Latest School News
Pupils in Year 7 have been busy racking up house achievement points recently. Firstly there was the Easter Bonnet competition to enter and the pictured girls made and/or decorated their bonnets in a very festive and imaginative style, winning for themselves large Easter eggs as well as lots of points for their respective houses; Seacole, Keller and Bronte.
On the enrichment day last month, all of year 7 competed in a selection of sports against each other in the Inter House Competition. From some elegant dancing, to whacking shuttlecocks and ping pong balls or shooting to score in netball, all girls contributed to the final results at the end of the day. First place went to Pankhurst house who took the maximum 250 points. They were followed in order by Hepburn, Bronte and Seacole joint 3rd, Keller then Curie.
Curie’s fund raising was gratefully boosted by an extra fifty pounds thanks to the generosity of Sacha Pursall in 7F and her family, who donated a significant number of Easter eggs for a raffle. She is pictured with her house leader, Ms Clift.
Also last term there was an Easter house quiz during morning PDT. Whilst not all forms were able to take part, of those who did, their totals were added together to rank the houses as follows. The winning 250 points went to Hepburn with Curie and Seacole an extremely close joint 2nd, Pankhurst, Keller and Bronte followed behind.
The extra amount of points the houses are awarded for these activities has gone up this year and is hopefully making a difference to total scores. The race for house champions at the end of the year is wide open. Keller may finally get knocked off their prestigious perch where they have been for 4 years now. Will Hepburn be able to put their turquoise ribbons on both the house trophy and the talent show trophy this year, or will Pankhurst catch them at the finish line? All will be revealed on 13th July.
Seussical The Musical
Congratulations to all pupils and staff who worked so hard on our amazing production of 'Seussical The Musical'. The pupils exhibited oustanding professionalism from early rehearsals to the closing night, performing before sell out audiences every night. We hope that the memories of being involved will last forever and look forward to seeing pupils involved in productions both inside and outside school in the future.
Music tour to Austria
On March 21st it was finally time to depart for Vienna – after a long and careful planning phase which involved hard work in rehearsals, on Playday and on ‘Folder factory’ morning by all students. After a smooth journey to the continent we were welcomed by a hearty Austrian meal at our hotel. Rest was important as the next day was action packed with a visit and performance at BG/BRG Neusiedl am See, a Roman Adventure Tour in Carnuntum and shopping at McArthur Glenn designer Outlet Centre Parndorf. Day 2 included sightseeing in Vienna and following the footsteps of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart before exploring music in connection with technology and science at “Haus der Musik”. Sunday, renamed the “Day of highlights”, was spent discovering the past in an Austrian village, eating tons of cake at Mrs Palmer’s parents’ house and collaborating in a concert with SJBO, the local symphonic wind orchestra. Before travelling back home Viennese waltzing was on the programme and the Wiener Prater amusement park with its iconic Ferris wheel. We thank all young musicians for their exceptional behaviour and excellent performances, and all accompanying staff for their hard work. With the next concert tour open to all committed musicians already in planning for 2020, please do send us suggestions or ideas in order to keep making our music tours unique.
Visit to Evergreen Blossom Academy in Ghana
An excited party of 18 people left Greenbank High School at 6.30am on Wednesday 7th February to arrive sixteen hours later at the MacQueens Royal Hotel in Akropong.
After a good sleep and a healthy breakfast we were guests of honour at the Evergreen Blossom Academy PTA meeting. Presentations were made and gifts given. The afternoon was spent with the children in classes and our pupils were practising their dance routine for the forthcoming wedding of our hosts Francis and Spendylove. Francis is the Headteacher at Evergreen and our friendship with him goes back to 2009 when we were introduced through The British Council Connecting Classrooms scheme.
Whilst there we attended a Domestic Violence Conference presented by the Police Chief of the Area. A local primary school also attended. It was very interesting because we heard how the children are educated about different forms of abuse.
