The Prep Times We are fast approaching the end of this academic year and, as I write this introduction, I can’t help thinking of the many events we are holding over the next few weeks. Please see the “dates for your diary” section at the end of this newsletter and I look forward to our School community gathering for some wonderful times. My thoughts are very much with those leaving this year and, in particular, I would like to wish John Clark and Christine Winn a very happy final few weeks – both have been such a huge help to me during my first year at Birkenhead School. It was great last month to see Year 6 arriving back from their PGL Adventure, full of exciting stories of their amazing week. I am very proud of what our Year 6 pupils have achieved during their time in Prep and they have been great ambassadors for the School. They are now engrossed in rehearsals for their forthcoming production of “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat” (June 25th to June 27th), which promises to be a huge hit. Tickets are selling fast and this is a show not to be missed, so don’t forget to book! Although The Prep Times can’t cover everything, we hope it gives you a glimpse of some of the great things that have been happening in Prep. I have thoroughly enjoyed my first full academic year here and it has been a privilege to see our pupils thriving in all that they undertake. It never ceases to amaze me how enthusiastic, polite and confident our pupils are.
Prep Orchestra keeps on growing! On Thursday 8th May, Prep Orchestra performed incredibly well in the Birkenhead School Summer Concert in Bushell Hall.
A total of 58 children from Years 3 to 6 are now members of Prep Orchestra. The two newest members, Aaliah Barwick (4BC) and Jessica Rooney (3DT), had only joined a week before the concert, but were able to take part in the performance because of their musical ability and hard work.
Inside this issue
Prep Orchestra opened the concert with three pieces: ‘C side Rock!’, ‘Side Tracked’ and ‘Movie Buster’. Having been committed to attending weekly rehearsals, all the children played to the best of their ability. Later in the programme, the Year 5 Choir sang two songs: ‘Believe’ and ‘The Harmony Blues’. The children sang their hearts out and their performance was praised highly by many who attended. Distinction for Aaliah Congratulations to all those children who were successful in this term’s Associated Board Music Exams. Special congratulations go to Aaliah Barwick who passed her Grade 2 Piano Exam with an amazing 143 marks, an impressively high Distinction.
I wish everyone a fulfilling and enjoyable end to this School year.
H. FitzHerbert Head of Prep
Jessica Rooney & Aaliah Barwick
Year 1 do like to be beside the seaside…
Air Raid Attack
Visitors from across the Atlantic
Charity netball match
Prep hits the slopes
HAC Dates for 2014
Dates for your diary
Shelter Box With Mr FitzHerbert’s blessing, enterprising Year 4 pupils Amy Gaskell, Isabella Heckstall-Smith and Abi Walker sold bracelets, bookmarks and other novelty items. They were raising money for the charity ShelterBox. The girls learned about the work of the charity at their cub pack meetings (a part of the 20th Birkenhead Scout Group). ShelterBox provides basic survival equipment in boxes to support communities around the world which have become overwhelmed by disaster or humanitarian crises. Over the week, the trio raised the fantastic sum of £121.25!
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The Nursery and Fun Club children are ‘cutting it’ as freelance hairdressers BSNFC Hairdressing is the newest salon around, as our staff found out during a recent visit to our role play hair salon. The children enjoyed trying out their creative skills and giving the staff some new hair styles, as you can see from the photographs.
Leanne said, “thank you Jemima, my hair feels really silky now.”
Sophia, Lottie, Tara and Riya add the finishing touches to Sue’s hair make-over
A re-style for Nicky by Lily Hardy
Leanne got a deep conditioning treatment from Jemima Travers
Supermarket Sweep! All checkouts are needed!
Busy morning for Darlia…’beep beep’
I will pay by card
Bye, Bye. Thank you.
All the children took part in a survey to tell us their favourite supermarket…and the winner is Tesco!
Another satisfied customer at PrePrep
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Chester Zoo On Tuesday 20th May, the Reception children and staff went on a wonderful day out to Chester Zoo. They attended an informative session called ‘Me, You and Animals too.’ This gave them the opportunity to look at many animal artefacts and to learn more about the animals around them. The classes then got an opportunity to explore the zoo which has over 11000 animals and 400 different species. A fantastic day was had by all. The Reception staff and children would like to thank all the parents who helped on the trip.
