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For All The School Community . Pupils . Staff . Parents . Old Birkonians . Friends .

The Wirral Way Wander, the penultimate event of the 150th Anniversary celebrations, was a great success. Birkenhead School families and friends are not the sort to be put off by a bit of cold, wind or rain. The 200 plus - from the very young, to the more mature and from the French to the physically infirm - who had registered to take part duly donned appropriate or inappropriate gear (half the fun is dressing up!) and took to the Wirral Way on wheels and feet of all descriptions. I take my sodden hat off to the great many who completed the whole Wander - 10.8 miles from West Kirby Concourse to Willaston Grange (I admit, I only ambled the last stretch from Parkgate - 3.7 miles, probably 4 if you count the slight deviation in trying to locate the Wirral Way). Anyway, at the end of our Wander, however long or short, there was a warm welcome from the Mitchell family (including their chocolate Labrador Teega), who had kindly opened the grounds of their home so we could all relax and refuel, before deciding how to get home again. I am sure everyone would join me in saying a huge thank you to Mark and Anita Mitchell for all their planning and efforts in making the day such a fun, happy and memorable occasion despite the weather. Alongside them were the School staff, PA, parents and pupils who also gave up their Sunday to organise, steward, assist and serve - to Carl, Trevor and Gary (Estates Team); Keith, Julie, Joan and Tracy (catering staff); Mike Lloyd (parent) and his one-man mobile bicycle repair shop; Dr Rob Harvey (parent) - our roving medicine man and to James Mitchell and the members of ‗Flashmob‘ for the music. Nor should we forget the Deputy Headmaster, Mr Edmunds, who was largely responsible for transforming the WWW Committee‘s ideas into a comprehensive and comprehendible programme on the School website. We are also hugely indebted to our sponsors - Spire Hospital who funded the tasty hog roast - just the ticket on a damp day; to Givaudan who gave money toward the cost of the Wander; David Hardisty (parent) of Hardisty CRN who provided the soft drinks and Pimms (adults only!) and to Mr Ewart‘s Show Time Ice Cream Van - a special thank you to Andrew Ewart who gave me a cone topped with raspberry sauce and injected with a chocolate flake. On my return journey to Parkgate, it was the best ice-cream I had ever eaten.

Photographs - They say every picture tells a story and I think these tell one more than most. Thank you to Phil and Sue Geddes who captured this day for our School archives. There are many more photographs on the School website.

Contents Science Fair Awards Celebrity visit Sports News Music results Measles Alert House Music report


In Focus May/June 2011

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In Focus May/June 2011

As part of the Sixth Form ‗Beyond the Curriculum‘ programme, the Bursar runs a Business Club, which for the last two years has been along the lines of an Apprenticestyle competition. For those not familiar with Sir Alan‘s (sorry Lord Sugar‘s) television programme, week by week teams are given a range of business tasks to complete. When a member of the losing team is fired by Lord Sugar, he or she plays no further part in the competition, but here, fearing that the idea of being fired could be popular if it meant an extra couple of free periods, we work on a points system, where being on the winning team earns 5 points and being fire means -10! After sixteen tasks which included making and selling mince pies to a retailer, giving a presentation on ‗depreciation‘ to the School‘s auditors and operating a car valeting business, we have a winner. Ciaran Anderson is this year‘s Bursar‘s Apprentice. Throughout the competition, Ciaran showed many of the qualities needed to succeed in business, including an appetite for hard work and perseverance, and showed himself to be a skilled team leader. Lord Sugar may offer a six-figure salary, but Ciaran can look forward to a week‘s paid employment with the School‘s Business and Admin team this summer. C. Button

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Congratulations to the pupils below on their success in the Associated Board of the Royal School of Music practical examinations on the results in their practical examinations. It is marvellous that so many pupils are learning to play such a wide range of musical instruments - Ben Hyatt even took exams in two musical instruments - and are doing so well! I. Nolan Result Pass

EUPHONIUM

TOBY BROWN

CLARINET

1

Pass

THOMAS CORRAN

CLARINET

1

Merit

JED COUGHLAN

PIANO

2

Pass

SAM DAVIES

PIANO

8

Pass

HANNAH DURBAND

CORNET

1

Pass

ALI EL- SHEIK

PIANO

2

Pass

THOMAS GIBBS

TRUMPET

5

Pass

JOSHUA GIBSON

SAXOPHONE

3

Pass

FINLAY GORDON

PIANO

2

Pass

ELEANOR HILTON

CLARINET

2

Merit

BEN HYATT

GUITAR

1

Pass

BEN HYATT

PIANO

2

Distinction

SAM JOHNSON

SAXOPHONE

1

Pass

NOAH LAWRENSON

CORNET

Prep test

JOHN MACGREGOR

GUITAR

1

Merit

ALEXANDER MAZHINDU

PIANO

2

Merit

BRONWEN MORRIS

TROMBONE

3

Pass

CHRISTOPHER MORRIS

PIANO

7

Pass

DAVID NEVIN

GUITAR

1

Pass

PIANO

6

Merit

PIANO

2

Pass

BARITONE

2

Pass

GRAHAM WILLIAMS The Doug Scott lecture, one of the 150th Anniversary events back in February this year, CHARLOTTE STEERE raised a total of £1979. The money was put GEORGE WILD towards the cost of building a new school

