Aldro V's Lanesborough

(8 Posts)
esherry Tue 27-Jan-15 20:42:09

My DS has been offered a place at Aldro (he is 7) and is on the waiting list for Lanesborough. Location wise Lanesborough would suit as his sister is at GHS but there is no guarantee of a place. I'd love to hear some thought on Aldro - a new Head I know who I met and liked very much...anything more anyone could add? Also thought/opinions on whether I should hold out for Lanesborough ! DS is very sporty and pretty bright I thin but who really knows at 7 !! Many thanks in advance.

Auroborea Wed 28-Jan-15 22:31:16

Sorry, don't know much about Aldro, but Lanesborough has been wonderful for us so far (DS is in year 2 so I guess would be the same year group as your DS if he joined). Dd at GHS too, which works very well. Do you know where he is on the waiting list? Some places should become available in April when junior state places are offered and some people choose to take them up instead. Also, where would you like him to go at senior? As far as I know, Aldro mostly prepares for boarding, whereas Lanesborough is more (but not inclusively) day-focused. Hope someone will come along with more knowledge of Aldro for you! Well done to your DS for getting a place.

JammieMummy Thu 29-Jan-15 22:44:34

I have a friend with a son at Aldro. They are very positive about it and it would be my choice over Lanesborough, but that is because I think it would be a better fit for my son who needs out door space (too young to go yet but we are in the process of looking). Aldro go to 13 as the rule and prepare the boys for common entrance so it much more of a traditional prep, it is boarding school and a number of boys in the higher years do at least some boarding.

It is also a bit of a....ummmm..."surrey mummy" school. Lots of big flash cars at drop off time, few working mums and some comparisons going on! At least this is what I have heard from current parents.

Current head is a bit ineffectual, not great with parents but excellent with the boys. I liked him when we wondered round but could see issues if you actually needed something done now. But as you know he is leaving and I don't know the new head.

It traditionally feeds into Charterhouse but my understanding is that the new head wants to move away from this image and send the boys to a wider range of schools.

I would say it is a good school for a bright all rounder, it is selective and the lower years teacher were great on the open day and I really felt their enthusiasm for the job and the children. It offers a lot of extra curricular opportunities (I would say far more than Lanesborough) but it is a work hard, play hard school.

I hope that is a tiny bit helpful

BlueStringPudding Fri 30-Jan-15 00:13:48

DS started at Aldro in September and loves it. Both DH and I work and there are plenty of Mums that work as well as those that don't. Everyone is really friendly and the school prides itself on its large family ethos.

It is true to say that it is more of a prep school for Boarding and that's where the main focus is. We however plan to stay on the day school route and are not alone, and we are hopeful that the new head who has experience of both day and boarding schools will provide more advice for those going down the day route than perhaps has been the case in the past.

The facilities are great and the boys do an hour of sport a day. DS loves his lessons especially French as Monsieur is extremely funny.

ZebraGiraffe Sat 31-Jan-15 12:34:55

Ds was (many moons ago now as he is 24) at Lanesborough and we loved it. I hear from current parents that it has gone from strength to strength. It is wonderfully academic and allows boys to be themselves (often fairly geeky) in that it is acceptable for the boys to be into reading, making model railways, musical, into drama but also very sporty too. It is not guaranteed they will get into RGS but is the main linked prep school so probably the best place to go in terms of being prepared. Much more a town school but with a decent sized playing field. Perfect for all sorts of boys from the quiet, the geeky, the sporty or the arty.

I hear excellent things about aldro but it is much more a country prep school prearing for public school (although some go onto RGS/day school). I love the ethos of boys being in the outdoors and allowed to be boys. Probably more wealthy parents than lanesborough and it is boarding so that influences what it is like for day boys too.

thegamebird Fri 06-Mar-15 13:09:29

Our son is in his second year at Aldro. We feel that it is a unique school, offering the boys a very real 'boys' experience. They have outdoor sports every day, and on Tuesdays have x2 games sessions. The junior department prepares them well for the imminent rigours of Y5 onwards, and they are successful in placing boys in their senior schools of choice.

It has generally been accepted that Aldro 'feeds' Charterhouse, but not all of us are inclined towards that option, and many boys go further afield, with Wellington, Bradfield, Sherborne & Cranleigh just as popular.

I agree with BlueStringPudding that there are more working Mums. In our year group we have around a third that work. Of course we have our smattering of very wealthy parents, but you rarely know until your son ends up at a playdate at a huge house set in 50 acres of Surrey parkland! And we like that. Having come from Cobham, where the glam and glitz is all very much on show, we have seen far less of this, and we are blessed with an incredibly friendly and sociable year group.

The school is unique in it's family atmosphere. I think this come from the fact that it offers boarding. The campus is home to many of the staff, and they become friends as well as colleagues and this permeates throughout the school. We're not kept at arms length, and the 'leave your son to us' attitude that's endemic at manny inside the M25 schools is nowhere to be seen. In fact you wouldn't be surprised to see a mum picking up dirty kit on a Thursday evening on her way out for dinner!

The one thing to bear in mind is that from Y4 the boys go to school on Saturday mornings. It has to be this way to enable them to timetable so much outdoor team sports. For us this took a lot of consideration, but the huge benefits of so much sport have outweighed the extra school run, which we've recently mitigated by giving in to the begging and allowing our son to board on a Friday night.

For us an amazing and very special school, which we hope will be made even better with the addition of our new Head due to start in September, who we expect to rattle a few of the long-servers cages and inject a little umph into the sometimes more 'traditional' teaching methods. :-)

esherry Wed 11-Mar-15 11:06:55

Hi thegamebird - thanks so much for such a comprehensive response. We have accepted the place at Aldro and with each day (and comments from mums such as yourself), we feel very sure we have made the right decision. We have met the new Head and were very impressed by him - both his background and his willingness to let things lie rather then going in and changing everything for the sake of - quite refreshing, and takes alot of self confidence to assume this tack. Thanks so much for taking the time out to respond. Cheerio

esherry Wed 06-Jul-16 08:47:19

Aldro - a year on and boy did we make the right decision. Gorgeous grounds, polite, clever boys with 'normal' mums who dont live vicariously through their boys achievements, a family feel without being stifling, incredible breath of extra-curricular stuff and a Head who is hungry and ambitious but grounded.

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