News

Latest Information from our school, including news stories and upcoming events.

Newsletter July 17th

Welcome to our final newsletter of the year and it looks like we may at last get some summer weather just in time!!!

Those among us who do not have a sunny disposition will bear a thought for our Year 10 students attending Spanish classes in Ávila, Spain, this week in temperatures (mild really for the season) of 34C! If you follow us on Twitter, you will have seen however that they seem to be coping very well. The pool is certainly helping!

This week was also our end of year trips and I have already had some wonderful comments from the boys. I would like to praise the ones I personally took to the Climbing Hangar and Airborn Academy who were, throughout the day, polite, enthusiastic and an absolute credit. Feedback from the other trip leaders has been just as positive. Well done all.

Yesterday was the last of opportunity for our Sports Leaders to support one of the primary school’s sports days with Shoreside infants coming over to us for the occasion. The Sports Leaders were again there to support, organise and encourage competitors in all the events and did a wonderful job. It has been an absolute privilege to see the way they have engaged with the leadership of these events and to receive the incredible praise bestowed upon them by our primary colleagues. I will write to individual parents to convey my appreciation in a more formal way but would also like to acknowledge publicly their dedication and maturity throughout. I hope younger students will also volunteer next year to take on these roles.

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Newsletter July 10th

Welcome to our penultimate newsletter of the year. We were all looking forward to sports day today and it hasn't disappointed with some great performances and outstanding sportsmanship. More details will follow next week.

We are all excited this week to host Year 5 students from most of our local primary schools. By all accounts they had a fabulous time so far thanks to the hard work from the staff and more importantly the support from the boys who looked after them throughout each day. The comments from the primary staff were a pleasure to hear.

Lessons do carry on as normal until the last day of term and students are expected to engage with the work.

End of year trips are taking place next Monday and this will disrupt the timetable but we do have a range of lessons and activities for the students who are not on trips and are expected to attend the full day.

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Newsletter July 3rd

It would not be possible for me to write this newsletter without mentioning our forthcoming changes to our school times. As I explained in my letter this week, we will finish at 2.10 every Thursday week 2. This will not only save the school a substantial amount of money year on year, it will also allow our teachers to have joint curriculum planning time every other week. These plans were discussed at the Parents/Carers meeting in February and at the Parents/Carers forum in June. Several schools have had a 49 lessons timetable for many years and the reduction has not affected any core subjects. I have included my original letter which includes a few more details. At the Parents/Carers forum we also discussed another change for next year, which was announced to our new Year 7 Parents and Carers last week. For the last 5 years we have allowed on site limited use of mobile phones by students. Following a comprehensive review of their use and impact this year, we have decided to ban mobile phone use on site. Students will still be allowed to have them for safeguarding on the way to and from school, but they will need to switch them off and put them away before entering the site. A letter will be emailed to you this week but I have also attached a copy to this newsletter. We are convinced that now is the right time to take this decision and it is in line with many other secondary and primary schools. Tomorrow is our Awards Evening. As always it promises to be a great celebration of all the successes we as a school, but the boys in particular have achieved this year and I can't wait to see many of you there.

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Newsletter June 26th

It looks like summer may have finally arrived this week (at least we can hope). Although we are not predicted the heatwave that is scorching its way through France at the moment, I would nevertheless like to send a reminder that uniform rules do apply until the end of term apart from cases of extreme conditions as we had last summer. This means that all students should wear full uniform (blazer, tie, shirt tucked in, shoes) throughout the day and on the way to and from school. They may still wear a coat if they wish to but it should never be worn instead of their blazer. Thank you to all parents and carers for reminding them of these rules at home and ensuring that they leave the house fully ready to ensure a positive start to the day. As always I would like to thank and praise the vast majority of boys who wear their uniform with pride and represent the school and themselves in such a positive and affirming way.

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Newsletter June 19th

It has been a very busy week with Year 11s finishing their exams, Year 10s starting theirs, some Year 6s coming in for transition activities and Years 1-5 coming for sporting activities. As GCSEs finish I would like to take this opportunity one last time to praise our leavers for their outstanding behaviour during the exam season and wish them all the best for the future. I know their hard work and the hard work of their staff and parents and carers will ensure that they achieve the results they deserve in August

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Newsletter June 12th

Next week sees the last of the Year 11s' GCSEs exams. As always it has been a very tough and demanding time for all involved and I would like to take this final opportunity to praise the boys for their behaviour throughout and wish them all the best of luck for the future.