which was completed in March this year at Bakhapalam, Nepal, to the delight of the local children and community. The Headmaster of the school said, ―We would like to express our heartfelt gratitude to ‗Classroom in the Clouds‘ who made a significant contribution to the making of the new school. We now have spacious classrooms and also a big playground.‖

Grade 3

ALEX ALMAN

In the past, there was no school at Bakhapalam and without education people are compelled to live a hard life. Now, we can assure many children will get a proper education and they, in turn, will help to develop the village into a more educated and civilized society.‖ Volunteers from the charity attended the opening ceremony and reported that it was obviously a momentous event for Bakhapalam. However, Classroom in the Clouds are determined their projects will be sustainable and that they make a long-term impact on these ‗wonderful children‘.


In Focus May/June 2011

The following pupils have done well in the recent BioChallenge, which is run by the same Association that runs the BioOlympiad for older pupils. Over 30,000 pupils nationally sat the tests in March from both Years 9 and 10. They have been awarded Certificates and medals and a number of the medallists will be invited to attend the award ceremony in London. GOLD: Ben Pearson John Warburton SILVER Oliver George Sam Wells Kevin Wong BRONZE Tom Atherton Sam Berkson Connor Lee Conor O’Sullivan Lewis Tran HIGHLY COMMENDED Matt Dixon Michael Smith Ben Unsworth Dan Walker Matthew Williams COMMENDED Trystan Jones Andrew Muir W. Hughes, Head of Biology

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I am pleased to announce that the new Chairman of Governors is Andrew Sutton. He assumes the position following a recent ballot of the Governing Body and takes up his responsibilities immediately. An Old Birkonian, Andrew went on from here to read Natural Sciences at Cambridge. He joined Price Waterhouse and pursued his career there, mostly in London but also in New York and Melbourne. He retired in 2003 after 25 years as a partner. He lives with his wife in Dorking, Surrey, but is a regular visitor to the Wirral (his mother lives in Oxton) and to the School. He joined the Board in May 2005, became Chairman of the Finance and General Purposes Committee in December that year and has been Acting Chairman of Governors since the start of January 2011. Dr Julia Moore is to be Vice-Chairman of Governors. She is a consultant anaesthetist at Wirral University Teaching Hospital. A Senior Medical Officer at the Department of Health since 2000, she works for half of each week in London and her current remit is the development of e-learning to support education and training across the healthcare sector. She has been a Governor since 2005. Her son, Greg, attended both Prep and Senior School and is to be married in the School Chapel in July. Julia is also a member of the Birkenhead School Choral Society. Headmaster

Alex Mason, Will Brewster and Callum Rooney from Year 8 raised £200 for Comic Relief. They came up with the idea to push Callum - with his injured ankle - in a wheelbarrow down the Wirral Way to raise money for the charity. Alex said: ‗We wanted to do our bit to help Comic Relief and came up with the idea between us to push Callum in a wheelbarrow. We‘d like to thank everyone who came to watch us and donated money.‘

Fiona. The house was amazing and had lots of beautiful Tudor artefacts. Unfortunately, after the tour Fiona got us all doing 15th and 16th Century dancing (some dances from this period are called the Gavotte, Pavane and Galliard). I was partnered with Kevin but we did not hold hands – no way! Next we had our lunch and afterwards went to learn about Tudor table manners. We also saw some Tudor cups and plates. Some were made of pewter, others of wood and some from deer antlers. I would have chosen the wooden ones. After that, we went to make pomanders out of oranges and cloves. Tudors used them because they believed that if someone coughed or sneezed and they put a pomander to their noses it would kill all the germs. Finally, we went to the Hall‘s shop. I have a very On Wednesday 16th March all of Year 4 went to visit Speke Hall sweet tooth so I bought three packets of sweets! in Liverpool to learn more about the Tudors for our History topic. We all thought that Speke Hall was amazing but we First, we all piled onto the bus in a race to see who could get the were all so tired on the way back and John even fell best seats. After a long forty minutes we arrived at Speke Hall. asleep! We were all so excited! Rebecca Nicolson First, we were given a tour around the Hall by the guide called


In Focus May/June 2011

―Emma really liked setting her hand on fire especially as it didn‘t hurt; she wants to go to Birkenhead School to be a scientist like the pupils there‖. ―We liked being taken around by the older pupils because they knew what they were doing and we could ask them questions as we went round‖. ―Amazing and should be rated 10 out of 10!‖ These were just some of the many comments from local primary school pupils which filtered back to us after our 13th Annual Science Fair. We can be very proud of our pupils as they entertained and informed over 400 children from Barnston, Irby, Cole Street, Townfield and Bidston Avenue Primary Schools, The Firs and Greasby Junior School, Prenton and Birkenhead Prep Schools and Hayfield Special School. The Prep School Science Club presented a terrific project on food science whilst the Junior Science Club amazed the audience with over 30, activities including an individual hovercraft ride, sending secret messages and blasting visitors with the vacuum bazooka!

