
I'd strongly recommend looking at Claysemore.
King's Taunton may be worth looking at but likely to ask for CE scores of around 50%, which I think are unlikely from his CATs. Taunton School would though, and they have good pastoral care. Have you considered Wells Cathedral? Monkton Combe?
Is your prep helping you with this? They should have conveyed the info to Bruton, meaning they wouldn't have got the wrong end of the stick.
And, are the 25 hours in an EHCP or ed psych report?
Ballard is a very good option. Great learning support and non-selective, going through primary to GCSE, although no sixth form.
Moyles Court might be worth a look, very small and pastoral I think, but I have no personal knowledge.
BCS Senior in Bournemouth, the prep school is in Poole. Classes are smaller than state but not super small.
Clayesmore, again great learning support and bursary potential, but much more expensive than the above options.
I'm right with kings' impression that kings aren't right. my experience of it as a school is that they don't have a great deal of patience with people that don't fit.
my dd has similar things struggles and has been happily at an all-girls school near Sherborne since early prep school. it's turning co-ed and therefore would be suitable. there are big bribes in place for boys who are willing to be early adopters and I have found the pastoral element to be brilliant.
I'm not openly putting names here but if Google doesn't bring it up PM me.
Yes, L was my thought re the sporty question - only really a problem for sporty boys as may not be enough boys for teams etc.
my dd is one of the least sporty people on the face of the planet and they got her involved which made me near faint in shock. however it would not be the school for sporty boys. (unless you like pentathlons of course).
Shiplake (in Oxfordshire though)
Some of the Quaker schools?
Thanks for all the help here, you lot are terrific.
To answer the questions:
No he’s not sporty
The 25 hours are in a EHCP but you have to take off the first £6k as privates don’t have this. Then divide it by the hourly rate of the LSA which leaves about 5-10 hours which is perfect in a smaller setting - he only used about 12-15 hours when he was in a state school.
I am meeting with the prep next week for their advice but I want it be clued up on all the options they offer before I go.
Frog, What do you think his CE score would be, from his Cat scores? I know that’s a tricky question but just a ball park would be helpful. I will add those schools to my investigations.
I've heard good things about Ballard, and it prides itself on being non-selective. They have a big focus on drama if that might be of interest. Also v close to Bmouth!
I know you said you wanted mainstream but have you considered More House School in Farnham? My DS sounds very much like yours, he didn't need any real 1-1 and didn't have a statement but needed the support and individualised learning that More House was able to offer. Their pastoral care is second to none and they are not obsessed with academic achievement although a good proportion of their boys go to university.
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