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UK Boarding School for Bright ADHD?

(60 Posts)
Expatmomma Tue 07-Jan-14 18:57:46


We are British expats... Looking for a UK boarding school for our son in a couple of years time when he reaches secondary school age.

And would welcome any recommendations.

He is very bright (measured high iq) and has an Ed Psych and Pediatrician diagnosis of combined type ADHD. He also had an Auditory Processing Disorder.

He is verbally very articulate and reads a lot but due to poor fine motor skills his handwriting is slowing him down. There is a large gap between his potential and his current achievement.

He had no aggression or conduct issues, but is hyperactive and impulsive. Struggling to sit still and not shout out the answers in class are issues for him.

He will be staring medication for the ADHD soon (hospital appointment next week).

We are trying to find either a mainstream boarding school with a track record for supporting children with similar profiles or a specialist boarding school.

I would prefer a school with a prep and senior section so that he can join at 11 and stay at the same school until 18.

We have a preference for Southern England/South East England with easy access to Heathrow or Gatwick.

So far I have pinpointed More House in Surrey as a possible but as he is not dyslexic am not sure of his chances of getting a place.

Any views on More House or other boarding schools would be gratefully received.

Thanks in advance.

LIZS Tue 07-Jan-14 18:59:05

Seaford college ?

Expatmomma Tue 07-Jan-14 19:00:09

Thanks LIZS I will check it out.

Moofy1 Thu 16-Jan-14 03:33:44

Mainstream independents are notoriously backward thinking and simply not geared up supporting ADD/ADHD, BESD, social and communication difficulties or anything beyond mild dyslexia. Beware of Heads who promise the earth and publish any old nonsense in the Good School's Guide, in order to stave off falling numbers. It may be a good idea to speak to another parent who has an ADHD child in a prospective school, to find out their experience, before committing your child to what could turn out to be an expensive disaster.

Expatmomma Mon 03-Feb-14 09:38:26

Thanks Moofy.

You make a good point and after reflection I think he will be happier in a specialist school where he is nurtured and accepted and can reach his fill potential.

We have set up interviews at Bredon and More House later this year. And are have also sent his Ed Psych reports to a Prep with a large learning support section and lots of overseas boarders. They will let is know this week if they think we should apply or not.

Our choices are limited to one international school where we are posted. They just don't have the support he needs.
Poor kid is miserable ..... But excited about the possibility of boarding.

mary21 Thu 06-Feb-14 17:10:06

What about breun abbey for a couple of years

BigBird69 Fri 14-Feb-14 06:09:35

Seaford college is an amazing mainstream school with a very good track record, particularly in dyslexia. More specific specialist schools are Slindon college near Arundel (all boys) or northease manor near Lewes.

Expatmomma Fri 21-Feb-14 04:56:35

Bruen only takes weekly boarders and we need full boarding. Shame as it looks lovely.

Seaford sent me the prospectus... I loved the look of it but they only take full boarders at 13 and we need a solution before then.

We now have interviews in the coming weeks at 4 Crested accredited schools.

1 specialized school and 3 mainstream schools with large learning support centers and a minimum of 25% of pupils needing Learning Support.

Fingers crossed one school will feel right and be able to offer him the understanding and support he needs

Thanks for all the tips .

BigBird69 Fri 21-Feb-14 13:27:39

Good luck and I hope you find what you're looking for!

Expatmomma Sun 23-Feb-14 17:08:47

Ah thanks big bird.

Never imagined would have to consider boarding but life throws curve balls from time to time

Bombaybunty Sun 09-Mar-14 23:21:35

Have you looked at Box Hill School?

Expatmomma Thu 13-Mar-14 18:45:15

Bombay.. Thanks for the recommendation. The school ticks several boxes when looking at their website. We have interviews at 2 schools next week but will bear Box Hill in mind if we are not blown away by options 1 and 2.

ARK99 Mon 21-Apr-14 21:26:15

If your child is going to start medication you may well find that he doesn't need a special school at all. My son is 10, takes ADHD medication daily and is bright and behaves well at school. I have forgotten to give him his medication on 2 or 3 occasions which have resulted in one restructuring of the library room (he was re-arranging the furniture as he couldn't sit still) and a couple of uneventful days of fidgeting. I would suggest that you trial the medication before deciding what to do - we considered More House but our son definitely does not need to be in a special needs school. We will choose a small senior school where they will get to know him properly - will look at the Royal, Seaford, maybe Churchers College.
Good luck anyway!

ACDi Tue 20-May-14 12:24:19

Have you looked at Bethany School in Goudhurst, Kent - I hour from Gatwick and full boarding from Year 7 onwards? - Good luck!