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The Senior Science Club presented an impressive ‗pops and bangs‘ demonstration which featured the new ‗elephant‘s toothpaste‘ and ‗igniting hands‘. Our new Year 9 Biology Club (the Solar Group) who showcased a convincing psychological demonstration in which they convinced spectators a hand was really being hit by a hammer! The Beyond the Curriculum group featured our outreach activities which have been extended to include cub groups and a nursery school. It was also interesting to see the cutting edge of electric/ hybrid vehicle technology courtesy of Smart Cars (Liverpool) and Honda (Two Mills). We are grateful this year for the increased support from The Royal Society of Chemistry. I thank our Catering Department and the Estates Team and all the staff who always go the extra several miles to make the Science Fair such a success. I am very proud to lead the Science department on a day which brings so many aspects of the School together and to share our pupils‘ enthusiasm for learning. M Hayward, Head of Science


In Focus May/June 2011

Charlotte Lytollis in Year 11 was part of the victorious National Lacrosse team in two recent h o m e internationals against Wales and Scotland. She has been selected as a reserve in the 24strong squad representing England at the Under-19s World Cup Lacrosse Championships in Hannover this summer. At 16, she is the youngest to be chosen for this honour. To reach such levels of excellence in lacrosse requires both exceptional talent and dedication, and most weekends Charlotte travels down South for a two-day training session with the England squad. Being selected as one of the elite 24 for the World Cup has been a highly competitive process involving Charlotte being spotted by a national coach at a regional training session and then further impressing at the national trials where the 60 best players in the country are put through their paces. Charlotte is thrilled to have been picked, ―Being involved with the national squad has been a tremendous experience and I‘ve made new friends all over the country.‖ Charlotte has been a member of the Wirral Lacrosse Club since she was seven. She still plays for the club‘s first team and the Under-16s.

George Last, in Year 6, made his stage debut in an Easter panto of Peter Pan at the Theatre Royal, St Helens. A casting agency in Liverpool asked him to go along to an audition and, to George‘s delight, he was given the part of Curly, one of the Lost Boys. It meant weeks of Lost Boy - Curly travelling back George Last and forth to St Helens for the family, first to the six weeks of rehearsals and then for the five-day run of the panto. Though tiring, George thoroughly enjoyed the experience and has recently earned his first pay cheque for working as an extra on the set of Hollyoaks!

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A souvenir DVD of the wonderful Service of Commemoration to mark the School‘s foundation 150 years ago which was held at Chester Cathedral on 2 November 2010 is now available from the Headmaster‘s PA, Mrs Debbie Roberts - price £4.

After watching the Winter Olympics, Graham Williams in the Upper Sixth was inspired to take up curling for the physical recreation section of his Gold Duke of Edinburgh‘s Award. Starting as a complete novice, he progressed to being a capable player. Together with three other beginners, he formed a team whose combined skill and determination was rewarded with them winning the Rookie League of the Welsh Curling Association. Graham has also played for Premier League Teams and will probably enjoy this sport for many years to come.


