Up to date opinions on Cranmore Prep

(33 Posts)
Aja75 Sun 28-Apr-13 19:14:50

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.

HeartandSoul100 Sat 26-Apr-14 21:33:00

Just following on from the comments regarding bullying. In my opinion, and very sadly, bullying occurs in all schools - fact. There is good parenting, and not so good parenting - fact. Bullying is so often the result of children not being taught to respect others, to understand others, and to be kind to others. It is a parenting role to teach this, with reinforcement and support from schools, yet so often schools are left to pick-up the pieces, and precious, valuable teaching time is spent dealing with inappropriate behaviour - time that is taken away from the children who are respectful, well-behaved and want to learn. As with every school, there are times when/where unfortunately Cranmore also have to 'pick up these pieces' too - and from unfortunate personal experience, this is something they do very well - but shouldn't have to.

HeartandSoul100 Sat 26-Apr-14 18:01:24

Our son has been nothing but happy, secure and well-educated at Cranmore - both academically, and socially. We joined Cranmore in the Junior Department from a local Pre-Prep village school, and made the best decision ever - he is now absolutely thriving in the Senior Department - happy, secure & trusting. Teaching has been fantastic, and our son has been given the chance to 'have a go', and excel in all areas. He has never been 'pushed', by the school, or us as parents. He has been encouraged, and excited, by the areas he excels in, and supported and given confidence in other areas.
The Headmaster is fantastic - he is supportive, caring and really does want the best for the boys.
One thing to bear in mind is that all schools, every school, will have people vocalising based on their own experiences - but please bear in mind these are personal, individual experiences with background, so all I would say is please follow your own views, and your own personal opinions.
We are very, very happy with Cranmore, our son is very, very happy and we will move on to our next senior school knowing he has had a wonderful, enriching & safe start. This is our own personal opinion based on personal experience, and one we as a family are all happy with. Good luck & happiness with your own personal choices, whatever they may be.

Commelareine Sun 05-Jan-14 05:42:55

I was quite shocked to read some of the comments about Cranmore on here, and sorry that people seem to have had bad experiences. I don't recognise the school from the overall impression you get after reading this however. There is always an element of matching the right school to the right boy, however some elements such as pastoral care, handling of bullying, communication with parents and opportunities for all boys are all, in my experience, excellent. I have 2 boys at the school and they have thrived since going there. Neither of them is particularly assertive or A-type personality. My eldest loves sport but is not an out-performer and is happy to play on the lower teams because he can achieve at his own level. Ay the same time there are some amazingly talented kids there and I feel that by seeing what they can achieve, my son sets his sights higher and tries harder. The boys are encouraged to focus on their own improvement rather than being in any way diminished by other boys' level of achievement. Academically, I have found the teachers to be strict but engaging, and very accessible by email whenever there is an issue I need to raise. They do encourage the boys to be independent a lot earlier than I've seen elsewhere which is tricky at first but I think it shows through in the attitude that you see in the boys when they leave. My son is not naturally very organised and it has been tricky for him to take this on board, however given this I would rather he learnt good organisation and study techniques now rather than fall behind because he's forgotten his books for every class. As for my youngest, he absolutely loves going to school and has learnt to read so quickly because, in my opinion, they have not pushed him but rather presented him with opportunities and got him interested in it. One of the main things that comes through for me at Cranmore is that they allow your child to develop at their own speed and are not solely assessing them on tests. They actively discourage tutoring and overloading with after school activities which I, for one, welcome. I would say to anyone considering Cranmore, take a look and talk to current parents before making a decision whether it's right for your kids. It can be useful to be aware of the negative points raised so you can check the specific issues with the school and other parents and make your own decision from there.

Mamamia80 Sun 22-Dec-13 21:47:58

I'm not english so I'm sorry for my way of expressing myself. We are not competing and that's why we took the boys out because even though they were given those awards of total highest merits every school year and we were told they were smart boys we didn't like the competitive environment. Parents competing with them through their children. The same applied in sports, they were in the A teams and swimming squads but we didn't mind as other parents did, and trust me the director of sports complained who parents argued because their children are not put in the A teams when they played outside sport in other clubs. If we were competitive we would have stayed as they were performing but the environment and morals were just wrong and they are still wrong. The pastoral care was poor and as my friends tell me the problems in the playground are still happening. I just don't believe in a hostility atmosphere when children have only one childhood to have fun. They are push to grow to fast. I'm giving my opinion and experience as the original post is asking views about Cranmore, I'm not sure mummy's love why you take it so personally and why are you being aggressive towards me. We are talking about experiences in a school, not about whether I can spell a surname or not....

NigellasDealer Sun 22-Dec-13 18:26:30

"mummy's love" post sounds like an extended advert for the school. odd choice of wording too.

MummysLove Sun 22-Dec-13 18:21:03

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

MummysLove Sun 22-Dec-13 16:59:07

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Mamamia80 Sun 22-Dec-13 16:29:11

Hi there. After 5 years we left Cranmore and my boys are so happy now! My boys were happy at Cranmore, well we thought they were but us as parents weren't as we noticed the school was changing a lot over the last 5 years and not a great change in our opinion. Now that my children are in a different environment I realised why people don't like Cranmore that much. I even felt bad of chosing Cranmore for them once. And I'm talking about 2 top of the class, music stars and A team players but they are much better off that environment now. When we see people from our old school or the boys go to play sport at Cranmore I see how blind I was just because the boys never complained or nothing tragic happened. But they are different children now and I can see now how a school can make a child be a truly happy person. It's a fantastic school when you see it from outside or even the first few years but I know a lot of people who are there who are not happy. If you come from the state system is obviously going to be better but that doesn't mean it's better than the rest of the private schools. Parkside I don't know very well but London's freeman is a fantastic school, it is in a completely different level to Cranmore, my sister in law is a teacher there. You can't go wrong with London's freeman. Also note that Cranmore is in financial trouble, they are going co ed in sept till year 2 but this is due to financial struggle. Mr Connelly has done it already at barrow Hills, I wouldn't be surprised if he leaves soon.

MummysLove Sun 15-Dec-13 06:33:07

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

homebythesea Tue 03-Dec-13 15:16:17

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

funmum42 Tue 03-Dec-13 14:56:25

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.

homebythesea Tue 03-Dec-13 13:58:57

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?

funmum42 Sun 01-Dec-13 09:32:49

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!

shorthillsmum Mon 11-Nov-13 11:28:12

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.

kittykatkat Sun 04-Aug-13 20:23:37

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.

RightMoveAddict Thu 25-Jul-13 13:47:05

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!

bestparent Mon 08-Jul-13 11:28:54

Any thoughts about attending prep and preprep at St Teresas?

bestparent Sun 07-Jul-13 23:49:55

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.

bestparent Sun 07-Jul-13 23:46:44

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.

JammieMummy Thu 04-Jul-13 23:41:59

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).

Auroborea Thu 04-Jul-13 21:52:00

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!)

sometimesinthefall Thu 04-Jul-13 11:28:52

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.

Auroborea Thu 04-Jul-13 11:19:25

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)?

sometimesinthefall Thu 04-Jul-13 08:38:42

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).

Happymum22 Wed 03-Jul-13 18:42:27

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.

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