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Mumoverseas are you there please?

(11 Posts)
mountaingirl Sun 28-Jun-09 14:09:00

I have just been reading a posting of yours that said you live in France and that your daughter goes to a state boarding school in Surrey. We also live in France and are about to send Ds1 aged 14 to one in Surrey also. I was wondering how you cope with organising return trips to France, do you go back often to see her. What do you find are the advantages and disadvantages to her being at the school. Also is it raas by any chance?

mumoverseas Sun 28-Jun-09 18:11:31

Hi mountain girl,
you are partly right, I do live abroad but sadly not in France but in Saudi Arabia (am going to France on holiday if that helps!)
Yes, it is RAAS and the return trips she has done to Saudi so far have been ok. She has come out to Saudi three times since she started last September, last Oct/Nov when they have 2 weeks off, Feb half term and Easter. Each time she was picked up by her guardian and kept overnight then taking to airport for her flight and she is now quite a seasoned traveller.
If you don't have any family/friends near the school, you can simply use a company that arranges guardians. There are quite a few companys around. I think the one that RAAS recomends is called something like 'Welmet' I will double check later as I have sleeping baby on my lap. Anyway, there are a few companies like this around, particularly in the Surrey area. Think another one we looked at but didn't use was called 'Gabitas' or similar (try googling) They arrange weekend guardians when needed (although thankfully RAAS does not have any compulsary exeat weekends like some schools) so they only have to go home school hols.

I'm pretty sure that at RAAS when the children are over 14 they are allowed to leave on their own and I've seen taxis on several occasions picking children up. Depending on where in France you are it may be a case of you arranging transport for your DS to LGW and he could fly home on his own. Both DD1 and DS1 (aged 13 and 15) have been flying solo for a year or so now in fact DS1 flew back early hours of this morning from Saudi and got the National Express bus from Heathrow to Gatwick to save me driving round there. It is good for their independence.

DD struggled the first few weeks settling in but loves it now. I'm back in the UK for the summer (too bloody hot in Saudi) and she has come home the last two weekends and in fact I've just dropped her back off at school as our UK base is only 20 mins away) She loves it there now though. She has made lots of friends and many of the girls full board although some of the girls go home every other weekend.
She loves all the activities that are organised, for example a few weekends ago they ran a trip for boarders to Chessington and they often go for trips to shopping centres, bowling etc.

So is your DS going into yr 10 in September?
Did he go to the induction days last week?
Any other questions just shout x

mountaingirl Sun 28-Jun-09 21:31:18

Thanks so much for your reply. Do your other dc's go there as well?

Yes Ds will go into yr 10 and it will all be so different from the education in France. He/we loved the school when we visited it and found everyone very warm, welcoming and friendly. Unfortuantely he didn't go to the induction day as he has exams coming up but we were given such a thorough tour so hopefully it will be ok. Having been so excited at the thought he might go, once we made our decision and working out the logistics of it all I'm wondering what I have got myself into! I spent the night before last trawling through the flights, the different prices etc. Our lives are going to change somewhat. I had better get myself organised! Ds would have stayed at the school on the day of the interview if he'd been allowed! I hope when the reality of hard work kicks in he will understand it isn't a holiday or just rugby training etc and that he needs to work immediately as his coursework will be marked and go to his GCSE's.

We have family and friends close by so that won't be a problem I'll just need to ask for help getting him back and forth to the airport and at weekends if he wants to visit them. Once he starts maybe he can find out if there are other kids going to LGW and they can organise themselves getting there. I'm used to being my dc's taxi driver so it'll be a steep learning curve for ds to do it on his own!

Thank you so much for replying and I hope you are enjoying the heat back in the UK. If I have any more questions I will shout if you don't mind. x

mumoverseas Mon 29-Jun-09 16:52:42

Hi, DCs 3 & 4 are only 2.5 years and 4.5 months so will be coming back to Saudi with me. DS1 has just finished his GCSEs in Saudi and has come back to UK to do A levels. He will be going to Hurstpierpoint in Sussex in September as at the moment RAAS don't have a 6th form there although they have boarders on site they bus them down to Reigate College for studies. The 6th form will be up and running next year so DD will probably stay on there for her A levels but we didn't want DS1 to go to Reigate College.

