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Merchant Taylors & St Mary's College, Crosby (Liverpool)(23 Posts)
Looking at transferring ds to the prep dept of one of the above for start of Y3, as quite underwhelmed with current state primary. Also have a younger dd so need to consider Merchants boys and girls.
Any feedback from current/ past parents would be appreciated- interested in atmosphere/ culture as well as academics!!
Meant to say- we intend to keep them on into the senior dept of whichever school we go for.
I went to Stanfield and MTGS (quite some time ago!) and had a fantastic experience of school. I absolutely loved the place and still feel like I owe them a great deal for my excellent education.
Back then Stanfield in particular was not for the feint-hearted academically. The academic standards at Merchants are much higher than those at St Marys.
In my day it was driven home to us that we were very lucky to be there and if we didn't want to behave well enough/ work hard enough to be there then there were ten other children in a queue for our place who would. As a result the standards of behaviour and effort were incredibly high. I think in my whole time at MTGS I only ever saw one girl recieve an 'order mark' in class- and that was only for answering without putting her hand up. However, it did not by any means turn out robots. The school was definitely in the business of teaching girls to think critically and independently and was almost a bit feminist in it's advocacy of girls aiming high and becoming whoever they wanted to be.
Mind you, this was all in the day when there were many assissted places available so it was almost the case that anybody who was bright enough to benefit from the education could go there. I don't know if the culture has changed now. I have heard in passing that Stanfield especially has become a bit 'footballers' wives'.
My dd went to St Marys and left two years ago for a state 6th form college. We chose it as we wanted a mixed school and it had a good academic reputation at that time. We had high hopes when she started but found that she was not stretched academically and got bored. Worryingly visits to the senior staff : Head of Lower School, Head of Year and even the Head did not improve the situation. The pastoral care was good. Things may well have improved as the Head changed while my dd was there, though the numbers in the Senior School have fallen.
Similarly, I transferred my daughter, rather late in the day, during Year 5, to St Mary's Prep School (The Mount). I can't commend it highly enough. The whole prep. school care, ethos and academic achievement has been second to none. Mr Collins and the staff get it just right, with a lovely balance of good discipline, friendliness, and fun with a true family atmosphere. I think the The Mount is holding a prospective parents' visiting day fairly soon, but I know you can just make an appointment individually if you prefer and look round. My daughter has never looked back; several years on, she is now at St Mary's College and thriving academicaly, socially and in terms of the wider curriculum of music and sport. The college offers wonderful all round development and, as she said during the first days at The Mount "This school really makes me want to get out of bed in the mornings". That attitude has never changed and you can't get any more motivated than that! Best of luck to you and your girls.
Have since learnt what the abbreviations mean! Sorry for inadvertently feminising your ds, so that should read best of luck to you and your dd and ds! I am getting the hang of this now! x
Merchant Taylors was our first choice having done lots of research before making our final decision. We currently have one child in the junior school and one in the senior school who is dyslexic.
You must visit the junior school, Stanfield, and meet with Miss Yardley, the Headmistress, who is without out doubt the most positive and lovely lady you could wish to meet. She is full of enthusiasm which spreads all through the school. We visited on a day that was not specifically an open day (always a good ploy) and the staff couldn't have been more welcoming. The most important thing was to see the girls themselves, busy working with obvious motivation, all of whom were happy to show us what they were doing unrehearsed!
Transition to the senior school was smooth and our daughter visited the building many times during year 6 to get to know her way around. She was well prepared for the entrance examination and we were given a good indication of her academic ability and how well she would cope alongside her peers given her dyslexia. We needn't have worried as since she transferred to the senior school she has thrived. She receives weekly support and all the staff, who are fully aware of her strength and weaknesses, have contributed to raising her self-esteem.
The school's academic reputation goes before it but we want far more than that for our girls. The single sex thing was a bonus for us although there are quite few opportunities for the girls to join the boys from down the road in extra curricular activities.
Any causes for concern have been quickly addressed and followed up quickly and we are always made to feel welcome when visiting the school.
Hope this all helps!
I wouldn't recommend the Merchant Taylors' Junior Boys School. The standard was poor and far too obsessed with sport to the detriment of everything else (Certainly no better than any local primary).Teaching materials were shabby, out-of-date or poor photocopies. If you have a bright child don't bother... buy plenty of books, if not try Kumon.
A lot of parents just put their child in for Year 6 - to be coached through the exam.
