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A Sprint Finish at the end of the Summer Term Roundup

We congratulate the first female Head of School on her appointment.

News & Views Around the School Amazing win for the Year 6 Choir.

Achievements Cricket County Cricket champions in U12, 14 and 15s. Knighthood for Old Birkonian

OBS Bulletin



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FROM THE HEAD OF PREP upils and staff in the Prep all seem to thrive on being busy. There is a great culture of getting P involved and our pupils really do make the most of

the broad range of opportunities available. We’ve had more pupils than ever representing the school in matches, with teams from Under 8 to Under 11 playing against other schools in a wide range of sports. We’ve also had more children than ever before in our Prep Orchestra… 66 at the last count! And they performed brilliantly at the Summer Concert, in Bushell Hall. Over two thirds of our pupils in Juniors learn musical instruments, so Music is absolutely thriving. Of all the schools I’ve known over the years, the singing here is the best and I was delighted that Mrs Keating’s Year 6 Choir won the AJIS Music Festival in March. AJIS had not run this event for about six years and so it was wonderful to be the first winners of this reinstated competition. Eight schools entered and the standard of singing was very high. I was also delighted at the first public performance of Sue Parry’s Year 2 Choir at our Discovery Day and the children really cheered us up with their singing on that very wet day. Every Friday morning I have the pleasure of hearing both the Juniors and the Infants singing. I lead Junior Assembly and then dash to our Infant Celebration Assembly, with a spring in my step, to get to Old School House Hall in time to hear the children singing. The hymns and assembly songs stay with me all day long and seem to herald the weekend. Another most enjoyable treat for me this year has been watching the form assemblies, most of which took place during the Lent term. We had some wonderful messages conveyed by the children in very creative ways. The standard of acting, choral speaking and singing was excellent and the children’s confidence on stage was testament to how much they enjoyed performing, but also to how well prepared they were.

Being prepared is what it’s all about. After all, we are the Prep. A lot of thought goes into preparing children for the future, not just for the next stage of their educational journey, but for life. The Future Skills Programme has now been running for two years and I am delighted at the skills and confidence our pupils are gaining through this programme. Over the course of the year, children from Years 3 to 6 build skills in self-management, independent study, team work, problem solving, communication, philosophical enquiry and general knowledge and then they combine these skills in project work towards the end of the year. One such project involves Year 5 pupils “selling” holidays to Year 3 pupils and I had the pleasure of popping in on the preparations last week. It was wonderful to see groups preparing their resources, discussing in animated fashion why their particular holiday destination had it all and planning how they would lure the customers in! I now lure you in to read our end-of-year edition of In Focus, which gives a great insight into what’s been happening in 2015 so far. With the end of term fast approaching, I would like to say a big thank you to all staff and pupils for their hard work this academic year and to wish everyone a wonderful summer holiday.

Mr Harry Fitzherbert Head of Prep


elcome to the Summer 2015 edition of In Focus and OBS Bulletin, giving an overview of life in our School Community and beyond over the last two terms. There is so much to read about what has been happening in Nursery, Prep, Seniors and of course news of our Old Birkonians from far and wide; I am confident there is something of interest in this edition for every one of our readers. Since the last edition of In Focus at Christmas, there has been a huge variety of events and activities that have taken place , providing a rich diet of academic and co-curricular provision for our students. At this stage of the term all examinations, both internal and external, are over and I look forward, with some degree of confidence to, hopefully, a new School record for our A level results this year from an excellent cohort of students. The end of this year sees our first cohort of girls who started Seniors in Year 7 in September 2008 go right through the School. There were exactly two of them, Sian Round and Maro Kyriacou. Both have had extremely successful careers at School and in the autumn Sian will be going to Durham University to study English whilst Maro will be starting on her course in Medicine. These two pioneers have set high standards for our girls, and this has had a significant bearing on the successful transition to a fully coeducational school. At the time of writing we now have 36% of our School as girls and I am delighted to have recently appointed our first female Head of School - Eleanor Hilton. Given the calibre of the girls we have it was only a matter of time before our Head of School was a girl and the time is right this year. I know Eleanor will be an excellent ambassador for the School and a wonderful role model for our girls. We have come a long way in seven years! Our new Year 7 for September is the largest we have had for well over 10 years and is almost 50% girls. I want the message to be sung loud and clear; Birkenhead School is not a boys school that takes girls, it is a fully developed co-educational family school, with the emphasis on family for me, just as important as co-educational.

Over the last term many students and parents have asked me “What’s it like being Headmaster?”. Having been at Birkenhead School for over half of my life I feel I know the School very well, however, the last term in my role as Headmaster, has been very different from my previous role as Deputy Headmaster. It has been a joy to visit our Nursery, Pre-Prep and Prep regularly, and be welcomed so enthusiastically by so many children and teachers. Young children say things without fear of criticism and their openness has often been the highlight of a busy and hectic day. Meeting many prospective pupils and parents and being able to talk so positively about a School I feel passionately about has been a privilege for me. As I look out of my office window over the campus, whilst a cricket match is taking place, seeing children hurrying (well not all of them!) to their next lesson, activity or examination, I remind myself that this School is not just a wonderful place for our students, it is just the same for our teachers, support staff, estates team and catering team too, it is our community. I hope you enjoy this edition of In Focus that is a reflection of our community Yours sincerely,

Mr David Edmunds Headmaster




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From The Head Of Prep


Letter From The Headmaster

06 Behind The Scenes At Birkenhead School 08 Welcome & Farewell 14



Modern Languages




Design Technology












Early Years




40 PA & Ladies Committee 42

A Message From Mr Clark











48 Co-Curriculum 50

Old Birkonian Society Bulletin


Final Word 21



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Es tat es Wo rke r

Left to right Julie Cooper- Purchase Ledger Coordinator Carl Williams- Estates Manager Gayle Chritchlow- kitchen Assistant Kris Butler- Chef


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Just when you think you know all there is to know about Birkenhead School, you discover something new. Our beautiful, open campus always looks so immaculate, but have you ever wondered how the cricket square stays so flat; the grass so perfectly short? And, just how many meals are served each week in the dining hall? We set out on a mission to discover exactly what happens behind the scenes at Birkenhead School. AUTHOR MR jAMES BARNES

I admaster rts- PA to He Debbie Robe Jenny s, on si is s Adm and Senior ator tr is in m dge Ad Hughes- Lo

Julie Andrews- Assistant Finance Manager

At this time of morning, it’s not just opening up the School that’s the priority. The whir of hoovers is a loud awakening for the janitorial team, who make sure the School is clean and ready for the day ahead. Our janitors cover the entire site, doing everything from cleaning the eighty classrooms through to collecting the various bags left behind around campus. They are very much the oil in the cogs, with shifts for some starting at 6am, and finishing at 6pm (or later!). As 8am approaches, School becomes a hive of activity. The Lodge is a particularly busy area: home to the staff common room, and the majority of School’s administrative staff. Meetings, briefings, phone calls, emails and many, many conversations start in the Lodge. Home to the Headmaster, the Victorian building also houses four key business functions: Administration, Finance, Estates and Development and Communications. As well as these, many of the senior teaching staff have offices here too. Prep Cottage is the central hub for Prep, as well as home to the Head and new Deputy Head of Prep. Whilst you might suspect that the Headmaster has his eye on everything that happens around School, perhaps the most captivating view from the Lodge, however, is from the Bursar’s office. A commanding first-floor view of the entire campus allows not a single thing to be missed.

As well as the main campus, the School has two sports fields: McAllester and Noctorum. They provide another 18.5 acres of land to look after. To do this, the six-strong estates team have a building full of tractors, siton-mowers, rollers and even a small buggy. Additionally, there are literally thousands of tools in the Estates Team HQ used to fix and finish projects all over School. As we progress through the day, what is perhaps many students’ favourite time of day- lunchtime- fast approaches. Catering staff start arriving at 6.30am ready for breakfast service, available to parents and students before the start of School. After breakfast, the clean-up operation begins and is followed by busy preparation for lunchtime! Our kitchen, awarded five stars for hygiene by the local authority, serves up to 850 meals a day ranging from soups and sandwiches to full roast lunches! And it doesn’t stop after lunchtime. After another clean-up, there is still the small matter of afternoon tea, which again is open to parents and students at the end of the School day After a long day in School, the last bell rings and students disappear to play sport or take part in after-school clubs and societies. The janitorial team descends again to make Birkenhead School clean and tidy for the next day. The lock-up team start the process of securing the campus- and with people using the sports hall until late evening, most nights the last gates can be locked at 10pm! With so much activity around the campus all of the time, this is just the scratching of the surface of what goes on behind the scenes at Birkenhead School. Next time you see one of the team, why not ask them what they’ve been getting up to that day- you might be surprised!



Birkenhead School is one of the biggest catering providers on the Wirral, serving around 900 meals a day, which totals to over 160,000 school meals every year! It is the only school on the Wirral that holds a full license and has received various Wirral business awards 7 times.

The estates team at Birkenhead School is split into two sections: the grounds team, who looks after the campus and sports facilities, and the janitor team, who are involved in cleaning the classrooms and buildings. The main role of the whole estates team is to keep the school safe, clean and presentable, as the appearance of the school is just as important as the academic aspect when putting across a good impression to prospective parents and students.

Including Keith, there is 20 staff in the catering team at Birkenhead School. The team is split up into 3 sections: the main kitchen, the nursery and the sixth form, although there are 8 satellite kitchens across the school campus. The school holds 3 outlets that can sit 400 people for weddings and other events – Keith has organised 15 to 20 weddings. Most of Keith’s time is spent planning and running the various functions he is in charge of; this includes sportsmen’s dinners, ladies’ evenings, corporate meetings and choir dinners – Keith has even run a total of 24 welcome back dinners over the last three years. The busiest time of year for this function period is Easter through to July. Beside this, the catering team operate in school 5 days a week, from 7.30am to 4.00pm. In terms of the menu, Keith ensures that the choice of food is balanced and varied on a weekly basis. The style of food is influenced by the weather and time of year it is being served, and so the menu is changed 3 or 4 times a year. The choice of food on offer is so vast, and yet the team have to be careful about what is being served. All dietary information is stored on a computer system and is communicated through the menu boards. Details of each daily menu are also available on the School website. On top of the school menu, Keith has spent 10 years in charge of lecture lunches, which take place every Friday afternoon. This involves one of the chefs on the team dedicating a whole day preparing restaurant-style food at the back end of the kitchen, with Carl waiting on front of house. Menu choices have ranged from wild boar to ostrich, and even alligator! One of the great aspects of the catering team at Birkenhead School is the diverse background of the individuals on the team – they have not all built their experience up through working in schools. For example Keith has been in the catering trade since the age of 14, having worked as a food development manager, a commodity buyer for The Dorchester and spending 20 years working in the Greenalls Brewery industry. One of the catering team members, Joan, has a history of 78 years of family service, with four generations having worked in the catering industry! In terms of Keith’s personal life, he lives in Heswall and has three children and four grand-children. He enjoys fishing, gardening and travelling abroad in his motor home. Far Right: Dave O’Brien and Barbara O’Brien Dave is Leading Estates Worker and Barbara is Senior Janitor Right: Trevor Roberts: Lead Estates Worker

They operate during school hours, Monday to Friday, with the grounds team starting at 7.30am to open the school and finishing at 4.30pm. The janitors work either 6am – 2pm or 9.30am – 6.30pm. Trevor Roberts and David O’Brian are the senior estates team leaders, and Barbara O’Brian is the supervising janitor. The best part of the job is not only the pride when showing off the site at its best, but the sense of community and feeling of belonging associated with working at Birkenhead School. However, the most challenging part of the job is the battle between the British weather and keeping the school heated. Also the events and projects the team have to organise can be stressful, although nothing compares to the tiles of the Bushell Hall roof being taken off by a landing chinook! The school is currently undergoing a biomass project, which involves the estates team creating a boiler room and water storage tank – this is a new advancement in technology which introduces a system of supplying heat to the school quickly and in an efficient way. Impressively, Carl has never had to close the school down due to heating issues in the 15 years he has worked at Birkenhead School! Interesting facts about the school: a mariner used to live in the observatory above Overdale and use this as his viewing point to see across to the docks; the old school house used to be the home of the old headmaster before John Clark, along with his wife and family up to 2002. Carl’s hobbies and interests include music, family life, motorbikes and track days – he owns a Kawasaki ZX10.


Helen Askew - PA to the Head of Prep & Prep Secretary Claire Birch-HAC Coordinator and Prep Administrator

t’s 6am. The sun has barely risen (it’s usually pitch black in the winter) when the long process of opening up Birkenhead School begins. With fifteen external gates and twenty buildings to open around the 14.5 acre campus, it’s a time consuming activity, particularly when the first members of staff start to arrive at 6.30am.


Keith Watson- Catering Manager



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Welcome: Miss Parry, Key Stage 1 Welcome We welcomed Miss Parry this year, to teach in Infants. Miss Parry has made a great impact in Infants over the last year, not just as a class teacher, but also as our Infants Music Teacher and we wish her a long and happy association with Birkenhead School.

How has your first year at Birkenhead School been?


I’ve absolutely loved it. I can’t believe how quickly it’s flown. I’m so happy to be here. I’ve worked with a fantastic team and my class have been a delight to teach.

What’s been your highlight of the year? Congratulations: Mr Halpin, Deputy Head of Prep Mr Halpin has been appointed as Deputy Head of Prep, supporting Mr FitzHerbert. Mr Halpin is a Key Stage 2 teacher and a Year 6 Form Teacher. This new position arises out of growth and development in Prep. We want to build on the current successes of the school and ensure that we have a robust management structure in place for the years ahead. Mr Halpin will work closely with Mr FitzHerbert and he will also join him on the Whole School Senior Leadership Team. We all wish Mr Halpin every success and happiness in this new and exciting role.

How long have you been teaching? I am coming to the end of my ninth year of teaching having started my career here at Birkenhead School in 2006. My first class was an all boys Year 4 form, the members of which will be in the Upper Sixth in September.

What is the best thing about being a teacher at Birkenhead School Prep? I am in a very fortunate and privileged position to be a teacher at Birkenhead School and I have very much enjoyed my nine years. The best thing about being a teacher here, apart from the delicious lunches, is the opportunity to work on such a fantastic campus with a great group of staff and to teach pupils who are always keen and enthusiastic to learn.

What do you do outside of work? My two year old daughter, Isabel, has many ways to keep me busy when I’m not at school. From acting out scenes from Frozen or playing hide and seek in the garden, my hands are pretty full outside of work. I do manage to sneak in the odd game of golf and also enjoy a weekly five-a-side game with some of the other staff here at Birkenhead School.

What are you most looking forward to in your new role as Deputy Head of Prep? I’m very much looking forward to my new role in September and I’m particularly excited about getting involved in all areas of Prep. I’m sure this will keep me busy, but the increased opportunity to see our pupils develop from their Early Years education through to Juniors is something that I will enjoy being part of.

It has to be the Nativity. It was so rewarding to watch it all come together and to see the children’s enthusiasm during the performances.

Welcome: Nurse Deb Cox Welcome We are very lucky to have our own School Nurse- can you tell us a bit about your role at School? As the school nurse every day is different and brings with it its own challenges, and although I have a job description it is hard to be specific as to what I do as I try to assist wherever I can. Primarily I am in charge of the day to day running of the medical centre , and am solely responsible for the care of 803 pupils emotional and physical wellbeing. I liaise with parents on a daily basis delivering the best care possible and deliver physical, social and health education. In between looking after unwell children I facilitate the co-ordination of immunisations and screenings, devise health care plans with parents and children, see children on a one to one to support their physical and emotional wellbeing, teach health related topics, refer children when needed to specialist services and triage children in school when they present unwell. I endeavour to support the children and provide a place for them to come to talk if they are struggling. I provide a holistic, non-judgemental environment and hope all children use the medical centre knowing they will be treated with respect .

How long have you been a nurse for? Having qualified from Chester University in 2008 with a First Class degree I began my career as a practice Nurse in a GP practice and gradually moved on to become a Clinical Nurse Specialist working with children and adults aged 16 and above with addictions. I have completed numerous training courses including motivational interviewing, mental health related courses and a masters module in clinical examination.


What are your favourite things about Birkenhead School? It’s such a lovely environment in which to work. The staff team have been so friendly and welcoming and the pupils and their families are lovely.

What do you like best about being a teacher? Helping to ensure pupils are happy and excited to come to school every day, watching children progress and grow in confidence and gaining a good rapport with the children in my class and their families.

We hear you are very musical? I started piano lessons at the age of seven, entering music festivals and working up to grade seven. I was lucky to be given the opportunity in primary school to learn the cello and was a member of the orchestra. Throughout primary and secondary school I sang in the school choir and performed at Liverpool Philharmonic Hall.

Training is something I continue to do to keep up to date and evidence based so I am completing a course in December regarding the assessment of the child in primary care as well as completing level 3 safeguarding and a teaching module. My nursing training has taught me to be non-judgemental and kind and my personality reflects that I hope.

What do you like most about being our school Nurse To be honest for me it’s the simple things. When a young pupil comes up to me and thanks me, or when a child stops crying because I’ve comforted them, that’s what’s important. As a nurse it’s the little things that count. I’m here for the children, everything I do I do for them and that way parents feel reassured knowing that when their child is in school they will be in safe hands. The children, the parents, the staff and the school are all lovely. All of them make my job so easy. To be honest it’s doesn’t really feel like a job, I have so much pleasure and fun doing it. I can honestly say I love it and look forward to the next twenty years here as the school nurse.

What’s been the highlight of your time at School so far? Every day is a highlight as the children’s feedback and thanks in themselves is what counts. However the main highlight has been to reach the end of June and survive my first six months which have been fantastic. I’ve met some incredible children and parents and to work at Birkenhead school has been my long term career goal so to achieve that at 32 years of age isn’t bad. Walking around campus and children coming up to talk to me shouting “Nurse Deb” is a real delight, I’m obviously getting a few things right and can’t wait for next term to see what new challenges .


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Over many years Chris steered the English Department through the choppy waters of seemingly endless syllabus reform, managing the many changes with characteristic good humour and patience, and always keeping the best interests of the pupils as his primary concern. Hundreds of students, past and present, readily bear witness to Chris’ scholarship as well as his enviable ability to coax creative and technically accurate writing from them. ‘Old School’ perhaps in, for example, his emphasis on the rules of grammar, together with his unwavering insistence that everyone in his classroom deserved equal respect, but he was quicker than many to embrace the modern technology of the computer age. Fortunately, he has also always been quick to spot absurdities, and can find something to share a smile about in the most tedious of meetings or administrative chores. Sixth Formers naturally also appreciated his fund of surprisingly ‘blue’ jokes, although, sadly, none is suitable for publication in this reputable periodical. Get to know Chris well, and one soon discovers a wonderfully mischievous side to him, but this merely adds another dimension to his highly civilised and cultured personality. Chris’ love of literature and language has also been conveyed through his many and varied school play productions. These have included some of Shakespeare’s greatest dramas from ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’ to ‘Richard III’ and on to this year’s ‘Hamlet’ as well as many modern classics such as ‘Journey’s End’, ‘A Man for All Seasons’, ‘The Browning Version’ and the musical ‘Oliver!’. He has been preparing debating teams and run the afterschool 6th Form Discussion Group for years, as well as playing the violin in countless school concerts.

Birkenhead School was her first teaching post, and one of the things she will miss most is the wonderful feeling of the School community. She is a teacher who is driven by her passion for the subject and a great enthusiasm for language, poetry and literature. She hopes that her pupils will take away with them memories of performances inspired by Benjamin Zephaniah or Michael Rosen, staging scenes of carnage (“Out, Out” and the buzz-saw rattled – year 10s, you know who you are! – as well as that bloodthirsty year 7 drama group!), and realising the true connection between opium, porridge and Romantic poets (mad, bad and dangerous to know!).

We wish Miss Jung all the best for the future at her new school!

Farewell: Jenni Pizer A consummate professional, highly trained paediatric nurse and a caring, compassionate person, Jenni Pizer will be sorely missed by us all as a school community when she leaves us this summer. It is no exaggeration to claim that she has saved pupil’s lives while she has been here; they have all been safe, both physically and mentally, under her dedicated care.