Zach, RGM, said, “I loved seeing the cheetahs as they can run so fast!”
Marvellous Mini beasts The Reception children, staff and KS1 Science Club were delighted to welcome Professor Hurst and his team to Birkenhead School earlier this term. Professor Hurst is a Professor of Evolutionary Genetics/Biology at Liverpool University as well as an entomologist. The team helped the children to search for and observe mini beasts in the School grounds using various scientific apparatus. The hunt led to some fascinating discoveries including a solitary bee nest site. The afternoon was enjoyed by all. The children and staff involved would like to thank Professor Hurst and his team for an amazing afternoon full of mini beast encounters. “I really liked the mini-beast hunt. My favourite mini-beasts are ladybirds,” said Faith, RGM
Year 1 do like to be beside the seaside… Year 1 travelled back in time via the Maritime Museum to find out all about holidays in the past. Taking part in a seaside workshop, they learnt how to get ready for their Victorian holiday, spring cleaning and preparing a picnic. It was then time to journey to the beach where they played traditional seaside games, dressed up in Victorian beach wear and visited the souvenir shops. In the afternoon, after touring the museum, the children were able to practise their observational drawing skills using some of the maritime art work and models on display.
Miss Lee commented, “The children had a wonderful day, but most decided that holidays in the past would be too much hard work.”
Conrad Baker, 1L, said, “I really enjoyed relaxing in the deck chair.”
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Air Raid Attack On March 13th 2014, the Year 2 children and 6 adults boarded a coach and headed over to the Maritime Museum in Liverpool. Brimming with excitement, they entered the room through an arch of singing ladies. Unsure of where the activity was going to be heading, the children settled quietly in front of a 'front room' stage, inspired by the styles from WWII. After listening to Chamberlain's famous declaration of war speech, the children were heavily involved in re-enacting what life was like for a family during the war. Most of the children had the opportunity to come to the stage and help pack a bag, use the equipment to put out small fires and to be part of a family involved in the effects of war. They were also able to see and be part of how evacuees were housed in the countryside and the types of jobs they had to do. Some were selected for the manual labour of the farms and others for the maids of the manor houses. The climax of the day was when an 'air raid siren' pierced the air. The children quickly followed instructions to duck down and protect themselves from the 'falling debris'. The ladies’ group that provides this service have been doing so for the last 25 years and are sharing their real life experiences with the children.
Caspar, 2A, said, "When the air raid siren went off it was scary and felt real!"
A taste of the Caribbean During the Lent term, Year 3 studied the Caribbean in their Geography lessons. They learned about climate, people, physical features, industry, tourism and agriculture. The topic culminated in a ‘Caribbean Week’, when pupils tasted exotic Caribbean fruit, carried out a pantry survey, made banana bread and wore their Caribbean T-shirts for the day. Jacob Wilson, 3B, said, “I will be wearing mine when I go on holiday!”
Y3 pupils wearing their colourful, Caribbean themed T-shirts, designed and created during their DT lessons
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Visitors from across the Atlantic Miss Lizy Lord, a final year student from the USA, completed her teaching practice in great style. She had worked with pupils in Years 3, 4 and 6 and the last day of her four month visit was on Friday 9th May. Before she jetted off back to the US, she arranged for her family to “come visit.” Pupils in 4B met her two brothers and her mum and dad, who all shared facts about various cities in the USA. Each group had to produce a poster and then present it to the rest of the class. They learnt a huge amount and thoroughly enjoyed having visitors from across the Atlantic.
Sam Janikiewicz, 4B, said, “I learnt that Winona’s closest body of water is the Mississippi River.”
Kresten, 4B, said, “I learnt that Madison is the capital of Wisconsin state and it is famous for its cheese!”
Beyond Words Jack Doran entered the annual national writing competition organised by the British Dyslexia Association to celebrate Dyslexia Awareness Week. The theme of the competition was 'Beyond Words' and the judges chose Jack's WW2 themed story from many hundreds of entries. Jack's story, which told of the exploits of good friends Ginger and Alfie, won him the Primary age writing award.
Mr FitzHerbert, who presented Jack’s award in assembly, commented, “We are all very proud of Jack. He is an example to anyone with dyslexia and I am delighted that he has achieved this award.”