The highlight of the visit was the traditional engagement and wedding of Francis and Spendy. The whole day was one of sheer joy, music and dancing. The ladies had prepared enough delicious food for the whole village. The Greenbank pupils together with Mr and Mrs Palmer performed Amazing Grace on their instruments. The pupils then performed their dance routine which received rapturous applause from the wedding guests. Spendy had been sewing all the wedding costumes for her and her family plus she somehow found the time to make all 18 of us dresses or shirts to wear at Church the next day. They all fitted perfectly and will be treasured as a memento of the visit.
We also visited a medical centre, and did some work experience. We attended Church on Sunday morning and were embraced by the congregation. We took an excursion to a leisure centre with the whole school, where the children played games and used the swimming pool. For some of the primary pupils it was their first ever experience of a swimming pool.
The group then took a trip to Cape Coast; this was the day we had to rise by 3am. Whilst there we visited the Cape Coast Castle which included the Slavery Museum. Notable former visitors were Michelle and Barack Obama. We then went to the rain forest and did the canopy walk which was very thrilling.
Our last day included time spent visiting Koforidua a small market town. The pupils did some shopping. A last lunch and goodbyes were said.
Francis and Spendylove looked after us as family, the Greenbank pupils were amazing and a real credit to school and their parents.
World Book Day
On Thursday 1st March, we celebrated World Book Day 2018. Staff and students alike participated as you can see from the photos and the excitement was evident as we also incorporated quizzes and creative activities within English lessons and PDT. After asking Personal Tutors to select a winner from each form, we then selected a winner per year group and then an overall winner – The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. A £10 book voucher was presented to our winning student and we cannot wait to start planning again for next year. A book swap also took place within the library at break/ lunch time which year after year, is a massive success. Getting the pupils to talk about and discuss literature was our main aim and this was certainly evident throughout the day: not just in English but across the curriculum. The two World Book Day displays within school will be updated and there was a winner of our selfie competition announced. A wonderful celebration of literature for staff and pupils alike!
Rotary Technology Tournament
As part of a now extensive extra-curricular programme in Design Technology, girls from years 8 and 9 have attended an Engineering club in preparation for this year’s Rotary Technology Tournament. Following their success from last year winning the basic level award, the girls have been very keen to further develop their skills and compete again this year, only this time in the next level up. Based on last year’s competition, the girls knew that this would require higher level skills in order to achieve success.
During the after school clubs, the girls have studied different engineering concepts by looking at challenges using structures, mechanisms, gear ratios and electronics. The girls have also been encouraged to develop their problem solving skills, think ‘outside the box’, but most importantly have fun and enjoy the challenges.
This year’s competition saw even more pupil entries from our neighbouring schools and most definitely a tougher challenge than the previous year! The girls had to design and make a space capsule that could be fired from a launch pad, reach a height of at least three meters, pass through a loop on the way up and then deploy a parachute on the way down, landing as close to the original launch pad as possible.
After much designing, developing and deliberating, our girls once again came up with a winning design and took home the trophy! Even more impressive this year, not only did they compete in the next level up, they were competing against pupils in years 10 and 11 from the other schools, who are studying Design Technology or Engineering at GCSE level. Also, although the girls have looked at a number of different engineering concepts in the after school club, they haven’t yet studied trajectories or flight. This goes to show how well the girls have done using their problem solving skills and working as a team to produce yet another winning concept!
As always, the girls were an absolute credit to our school and once again lead the way in producing another outstanding piece of engineering! Well done to all who took part.
Rotary Youth Speaks Regional Public Speaking Competition
On Friday 9th March, we were invited to take part in the Youth Speaks District competition in Wrexham. Our team of three consisted of Yasmin Billingsley (Chairperson), Izzy Austin (Main speaker) and Olivia Logan (Vote of Thanks) who earlier in the year won the local heat.
The girls decided on the topic of the speech by thinking about what meant something to them: something they felt passionate about. The speech was named ‘The School System – Past and Present’ and detailed how they felt that the current education system was putting too much pressure on teenagers and how there wasn’t enough time to study skills such as saving someone’s life and how to make informed decisions like using their votes correctly.
