Page 1


Roundup Duke of Edinburgh Awards Sports Results Charity Involvement

News New Headmaster Appointed School Musical Announced

Achievements Students Gain Oxbridge Offers




4th - 8th July 11th - 15th July Easter 18th - 22nd July 29th March - 1st April 25th - 29th July 1st - 5th August 4th - 8th April 8th - 12th August May 15th - 19th August 31st May - 3rd June

15th - 19th February

October 17th - 21st October 24th - 28th October

Book online For a brochure or enquiries call 0151 651 3095 or email












10 Classics 12 Drama 14 English

16 History 17 Languages 18 Maths 19 Music 22 Science 24 Sport

28 Charity 30 Co-curricular 32 Celebrations 33 Join In 34 Diary




infocus magazine

FROM THE HEADMASTER Welcome to the winter 2016 edition of In Focus. Our aim is now to produce In Focus bi-annually with editions in February and at the end of Summer Term. I am very grateful to our new marketing assistant Carol Keegan who has put together this edition. I know she would welcome any feedback and indeed suggestions for articles to be included in future editions. She can be contacted at School using Since the last edition of In Focus I am sure you are aware that we have also launched a new school website. This includes a news section that is updated almost daily with articles and photographs of events and activities that are happening here at School. In addition to this we have also launched a new online uniform shop that allows parents to order uniform online and have it ready and waiting to be collected by either parents or indeed more simply by students themselves.

During the summer our Senior hockey and netball players enjoyed a successful tour of South Africa, the Chapel Choir went on tour to Sherbourne and Bristol, Year 10 historians visited the World War I Battlefields and many students completed their Silver and Gold Duke of Edinburgh expeditions. In August our GCSE and A Level examination results again confirmed our position as the best school on the Wirral for both girls and boys. Government league tables are soon set to include a measure of student progress; I fully expect our inclusion in this measure to show the true value of what is achieved by our students. When “value added” league tables are produced for the WirraI you can expect us to be at the top with a considerable margin.

This term we have introduced, in Seniors, Bring Your Own Device to School and it has already been very pleasing to see them being used by both teachers and students in a variety of ways. I look forward to this aspect of our teaching and learning developing over the next few years.

Our Co-curricular activities so far this year have resulted in considerable success for many students. Our Senior lacrosse team are North of England champions, our 1st XV rugby got through to the last 32 teams in the NatWest National tournament, and our U16 Boys’ hockey are through to the North West finals. In December, we had nearly one third of Senior students involved in House Drama and next month is our school musical Little Shop of Horrors.

All students in Year 10 and below took part in outdoor pursuits activities in September and our Duke of Edinburgh provision has been expanded to include the Bronze Award for all students in Year 10.

There have been many other events and activities taking place in Nursery, Prep and Seniors and you can read about them in here or indeed keep up to date by adding to your favourites. I hope you enjoy this edition of In Focus to discover what is going on in our community.

Mr D Edmunds, Headmaster

FROM THE HEAD OF PREP I am delighted to introduce this academic year’s first issue of In Focus and to reflect on a wonderful Michaelmas Term in Prep. The children have, as always, approached all that they do with enthusiasm and interest and I am delighted at their many achievements so far this academic year.

Imperial War Museum. Leading up to the end of term, I had a wonderful time attending all the different Christmas events and I’d like to congratulate and thank all the children and staff involved for giving us such a memorable and meaningful run-up to Christmas.

So what’s new in Prep this academic year? Well, our Little School children have been enjoying an improved layout to their playground and the new path around the outside has ensured that the playground can remain completely enclosed at morning drop-off. This has given the children more space to play and new opportunities to develop their independence when they arrive in the morning. Another new addition for Little School has been the introduction of Modern Foreign Language Clubs. These have been very popular and there’s an article on the Spanish Club included in this issue. You will also be able to read about a variety of activities going on in Prep: from pumpkin carving to parachute designing and from poppy making to visiting the

Finally, I wanted to mention our new bank of iPads in Prep. We had a vibrant training session for the staff after Christmas and teachers can now book out the iPads for the children to use as an additional learning tool in class. This exciting new initiative is just getting underway, so we’ll report on how things are developing in the next issue.

Last term was a significant term for me, with Richard Halpin taking on the new role of Deputy Head of Prep, and I would like to thank him for all his hard work and support. I would also like to thank each and every member of staff for the dedication and care they show in all that they do – this makes such a difference for our pupils and helps them to thrive during their formative years.

Of course, all of the many activities going on here take place on top of a rigorous academic schedule and it never ceases to amaze me how much the children give of themselves, despite being so incredibly busy. Prep pupils and their families also have a big heart for charitable causes and we’ve had some wonderful bake sales and special theme days for the various charities we’re supporting this year.

I hope you all enjoy this edition of In Focus and my very best wishes for 2016. Mr H FitzHerbert, Head of Prep


New Headmaster Appointed Mr Paul Vicars will join the School as Headmaster in September 2016.

Mr Vicars went to Epsom College before reading Geography at the University of St Andrews. After four years with Ernst & Young in London he completed his PGCE at Exeter University and joined Shrewsbury School in 2001. There he has taught geography and was a housemaster of a boarding house for six years until his

Paul Vicars

appointment to the school’s senior leadership team as Deputy Head (Pastoral) in 2012.

Mr Vicars is married to Vikki, who, following a legal career prior to having children, now teaches History and Law. They have three children who will join us next September, Jack in Year 4 and twins, Sam and Polly in Year 1. We look forward to welcoming them all.

Staff achievements

Congratulations to India Wild and Eleanor Hilton who have received Oxbridge offers. India has applied to read Engineering at Christ’s College, Cambridge and Eleanor to read Earth Sciences at Exeter College, Oxford.

Governors acknowledged 100 terms of service by Head of Geography Steve Gill, IT Manager Alan Davies, Exams Officer Ian Allister and Leading Estates Workers Dave O’Brien and Trevor Roberts. Duke of Edinburgh Silver Award Winners

Sebastian Mactaggart Ali El Sheikh Aradhana Gupta Thomas Corran Connor Sloan

Alexandra Williams

Film role for Year 7 student

Samuel Jones Year 7, has landed a role in a new British feature film, Love Type D. The romantic comedy also stars Colin Firth’s son, Will Firth, in his film debut. Samuel, aged 11, has been involved with the film since 2014 when he auditioned through his management company LHK Productions. Following a call back he got the part, though not a speaking role he is the sidekick of one of the main characters. Since then he has been involved in lots of filming, mainly in the south of England. Samuel said, “Working on the film has been really fun, though you also have to do your job and be serious when you are on camera, otherwise you have to keep doing re-takes.” The film is directed by Sasha


Collington who gained funding for the film through a Kickstarter Campaign which helps support independent creative projects. Samuel said, “It has been a wild experience, amazing to see what it’s like behind the camera and then watch it on the monitor, going from real life to screen is really interesting.” Samuel has been involved in drama for nearly two years after taking part in a school play and really enjoying it. He had an audition at the LHK Youth Theatre and has since played in their pantomime Snow White and the Seven Dwarves and has also played the part of Fizzy in a production of Bugsy Malone at the Liverpool Epstein Theatre.

