Up to date opinions on Cranmore Prep(37 Posts)
We are considering moving our little boy to Cranmore prep for reception 2013. Have heard mixed reports of Cranmore; the most worrying being that the school becomes less nurturing and v competitive as the boys get older. Would really appreciate views from parents who have recent experience of the school. Thank you.
Hi. Cranmore has changed a lot in the recent years. It is becoming a big school as the are plans to go up to 16 now, hence they need the money so they are looking into 60 boys in a year group (3classes) limiting sports, art, drama and music opportunities. There is definitively a no sport for everyone ethos. Pastoral care is very poor and bullying is a big issue, school just sweeps it under the carpet. It is very competitive and they push the children to grow up too soon. Depends on your child but its a school that won't suit every boy.
I like Cranmore, I have just written on another thread. My son is year 3 so I don't know how it rates as they get older. A parent of an older by told me her son was bullied & they dealt with it quickly & brilliantly.
Pastoral care is great, the teachers and Chaplain always have time to listen and lend support with the utmost kindness.
Re sport, they often have fixtures for teams A-G, so everyone gets to represent their school.
There are around 45 in the current Year 3, usually 15-18 per class.
It is bigger then many preps but the Juniors (up to & including year 3) barely see the Seniors as they have different schedules, eg different lunch & break times.
They are discussing if if will go to age 16, with parent debates and referendums. I'm sure they will make the right decision.
I have a very poor opinion of Cranmore and still feel very upset with the kind of start to their education that my boys had to endure. Unless your child is a certain type, e.g. aggressively competitive in either the academic or sporting field, forget it. Teachers are extremely defensive; when you ring up to discuss an issue they automatically feel you are criticising them, when really all you are doing is seeking the best for your child. I once left a message for a teacher to ring me about a concern I had with my child's results. The teacher was so petrified she pulled my son over in the corridor to ask him what he thought I might want her for! Obviously I didn't want my son to know I was calling the teacher as he would have been anxious. How unprofessional! The teachers don't seem to work as a team with some criticising their colleagues which I find very unprofessional. My sons are now at a different school and one said to me after their first day 'the teachers are nice', in other words, they had never experienced that before. The teachers at my son's new school are kind, respectful and elegant in spirit. Yesterday the children had a treasure hunt on the playing field, finding sweets, this would never have happened at Cranmore - they are far too grumpy. I do understand that children have to learn responsibility but really, at Cranmore they want to make them into little old men. They are not very respectful of children either, one of the teachers kicked my son's school bag out of the passageway between desks. I think they knocked every bit of spirit, happiness and confidence out of my son. Sorry to go on, but I feel quite resentful, if it was a State school it wouldn't be allowed. And by the way, I'm not one of those moaning parents, quite the opposite, so what I am saying is the absolute truth. I think Cranmore would be quite shocked to read this, if only they would LISTEN to what their customers had to say, like any other business would, they would learn quite a lot, but they never ask, they are quite arrogant. There were a couple of other incidences I could mention which the school handled really badly, basically to sweep things under the carpet.
I know a neighbour who has pulled her son from Cranmore, pretty much due to all the reasons mentioned above. He is so much happier and thriving a lot more at his new school, apparently he was incredibly anxious and forever coming home upset or worried about something. I know another family who found similar things. I think it only works for very confident, top of the class types who thrive on competition.
PS look at lanesborough! Couldn't recommend it more highly.
Another bad experience. Although we didn't even start. We registered our son to start but had a question to ask the school. We had a few concerns about the class he was to be put in. The deputy rang us and was so defensive and cold and told us we had no control over the situation. We could either accept and join the school or find somewhere else. Needless to say, we did just that. The school is beautiful but there was something that made me feel unsure and uneasy from the word go. I couldn't put my finger on it until it was almost too late.
Thank you to all of those who have shared their thoughts on Cranmore. I was considering it for my son...but this is no longer the case!
My preferred choice has always been Lanesborough (predictably?) but surely it is near-impossible to get a place there given the demand? I would very much welcome any information and advice on the topic from current parents. Thank you!
In terms of how to get them into Lanesborough-
If your son is not yet 3, I would recommend trying to get him into the nursery. You then can have an extra shot at it a year later is necessary. Look at other nurseries such as Drayton House who are great at prepping for private school entry.
You can work with them on things for the admissions test. It is hard though, I did a bit but definitely didn't over prep as I wanted DS to only go there if it was right for him. He joined for year 1.
Other good options are Rydes Hill/St Hilarys until 7 and then aldro, Glenesk in Horsley, heard good things about Duke of Kent recently, Downsend or Feltonfleet. Other direction- Haslemere Prep, St Edmunds (we actually pulled our son out of there after Reception but that was nearly 20 years ago and heard things have changed.
