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Michaelmas Term

BIRKENHEAD SCHOOL

11 am - 2 pm FOR YEAR 7 ENTRY IN 2014

INFORMATION


We welcome you most warmly to our Michaelmas Term Open Day and hope that you will enjoy your visit. By sending you some details in advance we hope you will be able to make the best of the time you spend with us. On arrival we would ask you to make your way to the Reception Area in the Sixth Form Centre (see map on the back page). To start your visit and give you an idea of the activities which are going on, we have planned a tour for you with one of our pupils who will show you just some of our facilities. We cannot hope to show you everything - our sports fields at McAllester Field and Noctorum, for example. Do let your guide know if there are particular things you want to see. After that, please feel free to go as you please. There will be lots of activities for children: do look after them, particularly in areas where sports equipment or scientific apparatus are in use. The Headmaster, John Clark, will speak at 12.15 pm in the Bushell Hall. The Head of Prep, Harry FitzHerbert, will also be available. N.B. We advise that you should plan to spend at least an hour and a half at our Open Day. There is limited parking on campus off Kingsmead Road South.


September 2013 I am delighted to welcome you to our Open Day and I hope that your brief visit will be sufficient for you to appreciate the all-round quality of education we offer our pupils. This is a happy, purposeful community and we are proud that our beautiful campus creates such a positive environment for living and learning together. Academic success is, of course, our main purpose. No less important, however, is the development of rounded, self-confident individuals. In this respect our students enjoy a very wide range of extra-curricular activities in which they can be involved and learn to take on responsibility. I hope that I may have the opportunity to meet you personally at our Open Day or on a later occasion, and that you will enjoy talking to members of staff and pupils as you tour the School.


A message from Head of Overdale, Christopher Rimmer Overdale is the name we give to the lovely old white building which houses Years 7 & 8, but it is so much more than just a name. Overdale is unique. It offers the opportunity for pupils in their first two years of secondary school to find their feet in a self-contained environment. It is a close-knit community of over 100 boys and girls and eight members of staff. The small class sizes allow Form Tutors to get to know their charges quickly and to provide the kind of guidance and support which is so essential at this stage of their education. For their academic subjects pupils are, of course, taught by the full range of specialist staff. Each pupil will have their own table and locker, thus providing the kind of ‘base’ which should enable them to feel secure and confident. Although most of their lessons will be held in their Form room, each Overdale boy and girl will be taught in a number of subject areas which have specialist facilities, such as Science, I.T., P.E., Design and Technology, etc. They thus enjoy the ‘best of both worlds’.

Drama production of Peter Pan

Year 7 outdoor pursuits trip


In Games our emphasis is on sport for all: boys and girls in Overdale enjoy two games afternoons per week, where as much attention is given to the less talented sports players as to children with natural ability. We feel it is important to offer as many pupils as possible the experience of being in a team and the chance to represent the School and, on some Saturdays, we might have 3 or 4 teams in any one year group competing in a range of sports. Overdale

Pupils in Overdale enjoy their own wideranging recreational facilities. These include separate playgrounds, games/common rooms (with table tennis, pool tables, and an air hockey table) and tuck shop. There are, in addition, many clubs and societies through which boys and girls can indulge their interests and develop new ones. Special activities are arranged to help new pupils integrate into the School, get to know the staff and make friends. Important amongst these is a three-day residential stay on Anglesey which takes place each autumn: boys and girls are accompanied by their Form Tutors and other staff for a programme of outdoor pursuits and Art & Drama workshops. I believe that Overdale is something special, but don’t take my word for it, come and see for yourselves.