Callum Andrews James Budworth Ben Hyatt Ahmed Mostapha Alice Sherrard Ben Pearson

Sophie DolanJones Lucy Rogers James Howe Simon Owen



infocus magazine

Youth Speaks winners Lower Sixth Form Students, Ciara Williams as chairperson, Finlay Gordon as speaker, and Ross Waring giving the vote of thanks, won the Rotary Club Youth Speaks to the Nation Competition in January.

Rotary photography competition

Their speech was about time and entitled Tempus Fugit - Time Flies.

Ciara Williams and Jordan Hayward in the lead roles of Audrey and Seymour.

Don’t miss the musical extravaganza Little Shop of Horrors coming this March to Birkenhead School. The annual School musical will feature a number of talented students including

Little Shop of Horrors is a rock-musical horror-comedy, with the story centring around a shy florist, Seymour, who raises a plant, Audrey II, that feeds on human blood.

Shivank Sharma from Year 9 came first in The Rotary Club of Birkenhead’s Young Photography Competition.

Tickets are priced at £10 and £7 for concessions and can be obtained from the School office, calling 0151 652 4014 or visiting and will go on sale on the 23rd February.

This entry will now go forward to the Rotary District competition.

The production will take place in Bushell Hall from Wednesday 16th March to Saturday 19th March at 7.30pm.

Shivank entered the senior section for ages 14 to 17 year olds. The theme of the competition was ‘Our World is Beautiful’.

Busy times in Reception classes

As part of our topic on Harvest, we had a talk about fruit and vegetables with Julie, the Kitchen Manager. She showed us a wide variety of fruit and vegetables and talked to us about how they grow and how we harvest them. She cut some up for us to see inside and we had the opportunity to taste some. The next day we made vegetable soup and had it for our afternoon snack. Yummy! We also read a story about ‘Oliver’s Vegetables’.

Nurse Debs came to visit Reception to talk to us about hygiene. She talked about the importance of hand washing and demonstrated how to do it properly. She also talked about when you need to wash your hands before and after different activities. She also showed us how easily germs can spread. So remember, wash your hands!

As part of our topic ‘People Who Help Us,’ we have been learning about the dentist. We have been sorting different foods into what is good and bad for our teeth.

Dentist Mrs Jones came in to talk to us about how to look after our teeth. Through role-play and telling a story we learnt a lot about having healthy teeth. Julie Mayers



CHAPLAINCY Remembrance

Harvest Festival

So much has been happening in the life of Chaplaincy around School this year. Our chapel celebrations have included Harvest Festival for Little School, Remembrance for all pupils and for some of our families at the Sunday service, where the Chapel Choir sang the beautiful ‘Faure Requiem’ and we lit candles for those who had given their lives for our freedom. Each Year group had their individual Christmas Celebration service, two Carols by candlelight services and the popular Christmas Eve communion service where many of our former pupils enjoy a reunion. This year, there were seven candidates for our Confirmation service, for which we welcomed Bishop Keith Sinclair and, for the first time ever, a group consisting of pupils, staff and parents were confirmed in a lovely service, where our staff member, Miss Millington, was also baptised. Another first in the life of our chaplaincy was a wedding in December between two Old Birkonians, the bride being from

our first co-hort of girls into the Sixth Form. The couple decorated Bushell Hall for their reception and once again, Chapel became a significant part in the memories of some of our OB’s.


Our links with the community grow stronger all the time: a group of our students help out at a weekly children’s after school club at Christchurch, Birkenhead, where the congregation are reaching out to children in the area.

A new Parents’ Prayer group has met this year: an opportunity for any who wish to hold our School, pupils and staff in prayer, to meet and share in a time of prayer. Please email Chaplain, Sian Howell-Jones, if you would value sharing in the forthcoming meetings. We continue to explore the Christian response to our school themes in weekly chapel services: Bullying, Peer pressure, Courage, Homelessness and Trust, to name a few. Sian Howell-Jones, Chaplain

OB’s Wedding

Sixth Form at Christchurch



infocus magazine

ART GCSE Printing Project Mrs Lloyd-Johnson’s GCSE groups have been focussing on the artists Karl Blossfeldt – known for his photographs of plants, printmaker Angie Lewin and sculptor Ivan Black. The students have been using a technique called dry point printing. After creating pencil sketches, an etching tool is then used to carve their designs into Perspex to produce a plate. Various coloured printing inks are then added and then pressed on to fabriano paper to excellent effect.

Seeds and Pods



Year 10 have been broadening their horizons in their GSCE art lessons, discovering new techniques and methods of creating interesting work.

As part of their ‘seeds and pods’ module, the students have been taking inspiration from natural materials and Mrs Margerison’s class have been looking at the ceramic artist Heather Knight and sculptor Peter Randall-Page.

Following initial drawings and work on flat tiles, the students have been modelling with terracotta clay to create 3D pieces whilst thinking about different textures, shapes and design.

Pumpkin Fun in Art Club Year 6 Art Club were flexing their creativity in October to produce a bounty of effective pumpkin faces especially for Halloween.

Poppy inspiration Children in Little School have been studying the work of Van Gough and created their own 3D poppies inspired by his work. They were displayed in the hallway outside the classrooms to create a stunning sea of flowers.



infocus magazine

CLASSICS The Year 7's spent the day in Chester for a Latin trip taking in the Dewa Roman Experience, Roman Amphitheatre and hypocaust, and the Grosvenor Museum.

Above: To develop their studies on Roman theatre, following the Cambridge Latin Course Stage 5, Year 7 created their own Roman masks.

They were shown three original examples that would have been used in theatres in Pompeii and then they created their own from the evidence provided.



A visit from a Roman Soldier A Roman Soldier visited Birkenhead School to help students in Year 8 and 9 learn all about life 2000 years ago. The soldier, who had come on behalf of Roman Tours UK, spoke about the conditions that people used to live in. He told them all about being a soldier and how much hard work it was, including carrying heavy equipment which some of the students were encouraged to try on. He also said that there

were benefits to being Roman in times of war as they had access to much better technology and equipment than those they would have been fighting against, including stone and arrow throwing machines, sling shots and javelins. The soldier also told the groups about everyday life and how people used to share toilets and baths. The students learned that bathing was often a public activity and in some richer houses there would be

baths that could take up to seven people and this was seen as great hospitality. He showed metal objects that would have been used

Year 7 Roman Banquet

by Romans to clean themselves and explained that the methods used were very progressive and hygienic for the time.

As part of the ‘Beyond the Curriculum’ as authentic as possible by dressing had fun making pasta, fish and chips, aspect of learning, a group of Year 7 up in togas and eating with their chicken tikka masala, burgers and a variety of puddings. students have chosen to take part in a hands. cookery course. The cookery programme, which runs To link in with the Year 7’s Latin on a six week rota in houses, is work, the students decided to plan a delivered by Mrs Southworth of the Roman Banquet which included Cooks Academy. The featured cohort from Kingsmead House were Sasha making rustic bread, asparagus Petrenko, Connor McCausland, Harvey frittata, broccoli and fish. Davies and Harvey Forster who, along The group tried to make the banquet with their Roman Banquet, have also

Mythology Club meets every Tuesday from 12.40pm in the Library and welcomes all students in Year 8.

