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Feeder State Schools for Grammar in WA14 area of Altricham

(76 Posts)
mah24 Sat 07-Jan-17 00:29:02

Hi All, we are moving to Alty WA14 area by end of the month. Looking for good State schools who can help my 2 daughters to prepare for the Grammar Schools (8 year and 6 year old)

Checked the admission office and were told that only school we can get the place for both girls is Broadheath Primary. Not sure how good is the school?

We are currently considering two properties for renting. One in Bowdon Vale area near Bollin School (Apparently no place for us at the moment). This property is bit dated and not our first preference. The reason we are considering this is due to closer to Bollin and some good grammar schools.

The second property is near Oldfield Brow Primary School (again no places). This property is very good and we loved it as home. Only concern is a out of catchment area of some good schools such as Bollin.

It is more closer to Broadheath PS as compared to the other though.

We are confused now. Not sure which property to choose and which one is better in long run. Any help/suggestions will be appreciated.

PS- we are non Christian so not sure will get any place in the Church schools if the demand is already so high?


WineSpider Sat 07-Jan-17 14:14:06

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

swaying Sat 07-Jan-17 16:27:15

No primary school feeds into a grammar, you need to do the prep yourself. A school with lots of their peers doing this too obviously held with motivation but that's it really. Oldfield is a good school so you could move there , start at broad Heath and wait for a place? Although I assume the bollin one is also near Bowden c of e which isn't very religious in terms of admissions. TBH I would look to move somewhere that you are happy with the alternatives to grammars as a priority as a back up plan. Also get on the 11+ forum.

mah24 Sat 07-Jan-17 22:43:19

@ Swaying- Many thanks for the reply. We have decided to go for property near Oldbrow school.

Now need to decide which schools to put in our preferences list

A quick question- is it worth choosing a school which is outside the catchment area or we shall not be considered?

Our preference will be as follow based on the distance and feedback

1- Oldfield Brow (nearest and good results)
2- Alt CoE (Same as above)
3- Bollin (9th as per distance - outside catchment)
4- Stamford Junior (8th as per distance-outside catchment)
5- Navigation (4th by distance)
6- Broadheath (3rd in list)


itsahen Sat 07-Jan-17 23:37:26

Schools in that area are very over subscribed so be realistic. They may not get places in your preferred schools. All the DC wanting grammar entry and tutored from yr 4/5 anyway, so take what spaces come up and plan for that?

itsahen Sat 07-Jan-17 23:38:51

The catchment only comes into play BTW if spaces come up and yes DC in catchment and on waiting list will be ahead of you.

Zampa Sun 08-Jan-17 07:40:51

A friend's daughter attends Bowdon Prep and they both love it. Obviously it's fee paying but I understand that about 50% of the class go on to AGGS.

mandy214 Sun 08-Jan-17 10:47:06

As pp has said, the schools are massively oversubscribed and if you put a school where you are out of catchment, you will be leapfrogged on the waiting list every time someone moves into catchment. There is a risk therefore that it will be a very long wait.

I'd also agree with the pp who talked about having a back up plan - it is very difficult now to get into the local grammar schools, so look at catchments for secondary school now too - especially as you have an 8 year old, it'll come round very quickly.

itsahen Sun 08-Jan-17 16:28:59

Have you thought about which Grammars you want to try for? Maybe look them up on the 11+ forums etc as some are massively selective and need to decide realistically if your DC will have a chance. Is it just the Alty ones or any Trafford one? As I said, a lot tutor from Y5 to get in some prepare for that and decide if thats what yoiu really want.

mah24 Sun 08-Jan-17 18:34:40

Hi All, thanks for the reply and input. Much appreciated.

@ itsahen- We would like to go to Alt Grammar for girls if they managed to pass the exams or Sale Grammar or Any other Traford ones .

@ Mandy- Did not think about the back up but you are right need to think about that. Any suggestions of the best back up schools in the area.

@ Zampa- Unfortunately cannot afford fee paying schools at the moment due to some financial commitments. BTW any idea of annual costs per child for Bowdon Prep?


mandy214 Sun 08-Jan-17 18:49:15

You need to do your research about Bowdon Prep and the results (this goes for any school - you need to visit the school, speak to the teaching staff and see the school in action rather than relying on an internet forum smile - as with any school, the results vary year on year (and they weren't particularly good this year at Bowdon Prep - it was definitely less than a 50% pass rate for Altrincham Girls School). I think fees are around £3k per term per child.

Secondary options - Wellington School is generally very well thought of but you would be outside of the catchment in Oldfield Brow. It generally goes out to about 1.2 miles from the school. You'd be in the catchment for North Cestrian - this used to be a private school but has recently become a free school. I think (personally) it might take a few years to get up to the standard of Wellington and others, but that's just my opinion - again, just go and look.

Then there is Altrincham College of Arts, Ashton on Mersey, Lymm but again, you need to do your homework about catchments.

theknackster Mon 09-Jan-17 16:04:04

Oldfield Brow should be OK for Wellington now (as North Cestrian has changed the balance of applications) - certainly Oldfield Brow was fine last year for Wellington (all applicants from WA14 & WA15 were offered places), we'll know about this year in a couple of months!