No sooner is one series of exams over than the next one starts, so next week will see the Year 10 GCSE Statistics and Hospitality & Catering exams, soon followed by our Year 10 end of year exams. Please encourage your son to spend time revising regularly at home in preparation. This will be incredibly beneficial when it comes to preparing for the final exams next year.

Please remember that this Thursday 13 June at 6.00pm is our second Parents' and Carers' Forum for the year. We will present information about local safeguarding issues that may affect your son as well as proposals regarding use of mobile phones and changes to our curriculum.

Finally, I couldn't finish this week's newsletter without mentioning our Athletics team winning the Southport and Formby title for the 5th year in a row! This is an incredible achievement and a testament to the talent of our boys and the hard work of the staff in making it happen. Looking forward to them bringing home the Sefton crown again!

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Newsletter June 5th

This week there are only two items from me to start this newsletter but they are both significant ones. The first one is that you will have received an email containing a short brief from me on mobile technologies and some of the safeguarding issues they raise for all students as well as some of the steps we can all take as parents to minimise them. I hope you will find it useful.

Secondly, I would like to remind all of you about our Parent/Carer forum that will take place next Thursday at 6.00pm in the media hall. This is always an important event and I would urge as many of you to attend as possible this year, as we have a series of significant proposals up for discussion. There will be short presentations on the local safeguarding risks to young people in the Southport area but we will also put forward for discussion proposals regarding the use of mobile phones and possible changes to our timetable.

Finally, I would like to wish all our Muslim students and their families ‘Eid Mubarak’ as they celebrate the feast of Eid today.

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Newsletter May 22nd

As we continue to work our way through the GCSE papers I would like to take this opportunity to praise the boys whose behaviour in exams and generally around the school has been excellent. Please continue to support them and encourage them to revise sensibly and consistently at home, engage in revision sessions and lessons in school but also eat healthily and have early nights.

This week it was a pleasure to host the Farnborough Road Year 4 Sports Day. The FRJS students were a delight and our Sports Leaders were fantastic from start to finish. Thank you to Mr Keary for his continued work with our primary partner schools.

Thank you also, to Miss Flood and Mr Leece, who are again taking their Wild Wild Roadshow to our local primaries with the help and support of students in the Animal Club.

Finally, just one reminder from me: our Parents and Carers Forum is on Thursday 13 June at 6.00pm. We will answer any questions or concerns you may have, but will also present items on use of mobile phones, safeguarding issues in the Southport area and a review of PSHCE plans. Should there be a particular issue that you think would be worth discussing at the meeting, please do not hesitate to contact me.

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Newsletter May 15th

So summer has finally landed, just in time for our Year 11s to take one last look before going into the exam hall. Computer Science, RE, French, Biology, PE and English Literature in 3 days!!! Please continue to encourage your son to revise seriously at home but also to have a balanced diet and get some sleep. Porridge is available for free every morning. Maybe not a teenager's favourite but definitely the most sustaining breakfast one could wish for before an exam. Intervention sessions are continuing during the day and after school so please encourage your son to stay and make the best of these opportunities.

There are also some Year 10 GCSEs starting soon - Statistics, IMedia, Food Technology as well as Year 10 end of year exams after half term and students should start revising regularly at home on a daily basis. Thorough preparation for these exams will alleviate a lot of the stress next year.

I was very proud this week to hear of the work our Year 10 students presented at Edge Hill University and to see how engaged our Brilliant Club scholars were in their sessions.

I would also like to make a special mention for Allessandro Chalmers who went through a series of workshops and auditions before being finally selected to DJ at the Amsterdam Open Air Festival in front of a huge crowd next month. Our DJs have only been going for 2 years but it has proved a very popular GCSE option and it is great to be able to celebrate their success.

Finally, I would like to remind you all that our next Parents' and Carers Forum will take place on Thursday 13 June at 6.00pm in the Media Hall. As always it will be an open agenda with a chance for you to raise any queries but we will also discuss the use of mobile phones and have a safeguarding presentation on the local issues that could affect your son in and around Southport. All parents and carers are invited and welcome.

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Newsletter May 8th

A very short newsletter this week, but nevertheless a very important one.

You will have read over the last few weeks in this newsletter several items related to exams as we move towards the summer examinations season. Yesterday we had our final assembly with Year 11 students to wish them good luck with the forthcoming exams, which start next week, and to go over last minute arrangements and reminders such as our in-school revision session timetable, do's and don'ts in those final weeks and the very crucial code of behaviour in the exam hall. All of these little tips can make the difference on the day and give students that one extra mark that pushes them over a grade boundary.