The group has been reading and discussing the book Greek Myths by Marcia Williams. Recently they looked at the tale Arion and the Dolphins, and then Orpheus and Eurydice. Sixth Form students also attend the club to support the Year 8’s with their discussions on the themes of the stories, such as loyalty, love and trust.

Mythology Club



infocus magazine


House Drama Productions

The Senior Houses were working hard on their House Drama productions during Michaelmas term.

The Houses presented their plays over two days in December to crowds of family and friends.

The first was Beresford with their interpretation of the movie ‘School of Rock’. The group gave an enthusiastic performance with the audience enjoying the songs and characters.

Next was Shrewsbury who performed ‘The Curse of the Pink Panther’. An ambitious choice, the actors set the scene well with great casting and team work to produce very funny performances.

The following night’s first show was ‘Defrosted’, Bidston’s re-enactment of the Disney film ‘Frozen’. Fabulous acting, singing and dancing from a very talented

group were seen.

Finally Kingsmead’s ‘Once Upon A Time’ was performed, which was a group of well-known fairy tales re-written by the students. Hilarious performances from all involved brought the stories together to excellent effect.

The plays were judged by visiting theatre company Tooth and Nail, who have been working with some year groups over the last term in School. They were very impressed by the standards shown and awarded prizes across all of the Houses.

Kingsmead: Once Upon A Time - winners

Bidston: Defrosted

Shrewsbury: The Curse of the Pink Panther

Beresford: School of Rock

Notably the Best Male Actor was Sam GavinPitt from Beresford; Best Female Actor was Ciara Williams from Bidston and Best Direction went to Bidston. Best Play went to Kingsmead with ‘Once Upon A Time’.

Mr Edmunds with ‘Defrosted’ trolls Caroline Hurst and Bronwen Morris



Tooth and Nail Workshops Students from Year 11 were visited by the Tooth and Nail physical theatre workshop to explore one of their key English texts, ‘A View from the Bridge’ by Arthur Miller. With a week away from their desks the students were able to get involved with the characters they had been studying by playing them themselves. They took turns in acting out emotional and turbulent scenes playing the characters Beatrice, Catherine, Marco and Eddie.

One of the workshop coordinators, Harriet, is a former pupil at Birkenhead. She, along with two others, helped the GCSE students to understand the range and depth of the text by both listening and reacting to the characters dialogue.

Year 6 who were treated to an exciting drama workshop.

They were actively bounding around the Prep Hall, getting involved in pretending to be animals such as playful monkeys and slithering snakes.

The special session helped the girls in developing their confidence and will hopefully be of benefit for their drama production later in the year.

Year 6

The Tooth and Nail company also spent time with girls from

Year 11

Ice Picks and Violets Members of the Sixth Form took part in ‘Ice Picks and Violets’ in November, a musical narrative telling the story of lost Everest mountaineers, George Mallory and Sandy Irvine. Mallory and Irvine spent their formative years on the Wirral, Mallory living on Slatey Road and Irvine born in Park Road South. Later, Irvine was to attend Birkenhead School.

In 1924, Mallory and Irvine left from Woodside on their expedition to conquer Everest.

They were never to return. Mystery still surrounds their disappearance and fierce

debate continues to rage as to whether the two men ever made it to the summit.

'Ice Picks and Violets' sheds new light on this mystery, considering the possibility that Mallory may have fallen to his death, leaving Irvine to perish alone, a theory supported by many experienced climbers and mountaineering experts. The production was written by Wirral songwriter Dean Johnson.

Proceeds were divided between Birkenhead School’s charity, So The Child May Learn, and Community Action Nepal.

The cast of Ice Picks and Violets - Finlay Gordon, Ciara Williams, Matthew Caine and Sam Gavin-Pitt



infocus magazine


Sweet encouragement for Year 9 classes Year 9 students have been stretching their vocabulary in their English lessons using the power of chocolate.

Head of English, Mrs McGoldrick, encouraged the students to write about Maltesers and describe how they looked, smelt and tasted. She encouraged them to work harder by giving the students additional Malteser treats for good work.

Most of the students admitted to writing more in this lesson than they would normally. Mrs McGoldrick’s Maltesers Class

Mrs McGoldrick said, “It’s amazing what a Malteser can do!”

Exploring Syria The Year 8 classes have been looking at war poetry and trying their hand at producing some themselves.

They were tasked with writing a piece using as many of 24 key words as possible that had been taken from poet Rupert Brooke’s The Soldier – though they were not told this at the time. Included in the selection were the words: home, laughter, friends, peace. The students took turns to read out their work, some of which showed a real understanding of the suffering of the time.

A War Poem Blessed flowers row on row, Air filled with love and sorrow, Rich fields where the home of England fell, Hearts and laughter fill the peace, slowly Filling up a well. They shall stand strong in heaven, Breathing memories that shalt never be forgotten. All their dreams lost to the field,

Earth enriched with love, and now yield The lost ones. Blessed flowers row on row remembering The lost ones. Andrew Rutherford, Year 8

Following on from the focus of the First and Second World War and the creative writing that was inspired by the conflicts, the Year 8’s moved on to learn about modern warfare.

The students were paired together with peers that they would not normally work with to produce a presentation relating to the current conflicts in Syria.

All used a Powerpoint display for their presentation and many included creative writing and poetry that they wrote themselves.

Headmaster Mr Edmunds came along to watch the students and was very impressed by the standard and effort that they displayed.

Aden Husseyn and Dillon Dowdall gave a moving presentation

The Stick Man at Nursery The nursery children and staff have been having fun reading The Stick Man by author Julia Donaldson and illustrator Axel Scheffler.


book decorating playroom walls windows.


the and

Following their reading, they then brought the characters to life by making their own stick man creations from natural materials, and enjoying looking at painted artwork with scenes from the

Royal Mail Letter Writing Competition Children from Years 3 to 6 were given a task over the October half-term to write a letter to be entered in to the Royal Mail Letter Writing Competition 2015. Over 200 children took part focusing their writing on applying for their dream jobs.

All of the entries have now been sent off to the official competition, however after reading all of the entries, four of the best were chosen

to be the internal Birkenhead School.



These were Marsha Alcock from Year 4 who wrote about wanting to become a Ballerina, Harrison Freer from Year 4 who wants to be the Minister for Fun in Schools, Luke Weston from Year 4 who is interested in being a Technological Inventor, and Marcus Thornton from Year 3 who wrote about becoming a Fireman.

The winning entrants

The Athenaeum Debates

On Tuesday 6th October the Lower Sixth English Language students took part in debates at the Athenaeum Club, Liverpool. Birkenhead competed against Calderstones, Notre Dame, West Kirby Girls’ Grammar School, King’s Leadership Academy and St Margaret’s.

The following students took part: John MacGregor, David Nevin, Will Grabe, Ross Waring, Gabriel Johnson-Aley, Annie Williams, Aaron So and James Watson.