In Focus May/June 2011

Every year the younger sibling to the House Plays comes along, but does not inspire as much antipathy in inter-house relations. It is relatively underappreciated, considering the amount of effort that goes into it. It is, of course, the House Music. However, House Music, as Mr. Clark has noted at the end of every House Music since time began, is getting better. House Music 2011 had the same rules as in previous years. There are three sections, Instrumental, Open and Vocal, though these seem open to some interpretation. There are a minimum number of participants per section and the participants in the vocal section must adhere to the theme; this year it was ‗Musicals‘. Shrewsbury House sadly came fourth, and did the best with the hand they were dealt, namely Elliot KirkbrideWright. They made full use of him (twice). I have been strongly advised to keep this article mainly positive and complimentary, so there is not much to say about Shrewsbury, other than Elliot is the best singer in the House and Ciaran Andersen deserves a solid C+ for effort. Their version of Any Dream Will Do from Joseph and his Technicolor Dreamcoat in the vocal section was very close to the original, probably because they used the original backing track. Kingsmead fared better than Shrewsbury and, because it involved your dear author, should have won, in my opinion. Admittedly, their line-up for both the instrumental and the open section was the same, but everyone must agree that Oliver George on tambourine, who filled the quota required for the open section, was a welcome addition. Their rendition of Sinister Kid by The Black Keys was dubbed ‗tight‘ by adjudicator supreme Mr Barlow, though no one quite knows what that means. For their ‗musical‘, they chose Hakuna Matata from The Lion King, led a tad overenthusiastically by Sparsh Garg, who was trying to make up for Kingsmead‘s defeat in the House Plays. Hakuna Matata relates the sad tale of Pumbaa, a warthog, who, had no friends in his youth because of his odour. It was refreshing to see Kingsmead injecting some empathy and maturity into the song! Beresford managed to come second, with some very innovative musical numbers. Feeling Good (which had been done by Kingsmead at a previous House Music but the less said about that the better), a new arrangement of Use Somebody‘ by Kings of Leon and a distinctly improved version of Any Dream Will Do, mainly due to the clever idea of having more than one person singing (Shrewsbury). While Kingsmead‘s songs were most definitely original and executed very well, Bidston still came up trumps. Beresford might have been expected to win because it has both Sam Davies and Marco Galvani on hand. Instead, full plaudits to Bidston House, who rejected the traditional notion of conventional musical talent by having Cameron Donaldson and Ben Berkson to the fore in all three of their songs. For their instrumental section they did a

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As Kingsmead slumped to a disastrous third place in the House Music Competition, Mr Melville stormed out of Bushell Hall leaving Mr Barlow in no doubt of what he thought of his decision.

piece called ‗Pjänöo‘ or ‗℗ίαņŏœ’, which incorporated a glockenspiel and a didgeridoo. Ben Berkson‘s rapping (which equated to speaking as fast as possible without any kind of rhythm) came back to haunt me. However, it was their open section that remained the best of all the acts of the night. Ostensibly a cover of Wonderwall‘ by Oasis, it was really a medley of Wonderwall, Creep by Radiohead, Twisted Nerve from Kill Bill and incoherent wailing, all of which were performed idiosyncratically by Cameron Donaldson. For representing the most original House Music Act in some time, Bidston fully deserved to win this year‘s House Music. Next year‘s competition is eagerly awaited, especially as this reporter has gleaned insider knowledge that Kingsmead are already preparing their vocal section in advance for next year … James Green

SEE PAGE 13


In Focus May/June 2011

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The weather is getting better…. summer holidays are looming …..it can only mean one thing… it’s that time of year again…. exams. There really is no getting around the fact that this is an extremely stressful time for pupils and of course also for parents. Firstly with the revision period, then the exams themselves and then that nervous wait for the results. Of course one of the reasons it is so stressful is the fact that none of us wants to fail. We all want to do our best. We all like to be able to show what we can do, to do well and to do ourselves, our families and our school, credit. But unfortunately it doesn’t always work out quite like that. Things do go wrong, for a whole variety of reasons, and not all of them under our control. Now, I am not for one moment suggesting that failure is a good idea or that we should give up when things get difficult, but we do have to accept that being tested, along with a certain amount of failure along the way, is an inevitable part of our growth as people. We can never have total control over our lives, our strengths and our weaknesses. We are good at some things and less good at others. Other people are better than us at some things and at some things we are better than them.

The Prep netball at the AGIS netball tournament in Stockport earlier this year where they won a trophy for best runners up in their group.

And getting it wrong is not the end. Jesus's disciples - particularly Peter - knew that. Consider how they got on in the following 'examination'. Question 1: Your teacher, who taught love and pacifism, is threatened by his opponents. Do you: a) stand by him? b) lash out with your sword? c) run away? Question 2: If you were accused of being a disciple of Jesus but knew that it was dangerous to say so, would you: a) admit it and take the consequences? b) lie and deny that you were a disciple? c) make sure that you were not around to be asked in the first place? Question 3: If you had another chance at the situation in question 2, would you: a) take the opportunity and proudly say that you follow Jesus? b) deny him again? c) get angry and start swearing? Jesus was a good teacher but he could not magically remove all challenges and pitfalls from his disciples' lives. In these particular 'testing times', which took place just before Jesus died, the correct answers were, in each case ‘a’. However Jesus's disciples answered mostly ‘b’s, achieving a 0% pass rate. This failure was not the end, rather the birth of a new beginning. These same people went on to change the face of the world. None of us should ever seek failure, but neither should we lose sight of the new possibilities that can lie beyond when things perhaps don’t go quite to plan. Lesley Rendle chaplain@birkenheadschool.co.uk

See report page 13

Congratulations to Phil Eakins, Upper Sixth, who did very well in the Biology Olympiad and has been invited to London to receive his bronze medal.