Year 7 outdoor pursuits


You will find the following displays and information on the following: ACADEMIC MATTERS Curriculum Examination results CARE FOR THE WHOLE PUPIL Extra-curricular activities THE SCHOOL COMMUNITY The Parents’ Association Transport and Bus Routes ENTRY TO THE SCHOOL Admissions (Headmaster’s PA) Finance (The Bursar) Scholarships and Bursaries Prospectuses Refreshments are kindly provided by members of the Ladies’ Committee, who will also be happy to talk to you about the School. Amongst others, the following staff will be in attendance in the Sixth Form Centre: The Headmaster Deputy Headmaster Deputy Head (Academic) The Bursar The Headmaster’s PA

Mr John Clark Mr David Edmunds Mr Ralph Barlow Mr Mark Turner Mrs Debbie Roberts

We pride ourselves in offering pupils fresh home-made food cooked to a high standard. There is a wide choice of food at lunch time to suit all. Lunch will be available in our Dining Hall between 12.00 and 1.30 pm.


On your tour you will meet Mr Christopher Rimmer, Head of Overdale and Mrs Sara Salter, Assistant Head of Overdale with responsibility for Year 7, who together are responsible for the boys and girls in Overdale. You will also meet Miss Jennifer Moore who has responsibility for Learning Support. Mr Graham Murdoch and Mr Rupert Rule, Heads of Years 9 and 10, will be available The Head of Prep, Mr Harry FitzHerbert, will be on hand to speak to anyone interested in our pre-11 provision. Although this is not a Prep open day, visits to the Prep and to our Nursery (Manager, Mrs Jan Dorney) will be possible.


OVERDALE (Years 7 & 8): ENGLISH & GERMAN DISPLAY OV1 ENGLISH/HISTORY/MATHS/ RELIGIOUS STUDIES OV2 MODERN LANGUAGES/ CLASSICS

OV3

ENGLISH & HISTORY DISPLAY OV4 MATHEMATICS/GEOGRAPHY OV5 ICT DISPLAY

OV6

Tours of classrooms and recreation areas. SCIENCE BUILDING JUNIOR SCIENCE

P1 & P3

Various science experiments and displays ART ROOMS TECHNOLOGY

DT3

Electronic Products Product Design with CAD/CAM Demonstrations


11.00 am 2.00 pm

Displays and fun for children in the Art Rooms Rugby practice on the School Field Girls sports practice in the Sports Hall Novice climbing for visitors. Trainers or similar footwear are required and children must be accompanied by an adult who is able to give consent. (The Climbing Wall will be open at all times for viewing.) Information on the CCF Army, RAF and Royal Navy Duke of Edinburgh & Scouts outside the Library The Library & Careers areas will be open to visitors The School Chapel will be open with the Chapel Choir rehearsal between 12.45pm & 1.45pm The Big Band will be rehearsing in the McAllester foyer or the raised Balcony if the weather is fine. Light refreshments will be available in the Sixth Form Centre The new Prep building and Nursery will be open

12.15 pm

Headmaster’s Talk - Bushell Hall

12.00 pm - 1.30 pm

You and your family are welcome to have a meal in the Dining Hall

1.30 pm

Last tours of the School begin.


Some places have already been offered and accepted, based on assessments held in May/June. There will still be places available for those who opt to sit our Entrance and Scholarship Examination which will be held on Saturday 25th January 2014, for boys and girls born between 1st September 2002 and 31st August 2003. Please return the completed application form by Friday 17th January. We will also take references from children’s primary or prep schools and offers are made approximately one week after the Examination. For the Entrance Examination there will be three papers: English (comprehension and essay), Arithmetic, and a Verbal Reasoning Test. The Headmaster’s PA, Debbie Roberts, will be able to provide you with a prospectus, application form and sample examination papers, as well as dealing with any queries. If, after your visit, you would like to discuss further issues with the Headmaster, please contact Mrs Roberts on 0151 651 3009. You are welcome to arrange to visit the School during a normal day and to have a guided tour with a Senior School prefect. Scholarships: The strongest performers from the Entrance and Scholarship Examination are invited to the School for interview (with their parents) and scholarships are awarded on the basis of performance and potential.


The Trust was set up in 1998 to ensure, as far as possible, that no young person of ability who would benefit from an education at Birkenhead School would be denied the opportunity on financial grounds. There are currently approximately 70 pupils in the School who are supported by bursaries from the Trust. No pupil or parent should be discouraged from applying to the School on grounds of cost. The Headmaster is happy to talk in confidence to anyone who wishes to enquire. Call the Headmaster’s PA, Mrs Debbie Roberts, on 0151 651 3009.