Birkenhead School were first up, proposing the suggestion of the introduction of a maximum wage in the UK to promote a fairer society. Gabriel Johnson-Aley gave a convincing three minute introduction to the proposal of a maximum wage. Throughout

his speech he used the same rhetorical question to good effect; “should there be a maximum wage... Yes!” The proposal was concluded by John MacGregor who gave positives of imposing a maximum wage in order to counteract arguments against it. John used a strong quote from Bernie Ecclestone that stood out in the conclusion to the proposal: “I doubt if any successful business person works for money... money is a by-product of success. It’s not the main aim.” The suggestion of a maximum wage was opposed by Calderstones and Birkenhead were narrowly outvoted and the motion was not carried, the defeat however was much narrower than perhaps it should have been as the topic given to propose had many flaws.

Young Writers Finalist Rosie Durband from Lower 6 successfully won a place in the final stage of this year’s Frank Moran Young Writers’ Competition, formerly known as the Writer in Residence Award.

Four judges were overwhelmed by this year’s entries and the exceptional standard of them. It was pleasurable but difficult work for them in choosing the finalists. Rosie gained her place with a piece of writing about Abersoch.



infocus magazine

HISTORY Science and Industry Museum Students from Year 9 visited the Science

and Industry Museum in Manchester to

examine one of their key topics, the Industrial Revolution.

The highlight of the day was an informative textile demonstration.

Imperial War Museum Year 6 were full of excitement as they

visited the Imperial War Museum North,

in Manchester.

Year 6 pupils have been learning about

World War One and the visit to IWM

North helped them with their learning

as they discovered the exhibitions on war and conflict.

Wartime history of Birkenhead School Former Birkenhead School history teacher, Mr McGrath, took time during November to speak with students from Years 7 and 8 about the First and Second World Wars and their impact on the School.

much they had in common with those who had either lost their lives, or had lost loved ones during wartime.

A tour of the School started in the Chapel where students looked at plaques and artefacts displayed in memorial of Birkonians who had fallen in wartime. The students learned how 96 former Birkonians died during the First World War and 86 during the Second World War.

During the First World War it is known that many Birkenhead School teachers resigned their posts during the first two years of the war to volunteer to fight, before conscription was introduced. Mr McGrath also told the students how during the Second World War the School had taken in girls for the first time to be educated as their own local schools had been bombed.

The students were keen to recall their own family’s history of involvement in the conflicts, and were moved by how

Mr McGrath with students from Year 8




Infants’ Spanish Club The Infants’ Spanish Club runs after school every Wednesday with Miss Ault. So far this year they have been learning numbers, colours, days of the week and greetings.

In the run-up to Christmas, the children learned all about

Spanish festive traditions and made fantastic Christmas cards with a special Spanish greeting inside.

Members of the Infants’ Spanish Club

Arabic lesson Year 8 student Nada Mostafa shared her knowledge by giving a lesson in Arabic to her fellow classmates.


‫ شكرا‬shukraan to Nada

Mostafa for our Year 8 Arabic lesson this morning!

Well done, Nada!


Spanish Stars help for classmates Spanish Stars in Years 7 and 8 offered help to their classmates to prepare for the Interim Assessment period.

They were equipped with the Module 1 checklist and were happy to give guidance to others in the run up to the assessments.

The Spanish Stars



infocus magazine

MATHS Transformations - in simple English Maths teacher Mr Jones had a request from his Lower Sixth class who asked him to write a story to explain transformations in simple English, we reproduce it here for your pleasure! The Transformation of Gertrude Once upon a time there was a graph called Gertrude. Her equation was usually written as y = f(x), this was the best way to write it because that allowed Gertrude to use her imagination and pretend to be lots of different shapes. If the degree of f(x) was just one, like y = 2x + 3 then Gertrude was a straight line – she was only a straight line when she wanted to point at something!

If the degree of f(x) was two, like y = 3x2 – 4x + 1 then Gertrude was a parabolic curve. When the coefficient of x was a positive number Gertrude put on a happy face but when the coefficient was negative Gertrude was sad and put on an unhappy face.

If the degree of f(x) was three, like y = x3 + 2x2 – 3x + 7 then Gertrude was all bubbly and went up and down! One day Gertrude looked at herself in the mirror and thought, I need a makeover, I am sick of being plain old y = f(x)

She went to see her GP, Doctor Cartesian who said “What you need is a transformation!” “A transformation?” quizzed Gertrude, “What’s one of them?” “Well there are many types, let’s try a translation first and see how you go”

Gertrude went home and had four tablets to take. She took the first one and it made her always walk to the right and her equation became y = f(x – a) this is because although it says x has subtracted a, it actually moves the graph to the right for a distance of a along the positive x-direction. Gertrude thought this was

Senior Maths Challenge

weird and decided this wasn’t the transform for her.

Next day she took the second tablet. This had the opposite effect and made Gertrude walk to the left. Her equation had changed again, this time she was y = f(x + a), although this says x has a added to it, it actually moves the graph a distance of a to the left, towards the negative end of the xaxis. Gertrude was now getting very confused.

Her graph was a reflection in the x-axis.

“I’ll try the next one quick”. She swallowed the tablet and looked at herself again.

“Oh no, my left side is my right side and my right side is my left side!” Her equation had become

y = f(-x) and she so every y-value was the value of the negative of its x-value – she was reflected in the y-axis!

Third day, third tablet. Wow! Gertrude felt like she could fly. She jumped up. Her equation had become y – a = f(x) which Gertrude thought was much better written as y = f(x) + a because this added a to all the y values and lifted her up even though it had originally said y subtract a! By the end of the day, Gertrude was very dizzy.

She ran back to the doctor.

Gertrude went back see the Doctor Cartesian.

Next morning she was back to normal. She took a second tablet. Once again she began to stretch out but this time she lay across the bed. Her equation had changed into y = f(ax) and so every x-value was scaled up by a factor of a before it went into f(x), she had stretched out by 1/a in the x-direction. She fell asleep.

Fourth day and the last tablet brought Gertrude down! Her equation was y + a = f(x), again Gertrude changed it into y = f (x) – a. She had moved a distance a down the y-axis and felt very low. “These tablets make me move all over the place” she said, “sometimes right, sometimes left, then up and then down!”

“That’s correct” said the doctor, “but I have other transformations that can do more things.” “Take these two and see what happens!”

Gertrude went home and sat on the bed. She took the first tablet and looked at herself in the mirror.

“Goodness” she cried “I’ve turned upside down!” Her equation had become y = -f (x), making every y-values change its sign.

The Senior UK Maths Challenge took place in November attracting 64 participants. Edward George qualified to continue to the Senior Kangaroo and Shikhar Kumar went through

“Help, I’ve turned around!” she exclaimed.

“Calm down” said the doctor, “try these, they will make you relax”

She rushed back home and sat on the bed. She took the first tablet and immediately began to stretch out across the bed. Her equation had changed into y = af(x) which resulted in every y-value being multiplied by a. This stretched out Gertrude by a factor of a in the y direction. She fell asleep.