SEE PAGE 13


In Focus May/June 2011

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In April, the following pupils gained Crest Star Investigator Science Awards

On March 25th, illusionist and TV personality Derren Brown visited the school to deliver the Sixth Form Lecture. However, this was not the typical Friday lecture, as might be expected from a master of deception and trickery. Furthermore, we were sitting on the tranquil and yet eerie set for ‗A Midsummer Night‘s Dream‘, which added to the sense of mystery. Derren not only talked about his exceptional career, which has taken him from schoolboy to stardom – he is perhaps most famous for controversial live TV shows such as the séance, his version of Russian roulette and his prediction of the lottery numbers last year – but also took time to perform several tricks on the (un)lucky Sixth Form, including the hypnotism of one Nick Williamson, which had the Sixth Form both amazed at the spectacle and hoping the effects were permanent. To quote Cameron Donaldson on Derren‘s lecture, it was, in today‘s common vernacular, ‗proper, mindbogglingly mint‘. After the lecture, Derren was given a tour of the School, where he met (was accosted by) transifixed youths who had not even been hypnotised. However, this did not seem to leave a negative imprint on him – on the contrary, he wrote on his blog at derrenbrown.co.uk/blog:

In Liverpool I caught up with my A Level teacher from Whitgift, who is now Headmaster of Birkenhead School. And what a school, and what a headmaster. I went in to be interviewed as part of their quite excellent series of sixth-form lectures – and am sure I dropped the standard having had nothing prepared. Two top prefects – Josh and Tash – kicked off the questions and the whole thing, for me at least, was a pleasure. Afterwards the prefect team of Josh, Tash, Ed and Tom showed me around the beautiful campus. Not for the first time in recent years, I was bowled over by how much nicer pupils are now than when I ranked rather scrawnily amongst their number. How trite it is to complain about the youth of today being such and such and so and so. It‘s the automatic, mindless cry of every older generation seeing a landscape of language and culture shift beneath its feet. Kids are without doubt getting nicer. There wasn‘t a hint of the snickering s***tiness of the class of ‘89. I felt like I was meeting university students: already matured, comfortable in themselves, open, tactile, utterly charming. We were NEVER like that. And I have seen this at several schools, although I have no doubt that the residency of John Clark as Head is part of the formula for this school‘s particular brand of delightfulness. As a Modern Languages teacher he was always brilliant, bright and effortlessly popular. As a Head he is hands-on, knows all his wards by name and interests, is every bit as popular, and motivated by a deep affection and pastoral urge that I found quite moving. Thank you everyone at the school for making the day such a treat for me. Mr Brown can be assured, that he did not drop the standard of the usually excellent Sixth-Form Lectures whatsoever, and, what really surprised about Derren Brown, was not his illusions, but his congeniality and approachability. James Green

Crest Superstar (Y3 Science Club) Cerys Evans Thomas Smith Olivia Holgate-Hunt Louis Mason Erin Coughlan Abi Saverimutto Freya Semple Gus Ames Ella Dodd Katie Sergi Alessandra Ross Samarth Kumar Shahzeb Pasha Ben Keating Archie Parker-Goff Emily Phipps Crest Megastar (Y5 and 6) Ben Gavin-Pitt Harrison Wild Callum Mcilroy Collins Alex McIlroy Collins Tom Parkes Joseph Lawler William Harvey Mark Nicholls Hannah Durband Edward Azurdia Nickolai Baron Harry Lloyd Shikar Kumar Joe Grimshaw William Reay Max Eugeni The British Science Association, a charity, organises a project-based award scheme for pupils in secondary schools throughout the UK - its acronym CREST stands for Creativity in Science And Technology (see page). Its counterpart for junior school pupils is the British Association of Young Scientists (BAYS) CREST Star Investigators awards Since starting the Science Clubs, there are well over 200 children who have received BAYS awards in the Prep! S. Jarvis

SEE PAGE 13


In Focus May /June 2011

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U12 hockey team at the Cheshire tournament Yr 11 netball team at the North West finals

Year 10 netball team posing with their netball which Derren Brown had just signed. ‘We’ll never lose now’ said Amy Durband!

See Mrs Alford-Swift’s Winter Sports highlights page 12

Above and below: At the Year 7 Wirral Schools’ netball tournament.


In Focus May/June 2011

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Right: The fire fighters showed us all their special After studying ‗The Great Fire of London‘ it was interesting to see the work modern day Fire-fighters do and compare their work and equipment with Fire-fighters in the past. Far Right: Olivia showing us how to use the hose. Near right: Sebastian and Kian in the cab of the fire engine. Above: After a quick group photo they sped off with their sirens blazing. Year 1 thoroughly enjoyed the visit to school of the Merseyside Fire Brigade. Thank you Merseyside Fire Brigade. C M Bennett

Instead of taking a well earned break this summer on a beach in Ibiza, Tom Harrison (left School 2010), Joe Hillyer, Will Lamb and Tom Roden will be riding their bikes home from Hamburg, all of 1500 km. They reckon it will take them three weeks, starting out in August after their A2 results. They hope to cover between 75-80 km each day and have been training in between revising for their exams. They have used the Wirral bike routes, a weekend cycling to North Wales and back and will compete in the Elite 90km Chester to Liverpool bike race at the beginning of July. The route from Hamburg will take them over the 31 km dam in North Holland which protects the Ijsselmeer from the North Sea. Happily, their route, though long, does not take them over mountainous terrain and Holland, a nation of cyclists, has cycle paths built into most of its roads. Their ride will be raising money for two local charities—The Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation, which has a large research facility in Liverpool and the new Alzheimer‘s ward at Clatterbridge Hospital. We wish them a safe and happy journey and look forward to reporting bon the trip in the October issue of IF. Please visit the School website, if you would like to sponsor the boys.


