We know for families that moving house is complicated enough, but throw in choosing the right school for your child and the whole process can feel overwhelming.
When out and about on our orientation tour with clients the subject of schools ends up being a hot topic. We have clients with toddlers who haven’t even considered what type of schooling they want for their children, to parents needing to slot their school age children into various years. The good news is that the Guildford schools are prodigious and there is a good selection to choose from, so whether you are looking for a school with strong academic, sporting, artistic qualities or a mixture of all these things, there should be a school for your child.
With that in mind we thought we’d cover a couple of the local independent schools for you. Rather than paraphrase from their websites or from the schools prospectus we have approached current parents at all the independent Guildford schools to get you the insider’s scoop on what they think of their school and why they chose it. We hope this gives you a different perspective on this essential decision in your house move.
Longacre parent, “We chose Longacre for both of our children because we immediately felt the small & nurturing environment was a perfect start for the early stages in development.”
Cranleigh Prep parent, “We liked Cranleigh Prep because of their firm but fair approach to school life and the opportunity to play on their fantastic sports fields. The possibility of continuing their studies through Cranleigh senior school is also very appealing.”
Cranmore parent, “Cranmore has wonderful facilities and a strong academic and sporting track record. It has a fantastic community, as most pupils are local to the school. Looking ahead we also wanted a day school for our senior and most Cranmore boys go on to the likes of RGS, St George’s, St Johns and Epsom College.”
Amesbury parent, “Amesbury provides a very nurturing environment and very much focuses on the whole child as well as fostering individual learning and needs. They are well known for providing excellent advice on future senior schools.”
Guildford High School Prep parent, “GHS is a safe pair of hands and you know if they go there they have the best possible chance of excelling in all aspects of school life. Being in the prep school gives you peace of mind when entering the 11 plus phase, as if the school is right for your daughter she doesn’t have to take the entrance exam in to the senior school, which can take a lot of pressure off.”
Tormead parent, “We chose Tormead Junior School because we liked that both our girls could go to the same school and that our youngest daughter could follow her older sister all the way through to senior school. This has really helped her to settle in quickly and to see the bigger picture. We also like that the junior school is rigorously academic but that it also places a huge importance on music, art and sports.”
St Catherine’s Prep parent, “St Cat’s was our choice because its vibrancy impressed us from the first look around and we didn’t want a ‘town’ school for my daughter, as we had just moved from London. The school has developed my child from quiet, self-conscious child into an inquisitive, adventurous and confident child, who enjoys school and grabs every opportunity the school has to offer.”
St Hilary’s parent, “St Hilary’s is a really lovely local school with a fantastic co educational pre prep which sees its boys going off to all the Guildford Prep schools at the end of Year 2. From Year 3, the school is girls only. Its friendly and nurturing nature really does bring out the best in your daughter and it has a wonderful track record of getting their girls into their Guildford Senior school of choice.“
Lanesborough parent, “We like Lanesborough as you as can start in the pre prep and go all the way through, so you get a real sense of belonging. Academically standards are high. There has recently been a change, which sees the boys finishing at Year 6, rather than Year 8 but as most boys go onto RGS at eleven this isn’t an issue for most.”
Aldro Prep parent,“When offered his place at Aldro, the letter from the headmaster said that he believed my son would flourish in an Aldro environment and in the past two years he has done exactly that. We chose Aldro because we wanted our sons to be able to be boys. To learn as boys do, to play as boys do and to have all the opportunities that boys need at a young age. We also knew that sport was played at a very high standard. Aldro has an extremely dedicated, committed and approachable headmaster who is regularly seen at drop off and pick up and who is quite happy to chat on the touch line. He is very kind and fair with the boys.”
Charterhouse parent, “Chaterhouse appealed to us, as it has a proven academic record and amazing sporting facilities both of which are important to our son. The mix of local and London children with an international intake gives it a cosmopolitan vibe and it is difficult not to be impressed by its beautiful setting. At the moment the school accepts girls in the sixth form, but the school will be fully co-ed by 2021. The school also has a new headmaster who is very impressive, with a strong vision for the school.“
Cranleigh parent, “Cranleigh has a huge sense of community and the children have fun whilst they are growing up. The head appreciates that not all children are the same academically and has a strong family ethos. Most of the children are local boarders so parents get fully involved with watching fixtures on Saturdays before collecting their children. They have a very wide extra curricular programme so ALL children will find the thing that they are passionate about. “
Guildford High School parent, “A pacey academic environment but no-one is left behind. Children are happy and occupied with a myriad of clubs to choose from. Teachers are passionate about their subjects which is infectious. The camaraderie amongst the girls is what strikes me most – lots of sharing of best practise and helping one another out. The teachers are superb, they truly get to know each and every girl and are therefore able to bring out the absolute best in them.”
Tormead Senior School parent, “We chose Tormead for strong academics at a good steady pace, applying right amount of pressure. We wanted an all-girls school with strong established senior school and strong sixth form, as well as good results and track record of university places. The teachers are clearly very committed to the girls’ wellbeing, and to their overall development and success at school. We like that there are so many opportunities for extra curricular activities and travel as they progress through the school. The school’s commitment to sporting excellence is really inspiring.”
St Catherine’s Senior School parent, “There’s an energy to St Catherine’s that my daughter thrives on. Life at the school allows her to enjoy all her passions, which range from cross country and gymnastics to lacrosse and netball, to dance and drama. She is able to explore all of these at the same time and she is still able take the academic side in her stride. St Catherine’s has an ‘everything is possible’ attitude which will carry her far in life we hope, along with strong academic credentials and sporting aspirations.”
Prior’s Field parent,“We chose Prior’s Field because we wanted our daughter to be able to be an all rounder. To be able to enjoy her music, art and drama without the pressure of pushing her academics to a place that meant she struggled. I had no idea just how amazing the drama and music department actually was at Prior’s Field. I have been blown away by performances over the last 2 years.”
RGS parent,“RGS is renowned as a highly academic school, and it really does deliver excellent results. However, there is much more to RGS than this, with the range of sports, art and music that you would expect from a leading school. As a day school, it is more affordable than some of the boarding schools in the area. Being situated at the top of Guildford High Street, it also feels an integral part of the community.”
Many thanks to all the parents who allowed us to share their thoughts on their school with us.