I'm sure your DS will settle in really well if he is sporty. They are also good academically as DD1 tried it on the first few weeks, not doing her homework properly etc and it didn't take long to get a letter about it and her to get detention which was the kick up the butt she needed wink

Where in France are you? Is it somewhere DS can fly to easily from LGW? I'm sure you'll get it all sorted but I understand all your concerns as I had them last year. x

mountaingirl Tue 30-Jun-09 07:34:01

Hi we are in the Savoie so have easy access to geneva, chambery or lyon airports. I'll tell ds about your dd's experience and hopefully he'll keep his head down and work! We are off to Spain tomorrow until the 10th and the computer/printer is off for a little holiday to get fixed! I'm sure I'll have a million questions when I get back so look forward to chatting to you then. x

mumoverseas Sun 05-Jul-09 12:47:35

Hi Mountaingirl, I hope that you are having a good holiday. I'm off to France on the 14th July for 11 days (DLP and then Centreparcs) so will hopefully catch up with you on here when back.
I assume you will be coming over here in September to get your DS settled into school on the 2nd September? If so, we'll have to meet up then. x

mountaingirl Thu 06-Aug-09 16:26:05

Hi Mumoverseas, hope this finds you well and relaxed after your holiday. We are all fine and I am in the process of ordering the uniform and buying all the other items on the boarders list.

Beware I have quite a few questions for you.....

The boarders black coat, can this be a trench type style or does it have to be knee length. should it be a raincoat or a wool coat?

Are they allowed ipods and personal computers? Does the school have wifi access?

What type of luggage bag does your dd have? One on rollers that is soft and easy to flatten, does that seem a good idea?

Mobile phones, what do you do? Is there a cheap solution for this? Don't think ds's French mobile is a good idea.

Sports bags, one for swimming and one for the other sports? Does that seem a good idea?

I think that is it for the moment! No one at the school until the 17th but I need to be organised before then as we are off to the lake for a couple of weeks from the 15th.

Many thanks for your help.

J xx

mountaingirl Thu 06-Aug-09 16:31:55

OOps! I forgot to add (as original message disappeared into cyberspace...)

It is dh who is taking ds to school. I have dd and ds2 starting early the following morning. It is probably a good idea as I'd no doubt embarrass him by crying my eyes out saying goodbye!!

mumoverseas Fri 07-Aug-09 14:37:12

Hi mountaingirl,
glad all ok with you and hope your DS is ok and looking forward to starting his new school.
Has just hauled DD out of her room to ask her these questions.

Ref black coat, she had a black pineapple coat last year and says that any black coat is ok. It is for when they go out at weekends (they are allowed to walk down to Redhill town, around 30 mins walk) she says it has to be black so they can wear to chapel if it is cold.

Yes to ipods and personal pc's but to be honest I'm not sure I'd let my DD have a pc. Mind you, she is extremely careless and would break it in five minutes. Not sure about the wi fi access, she seems to think it depends on which boarding house they are in.
They do have access to computers in the boarding houses which they can use after school in the evening until bedtime (varies on age, her age (year 9) is 9.30pm)
Make sure if you are sending him with expense items you name them (things to tend to go walkabouts) and also, make sure you get the school insurance that you can take out via the school that they add onto your bill.

DD started out with a largish suitcase on wheels and a soft bag for other stuff. She however accumulated lots of stuff over the last few terms and returned home with several suitcases and bin bags full of tat/clothes.
Suitcases are stored in their rooms, either under their desks or next to the bed.

Mobile phones, they all have them, buy a cheap one and get a pay as you go simcard for him. DD says the best networks are O2 and vodophone as you get a better signal with them. They can escape down to the town on Saturday pm so buy their own top up cards then.

Ref sports bag, DD has a rucksack for swimming and sports.

I'm sure DS will settle in well. If you want I can give you DD's details so he will 'know someone' before they start. Is he a typical teenager? Ie on facebook? If so, maybe they could exchange details so he would know someone and would probably 'meet' quite a few more online before he starts. DD has a few male friends in year 10 and could introduce if that would help him settle in?

DH and I will be dropping DD on the Wednesday pm. Probably around 2pm ish as DS1 starts his new school in Sussex that pm and we have to be there at 5pm.

Do you know which boarding house he is going into? Edinburgh, Kent or Gloucester?

Any more questions or if you'd like contact details just shout x

mountaingirl Fri 07-Aug-09 20:17:17

Hi, Thanks for your help. I'll pass on the details re computer and phone to dh as he'll be sorting that out.

Ds is going into gloucester house (which is good because that was the one we were shown around by the prefect). I've just asked him and he would definately like to get in contact with others via facebook. He is very much a typical teenager and loves his long list of friends on facebook and sneers at my 13!

How can we /he get in touch without giving personal details on mumsnet?

J x

mumoverseas Sat 08-Aug-09 08:38:45

am chuckling about your DS sneering at you. My DD1 and DS1 are just the same and 'know' thousands of people on FB. I'm doubt I've got many more than 13 on FB and quite a few I've not met.

I'm not bothered about giving you my info on here so you can email me with your details and I can then give you DD's FB info.
At my age I pick up very few stalkers!grin
email me on

hope to 'talk' soon

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