Borading School in UK

<p>Hi, my parents have decided for me to attend a boarding school in England next year. If there are anyone on CC that has been to a boarding school there, would you please give me some insider information and/or answer the question that I have listed below. I'm going to a co-ed school, and I am entering into my sophomore year. </p>

<ol>
<li><p>Are the school rules enforced seriously? If you break the rules, do you automatically get sent to the principal?</p></li>
<li><p>Would you be able to stay up past lights out times or go to sleep early?</p></li>
<li><p>Were websites such as facebook and youtube blocked in the boarding house?</p></li>
<li><p>Did people actually wake up according to the wake up time on the school structure?</p></li>
<li><p>What were the conditions of the bathroom? Were there just one bathroom where everyone had to share it together?</p></li>
<li><p>How cold does it get in the winter, and how do you keep yourself warm when walking from classes, and back to the boarding houses after school?</p></li>
</ol>

<p>Thank You</p>

<p>With each of these questions, it completely depends on the school. I know I'm not being very helpful, but it honestly does. If you're going to an ultra-strict, cutthroat, high-academic school vs a rebellious party school, obviously the conditions are going to differ.</p>

<p>I would PM TomTheCat, as he's from England and MAYBE he could provide you with a bit of info if he recognized the school.
Sorry I wasn't of much help, best of luck!</p>

<p>As you might guess from my screen name my American s spent 5 years at Eton-- it is soooooooo different from American schools (and I have a d at PEA) that you can't imagine. I suppose it depends upon the school, but the old established "public" schools are very very rule oriented for the younger boys/girls but much more flexible than American schools with Sixth formers.
In general the digs will much more spartan (although at Eton each boy has a single from the first day). The internet firewall was fierce but the School knows it is fighting a losing battle given wifi. There really are bed checks--by senior boys and the house master and whilst one can get up afterward (and place a cloth under the door jam, it is generally frowned upon (you will be amazed how much the housemaster really knows but doesn't let on....)
It isn't the cold, it is the gray damp drizzle that accord to my s is what got at him.
Also 5 hour time difference in phone calls is something to live with...</p>

<p>that being said, he would never ever consider anything but being an Etonian and when he left he packed away his "tailsuit" --when I asked why he looked perplexed as if I was daft to ask such a question -- "For my son, of course..." (PS--I DID NOT go to any boarding school in either country nor any school in the UK at all...)</p>

<p>Did you consider schools in Switzerland? I know of one all girls school in England called MerryMount. I have a friend who went there. She loved it.</p>

<p>i would reccomend two schools harrow an all boys school, and radley college.</p>

<p>Another schools to consider are Westminster and St Pauls (although St Paul's is a day school). For girls, Wycombe Abby and Downe House are at the top of the "league tables. (Wycombe often is top school.)</p>

<p>Etondad, What tests did your son take when he applied to Eton? How would you compare the academics at Eton and PEA as you have children at both?</p>

<p>At 10 he took the "Eton Test" which is essentially an IQ test. After the test and series of interviews you are admitted or not. </p>

<p>At 13 he sat for the King's Scholarship which is a series of 8 papers-- General I & II, Maths, English, French, Science, Greek & Latin. I don't think you need to sit for all 8--but I can't exactly recall. If you are not trying for a scholarship the you sit for the 13+ exams which one must pass or the acceptance is revoked (very rare...)</p>

<p>The education is very very broad at the beginning (he had 11 GCSEs) but then drops to a very deep specialization. Most boys sit for 3 A levels, my son sat for 5 but he was a special case (wanted to have option of either music or pure maths). The level of knowledge in his A levels is at the level of college--for example he could read Feymann's physics lectures and while not know everything in the 3 volumes had a passing familiarity and could understand all of the topics without much difficulty. Did linear algebra and multivariable calculus too. and would place out of any music theory for undergraduates.</p>

<p>At PEA, the education is broader than Eton, but the level of independent thinking/discussion is greater (Harkness system). I think that Exonians learn to write better than the Etonians (but I may be biased as my S was maths/physics/chem/music) and so had many less papers than my D seems to have. My best friend who was summa at Yale and Law Review at HLS said that those two institutions were fine but he"really learned to think at Exeter."</p>

<p>The top students at either would be the same quality and both learn to "sling the bull" with panache. My S is very quiet in classes and would have hated Harkness as he likes to absorb what is being said and also teach himself outside of classes.</p>

<p>The real distinction is the "pastoral care" Exeter almost treats the kids like mini university students with much less handholding but a strong sense of expectations which if not met are dealt with quickly. For the independent kid this is fabulous. Eton has a sense of "boys will be boys" and is both more hands on, yet much more likely to cut a boy slack--rare is the boy who is dismissed, whereas Exeter dismisses students each year.</p>

<p>Both are extraordinary educations and if you match the child with the right school he (can't be she at Eton) will have a wonderful time and be proud of his school for the rest of his life. The last point is that if he stays in England the Eton mystique will be for ill or good be with him for the rest of his life more than any school or university in the States would ever be...(My s' headmaster told the boys at their last chapel service that regardless what they did or didn't do in their lives, like it or not, the fact that they were at Eton would probably be in the first two sentences in the obituary in The Times.)</p>

<p>Thank you Etondad for the very informative, detailed compare and contrast. :)</p>