Manchester Grammar School review by University of Oxford student. MGS ( Manchester Grammar School ) is strong all round, but historically has been known for its very good languages department. In most years, the number of boys getting Oxbridge offers from arts/sciences side is quite even. I found that the class structure is very good, and it prepares you well for university. MGS is a place where you get out what you put in - everything you need to go to a world class university and have a world class education is there, it is simply the case that you must reach out and grab it. The extra curricular side of the school is especially impressive. In my time there I was able to run cross country for a nationally respected team, climb Mont Blanc in the Alps, go desert trekking in Morocco, spend a month backpacking in Peru, and be involved in 4 different school choirs, be involved in both the Christian Union and Inter - Faith forum, speak at politics and economics club events, give talks for the philosophy society...... the list goes on and on. Classes are usually of no more than 25 boys in most years, and in sixth form never bigger than 14 (and for some subjects as few as 6). The work load is managable, depends on teachers and how good you are at working efficiently. The school has provision for boys with difficulties, and a tutor system where if you struggle at, say, maths, a 6th former may tutor you for a lunch time once a week.
Hot school meals are provided for all, paid for on a termly opt - in basis - you pay for a 'dinner contract' and then can go to lunch once a day for hot food. The library is very good, with everything you would want in a school library, and there are plenty of ICT resources. The buildings are quite old and dodgy in some places, but the school has put a lot of money into its new drama theatre, which I have heard is fantastic. Students are from all backgrounds - white British, asian, black, with a large number of Jewish boys. Whilst some are very well off, coming from rich families, many are not, and whilst some are the children of Man U footballers and pop stars most are from upper middle class backgrounds. Around 10% of boys are on full bursaries, however, and because of this many boys are also from quite poor houses. Altogether it is an extremely diverse mix, which I believe is great for the pupils themselves. The pastoral system is well entrenched. Every sixth former is given the chance to be a 'peer supporter' or 'form prefect', which most are, and these go around younger years making friends in allocated classes, and are generally around to help. Also, there are several members of staff who occupy a 'pastoral office', organising and ensuring the long term welfare of all students. The school has a pleasant atmosphere; it is one which is conducive to work, but also fun and enjoyable most of the time. Drugs and smoking are not really an issue in school. Incidents have been isolated and minor - if boys do experiment with drugs it does not happen around school, but at home, in local social groups.
There is a fantastic variety of activities at MGS. Listed are a few: 3 School Choirs. 5 School Orchestras (divided into strings, concert band, jazz band etc) Opportunity for one on one music lessons, from everything from drums to organ Football Rugby Swimming (recently national water polo champions for 2 years in a row) Cross country (also national champions, with one member coming 2nd in the European under 18 Finals for 1500m) Hockey Badminton Tennis Cricket Archery Golf Rowing Judo Basketball Athletics Poetry Soc Economics society RodSoc (politics) Berkeley Soc (philosophy) Existentialism club PiShop (maths) PhilSoc (science lectures) Junior/Senior History Society GeoSoc (geography) Christian Union Inter - Faith Forum IslamSoc Jewish Society (Annual trips) 4 Camps to the Lake District, each around 60 boys. Lower School French Trip Lower School Classics Trip (last year to western Turkey) Lower School History Trip (last year to Germany) French Exchange German Exchange Spanish Exchange Latin America Trip (last year to Mexico) A Desert Trek (last year to Morocco)