Helen has been a huge supporter of the music department for many years, as classroom teacher, guest oboist, recorder player, photographer, administrator, and Chapel Choir parent! Even more importantly, she has been an incredibly kind and generous friend to both me and my family during some very difficult times, and I will miss her enormously.

An expert on safeguarding, PSHE and First Aid, she has given her time most generously above and beyond the terms of her contract.

Being an experienced mum of 4 very different teenagers has meant there is pretty much nothing that shocks or upsets her when it comes to the students she teaches and she strikes up a bond of trust with them very quickly. They rate her very highly and work well for her. She’s tolerant and witty and easy to work with and a big loss to the Religious Studies Department.

It is hard to imagine her relaxing, as I have never witnessed her in a state of repose; I understand that she will continue to work in a untiring, dedicated fashion to helping the foundation that she and her husband Barry set up in Nepal many years ago. She truly deserves a happy retirement and I know that her retirement will be fulfilling. We all wish her the very best.

Claire has only been at Birkenhead School a short while, but in that time she has made a dramatic impact on her students and has made a real difference to their Religious Studies. She is never to be seen without a smile on her face and working with her in the Religious Studies Department has been a joy. Her experience as a GCSE marker has been invaluable to both myself and the pupils and I personally have learnt a huge amount from her for which I am incredibly grateful. Her pupils have been lucky to have had such a dedicated and inspirational teacher watching over them during their exam year and she will be hugely missed by them all. We wish you well will be missed.

Farewell: Marilyn Bratherton When Marilyn joined the Biology Department from the High School, it was immediately clear that we were in the presence of a true educator. Her subject knowledge was, and indeed is first rate, but, far more than that, she has a real empathy with her students, and a desire to see them achieve her potential. Always one to go the extra mile, she willingly spends time with them helping them to overcome their difficulties.

Her extra-curricular interests were extensive and pursued with enthusiasm. Coaching several year groups through debating competitions such as Youth Speaks proved inspiring and most rewarding; most notably persuading the Athenaeum Club into hosting a debating competition for younger pupils for the very first time! Miss Jung ably assisted Mr Smale as time-keeper and motivator of the School’s teams with the English Speaking Union and Mace debates – although on one occasion she became so interested in the debate she forgot her time-keeping duties entirely… and the speeches went on rather longer than planned! Miss Jung has been an enthusiastic, hard-working and supportive member of the English Department (and has, on occasion, been drafted in to teach the occasional German lesson, too); those who have worked with her will miss her enthusiasm and willingness to experiment and share ideas. It is the wonderful staff of the English Department who have mentored, advised and inspired her at all times and whom Miss Jung hopes to emulate in future.

When Helen and I first met, little did we know that we would become such good friends and colleagues. In our time working together in the music department during the interregnum we developed a great rapport, always working in harmony! Helen is so easy to get on with and great fun to work with, both in the classroom and in extra-curricular activities. She has abundant patience and the ability to bring out the best in all pupils. Nothing is too much trouble for her and Helen’s contribution both to the department and to me personally was second to none.


Chris Smale retires this term after nearly three decades at the school. Having graduated in English from Hertford College, Oxford, he taught at Windsor GS before spending seven years at St Paul’s School in London. Chris and wife Susan then moved north when he was appointed Head of English here in 1986.

We are very sorry to be saying farewell to Miss Frauke Jung, English teacher at Birkenhead School since 2013. She will be taking up a new teaching post at Bromsgrove School in Worcestershire in September – and thus heading back down South!


Farewell: Frauke Jung Farewell: Chris Smale

Farewell: Helen Keenan

When she retired, it was much to the School’s credit that they found an opening in the Homework Club, where she could continue to aid and inspire the next generations of Birkonians. Now that she is fully retiring, all I can say is that I sincerely hope it is not the last we see of her; I am sure it will not be, for her loyalty and desire to follow past students’ progress is unmatched.


Farewell: Joan Findley Signalling the end of a three generation family tradition of working at Birkenhead School, Joan Findley is retiring after 18 years of working within the catering team. Joan followed in the footsteps of her grandmother, who worked at School for 34 years, and her mother who worked at School for 21 years. Joan’s daughter has also worked at the School in the past. During her time at School, Joan has worked under the leadership of four different Headmasters, and three Bursars, Mr Turner, Mr Button and Mr Barton- Over her 18 years Joan has seen significant changes to the School; the building of new facilities, becoming co- educational, and, in terms of the food, a step-change in what we serve to children for their lunch, and the provision of many extra catered events. Joan plans to use her retirement to do things she’s always wanted to do, but says her first commitment is to her family- her mother, daughter and grandchildren, who she looks forward to spending more time with. All at Birkenhead School thank Joan for her contribution to School over the past 18 years and we wish her a happy retirement.



Devoted to the Chapel and its choir, this element of the school has been key to Chris’ professional life, and it reflects the deep and quiet faith which underpins his life beyond the school gates with his family and in the wider community. His unobtrusive care for others has been evident in his pastoral responsibilities as a shamelessly competitive Housemaster and as a Sixth Form tutor. He knew his students very well indeed (and they knew this) and he went to considerable trouble to smooth the transition from school to university; this led seamlessly to his appointment as UCAS Coordinator in which role he has tactfully guided hundreds of students writing their Personal Statements and, requiring even greater diplomatic skills, dozens of colleagues writing references. To say that Chris will be widely missed at Birkenhead School is to be guilty of serious understatement, but it is also recognised that any great fuss over his departure will cause him considerable embarrassment. Suffice to say, therefore, that everyone who has had the good fortune to be taught by him or worked alongside him as a colleague will be united in wishing him a long and happy retirement.







Upper Sixth Leavers 2015 Anas Ahmed Oliver Ainsworth Danial Alam Ruby Ashcroft Stephanie Balfour Max Bladon Connor Boon Sam Bowler Isabelle Brown Harrison Catherall Matthew Corlett Thomas Cornall Antonia Dowd Dominic Fowler-Williams Freddie Gollins Thomas Green Jordan Hart Ross Hepton Lucy Higgins Benjamin Hillyer Robert Hilton Jack Hussey Harri Jones Grace Keenan Tommy Keenan Zack Kirkman Harry Knowles Maro Kyriacou Dominic Maddox Fay McFarlane Ece Mert Jack Mills James Mitchell Tom Platt Jack Redhead Sian Round Asad ShaďŹ q Andrew Sherman Jacob Swan Matthew Thorn Lewis Tran Benjamin Unsworth Dan Walker Leo Westbrook Matthew Williams George Wilson Thomas Wood Isobel Woollons Matthew Wright

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CLASSICS Eleven of our Birkenhead School pupils from Year 7 up to our Sixth Form took part in the Manchester Classical Association Latin and Greek reading competition, held at King’s School, Macclesfield on Wednesday 11th February


I am pleased to report that our students were praised in their performances for their accuracy of delivery, especially those reading the Greek texts- with Sian Round receiving a commendation on her reading of Oedipus.

I am particularly delighted to announce that in the Junior category (the one with most participants), our Year 7 Latin girls (Clara and Elizabeth Hyatt) were awarded an impressive second prize! (they had even learned the text by heart, and acted it out using their own initiative!). I would like to thank all those pupils involved in this competition for the tremendous effort, both in rehearsals and in their wonderful performances. My gratitude also goes to Mr Allister for his unconditional support in the preparation and running of this event.

On Wednesday, 21st January, the Classics Department at Birkenhead School organised a Latin Study Day at the University of Oxford for all those studying Latin in Year 10 & in Year 11. An exciting programme was offered by the Oxford Classics Faculty, with informative events and imaginative activities, giving our students the opportunity to learn and think beyond the confines of curricula in one of the leading Universities in the world. The day included talks and workshops that responded to the specific needs, abilities and interests of our students. A lecture on one of the authors covered in our lessons was delivered by one of the University professors, Dr. Katherine Clarke. As well as a talk about studying Classics at University, delivered by undergraduates themselves. As part of the programme, a guided session at the Ashmolean Museum of Art and Archaeology took place. This provided our students with a unique chance to explore first hand artefacts of the Classical World with the help of lecturer Giles Richardson (Brasenose). The party also had a tour and lunch at Merton College, one of the most prestigious colleges at Oxford.


MY FRENCH ADVENTURE We left school at 6:45 on Thursday morning, we were all tired but excited, one thing that helped us on the journey was Graham Felton’s rave music. After a long journey on the coach, we arrived at Dover and boarded the ferry immediately and we had a three hour journey to our destination.


Review of Our Latin Trip to Oxford Birkenhead School Sixth Form student Joshua Gibson said the highlight of our Latin trip to Oxford was definitely the tour of Merton College. A college which can claim to have alumni with the academic calibre of Sir Andrew Wiles, the mathematician who solved Fermat’s last theorem and professors as renowned as J.R.R Tolkien, author of ‘The Lord of the Rings’. The most impressive aspects of the college were without a doubt the 13th century chapel of the college which had recently had a £7m organ installed (to celebrate the college’s 750th anniversary) and the Tolkien table located within the grounds Merton at which Tolkien and C.S Lewis author of the Narnia books sat and discussed plots for stories.

Another interesting place that we visited was the Ashmolean Museum located near to the college we had just visited. With the assistance of a guide we admired many ancient artefacts dating from 500BC to the late antiquity. Ranging from marble and bronze statues to coins and jewels worth a fortune. The museum was huge and in the one hour we had, we were only able to see a fraction of what the place actually held.



amarth Kumar, Jack Taylor, Clara Hernan-Gomez Alonso and Elisabeth Hyatt performed a comedy sketch from our Cambridge Latin Course. David Nevin and Matthew MacDonald recited a passage of the Odyssey, and Sian Round interpreted a tyrannical array from Oedipus Rex. Finlay Gordon and James Budworth interpreted an emotional passage from Virgil’s Aeneid. Cicero De Imperio was delivered by both James O’Neill and Josie Rabot. Top independent schools from across the North West (such Bolton, Stockport Grammar, Merchant Taylors’, among others ) were represented at this event.

Year 8 went on a Latin trip to Wroxeter Roman City on Saturday, 20th June. Students walked alongside the “Old Works”- which are remains of one of the walls of the Basilica (exercise area of the Roman Baths complex). The pupils saw a section of the main set of doors leading into the frigidarium (cool room that the bathers visited before entering the heated areas of the baths).


efore travelling to Le Centre de Séjour, we visited the Hypermarket, where we took part in a shopping task. We had to compare the prices of items in Euros with their equivalents in the UK. After completing the task, we had free time before heading to the hotel. We had dinner and unpacked before heading off to the park, where we played football and other activities including pétanque. We then returned to the hotel to get a good sleep before our fun-packed Friday. We woke up at 7 o’clock went to breakfast, after breakfast we went for a morning stroll along the beach front after this we got on the coach and drove to Etaples military cemetery. Mr Rimmer had passed me a message informing me about my Great Great Uncle who died in 07/04/18. He was in the Grenadier Guards 3rd Battalion. His name was Corporal George Stratton Marl and he was 25 years of age. His wife was called Hannah. Marl died of his wounds that he received in France and Flanders. It was extremely interesting to see this as it is in my family history. We then visited Le Touquet, which is where we also had lunch. After our lunch we were lucky enough to go the chocolate factory and learn all about where chocolate comes from and how it is produced. There were no umpa lumpas but it was still lots of fun. Also, that night we were lucky because we also got to go bowling and for an evening meal in a restaurant. Again, we were woken up at 7 o’clock to go down to breakfast. We went to the market and did another food activity. After this, we went into the old town where we had our lunch. We departed France on a P&O Ferry. We docked at Dover, stopped later at a service station to have dinner and then we arrived in School where we met a big crowd of yapping parents.

When we reached the airport, we drove to the school. Everyone was excited and we couldn’t wait to start what seemed to look like a fun week ahead. Having the entire weekend with our French exchange students and no schedule, my exchange family took me to CERN. It was jaw dropping and I couldn’t have been taken to a better place in Switzerland. We went swimming in a spa with an open air pool where we could gaze at the mountains. We also made our own chocolate bunnies (mine was gone in about 30 seconds)! Throughout the week the French exchange families and the school were all very kind to us and I couldn’t have enjoyed it more. It was one of the best holidays of my life; I just wish I could do it again. AUTHOR jOSH COYNE, 10SG

The French Exchange with our partner school in Geneva A really early start of 4 a.m. saw us all meet up at Liverpool Airport ready for our trip to Geneva. Having arrived in Geneva, we travelled to the school to be introduced to our hosts and exchange students. Curiosity and nervousness combined to increase our excitement and we were eager to find out what our week would entail. The weekend was wonderful: Marilyn, my exchange partner, took me to see the mountains. It was so cool and the views were fab!! The host families looked after us all very well, but having to speak French 24/7 was “très difficile!”. There were loads of activities that had been arranged for us, but swimming in the mountainside spa and making chocolate bunnies were my two favourites. Although eating the bunny was pretty good too!!

The whole week was a fantastic experience made possible by the host families and especially Mr Murdoch (who maybe has a phobia about lost passports?). We are looking forward to the Swiss group’s return trip in June, when it will be our chance to look after our new-found friends. AUTHOR LUCY MAYERS, 8SWC



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“Thursday was probably the best day since we got to go to the beach!”

Firstly, we went to the town centre and learnt about the Running of the Bulls that happens every year in Pamplona at the start of July. After that, we had the chance to go inside the town hall and we even got to stand on the balcony! Next, we had a small photographic safari where we had to go around the ‘Plaza de Castillo’ and look for certain monuments. The winning team was made up of Alice, Jess, Tom and me. Once we arrived back at the school and met our partners, we went to Domino’s for lunch and then walked around an area near the Yamaguchi park and just talked.




n the last day before half term, 17 pupils set off for an exciting nine days in Pamplona, Spain! After a two hour journey on a plane to Bilbao and then another two hour journey on a coach, we finally arrived at Colegio Santa Teresa more than ready to finally meet our partners. Once everyone had greeted their partners, we went off to their houses and began getting to know them and their families. The Friday night was spent mostly at a park called Yamaguchi. We got to know each other a lot better and it wasn’t awkward at all considering we hadn’t known each other for more than a few hours. When it was finally time to go back to our partners’ houses, it was about ten o’clock. We all realised that we would be staying up a lot later here than we usually would in England. We couldn’t believe how late Spanish people ate dinner! On Saturday morning, a few of us met up again for a very enjoyable game of paintballing. We decided to do English versus Spanish to make it interesting. After a quick lesson on how to stay safe during paintballing and how to actually use the paintballing gun, we were all geared up and ready to get started! We won the first few games but after our third game the Spanish team won one game. This made us try even harder in our final game which we luckily won! Many of us had quite a few bruises by the end of the game but it was definitely worth it!

Overall we had a really enjoyable first weekend in Pamplona, and we were all looking forward to the week ahead. On Monday morning, it was an early start for everyone since our exchanges had school. We started the morning in registration with our partners. After registration we had a nice welcome from the head teacher of Santa Tereasa School, Señora Borja, and then had a tour of the school which was given by two students who were on the exchange. We then went to the town centre for some sightseeing. We saw the outside of the town hall which was very beautiful. It was a very interesting afternoon and once our partners had finished school, we went to Yamaguchi park once again and soon realised that this would probably be our normal meet up location for the rest of the week. Tuesday was another very interesting day. We spent the morning going round a very beautiful castle. Then, in the afternoon we walked along a gorge and the boys had a great time trying to scare everyone as we went through tunnels! On Wednesday we were only out with our teachers for half a day since our partners finished school early on Wednesdays – needless to say, we were quite jealous of this!

Thursday was probably the best day since we got to go to the beach! We left on a coach in the morning and after about an hour we arrived at San Sebastian. Firstly, we went to an aquarium and some of us even touched an octopus. We then went where everyone had been waiting to go the whole week: the beach! It was a very hot day so it was a perfect day for the beach. We spent our time at the beach just kicking around a football and enjoying the sun. Next, we had some free time to have lunch and just look around the centre. A few of us even tried some ‘pinchos’ (or ‘pintxos’ as its spelt locally), which were absolutely delicious and a good change from the McDonalds that we had been eating with our partners.

Mandarin To give our Year 6 pupils access to as many aspects of this new language as possible, we have covered a wide-ranging list of topics this year, to allow them to form short sentences and gradually build up conversational skills. Pupils have enjoyed getting to grips with the four tones of the Mandarin dialect and they regularly demonstrate their understanding and enthusiasm with shouts of ‘ni hao’ (hello) and ‘zai jian’ (goodbye) ringing out across campus! In addition, we have introduced pupils to the basic principles behind the written Chinese language, building gradually from the more simple pictographs of numbers to the challenging complexities of animals and colours, where they were able to identify ‘radicals’ shared between several characters (see the similarities present in cat, dog and bear, for example). Pupils have responded to this challenge most impressively and I hope that they will continue to practise these characters and further their interest in the language.

Friday was also another great day. In the morning we went inside some caves. It was quite cold in the caves but interesting nonetheless. After the caves, we went inside a magnificent Church on the top of a hill. The evening was probably the best part of the day because everyone went bowling. Even though I’m not the best at bowling, it was definitely very enjoyable! Saturday was our last day with our partners so we just spent it all together. We all met up at the town centre in the evening for dinner. Despite going round in circles for a while because we didn’t know where to eat, we finally got some food and then we sat and talked and enjoyed the last day. On Sunday morning everyone had to get up early because it was the day that we sadly had to leave. After saying goodbye to all our partners, we got on the coach to get to the airport where we would eventually take our flight back to England.

Everyone had a very exciting week and I don’ t think anyone wanted to leave. Muchas gracias to Mr Rimmer, Miss Moore and Miss Ault for everything they did to make the exchange possible, and for giving us this incredible experience. We are all looking very forward to our partners coming here and hopefully it will be just as good an experience for them as it was for us!

From a cultural perspective, we have investigated school life at Ping Min primary school to give our pupils a greater insight into the lives of those who use this language on a daily basis. Our pupils have conducted their own research, following group discussion, to compare and contrast their own life inside and outside school with those at Ping Min. Much of this project work has shown reflective sociocultural insight and I have been very pleased to see our pupils choose their own specialist topics and collaborate with others to give a wide-ranging overview of everything they have learned. In anticipation of moving up into Y7 next year, we have also looked at Xiu Ning middle school, to see a glimpse of what would await our Prep pupils were they living in Hunan province. The contrast has provoked excellent group debate and a greater appreciation for the opportunities we enjoy at Birkenhead School. AUTHOR MR MURDOCH




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Paradise Island?

The children learnt about the natural and manmade features, the places of interest around the island and compared what life would be like living on an island to that on the Wirral. There were differing points of view as to where the children would prefer to live, and all of the arguments were supported with valid reasons.




Year 8 Geography Trip to Malham,



On Friday 15th May, Year 8 set off on a Geography trip to Malham in the Yorkshire Dales National Park. We left at 8am and we were sitting in a coach for two hours and a bit; thankfully no one was sick which could have been because Mr Gill had warned everybody several times not to glug down ‘fizzy pop’ and other sweets during the journey to avoid any horrible accidents. There were 6 teachers who came along with us: Mr Gill and Mrs Margerison with 8VJM; Mr Hayward and Mr Hill with 8SWC; and Mr Lytollis and Mr Rule with 8REL. We arrived at Malham Village at around 12:30pm. The weather was nice and sunny as we stepped off the coach to be welcomed by the surrounding area of Malham. We quickly set off in our form groups in different directions. On our way, Mr Gill asked us many ‘lollipop questions’ about different geological features in the area with a lollipop at the end of the day awarded to the winners. Mrs Margerison was already taking the first of many photos along the way! There was a long pathway which we took to visit our 1st destination: Janet’s Foss Waterfall. We bypassed a huge log with lots of tiny slits where people had put coins in! When we got to the waterfall, Mrs Margerison took this as a chance to take group pictures of us all. After taking a few notes, we took another route heading to Gordale Scar, bypassing lots of sheep, streams and land features. After we had done some more work in our booklets, we were allowed to eat our school packed lunch as well as our own snacks and drinks. Lots of us ran along the rocks on the grass to the mini waterfall nearby. Others sat on the grass and massive rocks. Soon Mr Gill had gathered our group to carry on our journey around the National Park. It was a very long walk to Malham Cove. We saw lots more sheep and passed the other group too. When we got there, I was amazed to see the Limestone Pavement. It was very big and it seemed to go on forever. It was a bit hard to walk on at times because the cracks were very big making it easy for you to drop your phone or clipboard and some of the rocks were too smooth and slippery! AUTHOR DIONNE LEE, 8VjM

Over the half term, the children were set the task of creating their own island. On Monday 1st June, Old School House was awash with their creations, ranging from small, intricately detailed islands, to the larger, paper mache and volcanic landscapes. The children all worked really hard and produced a fantastic selection of islands. Well done to all the children in Year 2!