Scholarships – are awarded to pupils in recognition of academic, sporting, musical or other particular ability or potential. The award is independent of the financial means of the parents/guardian. Bursaries – are awarded to help pupils take up or retain a place at the School where their parents/guardian cannot pay full fees. The award of a Scholarship does not preclude the award of a Bursary. More information will be available at our Open Day from the Headmaster or the Bursar.


In the last seven years the School has invested around ÂŁ5m in major new facilities or upgrades (this is in addition to normal maintenance and improvement). Schemes include: -

The McAllester building New Pre-Prep building opened in 2004 School House refurbished for Music, including a new keyboard Lab New Language Laboratory New outdoor play areas Multi-media projectors or interactive white boards in all laboratories and classrooms New toilet facilities New Nursery opened in 2006 3 refurbished Physics laboratories & a new Chemistry laboratory Brand new lockers for all pupils in Years 7 - 11 A new computer network in 2007 New sports pavilion at McAllester Field (January 2009) Refurbishment of the Old School House for additional KS1 Accommodation New Prep building including Science and IT facilities (September 2009) Sixth Form Centre extension and refurbishment (January 2011) Refurbished Bushell Hall and creation of a new theatre space (Feb 2012) New all-weather sports surface at McAllester Field Refurbished pavilion at Noctorum Field

Clockwise from top left: The new Prep classrooms, McAllester Building, The new Sixth Form Centre; and the new sports pavilion.


The School was inspected in November 2007. The full report can be downloaded from our website. Below are some of the comments from the report which made us feel particularly proud about what we are achieving: Pupils across the school have an outstanding attitude to work and study and apply themselves diligently; they have an excellent work ethic. In the senior school they achieve far above the national average in GCSE and well above at A level. Pupils are very articulate and very good listeners. Pupils’ development in relation to their spiritual, moral, social and cultural life is excellent. The school succeeds outstandingly well in fulfilling its aim to set high standards for itself and for its pupils, not just academic but personal standards of integrity, self-discipline, compassion and respect for others. The positive caring ethos of the school plays a major part in contributing to pupils’ personal development. Pupils have a strong moral commitment, recognising what is right and wrong in human relationships. This means they rarely challenge authority or bully their peers. They believe the school rules to be fair, recognise them to be important, and abide by them. Their behaviour is exemplary, demonstrated in class, in corridors, and in the school chapel. Pupils’ social development is outstanding. The quality of pastoral care that staff devote to the pupils and their well being throughout the school is outstanding. The school’s aim to create a caring and structured environment in which pupils grow in self-confidence and enjoy many opportunities for teamwork and personal development is well met. Pupils relate well to one another and there is little evidence of bullying. Any issues are dealt with quickly if reported. Pupils in both the prep and the senior school reported to inspectors their sense of ease at being in the school: “we don’t do bullying here” was the comment of one pupil. The school has outstanding links with parents and the community. Parents strongly support what the school offers their children. Pupils’ spiritual, moral, cultural and social development is outstanding. They have evident selfesteem and positive, secure moral values. Pupils have excellent relationships with their teachers and other pupils, willingly take on responsibility and recognise the importance of contributing to the social good.

Photos above L to R: BS Lacrosse Team: Northern Champions; practising for the musical ‘Bugsy’; GCSE art lesson; Year 7 outdoor pursuits trip.


