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Manchester state vs private education (Moor Allerton Prep/MHSG-Manchester High School for Girls Prep Dep)

(3 Posts)
confusedparent2016 Thu 17-Mar-16 15:03:40

Hello, we would like our daughter to have an all-round good education, in a multi-cultural setting, with plenty of opportunities in dance, music, drama, sports and languages from a young age. We want her to become a happy, confident and resilient young lady with many opportunities, and not to be the subject of any bullying.

We are thinking about Manchester High School for Girls for her when she goes to high school which is close to us, or a free Grammar School further away in Trafford.

We are trying to decide if to send her to the local state primary school (currently Outstanding by Oftsted), or straight away in a Prep School (Moor Allerton) or the Prep Department of Manchester High School for Girls, to increase her chance of getting into MHSG or a Grammar School.

Despite liking Moor Allerton Prep School, the closest 2 options would be a mix of the local state school and MHSG: eg state nursery/school till 4, 7 or 11 years old, then MHSG from 4, 7 or 11 respectively. If she stayed at the state primary school till 11, she could also try the entrance exams for the Trafford Grammar Schools.

However we wonder how hard it would be for her to transition, the earlier she moves, the easier it would be we think in terms of settling in and entrance criteria, but of course it would cost more too. Also, we would like her to be in a mixed education setting as long as possible before going for instance to MHSG (I like the school and the opportunities it offers, but worry about bullying/nastiness between girls etc).

1. Have you got experience of moving from state nursery/primary school to MHSG or a Trafford Grammar School, and what are your experiences please?

2. If a child is bright, is it enough to support them with reading and school work, and do the Bond exam papers etc together, in order to be at the same level as children that went to a Prep School? If a child is less bright academically, but more artistic or sporty for instance, would they be better off at an excellent state primary school or at MHSG where they may be helped more, but could also fall behind other girls?

3. However, would it just be easier and less stressful to send her to MHSG at 4 till 18 years for instance? Would she miss out by not having male school friends at such a young age?

4. Does anyone know if MHSG takes a good proportion of children from State education?

Thank you for your help smile

namechangedtoday15 Thu 17-Mar-16 18:28:16

I take it your DD is less than 4 at the moment, so I think it is really early to be contemplating what to do at 11, although I understand waiting lists etc for the schools might be a factor.

But to answer your questions :
1. About to make transition from state primary to Trafford Grammar. I don't think its an issue whether you come from prep or state - the child has obviously done well enough to pass the exam and there are blocks of children that come from both state and prep.

2. All the children I know who took the entrance exams for Trafford grammars were tutored to some extent (1 or 2 were DIY tutored by parents, but everyone else - whether they were at prep or state, had a tutor). You imply that a prep child will do better than a state pupil - I think you need to see the schools. That's not always the case.

3. Going through the entrance exam process is definitely stressful and there were parents who moved their children at my DC (state) school at 7 (and later) to avoid it. I do think its important to have co-ed education, at least in primary, but that comes down to personal choice.

4. I don't know for sure but I would expect so. It's worth pointing out that if you're close to MHSG you might be out of catchment for the Trafford grammar schools. Certainly for Altrincham Girls, although the published catchment is 8 miles, they usually fill all of their places with children living within 5 miles. This year may be different as they changed the exam format and it may affect that, but its worth knowing that certainly before this year, the catchment has been shrinking every year so by the time your DD gets to senior school age, you may not get a place even if your DD passes if you live where you live now.

Hope that helps.

confusedparent2016 Sat 19-Mar-16 02:22:32

Thank you very much Namechangedtoday15 for taking the time to reply so much in depth to all my questions smile It was really useful and has confirmed things I already thought, but was not sure about (eg moving a child from State to Private School at 7 to help with entrance exams at 11). By mistake I posted twice my question and I have also had replies on
Thank you very much again, it has helped!

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