Alderley Edge School for girls & Cheadle Hulme???(26 Posts)
We are moving to Manchester by this March from Kent and really need a help in deciding schools which ultimately will decide upon the area where we will initially rent out.
I have a daughter in year 4 and a son year 1 both of them are in single sex schools at the moment in Kent, so I wanted to keep it that way but looks like there is a long waiting in Altrincham Prep for my son and Manch High for my DD.
So can anyone please suggests the reviews for Alderley Edge and Cheadle Hulme for my DD and DS respectively? Any thoughts about where to let will be much appreciated.. thanks
Both are good schools, but have a different feel. The facilities at AESG are excellent and they are great at Cheadle Hulme too. AESG is quite Cheshire/blingy but that is only a small part! Cheadle Hulme is mixed sex.
Whereabouts are you thinking of moving? From Cheadle Hulme to AESG it will be an hour minimum in rush hour traffic, which is something to think about.
Knutsford is nice, in catchment for Altrinham Grammar girls but not the boys, but some from the area to get in. There is also Kings School in Macclefield and The Grange in Hartford. Knutsford, Wilmslow and the areas inbetween are nice. Do you want a city feel or more of a small town/village?
Please let me know if you have any other questions.
Have you looked at Stockport Grammar School? Not sure what it's reputation is like now but used to be an excellent school. Within travelling distance if you move to nice parts of Bramhall, Cheadle etc.
Thanks CheshireEditor for answering... thats really something to think if it takes an hr from CH to AESG, as I google it and that only tells about 5 miles. I am not looking to drive an hr for schools coz that is what Im doing in Kent
To live we are looking for a mix of both actually... do not want to live really near the city. especially if we are choosing schools in South. I thought by choosing these schools we can get a home in Heaton Moor.. but as I said its all an internet search and do not get the clear idea when we visit. How about Ryleys if we go for AESG???
As people do not talk about much of these school. I have noticed the hype about Withington and MGS & MHSG more than these ones.
Yes Dancingdreamer I have looked at SGS too but as I said I am quite lost at the moment and it is end March we are looking forward to move for the start of next term there.
Think carefully about the traffic / travel issue ... Although school transport is prob available. What may look close on a map would indeed take 2-3 times as long due to traffic after 7.30am etc. I live close to where you are looking at. If you are going school run yourself look at schools less than 0.5 miles apart !! Have you considered Moor Allerton prep in Didsbury or Ladybarn of any of the other small private schools in Cheadle ?
Thanks itsahen.. yes I will be doing the school run myself I am thinking of keeping my DD in all girls so AESG sound good so far, for my son the next school to it is Ryleys but not sure about its reputation. Any suggestions on that one and do the kids get easy break through in schools like Manchester Grammar?? (as we might would like to move after few years)
Several of the MGS boys I knew came from the Ryleys, although they must have left 20 years ago. It was a good school then. I think it might be going mixed now, did I hear that somewhere?
Stockport Grammar is excellent, although mixed sex. Easy commute from Heaton Moor.
Yes JanePurdy Ryleys have now started taking girls too and they say in few years time it will be well mix of both.
Thanks knickernicker.. I saw SGS too but will that be easily commutable during rush hr from Alderley edge?
Yes, children do go to SGS fron Alderley Edge. There are school busses that go there which you could consider once they're older.
Wilmslow prep? Takes boys and girls but they are in seperate classes at KS2. Not far from the Heatons
They are very different schools IMO. We live in the south now but my eldest 2went to CHS when we lived in wilmslow. It took anything from 15mins to 25mins in the morning depending upon traffic. Id say the heatons are a bit far out for those schools but depends what you're looking for. Most kids at CHS either lived in Bramhall, Wilmslow or AE although a few actually lived in CH too. Some did travel from further out but the A34 used to be horrific in the mornings as is all traffic in S Manchester/Cheshire. I don't miss that bit at all although I do miss the school and the boys loved it.
I looked around AESG just to compare even though I just had boys. It's a much smaller school and very cheshirey if ykwim. Well, you won't know coming from kent but you soon will! We moved up from Surrey and are now in Sussex and nothing is like that bit of the country!
I also looked at Kings and Stockport Grammar. Personally, I don't like single sex schools so didn't look at the Ryleys although I know it's gone co-ed since we moved away. I didn't like either Kings or SGS because they weren't what I was looking for but they may well be what you want. Kings is mixed at juniors then single sex at seniors. SGS was too academically narrow and pushy for me especially as I had a very very able child. I wanted a bit more breadth for him.
In terms of where to rent; we rented in Wilmslow then bought there but if we were up there again I'd consider Bramhall and Poynton more closely. Both are lovely with good housing stock and nice village centres. Also over run with young families and lots of clubs for kids too. Wilmslow more of a town which may suit you better. It did us at the time although it sometimes felt we were a bit too far out whereas Bramhall and Poynton feel a bit closer in to Manchester. If you're sure you want your dd to go to MHSG then it will be a fair trek from AE or Wilmslow. Knutsford is lovely and the Grange school is excellent but it was too far out for us.