The teams were of an incredibly high standard and our girls did us very proud. After winning the local heats, the girls were incredibly excited about competing at a District level and they thoroughly enjoyed the whole experience. Whilst the girls didn’t win on this occasion, they came away discussing potential topics for when they enter the senior competition later this year.
We had a wonderful evening celebrating the talent of young teenagers and exploring thought provoking issues from Mental Health to Human Rights.
Congratulations to our girls and all teams involved in the evening!
Mr Raikes was pleased to be accompanied by pupils nominated for a variety of reasons ranging from outstanding attendance, progress, to a random act of kindness at the Headteacher’s Breakfast on 9th February and 23rd March. The pupils, who were nominated by their Head of Year, are exceptional role models.
Theatre Director Visit
We were very lucky to have a visit from professional theatre director David Siebert. David has worked on theatre all over the UK, in the West End and most recently with the Royal Shakespeare Company in Stratford Upon Avon. He spoke to GCSE Drama students in Year 9, 10 and 11 about his love of theatre as a child, his educational journey and what it's like to have a career in the theatre. His talk was frank, interesting and humorous and our pupils were all thoroughly engaged and hopefully learned a lot about the profession.
Below is a picture of some of our Year 9 actresses with David in front of a collage showing posters from some of his theatre work.
Approximately 30 year 9 students took part in a positive health and well-being day lead by TEAMreb, an organisation who tackle various different mental health issues. The girls volunteered for the day and looked at different ways to manage stress levels, plan time for activities to release anxiety and then to create a campaign to assist other students within their year group. All girls demonstrated great commitment to the day and felt it was worthwhile. As part of a Year 10 project entitled ‘Big Sista Love’ a group of pupils created outstanding artwork that has been displayed recently in the Liverpool ‘Lush’ store. These are just two of many projects which have been delivered this year as part of Greenbank tackling and supporting our students with their emotional well-being . Should parents want any more information on projects running please contact Mrs Gent Jones, Designated Lead for Mental Health at school.
Well done to the Greenbank teams who won the annual Medical Marvels competition at Runshaw College on 21st March. It was brilliant day with all teams getting the opportunity to sample some of the colleges Medical Society activities.
Sophie Scholl Awards
Well done to Grace Holt (winner) and Erin Waggett (highly commended) in the recent Sophie Scholl Awards run by Runshaw College.
International Women's Day 2018
Year 10 Art Therapy Project
Our Year 10 students took part in an Art Therapy Project at the Gostins Building Art Studio in Liverpool just before Christmas.
Welcome to Wonderland 2017
Welcome to Wonderland is a creative writing competition enabling children of all abilities and ages to enter their writing for a chance to become a published author. We are thrilled to congratulate our winners from the competition! Well done girls!
Haworth trip - December 2017
Our annual trip to Haworth for our Literacy Leaders was a success again this year. The girls participated in a guided walk, a history talk and a drama workshop based around the classic novel Jane Eyre. The girls were an asset to the school and cannot wait to share what they have learnt through the Paired Reading Programme and after school clubs!
Greenbank High School Christmas Market
Mr Ian Raikes, Headteacher of Greenbank High School was very pleased with another set of excellent results.
He said “I am delighted with the progress that pupils of all abilities have made since their start at Greenbank. I am extremely proud of the girls who were always determined to both achieve in their studies and their personal development through opportunities such as The Greenbank Leadership Academy and the Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme. An excellent 78% achieved 9-4 grades (previously A*-C) in both the new English (90%) and Mathematics (79%). We are very pleased with the number of pupils achieving the new higher grades of 7-9 with 38% of students achieving these grades in English. These achievements could not happen without the determination and hard work of students and staff. Well done to everyone and we look forward to celebrating the pupils success at Awards Evening in November.”
Greenbank wins award for young carer support
Greenbank High School has been given a Bronze award for their work to make sure students don’t miss out on an education because they are young carers.
The Young Carers in Schools programme helps primary and secondary schools improve outcomes for young carers and celebrates good practice through the Young Carers in Schools Award.
