Choosing to Change: The ‘Moving Schools’ Dilemma

“Moving to Cheadle Hulme School was honestly one of the best decisions I have ever made…but it was a completely unexpected one!” – Emma Wylie, Class of 2015

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At this time of year, as families’ post boxes flutter to the sound of much anticipated offer letters from would-be schools for their children, the subject of moving schools is a key topic discussed over the dinner table.  Will I make friends?  How can I be sure that I’m going to like my teachers?  All my friends are going to a different school; why don’t I just follow them?

For some, the decision has been made; it’s merely a question of “Have I been accepted?”  For others, both parents and their children are torn between opting for the ‘safe’ route or making the brave choice and moving schools.  But which is the right decision?

Old Waconian and former member of the Cheadle Hulme School Student Council, Emma Wylie faced the very same dilemma, joining CHS in the Sixth Form following five successful years at a local independent school.  Here, she explains how she managed that life-changing decision and offers an insight for others contemplating moving schools:

“Ever since I was in Year 7 I had always wondered why anyone who was happy with their secondary school would move.  I only looked around other schools for curiosity but had no interest or intention of moving from my existing school.

Cheadle Hulme School was the last school I looked around and I didn’t actually go to the full Open Day, only to the Sixth Form Open Evening where I only saw a small proportion of the school.  Surprisingly, this small insight into life at CHS was enough to convince me that I wanted to move.  What instantly attracted me was the genuine warmth and friendliness I felt from everyone here.  Visiting the classrooms and talking to the teachers was inspirational, with every teacher being so passionate about their subject; I can honestly say this wasn’t an act for the day and is one of the things I still love most about CHS.  Not only do the teachers love what they do and really want to inspire you but they will go above and beyond to make sure you feel happy.

Of course, it was initially scary and the first day was one of the most nerve racking days of my life. No one from my old school had moved with me and I knew no-one at Cheadle Hulme School. The experience has, however, given me the necessary skills to meet new people and adapt to new environments and I am convinced this will help me in later life.

Since moving to CHS, the one thing that has surprised me the most is the huge variety of extra-curricular activities and opportunities given to Sixth Formers.   I feel that such experiences have helped me to flourish, with opportunities such as being on the School Council.

 One of my biggest worries was whether I would be as happy as I was at my previous school but I can say without reservation that it is the best decision I have ever made.  I would recommend it without hesitation!”

“A wise man makes his own decisions; an ignorant man follows the public opinion.” – Grantland Rice

To follow Rice’s advice, we ought to build an arsenal of evidence for ourselves to ensure that we are able to make our own decisions, rather than relying on others’ opinions.

If your post box fluttered this morning, along with your nervous heart, and you feel you need to add to your arsenal, take some tips from Emma and visit those schools just one more time.  Like Emma, you may be surprised at how life-changing one visit can be.

Check out our other blogpost ‘Questions you should be asking the admissions team‘ for further advice.