MHSG is where I should have put my two in the first place but didn't know it existed!! My two daughters started out in the juniors at Alderley Edge School for Girls (AESG) after moving from London. We had issues with mean girls that were handled appallingly by the then head (now gone). When we looked to move them we discovered that they weren't up to speed academically - even when compared to the local primary (despite them being bright girls). I'm not too sure if the senior school would have helped them reach their potential but the junior certainly wasn't!! It was cuddly & nurturing and we assumed that being private that the academic side was a given. WRONG. We looked at ALL the schools - we wanted somewhere with great pastoral care but also more academic (or at least allowing them to reach potential). I found Ryleys still too geared towards boys despite it being recently mixed (only 5 girls out of 30 in eldest dd's year), Wilmslow Prep didn't hit the button for me as seemed very similar to AESG. Cheadle Hulme was lovely but only had a place for one daughter, seemed well rounded although not as academic as Stockport, where I REALLY liked - not too sure what 'worried' means by a lack of breadth - the curriculum is sound and the co-curricular subjects/clubs are extremely extensive!! SGS was just too far away for a primary school. Man High was a firm favourite but our eldest dd's reading/comprehension wasn't quite strong enough (due to AESG??). We decided on Lady Barn House School (in Cheadle) and were delighted that they accepted them! Both girls have come on leaps & bounds both academically and emotionally. It's mixed, which may make a difference. It's not at all a hot house but gently encouraging & generally a great prep! Not at all WASP with a good ethnic/social mix. It's a 20/30 minute drive at peak times from Alderley/Wilmslow (ouch) but well worth it!!
I agree with 'worried' about Bramhall as I now feel that we live quite a way from the better schools (Man High, MGS, Stockport Grammar, Cheadle Hulme). We are currently doing the rounds for senior schools and we are all agreed that the best thing we ever did was move them from AESG. Shame as we could walk there!
My cousin goes to SGS from Alderey Edge. Although she's in the sixth form now. She loves it has an excellent friendship network, is involved in team sports and achieved mainly A stars in her gcses last summer.
I went to MHSG many moons ago, and my family home was between Wilmslow and Alderley. The journey was fiddly but do-able, and in my later years there was a school bus. I certainly didn't have the longest journey to school, I had friends in Holmes Chapel, Buxton, Whaley Bridge, etc. so don't write off MHSG journey wise if living out that way!
Thank you soo much all of you for the details provided above. But what to do now as my dd is on waiting for MHSG and lady barn house is still not for her as I will have to change her school again after a year or so... she is in year 4 now..
Or shall I let her start at AESG as she has been offered a place there and when we get a chance for MHSG move her there isnt it ???
For my ds yes I have called for Lady Barn House .. initially I did not want to opt for it due to its size but now i think its worth a try.
So renting the house depends on where we settle in terms of school.
I went to Withington Girls which could also be a good option for your Dd?!
Have you looked at Lymm or Hale to live?
I visited Withington, but did not like the internal environment tbh. My dd is really a sweet and polite girly girl and likes to enjoy Ballet and drama and other stuff along with studies of course. But the head was not very keen on listening to such stuff and as obviously all they care about is their leagues table.
Yes we have seen Hale but not Lymm yet, just waiting to sort the schools first and decide the house in the middle somewhere
You mention putting your dd in AESG and then moving her to MHSG once their is a place. How dies thus differ from putting her in LBHS and moving her to MHSG? The difference for me would be that LBHS will keep her up to speed academically whereas AESG will likely not. Every girl I know that has moved from AESG to MHSG has been privately tutored. On the flip side, if you are living in AE or Wilmslow then she'll make local friends (as will you) if she goes to AESG.
Despite AESG being criticised for being very Cheshire, which it is, the parents there are lovely (as are the girls).
If you get offered a place at Lady Barn you should pounce on it as there's a waiting list to join nursery. Places rarely emerge further up and it's a cracking school. Everyone knows everyone after just a few short weeks. I'm delighted that a friend recommended it to me. My eldest dd started in Yr 4 and it feels like she's always been here!
I wish people would stop knocking AESG. My DD has been attending the junior school for two years now and couldn't be happier. We had huge problems at her last mixed prep school with bullying and with the 'hothouse' method that seemed to be the way the school taught. My daughter now thrives and is very much part of the school. She seems to be reaching her potential, doing well in all subjects. The school have a fantastic set of teachers, who got out of their way to make sure the girls are happy. I am so glad I moved my daughter into a single sex school, and away from a place where it was all work work work and no room for being children.
The problem with going to AESG with the plan to go elsewhere is that they have their own senior school - there's no incentive to prepare the girls for anywhere else!
You'd be better going to a prep (Wilmslow, Ladybarn, Pownall Hall, Ryleys) that will actually prepare for the entrance exams at 11.
Although a major problem recently is a lot of schools that were all girls/boys
tried to steal each others' pupils have become mixed, so you have much less choice if you want single sex.
Ladybarn does a good job of preparing children for the grammar schools - but you're right that it is quite big. Another one I'd consider is Greenbank Prep in Cheadle Hulme. My two boys go there (it's mixed but very gentle) and it is a lovely little school - only a single class intake, but still does the prep for secondary thing well.
I've been to see all of them and they all have their strengths and weaknesses. Don't be put off AESG if you liked it when you looked round. I know a lot of parents/girls who love and value it as a really friendly school which stretches the girls appropriately. Apparently the previous head was difficult but he only lasted a few years and it's now much better. Their value added in the secondary school is brilliant - which means they must push girls well. I've heard it's less concerned with league tables and deliberately sells itself as not being a hot house. I know of a couple of (bright) girls who went to Withington and MHSG but were asked to leave in Year 6 as the school felt they could get better results from other pupils. Nevermind that they were with friends / supposedly valued members of the school etc etc. They had been happy up until that point, though, so there are good things happening, too. I'd go with your instincts about your children and what type of environment they'd be happiest in. Sorry about the long post - just know how stressful it is to find the right school!
That's not entirely true - everybody who wants to go to the senior school has to sit the entrance exam and have an interview. They warn the juniors in advance if they don't think they'll pass the entrance exam. That seems kinder to me than just letting you fail it with no idea and have not sat anywhere else and end up with no place!
It's a feature of a selective school, Ladybarn does the same thing, but obviously earlier on.
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