Young carers are responsible for emotional, practical or physical care for a parent, sibling or other family member who has a physical disability, mental health issue or substance misuse issue. The 2011 Census statistics revealed that there are just over 166,000 young carers in England, but research reveals that this is just the tip of the iceberg. The true figure could be closer to 700,000 young carers in England, equivalent to one in 12 school children many of whom are unrecognised and unsupported.
Research carried out by Carers Trust and The Children's Society shows that, on average, young carers miss or cut short 48 school days a year and often have lower levels of self-confidence, mental wellbeing and significantly lower educational attainment at GCSE level, because of their caring role.
To help schools support young carers, the programme offers a step-by-step guide for leaders, teachers and non-teaching staff, with practical tools designed to make it as easy as possible for schools. Staff can also receive training through webinars and events and the programme also features a newsletter each term highlighting relevant policy developments, spotlighting good practice and giving updates on the programme’s successes.
“To achieve their Bronze Award Greenbank has demonstrated that it supports young carers in many ways, including homework clubs and drop-in sessions with a member of staff who is responsible for this vulnerable group of pupils. Vital information about how to identify young carers is made available to all school staff, and noticeboards and the school webpage let students and their families know where to go for help”.
The programme is open to all schools in England and to sign up schools just need to visit www.youngcarersinschools.com
Giles Meyer, Chief Executive of Carers Trust, says: “Schools play a vital role in a young carer’s life, but many care for relatives without their teachers even knowing what they do. On average young carers will miss half a day of school each fortnight as a result of their caring role, so the steps schools take to identify and support them can have a huge impact on their learning, wellbeing and life chances.”
Helen Leadbitter, national young carers lead at The Children’s Society, is thrilled with the way the Young Carers in Schools Programme is bringing about national change.
“Hundreds of schools across England are participating in the Young Carers in Schools programme, using the tools and resources to improve their support systems, and ensuring that no child need miss out on educational opportunities because they are a carer. 74% of schools who have achieved a Young Carers in Schools Award have noticed improved attendance among their young carers, and 94% have noticed improvements in their wellbeing and confidence.”
Carers Trust is the UK’s largest charity providing services to unpaid carers, young carers and young adult carers. We work to make sure that carers of all ages are not overlooked or deprived of services they need, and this is underpinned in our vision – a world where the role and contribution of unpaid carers is recognised, and where they have access to the quality support services they need to live their own lives. We support over 465,000 carers across the UK, including over 30,000 young carers.
Through its network of carers services, Carers Trust supports thousands of young and young adult carers.
We do this with a UK wide network of quality assured independent partners, through our unique online services and through the provision of grants to help carers get the extra help they need to live their own lives.
There are seven million carers in the UK. Please visit our website www.carers.org for further information about your nearest service.
The Children’s Society
It is a painful fact that many children and young people in Britain today are still suffering extreme hardship, abuse and neglect. Too often their problems are ignored and their voices unheard. Now it is time to listen and to act.
The Children’s Society is a national charity that runs local services, helping children and young people when they are at their most vulnerable, and have nowhere left to turn.
We also campaign for changes to laws affecting children and young people, to stop the mistakes of the past being repeated in the future.
Through a three-year partnership with The Children’s Society, Henley Festival aims to bring inspiration and support to young carers across England.
Last year, the festival saw 100 young carers and their families, who often feel isolated, take a break from their daily duties to come and enjoy our Family Day. The 'Hidden' photographic exhibition at the Festival exposed the unseen and often forgotten lives of children who selflessly dedicate their time to ensuring their family are cared for. We were delighted to welcome and offer work experience to young carers who were able to bring to life a handful of these powerful stories that lie behind 166,000 of Britain's closed doors.
And it doesn't stop there. 52 carers from the region were rewarded with a more-than-deserved break from their inescapable responsibilities by enjoying The Young Carers Festival held in Hampshire.
The Children's Society recognises the struggles that come with being a carer at a young age, juggling life at home and at school. To tackle this, they have worked with 35 school professionals in the Henley region to prepare children for any challenges they may face with their education and how schools can address issues, as well as helping five young carer's services.