Next day she woke up and she was back to normal. She looked in the mirror and saw she was plain old y = f(x). “No more transforms for me” she decided, “I like the way I am!” And Gertrude lived happily ever after. Mr Jones

to the British Olympiad.


Out of the students taking part they gained two gold, eleven silver and twenty-five bronze certificates.

MUSIC Pre-Prep Nativity

Congratulations to all of the children involved, and huge thanks to the staff for all the hard work they have put in to make the event so special. Thanks also go to the family and friends who came along to support the children.


Above: The Music Department presented their annual Christmas Concert in Bushell Hall.

The programme featured a variety of music by the many groups and ensembles that regularly meet together to play at School. Absolutely wonderful performances were given by all of the PrePrep children for their presentation of The Nativity in December. All of the songs were excellent and were sung beautifully with much enthusiasm.


Performing were: the Prep Orchestra, conducted by Mrs Keating; Senior Choir, conducted by Mrs Coleman; Concert Band, conducted by Mr Davies; the Year 6 Choir,

conducted by Mrs Keating; String Ensemble, directed by Mr Glossop; Orchestra, conducted by Mrs Coleman; Chapel Choir, conducted by Mr Robinson; Brass Ensemble and Junior Brass, conducted by Miss Baker; Chamber Choir directed by Mr Robinson, Guitar Ensemble, directed by Mr Jones and Big Band, conducted by Mr Davies. The Folk Band, directed by Mr Turner, also entertained guests in the Sixth Form Centre after the concert.



infocus magazine


Year 4

Christmas Celebrations The Junior School pupils presented their Christmas Celebration concerts throughout December in Chapel.

They sung beautifully and gave individual class performances of poetry and song, including 6HS who depicted 'Silent Night' in sign language. The high standards of the concerts show how

Year 3

incredibly hard all the children and staff have worked towards these special occasions, and this was welcomed by the audiences of family and friends who had come to give their support.

Congratulations to the children and staff involved for their excellent achievements, and creating a festive atmosphere.

Year 5

Year 6

Little School Nativity Excellent performances were to be seen from the children of Reception, Year 1 and Year 2 in their Christmas production of 'The Little Fir Tree', a musical by James and Joy Wright. The children and staff all worked very hard in preparation for this year's play and friends and family were invited

to the Prep Hall for the performances. Children from the Juniors and Nursery also had a chance to watch the play.

The spirit of Christmas was certainly felt in School while the children sang and danced enthusiastically and all had a lot of fun on stage.



Masterclass from Italian String Orchestra A special musical workshop was held in Bushell Hall, when Italian String Orchestra, Alberto Fanna, visited the campus.

the effects Vivaldi was trying to portray, both physically and emotionally.

The musicians dissected the themes of the piece relaying them to the audience while encouraging imagination of

Alberto Fanna were the ensemble in residence at Liverpool Hope University during the Cornerstone Arts Festival in November.

All interested staff and students were welcome to attend the session where the orchestra presented Vivaldi’s The Four Seasons.

Participation was encouraged at the end of the workshop through questions asked by the audience and also students getting involved in playing with the visiting orchestra.

Armand Rabot, Year 11 with the Alberto Fanna Orchestra

Lunchtime Music Recitals Informal musical recitals have been held during lunchtimes in the rehearsal room of the Music Department. Staff and students join together to listen to groups of individuals who have prepared pieces to perform.

Buster Wyness Year 6

Most of those taking part have upcoming music examinations and were using the chance to practice their skills in front of an audience. It is hoped that the recitals will become a regular feature in the musical calendar.

Birkenhead School's Got Talent 2015 Another successful Birkenhead School’s Got Talent took place on Friday 6th November Bushell Hall, with 12 acts performing in the hope of winning the School's age in cash - £155. Organised by the Student Council, the event was well attended by family and friends who came along to support the acts. After several excellent performances, the judges, Mrs Pankhurst, Mr Webster, Mrs Coleman and Mrs Howard, were set the task to choose three finalists. They chose Matthew and Edward Oulton, who were

supported by Emily Pulford and Ciara Williams; Andrew Rutherford who was singing and playing guitar; and Phoebe Bakkali and Casha Anderson who sang and played the guitar respectively to Stitches by Shawn Mendes.

prize, which they were awarded by the hosts Tej and Finlay from the Student Council. Particular thanks were

given by Mr Edmunds to the fantastic sound and lighting crew and to the Ladies’ Committee for providing refreshments.

During the deliberation period the audience was entertained by Mr Guinness’ stop motion Lego animation interpretation of The Italian Job. After performing for a second time, the judges agreed that Phoebe and Casha deserved the final

Winners Phoebe Bakkali and Casha Anderson



infocus magazine

SCIENCE Chemistree! The science department sent out a festive greeting in December which went viral and was seen online by over 5800 people! @BirkenheadSchl Chemistree!

Merry Christmas from the Science Department!

Retweeted by the Times Education Editor Greg Hurst @GregHurst Times

ABOVE: A group of Sixth Form Students visited the JCB factory in Staffordshire to further their knowledge and understanding of product design.

The students had a tour of the factory and were also able to meet Old Birkonian, Ben Mansfield, who gave them some helpful information on the path he took from studying product design at Birkenhead School to now working at JCB. They had a great day, which was very informative and useful for the pupils and are now hoping to make the visit an annual event.

Bench competition.

11 attended the Top of the Bench


Metropolitan College.

The competition involved devising a









Matthew Oulton, Sean Carpenter,

Cahan O’Driscoll and Toby Brown performed




finished second, 0.1% behind the winners, in the Wirral, Chester and

District Section of the Top of the





Matthew came into the team at short notice.



Top of the Bench Chemistry Competition A team of students from Years 9 to


poster, sitting individual written

tests and solving a practical task together.

Sean Carpenter was awarded a prize for being the top scoring Year 10 student.

Excited students and staff crowded into the science block to watch Tim Peake take off to board the International Space Station.

Visit to the Mersey Tunnels Sixth Form students interested in a career in Engineering had the chance to see behind the scenes of the Mersey Tunnels on a recent trip organised by the Physics department.

The students were able to have a unique behind the scenes tour of the engineering masterpiece. They viewed the ventilation shafts, learned how the giant fans work, and found out how the tunnels were constructed.

Class 6HS have been designing and making their own parachutes as part of their science topic on forces.



infocus magazine

SPORT Sport has once again flourished this year with teams and individuals all achieving fantastic results. In boys’ games, the 1st XV rugby team has led the way, reaching the last 32 of the NatWest Vase, part of a national competition which attracts well over 300 entrants. The Under 16 boys’ hockey team has also excelled, reaching the North West Finals later this term. The 1st XII

lacrosse team took on the might of the Yorkshire boarding schools at the North of England Championships in York and came away victorious. This is a tournament in which the School has had tremendous success over the years and at various age groups we have been crowned champions on no less than five occasions.

