Newsletter March 11th
Unfortunately the week seems to have been dominated by Corona Virus concerns. We continue to monitor
the situation and to follow the official guidance. There are no recorded cases in Sefton up to now and
schools have been told to remain open. If you have come from the affected areas or are concerned that you
are exhibiting the symptoms of Covid-19 please contact NHS 111 who are the professionals and will direct
you to testing centre and possibly recommend self-isolation. In school we continue to ensure that our
cleaning practices are adequate and monitor soap dispensers in toilets. We have reminded the boys in form
about the importance of basic hygiene practices and will reinforce the official messages regarding
handwashing and CATCH IT, BIN IT, KILL IT. We have also reminded them to report any issues with
cleaning facilities promptly so they can be dealt with. We have ensured all classrooms are stocked with
tissues and will show the boys a video on the importance of handwashing and hygiene. Thank you for your
support. As advice evolves we will continue to inform you.
Newsletter March 4th
I will have to start this newsletter by thanking you all. Monday was National Secondary Offer day when parents
and students find out what high school they have been allocated next year. For the second year in a row, we are
oversubscribed with a number of appeals, which is a testament to your support for the work we do and the
commitment we have to your son's education. We are not complacent, however, and will continue to look for
ways to improve our provision. Being oversubscribed two years in a row will give us the greater financial stability
needed to invest even more in your son's education and the support, enrichment and challenge we can offer him.
Newsletter February 12th
Thank you to all our Year 7 parents and carers who attended last week's progress evening. With 92% of you in
attendance, it was a great show of your support for your child's education. I spoke to many parents and carers on
the night who were very complimentary about the work we do but be assured that we also welcome all
comments, including constructive criticism on how we can improve further. We have for instance redesigned our
reports to make them more useful (we hope) for parents and carers and are very keen to hear your views. You
can simply email [email protected]
Newsletter February 5th
This Thursday is Year 7 Parents' Evening and I look forward to meeting many of you again.
Thanks to all the Year 9 parents and carers who attended their parents' evening last week. It was good to see
that almost 95% of you came in to discuss your son's progress.
Newsletter January 29th
This week is Year 9 Parents' Evening and I look forward to meeting many of you again. All Year 9s should
have taken their report home on Friday to help you ensure that the conversations with your son's teachers
are constructive and focused on how we can best work together to support him. Please remember that we
encourage students to attend as it is important that they are part of this very important conversation.
Newsletter January 22nd
Thank you to all the Year 11 parents and carers who attended our intervention evening. We purposefully
make it a different evening (by invitation, 15 minutes conversation so that issues can be discussed in
greater depth, in classrooms) and we hope that you found the format useful. We do, however, welcome
your views and comments on how useful the evening was for you and your son and how, in your opinion,
we could improve it further.
Newsletter January 15th
The new term is now definitely under way with Year 11 catering practicals this week and Year 8 formal
exams starting next week. Please continue to encourage your son to prepare thoroughly for these exams
as his performance will not only give him confidence when starting his GCSEs, it will also help him to make
positive choices when the option process starts after half term with our Year 8 Options Evening on Tuesday
3 March followed by the Year 8 Parents and Carers evening on Thursday 12 March.
Newsletter January 8th
May I take this opportunity to wish you all a Happy New Year for 2020 and welcome the boys back for the
spring term. Although this is just the first week back, we have a packed newsletter.
Newsletter December 18th
To start our last newsletter of 2019, I would like to thank you all for your support with our fundraising and
charity activities over the last 3 weeks which will culminate in the BPA Mufti day and cake sale on Friday.
We appreciate that this is a time of year where families can be under incredible pressures financially and
we have been overwhelmed by the generosity shown throughout. I will give a breakdown of all that we
raised in the New Year but we have managed to support Save the Children with the Year 7 Christmas
Jumper day last week, we are taking an incredible number of wrapped up shoe boxes to the homeless
shelter today, we have donated toys to the Mayor’s Christmas Toy Appeal and instead of giving Christmas
cards we are also donating to the Toilet Twinning charity Toilett Winning who ensure that
small communities in the developing world have access to life saving basic hygiene facilities. Thank you.
I hope you find this last letter informative and enjoyable. This week the Science Department has hosted 3
forensic afternoons for primary schools, our Year 10 GCSE students visited Edge Hill, there was a Rewards
Trip to Old Trafford and our house band and DJs brought Christmas cheer to local primary schools.
School will finish at 12.30pm on Friday 20 December. Whatever your plans are over the festive break, I
hope that you all find the time to enjoy precious moments with family and friends and I look forward to
seeing you all again in the New Year.
Newsletter December 11th
In keeping with the Christmas theme started in last week's newsletter, I would like to continue this week by
thanking the Birkdale Parents Association for their continued gifts to the school. This incredible group of
parents meet every couple of months to plan fund raisers and work tirelessly to provide extra facilities and
resources for all the boys. This week they donated over £3000 to buy Maths Mastery resources for Years 7
and 8, an additional basketball hoop for the Year 7 playground, heart rate monitors to be used by GCSE PE
as well as Science and Sport Studies classes and a huge number of badges that will reward LORIC students,
Sports Leaders, Science Leaders and Prefects as well as any students achieving high numbers of merits
(details to follow in the new year). These are all additions that will benefit all the boys and, on behalf of all of
us, I would like again to express my gratitude for their support.