We immediately started sketching a block of the limestone and set to work measuring the different features. I was working with Jess, Ed and Ben. Once we had finished the work, we were allowed to ‘explore’ the Limestone Pavement. Lots of us got our picture taken in a gryke between 2 blocks of limestone! It was very small and narrow. We soon began to walk down to look at the steep path leading to Malham Cove. We did a lot of work at this point looking at the reason why it was maintained to such a high standard. However, Mr Gill constantly reminded us to hurry or else we wouldn’t have any time to buy ice-cream at the end of the day! This definitely made us all settle into the work. It was a long way back to the village with some of us walking really far ahead and others at the back! Luckily, we made it to the village by 3:45pm allowing us enough time to buy an ice-cream to eat if we wanted. Soon it was time to get onto the coach and we made our way back to school. We arrived at school by 6:15pm and we were all exhausted from a long day’s work. Overall, this trip was good experience as well as fun. I would like to thank Mr Gill and Mr Hill for organising this trip and for the teachers who came along to make sure we made it back to school after the long day!

n Friday 15th May, Year 8 set out on a trip to Malham to study landmarks within this location in the Yorkshire Dales National Park. The coach and the minibus (driven by Mr Gill) set off at around 08:10 for the two and a half hour journey that lay ahead. The coach journey was rather uneventful, apart from our coach driver having to navigate many narrow roads while dealing with oncoming traffic. Once we had arrived, we were organized into our classes and we set out on our journeys to explore the various landmarks in Malham, stopping at certain points to analyse key geographical features along the way. After stopping for an explanation of the formation of Janet’s Foss waterfall, the group continued on towards Gordale Scar. On the way, we stopped at a camping site along the path to Gordale Scar, to talk about footpath erosion and human impact on the area. During this talk, we were greeted by swarms of flies and sheep droppings! It was then a short walk to Gordale Scar, where the year regrouped to enjoy lunch and explored the area. After the lunch break, the group then began to climb up steep hills and mountains, while taking in the brilliant views beyond the 200+ year old walls. During this time, everyone was dreaming about the lovely ice creams waiting for us that Mr Gill had promised back down in Malham. Once we had completed the tiring trek, the group rested as we took in the instructions for the task upon Malham Cove of measuring the large Grykes and Clints. After completing our task, we proceeded to take pictures and pose in the Grykes. We could now practically smell the ice creams! We then took a long treacherous walk down the path (a few accidents may have occurred!) back down to Malham where we quickly enjoyed our tasty ice creams, and got on the coach for the journey home. Overall, I can say (and on the behalf of others) that I enjoyed the trip, as I could take in the area of the Yorkshire Dales National Park and I was able to consolidate my knowledge of this area of Geography. AUTHOR REEVE TAY, 8VjM

GCSE field trip to Bowness on Windermere June 2015 In June there was a Geography GCSE fieldwork visit to Bowness on Windermere, where students carried out a questionnaire survey, used a gun clinometer to measure the steepness of a footpath and used a quadrat to assess the amount of footpath erosion on The Dales Way.

Lower Sixth geographers studied channel and bedload characteristics on a field trip to the River Alyn in April.


Year 2 have been studying island life. The basis of the topic was the Island of Coll, the setting of the Katie Morag series.



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‘Liverpuwl’ater) e m a n e h t . dy In 1190inAg.Da pool with mud (mean st documented was fir

Year 7 historians enjoyed a whole day trip to the oldest building on Merseyside, Birkenhead Priory. The work conducted there enhanced their understanding of the role of the Church in medieval life. Split into their three forms, they visited various parts of the Priory. In the Chapter House, they learned about the founder of the Priory, Hamo de Mascy. The Priory dates back to around 1150. The pupils also visited the Scriptorium, where the monks wrote their manuscripts. The room has altered a great deal since it was built in the 15th century, and it was extensively restored just after the First World War. In 1996 the space was dedicated as a chapel to HMS Conway, a naval training ship which used to be in the River Mersey nearby. The Undercroft traces the history of the Priory from c1150 to the present day. With the building being at its height in the 14th century through the ruinous state after dissolution, it is pleasing to see such accomplished restoration work being undertaken. A visit AUTHOR MR MCKIE

the ar 7 set off on Ye l, ri p A d n 22 ory At 9a.m on Birkenhead Pri to ip tr ry to as annual his The first stop w . m u se u M l o o and Liverp the Priory. re all

to the refectory, the name given to the eating room in the monastery, helped the pupils gain a fuller understanding of the role of the monks who operated a ferry across the River Mersey for at least 300 years.

Year 8 did not know quite what to expect when Top Box Productions

After visiting the Priory, the intrepid party set off for a River Explorer cruise on the Mersey Ferry disembarking at Pier Head before heading off to the Museum of Liverpool. Whilst at the museum, the pupils were able to trace the development of Liverpool from the earliest times right up to the modern day. After a quick respite at the museum shop and then time for an ice cream, the pupils headed back on the ferry after a long day exploring aspects of medieval and local history.

the play charts the life of every Tudor monarch before moving on to the

ng a timeline detaili was to produce we sk ta as r g, ou , in m st re eu At the mus s very inte verpool. This wa ustrating the history of Li information in the museum ill w e Mersey llo th fo of to s were able on the bank t en em ttl the se a of . Examples of the foundation to modern times are: in 1190 A.D. ys da t es rli ea from the le to record ion we were ab water) was sort of informat pool with muddy ‘Liverpul’ a ng ni ea (m ’ ul rp d ve te ‘Li an the name ng John gr d; in 1207 A.D. Ki in 1715 A.D. the first wet ; first documente wn to a as ting it 18th and a charter designa built in Liverpool; during the n s wa dly as its locatio dock in Britain l expanded rapi oo rp ve . Li s de ie tra ur 19th cent growing sea ke advantage of enabled it to ta

Terminal, we we Woodside Ferry by up d m Woodside to lle pu As we d. We walked fro ctine monks ea ah y da e th t excited abou 1150 by Benedi was founded in sey”. Once the Priory, which e first ever “ferry ‘cross the Mer had one th ie ed cK ps; Mr. M who establish re split into grou r the third. We went we we , ed riv ar we’d r. Alliste cover. n another and M group, Mr. Rode a lot of ground to s wa e er th as , ys wa te ra pa our se r. to St. Mary’s Towe cKie’s) first went nt M ca r. fi (M ni in sig s a wa d I The group the Priory an known spire of to the top, This is the welld all the way we lo al t no re we g stunning e rin W fe landmark. ite high up, of qu ny lco the ba a s , especially as though there wa and Birkenhead We . y ty se ili er ib M vis e th nt views of y with excelle nn su g. d in an cit ex rm it was very weather was wa otographs, and ph ke ta to d we were allo s use. When it wa the Chapter Ho d to y ul wa wo r ks ou e on We then mad s where the m f course) astery, this wa used as a mon them would read a chapter (o some of e Bible. We had meet, and one rules or from th out certain things in of ok bo r ei th from let ab swer in our book questions to an ently filled in the answers! lig there, and we di ve Monks would ha e e Scriptorium. W th . s om wa ro is op th st Our next the Bible in ipts, rules and e. We left written manuscr e the monks at er wh y or ct fe Re dside to e oo th W to moved on lked back to wa d an .30 11 t e twenty the Priory abou y. We had our lunch during th ained rr pt fe ca ’t .30 sn 12 e boat wa catch the to Liverpool (th short walk from Pier er ov e rid e ut a min gh!). It was then by monks, thou ool Museum. rp Head to the Live


d’s , 40% of the worl ry tu n ce th 19 y at By the earl ugh the docks ro th g n si as p nd trade was became the seco l o o rp ve Li d an Liverpool erce e (much comm ir p Em sh ti ri B e). city of the m the slave trad o fr e ad m as w and money

performed their Tudors and Stuarts play and engaged the students in a series of workshops afterwards. Starting with the Battle of Bosworth, Stuart reign. A troupe of three actors, performed roles as diverse as Henry VIII, Elizabeth I and the Great Plague! It was a scintillating and comedic performance from this accomplished group. Perhaps, most importantly, it also provided the students with an opportunity to engage in hands-on activities. A stimulating question and answer session was




Monday 22nd June saw us host our third annual Primary Maths Team Challenge. Around 20 primary schools from Wirral and Liverpool brought teams made up of Years 5 and 6 pupils.


followed by a series of short performances by the Year 8s depicting some of the most significant events of the period. To see virtually the whole year group have a go at acting out events as diverse as the Great Fire of London and the English Civil War was a real eye-opener.

Celts and Romans Workshop Earlier this term, Year 3 enjoyed a Celts and Romans workshop where they were able to explore the culture of both the Celts and the Romans through dressup, archaeological fact-finding, reenactment of their daily activities and much more!

PRIORY PRIORY r part of the during the latte ed pp di s ne has been some Liverpool’s fortu st century there tal of Culture 21 e th in t bu y, 20th centur g named Capi th the city bein regeneration wi in 2008. was over. We in the museum e tim r shop ou it, s from the gift Before we knew buy some item l to to oo ce rp ve an Li ch a m did have y at 3 p.m. fro rr fe en e th th e W ht e. ug Woodsid before we ca m Seacombe to fro on d an be Seacom hool. drove back to sc and the n and Allister s. McKie, Rode ppen. It sr ha es p M tri to e th ks Than us for making th wi e m ca o parents wh area. out in our local was a great day


The competition uses resources developed by the UK Mathematics Trust and provides a fun, challenging and stimulating day for the pupils taking part. There are four rounds to the competition culminating in a relay round where teams must answer questions and race round Bushell Hall to collect the next question and pass it to their partners. Entries have grown since eight schools took part in our inaugural Maths Team Challenge in 2013 and last year’s winners, Booker Avenue Junior School from Liverpool, will be back to defend their title this year.

After winning a gold certificate in the UK Mathematics Trust Intermediate Maths Challenge and gaining a Merit in the followon International Mathematical Olympiad, Shikhar Kumar (10PL) has been invited to the prestigious National Mathematical Summer School at St Anne’s College, Oxford over the summer. This puts Shikhar in with the 40 or so most talented young mathematicians in the country and, I believe, it is the first time a Birkenhead School student has been invited; an excellent achievement!



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DESIGN TECHNOLOGY Art and Design Technology Exhibition Selected artwork showcasing the final pieces of the GCSE, AS and A level Art and Design Students. The GCSE students responded to their chosen starting point which they selected had from the externally set task, they then went on to produce a final outcome during the 10 hours of sustained focused study. The AS and A2 students had various starting points which pulled together the skills they have learnt over the years and culminated in a personal and informed final piece. They were encouraged to experiment and develop their ideas whilst linking back to an artist or culture. AUTHOR MRS lloyd-johnson

The Design and Technology part of the exhibition shows off all of the coursework projects within GCSE Design and Technology, both Systems & Control, Product Design, and AS/A2 Product Design work. The GCSE pupils have to choose from a limited number of set briefs, and have a time limit in which to design and make a final product. The pupils use a wide range of materials and techniques to produce some very high quality and creative design solutions. The AS Product Design students had to design and make an I-Pod docking station, and the A2 pupils had an open brief, but have to form a link with a real client. Connor Boon (U6th) for example made his amazing Modular Clock for John Lewis in Chester. The Clock was displayed in the shop and he received some fantastic feedback from customers and the manager of the store. The final coursework marks are made up from the practical work itself along with a detailed Power Point presentation documenting the whole design and make process. AUTHOR MR guiness




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The dark, navy colour of the limousine also reflected my emotions and the blacked out windows represented the fact that I also felt as if I was caved in and by myself all of a sudden. As I stepped out of the limousine, the air was fresh and brisk and suddenly, the reality of it all had hit me and my face grew hot like the raging sun and my eyes started to fill like a bay at high tide. I couldn’t stop them; they were falling like raindrops to the ground.

At the sight of my tears, my Uncle grabbed my arm and gave me a reassuring smile, although I could see in his face that he was upset too and probably could have started to cry hysterically too. When we finally entered the palatial church behind the coffin, everyone suddenly stood and it was then that I saw and recognised family, friends, family-friends and some people I had never even met before. We paraded towards the front where myself, my sisters, my Dad and my Grandad all settled on the front pew of the church. My Mum and my Nan’s very close friends were seated on the first pew directly opposite. Personally, I didn’t like the idea of this because she was right there; two metres away from me and it broke my heart to not be able to see her face, in person, or touch her. Because there was a huge picture of her there too, she was staring at me right in the face and I couldn’t help but look at her and admire her. AUTHOR HARRISON WILD, 9AjM

After the ceremony had taken place in the church, everyone inside progressed outside to the grave. I walked out with one of my Mum’s best friends who is like a second mother to me. But after a short while of walking, she let go of my hand and I walked on towards the grave as she stayed behind. I wasn’t aware of the plans and because I had never been to a funeral before, I didn’t know what was happening but I went along with it. Before I even had time to look up, I found myself graveside along with all of the closest people to her. When I did look up, I felt under a lot of pressure as everyone else was standing behind a wall watching us all with a loving, but close, eye. I felt under pressure because I felt as if I had to put on a front to look as if I wasn’t practically on the verge of a nervous breakdown. After the ceremony beside the grave, we walked back up to where everyone else was standing and was given an extremely warm embrace from another one of my Mum’s very close friends. This made me smile and know that my Nan wouldn’t want me to cry but would want me to be strong and know that she’s not gone because she is always here somewhere whether it be in spirit or in my heart where she will remain forever.

Students from the Year 10 English Speaking Union headed over to Liverpool’s Athenaeum Club in February for the second round of the ESU Debate. Adrian (chair), Matthew (speaker) and Shikhar (questioner) acquitted themselves very well in a very competitive round!


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It was the most perfect day. The pungent scent of freshly cut grass and flowers was in the air. The sun was glistening down and blinding me as it bounced off the polished surface of the windows of the passing house. Although the day was flawless, there was one thing missing; the most wonderful, glamorous and sophisticated woman I had ever known. I just couldn’t understand and come to grips with the fact that she was gone.





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n 24th February, a team of nine Lower Sixth Students – Will Griffin (Captain), Alex Palmer (Vice Captain and Summation Speaker), Eleanor Hilton (Opening Speaker), Max Shah, James O’Neill, Bethany Camphor, Alex Scott, Phoebe Bakkali and Francesca Way – went to Liverpool Town Hall for the North West Regional Finals of European Youth Parliament. The team spent several weeks preparing their arguments and debates for the session and, armed with their folders, they made their way to the Town Hall, stopping at Caffé Nero on their way (with coffees courtesy of Will Griffin).

After a talk from the Lord Mayor of Liverpool, Councillor Erica Kemp about making the most of opportunities, the debates began. It started with a warm-up debate with the very serious, relevant topics of Ninjas vs. Pirates and our favourite colours. Next, the real debates started. Our committee was the Committee on Culture and Education. Our first debate was on financial education, proposing the motion, and the second was overdependence on imported energy, opposing it. They won the first one by a considerable majority, but unfortunately lost the second one (this has no outcome on the results), despite Alex Palmer’s rousing opening speech. Other debates were on the freedom of press, Islamic State, FGM, Small and Medium Enterprises, and the benefits of e-learning. All teams took part in all of the debates and they were all extremely interesting and thought provoking. Next, the moment they were all waiting for…the results. The members of the jury gave us general, then individual, feedback which was all very positive, but did add to the suspense. Finally, the results were announced. Birkenhead School were one of the three winning teams who would go on to represent the North West at the European Youth Parliament National Finals later this year. The team collected their certificates and trophy then went home to celebrate. The team are looking forward to the National Finals at Liverpool Hope University and hope to even progress to the International Finals in Leipzig, Germany or Belfast.



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Reception have been undertaking pioneering research into min beasts in their custom-built “Bug Research lab”. Here are the two classes showing off the wonderful bugs and beasts!

Cubs Science Night



n the evening of 29th January, ninety-five cub scouts from nine packs- representing 19 different schoolsjoined thirty Birkenhead School students to share their enthusiasm for science.



NATIONAL FINALS Upper Sixth students Ece Mert, Grace Keenan, Anas Ahmed and Ross Hepton represented the school at the Young Scientist of the Year Finals at the NEC Birmingham in March. Whilst they were not so fortunate at the national finals, their research into de/remineralisation of teeth and the use of bone analogues won the North West regional final. AUTHOR MR BARNES

After a circus of activities in the science department, they took part in an interactive ‘pops and bangs’ demonstration in the meeting room. Our students were either science mentors or members of one of the School’s four science clubs. The cubs will now be awarded their science badges.

Reception Trip to Chester Zoo On Thursday 21st May, the Reception children and staff went on a wonderful day out to Chester Zoo. They attended an informative session on mini beasts. This gave them the opportunity to look at live mini beasts and to learn more about them. The classes then got an opportunity to explore the Zoo which has over 11000 animals and 400 different species. A fantastic day was had by all. The Reception staff and children would like to thank all the parents who helped on the trip. AUTHOR MRS MAYERS

Year 10 students Edward Azurdia and Tom Parkes have been selected for the Salter’s Chemistry Camp at the University of Nottingham in July. Sixth Form student Harry Unsworth has also gained a place on the ‘Headstart’ engineering course at the University of Sheffield again in July. Congratulations to all. AUTHOR MR BARNES

Ness Gardens On Monday 8th June, Year 4 set out to Ness Gardens for a day of pond dipping, mini beast hunting and trail finding. The sun was shining, the birds were tweeting and the children were in high spirits! After a successful morning scouring the pond for life, and awakening mini beasts from their slumber the children were ravenous. Needless to say, lunches were swiftly consumed. The afternoon was filled with more fun, exploring a maze and a spot of orienteering around the gardens. Before we knew it, it was time to head back to school, but not before the children spent all their hard earned pocket money in the gift shop! A fun day had by all!



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The Summer Term has proven no less busy, nor indeed successful, than Michaelmas or Lent with our cricket teams leading the way.


ROUND UP Busy Season for Under 13 Cricketers


This season has been an exceptionally busy one for the Under 13 cricket team. Having won the Cheshire cup as Under 12’s last season the school was asked to represent the County in the David English/Bunbury Cup, a national competition run on a regional basis. In the North of England quarter final we were drawn against Cumbrian champions Sedbergh, a school with an enviable sporting reputation. Having won the toss captain Toby Brown put Sedbergh in to bat; tight bowling and agile fielding restricted the visitors to 100 all out inside the designated thirty overs. In reply Birkenhead reached their target of 101 inside twenty three overs with Toby top scoring with 62 not out. The victory meant we progressed to the next round, a North of England semi-final, and a long away trip to Northumbria champions Royal Grammar School, Newcastle. Batting first RGS got off to a brisk start with their opener scoring a quick forty two. However, good bowling pegged them back and we were left requiring 125 runs to win in thirty overs. An equally brisk start by Birkenhead saw us reach twenty eight for nought off only three overs but a batting collapse of the highest magnitude then followed with the team all out for only sixty one runs in less than eighteen overs and our cup run came to a disappointing end.

Boys Cricket – U14s 2015:


After a poor start with an opening loss against Manchester Grammar, the squad has performed well, winning all five of their next fixtures, showing good progression from last year. Revenge wins against Ellesmere College and Cheadle Hulme are two highlights. They are currently awaiting confirmation of their opposition for the Cheshire Cup quarter finals. There have been some outstanding performances. Captain Dan Cooke leads the batting with 241 runs in four innings, with Jack Corran, Lawrence Kehoe and Will Harvey having over 100 runs each. Ed O’Mahoney is leading wicket taker with 11, closely followed by Jack Corran (9), and Patrick Carpenter (7). Jack Corran recently got a wicket hat trick against King’s Chester, and is leading catcher, with five. There is a growing maturity and mental toughness within the squad, and coupled with excellent teamwork and desire, this is a group that can go from strength to strength.