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PGL Caythorpe Court, Lincolnshire May 2014 The annual Adventure Holiday invariably proves to be one of the highlights of the year for all Year 6 pupils and this year’s excursion was no exception. Fifty nine pupils and their teachers all headed for the Lincolnshire countryside, intent on thrills, spills, excitement, rest and relaxation. Apart from the rest and relaxation, all these things came to pass. As Abi Saverimutto describes: “The brave teachers who embarked on our adventure were: ‘The Mummy’ (Mrs Sewell), ‘The Heroic Mr Halpin’, ‘The Lovely Miss Lord’, ‘The Courageous Mr Corran’, and last, but definitely not least, ‘The Disco Diva’ (Mr Stockdale.) Excited and disorganised, we headed to our rooms and, after dumping our bags, we raced for dinner. That night our team leaders, Adam and Annette led ‘Wacky Races’ with us and off to bed we all went after a great start to our week’s adventure! The first morning we awoke, excited and ready for our first breakfast, having been split into five groups in time for our different activities. Our Team Leader was Miss Lord and we were ‘The Unicorns!’ Our first activity was kayaking and, though scared of capsizing, we carefully manoeuvred around the lake.” Kayaking and raft building were two of the most popular activities, despite a couple of obvious drawbacks, as Tom James describes… “Many people capsized (including myself) and were soon freezing cold. Fortunately we all had showers in our rooms so we could warm up. Unfortunately there was only one shower per room, so some of us stayed soggy for a while.” The non-stop nature of a PGL Adventure Holiday is summed up by the observations of Luke Crocker, who was later presented with the ‘All Weather Cricketer’ award, for his services to cricket in adverse conditions. “We usually played football and cricket on the field behind our rooms in between activities. It was fantastic fun because the events were many and varied, and we always had a different instructor. Activities included high ropes (walking around, seemingly a thousand feet in the air, on unsteady platforms!), fencing, survivor, archery, shooting and much more. My favourites were abseiling, survivor, orienteering and, of course, high ropes, which I’m sure everyone enjoyed (even those suffering from vertigo!)”
Tom James, 6MS, commented, “From high
The final word on the week away comes from Abi …
roping to archery, all the activities were
“I can sum up my PGL experience in five words: Great,
thoroughly enjoyed by the children. No matter how scary or frightening, everyone bravely accepted the challenges they faced.”
Exciting, Different, Challenging and Fun! I loved every second of it with my friends and teachers!”
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Charity netball match On Friday 21st March, Y6 Mums joined together to take on Y6 girls and teachers in a fiercely competitive netball match. Y6 girls helped with the preparations by making posters, banners and cakes and were all bursting with excitement about the event. Many staff, pupils and parents stayed to spectate, and those who were less keen to play enjoyed the delicious cakes that were on sale. The whistle blew and they were off….. Y6 girls were victorious in the first match, but the Mighty Mums came back to ‘narrowly’ defeat the staff in a match that had end-to-end thrills and spills. A fantastic way to end our most successful netball season ever and to top it off, £400 was raised for a local charity which supports children who have Down’s Syndrome.
Emma, 6MS, said, “I can’t stand still, I just can’t wait to play against my Mum!”
Orienteering The Orienteering Season ended on Saturday, 10th May, at Birkenhead Park. Congratulations to the Year 6 pupils who have taken part during the course of the year. The following were presented with Certificates and Medals: David Turner: Gold Medal at the Primary Schools Championships (certificate & medal), as well as certificate for successfully completing 5 events this season. Aden Husseyn: Silver Medal at the Primary Schools Championships (certificate & medal), as well as certificate for successfully completing 6 events this season. Grace Harvey: Certificate for competing in the Primary Schools Championships, as well as certificate for successfully completing 5 events this season. Matthew Palmer: Certificate for competing in the Primary Schools Championships. Nicholas Johnson: Certificate for competing in the Primary Schools Championships.
Aden Husseyn proud of his silver medal in the Primary School Championships
Samarth Kumar: Certificate for competing in the Primary Schools Championships. Congratulations also to Cameron Brown, Maddie Unsworth, Lexi Jones, Erin Coughlan, and Abi Saverimutto for their contributions to the sport this year.