I have little doubt that the success of our teams is the result of three key

ingredients: firstly the enthusiasm and hard work of our students; secondly the dedication of our coaches, many of whom are academic teachers as well as coaches; and thirdly, the commitment of our parents who offer such great support on the touchline. To all three groups I offer a heartfelt thank you. Mr Lytollis, Head of PE

Lacrosse Senior lacrosse has a 100% success rate this school year having won all fixtures (Moreton Hall School, Loughborough University, Shrewsbury School, Queen Margaret’s School, John Moores University, Chester University and Bolton School to name a few). The Senior girls are currently North of England champions and are representing the School nationally at the end of February.

The U14/15 lacrosse has been a little stop-start this year with a number of fixtures being cancelled due to poor weather. However, we are hoping to compete at the North Schools’ Championships in February. The U12/13 team had a good start, despite some girls being new to the sport. They have played games against Queen’s Chester, Moreton Hall and Shrewsbury. They too are hoping to compete in the North Schools’ Championships next half-term.

Girls Hockey Seniors played three hockey fixtures this year winning one and losing two games.

The Junior teams played a number of games vs King’s Chester, West Kirby Grammar, Liverpool College and Westholme. They have won two, drawn three and lost five. However, they still have County tournaments to come.


Senior netballers won five and lost three of their games playing against St Mary’s College, St Edwards College, Liverpool College and King’s Macclesfield. Both first and second teams had a healthy start to the year and hopefully will gain a few more wins before the season is over. The U14 and U15 teams have had a strong year with a number of wins and only three losses between both teams.

The U12 and U13 teams played a number of matches this year. The U12’s have been slow to get going, but really started to shine, with some impressive wins. The U13s hit the ground running and had a 100% success this year. Both teams played nationally and were unfortunate not to succeed past the first round. All Year groups still have their County tournaments to come which are played in March. Miss Gilbride

Under 16 Under 14

Under 15

Under 12

Under 13

Rugby Once again the 1st XV rugby team has set a fine example to the younger sides further down the School and, as I write, is only one game away from completing an excellent two year unbeaten run at Fortress Noctorum, our picturesque 1st XV ground. Amongst many highlights of the season the match against fancied Merchant Taylors’ side stands out, not only because it was an important third round Nat West Vase game, but also because MTS has been something of an ‘achilles heel’ to us over the last 19 years with not one victory to Birkenhead. This was to change on a pleasant Wednesday afternoon in November when, despite trailing 0-7 early in the first half, the team rallied magnificently to record a 20 -7 victory with tries from Dan Walker, Owen Morris, Ben Corlett and John MacGregor. Let’s hope we don’t have to wait another 19 years for our next win! This victory was followed by an even more emphatic one in the fourth round against AKS, Lytham, with seven tries scored in a convincing 35-0 win. Junior Rugby

A common phrase uttered in cricket clubs throughout the country during a typical British summer is ‘rain stopped play’; little did I think back in September that this would be oh so true for our rugby sides this season! From November onwards there were some occasions when our home pitches were fit but our opponents’ pitches were not and some of our matches were cancelled. There were other occasions when our opponents’ pitches were fit, but ours were not and the same thing happened; but mostly, no one’s pitches were fit and no matches were played at all!

We have had another very busy term with children from Years 3 to 6 involved in football, netball, rugby, cross country and indoor athletics. The Year 6 football A team have won 10 out of their 13 matches. The highlight being a 5-4 extra time victory in the quarter final of the AJIS Cup against Bolton, one of the strongest teams in the competition. The Year 6 B football team are also having a good season and have won four of their six matches so far.

The Year 5 boys have had a tough term as their opposition have been very strong. A notable performance on the rugby pitch, though, was a dominant 55 – 0 victory over Liverpool College. Our Year 4 football team has had a very successful season so far and are certainly the team to watch out for as they progress through the School. They have had three very convincing victories scoring 25 goals


Perhaps the most successful of our sides has been the Under 13’s, who, under excellent captaincy of Isaac Hardisty, have been competitive in every game and won three out of seven. Six boys have been rewarded for their hard work by selection for the West Cheshire Squad; congratulations go to: Isaac Hardisty, Elliot Cotton, David Jones, Ben Keating, Harry Walker and Henry Wild.

Starting their season later than the older teams, the Under 12’s have perhaps suffered most from the cancellation of fixtures and have only played five matches. Highlights include a 40 points victory against Rydal Penhros and a 5-5 draw away at Merchant Taylors’, a game in which the team dominated territory and possession, but failed to capitalise on their chances, particularly in the first half. Year 9 is the year when physique rather than technique can dominate; a fact which our Under 14’s have found, to their cost. Whilst not always smaller than the opposition they have often been ‘outmuscled’ by more physical, aggressive opponents, something they will need to tackle and overcome next season. Mr Lytolis, Head of PE

The matches that did take place between September and midNovember saw our Junior sides competing manfully, but generally losing out to bigger and stronger opponents. Victories were hard fought and well earned and were always the result of a great team effort rather than one individual’s brilliance, so often the case in terms of our opponents. The most tense game of the season was the Under 15 match against AKS, Lytham; with the lead changing hands on a regular basis; Birkenhead trailed 13-14 with less than a minute to go when Dan Cook coolly slotted a penalty to secure a 16-14 victory.

Prep Sport


and only conceding a couple in the process.

The Prep have competed in several cross country fixtures locally. Individual races for Years 4, 5 and 6 boys and girls have been ran with up to 100 children in each race. Highlights have been a second place overall for the girls team (out of about 20 schools), a third place overall for the boys team and an individual third place finish for Sebastian Mallucci in a Year 6 boys race.

Our Year 6 indoor athletic team trained hard in the first few weeks of term and were rewarded for all their efforts when they competed at a Wirral Schools’ event at Bebington High Sports College in November. They were victorious on the evening and, when points scored were scrutinised in conjunction with scores from other schools competing at different events, Birkenhead School were selected to represent the Wirral at the regional finals to be held in Widnes in March. In addition, so strong were individual

Under 15 Under 13

performances that eight of our team were selected to represent Merseyside at the recent North West Regional Finals held at the Etihad Stadium in Manchester. The selected children were Kresten Calvert, Matthew Corran, Oliver Brennan, Sebastian Mallucci, Rebecca Hennessy, Olivia Watson, Holly Hall and Tabitha Bevan. They all had a wonderful experience at a fantastic venue and performed admirably. Nick Corran



infocus magazine


ISFA U13s Belgium and Holland Tour 2015

In September 2014 I was invited to enter the trials for the North West Independent Schools Football Association and after going through a three day trial process I was offered a place in the North West England U13s squad. In March 2015, North West England played in the Regional Tournament at Shrewsbury School. From this two day tournament the best players from each region are chosen to play for England.

The first day of the tournament was brilliant; we won every game and beat the London team, who were favourites to win the tournament, and we finished top of the table.

I was selected to play in each match, which I wasn’t expecting and earned my stripes for the team by scoring a few goals. Six of my team mates were selected to trial for the England team.

During May half term I went on another tour to Holland and Belgium. It was my first time playing abroad against foreign academy teams and the standard was really high. We finished runners up in Holland and winners in Belgium. The tour was nearly a week long and we did a lot of travelling and on our rest days we went to a theme park and water park. The tour was a really great experience and I met a lot of nice people in Belgium and Holland and we still keep in touch.

