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 Post subject: AGGS Open Day
PostPosted: Wed Jun 27, 2012 11:53 pm 
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Joined: Fri Nov 25, 2011 1:48 am
Posts: 45
Anyone else going tomorrow ?

If there are any parents of AGGS girls on here could you give details of things to look out for both positive and negative ? Thanks in anticipation.


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 Post subject: Re: AGGS Open Day
PostPosted: Thu Jun 28, 2012 8:43 am 
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Joined: Sat Sep 24, 2011 2:53 pm
Posts: 47
We're going, along with a friend who's applying as backup if her daughter doesn't get into Cheadle Hulme.

I've just scanned the ofsted report (2008) to look for weaknesses, and the only thing it came up with was "In lessons pupils need to be able to be more actively involved in the learning." I'm not quite sure what this actually means in practice.. they should approach the teacher and say "I would have understood better with a diagram"?..

So my current list of things to check is:

school buses time/cost
how frequent/ amount of homework
quality of dinners / cost (hopefully Jamie Oliver = no worries there)
number of trips / cost
after school clubs available
behaviour policy
whether the school is likely to become an academy
whether the head is likely to change any time soon

Maybe see you later!


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 Post subject: Re: AGGS Open Day
PostPosted: Thu Jun 28, 2012 9:56 am 
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Joined: Thu Oct 08, 2009 4:26 pm
Posts: 144
Location: Manchester
AGGS is already an academy :D


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 Post subject: Re: AGGS Open Day
PostPosted: Thu Jun 28, 2012 11:50 am 
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Joined: Fri Nov 25, 2011 1:48 am
Posts: 45
Thanks gatleymum, enjoy your visit !


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 Post subject: Re: AGGS Open Day
PostPosted: Thu Jun 28, 2012 12:20 pm 
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Joined: Thu Feb 22, 2007 2:29 pm
Posts: 593
Location: Trafford
Paprika, you'll get a Year 10 girl allocated to you to show you round the school so ask her your questions.

I have two daughters at the school in Years 11 and 9 and they are very happy there.

The school has high standards and some of its rules can seem rigid to some of the girls, so if your daughter is a free-spirited rebel then it may not be the best fit. Exemplary behaviour is expected. It is very strong at sport - teams regularly reach national finals and it is perfectly possible for a girl to arrive at the school having not played a sport before to get onto a team. Music is encouraged - there are 2 orchestras, a wind band, a jazz band, several other ensembles, 3 choirs and girls are encouraged to start their own groups. Lots of extra-curricular activities.

I think the school canteen is very good. Chips only once a week. Salads, soups, sandwiches as well as hot lunches available, plus breakfasts and snacks at rec (morning break). Cost? Depends on what they have. I think my girls spend about £3 a day on a main course, drink and fruit/flapjack.

Homework is an interesting one. My daughters certainly have homework but it has rarely been onerous - really so far only when Year 11 daughter was having GCSE assessments that she needed to revise for and was still being given homework in her other subjects. I generally think that they don't get anywhere near as much homework as I got at my secondary school. However, other mothers I know do say that their daughters spend hours every night ploughing through homework and how awful it is, so I suspect it depends on the girl and their processing speed, their attitude and their efficiency?

The school is already an academy.

Buses and costs I have no idea on, sorry. There are certainly loads of girls who come by bus and several bus stops next to the school or very easily accessible. A lot of girls travel by tram.

I am sure that on the AGGS website there's a page that lists the trips available. There's a Y7 PGL trip in the first term that is one of those bonding trips that seem obligatory these days. There's generally a ski trip in Years 9/10. They seem to alternate a super expensive trip (e.g. New York/New Hampshire for £3,500) with a cheaper trip to Bulgaria/France. There's usually a language trip in Y10 which is relatively inexpensive and a music trip every other year to Germany (relatively inexpensive). Other trips are offered on an ad hoc basis by various departments with a link to a curriculum area. I can think of a recent trip to Rome, for example. I think I thought it was quite expensive for what it was. There's a senior trip to Iceland every few years for Geographers. The PE department are keen to organise a hockey/netball tour but cost keeps postponing that one, I think. There is no pressure to take up the trips other than maybe the Y7 PGL trip and a strong encouragement to do the language trips.

