Hello All, We just moved to Altrincham and am looking at some of the Independent schools in the area for my DS. The below are the ones in the vicinity,
- Altrincham Preparatory School - Hale Preparatory School - Forest School - Forest Park Preparatory School - St. Ambrose Preparatory School - Abbotsford Preparatory School
We are looking for schools that provide overall development both academically and in terms of extra-curricular activities. We were told by a couple of friends that Forest Prep School and St. Ambrose Prep are good choices.
Can the esteemed members recommend which of the above suits that bill please. Any input would be very helpful to make a decision.
Abbotsford is Urmston so not local. Some of those are boys only, some are mixed. Also, some (e.g. Hale Prep) are likely to be booked up, historically people put their child's name down from birth.
St Ambrose Prep is no longer fee paying, so a slightly different option than the others.
It also depends on what you intend (or would like) to do in terms of secondary school. St Ambrose children tend to go to St Ambrose (but that's a Catholic grammar). Lots of boys from APS go to Altrincham Grammar School for Boys but slightly easier to get into if you live in catchment.
It really depends what you see in the future and whether things like co-ed are important to you.
Hi, I would not choose St Ambrose because they don't really prepare for the 11+ exams. Hale prep is nice, charged us a registration fee, then informed us that there is no places and a huge waiting list. Forest prep is more academic than the Forest park. However there is a group of very unpleasant (and very orange) insecure mums in Forest Prep who rule the playground and can make your child's life a misery. Altrincham prep is quite academic, but I am not that keen on headmaster. State schools - Stamford park is ok for infants but not that great for juniors.
Closing date for state school applications is either tomorrow or Monday! Look on the Trafford website for info. Amazing state school in this area so I definitely wouldn’t just look at preps personally. I would definitely apply then look round later as you’re so close to the closing date. Hale prep and forest are both tiny with very few facilities (eg I know Forest have to have nativity play in a local secondary school in the evening as don’t have hall big enough). I don’t get paying that much for so few facilities (and I went to an independent school so not anti at all...just personally couldn’t justify paying for a school that had fewer facilities - we may well do independent for secondary though). I believe APS is very boys boys but has a good reputation. Personally wanted co-ed and you can’t get that and good facilities without going further afield (eg Ladybarn or Cheadle Hulme). Therefore decided state was better option as outstanding schools and great facilities.
Would you be able to suggest good State Schools; do we look at the Ofsted reports to determine how good they are. Also do state schools provide good exposure to extra curricular activities as Independent schools?
You also need to look at catchment areas for stats schools are most are oversubscribed. If you go on the Trafford website you can download a booklet called applying for primary school (or something like that) with all the relevant info. You are unlikely to get a place at a school a distance away (rather than your local one) unless it's for example a faith school.
Personally I don't think Ofsted is particularly helpful as pretty much all state schools locally are outstanding (hence the demand). I would also suggest here (it may be different in other areas) that state schools provide masses of extra curricular activities- far more than the local preps.