1st XI Cricketers The 1st XI, having benefitted from an unbeaten tour to the West Indies last summer, started the season off with an exciting tie against one of our strongest opponents, Manchester Grammar School. The game was there for the taking, Birkenhead only requiring five runs off the last three overs with three wickets still in hand, but a batting collapse saw the school ‘all out’ with the scores tied. The side remained unbeaten until early June, a fine testament to the commitment of the senior squad this season. The junior cricket sides have carried a heavy weight on their shoulders in trying to match the outstanding successes of 2014 when three of the four sides were crowned Cheshire champions. I am pleased to say that all four teams are still in the competition as I write, one is already into the semi-final whilst the others still await their quarter final opponents. At an individual level six boys have represented Cheshire in cricket with several more playing at District level. A packed School Field on a Tuesday evening is testament to a thriving athletics club with large numbers of year seven to ten girls and boys working hard to improve their fitness and technique in a variety of events in preparation for the English School Cup where we have ‘punched well above our weight’, finishing fifth in the Merseyside competition.


However, the team is keen to retain the Cheshire Cup and currently await their quarter final opponents having had convincing victories against Christleton High School in the first round and Helsby High School in the second. AUTHOR MR LYTOLIS

Birkenhead School hosts Cricket Festival At the end of this season the school will host the 1st XI cricket festival. This is an annual event played between four schools from different areas of the country and each year a different school hosts it. The other three schools taking part are University College School, London, George Watson’s from Edinburgh and Pocklington School from North Yorkshire. From 29th June to 1st July six games will be played, two each day, and whilst on the field competition will be fierce, off it the boys will socialise and get to know each other at the annual barbeque. New Brighton Cricket Club have kindly offered to host two of the matches and another will be played at Birkenhead Park Cricket Club whilst School Field will be busy each day with Birkenhead playing all of their matches there. With all of the arrangements now in place one can only hope for good weather ! AUTHOR MR TURNER


I have very much enjoyed my first year as the Year 7 Cricket Team coach (working with Mr Rickman), seeking to help everyone in the squad both enjoy and improve their cricket. While the season started with a fairly resounding defeat against a very strong Manchester Grammar side, the team is characterised by a keenness that most mustards could not match. We have since won every match played (opponents being Ellesmere, Calday, St Anselm’s, Bishop Heber and King’s School, Chester) leading to, at the time of writing, the semi finals of the Cheshire Schools Cup. This is thanks to consistent strike bowling (both fast and slower bowlers breaking through defences regularly) but also solid contributions from a number of batsmen, with no over-reliance on one individual. It has also been good to see the determination on fielders’ faces to stop and/or catch cricket balls hurtling towards them, often with great success, and with numerous accurate run outs as well. Cricket provides an opportunity to build both individual and team character and this is an opportunity Year 7 have fully taken hold of this season, just as they did with rugby during the colder months. In short, I’ve enjoyed working with the squad, seeing their enthusiasm (and occasional frustration) and celebrating their successes. It bodes well for School cricket in the years to come!

After what was probably the most successful season the 1st XV have had since I took charge in 2005 (only four defeats and unbeaten at home all season) we were looking forward to the taking our place on the sevens circuit. We began, at the beginning of March, with our own tournament and after a narrow loss to Sedbergh (10-14) in the group stages we ended up in the plate quarter finals. An easy win over Liverpool College (52-0) with Owen Morris scoring four tries, put us up against Bishops Hebers in the semis. Tom Simpson, captain for the day, lead the way with a hat-trick in a comfortable 31-0 victory. In the final we defeated Hutton 22-7. This was to be as good as it got as we were drawn in tough groups in all our remaining tournaments. At the North of England sevens we were runners up in our group after a tense victory 17-14 over a much fancied Ellesmere side but the lost to Lancaster 15-17 in an even tenser quarter-final. In the Cheshire sevens we lost to two very good sides in Kings Macclesfield and Lymm and then at the Stonyhurst sevens we were unable to progress from our group having lost to the eventual winners and hosts, Stonyhurst. As always the sevens season is extremely hard work for all the players involved and they will be a little disappointed in the final analysis. I hope they return stronger next season and we will start our preparations earlier to ensure the talent available fulfils its potential. AUTHOR MR HENDRY


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ATHLETICS REPORT In what is a short but busy season our athletes have again performed well in a range of events. In the team event organised by Wirral Athletics Club with eight schools competing both the junior and inter girls teams finished fifth, the inter boys were fourth but the junior boys managed a very creditable third place.



Abigail Saverimutto Y7 75 - finished 4th overall in a time of 11.2 Henry Bevan Y7 100m - finished 5th overall.

In the Sainsbury’s Track & Field Cup the intermediate boys and girls (Years 9 & 10) finished in fifth place in the first round, as did both the Junior (Years 7 & 8) teams. In the Wirral Trophy meeting, in which eight schools take part, the Junior girls (Years7 & 8) and the Inter girls(Years 9 & 10) were both fifth. The Inter boys were fourth. The Junior boys were third.

Having spent some time learning how to check and prepare a range of equipment it was time to start climbing. Mr Hill lead the way up the ‘easiest’ climb of the day and, as Mr Higginbottom assessed our belaying using some of the different devices we had been introduced to, Mrs Thurisingham, Miss Gilbride and Mr Hendry tried to emulate him; with varying degrees of success!

INTER BOYS : Matthew O’Hare with 1.53m and first place in the high jump; Tom Walker with 12.8 and second place in the 100m; George Fraser with 26.84 and second place in the discus; Daniel Evans with 4.51.6 and third place in the 1500m; Edward Azurdia with 1.50m and third place in the high jump; Paul Keenan with 29.82m and fourth place in the javelin; Dan Walker with 26.7 and sixth place in a very competitive 200m; JUNIOR GIRLS : Caitlin Watson with 30.8 and sixth place in the 200m; Camilla Azurdia continuing the family tradition with 1.20 and fifth place in the high jump; Emmeline Barry and Esme Brennan also made very useful contributions in their events. INTER GIRLS : Jessica Basnett won the triple jump with a leap of 8.01m closely followed by Georgia Varey who came second with 7.92m; Charlotte Cullen was runner up in the javelin with 16.91m, just holding off the challenge of Maria Hernan-Gomez Alonso who was third with 16.77; Jess Pulford was also third in the shot putt with 7.51 m. There were plenty of volunteers who came forward for the Y7 Wirral trials and the athletes that qualified were: Henry Bevan, 100m, and Abigail Saverimutto, who won the 75m sprint. These athletes have been selected to represent Wirral in the Merseyside Games. Well done to all who have taken part.


AJIS indoor athletics competition On Tuesday 3rd February the Years 5 and 6 athletics team went to Robin Park, Wigan and competed in the AJIS indoor athletics competition. We were quite successful and won a number of medals including: Krestan Calvert won 1st place in the vertical jump for U10 boys, Lydia Swift also won 1st place in the vertical jump for U11 girls, Aaliah Barwick came 3rd in the U10 girls vertical jump and also came 3rd in the U10 girls 6 lap relay along with Rebecca Hennessy, Matthew Corran came 3rd in the U10 boys javelin, Marcus Clap came 2nd in the U10 boys chest push and Maddy Flood came 1st in the U11 girls chest push in which she broke the record with an amazing 7.25m throw! Everyone put their all into this event and we would like to give a big thank you to Mr Corran and Mr Brand for making this event possible.

“I think we all worked well together as a team and everybody played their part.” Said Maddy Flood from 6H

“Our team put their heart and soul into this event and ended up with a great result!” explained Lydia Swift from 6MS.


As part of their regular climbing assessment four staff joined Mr Higginbottom at Pot Hole quarry in North Wales on a bright sunny morning in June, not really knowing what they had let themselves in for!

Notable performances included: JUNIOR BOYS : George McCann with 22.33m and first place in the discus; Ben Goodwin with 13.1 and third place in the 100m; Tim Hurst 2.37.6 and fourth place in the 800m.



The following were selected to represent Wirral in the Merseyside Schools Athletics Championships:



After lunch Mr Higginbottom showed us how to climb a more complicated and harder route. He climbed slowly, pointing out good foot holds and where we should position our hands in the different cracks in the limestone. This looked fairly straight forward and so it was a confident Mr Hendry that stepped forward, keen to have a go while Mr Higginbottoms words of advice were still were still fresh. The first metre was easy, but then all the foot holds he had pointed out vanished and the rock face appeared as flat and smooth as a piece of glass. After twenty minutes of struggling (and having sustained a nasty knee injury) Mr Hendry had to give up. At which point Mr Hill showed us all how it should be done! There were two more climbs for us to attempt, all with the same grading difficulty as the climb Mr Hendry didn’t complete, but, as we improved under Mr Higginbottom expert guidance, we were all successful on these.

Climbing is now a practical activity chosen by many of the PE GCSE students, as well as an activity pursued throughout the school for a variety of ages. What the teachers learnt on the day will enable them to continue to help pupils progress with their technique in a safe environment. AUTHOR MR HENDRY




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Year 2 football report

Another year draws to a close and, with it, the end of another fixture filled term for Prep. Despite the unseasonably chilly weather at times for May and June, competitive fixtures in cricket, rounders, athletics, tennis and even football have taken place across all year groups.

On Thursday 4th June, 18 excited Year 2 players and teachers had their first football fixture against Redcourt School. Leaving school at 3.15pm we walked up to McAllister Field to face our opposition. Redcourt, looking very professional, had arrived with two teams and very quickly the games began. All the children involved had a wonderful time. Mr Corran and Mr McGann, the Redcourt coach, refereed and made sure all the children knew what they were doing and which goal they were aiming for! After 40 minutes of playing, all the children were exhausted and welcomed the juice, crisps and Kitkats at the end. Hopefully the next match on Thursday 11th June will be just as exciting! AUTHOR MRS HENDRY


n April the Year 5 Football team, having qualified by finishing joint winners in the Wirral Area Finals, were invited to Finch Farm, Everton’s training ground, for a tournament hosted by Everton where the two eventual group winners would be invited to play the final at Goodison Park. Agonisingly, despite not losing a game or conceding a goal in our five group games, we came runners-up in the group and missed out on a trip to Goodison through goal difference. The highlight for the Year 6 Cricket team, so far, has undoubtedly been the nail biting tie with Merchant Taylor’s. Needing ten runs to win in the final over, tight bowling and sensible fielding from The Prep ensured Merchants only managed nine runs and scores were level on 93 runs each at the end of 20 overs.

vThere was great excitement in Little School when 36 children split into four teams to entertain Redcourt in our first ever football fixture for Year 2 pupils. On pitches whose surfaces resembled Wembley thanks to the efforts of our ground staff, four matches were competitively fought out with honours even at the final whistle (see photos). In addition to our timetabled sport, Boccia (a version of Bowls) fever has broken out at break times and during lunchtimes. A House competition for pairs of pupils spanning Years 3 to 6 and including over 120 pupils has proved a huge success and competition has been fierce. At time of going to print, we are at the quarter final stages with the last few teams all bowling well and no clear favourite emerging.

Kareem says,

“Football is amazing and it’s fun. I hope that I’ll play for lIverpool Football Club when I’m older.”


Year 3 Football Stars Charley McKee has been playing football since he was four years old. He began playing for ‘Manor Dragons’ and whilst there, he was spotted by Liverpool Academy. He played for them for a short time before moving to Wigan Athletic during the Summer of 2014. Charley has recently been signed by Wigan Athletic with whom he has a three year contract- how exciting! Charley trains three times each week and also has week-end matches so he is kept very busy! AUTHOR MRS DELANEY

Kareem Ahmed also started his footballing career at age four, for the Wirral team ‘Manor Dragons.’ When he was in Year 2, he was spotted by Liverpool Academy and has been playing for them ever since. In May this year, Kareem was thrilled to sign a three year contract with them. Kareem is becoming something of an international footballer as he has already played matches in Germany and will soon be travelling to Spain to play. Like Charley, he trains three times a week with week-end matches. We wish both boys the best of luck in their (no doubt) glittering footballing careers!

He says of football...

“Football is teriffic and I hope to play for Wigan Athletic’s first team one day.”

Netball Report On Friday 20th March, the U11 A and B netball teams played a round robin fixture at Home against Avalon and St Peter’s Primary School. It was a very successful afternoon for Birkenhead School as the A team won all of their matches, with the B team coming a very close second place. We finished with a 5-0 win against Avalon, St Peter’s were beaten 13-0 and against our own teams, the A team was victorious after a very close match ended 4-1! A great afternoon was had by all. AUTHOR MILLIE SOUTHWORTH 6H –NETBALL CAPTAIN.




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Stop Press - Our U12s rounders team have just become Wirral Schools Rounders champions after defeating Wirral Grammar in a very dramatic final.

Boys Hockey 2014/15: Senior Lacrosse

It has been a solid year for hockey, with an increase in participation from last year, with over 70 boys getting the chance to represent the school in Seniors, U16s and U14s The 1st XI had a difficult season initially, having lost a large number from the previous year’s Upper Sixth. It is a very young side, with over half of the squad being from Year 11. The team had a slow start, but has developed well as the year has gone on. With a couple of key players having injuries early on, the results were mixed. However, in the county matches, the team excelled, and reached the final of the Wirral Cup held in January 2015 (losing to Calday Grammar), and the Northwest finals in February 2015 (coming 4th). This is the first time this has been achieved for several years. They played 22, lost 11, won 10 and drawn 1, their best set of results for 3 years, winning 7 of their last 9 fixtures. A big bonus this year, is that we have had numbers to play some 2nd team fixtures, including a couple of the girls. Ably led by Mr. Brand, the team has competed in eight fixtures so far, narrowly losing six, winning two, and drawing one.

The under 14s had an excellent year. Narrowly missing out on both the Wirral Cup final and the Northwest finals by one goal ! Once again, there has been the policy of utilising everyone who wanted to play, with 28 boys getting an opportunity to represent the school, many of which were year 7 and 8 boys who had never played a competitive game. They played 16, lost 6, won 7 and drawn 3. (last year they only won 3, and the previous year, 1). This has been their strongest season for at least 5 years. All players have showed maturity in the selection policy, and excellent team unity and spirit throughout. Congratulations to Seb MacTaggart, Will Harvey and Cameron Marshall for their selection to England Hockey Junior Regional Performance Centre over the Summer.

Girls Hockey & Netball highlights 2014/15

The girls compete in rounders and tennis in the summer months. We have enjoyed great success so far this season and remain undefeated in tennis and only two losses out of six in rounders. Tennis against Rydal was a close 14-11 win and tennis against King’s, Chester was a resounding 14-8 win. On both occasions our Yearr 8 girls proved the most successful tennis pairings in both matches. The older girls play King’s, Chester in a couple of weeks and have the pressure of going there trying to preserve our unblemished record this season!

The netball fixture list, as always, is an extremely busy one. Across all the age groups there were 23 wins, with only 10 losses and one draw. A fantastic achievement for all involved. For the first time we entered the U12 & U13 teams in to the National Netball Cup. We were drawn against Wirral Grammar in both age groups for our first round. The U13’s lost but the U12’s won and progressed to round 2. They got a bye and therefore, without breaking a sweat progressed to round 3! They beat Cheadle Hulme High School comfortably and were now one round away from a national quarter final. Unfortunately the run ended at Christelton High school with a narrow defeat. We have entered both teams gain for the 2015/16 season and have high hopes.

The Years 9 & 10 rounders teams have both beaten King’s, Chester 18-15 and 22-18 respectively. And only narrowly lost out to Wirral Grammar, the Year 9’s losing by one rounder. Both teams hope to put this right when they will face them again in the Wirral Schools rounders tournament in a few weeks time. The Years 7 & 8 rounders teams both beat Wirral Grammar comfortably and they go in to the Wirral Schools tournament as favourites to take the title. We play Liverpool College at all age groups this coming weekend in rounders and King’s, Chester in the younger age groups, the week after, which should be a good warm up for the upcoming tournaments. AUTHOR MRS ALFORD –SWIFT


Some other victories of note; a clean sweep at all age groups U12 right through to the 1st & 2nd VII against Liverpool College and Birkenhead Academy. And finally to the U15’s who played their last ever game as just their own age group, before they trial for one of the senior teams, beat Kings, Chester at their fourth and final attempt convincingly on the last day of the netball season.

Hockey The girls hockey teams have enjoyed a reasonably successful season with 14 wins across all age groups, 10 losses and 7 draws. Once again the dedication to after school training has been impeccable and allows us to compete with the best in the county. In the county tournaments, the U12s finished 6th out of 12 schools. The U13s finished 3rdin Cheshire, beating the likes of West Kirby Grammar, and King’s, Macclesfield and only losing to King’s, Chester and Queen’s. Finally the U14s finished 4th in the county with wins over West Kirby Grammar, Birkenhead Academy and Hartford High. Seemingly, some of our girls really know when to up the ante, as going in to the tournaments the U14s hadn’t won a game! Other victories of note include a 1-0 win over Moreton Hall at U13 level and a clean sweep of victories for all age groups against St. Edward’s College. For 2015-16, following their successful season as U13s, the newly appointed U14 team have been entered in to the National Schools England Hockey Championships. And as always, a busy hockey calendar ensues for all.


Our Senior Lacrosse squad which is made up of Year 8, Year 10 and Seniors travelled to Queen Margaret’s School in York to play in the under19 North School Tournament. We played Bolton, Harrogate, Moreton Hall, Queen Margaret and Queen’s Chester. We won 3 games, lost 1 game and drew 1 game. We finished 4th overall just missing out on 3rd by 1 point. A mixed U19 team travelled to Guildford to play in the Lacrosse Nationals Schools Championship. The girls had a really good first day finishing 4th in the group. On day two they reached the quarter finals and got knocked out by the overall winners in Division 1. The girls played games against Haileybury, Marlbourough College, St. George’s Harpenden, Queen Anne’s, St. Paul’s Girls and Downe House. Day two we played Walthamstow Hall, Malvern St. James and Bedford Girls. In the quarter finals we played Beneden and lost 1-3. They went on to win the division one title.

U14 and U15 Lacrosse During the season we played 5 games against Moreton Hall twice, Queen’s Chester twice and Withington once. We won 3, drew one and lost one. A mixed U15 squad played in the North Schools Lacrosse Tournament. They won games against Moreton hall A and B teams, Bolton, Queen’s and Harrogate Ladies’ College. They drew with Queen Margaret School which left them with 28 points out of a possible 30. The girls went on to top the group and are now North of England Lacrosse Champions.

U12 and U13 The girls played Shrewsbury School, Moreton Hall, Queen’s Chester and Withington throughout the year. Out of the four games the girls won all games apart from Shrewsbury Svchool. In the lacrosse, a mixed Year 7 and 8 team played in the U13 North Schools Lacrosse tournament. The girls finished top of their group winning games against Withington, Queen’s Chester and Queen Margaret’s. The girls progressed to the semi-final against Bolton and won 3-0. We played Harrogate Ladies College in the final and despite an outstanding performance from all the girls we were sadly defeated. This resulted in the girls finishing second in the North of England.


The Under 16s are in a transition year, with many playing first team. It’s been an opportunity to give valuable experience to many Year 10 boys. Their results got stronger as the year progressed, with nine losses, eight wins and two draws. The development of the players bodes well for the senior teams in the next few years. This is the best set of results in the last 5 years.


During the year our Senior Lacrosse girls won 5 out of the 7 fixtures they played. We played against Moreton Hall, Queen’s Chester, Sedbergh School and Oxton Women’s club to name a few.



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MUSIC The first six months of 2015 have been busier than ever in the Birkenhead School Music department, with the usual full programme of classroom, instrumental and vocal lessons, rehearsals, services and concerts (plus a few exams!) – and a repertoire that ranges from Baroque opera to British folk, Anglican choral music to ukulele covers, and even from ‘The Best of Queen’ to the King’s Singers! Welcome back… and good luck!