In Focus May/June 2011

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Emma Redhead, Philip Eakins and Riko Yu: received Silver Awards and Sophie Mathew-Jones a Bronze Award in the Royal Society of Chemistry‘s 43rd Chemistry Olympiad Round 1 paper. Dr Robert, the chairman of the RSC, reported that this year‘s Round 1 competition saw a 10% increase in the number of students‘ submissions of the new online paper. 7% of the 2604 candidates were awarded gold certificates for marks over 40, 23% earned silver certificates for marks 27 – 39.5, and 18% received bronze certificates for marks of 20 – 26.5. The top-scoring candidates were invited to participate in the Round 2 selection weekend in Cambridge where the UK team of four is chosen to take part in the International final in Ankara, Turkey.

Jack Breheny (4W), at hooker and Toby Brown (4B), scrum half, played in the Lymm Under 9 side that succeeded in winning the Cheshire Cup this year in the tournament held at Chester RUFC on 27th March 2011. After beating Altrincham Kersal, Wilmslow B, Sale Scorpions and Wilmslow A, Lymm won the closely contested final against Sandbach by 1 try to 0. The boys also enjoyed success playing in the Lymm side that won Festivals this season at Keighley and Harrogate, as well as being joint winners of the Festival held at Vale of Lune. Jack Breheny and Toby Brown

Our Indian partner school, Anand Vidya Vihar, were delighted to receive copies of the last issue of IF in which their school was featured: The girls teams have once again excelled in the three winter sports: Hockey, Netball & Lacrosse. Nearly every single girl in the Senior School has represented the School in one, two or even all three sports! Notable successes: U13 Lacrosse team are North of England Champions and have been undefeated all season. U12 Netball team finished runners up in the Wirral schools Netball tournament out of 14 schools. U13 Hockey team finished runners up in the regional round of England Hockey‘s 7-a-side competition. U14 Netball team had their best run of results since joining in Yr 7, only losing twice all season. U15 Netball team finished in the top three of Wirral schools netball tournament and missed out on goal difference by one to qualify for the North West finals. U16 Netball team qualified for the North West netball finals. U16 Lacrosse team were undefeated all season. The girls have trained hard, often three times a week and then played nearly every Saturday, all with a smile on their face and a determination to do well. We are looking forward to the summer where we hope to retain our title of U13 & U15 Wirral school rounders champions and our Wirral schools U13 athletics champions‘ title. L. Alford-Swift

We hope this finds you in the best of health. We received the air mail with the 'In Focus' newsletter, which was something to cherish. All the articles were read and well received by the staff members as well as select students. We even took out prints of the pages containing details regarding our school and displayed them on the notice board. We will soon be sending you an e-newsletter which will cover all such details. We sincerely hope to see some more such exchanges in the near future. With best wishes, Anand Vidya Vihar

Injuries and illness meant the School could only muster a team of 11 instead of 12, for the U13 Northern lacrosse tournament. Only nine of the Year 8 key players were available and had to be supplemented with a Prep School pupil and another girl from Year 7. Ten schools from Cheshire to the Scottish borders had qualified for the tournament held at Queen Margaret‘s School, York. The Birkenhead team defeated such strong opposition as Withington High School, Manchester, and Bolton School , also beating the host team 2-0 on their way to becoming the Northern U13 Lacrosse champions.