Students at Birkenhead School have achieved a stunning 85% of grades at A* to B, which represents an all-time record for the co-educational independent school in Oxton. Students broke another record with an impressive 21% of all results this year at the challenging A* grade, which requires them to score an average of over 90%. Headmaster John Clark congratulated students and staff: “These results represent an outstanding achievement for individuals and the school as whole. With a general lowering of top grades reported across the country, it is a pleasure to see our candidates well ahead in securing places on their first choice courses, many at Russell Group universities. They are undoubtedly helped by strong performances in traditionally hard subjects: three quarters of results in Chemistry, Physics and Maths were As and A*s, for example.” Three students secured places at Oxford and Cambridge. Matthew Rogers from West Kirby and Harry Sturgess from Oxton each gained four A* grades. Matthew has a place at St John’s College Cambridge to read Law and a Choral Scholarship at Jesus College. Harry will be reading Engineering at Hertford College, Oxford, after some quite extraordinary results - he achieved full marks in eight out of the ten papers he sat this year in Maths, Further Maths, Physics and Chemistry! Marco Galvani, from Prenton, who has been making his mark this summer composing for the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain, has now secured his place to read Music at Queen’s College, Oxford, where he also has a Choral Scholarship. John Clark added: “These are outstanding achievements; but life is about more than exam grades and I am glad to say that so many of our students enjoy a thoroughly rounded education. Earlier in the summer, for example, two of our rugby teams toured South Africa and Namibia, whilst our Chapel Choir sang the daily services in Truro Cathedral. Extraordinarily, two of them, Chris Morris from Caldy (Medicine, Leeds) and Jamie Russell from Hoylake (Architecture, Liverpool) jumped straight onto a coach from Truro to Heathrow in order to do both! My hope is that, alongside their academic success, this kind of breadth and commitment “Head of School Ed Sherrard and Deputies Sarah Bibby, Harry Sturgess and Jack Walker celebrate their A level success, having achieved all A* and A grades. Ed and will continue to enrich Sarah are both heading to Newcastle University, to read Dentistry and Chemistry respectively; Harry (left) has a place to read Engineering at Hertford College, Oxford their lives.” (having achieved full marks on 8 out 10 A level papers this year!); Jack (right) will be studying Economics with Management Science at Edinburgh.”


After topping A level results on Wirral and Merseyside last week, Birkenhead School, the co -educational independent school in Oxton, announced today its best GCSE results ever. The number of A* grades achieved by boys and girls leapt forward to 40%, with 74% of subjects being passed at A* or A. Over half of students walked away with at least 9A* and A Grades and 87% achieved the new EBacc qualification. Amongst the girls Ece Mert from Neston and Siân Round from Oxton both achieved eleven A*s. Top performers amongst the boys, Andrew Sherman from Prenton and Lewis Tran from Greasby also achieved A* in all eleven of their subjects, including double A* star in Further Maths. Headmaster John Clark said “It’s almost unfair to single out individuals. There are so many star performances. This has been a golden year for our students, with simply outstanding results at every level. We were delighted with A levels last week which put us ahead of every other school on Wirral and Merseyside. This week our GCSE candidates have excelled themselves, breaking every school record in sight. And all this despite the reported fall in the number of higher grades awarded nationally. It’s a great tribute to the way we teach and the high level of motivation amongst our students. And yet they are not one dimensional: the range of other activities which they are involved in – sport, music, drama, Duke of Edinburgh, CCF and so much more – ensures that they are rounded young people, well prepared to get the most out of life.”


1 THE LODGE Headmaster School Administration 2 LIBRARY , CAREERS & MEETING ROOM 3 OVERDALE Years 7 and 8 4 NEW SCIENCE BLOCK Junior Science Biology 5 MAIN SCIENCE BLOCK Technology, Physics, Chemistry, Electronics 6 COMBINED CADET FORCE HQ 7 SIXTH FORM CENTRE ENGLISH ECONOMICS ARCHIVES 8 BUSHELL HALL 9 MODERN LANGUAGES CLASSICS Year 9 Common Rooms 10 McALLESTER BUILDING Years 10 - 11 Common Rooms Art 11 K BLOCK Computing, RE, Geography, History, Maths 12 SPORTS HALL 13 PRE-PREP 14 LITTLE SCHOOL 15 PREP Years 3-4 16 PREP HALL Art, Library 17 MEDICAL CENTRE 18 THE COTTAGE Head of Prep Prep Administration 19 CHAPEL 20 MUSIC SCHOOL Incl. Theatre Studies 21 NURSERY 22 DINING HALL 23 CRICKET PAVILION 24 WESSEX BUILDING Years 5 and 6, Prep ICT,


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