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Does anyone how knowledge of Stockport Grammar Junior, Cheadle Hulme School Junior or Ladybarn House schools

(114 Posts)
pinkjello Wed 13-Oct-10 14:54:00

We are about to attend open days for these three schools. I know Ladybarn is a prep and the other two go up to 18 but wondered if there was any main differences.
Can anyone tell me about their local reputations. Are they all equally difficult to get into? Is one clearly better that the other two? Would the parents be similar at all three? Are they all as academic as each other? How do their facilities compare?

Sorry for all the questions and thank you for reading.

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AnnieLoBOOseder Wed 13-Oct-10 14:56:36

All I can tell you is that my 3 cousins went to Stockport Grammar and two of them are now doctors! So I'm guessing it must be pretty decent.... sorry if that's not hugely helpful! smile

pinkjello Wed 13-Oct-10 14:59:24

Thank you Annie. All comments are helpful especially as I'm not really sure what I'm looking for. I guess I'm looking for someone who has compared them in minute detail and can give me the lowdown! grin

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freelancescientist Wed 13-Oct-10 19:00:36

If it is any help (just from friends and colleagues at work, my 2 are state educated) - Ladybarn will prepare them for any of the local private secondaries (of which there are MANY) and is VERY popular. The other two do tend to groom them to stay with either CHS or SG. Both CH and SG have good local reputations. I think it also depends where you live as traffic around all 3 is a bugger at school drop off/pick up. I'd visit them all because AFAIK they are all different. My best buddy at work has 2 kids at SG and has been happy with it.

pinkjello Wed 13-Oct-10 19:15:07

Thank you freelance. With a son and 2 daughters, co-ed is important to us so at 11 we'd be looking at either of those two anyway.

SG does seem to have a good reputation from what I've heard. My eldest would start next year so I have until Christmas to decide or maybe let her be tested at all 3 and see who wants her first! grin

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pinkjello Wed 13-Oct-10 19:42:09


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dandlmum Thu 14-Oct-10 15:07:31

My first ever post on here, but I was so excited to see schools that I actually know, that felt inspired to post!

My 2 brothers and I went to Lady Barn (admittedly 20 years ago!) I then went on to a Manchester independent Senior school, one of my brothers went to SGS, other to CHS, so I knew them all well. Lady Barn was a fantastic school - as someone else has said, prepared you for any secondary (ie leaves your options open), also had lots of extra-curric etc. When we were that age then SGS was rated more highly than CHS, but I believe now that CHS is the more sought after school. SGS always used to be rather stricter and CHS a gentler environment, I am not sure whether that applies now.

I'm not sure about "testing". Lady Barn never used to test for entry, it was just about when you got your name down. I would have thought an "interview", ie a gentle chat with your dc would be all you would get at the others too at that age.

I would just look round and go with gut feeling. They are very different but all good so you are likely to know which you prefer.

pinkjello Thu 14-Oct-10 19:40:09

Thank you, dandlmum.
From what we've been able to find out it seems like Ladybarn don't test for entry but both the others do. Apparently last year CHS had 3 times as many applicants as places and SG told us they were heavily over-subscribed too. I guess that's why they both test at 4 now.

SG have made no bones about the fact that they're creaming off their applicants based on academics alone whereas CHS have indicated they're looking for bright kids who will be all rounders. That would only fit at most 2 of my 3 as my middle child is very bright but quite nerdy. He's only 3 but I can already tell. Just not sure but I guess we'll apply and see what Jan brings.
Thanks again

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thirtysomething Thu 14-Oct-10 21:18:40

I went to Ladybarn and Cheadle Hulme (then left CHS at 11 to go to one of the girls' schools for some stupid reason!).

Ladybarn was great fun if a little traditional (but we're talking 35 years ago!)...I have very fond memories of it - they encouraged us to try everything and prized individuality...

I quite liked CHS but to be honest in the junior school it's easy to feel tiny and lost as you're surrounded by much bigger children on the school felt like a huge school to me at age 8 and I was frightened of the older children I encountered in the dining hall...the boarding element creates a different kind of atmosphere and you can feel you're missing out on social stuff as a day pupil.

On the plus side the extra-curricular stuff was great and I still remember much of what I learnt there....I passed a mega-competitive 11plus exam after 3 years at CHS whereas I'd only scraped in at 8 so they certainly helped me academically.

From what I remember Stockport Grammar is pretty strict and very traditional but has a fab 6th form with a really good social life and turns out lots of very cool kids! CHS is much more relaxed and Bohemian by comparison...

pinkjello Fri 15-Oct-10 10:06:33

Thank you, thirtysomething.

CHS has no boarders these days. I think the brochure says boarding ceased in 1990. Their junior school was purpose built in the mid 90s I think, so is very self-contained with what looks on paper like an amazing playground with scooters and climbing frames etc.

We had a nursery mums night out last week and one of the mums also went to Ladybarn followed by Manchester High. She is sending her son to SG as she feels Ladybarn has changed and she wasn't as keen. But she did say her fond personal memories may have clouded her judgment so I don't know.

SG is looking like a good bet at the moment; safe and steady and I'm sure they'd do well there. CHS seems a bit more of an unknown for us right now. Yet I'm intrigued partly because it is so popular and so over subscribed so they must be offering something fab. Maybe kids look better in green than in black and yellow! grin

Thanks again anyway! smile

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thirtysomething Fri 15-Oct-10 10:59:52

Well I have to say all the people I was at CHS with back then who stayed on at 11 have gone on to do lots of weird and wonderful things and have more or less followed their dreams!