Shortly after returning, ISFA had their awards ceremony at Mottram Hall in Cheshire. We played a Lads v Dads match during the day (Dads won by the way with some dubious tackles and dirty fouls) and then in the evening we had a meal before the ceremony started. I was one of four nominated in the player of the year

England Volleyball Coach Visit A coach from the England Volleyball team has been visiting School to spend time with girls from Year 6, giving them a taster of the sport. Coach Ade showed them techniques and the rules of volleyball which will now be part of the curriculum for their year group.

To kick start their first volleyball lesson the group were able to spread out in the large Sports Hall and were engaged in discussions about working together as a team and trying their best. Coach Ade will be back visiting the girls again soon to see how they are improving and to offer continued advice and support.

category, which I missed out on, but I was awarded the Golden Boot. I finished top goal scorer with 14 goals during the season.

Playing football for ISFA and TRFC is amazing and I love everything about football and hope to carry on playing for as long as possible. I have signed a two year contract with TRFC so it will be my 5th season with them. With midweek training sessions and matches on most Saturdays and Sundays it means that I don’t get much free time, which has meant that I had to pull out of playing for Wirral School Boys U13 football. The trials for the new U13s ISFA team are starting soon and the Coach has asked me to be captain for North West England for the new season, which is a huge deal for me. I feel nervous, excited and a bit proud too. It also gives me the chance to represent

Birkenhead School again in a sport at regional level.

There are some amazing players trialling for this season’s U13 squad with more than 12 boys from academies such as MUFC and MCFC being put forward, so it will be tough to keep my place on the team sheet. With such a high standard in the squad though, hopefully, with a bit of luck, North West England might have a few players picked for England again. Matthew Diaz-Rainey, Year 8



ACHIEVEMENTS SWIMMING Congratulations to Millie Gidman from Year 7 who took part in the Europa Peninsula Swimming Gala and came away with a host of medals.

Millie with Headmaster Mr Edmunds

Millie gained Gold in the 100m butterfly stroke, Silver in the 50m backstroke and Bronze in the 200m freestyle. Well done!

Rosie Baker

CRICKET Armand Rabot from Year 11 recently gained several cricketing awards for his outstanding achievements in the game.

The Cheshire Junior County Cricket League presented Armand with the trophy for ‘Cheshire County Cricket Under 15 Player of the Year’ for his excellent season.

He also received the ‘Under 15 Player of the Year’ award from Neston Cricket Club, where he plays as an opening batsman for both their first and second teams. His top score this season was 114 not out, and 125 not out


Eleanor Breheny from Year 9 entered a dance competition at the Winter Gardens in Blackpool with the Hoylake School of Dance. With her team of 28 dancers, they came third overall with one dance and gained two adjudicators choice awards.

Eleanor specialises in ballet but also takes modern and tap lessons five days a week. She will be in Cats in February.

last season. He is also the only person from Neston ever to have gained the ‘Cheshire County Cricket Under 15 Player of the Year’ accolade.

ROWING Jemima Collister from Year 9 started rowing for the Liverpool Victoria Rowing Club in January last year and has since won a silver medal at the Runcorn Regatta.

Jemima will be competing in the Commonwealth Palladium Rowing Championship and was chosen to attend a regatta and rowing camp in Zaragoza, Spain. Jemima began rowing after trying canoeing on holiday.

Adam Horrocks from Year 7 represented Neston Cricket Club in the Under11 Cheshire Country Cricket League last season and played exceptionally well.

Rosie Baker from Year 7 raised £75 completing a sponsored swim in aid of the Woodchurch Swimming Club. She swam 4000 metres in an hour and a half, a huge achievement. Rosie joined her fellow club members for the fundraiser and swam a mixture of breaststroke, backstroke and front crawl.

teams involved. Adam was modest about his performance, but his friends who played against him in the league said how well he had done.

For his performance as an all-round batsman and bowler, he was awarded the ‘Cheshire County League Under-11 Player of the Year’. This award has been running for over 30 years and Adam is the first person from Neston CC to ever win the Under-11 title, a huge achievement considering there are 24


Charlotte Dowell from Year 6 recently competed in the North Midlands Championships and became the TAGB North Midlands Champion at Strike Pad.

Charlotte also competed in the TAGB English Championships and the BTC Ladies and Juniors Championships where she became the TAGB English Champion after winning Gold in her Individual Sparring and Tag Team Sparring Divisions.

In addition to this, at the BTC Championships, Charlotte also achieved Gold in her Individual Sparring and Tag Team Sparring Divisions



infocus magazine

CHARITY PC Dave Phillips Memorial Run Birkenhead School staff, students, parents and friends joined the thousands of people taking part in the PC Dave Phillips Memorial Run in December. A cause close to many at School’s hearts, the runners joined together on what was a cold but lovely morning to remember and celebrate a man whose life was taken far too soon.

Above: Wirral Food Bank Donation

Year 8 students presented Wirral Food Bank with a busload of goods last term. The pupils had been collecting food and other household items to donate to the Food Bank. They decided to do the collection following their work in class on poverty which spurred the children on to want to help their own community. Mrs Ballantyne, who helped to organise the collection, said, “I am so proud of all the children and how much they have managed to collect. They have completely engaged with this project and it has meant a lot to them to give something back, especially at this time of year.” Andrew Rutherford, Head Prefect of Overdale, said, "It was great to pull together and do something practical to help local people in times of crisis."



Children In Need Prep children got involved and had fun raising money for Children In Need.

In Reception there was a Scootathon with each child taking turns to scoot four laps of the playground while their friends cheered them on and kept a tally of their lap score.

Despite the chilly weather they all had a lot fun. From Mrs Mayers class, Elena said, “Doing the scoring was my favourite part and it was good to

Bake Sales Students from Years 6 and 7 have been holding charity bake sales this year.

The Year 6 librarians were raising money in aid of Claire House and achieved £150.10 selling cakes and treats to Prep children during break times.

raise money for people who don’t have much.”

Meanwhile, Leo from Year 4 had been working hard getting ready for a huge bake sale which he organised in Junior School. He said, “My mum did a lot of the baking and I helped to do all of the toppings.” Lots of the children were involved in baking and selling the cakes, and even more in buying and eating them all. They raised £948.62 altogether.

The Year 7’s were raising funds for the Sumatran Tiger Trust, a charity which they chose to support themselves.

The event was very popular with special tiger shaped cakes selling fast and a mascot tiger there to oversee

LEGO Santa Dash

Running Club at West Kirby Santa Dash

The Running Club braved the weather and took part in the West Kirby Santa Dash. Staff and students entered the event which raised funds for the Fountain Project, Wirral MIND.

There were three courses to choose

from of varying lengths, the 2K from West Kirby Wirral Way to Ashton Park, the 5K to Caldy Car Park and the 10K to Thurstaston and back. There was a mass warm up at West Kirby Concourse to start the morning, and welcoming hot refreshments when the runners returned.