Do not underestimate St. Mary's College and The Mount. They have exceptionally high standards just as Merchants do, but St. Mary's provide a much warmer and caring environment. St. Mary's support all pupils, even those who are a risk of not getting the higher grades (Merchants I believe get rid of pupils who may not gain the higher grades, so they can remain top in the league tables.) St. Mary's also do very well in sports and have higher standards in music, providing every child with free 1-to-1 tuition in an instrument and work children through their grades.
My children are very high achievers. They used to be at Merchant Taylors' Schools - overall it was good. They are now at St. Mary's and The Mount - it is exceptional in every way.
St Mary's offers and delivers an exceptional all round education. My children have all been extremely happy both at The Mount and College and the school has managed to bring out their individual talents- not only academically but in sport and music in particular. The ethos of the school expects the children to achieve their potential academically and also helps each child to develop as an individual, think of others and prepares them incredibly well for their future. I cannot recommend St Mary's highly enough.
This is weird because having heard about both schools through reputation I understood the academic standards for Merchants was really high and lots of people were transferring from St. Mary's to Merchants. A lady told me the other day St. Mary's was struggling for numbers. I think her do had sat the exams for both.
All the 'St Mary's standards are just as high' comments have been made by people with dc at St Mary's. For their own reasons they must have selected against MTS/MTGS so they are not unbiased (although perfectly valid) opinions.
The academic standards at Merchants are higher, that cannot be disputed. Maybe the pastoral aspects of the schools are different and suit different types of dc. In my day you did need to be quite a confident sort to enjoy Merchants.
Yep. That's how I understood it EBDteacher.
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I know families with dc at both schools. Both provide an excellent education, but from knowing the children (abilities and personalities) I would definitely choose St. Mary's over Merchants when my dd is old enough.
Interested to see what people think about this now (2013) as currently trying to decide between Merchants Junior Boys and St Mary's Prep...
I'm interested too, but only because I went to school in the area (but not to either of the ones mentioned).
In those days St. Mary's didn't take girls but I had several friends there who were boys. Merchant's was regarded as the better school academically (and also for swimming!) But that's a long time ago now.
I will mention that it used to be the case that MTGS was not in the Good School's Guide. I think it is now. I always wondered why, though.
Hi, I believe MT's is in the GSG now, if you get a chance do read their review, which made me laugh - I think it is described as being "very northern"!!
DD is in the junior school of MTGS, having started part way in the infants. Coming from a local state, I can honestly say that there is nothing so far I could say negative about her or our experience of Stanfield.
I don't think DD is particularly academic, but I have absolute faith that the school will get the best from her and she will achieve her best.
The whole ethos of the school is fantastic, empowering the girls, listening to them and giving them a sense of pride. Miss Yardley, as a previous poster said, is an amazing head.
I can't speak for St Mary's, I hear it is a good school, but several children have moved across from there in the last few terms. I am not sure as to the reasons why, but I would be concerned and find out more if I was making the decision between the two.
The boys went off to the boys school in Yr3 and the Mums I still see are very happy with their education too.
I feel very lucky we have found such a fabulous school.
They are currently undergoing a building programme to update the infant facilities at the Stanfield site, so it looks like their finances are in good order, which is reassuring. They have also picked up quite a few pupils from two other independents in the area that have closed in the last two years and are expecting to take on some that may have been destined for Liverpool College, which has become an academy, as such I believe they have three Yr6 classes, as opposed to the usual two.
My DDs (aged 7 & 9) are about to sit the admission exams for both MTGS & ST.M can anybody give some advice or pointers on what these exam's would entail or what to expect? Would like to prepare dds as much as possible, as process all new to them and they are understandably a little apprehensive. Thanks
Hello I know this thread has not been posted on for a while, but I want some information on this topic as my 11 year old son passed exams for both Merchant Taylors Boys and St Mary's and now have to choose one. MTBS is more reputable in terms of academic results, but St Mary's sounds good at 'all round education' including music?
Caveat that I don't have children at either school, mine are at a Lancashire independent that is not too far distant from Crosby. But speaking as a local of what I know more generally I wouldn't risk St Mary's - they along with all the Christian Brothers schools have lost a large portion of funding and I would view the recent (now abandoned) attempt to become a free school as a sign they are on shakey ground financially. I would worry they are not financially viable and you'd end up needing to get a place at Merchants at just the wrong time!
Looking at St Mary's accounts I don't see any reason to believe they are not financially viable. They look in reasonable financial state to me.
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