Thanks a lot, Happymum22, and apologies for hijacking the thread. I know there are lots of very good options around (although I haven't heard very nice things about Rydes Hill lately).
Sometimesinthefall, if you can, work on building his social confidence, as it can be a huge thing for a three year old to leave your side and walk into a room full of teachers, even if the teachers are very nice (as they are at Lanesborough). Everything else should fall into place, although (for Shell entry) you may wish to check that he can do the usual developmental things like threading beads, holding the pencil correctly, copying simple shapes, recognizing letters and numbers, using scissors, hearing rhymes, etc. if you miss out on nursery and shell, 2 more places become available in year 1, as each class expands from 16 to 17. There are also waiting lists, and people do move occasionally. Good luck! In terms of other schools, we liked Longacre a lot.
What is wrong with Rydes Hill (considering for my daughter)?
Thank you Auroborea, this is really helpful! I think my son will only take the Shell assessment as he is fast approaching 3 and super happy where he is. I am a huge fan of Longacre too, and it must be said that their results are now really strong too.
About Rydes Hill, I have heard quite tough things about the management, who seem to be very intent on 'nailing' clients (getting them to put down a deposit after the first visit etc), and also bad experiences with pastoral care. Of course, the very small number of boys also mean that that it's not as good an option for them as it might be for girls. By the way, I would recommend Longacre unreservedly for a girl - but I suspect that you may be looking at central Guildford schools for yours.
That's very interesting, sometimesinthefall, as so far I've only heard positives about Rydes Hill. Nice to know of another Longacre fan! If we lived on the right side of Guildford, we wouldn't hesitate putting both of our children there, certainly for nursery and Kindergarden. Unfortunately we are on a different side, so it's tricky. The same applies to St Catherine's (we saw it and fell in love), so yes, the other two girls schools would be more convenient (especially with DS at Lanesborough). (Sorry, op, I've highjacked the thread even more!)
Just to derail this thread a little bit more (it drew my attention as we are considering Cranmore for our son). Our daughter is enrolled at Rydes dueti start next term but we have a number of friends with children further up the school. We didn't feel any pressure to sign up/put deposits down at any point and we made it very clear we were considering other schools too. All of our friends are very positive about pastoral care and the family feel of the school. The only complaint I have heard is that they are increasing class sizes, up to 22.
However, I don't think we will be sending our son there. It is not set up for boys (they are a bit of an after thought).
My own experience of Rydes Hill is a bit ambivalent. We read this forum and heard other feedback before we started Rydes Hill. We did find it to be very good for learning and writing but not as good for DD as we hoped. It is a bit disruptive as far as boys are concerned, I mean disruptive for our DD who complained several time about boys at the nursery being naughty, and even pushing and hitting her occasionally. Nothing too bad but we are looking at Longacre, St Hilarys and St Teresas as alternatives.
Also for those signing up to their reception year they have recently implemented 2-terms' notice and we find this hard to accept and no other school in the area has such a tough policy at the moment.
Any thoughts about attending prep and preprep at St Teresas?
Just a quick note-please do not dismiss Cranmore just because of the odd bad experience-this happens at any school. I taught boys who left Cranmore and you could pick them out amongst their peers-polite, super-bright and keen.
All schools have their fans and critics. Do go and look!
Sadly, I don't think I was alone in my 'bad experience'. I do agree that everyone should have a good look around all potential schools, and make their own decisions, but also to heed the advice of others with first hand experience.
Hi... I guess you are now settled on a school choice, but just in case you are not, I have to add a view. My son started at cranmore in September and we love it. He is neither particularly sporty or at all competitive and yet the school is bringing the best out in him. He comes home all the time telling me how much he likes school and how he thinks it is the best school. So, please do have a look... I looked at the cranmore reviews and nearly didn't visit it. When I did I realised a lot of the 'reviews' on mums net were based on misinformation and gossip. I toured 6 schools and I am very pleased with our choice. The teachers are great, the opportunities they provide are amazing and my sons class is full of lovely well rounded boys. Good luck.
Hi all, i know this is a bit late but would like some thoughts...... we are considering cranmore and city of london freemans in ashtead for my son. He is more sporty than academic but trys really hard. Also just thinking about Parkside but dont know much anout it. Are they all similar academic wise, i got the impression that Parksidse wasnt as academic? Head in a total spin! Help!
the massive benefit of CLFS is that it is a through school so no entrance exams at 11/13 - and that it is co-ed but you may have strong feelings about single sex schooling? However CLFS is quite academic and they do go for a "type" so quite difficult to get into. What is current Head saying?
Current school says he is borderline for colfs, but she doesn't seem to favour colfs at all. Going to visit parkside this week. It will either be cranmore, colfs or parkside.
Are you doing 7+ ? If so I would sit them all and give yourself a dilemma. Do 2 at least as it can be something of a lottery
Message withdrawn at poster's request.
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