No chance for Ashton on Mersey from Oldfield Brow, though! Wellington, ACA and North Cestrian are the Trafford non-grammar options.

mah24 Tue 10-Jan-17 06:35:28

Thanks for the comments. Will keep an eye on the other schools but hopefully DS can pass the entrance tests for grammar.

itsahen Tue 10-Jan-17 12:43:37

Just be realistic about chances as AGGS is ultra selective

mah24 Wed 11-Jan-17 00:11:55

@ hi itsahen- yes getting idea now. What about Sales Grammar?

Do you have any idea which Grammar school is relatively easier to get into?

itsahen Wed 11-Jan-17 08:55:15

Sale and Stretford are easier than AGGS but then some people will also say that a good / outstanding comprehensive in Alty or Manchester / Stockport / Cheshire is as good as those if you analyse the results and take into account all the tutoring in Trafford that goes on and the selective grammar intakes. This is feed back I have had from teachers I know in secondary schools around the area. I am sure others can help with understanding exactly what percentage of Alty primary DC make it to AGGS. Its certainly not 50% or anything like that

itsahen Wed 11-Jan-17 08:56:25

Where are you moving from OP? I would try and visit the schools before you set your heart on them as all quite different.

theknackster Wed 11-Jan-17 09:34:36

It's a single exam for Alty Girls, Sale Grammar, Urmston Grammar and Stretford Grammar now (so nearly back to the old-style 11+!)...your DDs will sit just the one exam, and you can nominate which schools you'd like results from (they standardise the scores according to their own criteria and cohort, so the 'end result' scores for the different schools are all different despite the 'raw' score being the same). Purely anecdotally from last year, AGGS would be hardest to get a pass score for, then Sale, with Urmston and Stretford being 'easiest'. Stretford tends to have a fairly small boundary for offers (<3 miles) so its unlikely a child from Altrincham would get in, but Urmston is a possibility (albeit a long bus journey).

mandy214 Wed 11-Jan-17 10:07:08

Yes, just to back up what theknackster says, it is just one exam now for all of the grammars in Trafford (except for Altrincham Grammar for Boys and the catholic grammars).

You will be asked which schools you want to be considered for when you register for the exam. If you say yes to all 4, you will get individual letters with different scores on for each school (they each standardise / weight the questions slightly differently) and whether that school is a pass for each school. It sounds strange but that's how it works. I agree that AGGS is the most difficult to get into - one girl in my DD's class passed for Urmston, Stretford and Sale but didn't pass for AGGS.

The pass rate really depends on the school. My DD is now at AGGS and there are 34 girls in her year who are each the only girl to have come from their primary school. I think at the "top" primary schools its probably about a third (and those children will all have been privately tutored during Y5 in my experience).

There is a booklet on the Trafford Schools website called "transferring to secondary school" - the back couple of pages list all the high schools and how the offered places last year (I.e. how far down their oversubscription criteria they went and the furthest distance they offered). Might be worth a look.

itsahen Wed 11-Jan-17 11:02:27

Mandy - out of interest how many primary schools would you think sit in the 'top' bracket as you describe? Oldfield/Bollin/Bowden CofE/Stamford/Hayes Lane etc? ( all the most affluent areas too generally I assume? )

mah24 Wed 11-Jan-17 11:48:27

Hi both , really useful comments.

We are moving from North Manchester. We are renting so can always relocate if needed but will not be too easy.

We like to get the opportunity to our daughters to be in top schools if they pass the test. Obviously if they did not qualify for them we shall consider other options.

Willim Hulme and wally range in Manchester had some good reviews and there are few private if we could afford in 2-3 year time then we might go there.

mandy214 Wed 11-Jan-17 11:56:35

Itsahen I think it differs by area - I think maybe for Altrincham (that's all I really know) 3 or 4 - Bowdon Church School / Bollin / Stamford Park maybe Park Road in Timperley. When I say "top" I mean the schools that seem to get consistently high pass rates, not "top" according to Ofsted (as most of the Trafford Schools are outstanding) but there's obviously a correlation.

itsahen Wed 11-Jan-17 11:57:08

There are lots of good schools in reality. William Hulme used to be private and is now a free school that has expanded a lot so demographic will change over time. Time will tell if the academic results change or not.
Whalley Range is a good girls comp for sure, but totally different from some where like AGGS; outlook, provision, demographics etc
There are privates like WGS and MHS but they are selective too of course.
You will really need to go round them and look when your DD gets to year 4/5 I think to understand the differences.

mandy214 Wed 11-Jan-17 12:00:58

Mah24 just one thing to bear in mind if you're renting that I think you need at least a 12 month tenancy to be considered for primary schools in Trafford.

itsahen Wed 11-Jan-17 12:01:15

Thanks Mandy - was just interested as have lots of friends in that area. I was surprised recently when a colleagues DD did not get in as she was convinced she would. I got what you meant by 'top' - top in terms of roughly the amount going to grammar. ( 'Top' for a school is of course highly subjective in the wider sense and grammar is not for everyone capabale or not). Their catchments of course are highly affluent too and no doubt parents are able to afford tutors as well as supportive home and intelligent parents hahah thanks - interesting

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