Award winning Year 6 Choir! Following a gap of several years, the Association of Junior Independent Schools (AJIS) held their Music Festival in March at Bury Grammar School for Girls. Thirty of our talented Year 6 pupils worked incredibly hard to polish their performance, and were chosen as the winning choir. The adjudicator was the respected choir trainer, Jeff Borradaile, who said that our choir had the “Wow Factor”! Many congratulations to all who took part, and to Mrs Keating for the many hours of extra rehearsals beforehand – especially those on her days off!

A hidden gem

… to our flute teacher, Mrs Virdee, who returned to Birkenhead School in January after the birth of her daughter, Nora.

The Chapel Choir sings Choral Evensong in Chapel every Sunday during term time at 6.30pm. We welcome a wide range of visiting preachers from all over the area, and the services are open to all. If you have not yet made it to a Sunday Chapel service here at Birkenhead School then please do come along in September and enjoy some quiet reflection and beautiful singing. Refreshments are served afterwards in the Headmaster’s Dining Room.

Good luck to our violin and viola teacher, Mrs Long, who has recently begun a period of maternity leave before the birth of her first child. Mrs Long took over the violin teaching throughout the School last year from Ms Sims, who has left School to work for the Wirral Music Hub. I am delighted therefore that Ms Sims has been able to help out for the last few weeks of the year before our maternity cover violin teacher, Mr Glossop, begins in September.

Summer Concert A couple of days before GCSE and A Level pupils began their study leave came the traditional Whole School Summer Concert in Bushell Hall, which included performances by Prep Orchestra, Year 5 Choir, Senior Choir, Chapel Choir, Big Band, Concert Band, Orchestra, String Ensemble, Brass Ensemble, Saxophone Quartet, Recorder Ensemble, Guitar Ensemble and Folk Band – plus more music in the Sixth Form Centre afterwards! It was another fabulously varied evening with superb playing and singing from all – especially Upper Sixth saxophonist, Zack Kirkman, who dazzled the packed Bushell Hall audience with his virtuosity as he performed one of his A2 Music performance pieces.

Chapel Choir tour The latest addition… Recorder Ensemble! The much-maligned recorder is the star of the newest addition to the range of ensembles on offer at Birkenhead School. Often thought of as a torture device used only in primary school Music classrooms, the audience at the Summer Concert heard something rather more harmonious as they gave their first public performance. Under the direction of Mrs Coleman – herself a superb recorder player – the group sailed successfully through the challenges posed by the theme tune from ‘Titanic’! The Recorder Ensemble is open to all pupils – even those with no previous experience. See Mrs Coleman for further information if you are interested.

Mahler in Chester Wirral Symphony Orchestra, under the direction of RLPO principal oboist Jonathan Small, will perform Gustav Mahler’s epic Third Symphony in Chester Cathedral on Saturday 11 July. They will be joined by several local choral societies and also the trebles and sopranos from the Chapel Choir for what promises to be a spectacular evening. The concert begins at 7.30pm and tickets are available on the door.

As term ends, the Chapel Choir will be preparing for their latest tour and from 3-10 July will be based at the prestigious Sherborne School in Dorset – at the invitation of the Headmaster! The choir will sing three services of Choral Evensong at Sherborne Abbey, plus services at Bristol Cathedral and St Mary Redcliffe Church in Bristol. Alongside plenty of leisure time, including at least one day on the beach (!), these cathedral weeks are a wonderful experience for the young choristers and further strengthen the bonds of friendship forged through membership of this very special group.

Individual achievements The Chapel Choir Prefect for the next academic year is Tom Granby and the Senior Musician, awarded to one of our leading Upper Sixth form instrumentalists, is Joel Keeling. Our huge thanks go to Sam Bowler, Zack Kirkman and Andrew Sherman for all their hard work in these roles over the last twelve months. Ciara Williams in Year 11 has been singing this year with the Liverpool Philharmonic Youth Choir and in March gave the world premiére of a new mass by the Scottish composer, James Macmillan, at the Philharmonic Hall in Liverpool. She also represents the School at national level as a member of the National Youth Training Choir of Great Britain (North), and will attend a residential course during August at Abbots Bromley School in Staffordshire and then give a concert at Lincoln Cathedral just before the start of the new academic year. Jack Billington, also in Year 11, has successfully reauditioned for the National Children’s Wind Orchestra. He had a residential course over the Easter holiday at Queenswood School, which concluded with a concert at Cadogan Hall in London. Dionne and Tasmin Lee in Year 8 and Year 6 respectively have continued to perform at national level with the National Children’s Orchestras. Both girls successfully passed their auditions and have been offered places in two different age banded orchestras. Tasmin will be joining the ‘Under 11 Orchestra’ and will be attending a residential course in August 2015 at Port Regis School, Dorset. Dionne will be joining the ‘Under 13 Orchestra’. The first of two residential courses with the orchestra fell during the Easter holiday at Sherborne School for Girls, Dorset, with a concert at the Anvil in Basingstoke. In August Dionne will spend a week at Sedbergh School, Cumbria and then give a concert at Leeds Town Hall. The orchestra is then due to perform with the main National Children’s Orchestra once again at the Royal Festival Hall in London in December. In addition to these courses, the girls also attend monthly NCO regional rehearsals.

ABRSM exam update In the same week as the Summer Concert in early May, thirty pupils from Year 3 to Lower Sixth sat ABRSM practical exams, with Thomas Cornall passing Grade 7 Double Bass and Gregory Wilkinson gaining a Merit for Grade 5 piano. Gregory Wilkinson also passed his Grade 5 theory.



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School Bus Adventures Pre-prep enjoyed exploring our school bus which related to the current theme of ‘modes of transport.’ The objective of this experience was to enable each child to use their imagination whilst allowing observation of their developing language techniques.

We use drama to develop and enhance students’ interpersonal skills and confidence. A full and varied programme of dramatic performances, showcases and musicals is just part of the life of School.



t would be fair to say that I am by no means an English Literature scholar! Some rather uninspiring English teachers from my school days resulted in me finding Shakespeare inaccessible and frankly (although I hate the word) boring. So, the idea of going to watch a school production of ‘Hamlet’ wasn’t perhaps my idea of a great night out, and discovering it was over three hours long didn’t do much to help! However, as all parents know, when your children are in a production you go! So I went... three times! To say I was ‘blown away’ would be an understatement. Simply as an exercise in learning lines it was stunning, especially by the lead roles, but also the simplicity of the staging meant that there were no distractions from the performances themselves. Looking around the audience, you could see that everyone was totally absorbed by the action and it would be fair to say that every actor put their very best tov the performance.. It had it all, from the fabulous scouse grave diggers, eerie ghost, cartwheeling players, dramatic royalty, a frighteningly mad Ophelia and an enthralling Hamlet. From the smaller parts to the largest, everyone was genuinely superb in portraying their role. The story flowed, the action never faltered, all leading up to the fantastic sword fight and death scene. It was, in all honesty, so impressive and wonderful to watch.

YEAR 6 GET ‘HOODWINKED’ IN ROBIN HOOD! One of the highlights of the Prep year is the Year 6 production. This year the tale of Robin Hood was performed by a 60 strong cast to rave reviews from parents. Congratulations to all involved and special thanks to Mrs Keating, Mrs FitzHerbert, Mr Halpin, Mrs Sewell and Mr Stockdale.


Toddler Day Out at the Farm Toddler children enjoyed a day out at Tam O’Shanter Farm, on a sunny April day. The children got to see all the animals, feed the ducks, play on the slide and tractor and they even got to have a fish and chips followed by a delicious ice-cream to end a fantastic day.

Three hours and twenty minutes flew by. I was enthralled (and that is something that has never happened with me and Shakespeare!); I learnt more about the play than I ever did at school and I was delighted to go on each performance. Watching it three times also meant I got to see the confidence of the performers grow and, with it, their obvious enjoyment of being part of something rather special. It was a joy to behold. I have put on many musicals in my teaching career. I know how completely tiring, frustrating and time consuming the rehearsal period can be. Speaking to the students it is clear though that Mr Smale somehow manages to keep ‘calm, cool and collected’ throughout it all. What results is a cast who want to do well, not just for themselves and the audience, but especially for their much respected director. It was a real privilege to be in the audience for this wonderful production. We as a school clearly have a huge amount of dramatic talent which has been nurtured so well by Mr Smale and for that I thank him. As for Shakespeare, am I hard as I find it to believe myself.....I may well be!



Drama at Birkenhead School provides an outlet for creativity and expression as well as, most importantly, the nurturing of young talent.



Yoga Time for Under 2s This is not lying down on the job, its Yoga time in the Under 2’s room.




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n ‘Abbasolutely’ great night was enjoyed by 150 ladies who attended the ‘Mamma Mia’ fundraising night on April 23rd. Our little bit of Greek sunshine meant that pre dinner cocktails could be enjoyed outside before going into Bushell Hall for an evening of fun and entertainment. Mr Hendry proved himself to be a great MC readily taking to the stage to move the evening along. Not an easy task with so many ladies! After a Greek themed meal provided by Keith and the catering staff and ably served by the students going on tour (under the guidance of Carl) we moved onto the fundraisers for the evening.


Thanks to many generous donations and the persistence of the ticket sellers we raised nearly £1500! The highlight of the evening was when the the Abba tribute band Abbasolutely appeared on stage and performed for over an hour. The singing and dancing was non stop. It was a fantastic evening which raised £3300 for this summer’s hockey and netball tour to South Africa. It was a real team effort between students ,parents and staff. Keith,Carl and the catering staff did a great job and the ground staff,as always, were ready and willing to help at all times.


The Parents’ Association have organised events this year that build the community spirit with staff, pupils and families alike and many of you will have attended one or more of these. These events raise money which is then spent on a wide variety of items which enhance the daily school life of pupils from Nursery to Sixth Form. We have continued to run our regular events which are now firmly fixed in the school diary. These include:

Held every Friday morning at McAllester Field


Our informal ladies singing group that meets each Wednesday evening at 7:30.

Prep Disco

For Years 3 to 6 which are hugely popular

Bonfire Night

A great success this year with clear skies and fantastic fireworks

Xmas Bazaar

This had a massive overhaul for 2014 with a whole new look which proved popular with everybody who attended

Coffee Morning

Held each term after school drop off and now including Uniform Sale.

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e held our second Easter Eggstravaganza in March, but this time bigger and better. We watched in delight as the school field was filled with visiting animals from Church Farm and a spectacular display of Easter Bonnets. Our final event of the 2014 – 2015 School year will be the Mad Hatters’ Tea Party which promises to be the event of the year. This builds on the success of the Mid-Summer Madness garden party in 2014. However, we are all a little concerned that our big events all seem to have the word “mad” in the title! Funds raised have been used to support the purchase of following: • • • • • • • • •

Eclipse glasses Equipment for Nursery and Little School playgrounds Equipment for the Unicycle club Donation to the Hockey tour Donation to the Choir Tour Lab Coats for the Science Department Sat Nav for the Sports Department Gazebo Shelter for Senior Sports Teams TV Screen for Sixth Form Centre

We are already planning events for the next school year which will include many of the above items. We are always looking for new ideas and more importantly for new members. If you would like to learn more or wish to become involved please contact any member of the Parents’ Association or find us on Facebook. (Birkenhead School Parents’ Association).


Fitness Friday

The Ladies Committee has had busy time, serving teas and refreshments at sporting fixtures and evening events at school. We have also been busy raising funds via both the Overdale and Senior Tuck shops, on a daily basis. Funds raised this term have paid for Sports bags for the Lacrosse team who played at The National Schools tournament. Sheet music for the Music department, along with fabulous little back packs for the Chapel Choir Tour, this summer. We also helped pay for the eclipse glasses that ensured the whole school had the opportunity to see the eclipse safely. We have also donated a sum of money towards the summer sports tour (Hockey and Netball) to help provide the track suits for the students. Committee members stepping down this year include Mrs Gollins, Mrs Bladon, and Mrs Walker, these ladies have given many hours of their time over the years their boys have been in the school, and the committee would like to take this opportunity to thank them and wish their boys all the best in University. The Ladies Committee is always looking for help from parents to help in the Tuck shops and at sporting fixtures, and join the committee .If you would like to get involved please feel free to contact Sara Hatherly (07717797253) for a chat about what’s involved. We only ask for an hour of your time here and there at events/tuck shop.

Many thanks to all those involved and especially those who came along and made the evening a great success.



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infocus magazine



A THANK YOU FROM NEPAL… Dear friends and supporters, Given the recent devastating events in Nepal, I felt it was a matter of urgency to let you know what SO THE CHILD MAY LEARN has been doing – thanks to your support.

Although the earthquakes have led us to put in place our own emergency aid programme (see below), our long-term focus remains the improvement of children’s education in the Bhimkhori Village Development Community, 95km east of Kathmandu. I am pleased to say that, amidst all the bad news, there is still much that is positive to report. For those of you on Facebook, there are updates on the SO THE CHILD MAY LEARN page.

A group of Overdale students took part in a sponsored silence to raise money for ‘So the Child May Learn’ in an effort to aid the building of schools and provide educational resources to children in Nepal.

Our Schools I spent three weeks in Nepal in November and visited each of our three schools with Binay Lama to assess current and future needs. It became obvious during that visit that urgent action was needed at Jugeshwor Lower Secondary, which at 6500 feet is the most remote and exposed of our schools. As a result of recent road building (for ‘road’ read ‘dirt track’) and the consequent loss of trees, debris had been washed down the hillside and had reached the level of the windows of the main classroom block. As a result, the inside of the classrooms was extremely damp and clearly a hazard to children’s health. After discussion with the headmaster and staff, we quickly took the decision to rebuild the five main classrooms away from the hillside and construct a retaining wall to prevent further slippage. Total cost approximately £15,000. By the end of the year, our plans and detailed costings were drawn up and – after some additional promises of funds – we were able to start demolition and laying the new foundations at the end of March. With only about three months before the start of the rainy season, the pressure was on to move fast. Ten days before the earthquake, the walls were half up and windows and doors in place. Photos are on our Facebook page.

I am pleased to tell you that the new building was undamaged by the earthquakes – a miracle given the devastation to the homes of local people. Work has understandably now paused and it may be difficult to make much more progress until the monsoon is over. The official opening is planned for 23rd October and we remain optimistic that we can stick to this. With different year groups having to share classrooms, even before the earthquakes conditions were difficult. It is vital that we get things back to normal for these children as soon as possible. At Krishna Lower Secondary, sadly there will be some repair work to do on the new classroom block which was opened a year ago. We also want to develop provision for practical science – at present learning is entirely book based. At Pokra Secondary School, we are well on with our plan to install solar panels to power five computers and a printer, although again there are more urgent priorities just at the moment. Most importantly we propose, from November 2015, to employ a teacher trainer/mentor to work alongside staff in our three schools in order to raise standards of teaching and learning. In the long term, the improvement of what goes on in the classroom is far more important for these children’s futures than buildings or facilities. We will be able to employ a well-qualified local person at a fraction of the cost of a teacher in the UK, but changes will take time and we will need ongoing funds to keep this development programme going, The building work at Jugeshwor will exhaust our funds so these future projects depend on ongoing financial support. We are now using BT MyDonate to raise funds. Do have a look at the SO THE CHILD MAY LEARN TEAM page – as well as our own pages, a number of supporters have set up their own fundraising activities. If you know someone who might like to set themself a challenge, let me know and I can pass on the reference number which will allow them to link their activity to our Team Page.

Earthquakes The effects in the area where we have been working have been devastating and many families are now homeless or unable to go back into their houses for fear of collapse. They have had no visit whatsoever from either government or aid agencies, so they are very much on their own. Fortunately, we already had funds in our account in Kathmandu and Binay Lama has been working miracles: as of last Friday, SO THE CHILD MAY LEARN has provided temporary shelter for 123 homeless families. Binay told me last week of a particularly remote village (served by Jugeshwor School) where the devastation was, in his view, worse than anywhere else in the area, with 30 homes lost and much livestock besides. Our focus, therefore, is now on Rambheda village, where shelter is urgently needed before the monsoon arrives.

You can see photos of the aid work so far and the heart-breaking images from Rambheda village on our Facebook page.

Binay works hard to ensure that every pound given to SO THE CHILD MAY LEARN goes to where it is needed and we have been touched by the generosity of those who have donated to the SO THE CHILD MAY LEARN earthquake fund. I know you have already given us your support in the past, so I am not asking for more; I would just ask you to spread the word amongst friends and associates who may prefer to give to a small organisation targeting specific help rather than one of the larger charities. I am all too aware that what we are doing is only a drop in the ocean, but you can see from our recent photographs the difference we have already made.

I am extremely grateful to you if you have managed to read so far! Thank you for your support. Do get in touch if you want to know more via the School Office. Mr Clark, Former Headmaster



Last Christmas my friends and I decided that we wanted to do a sponsored climb to raise money for Claire House. Claire House is a local children’s hospice that looks after really poorly children. We chose Snowdon because it is a long and daring mountain. We trained for four months doing lots of running and cycling and we walked up smaller mountains like Moel Famau and Betws y Coed. We set a date for May 16th. We could not believe how big Snowdon looked from the car. The climb was 3,565 feet. It was the hardest thing we have ever done. Me and my friends, Harry and Isaac, who go to Oxton Saint Saviour’s school in Oxton, managed to raise over£1.500.00. We would like to thank everyone at Birkenhead School who sponsored us.

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infocus magazine

Eleanor Hilton is running in the Great North Run in September for Epilepsy Research UK to help raise awareness and support for the research. If you would like to support Eleanor, please visit her Just Giving page www.


NEW SCHOOL PREFECTS & SENIOR POSITIONS History was made this term at Birkenhead School. The Headmaster appointed the first female Head of School since its foundation 155 years ago. Congratulations to Eleanor Hilton . Supporting Eleanor are Max Shah and Thomas Simpson, the Deputy Heads of School and the Prefects and Senior positions also announced as listed below. Congratulations to all.

Another fundraising success for Birkenhead School this year was Red Nose Day 2015. Across the School, children from Nursery through to Sixth Form got involved in the fundraising efforts with a ‘wear your nose to school’ day in Prep and a non-uniform day in Seniors as well as a number of cake sales dotted around the campus! A fantastic total of £1,578.99 was raised for the Comic Relief charity – with £526.29 from the Nursery and Prep, £794.76 from Seniors and Sixth Form, and a combined total of £257.94 from cake sales!

Eleanor Hilton

Head of School

Casha Anderson


Maximilian Shah

Deputy Head of School

Will Brewster


Thomas Simpson

Deputy Head of School

Matthew Caine


Dominic Smith

Captain of Cricket

Ben Corlett


James O’Neill

Captain of Hockey

Elinor Durband


Lucy Rogers

Captain of Lacrosse

Samuel Gavin-Pitt


Victoria Wilkinson

Captain of Netball

Edward George


Thomas Simpson

Captain of Rugby

Joshua Gibson



Tejasbir Chalokia

Chair Person of Student Council

William Griffin


World Book Day on 5th March, was celebrated in Prep this year with a costume day where pupils were invited to dress up as their favourite fictional character from a book. Pupils (and staff!) arrived at School in some fantastic costumes. Take a look at the pictures below to see some of our favourites!

Tom Granby

Choir Prefect

Jessica Leyland


Samuel Gavin-Pitt

House Captain for Beresford

Owen Morris


Gaby Kehoe

House Captain for Bidston

James O’Neill


Edward George

House Captain for Kingsmead

Lucy Rogers


Tejasbir Chalokia

House Captain for Shrewsbury

Alexandra Scott


Joel Keeling

Senior Musician

Alice Sherrard


Harry Unsworth


Francesca Way


India Wild


On Saturday 30th May Jess Rooney cycled a mammoth 55 miles around the Wirral and Chester to raise money for a small charity in Uganda started by her Aunt. The charity is aimed at helping hard working and dedicated young people get the education they deserve and give small grants to community groups to help them build a sustainable future. Earlier this year Jess’s aunt travelled to the school to help build a library and Jess decided she would like to do something to help raise money to fill the library with books. So far she has raised over £1300.

Congratulations to George Last and his Grandmother, who over Half Term completed a trek across The Great Wall of China to raise funds for St Kentigern Hospice.

Andreas Whittam Smith CBE Knighthood (Old Birkonian)



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ART Students in Years 7, 8 and 9 have embarked on a program of art studies, incorporating a variety of skills and media to produce individual outcomes.