Expatmomma Thu 22-May-14 17:30:15

Thanks for the replies.

DS has been on Ritalin 2 months it does help but he has other SEN. Very poor fine motor skills, language disorder and an auditive processing disorder.

We are abroad and there are no alternative options here

We feel with several needs at the moment he really needs a SN school.

He had a taster at More House and loved it.

He has been offered a place and we were thrilled to accept.

We did have Bethany on our list but needed a solution for 10+. Waiting for year 7 became untenable.

If he improves drastically we would consider a mainstream/inclusive school in a few years time if he wants that.,But I would be more than happy to let him complete the remaining 10 years of his education at More House.

Expatmomma Tue 23-Sep-14 20:22:01

Just wanted to update... DS started at More House earlier this month.

The little boy who suffered from severe anxiety in his old school now jumps up and down with excitement and says his school is brilliant!!

We could not be happier.

1busybee Sat 25-Oct-14 18:26:07

HI expat, I read your post with interest. My little boy sounds very similar to yours. My 8 year old year 4 Ds has a diagnosis of aspergers and sensory processing difficulties. He s bright, according to the specialists but struggles in his mainstream class due to sensory bits. He is not normally a behaviour problem but recently has become frustrated in class with his poor writing ability compared to his verbal and is therefore becoming increasingly disruptive. We are currently considering all and any school options for him and I was wondering if you would consider sharing the schools you found with me as its a complete minefield. I'd be really grateful for any info x

Expatmomma Sun 02-Nov-14 08:08:21

Hello busybee,

We visited 3 schools in the end.

More House In Frensham was the only specialised one.
We needed a school which could support him and boarding from year 6. Location (south east near the airports) was also a consideration.

I loved the look of Bethany and think it could have a been a good for for him but would have meant waiting another year.

Bredon was just too far for us ... But also looked like a good fit.

However More House stood out from the start as being the very best for him.

When I visited the school for the first time I felt it was as if a school had been designed just for him!

They do accept Aspergers boys. My son has sensory issues too (in addition to his other special needs). This made a large noisy school too much for him. The small nurturing environment at More House has helped him feel secure and happy.

I think around 1/2 the boys are having their fees paid by their local education authorities. And I believe some of the LEAs run weekly minibuses to drop off and pick up their boys.

The boys can board from year 6.

Sending my son to More House has been the best decision of my life.

In 8 weeks the change has already been staggering.

His self esteem and confidence which were in tatters are growing every day. He is very very happy. For the first time he feels accepted at school for who he is.

We have begun to see other subtle changes... He now looks people in the eyes when talking to them ( a massive massive leap forward).

He loves the staff and is extremely happy there.

Please feel free to pm of you like.

june1968 Sat 10-Jan-15 16:44:12

Hi I have read your thread and would love to chat about More house. My son has ADHD as a result of meningitis and has an IEP. I am sad to think my son is going to have to go through life having to be told not to forget to do this or that. I'm going to call More House on Mondaysmile

Expatmomma Wed 14-Jan-15 05:42:43

Hi June,

Sorry only just saw your message.

How did your contact with More House go? Is there room in your son's prospective year?

How old is he?

Am happy to answer any questions based on my 1 term of experience.

I can say the school has delivered everything they said they would and more.

But I had underestimated how much the impact of being in a supportive atmosphere would have on my son.

He is ridiculously happy!! Simply loves it there. His happiness after such anxiety and stress is quite touching to see.

senvet Thu 15-Jan-15 01:20:50

Had a kid who was well looked after at Millfield, but not near Gatwick.

Frewen folk seemed nice with a wide set of SEN

irenewong66 Mon 04-May-15 09:10:09

Hi, Expatmomma. We are also aboard and looking for a boarding school for son with ADHD. The problem he has was poor motivation to learning and self management. Sending boarding is a kind of strategy to tackle this. We are so worried whether he can take care of himself neatly. BUT, is it really help or just induce more attitude problem? What do you think? Will it induce more frustration to him?

Expatmomma Wed 06-May-15 05:23:06

Hello Irene

Every kid is different and I think you need to visit several schools and see which one would suit your child best.

My son is young and received a lot of support in organizing himself. They are not just left to work it out.

I would really recommend you visiting schools and talking through your concerns with the housemasters and teaching staff at each one.

iris1234 Sat 09-May-15 09:36:27

What are the supports usually will be given by boarding school to children with SEN? Will the boarding master be TRAINED already?

pinknessy69 Thu 07-Jan-16 19:04:57


i just came across this post while looking for residential schools for my son an dhave read the whol thread. i wondered if expatmomma or anyone else still had a child attending more house in frensham that i could ask a coupl of questions to regarding funding ...tia xx

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