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Prep hits the slopes During the recent Easter holidays, six brave teachers accompanied 42 enthusiastic (but slightly nervous) pupils to the popular resort of Alpe D’Huez in France, for the inaugural Prep Ski Trip. With children ranging from age 9 to 12 and experience ranging from ‘expert’ to ‘beginner’, there was a refreshing blend of excitement and anticipation. The week ran smoothly and the children were allocated ‘Ski-School’ groups with enthusiastic French instructors, covering everything from the basics on the Nursery Slopes, to 180 degree turns in the Snow Park. A well run hotel ensured that everyone ate well and had sufficient fuel for their skiing, even catering for Mr Corran’s caffeine addiction. The hotel also provided the evening entertainment and this proved a great hit with BPS pupils; particular highlights included a games evening and a disco night. After an exhausting week, all children returned home safely, having learnt something not only about their skiing skills, but also about themselves and their resilience. It is fair to say that all children thoroughly enjoyed themselves and were a credit to Birkenhead School.
Excited pupils on their first night
Novice skier, Sasha Petrenko, 5B, remarked, “My instructor, Michelle, was great and I really enjoyed learning how to ski; I can’t wait to try it again soon.”
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Matthew plays at Goodison Park
Matthew Diaz-Rainey, 6S, completed an amazing season with Wirral School Boys’ Under 11 Football team in the Barnet Shieldhouse Cup Final at Goodison Park on 21st May. This was the team’s best ever season, with the boys achieving five trophy wins this year. Their final game at Everton’s world famous home was against Huyton and they drew 1-1 to share the shield. The Wirral School Boys Under 11 trophy cabinet now holds the Pennine League Cup, the Merseyside League Cup, the Airbus Cup, the Tranmere Cup and The Barnet Shieldhouse Cup. What a season! Matthew has also just completed his third successful season with Tranmere Rovers FC academy. He was top scorer for the Under 11s with 27 goals. Congratulations, Matthew!
Playing for Wirral Schoolboys has been a big commitment for Matthew, but he has loved every minute of it and despite being exhausted after the Goodison Park match, he said, “I want to do it all over again!”
Matthew pictured here with the Merseyside League Cup and the Barnet Shield
HAC Dates for 2014 —–———————————
—–——————————— Graphic Design 5 Day Water Sports Young Adventurer Master Chef
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SUMMER 7th-11th July 14th-18th July 21st-25th July 28th July-1st August 4th-8th August 11th-15th August 18th-22nd August
OCTOBER HALF-TERM 20th-24th October 27th-31st October
Book now to avoid disappointment !
Childcare vouchers accepted Before and after care Lunch included
Book online www.birkenheadschool.co.uk/holiday-courses For a brochure or enquiries call 0151 651 3095 Email firstname.lastname@example.org
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Dates for your diary: Thursday 12 June 2014 Reception Parents' Evening Tuesday 17 June 2014 13:00 Infants Sports Day Thursday 19 June 2014 12:00 Junior Prep Sports' Day Friday 20 June 2014 18:00 Parents' Association Prep Disco for Years 2-6, Bushell Hall Sunday 22 June 2014 12:00 Parents' Association: Summer Fête/Midsummer Madness (ends 3pm) Monday 23 June 2014 Year 3 Visit to Port Sunlight Village Wednesday 25 June 2014 Prep Induction Day 19:00 Year 6 Production 'Joseph and The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat' Thursday 26 June 2014 14:00 Reception, Year 1 and Year 2 Summer Performance - Little School Playground 19:00 Year 6 Production 'Joseph and The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat' Friday 27 June 2014 14:00 Reception, Year 1 and Year 2 Summer Performance - Little School Playground 19:00 Year 6 Production 'Joseph and The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat' Tuesday 1 July 2014 14:00 Pre-Prep Summer Performance - Prep Hall 19:00 Prep Prize-giving, Bushell Hall, Prizegiver: Dr Julia Moore OBE Wednesday 2 July 2014 Reports issued to Prep 11:45 Prep End of Term Thursday 28 August 2014 Staff Training Day – School closed to pupils Friday 29 August 2014 Staff Training Day – School closed to pupils Monday 1 September 2014 08:30 Term Starts