Following their trip to Tate Liverpool to view the ‘Transmitting Andy Warhol’ exhibition in the spring term, Year 10 have been exploring different aspects of Pop Art as part of their GCSE coursework. A number of pupils have created lino cuts which reflect Andy Warhol’s obsession with the cult of celebrity, as seen in his multiple prints of stars such as Marilyn Munroe and Elvis, or objects such as soup cans. Other pupils have focused on looking at individual celebrities, or looked to create work inspired by artists such as Eduardo Paolozzi and Louise Nevelson, famous for their Pop Art collages and sculpture.


hey have to concentrate on a minimum of two projects per year with an artist or culture as the main focus and will learn how to be independent thinkers through their own investigations and experimentation. Some of the processes that will be taught over the 3 years: • • • • •

Drawing and tonal shading. Painting using acrylic paint. 3d Printmaking Textiles AUTHOR MRS LLOYD-jOHNSON

This year in Art our main topic was African masks. At the very start of the year we were taught how to shade from dark to light within different shapes using pencil crayons. We then made 2d relief card masks; after washing them we painted them. After we blew balloons up and covered them in paper mache. We then drew on our own patterns and hung them to the ceiling using string to make an African effect. We really enjoyed the topic. AUTHOR CAMILLA AZURDIA, 7MAT

Year 6

Year 3

In Year 6 the children have been studying Picasso and have produced self portraits of themselves in Picasso style. This term they moved on to Graffiti which is right up their street!

Year 3 have drawn and painted Roman soldiers to tie in with their history topic. They then did some observational drawing of a bike with a rider. Following on from the bike theme they zoomed in on the bike looking at all the different shapes and from this creating some abstract art. They have just completed their monster pots out of clay, which was definitely the messiest and most enjoyable activity!

Year 5 In Year 5 they recreated faces in the style of Arcimboldi using sweets, which they enjoyed consuming at the end of the session! They then constructed papier mache Egyptian masks which tied in with their History topic. At present they are making sunflowers out of clay. They are thoroughly enjoying this despite the fact that I am very stressed at the amount of petals falling off! Never mind there is always super glue!

Year 2

Year 4 Year 4 did some beautiful observational drawings of musical instruments, then painted them. They have been framed and put round school. They then constructed 3D tree houses, making rope ladders, swings, zip wires and even the odd hot tub! They are currently looking at Pointillism and the artist Seurat.



Year 2 have been studying the Katie Morag stories in English and have been doing classwork relating to them. In Art, the edges of the paper were torn to create the shape of an old map and they washed the paper with paint to give an aged look. They then created a worn look to the edges using brown felt tip pen. They drew the island and went over it with black fine pen. This has helped the children to develop observational skills and drawing skills and has provided an opportunity for a cross curricular link.



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The Physics Department built 10 viewing stations around School campus , where images of the eclipse were projected onto small screens by a lens for safe viewing. All pupils stopped lessons to watch the partial eclipse at 9.32am and were given protective glasses to wear, kindly donated by the Parents’ Association and Ladies Committee.

Year 6 PGL

Mock Elections

The Orienteering season concluded on Saturday 25th April 2015 at Erddig Estate with a relay event. The team from Prep and one form from Seniors represented Birkenhead School at this event. I am pleased to announce that each member of our Senior School Team was awarded a silver medal, as they finished in second position in the Years 7 & 8 relay. The team consisted of Aden Husseyn, Cahan O’Driscoll & Matthew Palmer.

May 2015 saw the return of the annual PGL trip to Lincolnshire. PGL hosted a wide selection of activities, ranging from a daring high ropes course and giant swing, to kayaking and raft-building in the lake.

From the 20th to the 24th of April, Birkenhead School was awash in red, blue, yellow and purple as all students upwards of year 7 took part in the School’s first very own mock election, inspired by the build up to the actual general election that would occur three weeks later. Organised by Mr. Rule, eight students were chosen to represent four of the major parties in British politics with one student representing the Leader of the Party and another representing the Chancellor of the Exchequer. The candidates would then organise their own election team of up to six pupils, sporting rosettes of each individual party colour, canvassing for votes throughout the entire week.

In the overall individual rankings of the Merseyside and Cheshire League this year, Cahan O’Driscoll, Aden Husseyn and Sam Cross were also presented with bronze medals for their individual performance this season. Birkenhead Prep runners from Year 6 were also awarded Certificates and Medals. • Ethan Bryers : Gold Medal at the Primary Schools Championships (certificate & medal). • Olivia Ross: Bronze Medal at the Primary Schools Championships (certificate & medal). • Tom Hayley, Hattie Rogerson-Bevan and Lizzie Hennessy also received a Certificate for competing in the Primary Schools Championships at a competitive level. I would also like to thank Elliot Casey from Year 10, as well as Katie Bradbury, Lucy Andrews, Millie Southworth, Lydia Swift and Natasha Keeling from Year 6, for their contributions to the sport this year, as they wholeheartedly represented Birkenhead School in the. Merseyside and Cheshire Orienteering League this season.

In the end, it was those who truly had a head for heights who survived the climbing wall, abseiling, high-ropes, vertical challenge and giant swing. The timed Jacob’s ladder stretched us to our limits, many climbers reaching the top with seconds to spare. Water activities such as kayaking were new and exciting, as we learnt how to paddle, turn, reverse and even capsize our boat! We all took part and tried our best in every activity on offer. However, as the week progressed, we faced even more challenging activities; archery, rifles, orienteering, a challenge course and much more! The days were very full, beginning with breakfast in the dining hall and ending with an evening activity every night. This was led by our leaders Carlos and Vix. We played Capture the Flag, took part in scavenger hunts and even finished with a disco on the last night. We also enjoyed the free time which was given to play sport in the back field or to go to the tuck shop or simply to stay in our dorms. In summary, every part of the holiday was fun and actionpacked, whether we were playing games, involved in activities or having free time. A big thank you to all the teachers who made this holiday possible, and to all the PGL staff without whom it wouldn’t have happened! It was an unforgettable trip, enjoyed by everyone. Thank you.

Much like the outcome of the real election, the eventual winners were the Conservative Party, represented by the cunning Alex Scott and Francesca Way. They were followed narrowly by the Labour Party, represented by Matthew Caine and Alex Palmer. In third place came UKIP, represented by the delightfully witty Tejasbir Chalokia and Dom Smith, and last but certainly not least came Harry Knowles and Dan Alam, representing the Liberal Democrats. What was quite impressive was the way in which the school became completely engulfed in a tidal wave of creative political posters made by various students. Most pleasing however has to be the keen enthusiasm shown by the student body towards the event, with over 100 students gathering to watch the candidates’ debate during an uncharacteristically tropical Thursday lunchtime and a final turnout of 81%; truly, Birkenhead School had caught election fever.

Many thanks to Mrs O’Driscoll, Miss Jung and Mr Turner for the support they have given to the team. AUTHOR MRS WASHINGTON

Prep Code Club After school on Wednesdays, a group of Year 5 & 6 pupils attend Code Club. Our instructor, Terry helps us with any queries we have, as well as giving us sheets to follow. Starting off with Scratch, making a variety of games, we then move onto HTML, the language used to make websites. We all enjoy these weekly sessions and are eager to attend. jIMMY SERGI, 6HS

Fashion Designer Sarah Higgs led the Beyond the Curriculum Fashion students through to their final project this term- a photo shoot of upcycled outfits made by our students from clothing found in Claire House Charity Shops. Together with designing and making the outfits, the students designed marketing material to promote upcycling to Claire House customers. Claire House will be using this material to help promote charity shops to a younger audience. Our huge thanks to Sarah for giving us her time to deliver this project.







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BULLETIN PRESIDENT’S THOUGHTS The School has benefited from the support of Old Birkonians throughout its life after the first objective of the OB Society: “To facilitate communication and association between OBs”, the next is: “To found scholarships and otherwise to help and encourage any matters of interest to the School”. This past ‘help and encouragement’ from OBs has to a very large extent been the source of most of the fine campus in which the School is now situated; and also the sporting facilities in the McAllester and Noctorum fields. The gifts and legacies of past generations have been profitably invested. Over the years the Society has benefited from shrewd management of the available resources by Governors drawn heavily from the ranks of the OBS, and who have also themselves contributed generously. The Society has two charitable Funds to support the ‘Second Objective’. Of these two, the Endowment Fund is the major source of support for the School, and it is here that most gifts and legacies from OBs are collected. It has been invaluable in recent years both in extending the Campus and in alleviating some of the hardships arising from first the abrupt termination of the post-war Government’s ‘Direct Grant Scheme’ and more recently the 1980s ‘Assisted Places Scheme’. These demands have left the Fund seriously depleted. A consequence of this has been a loss of opportunity for scholars from the Town to experience an unrivalled education and a reduction in

the size of the School intake. This can only be remedied, without a political change of heart, by the provision of more scholarships and bursaries; and that is where we come in! A number of (very)-OBs from the intake of the 1940s have joined forces to fund a scholar who is now in place, and a most generous single-year group of more recent vintage has done the same. These gifts have been made through the School’s own Foundation Trust, but on reflection Members may see that this is what the OBS was set up to do. So maybe it would be a good idea for other scholarships to come about through the Endowment Fund, and thereby publicise the value added by our Society through the generosity of its members? To this end, the OB Council has approved the use of the Neil Gracey scholarship fund for the same purpose and has undertaken to add to it in his memory. A recipient will start at the School this September. The Endowment Fund would like to do more, and this is where we OBs are needed to fill the coffers with lifetime gifts or through legacies. And while lifetime gifts with Gift Aid are all beneficial to the Fund, higher rate tax payers also gain. And the combination of Income and Inheritance tax liabilities can make the cost of giving even more effective for any Donor’s estate when it is liable to inheritance tax, if the gifts are made out of income rather than by legacy. I won’t bore you with a personal obsession, just leave the idea! The Society uses all membership subscriptions for everyday costs, such as this magazine insert and postage. It relies upon us all, acting in concert, to make the OBS a donor of new blood to its source - our Old School - and new life to our Town, Birkenhead. Martin Brown, President OB Society

CHAIRMANS REPORT Once again I have appreciated the excellent support of our Secretary, Will Roberts and our Treasurer, Trevor MathewJones with a strong Council that has continued to share the benefit of youth and experience, however two of our long serving members are standing down this year. Graham Hurton and Alan Hanson have each made an enormous contribution to the Society over very many years and they will be sorely missed.

The Secretary and Treasurer Alan and Graham


It seems the date of emigration is fast approaching for Alan and Angela and Australia’s gain will certainly be Wirral’s loss. As for Graham, our elder statesman, we are tempting him to continue at Archives by improving the quality of the biscuits. As well as thanking the members of Council for their contribution this year I should also like to thank the leaders of our numerous events, especially another stalwart who is also standing down this year. Phil Rees-Roberts has created the very popular annual event at Royal Liverpool Golf Club from what was a mini competition at Wirral Ladies Golf Club about 28 years ago. His commitment to the Golf Society as Chairman, Secretary, Treasurer, Speechmaker and all round dogsbody has been outstanding. He has promised not to disappear. Fortunately, Jim McGrath has agreed to take on the Secretarial role. The Council are in the throes of updating the constitution of the Society but the main thrust remains the same. Our aims are: 1. To keep a register of past pupils of the school believed to be alive, within which we highlight our Society Members. Updating is the name of the game. 2. To facilitate communication by way of the website, the annual bulletin, social events, sporting events, Facebook, Twitter and e-mails. 3. Most importantly supporting the School both financially via Bursaries and Scholarships and with loyal volunteers such as the enthusiastic Monday men who maintain Archives. The financial support comes from our two Charitable funds, The War Memorial Fund , often referred to as the Prize Fund and the more substantial Endowment Fund which receives a gentle flow of Bankers Orders from the benevolence of a loyal group of contributors. The Endowment enjoyed a generous boost this year from a donation by John G Brown (44-58). A fund has accrued over recent years to provide for the Neil Gracey Scholarship. At last it has taken root and is about to blossom. The student chosen to benefit is starting this September. Every effort has been made to inform the many donors of the outcome of their generosity.

We have continued our membership of AROPS which is The Association of Representatives of Old Pupils’ Societies. It has a membership of 285 schools in UK. It holds an AGM usually in London, an Annual Conference at various venues and where possible a Regional meeting. This year we attended the Annual Conference in Cambridge. We have maintained our usual diary of events during this Academic year. Starting with the successful OBS weekend in September at which the School won the Rugby (22-5) and Netball (31-26) whilst the OBS won the hockey (5-2). We then enjoyed a maximum turnout of 44 at the Royal Liverpool Golf Club in October for the Hoblyn Trophy. This was followed by a Liverpool Lunch at The Artists Club, The School Bazaar at which we had a stand with a new smart backdrop and the London Dinner at the House of Commons hosted by Karl McCartney MP for Lincoln, another full house. All of these were in November. At Christmas the Old Birkonians beat Birkenhead Park 24-7 in front of an enthusiastic crowd, who managed to dodge the snow by a matter of hours. In March of this year there was another lunch at the Artists Club and the Pragmatists had their Dinner at Brook Meadow in April. The latter are those who gather at The Wheatsheaf (Thatch) every Wednesday. (See article elsewhere). For many years we have entered a team in the Grafton Morrish Trophy which is organised by the Public Schools OB Golf Association. Some will remember that we won this prestigious national competition in 2011. Last October we lost in the Semi Finals and this year we have already qualified in the Northern Group for the Finals that are held on the Norfolk coast in September, so fingers crossed! As we approach the Michaelmas Term here are a few dates for your diary. 5th/6th September 2nd October 23rd October

The OB Society funds were transferred early this year to Rathbones in Liverpool to manage our investments. This came about as the result of Charles Stanley, our previous advisers, closing its Liverpool office.

20th November

Some statistics of interest –

27th December

7050 past students are on our database 2850 are members of the Society of whom 147 are Overseas members . An interesting pointer for the future is that 33% of current pupils at school are girls. In addition to our standard membership we have a healthy list of Honorary Members. These are recorded on our website and at present are eighteen in number.

28th November

OBS Weekend (See programme advertised.) Hoblyn Trophy at RLGC at Hoylake. Liverpool Lunch at Artists Club. London Dinner at The East India Club in St.James’s Square. OBS Stand at the School Bazaar. Birkenhead Park v. OBFC k.o. 3pm

So I hope to see you at the OBS Weekend. Please let me know if you can join us for lunch on the Saturday. Roger Ewing (Chairman OBS)




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INVITATION OLD BIRKONIAN SOCIETY WEEKEND. 5th /6th September 2015. Dear Member, The OBS Weekend approaches. You are cordially invited. Please confirm if you are attending so that we can assess the catering requirements. The programme is quite familiar: SATURDAY 5TH SEPTEMBER. 10am Netball match on School campus. 10am Hockey match at McAllester Field. 10.30 - 12.15pm Archives Open at 44, Bidston Road. (Coffee served) 12.30pm Annual General Meeting in Bushell Hall. 1.15 pm

Lunch in 6th Form Centre.

2.30 pm

Rugby match at Noctorum.


Choral Evensong in Chapel Chaplain - Sian Howell-Jones Preacher - Rev.Andy Stinson - Rector St.Bartholomew, Great Barrow.


Old Birkonian Society Weekend – Rugby

Douglas Robb

Saturday Sept 6th 2014 Birkenhead School XV v Old Birkonian XV Played at Noctorum

The Board of Governors of Gresham’s School are delighted to announce the appointment of Mr Douglas Robb as the Headmaster with effect from 1st September 2014.

On a beautiful Saturday afternoon at Noctorum, a healthy gathering of spectators watched a most encouraging win for a young skilful School XV by 22 points to 5.

Douglas Robb is currently Headmaster of Oswestry School in Shropshire, and was previously Housemaster and teacher of Economics and Politics at Oundle School. Originally from the Wirral, he was Head Chorister at Birkenhead School and subsequently gained a Politics MA at Edinburgh and an MEd at Homerton College, Cambridge. He spent the earlier part of his teaching career in Zimbabwe and Scotland.

Sadly, School Captain, Ben Unsworth, had to be taken to hospital for a necessary check- up following concussion so the Pat Redmond Memorial Trophy was presented to the School Vice-Captain Dominic Maddox. A further presentation was then made to Dominic, the Noel Slater Memorial Tankard for his “Moment of the Match”, an impressive try running half the length of the pitch. A close contender was a Matthew Williams try (also in the School XV) The presentations were made by Dr Gerry Grundy, Headmaster. With his keen interest in rugby, he clearly enjoyed the skills on display at Noctorum, and the result augurs well for the School XV in the season ahead. We hear that the 1st XV squad has some players who were TOO YOUNG to play in this fixture, as RFU regulations have strict rules when playing against older players!

Background to the trophies presented: The Pat Remond Trophy trophy was formerly a cup awarded to the winners of the Sunday Times North of England Old Boys Seven-a-Side Competition, and had been presented for the annual event by the Birkenhead Brewery Company (no longer in existence). Following winning this trophy three years in succession Old Birkonian retained it, and with suitable additional engraving it has been used for the September game since 1988. Pat Redmond was at School from 1939 to 1946 and became a stalwart of the Old Birkonian Football Club, in the days when the Club, open only to boys who had been at Birkenhead School, had a very strong fixture list against some of the top sides in the country. Pat was a 1st XV player and ultimately Club Secretary from 1964 to 1969. He died in 1986. OBFC was formed in 1922 and at its peak in the 1960s could field as many as seven teams over the Christmas period when many players came back to the Wirral. Ironically, it was the School’s success academically that led to many of its Old Boys going away to University and often followed by employment out of the Birkenhead area, so that the Club had fewer players to call upon. In 1976 the Club merged back with Birkenhead Park, the club from which it had been formed originally, Pat playing a key role in its transition. The honours board for the Club is displayed outside the Archives Department, having been retrieved from Birkenhead Park’s clubhouse a few years ago. The Noel Slater tankard has been presented since 2005. Noel was at School from 1950 to 1957 and was Head Boy and Captain of Rugby. Following his time at Oxford, when he was awarded a Rugby Blue, he returned to Birkenhead School as a member of the physics department from 1962 to 1969, during which time he coached the 1st XV. His playing days spanned many years involving captaincies of the Old Birkonian Club, Cheshire and The Army. He died in 2004. These annual presentations help to highlight the contribution that Birkenhead School has made and continues to make to Rugby Union Football.

Backgound to Noctorum : (From Oct 1909 edition of Birkonian) The Old Birkonian Society in conjunction with the Managers of the School have most generously decided to try and raise a sufficient sum to purchase the Football Field at Noctorum and present it to the School. At present we only have the right to use this field owing to the kindness of certain gentlemen who bought it for us, but this state of affairs will not endure for ever. The School has the right to purchase the ground within the next three years for £1,600, and it is this sum that the Old Birkonian Society has set itself to collect. Mr. Hargreaves, Chairman of the Board of Managers, was able to announce on Speech Day that ten promises of £50 had already been received. We understand that this sum has been very considerably increased since that date. The full possession of the Noctorum Ground would be an enormous benefit to the School, and we are very grateful indeed to all who are so generously attempting to secure it for us. Compiled by Alan Hanson, Archives Photo taken by Michael Knowles

Art on the Side Jonathan Sharples (1998-2005) since leaving school has studied at the Universities of Cambridge and Utrecht. He is currently a solicitor at Simmons & Simmons in London where he also curates the firm’s renowned collection of contemporary art. His enthusiasm for art has extended to Television and radio . He gives wide ranging talks that stretch from the visual arts of Ming Dynasty to the late cut-outs of Henri Matisse. In a recent talk about “Giotto and the Early Renaissance” he soon found himself referring to Cezanne, Hockney, Gormley and Tracey Emin , the latter in an apprehensive whisper. Jonathan has been a popular speaker at our own Williamson Art Gallery in Birkenhead where he has done a series of talks in an attempt to attract Merseysiders to appreciate the art that is on their doorstep. Keep an eye open for his return to the Williamson. W.R.E

Douglas enjoys spending time with his family and his interests include travel and sport, particularly shooting, skiing, golf and all team and racquet sports. As a student he played rugby union semi-professionally. He has been married to his wife, Lucinda, for 16 years and they have three children, Miranda (12), Hector (9) and Fergus (6), who will all be joining Gresham’s in September.