Head of Design and Technology, Steve Guinness, ran the Liverpool Santa Dash dressed as a giant LEGO man. Mr Guinness said, "For the last couple of years I have done the Dash on my Unicycle, so this year I thought I would try something different! It was great fun and made a lot of people smile."


infocus magazine

C0-CURRICULAR Anti-bullying week

The Sixth Formers were set a challenge to raise awareness of anti-bullying week with the national theme ‘Make a noise about bullying’. There were a variety of activities throughout School including an exhibition and cake sale in Bushell Hall. The Sixth Form Students had created a number of display boards and filled them with posters and informative materials

around several different forms of bullying including discrimination and cyber bullying. Younger students were encouraged to visit the exhibition and to ask advice from the Sixth Formers. The aim of the activities was to make it easier for people in our School to talk about issues which affect them and to feel supported.

Mental Health Awareness Workshop As part of the PHSE programme, Year 10 students took part in a mental health awareness workshop at School.

Birkenhead School is signed up as a Time to Change Partner, which includes involvement with the Make Time 4 Mental

Health programme.

The programme aims to encourage open discussion about mental health and to help end discrimination and stigma. Time to Change is led by Mind and Rethink Mental Illness.

Outdoor pursuits The Year 9’s took part in an outdoor pursuits trip to Llanberis, North Wales in September.

Taking part in a variety of activities including abseiling, mountain walking, rock climbing and orienteering, the

students were able to have valuable new experiences and help with their team building skills. During their three day stay, they all got to the top of Snowdon.


Sugar Crafting A group of Year 6 children have been working with icing to create beautiful sugar craft decorations.

They meet weekly with Miss Ault and Mrs Osborne to

create a range of edible treats to adorn cakes.

The intricate designs and detail that the children have put in to their creations have produced some fantastic results.

Nature Club Nature Club runs on a Monday afternoon for the Infants with Mr Smith. As part of the club they have been making bespoke mini Christmas trees. The children added snow and glitter to their trees and then used a hessian wrapping to create a beautiful gift.

Needlecraft Club Children in Year 3 have been working hard this term learning new skills at Needlecraft Club, after school on Thursdays.

They have produced their own delightful monikers which they were proud to display.


infocus magazine

CELEBRATIONS Congratulations to all pupils who have received awards so far this year. Recognition is regularly given to those who have shown excellent effort or outstanding manners.

Well done to all!

Below are a selection of children from Reception to Year 2 who have achieved Good Manners’ Awards or Headteacher’s Awards so far this year.



PARENTS’ ASSOCIATION The Parent’ Association have been very busy hosting a variety of events, and this year has been no exception. The Bonfire Night and Christmas Bazaar were a huge success with some great feedback. The Bazaar raised around £5,400 which will be split with the 20th Birkenhead Scout Group.

The Prep Christmas Disco also went well, raising nearly £500 and the Prep Christmas Cards were again extremely popular raising over £1500. These valuable funds will go towards purchasing a wide variety of items for School which enhance the daily life of pupils from Nursery to Sixth Form.

Future Events:

Upcoming events planned for this year include a Prep Disco on 12th February for Years 3 to 6 in Bushell Hall from 6pm to 8pm.

There will also be an Easter Disco for the younger pupils from Pre-prep to Year 2, which will incorporate an Easter Hat Parade.

This will be held on Tuesday 22nd March between 4pm and 5.30pm in Bushell Hall. Ticket price will be £5 to include a hat for decorating and Easter goodies on leaving the disco.

If you would like to join the Parents’ Association Committee you will be most welcome. The next meeting is on Monday 25th April in the Library at 7.30pm.

Coffee Morning and Uniform Sale

There will be a coffee morning and uniform sale on 10th March from 8.30am in The Pavilion, McAllester Field.

90s Night

90s Night will be held on Friday 4th March from 7.30pm in Bushell Hall. Ticket price is £15 to include a welcome drink and fish and chip supper, videoscreen disco, sweets, glowsticks and whistles. Tickets are available from the Prep Office until Friday 26th February.

LADIES’ COMMITTEE The Ladies’ Committee is a group of parents who volunteer and are involved in a number of ways with the life of Seniors, including running the Tuck Shops and providing refreshments at some School functions.

The Committee activities raise money for the benefit of students and funds are spent on items for use in and around School. The Committee are always looking for new volunteers, in particular there is a position for a treasurer that urgently needs to be filled. If you are interested in this position or would like some more information about what is expected, please contact Sara Hatherly.

The daily Tuck Shops in Seniors are also in need of parent helpers to keep them running.

There are two Tuck Shops: one in Overdale for Years 7 to 8 and one in MacAllester for Years 9 to 11.

Volunteers for Tuck Shop are needed

from 10.45am to 11.30am.

If you are available to cover a session, even on a short term or trial basis, or are able to spare an hour or two at other times for other events during the evening or at weekends, please contact Sara Hatherly on 0771 7797 253 or Sara will be happy to talk to you about what is involved.



infocus magazine


Highlights from this year’s diary include:

Friday 12 February Half-term begins 6pm PA Prep Disco Years 3-6 Monday 22 February Second half of term begins

Wednesday 2 March ABRSM Theory Examinations Thursday 3 March World Book Day

Friday 4 March 7.30pm PA 90's Evening Saturday 5 March RSC Young Analyst Competition, Liverpool University

Tuesday 8 March UKMT Maths Challenge

Thursday 10 March 8:30am PA Coffee Morning and Uniform Sale

Wednesday 16 Saturday 19 March 7pm Little Shop of Horrors

Tuesday 22 March 4pm PA Easter Disco, Pre-prep-Year 2

Thursday 24 March End of term

Tuesday 29 March DoE Gold Practice

Saturday 16 April 7.30pm Welcome Back Dinner 1960-’64

Monday 25 April 7.30pm PA Meeting, Library

Friday 29 April 7pm Sportsmans Dinner, Guest Speaker Phil Thompson Monday 2 May School closed

Thursday 5 May 7pm House Music Competition

Friday 27 May Half-term begins

Monday 6 June Second half of term begins Wednesday 8 June DoE Bronze Expedition

Friday 17 June Art and Design Technology Exhibition 7pm PA Summer Ball, Thornton Hall

Tuesday 21 June 7pm Seniors Prize-giving

Tuesday 28 June DoE Silver Expedition

Thursday 30 June Prep Prize-giving 7pm

Saturday 9 April DoE Silver Practice

Friday 1 July End of Term DoE Gold Expedition

Friday 15 April 7pm Cabaret Evening

Thursday 1 September Term Begins

Wednesday 13 April Term begins Year 6 Adventure Holiday

Sunday 10 July Rugby Tour to Namibia and South Africa

Presented by

BIRKENHEAD SCHOOL A Comedy-Horror Rock Musical!

March 16 - 19

7pm, Bushell Hall £10 / £7 Book online at or call 0151 652 4014 from 23rd February


Open Day Saturday 23rd April 11am - 2pm Your future starts here Fee support available

0151 651 3009

Outstanding independent education for girls and boys aged 3 months to 18 years

In Focus February 2016  
In Focus February 2016