I didn't realise they no longer boarded there - i imagine that has improved the atmosphere of the school....

I think it's a fantastic school if you like sport, music, drama etc as the facilities are outstanding.

I think SGS has been through various different stages of development - when my cousin started there it was all boys' and ridiculously strict - then when they bought the Convent next door the rules relaxed a little and they started to have fun! I remember taking the exam there at 11 and being really scared as all the teachers wore gowns....I assume it's changed now though!

Strangely I took 3 exams (CHS, SGS and WGS) and the one at SGS was the one i did best in (came 1st out of all the entrants!) but I remember it being very difficult and a bit obscure compared to the others...they were definitely looking for something different anyway. We then had the Head phoning regularly to see if i had made my mind up which school to go to - that put me off!

Have you also considered Kings Macc? That always seemed like a fab school as well. You are spoilt in Manchster/Cheshire for choice of fab schools!

pinkjello Fri 15-Oct-10 11:42:21

Thanks again.

If I'm honest, I'm not really looking for the school that will get them the best Alevel results and an Oxbridge offer. If I wanted that I'd definitely go for Ladybarn then push for them to go to MGS and WGS respectively. I'm kind of looking to pay for the school experience if that makes sense. -The more I talk about it the more I'm intrigued by CHS and what they might offer.

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thirtysomething Fri 15-Oct-10 11:55:41

Well in that case WGS might not be the school for you (it's a glorified exam factory, albeit with improved pastoral care and extra-curricular stuff than when I was there!), and possibly not SGS. I would definitely look at CHS and Kings Macc. Good luck!

Ohnoimlate Fri 15-Oct-10 13:03:16

Which is the bast girls school? Wgs, Manchester high or alderley school for girls? Does anyone know?

thirtysomething Fri 15-Oct-10 13:20:52

I think WGS still gets the best academic results in terms of grades, but it depends what you mean by "best"! I certainly wouldn't send my DD to WGS having spent 7 years there myself!!!

I think Manchester High is pretty academic as well but looked like more fun! No idea about Alderley - i guess where you live is a big factor as traffic towards WGS in the mornings from Wilmslow/Bramhall/Cheadle Hulme can be very heavy!

slhilly Fri 15-Oct-10 13:29:35

I went to Ladybarn and CHS. Both were fine schools. I went on to Cambridge, along with about 7 or 8 others in my year -- but academics were definitely not CHS's raison d'etre at the time; it was interested in a rounded education.

If I were you, I'd talk to a personal tutor in the area. They will have clear views and know the schools well.

Ohnoimlate Fri 15-Oct-10 18:40:55

Good idea, they should know shouldn't they! but if anyone knows anything about differences between the girls schools let us know

ToothpasteMakesMeGag Fri 15-Oct-10 20:25:44

I was at CHS until I was 13, and loved it. Unfortunately it just wasnt the right type of school for me - very academic and I was struggling to maintain average results there (considerably higher than national average obviously) - which was detrimental to my confidence so I moved to a less academic school.

But the opportunities there are AMAZING!! My 6th form mentor when I was 12 was Nick Robinson (BBC), my fellow pupils were Katie Derham and Miranda Sawyer. They get lots into Oxbridge and so on but they also get pupils into any walk of life you can think of. When I read the school mag every year I am staggered by the trips, the sports, the plays, the speakers, the events, and so on.

And it isnt all about money, the kids are all really well-rounded and confident people without being snooty or show-offy. If I lived in the area and had the funds, I would certainly consider it for my sons.

pinkjello Fri 15-Oct-10 22:03:24

Thank you everyone! All really helpful! Not sure about the younger 2 but my eldest seems fairly bright (is reading already, knows numbers to 100) this has been all at her insistence so not spoon fed in the least. So I'd like her Reception year to nurture this but at the same time offer lots and lots of play.

The more I read about CHS, the more I think it's the one! Thanks everyone, this has been really helpful.

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Ohnoimlate Tue 19-Oct-10 06:18:51

How did you get on at the open days? Did you decide which you prefer?

pinkjello Tue 19-Oct-10 19:55:00

Hi Ohnoimlate. We haven't been yet. They are off for 2wks half term. The open days are all Saturdays in November which we will go to but I've also made appointments to see all 3 on a week day as I think I'll get a better vibe. I'll let you all know how it goes.

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DanceOnTheDarkSide Tue 19-Oct-10 20:00:20

PinkJello - Have you looked at Hulme Hall School too? It's just down the road from CHS. I only have second hand experience of CHS from 11+

pinkjello Tue 19-Oct-10 20:13:23

Hiya DOTDF! Do you have experience of Hulme Hall School? I ask because I've been warned off it a bit. That wouldn't necessarily have put me off because I'm not really looking for what lots of other parents are looking for. What does put me off a bit is,

a) The grounds seems tiny and outdoor space is important to me in a school,

b)They only go up to 16 so DCs would need to go somewhere else for A-levels,

More than happy to be corrected and persuaded though! smile

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pinkjello Tue 19-Oct-10 20:14:32

Meant to also ask, would you say the 11+ at CHS is very competitive?

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pinkjello Tue 19-Oct-10 20:15:16

Sorry, that should be DOTDS not DOTDF smile

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