Doug was at School 1982-89, a school prefect, prominent in the RugbyXV, went to Edinburgh University, and for several years was a stalwart of the Old Birkonian XV for the Annual Boxing Day fixture against New Brighton.

Speaking with obvious delight at his appointment Mr Robb said, “It is a great honour to have been given the chance to lead such a super school. We are looking forward to moving to North Norfolk and the lovely market town of Holt. Gresham’s has tremendous potential and I cannot wait to begin meeting more of the pupils and staff in the coming months.” Andrew Martin Smith, Chairman of Gresham’s Governors, commented, “I am very pleased to be able to announce the appointment of Douglas Robb as our next Headmaster. The Governors are confident that we have found the right person to take Gresham’s forward in the years ahead. We believe Douglas has the necessary drive and experience to oversee the School’s future development, as well as a warmth and energy which will be readily recognised by pupils, parents and staff alike.




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FE Smith Letter


Gladstone Letters


Graham Ellis, on his retirement from the Music Department, discovered during his “clear out” a most interesting collection of letters dating back to the 1880s. These had been collected by the then Director of Music, Dr William Henry Hunt, who had been on the staff at Birkenhead between 1873 and 1879. Sadly he had to retire from teaching on health grounds, but maintained close contact with the school for the next 35 years, during which he arranged many concerts.

Dean Johnson, who is responsible for the Wilfred Owen Exhibition in Argyle Street in Birkenhead contacted the School to inform us that he had on display a letter written in 1906 by FE Smith, Lord Birkenhead, and that he was very happy to pass it on to us if we would like it! (”FE” spent his pre university years at Birkenhead School from 1897 to 1889) We keenly accepted the gesture and plan to make this part of a permanent FE display within Archives. Dean is very talented and has written and composed a musical “Bullets and Daffodils - The Wilfred Owen Story” which after many performances is opening in London this July. His latest similar project is a musical concerning Mallory and Irvine who climbed Everest, certainly getting very close to the summit in 1924, but failed to return. He has been using Archives to research Sandy Irvine who was at Birkenhead School 1910-16 prior to finishing his education at Shrewsbury School

We offer our condolences to the families and friends of our Old Birkonians whose passing we have been informed of during this past year TS McLaren



N Abakhan



JGP Jamieson



DR Gwilliam



R Southworth



LJ Evans



By requesting permission to use the music of well-known composers of the era, such as Charles Hallé, CV Stanford, John Stainer and Ebenezer Prout, he ensured that signed replies made the basis of an interesting collection. Of local interest there were letters from William Saumarez Smith, Principal of St Aiden’s Theological College.




FH Beddow



MC Poe



M McKenzie



JP Griffiths



SJ Collins



FH Hunter



RM Talbot






R Beattie



As well as letters from distinguished composers and musicians of that era there were those signed by members of the Gladstone family, sent from their home in Hawarden. Of particular interest were five signed by William Gladstone, initially thought to have been from the Prime Minister, but in fact from his son, also William. Three were from William’s mother, Mary, whose husband had been Prime Minister four times.

JAW Littler



A visit to the beautiful Gladstone Library in Hawarden and discussion with the archivists revealed that William Gladstone was a keen musician and it was surmised that he had had music tuition from Dr Hunt. The collection is in a fragile state but conservation action has been taken and it is planned that these will be on display in Archives in due course.

Deputy Lieutenant Hugh Daglish (1962-69) is being ‘commissioned’ by the Lord-Lieutenant of Merseyside, Dame Lorna Muirhead DBE, as a ‘Deputy Lieutenant in the County of Merseyside’. Dame Lorna’s invitation letter says that she ‘appoints Deputy Lieutenants to assist her in exercising her duties on behalf of Her Majesty the Queen. Deputy Lieutenants are appointed from among those who are known in the community for the service they have given, or are giving, through public life, the charitable sector, the voluntary service or the uniformed services.’ Hugh’s full official title is now Captain HB Daglish LVO JP DL Royal Navy. His thoughts are summarised appropriately in the following: “I am pleased to be made a DL of course, in part to give a hand to Dame Lorna whom I admire; but like all ‘honours’ there are many deserving people who are unrecognised by these means. Knowing many such deserving folk, it is easy for me to remember this, and in that knowledge to accept the accolade with humility”.

Obituary – L J Eveans (OB 1940 – 44)

Obituary – N Abakhan

LAURIE EVANS was born in 1927 and was at Birkenhead School during World War 2, from 1940 to 1944. The Headmaster at that time was Mr W.F.Bushell who Laurie admired greatly. Mr Bushell inspired him particularly in the history of the Old Testament which remained with him all his life.

Nick Abakhan died in October 2014 and at his funeral I had a chat with his older brother George when he confirmed for me a most intriguing past!

On our first visit to Israel we discovered our hotel was next to the Valley of Hinnom so the first thing we did after breakfast was to find and go through Hezekiah’s tunnel. King Hezekiah diverted the water from the upper Gihon through the tunnel into the city of Jerusalem to provide a water supply before an impending siege by the Assyrians led by King Sennaccerib. I don’t think Laurie was the happiest of pupils at school and was frequently caned ! The emphasis then was very much on sport which he did not enjoy but endured. Laurie did however go on Mr Bushell’s famous cycle rides to North Wales. On reaching his 17th birthday instead of staying on to take Higher School Certificate he took the opportunity to join the Merchant Navy as an Officer Cadet and managed to sail around the world before the war ended. Laurie kept in touch with his Headmaster throughout adult life . In fact our first car was Mr Bushell’s faithful green Ford 8. We were once almost asphyxiated in it on a journey home from the Three Choirs Festival. The exhaust was leaking into the car through a hole in the floor. Laurie went on to be a senior partner in an international firm of Chartered Accountants. He also did much voluntary work for the Church of England becoming Chairman of Chester Diocesan Board of Finance for about 12years and was a member of the Bishop’s Council.

George and Nicholas Abakhanovitch were brought up in Finland. Post war, their parents saw an urgent need to leave Finland. The boy’s had a nanny in Helsinki and by chance her sister was Miss Bendall, who was headmistress of the Prep at that time. It was suggested that the family come to Birkenhead and as a kindness George and Nick attended the Prep for a couple of terms. Neither spoke any English at this stage. It was not viable to stay longer and they transferred to Woodchurch Road School? At the age of 11 George was accepted into Birkenhead School as a boarder under the headmastership of Ken Robinson, when he adopted his mother’s maiden name and became George Louden. His mother was in fact Countess von Louden of Austria. Nick went to Dulwich College to complete his education where his name was reduced to Nick Abakhan.. From small beginnings in Birkenhead, the family set up Abakhan Fabrics which expanded rapidly and now has its main base in Mostyn, North Wales, where Nick was very much involved. The business expanded abroad particularly to Estonia where the family Abakhanovitch had its origins. George was the business’s accountant, but operating from afar as he has a successful practice based in Canada. However, several visits each year to the UK enabled him to maintain business links and limited contacts with those he had been at school with.

For a brief period he was a Governor of Birkenhead School.

Many of us first met up with Nick when he played for the Old Birkonian Football Club in the 1960s. At this stage Nick was introduced as George’s younger brother. Because of spending most of the recent years in Canada, George was intrigued to see that at Nick’s funeral he was the one “on the fringe” and was being introduced as Nick’s older brother!

Laurie died in 2014

Alan Hanson


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John Moore Visit

The “Midlands Chapter”

Sections of a letter sent by John Moore (1954 – 62) following a visit to Archives

Stuart Williams (1949 - 55) has provided a photo of the “Midlands Chapter” of OB Society who meet for lunch regularly and were all at School in the early 50’s. The following is an edited version of his accompanying note:

Thank you for the warm welcome you and your fellow members gave my wife, Joan, and me on our visit to the Archives on November 17. We thoroughly enjoyed our day at Birkenhead School, soaking up the atmosphere and traditions that mean so much to all OBs.

“Herewith a picture of our gathering, Back row from left: Mick Hayes, Les Stanley , myself , Cliff Williams , Ed Hollingworth (not sure whether he is Ed or Ted!), with Phil Pennel in the front. I believe I am the youngest (by a few months) and fittest perhaps but we are all cheerful.”

You mentioned that some information on our background and current activities might interest other Old Birkonians, some of whom might remember shared school days and activities. So I have put together a short summary of our recent trip.

So we had to go. It had been seven years since our last visit to England, and the lecture was less than a month away. But there was a flight on a Boeing 757-200 with Rolls-Royce engines from Washington to Manchester. We could see the poppies at the Tower of London; visit Mike Wolfgang and his wife, Joan, in Sevenoaks to see where my Joan’s ancestor hailed from before migrating to Concord, Massachusetts, in 1638; visit Rolls-Royce; stay in Hoylake and walk on the

Each April, a Dinner is held at the Brook Meadow hotel near Willaston and in August a Summer Supper is enjoyed in the Wheatsheaf’s own Cowshed Restaurant Regulars and occasional visitors to The Wheatsheaf include David(DW)Allan, Peter(PJ)Ascroft, Brian(BK)Boumphrey, Eric(EA)Roberts, Tom(TJ)Minnis, Alan(AJ)Hanson, Peter Crook, Ted(EF)Clarke, Len(LO)Kirkham, Tony(AH)Evans, Roger(WR)Ewing, Brian(BN)Jones, Brian(BE)Jones, John(JMT)

49 members of the RAF Section of the CCF visited Old Warden Airfield for the presentation of the Air Squadron Trophy for the best CCF RAF Section in the UK

Plans submitted for a new 6th form block on the site of the old stables.

paths across Royal Liverpool Golf Course; and trip down memory lane at Birkenhead School. Three hours is really not enough time to see all the exhibits at the School Archives, and as usual I was the last to leave a party! Roger Ewing, Ian Boumphrey, Brian Dunn, Alan Hanson and William Nute gave us a warm welcome and I was transported back to 1954 - 1962. There were many memorable teachers - Charlie Jones with his encouragement; Tappy Pringle, with whom I spent many happy hours in the woodwork shop; Harold McCready building his boat; George Gilliland with his enthusiasm; Frank Ellis with his quiet humour; George Willan who introduced me to local history; and Leslie Hargreaves with his Shakespearean presence. As a first year student I valued Sammy Watson for his calmness and his stories. Which brings me back to my first impression of Birkenhead School, waiting outside the gate on Beresford Road and asking about the school motto - BEATI MVNDO CORDE. Then again, doing my first push-up on the path next to the school field close by the Chapel door, as we trained for school sports. There you can sit on the seat dedicated to Frank Ellis. I hope you feel the spirit of the School, just as I do. John Moore

The RN Section of the CCF was visited by the Fleet Air Arm who arrived by helicopter on the School Field.

Due to the cost of printing The Birkonian stopped being a termly publication and became bi-annual with a winter and summer edition.

Old Birkonian Society Dinners – A Brief History The Old Birkonian Society was set up in 1906 and its inaugural Dinner was held in the October of 1907, over 90 attending at the Exchange Hotel in Liverpool. A letter was read out expressing “hearty good wishes” from the School’s first Headmaster, the Rev. Pearse. Regular formal Dinners continued, apart from the war years, for very many years, reaching a peak of support in the early seventies, where there was always a strong representation from the Old Birkonian Football Club (photo?). During this period the event was held very successfully in the School Dining Hall. While the formal dinner format held at the School has sadly waned, it has been maintained in the annual London Branch’s Dinners, the most recent being held in the House of Commons. In recent years the School, rather than the Old Birkonian Society, has hosted a series of “Welcome Back Dinners” which have been well supported and to which Birkonians of all ages will have received an invitation. For many it has often provided an enjoyable and eye-opening first return visit to the School since their days as a pupil!

As previously mentioned in these columns, a group of OBs meet each Wednesday at The Wheatsheaf Inn at Raby.

Over a quiet drink (some are teetotal!) stories are told of OBs and School events, past and present, as well as generally putting the world to rights!

The class rooms next to Junior School and behind the Science Block were built on the site of the old huts.

Pupils 635 [227 in 6th form]

Wheatsheaf Report

“Founded” by Neil Gracey and Eric Roberts over 20 years ago, this gathering has grown steadily and around 6-10 out of a group of over 20 regulars attend each week arriving at 6.30 and enjoying great fellowship for an hour or so, always leaving by 8.00pm!

There were 749 pupils [211 in 6th form and 249 in the Prep] The chapel choir made a tour to Normandy. The”new” Sports Hall was completed.


It started by chance, like in 1954. I was looking through an emailed newsletter from the Institution of Mechanical Engineers. There was an announcement of a forthcoming lecture at the Royal Aeronautical Society in London on the faltering beginnings of the Rolls-Royce RB211 series of jet engines. While in Cambridge in the 1970s I had been approached with a request to help understand and correct a three-dimensional flow problem in the middle of a turbine. With a lot of computational and mathematical help from my wife, Joan, we developed computer coding to assist the engineers in Derby with their redesign of a bulky row of turbine blades which were also serving as a bearing support. Eventually in 1983 this resulted in helping the RB211-535 become the launch engine for the Boeing 757 with Eastern Airlines. The engine also won a Design Council Award.

Snippets from the Past



Rogers, David(RD)Cockram, Peter(PL)Canevali, Michael(MP) Burrell, Rod(RJM)Delf, Malcolm(DM)Kaye, Mike(MR)Toon, Bob (RR) Treasurer and sundry others, mostly leavers from the 50’s and 60’s but any OB will be made welcome. We were all at School during the period 1948-1960 and ‘Boys’ in the photo include: John Rogers, Eric Roberts, Brian E Jones, Bob Treasurer, Tom Minnis, Pete Ascroft, Malcolm Kaye, Peter Rogers, David Cockram, Tony Evans, Brian N Jones, Alan Hanson, Roger Ewing, Brian Boumphrey and David Allan (Len took the photo) If you would like to meet up with any of the above, just turn up any Wednesday or for more info, call Len Kirkham 652 8118 (email

Below is a photograph of the 1960 Centenary Dinner

The Right Honourable H. Graham White P.C. L.L.D.died. He was one of the original 12 boys in the Prep Department and entered the main school in 1891. He was Liberal M.P. for Birkenhead East in 1922-1924 and again for 1929 - 1945. He was made a member of the Privy Council and was President of the Liberal Party 1954- 55. Jointly with his brother, Arnold, he endowed the Malcolm White Scholarship in memory of their younger brother who was killed in World War I. He also bought and gave the house and grounds of Overdale to the school. Bishop West-Watson appointed to the Primacy of New Zealand. As Dr. Darbyshire is Archbishop of Capetown this latest appointment doubles the number of Archbishops in the Old Birkonian Society.

1915 1940


Due to the war the basements of the buildings were strengthened,sand-bagged and used as class rooms. There were 207 pupils in the main school and a further 78 in the Prep. The Birkonian reports there was no OB rugby match against the School and the annual concert was also cancelled as so many Old Birkonians had enlisted.

The War Office recognised the Cadet Corps on 20th November 1914 as from the 22nd October 1914. The Corps consists of two platoons which are divided up into 8 sections. The Corps drills for an hour on Monday and Friday at noon. There is also physical drill on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Uniforms are worn on Mondays and Fridays and also on half-holidays when there is a route march. 280 Old Birkonians are known to have enlisted of which 100 have taken commissions. Old Birkonian Sir F. E. Smith was appointed Attorney-General with a seat in the Cabinet having returned from his service as a Major on the General Staff of the British Expeditionary Force. The Old Birkonian Society had 466 members. The Jubilee Scheme for acquiring the Noctorum Football Ground still needed £210 to complete the purchase with the aid of a mortgage of £2,200.




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Poet’s Corner Pete Canevali’s (1945-59) memories of a “sing-song” to the tune of Uncle Tom Cobley for a scout camp in Anglesey 60 years ago, with affectionate nicknames! Chip Evans , Chip Evans he took us to camp




All along down along Elian Bay Where we worked and we strove and we toiled every day With Tom Weatherhead Tap Pringle Mickey Harrison Don MacLachlan and old Silas Ward and Chip and old Silas Ward and Chip Chip Chip! The staffroom this 1954 Scout camp were… Mr L Evans, Mr WT Weatherhaed, Mr TA Pringle, Mr JMD Harrison, Mr DM MacLachlan, and Mr HG Ward.

Peter Pennington OB Peter Pennington (1944-54) has just written and published another book. “A White Angel” (isbn 978-09542057-1-3) is an historical novel featuring the impact of 9/11 on a family in New York, and the story of how their ancestors’ survival of previous world tragedies helped them cope with the events that engulfed them in September 2001. At one stage in the novel a party of school boys visits Paris just before the Second World War. One of the anecdotes in that visit is drawn from real life when a party from Birkenhead School was over there about that time. The story was re-told after the war to a class that included Peter and he has incorporated it in his book see www.

Russ Currie From Russ Currie (1959- 65) (e- mail received Sept 2014)



Capt Finch reported on the OTC and drew attention to lack of proper facilities for storage of rifles – the headmaster was asked to make such arrangements to satisfy the War Office.

The OTC was renamed the Junior Training Corps


Commanding Officer: Capt J Farish

RSM: CW ‘Charlie’ Jones. A new 25 yard open air rifle range was built for the OTC, next to the new Scout Hut, in the grounds of ‘Overdale’


A contingent of the School OTC mounted a guard of honour for the visit of HM King George V when opening the new Queensway Mersey Tunnel and Birkenhead Library

The Junior Training Corps became the Combined Cadet Force [CCF] when the Royal Air Force Section was formed in January 1949 OC Flt Lt Hibbert. For the second year Summer Camp was held at Poulton Airfield near Chester. Rev E Smailes preached the sermon on Sunday and during the week HRH Duke of Gloucester visited the Camp with many of the boys able to talk to him - RSM: A Blazzard



Commanding Officer: Capt AWR Morton

The Royal Naval section was established under the auspices of Lieutenants Harrison and Salisbury and together with the RAF section, moved into a new hut adjoining 42 Bidston Road [the building, which is still standing, has always been used by the CCF] - The Annual Camp was held at Gandale, near Catterick with a record number of 110 boys attending


1914 The School Cadet Corps was started in October 1914 with 120 boys from 12 years of age. The Corps was commanded by Mr FW Hunt who held the rank of Captain, together with two fellow masters Rev CA McVicar and Mr DN Hebblethwaite who both held the rank of 2nd Lt - Regimental Sergeant Major was J Duggan. The War Office had recognised the corps by November. One of the boys recalled how proud and important he felt in his new uniform. Having learnt how to salute an officer, was on his way home when he smartly saluted a man in uniform who was very puzzled - as he was in fact a bus inspector!

1951 Commanding Officer: Major DJP Weaver – RSM: L Myatt

1952 Some members of the Royal Naval Section spent a week on board the aircraft-carrier HMS Indefatigable; the RAF Section took delivery of a Link Trainer which was eventually kept in a concrete garage-like hangar on Noctorum Field; the Army Section received new tailored uniforms with dark blue berets - the annual camp was held at Castle Martin, Pembrokeshire

1916 The School Corps was extremely active, including night operations on Wirral Golf Links where the target was the Club House which was ‘an ammunition dump’. During the First World War the first school rifle range was created as a long wooden structure along the West side of the ground running northwards from The Lodge gardens


1923 Camp was held at Penmaenmawr


1937 A very fine pair of Leopard skins was donated to the OTC by Col HM Stennett CBE, DSO and fashioned into drum aprons

What happened to shove halfpenny football that used to be played on the masters desk?

The Birkenhead School Cadet Corps was selected by the War Office for conversion into a Contingent of the Officer’s Training Corps, Junior Division. The Corps received new rifles and bayonets - their nine day Camp was held at Strensall, near York. Commanding Officer: Capt AM Bell - RSM W Male

The ball was a halfpenny, the players were one penny pieces pushed around with a six inch ruler!!


It was the most energetic sport some of us willingly got involved with!!

Commanding Officer: Capt AQD Williamson



The OTC Post Cert. ‘A’ candidates tested the efficiency of the new British gas mask, in a room full of tear gas - no casualties were reported!