In Focus May/June 2011

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Rushworth qualified the team for the quarter-final against Hymers College, Hull. Despite the team‘s most valiant efforts, a narrow defeat was incurred. The team were playing their third tournament in a week when they went to the Cheshire 7s and, with hindsight, this was probably their downfall. Once again, they won their group and then beat local rivals Calday Grange Grammar School in the quarter-final. In the semi-final, they met Bishop Heber School, a team they had beaten convincingly at our own 7s. However, our team never really got going and it was the most disappointing defeat of the 7s season. Two weeks‘ rest meant the team travelled to the Stonyhurst College 7s refreshed and, once again, the School qualified for the quarter-finals from a difficult group. However, with the top U16s in the side unavailable because they were playing in the U16s tournament, the team struggled The U16 VIIs team: Back row L to R: William Gollins, Tom Jarvis, against a very well-organised Giggleswick team, losing 14-12. Luke Naylor, Mike Doneo, Joe Doyle, Jack Walker, Jake Jackson Front row L to R: Andrew Crosby, Harry Sturgess, Nathan The U14 7s struggled for both size and Demetrios, Alex Watkins, Jamie Russell speed against the very best sides but became ‗plate‘ specialists, first of all reaching the Plate Final at the Rydal 7s before losing to St Ambrose College, only This Sevens season has been one of the most successful to gain revenge against the same opponents in the Plate Final for many years with no less than three different year at the Wirral Grammar School 7s, just reward for their hard groups winning trophies and medals and the U16 VIIs work and commitment. reaching two cup semi-finals and two cup quarter-finals in The U13s reached the cup final at the Rydal 7s with victories the four tournaments in which they played. against Manchester Grammar School, Rydal Penrhos and St At our own tournament, held in early March, the 1st VII Ambrose College. They then reached the Plate Final of our won their group with victories over Cheadle Hulme own 7s only 48 hours later but fatigue overcame them, losing School, St David‘s College, Altrincham Grammar School narrowly to Wilmslow High School. and Hutton Grammar School which put them through to The highlight of the U16s campaign was their excellent win in the quarter finals of the cup against Bishop Heber High the final of the Cheshire U16s 7s competition. In their group, School. A convincing win put the team through to the they had victories over Bramhall, St Ambrose College and semi-final against St Edward‘s College and in a tense, Bridgewater which put them into the quarter-final. A close game, the School lost by one score. convincing victory saw the team into the semi-final and an Confidence was high for the prestigious North of England incredibly close match against Wilmslow High School which Invitation 7s tournament with 40 of the top rugby schools went to sudden death extra time. Victory put the team from the North of England and the Midlands. Victories through to the final against Bramhall and an excellent 22-7 against Manchester Grammar School, Arnold School and win. R. Lytollis

Congratulations to the following who have represented the county: Annie Mills Cheshire U15 Rugby Wirral & West Cheshire JAC U13 Hockey Cheshire U13 Cricket Oliver Mills Wirral & West Cheshire Junior Academy Centre (JAC) U16 for Hockey Alex Barria-Norton JAC U16 Hockey Charles McCulloch JAC U16 Hockey Edward Thomas JAC U16 Hockey Tom Weller JAC U16 Hockey Ian Loch JAC U17 Hockey Matthew Rogers JAC U17 Hockey

As part of the local community, we have been asked to join in a green project - planting old Wellington boots which will be put on display outside shops, houses and other premises in the neighbourhood. Please bring any wellington boots that you have grown out of or are past their sell-by date to Mary Butterworth in the Lodge. More details to follow.


In Focus May/June 2011

Page 14

At the beginning of May, three pupils and a member of staff from Birkenhead School were involved in winning three cup competitions for Calday RUFC, all within eight days. On the Sunday, Josh Corlett and Alexander Hind played in the Senior Colts team which became Cheshire Cup Champions. The following Sunday, these two and Sam Edwards helped defeat their North East counterparts (Huddersfield) in the Cock-o-the-North U19 Challenge Final. On the Wednesday in between, Alexander and Mr Sheldon were part of the Development Team which won the NW Floodlit Cup, cheered on by Mr Highcock and Mr Hayward! Well-done to all those involved!

The Birkenhead School team - Charles McCulloch, John Warburton, Leo Westbrook and Dominic Fowler-Williams did well, coming 9th out of 29 teams from all over the UK competing in the Top of the Bench National Final. The event was hosted at Imperial College‘s Chemistry Department, London, and involved a full day of testing their chemical knowledge and their practical and problem solving skills. The day was rounded off with a lecture entitled ‘Star Trek and Tractor Beams - no longer fiction‘ delivered by Dr Oscar Ces, a Lecturer at Imperial College. Perhaps more importantly, the team were able to enjoy some sightseeing and a show.

Another visually stunning BS production, (remember Alice in Wonderland last year) this time of A Midsummer Night‘s Dream by William Shakespeare took place in April. Watch out for the full feature in the Summer issue of In

Focus.

Carl, one of our catering team, busy tending his tubs of herbs. They are used regularly in the dishes we enjoy at lunchtime. Carl intends to expand his collection to add further flavours to the School‘s culinary repertoire.

Mr Higginbottom‘s trophy - a five foot long Claymore from the the Highlander Mountain Marathon, which he ran just before flying out to the prestigious Baise Leye International Outdoor Quest in China The Highlander Mountain marathons are 2-day races where competitors navigate their way around a course

visiting check-points in the fastest time possible. The course is split into 2 days, and there is an enforced camp for which teams must carry all their equipment. The elite courses tend to be about 20-30 miles each day, with many thousands of feet of ascent, always off paths and in rough back country. Tim and his running partner won the event by over thirty minutes and the claymore was their reward! More on the Chinese Outdoor Quest in the next big issue of IF!