Regardless of how much preparation your son has done so far, every session between now and the actual exam will count and could make a crucial difference to his final grade. This is not about panic and stress, it is about being pragmatic and making the best of the time left ahead of us. We talked to students about the importance of consistent revision, every day, of engagement but also getting a good night's sleep and eating a healthy breakfast. Our caterers, Mellors, have very kindly offered to provide porridge (which is the ideal type of food before an exam) free of charge to Year 11 students every morning.

Finally, as the holy month of Ramadan started this week, I would like to wish Ramadan Kareem to all our Muslim students and their families.

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Newsletter May 1st

It is hard to have a newsletter this week without discussing exams. Year 9 have just completed theirs in formal conditions and have been an absolute credit throughout. Year 7s start on Thursday. I am sure that they have taken their revision seriously and would like to wish them all good luck for their first taste of exam conditions in secondary school. Please continue to encourage your son to do regular revision every night at home and he can also attend Homework Club in the Hub after school.

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Newsletter April 3rd

I want again to thank all of you for your outstanding engagement and attendance at Parents' and Carers' Evening, which for the last three, ranged from 93% to a staggering 96% in Year 7 (our best attendance in 3 years). Attending Parents/Carers' Evening is not just a highly effective way to inform yourself of your son's progress, it is also a crucial opportunity to have a face to face dialogue and build a relationship between home and school. Even more importantly, in my view (as a parent and an educator), it is a unique and very powerful way to demonstrate in one simple gesture that we all care for your sons/our students and that we both have the same common goals: help them, support them, encourage them to be the best they can be academically of course, but also as far as their welfare and personal development is concerned. So, once again, thank you for believing and supporting that partnership.

We are running, once again, our Easter Eggstravaganza this week when we will be rewarding every day the student in each year group who achieved the highest number of merits and no sanctions on each day. The first 2 sets of winners are included in this newsletter and check us out on Twitter for the next ones.

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Newsletter March 27th

This Thursday is our last Parents and Carers' Evening and we currently have 95% of parents and carers who have made an appointment. Our best attendance so far and a clear indication of how serious you all are about the importance of your son's education. Our last 3 evenings have seen attendance above 93% and I thank you for your attendance and support.

One point that has come up in conversation when talking to parents has been the labelling of sanctions in the app. All of the parents and carers who use the app value it but do not like the fact that all sanctions are labelled behaviour when many are not behaviour issues. Unfortunately this is something that we have no control over as the labels are taken straight from SIMS, which holds all our staff and students' information, and are set nationally. I have reported the matter and asked the company to see what can be done but, at the moment there is very little else that we can do.

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Newsletter March 20th

Following on from our Options Evening two weeks ago, this week is Year 8 Parents' and Carers' Evening. This is an important event where you will be able to discuss with your son's teachers not only his progress so far, but also what lies ahead as he enters GCSE. I hope to see many of you there. Should you have any queries regarding options in the meantime, please do not hesitate to contact Mr Marshall

Next week it will be the turn of our Year 7 parents and carers to attend their first ever Progress Report Evening at Birkdale High School. Throughout both evenings, I will be around to answer any questions you may have along with our Careers Adviser, Heads of Year and members of the Senior Leadership Team.

A lot of exciting stuff has been happening this week with our Year 7 and 8 scholars going on their first Brilliant Club visit, our Silver DofE attempting their first practice expedition (cut short by the stormy weather unfortunately), our Year 9 visit to York Dungeons, Year 10 scientists going to Runshaw, Year 11 musicians to LIPA as well as Year 10 students going to Liverpool to learn a bit more about Oxford and Cambridge universities. Not bad in one week!!!

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Newsletter March 13th

Thank you to all our Year 8 parents who braved Storm Gareth last night to attend our Options Evening. It was a packed audience with standing room only, which shows just how committed you are to supporting your son's education. If you couldn't attend we will forward the materials to you later on this week and if any of you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact Mr Marshall at the school. I will also be available throughout the Year 8 Parents' Evening to answer any queries you may have at that point that haven't been answered by individual teachers.

Thursday is PSHCE so all timetables are collapsed. Forms will be working mainly with their tutor on a range of focusing on the wider curriculum, pastoral related issues and British values, ranging from preparation for the 'Smile' challenge in Year 7 to CV writing for Year 11, substance abuse awareness and understanding the concept of joint enterprise. This is a key part of our curriculum provision and we expect all the boys to engage fully in all the activities.

