Schools like Millfield closer to London

(36 Posts)
ForPetesSakeNotAgain Wed 23-Apr-14 15:12:04

We are planning to return to the UK in 1-2 years time. DS1 (who will be in Year 9) has mild-moderate dyslexia and is creative (art/drama/design etc) while DS2 (who will be in Year 5) has no learning issues but needs a bit of a push. I am impressed (at least on paper) with Millfield's facilities (design studios, theatre etc) and its dyslexia learning support and like the fact that it says it is a sort of private comprehensive. It would probably also give DS2 the push he needs.

But in my heart I don't want to live so far from London. I don't want to live in London but I would like to feel that I could go to the theatre in London and have access to the facilities around London (I don't want the boys to board). We are looking at St Christopher's in Letchworth which is very different from Millfield and doesn't have the same facilities but might still suit DS1 but I suspect DS2 would coast.

Does anyone have any suggestions for somewhere in the South East that offers Millfield type creative facilities (I'm not bothered about the sporting stuff) and some dyslexia support. Ideally I would like a school that caters for a wide range of abilities so that both boys could succeed. I guess I am looking for somewhere where DS1's creativity would be celebrated and DS2's academic ability would be encouraged. We are coming to the UK in June and would like to visit a couple of schools while we are there.

Does somewhere like that exist?

Shiplake has a reputation for being good with Dyslexic children (a friend of a friend has a child there). You would have to check if they are creative enough. They are an 11-18 school.

ForPetesSakeNotAgain Wed 23-Apr-14 15:29:27

Thanks ChazsBrilliantAttitude - that's an interesting suggestion in a nice part of the world. I'll check it out.

LAK11 Wed 23-Apr-14 15:32:28

Have a look at Aldenham School in Elstree. Excellent facilities for creativity (art, design, drama) as well as sport and gives an all round education. Has a prep school too. they have an open day in June - I think it is the 14th, but you could check their web site.

Eastpoint Wed 23-Apr-14 15:40:14

What about Seaford in West Sussex or Bedes?

Bowlersarm Wed 23-Apr-14 15:42:33

Worth, Brighton College or Eastbourne College?

ForPetesSakeNotAgain Wed 23-Apr-14 15:55:11

Aldenham looks great but unfortunately seems to be Boarding only. Thanks for all the other suggestions - I'll have a look at their websites. I should have mentioned that one of the appeals of Millfield is that they don't use the Common Entrance as I know DS1 would collapse in the face of that kind of test (his current school never uses tests so he has no experience and tends to panic when put under pressure).

Bowlersarm Wed 23-Apr-14 15:57:35

Oh- that narrows it down a bit OP....probably my suggestions are no good then. Shall have anther think.

Bowlersarm Wed 23-Apr-14 15:59:17

Have a look at Bedes, Eastpoints suggestion.

ForPetesSakeNotAgain Wed 23-Apr-14 16:15:21

Thanks Bowlersarm and Eastpoint for the suggestion. Funnily enough I had Bede's on my shortlist and then crossed it off because I got it confused with a school with a similar name (and where there had been rumours of underage sex etc) which of course was not Bede's. Am I daft or what? So I have put it firmly back on the list.

sugarfoot Wed 23-Apr-14 17:29:39

Aldenham is definately day as well as boarding.

lilystem Wed 23-Apr-14 17:34:37

Bedford school.

indieakka Wed 23-Apr-14 17:37:34

Leighton Park sounds like it might fit the bill....

toastedteacake Wed 23-Apr-14 17:49:23

Bryanston - creative
Milton Abbey - good for dyslexia
Rendcomb College - all-round

LIZS Wed 23-Apr-14 17:54:13

Ardingly , Box Hill

schmee Wed 23-Apr-14 18:00:25

Second seaford college

m0therofdragons Wed 23-Apr-14 18:07:26

Millfield is near ish Bath, Bristol, Exeter so you can get to the theatre etc with cheaper house prices and better quality of life. Fast train takes about 2 hours to get to London from castle Cary I think so not as cut off as you may think. I'm biased as I love it here and moved from the south east.

DwellsUndertheSink Wed 23-Apr-14 18:08:34

frensham heights in Farnham - they have a very different approach to schooling, but their results are fantastic. ARt is a huge strength

I second looking Somerset way to live, although places right on the train route to London would be a bitch of a commute to Millfield (happy to be corrected).

I don't know anything about the schools, though. How about Kingswood School in Bath? I know a few children there who have dyslexia, although I don't have direct experience.

ForPetesSakeNotAgain Wed 23-Apr-14 18:57:20

Thanks for the suggestion DwellsundertheSink - do you know anything about Frensham Heights admission process in practice? On their website they say "We are selective only in the sense that we aim to choose the students we believe will get the most out of everything the school has to offer" which sounds lovely but they also say that "candidates are also set skills-based standardised tests in reading, writing, spelling and maths. In addition, they will sit a science paper and non-verbal reasoning paper.....We aim to have all the papers marked and offers made within a week" which sounds rather less cuddly but they may not mean it the way it sounds.

I can't pretend that if they offer places after a competitive academic focused exam that DS1 would be top of their list!

ForPetesSakeNotAgain Wed 23-Apr-14 19:02:32

Thanks for all the votes for Somerset. We are planning a week there at the end of June to see whether we think we could cope. We currently live in a small country, are surrounded by fields with nothing at all in walking distance - I am a bit desperate to move somewhere I could walk to the shops and maybe have the occasional takeaway curry. So I was thinking Wells? Should I consider Castle Cary too?

Wells is where they filmed Hot Fuzz. I don't know how accurate a representation it is of the actual place itself though grin

GuybrushThreepwoodMightyPirate Wed 23-Apr-14 19:23:26

Wells could certainly furnish you with a takeaway or two. Some nice pubs, independent cinema and shops plus lovely town (city?!) centre with Cathedral and Bishop's Palace. About half an hour to Bath for theatre or a bit further for Bristol. Castle Cary is 15/20 mins away by car.
Johnny Hot Fuzz is awesome!

ForPetesSakeNotAgain Wed 23-Apr-14 21:29:21

Recommendations for movies as well as for schools - more than I could have hoped for. Hot Fuzz is obviously a key part of my research of Somerset locations and I'll be onto Amazon as soon as I finish.

Thanks everyone for the great recommendations for schools. I'm going to make a list of all the suggestions and then work my way through their websites.

Lottiedoubtie Wed 23-Apr-14 21:32:59

Mill Hill?

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