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Bournemouth Collegiate Secondary (places 2020? moving from London)

(8 Posts)
HWest1832 Sat 10-Nov-18 19:11:42

My son is currently in year 5 at a small London independent co-ed school. We are thinking of moving to Bournemouth after year 6 (his school only goes up to year 6) and it seems Bournemouth Collegiate School is the ONLY independent school in the area that takes boys at age 11 ? So I had some questions about getting in.

They say their website are non-selective which is fine. Our son is bright and cheerful, imaginative and creative, humourous and well-behaved. Loves learning and life in general, but probably not going to be a top scorer on tests in competition with lots of others (!!) He's full of ideas, confident and relaxed but not exactly swotty and struggles a bit with systematic stuff, like maths (and neat handwriting!). But he's been in mainstream private education since he was 4, no major problems socially or emotionally, and has just kind of muddled his way happily along, doing his best and enjoying learning.

So...Is BCS heavily over-subscribed like all our schools in London? Is there a high demand for places or are they trying to attract more pupils? In other words, is it hard to get in in terms of supply versus demand? (As a day pupil, Sept 2010 entry)

We like the idea of Bournemouth and want to stay with a private school but this seems to be our only "choice" which makes planning tricky. If anyone can rate our chances on getting him in or recommend anything similar in the area that I've missed (or another nice part of Dorest) let me know!

BTW nothing against State schools or the free school, but he is quite used to small classes and we'd still be in London right til the end of year 6 so might not get a very good choice of State as we'd have to apply after we move. We are also open to alternative things like Forest Schools (I think) and other parts of Dorset.

Any help or suggestions appreciated.


OP’s posts: |
TheOnlyWayIsUpBaby Sat 10-Nov-18 19:14:17

Have a look at Ballard School in New Milton too. Can’t recommend it enough.

disneyspendingmoney Sat 10-Nov-18 19:21:37

BCS is pretty average, it's got a good sports dept, pools nice. and loads of buses for pickups. Art and music is well supported. It's set back from the road nicely and has a big driveway.

The road it's on is pretty pleasant and very quiet and a 5 mins walk from the cliff top beach.

HWest1832 Sat 10-Nov-18 19:38:10

Ballard looks great, too. Definitely an option as there's a school bus to Bournemouth. Didn't think of Hampshire as I obviously don't know my geography (!) but if other schools have busses that could open things up quite a bit. Thanks for the tip!

OP’s posts: |
TheOnlyWayIsUpBaby Sat 10-Nov-18 19:52:12

Ballard have pupils in my sons year coming in from as far as Sandbanks by school bus. There’s also a train station so some children arrive this way. I think there may be a minibus collection from the station too.

HWest1832 Sat 10-Nov-18 20:08:50

So since Ballard is an "all through" school, do you think it would hard to get a Year 6 place, coming from another school? And is there really no entrance exam? That seems to too good to be true!

No sixth form, but presumably somewhere they tend to go?

OP’s posts: |
HWest1832 Sat 10-Nov-18 20:09:30

Sorry, I mean Year 7 place (see above post)

OP’s posts: |
TheOnlyWayIsUpBaby Sat 10-Nov-18 20:56:27

There is definitely no entrance exam, including for starting in year 7. It’s a great school up to & including year 11. There are 2 other Prep schools in the New Forest who transfer across to various schools including Ballard at various points depending on the parents & children’s preference.
Sixth form depends on what your sons preferences are. There is Brockenhurst college in the New Forest, other state schools, Bournemouth Boys, Bryanston, etc, etc.
Our son loves the class size (around 14 per class in year 6 at present I believe), and the school really makes the effort to find and support each child’s own interests. They are really encouraged to achieve their personal best. I know it sounds a bit twee, but the difference is amazing.
We feel so fortunate that we have such a great school which is relatively local.

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