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Newsletter March 6th

Over the last year and a half, our approach to marking students' work has evolved in a variety of ways as we look ever deeper into what makes effective learning. As I mentioned last week when talking about revision, most of us probably have strong views on marking based on our own, or our other children's experiences, so I thought I would follow up this week with a very short, but very interesting blog from David Didau, one of the UK's leading educationalists. The techniques he describes are some that we have started using at Birkdale and I thought that it would give you some insight into what we are trying to do and why. I hope that you will find it of interest: learningspy.co.uk/featured/what-do-students-think-about-marking

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Newsletter February 27th

As we approach our second set of Year 11 GCSE Mock Examinations, I thought it would be useful to start this newsletter with a few words about revision. We all have, as parents and carers, memories of how we revised (or didn't as the case may be) for our own exams and how possibly our other children revised for theirs (with greater or lesser success). This, in a way, makes us all "experts"!!! One of our main drivers for success over the last couple of years has been to look at the research behind cognitive science and to reassess our practice and therefore the advice we give to students under the light of hard research evidence. In the end, every child will revise in his own way if it works for him. However, there is substantial evidence out there that some strategies will be more beneficial and more effective, and some strategies, although they may work for some people, will simply not work as well.

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Newsletter February 13th

This week is orange week! Every year, with all the other 30 primary and secondary schools in the Southport Learning Partnership, we take part in a fundraising event in support of a local cause. In the past we have raised funds for Queenscourt Hospice or for the local food bank. This year the student representatives on the SLP School Council project have elected to wear orange this Friday to support the Muscular Dystrophy Society as it is a degenerative disease that affects their friends in some of our local schools. The boys will be allowed on Friday to wear their own clothes with 1 item of Orange and will be asked for a £1 donation that will be sent to the Muscular Dystrophy Society. We hope that you will all be able to support this very worthwhile charity that does so much for children and adults affected by this terrible disease.

Our second set of mock exams are about to start after half term. All the Year 11 students now have a significant amount of revision to do and these mocks should provide them with a clear focus for the next few weeks. Please continue them to support them and to encourage them to do as much revision as possible over half term.

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Newsletter February 6th

Thank you to all of the Year 7 and 8 parents and carers who came last night to our curriculum design consultation evening. It was one of our best attended forums and I am very grateful that so many of you took the time to listen to Mr Marshall and myself and give us your views.

Our aim is to offer a curriculum that gives all students the appropriate breadth and depth of knowledge along with the skills needed to succeed at GCSE and beyond as well as equip them to make positive contributions to the world they live in.

We have emailed all parents and carers in Years 7 and 8 the brief PowerPoint presentation we used last night and any feedback should be addressed to Mr Marshall at [email protected] I hope that the evening was also a useful opportunity for those present to ask questions and understand the rationale behind some of the decisions we take regarding your son's education

Yesterday was Safer Internet day and I would like to thank Mr Moss and the Computer Science department for their efforts in promoting this very important message for all children.

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Newsletter January 30th

I would like to start this newsletter by repeating my invitation to all year 7 and 8 parents and carers to attend a brief consultation evening, on Tuesday 5th February, to discuss the possible options we are looking at to take our curriculum forward. You should have also received a text but I thought I would seize this opportunity to remind you all. Parents and carers in other year groups are also very welcome to attend although it will not impact on your sons in the same way.

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Newsletter January 23rd

This week it has been Year 8s' turn to have formal exams in the hall. This is an important part of their preparations for GCSE as the results will inform their option choices but it is also a chance for all students to get used to the formal setting and examinations rules and procedures as well as how to approach revision and handle stress. As always, we are there to support them and ensure that it is a challenging but constructive and positive (if not necessarily pleasant) experience.

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Newsletter January 16th

Happy New Year! Bonne Année!

Although we know there is a lot of work ahead of us, it was an absolute pleasure to welcome all the boys back to school last week after the Christmas break. I hope that you have all managed to get some deserved rest and enjoy some time for yourself or with friends and family. My assemblies last week, as you might expect, all focused on self-reflection, new year resolutions (and how to keep them!) and the impact of a positive mindset. It is a bit cliche at this time of year to discuss new year's resolutions again but we all need these opportunities to reflect and make positive changes.

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About Us

Birkdale High School, a limited company registered in England and Wales under Company number 07695504.

Registered address: Windy Harbour Road, Southport PR8 3DT

Headteacher: G Bourgade

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