Hope that helps! Enjoy the open evening. My Y11 daughter has got out of being there because she has temporarily left school after her GCSEs but my Y9 daughter will be there.


The head thing is interesting as well. Mrs Ross is now the Executive Head and Mrs Speakman is the day to day Head of the School. I think this is a Good Thing because Mrs Ross has been increasingly absent from the school over the last 2-3 years as the school has become a training school, working with other schools to improve them and Mrs Ross has been instrumental in that change. This year has seen the formalisation of Mrs Speakman's school headship role (whereas previously she was an Assistant Head in name but real head in actuality.) I have no worries in that department. It's a well-run school and I think they do a fabulous job.


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 Post subject: Re: AGGS Open Day
PostPosted: Thu Jun 28, 2012 12:59 pm 
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Joined: Sat Sep 24, 2011 2:53 pm
Posts: 47
Thanks for all that info! It could almost be designed for DD1 whose main hobbies are sport and music (and who is also particularly pedantic about rules!) Really looking forward to looking round..

Has the academy status been a positive change? - Has much changed at all as a result?


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 Post subject: Re: AGGS Open Day
PostPosted: Thu Jun 28, 2012 1:00 pm 
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Joined: Thu Oct 08, 2009 4:26 pm
Posts: 144
Location: Manchester
I knew TraffordMum would post loads of useful info, unlike my cursory line!

My daughter is in year 8 and will be on view today doing Maths and PE I think. You may spot her: very long hair, very disgruntled expression :D

For extra info, there is a dedicated school bus that runs from Parrswood in south Manchester through Cheadle and Gatley and terminates right outside the school. It's very good and reliable and usually has the same driver, who knows the pupils and whom my daughter likes. They take the system one travel cards, which are just over £30 for a month - this covers bus journeys at weekends too, so is good value. I assume there are other buses in other directions. The GMPTE website has a list of school buses for Trafford.

I think homework can take as much, or as little, time as a pupil chooses. My daughter can get through science and maths pretty fast, but likes to take hours doing art (one of her faves)

My daughter is spectacularly average at sport :) but still goes to hockey/netball clubs - the school really value participation and I am pleased that she has learnt to find value in things that she isn't the best at.


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 Post subject: Re: AGGS Open Day
PostPosted: Thu Jun 28, 2012 1:35 pm 
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Joined: Fri Nov 25, 2011 1:48 am
Posts: 45
Thanks traffordmum and overanxious for your help.


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 Post subject: Re: AGGS Open Day
PostPosted: Thu Jun 28, 2012 1:49 pm 
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Joined: Thu Feb 22, 2007 2:29 pm
Posts: 593
Location: Trafford
Overanxious makes a good point that, certainly at the Y7-10 level girls who are not super sporty can still and do still go to the sports clubs and do not feel that they are not wanted. Senior girls help to coach junior girls. At district sports level the PE staff often enter their A teams as well as several B, C and D teams even if there are girls who are able and willing to play. It's certainly not all about winning titles.

I may have over egged the price of the US ski trip in my previous post because I have just had an email from the school advertising a US ski trip for Easter 2014 to Los Angeles (including Disneyland!) and Mammoth, CA for £2000 and a South African hockey trip for Summer 2015 for £2,500. I also forgot to mention that the school generally does an Operation Raleigh type trip every two years for girls in Year 11/12 where they go to somewhere like Argentina, or Honduras and combine tourism with trekking and also working in orphanages/villages. They raise the money for the trips themselves through jobs/fundraising/cake sales etc.


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 Post subject: Re: AGGS Open Day
PostPosted: Thu Jun 28, 2012 1:49 pm 
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Joined: Thu Feb 22, 2007 2:29 pm
Posts: 593
Location: Trafford
Here endeth the one woman advertisement for AGGS. Sadly I was not paid for my efforts. :lol: :roll:


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