Greenbank Prep School has been nestled on Heathbank Road – between Heathbank Park and Billy’s Lane – for almost seven decades now. Greenbank began life with just sixty pupils, in the house the nursery now occupies. Like most of Cheadle Hulme, the school was set in lush, green farmland. They quickly gained an excellent reputation so, by 1960, there was actually a waiting list. These high standards endure to this day and Greenbank is now one of the leading Independent Primary Schools in the North West.
Greenbank provides a nurturing environment and instils traditional values such as courtesy, respect and pride in work. This enables every single child to develop their own, individual talents, gain self-esteem and achieve their full potential.
This was exactly the vision of founders Karl and Linda Orsborn, back in 1951, and remains to this day. Karl was originally the Senior Master at the then Warehousemen and Clerks’ school (now Cheadle Hulme School), while Linda was Matron.
Karl Orsborn tragically died in 1963, so Linda ran the school herself until 1971. Then, the school became an Educational Trust, managed by Trustees. Greenbank continues to flourish and develop. Greenbank really has adapted to a changing world while retaining that all-important traditional family ethos and expectation of good behaviour and manners. Sparkling new classrooms and state-of-the-art facilities have been added over the years including new science, art and music rooms, an ICT Suite and library and an all-weather sports pitch. Innovations and improvements are always ongoing.
Greenbank goes from strength-to-strength. Currently, there are around 150 children in the nursery setting and 170 in the one-form-entry Reception to Year 6 prep school. The staff number 60 – and staff tend to stay. They are truly involved and invested in their school – like the children, and their families, they ‘belong’. Sports, academic, pastoral and community achievements abound and yet still Greenbank retains that nurturing, family-oriented community school feel, to which the fiercely loyal parents testify. Their Open-Door policy and active Parents’ Association ensure a close-knit school community and a real family feel. Indeed, Greenbank recently received an award for Outstanding Engagement with Parents and it’s easy to see why.
GREENBANK RATED IN TOP 10 PREP SCHOOLS IN UNITED KINGDOM
The school was selected as one of the top ten value for money preparatory schools in the United Kingdom by the Daily Telegraph. The national newspaper in partnership with The Good Schools’ Guide selected the co-educational school for 3-11-years-old from over 1,100 independent preparatory schools nationwide.
Headteacher Janet Lowe said “It came out of the blue. We didn’t have to apply and weren’t seeking a nomination, but we are delighted to have been chosen and that the hard work of all the staff and trustees has been recognised.”
They were also awarded the Independent School’s Association’s Green School of the Year School of the Year ECO in 2014 and, as well as sending pupils to the area’s leading independent secondary schools, has a stream of award-winning sports teams and young artists, musicians and actors.
Mrs Lowe added “Happy children work harder and we aim to engage and enthuse the youngest minds with vast range of exciting activities.”
Fantastic School events include (but definitely aren’t limited to):
• Dinner Dance
• School Fairs
• Quiz Nights
• Mothers’ Day Concert
• Fathers’ Day breakfast (this year’s involved moustaches and lots of fun in the sunshine…)
• Christmas Carol Service
• Harvest Festival
• Celebration of Work
• Grandparents’ events
Head Janet Lowe believes it’s good for students to see their families closely involved with their school – and for their school to actively engage with the wider community. The school fosters links with Cheadle Hulme Methodist Church, All Saints, local businesses and the local Rotary – amongst many others.
Greenbank‘s students are also encouraged to learn about the global community – Janet was recently awarded the Paul Harris Fellow Award for work within the World Community. Greenbank also works with a school for orphaned and disabled children, in Mombasa. This caring ethos is echoed in the school’s accessibility and Greenbank’s ‘eco’ credentials. Students are appointed Eco Councillors – and are happy to tick-off any teacher who leaves a light on. Mrs Lowe included! A trophy is awarded each week to recognise the ‘greenest’, class. There’s an eco-garden in which children can go barefoot, they religiously recycle and enjoy taking part in the Big Garden Birdwatch. The children are learning to really care about their planet, and in this way, Greenbank is helping to guide the citizens of the future.
Although non-selective, every child is encouraged, helped and supported to be the very best they can be. Academic results are excellent and many students go on to Cheadle Hulme School or Stockport Grammar School. Classes are kept small at Greenbank, so there’s plenty of one-to-one, and there are many opportunities to excel at art, drama, music and sport as well as the three Rs. Results and achievements of past pupils – many of whom keep in touch – speak for themselves.
The education at Greenbank is all about helping the children to achieve THEIR targets and THEIR aims but above all else, Greenbank is a HAPPY school. Yes, you’re expected to work hard and always do your very best – but you’ll enjoy every, single day along the way.