Deciding to move schools in Year 7 can be a daunting prospect, as Upper Sixth student and President of Think Tank, Lucy explains:
“When I found out that I had the opportunity to move schools, after being offered a place to enter the Senior School at Cheadle Hulme School in 2007, I had a huge choice to make. Until then, I had been at an all-girls school for my entire education and I was almost sure I would continue into the familiar surroundings of its senior school. Both my sisters had been happily educated there and none of my friends were planning to move schools with me.
Even now, I cannot quite believe that I had the courage to move schools, to a place that was roughly three times the size of my previous school, where I knew almost nobody and where I would have to share my lessons with boys!
Yet the opportunity to move schools and study at Cheadle Hulme School was too exciting to turn down. After receiving my offer, I was given a tour of the School once more by Mrs Petrie, who was to become my Head of Year. The old buildings, the open space and the Art department were all selling points for me. However, what really alleviated my anxieties about moving school was the sense of community at CHS. The reality is that almost everybody joins the Senior School feeling exactly the same as I did. I decided to move schools because I didn’t feel that settling into a place like CHS would be difficult.
Looking back, I’m so glad I followed my instinct to move to Cheadle Hulme School. Many of the schools in this area will enable you to achieve the grades you work towards but school is also an incredible influence on the person you become. The opportunities I’ve been offered here are things I never envisaged I would ever participate in. Debating at Model United Nations conferences is a stark contrast to how nervous I felt when I first sat down for my interview seven years ago. I never thought I would have the nerve to stand up and speak in front over 50 people, especially about politics and international relations.
A highlight of my time at CHS has been the trip to Washington D.C during the 2012 presidential election. This opportunity really strengthened my interest in American history and politics as well as being an amazing experience. For me, my time at CHS hasn’t just been about achieving exam success. Experiences like these show an application of knowledge and interest that I really do believe prepare you for life beyond CHS.
When I did move schools, I was not thinking about grades and qualifications. University seemed an eternity away and I was far more concerned about the prospect of making new friends and the realities of a co-educational school. However, as clichéd as it sounds, I think joining Cheadle Hulme School really did unlock my academic potential. The teachers here have a really genuine desire to help you achieve what you are capable of. The departments also exude a passion for their subjects and it was the History department in particular that has inspired me to study the subject at degree level. I now find myself entering my final full term at CHS with an offer to read History at the University of Oxford. I’m not trying to say this hasn’t occurred without a great deal of work on my behalf, but I think it has been the School and its teachers that have inspired me and given me the confidence and ambition to apply to top universities.”
The last seven years at CHS have had an undeniable influence on me as a person as well as my aspirations for the future. I will leave Cheadle Hulme School in May with great friends, incredible memories and (hopefully!) the grades I need to continue my studies at university.”