I note you have Netball, Hockey and Rugby matches in the OBS Weekend programme

Regards Russ Currie

The School’s OTC performance at Bisley Shooting Competition was described in the Birkonian as “some valuable practice” - which meant they came 71st out of 75!” - Summer Camp was held at Tidworth


1938 Lt OF Owens presented the big drummer’s Panther skin which had originated from a batallion in the Shanghai Defence Force

Commanding Officer: Major J Yelton – RSM: T O’Brien. For the School Elizabethan Fayre members of the CCF, dressed in Elizabethan uniforms, provided the band which led the parade and also ‘Pike Men’ who marched around the campus and showed their drilling skills on the School field. The Rifle Range was converted into the Globe Theatre for the Fayre, with rifle practice at Chetwynd. A visiting Air Marshall asked an RAF Cadet why he had joined the Air Section - he replied “to avoid doing drill”. “And have you” the Air Marshall asked - “No” was the disappointed reply the new OC of the RAF Section was Flight Lt G M Willan DFC.

1955 The CCF lost the valuable services of Messers Hibbert, Salisbury and Sherriff. The Army Section Camp at Kinmel, North Wales was memorable for the rain and mud




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1956 The old Rifle Range, which had been converted into the Globe Theatre for the Fayre, was demolished with a Library and Sixth Form building being built on the site, completed in the early 1960s. The RAF Section Easter Camp was held at RAF Driffield East Yorkshire attended by 28 cadets. All cadets flew in Ansons and Chipmunks and two got up in a Vampire

1957 A New CCF Hut, which was also the Armoury, was erected in the garden of 42 Bidston Road. A glider was acquired by the RAF section in the Summer term from the RAF and was said to be based on one designed for the Hitler Youth Movement in the 1930s. It was stored in a specially-constructed garage, the North end of Noctorum Field, having been assembled by the boys who were supervised by Flying Officer McCready. RSM: JA Crossland

1958 Major A Green MC took over from Major J Yelton as the CCF Commanding Officer.

1960 Three boys from the School CCF took part in a National Cadet Forces Parade at Buckingham Palace to commemorate the centenary of the Cadet Corps founding in 1860. The Army, Naval and Air Force Sections continued to flourish. The contingent embraced Basic, Cadre and Signals Platoons with provisions for instructions in Life Saving, Civil Defence, Engineering and Motor Transport – the total complement stood at 311. RAF camp was held at RAF Wittering, Northants, a fully-operational V-bomber base - cadets flew in Ansons and Chipmunks as well as a primary glider




The Army section attended a camp at Aldershot where the march past at the Sunday Parade was taken by Field Marshall the Viscount Montgomery of Alamein [Monty]. The RAF section held their camp at Fighter Command Station, Leuchars, Fife

Flt Lt H McCready and Lt F Wakelin were awarded the Cadet Forces Medal in recognition of their long service with the School Contingent. The Army Summer Camp was attended by 104 cadets with 19 cadets at the Arduous training camp, Bethesda in Snowdonia. The RAF Camp at Chivenor, Barnstaple was a great success with all cadets having opportunities for flying

The CCF had major changes when it became a Voluntary corps, had new uniforms and both Lt Col Green and Captain Bower left the unit after many years of devoted service - Lt RM Jones took over command, assisted by 2nd Lt Payne. Camps and courses attended by Naval Section cadets included: helicopter flights, sub-aqua training, range-firing and even cooking



Some Royal Naval Section cadets attended camp at the Britannia Naval College, Dartmouth - the new inboard motor launch was at its moorings at West Kirby

On Field Day 16 Naval cadets spent 24 hours camping, canoeing and hiking at Camp Windermere. The Army Summer camp was held at Bellerby in Yorkshire. Some 12 cadets from the Naval section were accompanied in an MFV by Lt Wakelin and Sub Lt A Hanson down the River Clyde

1962 An Easter camp was held at Sennelager in Germany, supervised by Capt Cross. The summer CCF Army Camp was held at Sennybridge, near Brecon - 186 cadets and 7 Officers attended - this was then the largest number attending the annual Camp

1963 The CCF camp was held at Holcombe Moor, Lancashire the fourth time it had been held there [the assault course was later used by the popular TV programme ‘The Krypton Factor’]. The RAF camp was held at RAF Cranwell where Group Capt Aitken OB was Commanding Officer


1970 Lt Wakelin and nine cadets attended Britannia RN College and six cadets went to Loch Ewe. The Army Section camp at Leek was the last one attended by 2nd Year Sixth boys


CCF Army Camp held at Brecon. The Royal Naval Section Easter Camp was held at HMS Dolphin, a submarine training base at Portsmouth

The Royal Naval camp was held again at Loch Ewe in the Highlands of Scotland. There were three groups for Field Days: one at HMS Mersey [a minesweeper based in Liverpool], also orienteering in the wilds of North Wales at Llangollen plus a group sailing at West Kirby. The Army Section Summer camp was held at Brecon, South Wales. Lt GRJ Jones left and the two Field Days were spent on the Open Range at Sealand



The Royal Navy Section was visited by a Fleet Air Arm helicopter which landed on the School Field. The CCF, RAF Section camp was held at RAF Kinloss under the command of Flt Lt HW McCready and Plt Officer GH Haworth - 39 members attended. Ft Lt Willan relinquished command of the Section as he left the school on appointment as an HMI of schools.

The Army Section welcomed 2nd Lt RM Jones and Summer Camp was held at Nesscliff near Shrewsbury.

RAF Camp at Finningley


1973 Army Summer camp was held at Cultybraggan, Perthshire which included a night operation. Four cadets enjoyed a cruise around the Western Isles in HMS Putnam - others attended training camps at Portsmouth, Plymouth, Loch Ewe and Dartmouth

1977 The Contingent continued to flourish with never a shortage of boys wanting to join - however, many were disappointed due to a shortage of officers. Army camp was held at Minden Germany, as guests of the 1st Battalion the 22nd Cheshire Regiment

1978 Air Rifle shooting was introduced to the Army Section with immediate effect with 10 cadets gaining a Marksman qualification. The annual camp was held on the Isle of Man with sailing, walking and rock climbing activities. Lt Ray Jones left in Summer 1978 with his place taken by Lt PG Whittel. The RAF section was re-established in September 1978 under the leadership of Mr E Clare

1979 The RAF section was placed 2nd to St Bees in the RAF competition for North West CCF Sections. They visited RAF Valley and were allowed to examine Hawk jet trainers with another trip to RAF Woodvale where cadets flew in Chipmunks. Cadets from the Naval Section enjoyed an Adventurous Training Course at Loch Ewe. The annual camp was held at Warsop with the cadets treated to a display of the Royal Artillery Motorcycle team as well as abseiling, canoeing and pot-holing.




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Army Section Easter Camp was held at Bickerton and Summer Camp at Proteus. At Easter, 10 RAF cadets flew in Beagle Bulldogs at RAF Woodvale and the Summer Camp was attended by 30 cadets at RAF Benson. The Naval Section sailing boats now included: a GP 14; a Bosun Sailing Dinghy; Beaufort Sportboat and a new Yamaha 15 hp engine. Commander Wakelin and Lt Hanson took a party to the top secret Faslane Submarine Base on Gareloch where they boarded the vessel Denmead. They visited the Submarine Churchill and saw a Polaris Submarine at Holy Loch. Mr Crossland retired at the age of 80 and must have been the longest serving SSI in the CCF - he joined in 1957

The Naval Section had been granted 37 places for training at various Naval Establishments – the highest for some years. A joint group of Army and Naval cadets attended a joint adventure training week at Windermere. Seven cadets visited HMS Osprey to see the Fleet Air Arm Open Day. The climax of the day was a flight in a Wessex Helicopter. With 87 cadets, the RAF Section was its largest since reforming in 1978. All cadets had flown in Chipmunks and several cadets flew in helicopters at the RAF Hereford Easter camp.

1981 The Naval Section welcomed Sub Lt ID MacKay. Lt Hanson led a group, including six cadets, on a five day visit to HMS Diomede where they sailed from Portsmouth and experienced training at sea, witnessing a Russian ‘spy-ship’ at work and boarded a French trawler to check on the size of their nets. When HMS Londonderry visited Liverpool, 25 cadets had a guided tour. The Army Camp was held at Jurby, Isle of Man. The RAF Camp was held at Cranwell, Lincolnshire where the cadets were shown around some of the ex-Red Arrows Gnats, visited the Vulcan Bombers at RAF Waddington and flew in a Wessex Helicopter.

For the third year running the Aircraft Recognition Team won the Javelin Trophy for the North West District with the ‘B’ Team coming third. The Summer Camp was held at Stafford

1986 The Naval Section was experiencing problems while West Kirby Marine Lake was being enlarged. Several Naval, RAF and Army cadets experienced a visit to Gibraltar Camp. Six cadets were applying for careers in the Royal Navy. Summer Camp was held at RAF Watton, Norfolk which included watching A10s, Jaguars and F111’s practice shooting and bombing. The Army Summer Camp was held at Catterick with 21 cadets. Highlights included potholing and 10 cadets attempted the arduous ‘three peaks’ walk but that was cut short by inclement weather



RAF Section wins Air squadron Trophy and travels to the Shuttleworth Trust at Old Warden to receive it from “Cats Eyes” Cunningham, former night fighter legend and de Havilland test pilot - cadets and staff later being flown in a variety of aircraft by Air Squadron members. Easter camp at Turnhouse, Edinburgh; summer camp at Locking near Weston Super Mare. Cdr Wakelin attends Gibraltar camp prior to retirement, after which Sqn Ldr Clare becomes Contingent Commander

Ft Lt Teggin is appointed OC RAF Section, Easter camp is at Linton-on-Ouse and summer camp at Cosford




Lt Comm JMD Harrison was awarded an MBE for his services to the CCF - he retired from the Naval Section, as did Lt Hanson. Mr RE Collier joined the section as 2 i/c to Lt ID MacKay. Mr S Gill joined the Army Section and Eric Clare was appointed as 2 i/c Contingent and promoted to Squadron Leader. The increased availability of the rifle range at Chetwynd improved the standard of the Army Section’s shooting. PO D Cowling joined the RAF Section - the Summer Camp was held at RAF Northcoates, a Bloodhound Missile Base

The enlarged Marine Lake at West Kirby was appreciated by the Naval Section. A week aboard RMAS Cricklade was enjoyed by 12 cadets, Over 30 places for cadet training were taken up. A group of Army cadets, with Cpt Walton, Lt Whittle and Lt Gill, attended the Easter Camp initially by Lake Windermere then in Ambleside and finally in Limefitt Park Campsite. Activities including climbing High Street – a 3,000ft peak, abseiling and grass-skiing

Both Easter and Summer RAF camps were at Chivenor, Devon.

RAF Easter camp at Coningsby RAF Summer camp at Honington


1997 RAF Easter camp at Marham; RAF Summer camp at Benson. Mr P Whittle left - he had been in charge of the Army Section for several years. Sqn Ldr Teggin appointed Contingent Commander with Major Gill as 2i/c and OC Army and Flt Lt Frowe as OC RAF Section


A group of 19 Army cadets attended an Adventurous Training Course in the Lake District which included Canadian canoeing, abseiling and sailing. Two RAF Section Camps were held - one at RAF Cosford, the other at RAF Linton-on-Ouse. All cadets flew in Chipmunks and took part in shooting on the open range. Twelve Naval cadets sailed aboard HMS Intrepid from Portsmouth to Liverpool. A visit was arranged to Cammell Laird to see the nearlycompleted HMS Campbeltown and submarine building at an early stage

The CCF Band received new equipment and advertised for new recruits. RAF camps at Brawdy [Easter] and Lyneham [Summer], FO Teggin attended Search and Rescue course in May and was ‘rescued’ by helicopter from the Channel. Mr K Hawkins was OC of the Naval Section who welcomed Mr JG Melville with cadets numbering 73 - including two girls from the High School. Field Days were no longer funded by the Royal Navy with the exception of the occasional visits to RN establishments. Some cadets visited HMS Ambuscade and Boxer in Liverpool Docks

Most of the RAF cadets flew in Chipmunks at Woodvale Camp was held at RAF Swanton Morley in Norfolk, which was also a Gliding School. The cadets visited nearby RAF Coltishall, a Jaguar base where they witnessed a group of Canadian Starfighters. Summer Army Camp was held at the 7th Armoured Workshop, Fallingbostel near Hanover, West Germany. They visited Bergen-Belsen Concentration Camp and also were able to drive some of the Army’s 434 Armoured Recovery Vehicles and a Chieftain Tank

1984 As they were approaching moving up to the fourth form, boys in the third form were offered the choice to join 1). CCF Army Section; 2). Royal Navy Section; 3). RAF Section; 4). Community Service [external]; 5). Community Service [internal]. This was part of the curriculum between 2.30pm and 4.30pm on a Thursday afternoon. If in the CCF there were two whole day exercises in the Summer and one in the Winter; two Church Parades during the year; a summer camp – then a CCF half holiday was granted on the last Thursday of each term


1989 Sub Lt P Dewhurst left and Staff Sergeant TM Rowley (from the Royal Engineers) was appointed the new SSI. A number of Naval cadets were offered sea-time at weekends aboard the HMS Ribble and others an opportunity to sail aboard HMS Intrepid form Portsmouth to Liverpool. History was made when the first girls, who were Sixth Form pupils at the High School, joined the CCF - Vicki Hunter joined the RAF Section and Sonia Chadwick the Army Section

1993 Lt Cdr Hawkins takes over as Contingent Commander, Ft Lt Britton as OC RAF Section, RAF Section wins Air Squadron Trophy for second time, once more receiving it from ‘Cats Eyes’ Cunningham, this time at RAF Halton, where they had attended Easter camp, and on the way to Summer Camp at Wittering ‘the home of the Harrier’. The Army Section Camp was held at Fallinghostel, Germany where they were hosted by the Cheshire Regiment. Highlights included: viewing and riding in a Challenger Tank and visiting Belsen, a Nazi Concentration Camp - which was very sobering

1995 Cadets went to Easter camps at Rheindahlen, Germany or Kinloss in Scotland with Summer Camp at Brize Norton


1998 RAF Easter camp at Kinloss; RAF Summer camp at Coltishall. The Easter Army Camp at Fremlington in Devon and was attended by six cadets, led by Mr and Mrs Rowley and Staff Sgt Thompson. Activities included orienteering on cycles; a slide from a 75ft high building - known as ‘the death ride’; overnight camping and a night hike. Sqn Ldr Teggin appointed Contingent Commander with Major Gill as 2i/c and OC Army and Flt Lt Frowe as OC RAF Section

1999 RAF Easter camp at Laarbruch Germany; RAF Summer camp at Leuchars

2000 Army camp with the Cheshire Regiment at Episkopi in Cyprus. RAF Easter camp at Bruggen, Germany & St Athan, RAF Summer camp at Cosford.




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Three cadets are Staff Cadets at 10 Air Experience Flight at Woodvale and a fourth was a Staff Cadet at 631 Volunteer Gliding School where he secured his Advanced Gliding wings. RAF Easter camp at St Athan RAF Summer camp at High Wycombe. Jim Cox promoted Lt Cdr as 2i/c Contingent, Lt Rowley takes over as OC Army and promoted to Captain.

RAF Easter Camp at Brampton RAF Summer camp at Cosford. Army camps at Swynnerton and Penhale. Sqn Ldr Teggin resigns as Contingent Commander and is replaced by Sqn Ldr Frowe.

Capt AA Joseph retired - Capt James Barnes appointed SSI. Cadets from all sections invited to attend Army camp at Warcop. Cadet Sgt West, RAF Section represented CCFs nationally at the Festival of Remembrance at the Royal Albert Hall


RAF Summer Camp at Boulmer

Mr Jon Green, a member of the Common Room, who joined us as a Civilian Instructor in outdoor activities. In particular, he trained cadets on the newly installed climbing wall at school. RAF Easter camp at Akrotiri Cyprus & Leuchars RAF Summer camp at St Athan. Army camp at Bruggen Germany



RAF Easter Camp at Boulmer RAF Summer Camp at Wittering

2010 2004 Parade times amended to start at 14.40. RAF Easter camp at Cranwell. The Army Section attended summer camp at Nesscliffe, Staffordshire, where many flew in a Squirrel helicopter from Shawbury, The RAF Section camped at Lossiemouth and did not fly at all - c’est la vie! RN team came first at Anglesey Regatta, and third overall in National CCF Regatta at HMS Bristol

Cadets from all sections invited to attend Army camp at Wathgill. Cadets took part in the Cadet 150 celebrations with a Civic Parade at Wallasey Town Hall and Capt Joseph took a party to the national parade in the Mall.

2011 Alex Macaulay was appointed Mayor’s Cadet. Cadets from all sections invited to attend Army campat Warcop


2003 RAF Easter camp at Uxbridge RAF Summer camp at Honington. Army camp at Penhale, Cornwall. RN courses were attended at Dartmouth, HMS Bristol and HMS Raleigh covering Ocean Divers, Naval Warfare, Range Firing, Sailing - Master Cert, and RM Amphib. An RN cadet attended Exercise Iceland Fire & Ice. Sailing team came first at Southport Regatta in Dinghy and Topper classes, first in Dinghy and third in Topper at Anglesey Regatta and sixth overall in National CCF Regatta at HMS Bristol in first appearance at this event. WO2 T Rowley leftafter 14 years’ service and Capt A A Joseph was appointed as SSI. Tim Higginbottom joined the Army Section as 2nd Lt. The CCF Hut was refurbished

Parade times further amended to start at 15.10 with an admin parade at lunchtime. Army Section camp was at Warcop, Cumbria. RAF Easter Camp at Halton and Summer Camp at Honington. RN team came second at Anglesey Regatta. RN courses attended at Culdrose and HMS Bristol. The shooting team at the Cadet SSAM at Altcar were runners-up in the Falling Plate competition with some good individual scores overall and came fourth in .22 postal shooting competition. We entered a team in the North West Brigade CCF Competition at St Bees School and emerged as overall winners by the narrowest of margins by winning the last event, the tug-ofwar.

2006 RAF Easter Camp held at Penhale and Cornwall. Summer camps were held at Penhale, Cornwall and RAF Leeming, Yorkshire. Cadets from all sections took part in a weekend camp at Swynnerton in April. The shooting team won a trophy at Bisley! From the start of the Autumn Term 2006, CCF changed from an optional activity within the timetable to become a truly voluntary, after-school activity. At the same time pupils in year 9 as well as year 10 were allowed to apply to join the contingent and, by agreement between the head teachers, girls from Upton Hall were allowed to join. Sqn Ldr Teggin and Flt Lts Britton and Frowe were awarded Cadet Forces Medals

STOP PRESS Congratulations to Andreas Whittam Smith CBE who became a Knight Bachelor in the Queen’s 2015 Birthday Honours. Andreas was a founder of The Independent Newspaper. He also served for over a decade as First Estates Commissioner of the Church of England. He did much to ensure that the funding focused on projects that made a real difference. Andreas was at School from 1947 to 1955 and was President of our Society in 2009-10.

2015 Due to the small and declining number of CCF cadets a tough decision was taken by the Governors, after consultation with those involved, to replace the CCF with a new programme of adventurous activities. This was to take effect from the start of the new academic year September 2015 and would extend the already successful Duke of Edinburgh’s Awards to include the Bronze Award plus a range of other alternative activities, appealing to a wider audience


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“English I like English because I want to be an author and Mrs Pankhurst is a great teacher”

“English English is my favourite subject because I like writing stories and the lessons are interactive and fun”

“Games I really like sport – it’s fun!”




This term, we asked Year 7 what their favourite subject is and why…

“Science It’s interesting learning the different formulae” CAELAN

“Maths I love maths because it’s logical and I am very good at it!”

“ICT I find it interesting learning about the modern world”



“ICT I like working with computers” JENSON

“Design Technology I like using the machines in the tech rooms”

“History I like learning about what our ancestors did” LUKE

“Science I find science very interesting” THEO


“Art It’s great fun being creative” NATASHA


Marketing at Birkenhead School If you have any stories you would like to appear in the next edition please email marketing@ or call us on 651 3004. Please follow us on Facebook and Twitter


BIRKENHEAD SCHOOL The Lodge, 58 Beresford Road, Oxton, Wirral CH43 2JD T: 0151 652 4014

In Focus Summer 2015  
In Focus Summer 2015