In Focus May/June 2011

Page 15 Measles is a highly infectious and dangerous illness, and as there is increased close contact in institutions such as schools and nurseries, it can spread easily Complications are quite common and may result in hospitalisation. They include a severe cough and breathing difficulties, ear infections, viral and bacterial lung infections (pneumonia), and eye infections (conjunctivitis). Most are caused by secondary bacterial infections which can be treated with antibiotics One of the most serious problems is acute encephalitis, which is inflammation of the brain and can occur 2-6 days after the rash has appeared. This affects less than 1 in 1000 measles cases, but 25% are left with brain damage. SSPE (sub acute sclerosing pan-encephalomyelitis) is the most severe complication of measles. It is rare, occurring in less than 1 in 100,000 cases of measles. It usually occurs years after the initial illness and is a slowly progressive degenerative condition of the nervous system which causes death. SSPE occurs only after infection with wild measles virus and MMR vaccine offers protection against this fatal complication. Severe disease and complications are most likely in infants under 12 months and those with a weakened immune system. There is a group of people (including children) who are immunocompromised who cannot be given MMR. They include those with cancer, leukaemia and those taking high dose steroids. Measles in these cases can be deadly; improving uptake of MMR vaccine in the community will help to prevent spread of measles to these and other vulnerable groups Measles infection in pregnancy can lead to loss or early birth of the baby, but is not associated with congenital infection or damage.

There has been a significant rise in the number of reported cases of measles in Europe and beyond. Numbers in France are particularly high. In the UK cases, the strain is identical to the French outbreak which according to recent information has now spread to most other mainland European countries and the UK. Most of the UK cases are thought to be imported from Europe via unimmunised/partially immunised older children and young adults. Immunisation with MMR vaccine is the safest way to protect vulnerable children and young adults against measles, mumps and rubella which are diseases that can have serious consequences for babies, young children and young adults. The Health Protection Agency and the Department of Health recommend that all children receive the first dose of the MMR vaccination at about the age of 13 months and a second dose at 3 yrs 4 months - 5 years. However all unvaccinated, non-immune travellers are at risk from measles when visiting countries reporting measles, especially if staying with friends or family and mixing with the local population. Ideally, non-immune children and adults should receive two doses of MMR vaccine, at least one month apart, before travel. MMR vaccination is available to all children and can be obtained from their GP free of charge. Parents should be advised that, if they wish to discuss this further, they should contact their own doctor. The measles virus is contained in the millions of tiny droplets that come out of the nose and mouth when an infected person coughs or Can you prevent measles? sneezes. You can catch measles by breathing in these droplets or, if the Measles can be prevented by a highly effective and safe measlesdroplets have settled on a surface, by touching the surface and then mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine. placing your hands near your nose or mouth. Pregnant women or those with weakened immune systems should not be immunised. Frequently asked Questions about measles Past infection gives immunity. How infectious is measles? How soon should a child be back at school after measles? About 90% of people who have not been immunised against measles nor had a past measles infection develop the illness if they live in the same The Health Protection Agency and Department of Health guidelines on infection control in schools and nurseries recommend that a child should house as someone with measles. Measles is most infectious four days before the rash appears; and be excluded from school for 5 days after the onset of the rash. remains infectious for four days after the appearance of the rash. Even Measles is a notifiable disease and must be reported by a doctor to the local Health Protection Unit (HPU). trivial contact may be sufficient for the virus to spread. The local HPU will provide a special saliva test kit to confirm or refute the diagnosis. What are the symptoms and signs of measles? The time from being infected to the appearance of the first symptoms (incubation period) is 7-18 days (average 10 -12 days) Initial symptoms of measles include fever, irritability, a runny nose, conjunctivitis (red eyes) and cough. These symptoms may last up to 8 days. The rash develops 2 to 4 days after the onset of symptoms. The rash usually starts on the face and behind the ears and spreads downwards over the trunk and limbs. The rash is slightly raised and red with areas, which can flow into each other. It lasts 4-7 days. Complications include diarrhoea, vomiting, abdominal pain, ear infections and pneumonia. How serious is measles? One million children die from measles worldwide each year. In the UK measles cases have increased annually since 2003 because of a decrease in the uptake of MMR vaccine.

How can you treat someone with measles? There is no specific treatment for measles. The patient should drink lots of clear fluid to replace body water lost through the fever. Paracetamol can be used to reduce the fever. Aspirin should NOT be given to children. Children with measles should be closely monitored for complications. Consult your GP for medical advice. Further information about measles and MMR vaccination may be sought from www.immunisation.nhs.uk/Vaccines/MMR or from NHS Direct on 08454647 J.Pizer, School Nurse


In Focus May/June 2011

In Focus, May 2011  

The School's magazine for May 2011.

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