Their next fundraiser is our termly MUFTI day and cake sale (at break time) on the 20th December and I
hope that you will all support their efforts by ensuring your son makes a donation if he comes in his own
I do appreciate that we are all busy parents and carers and that not all of us can attend BPA meetings and
events but we also have a donations facility on ParentPay and you can join our 200 Club there as well. This
is a very easy way to support the BPA whilst at the same time having the chance of winning cash prizes! This
week the top prize (won by a parent) was £172.50. The more people who contribute, the higher the prizes will
This year, exceptionally, we have not one but two fundraising days. This was not something we had planned,
as we understand the financial pressures it can put on families at this time of year, but as part of their LORIC
accreditations some Year 7 students approached the staff about running a Christmas Jumper Day for Save
the Children on Friday 13th December. This event is aimed at Year 7s only. Students have to wear their
uniform but are allowed to wear a Christmas jumper and all the money raised will go to Save the Children.
We felt it was the right thing to encourage these students in their efforts and I hope that many of you will be
able to support them.
Newsletter December 4th
As we approach Christmas (and we are all looking for ideas for presents), I thought it would be appropriate in
this newsletter to suggest going back to basics and encourage as many of you as possible (I know many of
you will have already done so) to include a book as one of your stocking fillers. This is simply a suggestion of
course but here is the rationale behind it:
I hope that many of you will be aware that we have focused a lot of our time, resources and energy over the
last few years in developing a strategic approach to reading and vocabulary development. Alongside a range
of strategies used by the English department, this has been one of our key foci in us reversing the
traditionally accepted view of "boys not being good at English" and has seen our English Progress measures
outperforming boys' national average year on year.
Bridging the "vocabulary gap" has been consistently proven as one of the most effective ways to raise
students' attainment and enable them to be successful lifelong learners. This is particularly true for boys who
may not statistically read as much as girls or not read as wide a range of texts and genres. This was the
reason why the English department introduced library lessons and explicit vocabulary instruction once a
week, where key words identified were taught and practised.
Newsletter November 27th
This week is our Year 10 Parents' and Carers' evening. This is the stage at which the GCSE course becomes
real and the conversations really start to focus on clear strengths and areas of improvement for each subject.
It is a very important evening where, hopefully, the conversation with your son's teachers will highlight
concrete steps they can take between now and the next assessment window but also the end of Year 10
exam, which will be their first real taste of GCSE. Your support over the next 2 years is invaluable in helping
them and ensuring that they get the best possible academic grades but also build up resilience and a positive
mindset. I would like to remind all students that full uniform is compulsory for all school events including
Parents' and Carers' Evening.
Newsletter November 20th
It's been a week for celebrations with our GCSE Awards Evening, teams winning in basketball, football and
badminton, students rewarded for their attendance, punctuality and behaviour as well as being top readers in
their class. Well done to all the students who saw their achievements and efforts praised and rewarded. Keep
Our rolling out of the new EdulinkOne app has gone fantastically with already over 60% of our parents and
carers using the app. If you have any difficulties in signing up with the new app, please contact the school or
pop in at any time and our technicians will gladly do it for you.
Newsletter November 13th
Good luck to all our Year 11 students this week who start their first set of mock exams (the 2nd one is in
March). Please remember that during the mocks, students are expected in school every day but if their exam
finishes early in the afternoon, those students will be allowed to leave slightly earlier to go home and revise,
provided they haven't been asked to stay behind for a specific reason. Expectations regarding behaviour,
regulations, organisation and revision were all covered in our assembly on Friday.
Newsletter November 6th
Straight in from half term and it's almost the start of our first set of mock exams for Year 11s, which will begin
next Monday. This is the first opportunity for our Year 11s to be faced with the full suite of papers in exam
conditions and I know many of the boys have been revising hard over the last few weeks. If your son hasn't
yet fully engaged with his revision at home, it is not too late. Every day where they spend a couple of hours
going over notes, making revision cards or doing past papers, quizzes and Hegarty Maths activities will make
a difference. Interventions are taking place in form time, at lunchtime and after school and I have been
particularly impressed with the boys' focus during independent revision time at registration. These routines
are firmly embedded but will not be enough if they do not also work when at home. Good luck to you next
Thursday is our second PHSCE day of the year and in the evening we will host an introduction for students,
parents and carers of Years 9 and 10, to the Duke of Edinburgh award. This is something that, as a school,
we actively promote, but also an opportunity that I passionately believe in both as a headteacher and a
parent and I will attend the evening to welcome you and hopefully give you my perspective on what is, in my
view, an incredibly valuable experience for any young person.
I would like to thank Mrs Duffy and Mrs Williams who offered to take the bus on Monday morning with boys
who were involved in the tragic incident on Lord Street before the holidays. I hope that it enabled the boys to
be less apprehensive about taking this particular route. We will continue to monitor the boys' well being and
will offer further support sessions over the next few weeks, but please do not hesitate to contact us if you
If you haven't completed the ParentView survey, please do so by clicking on this link
Parent View Feedback Your feedback is invaluable in helping us to understand what we do well
and where we can continue to improve. Thank you in advance.
And finally a word about attendance. We all know how closely academic progress as well as character and
resilience development, are linked to strong school attendance. Whilst we all agree that there are times when
a child is simply not well enough to attend school (in the same way as there are days adults can simply not
be in work), please continue to encourage them to come in even if they are having a bit of an off day. We will
support them in school and look after them but it does ensure that they do not miss out on crucial learning
and gives them the greatest chance of success in the long term. Thank you again for your continued support.
Edulink One Launch
From Friday 8th November the school will be changing our main parent communication app “Xpressions”
to new platform called “Edulink One”. A trial has been ongoing with the new Year 7 intake and we have
had wonderful feedback from parents. Not only will the app allow us to communicate directly but will
also allow parents to view/edit information, track behaviours and achievement, view attendance and
report absence to name a few. In the coming months additional features will become available such as
booking parents evenings, viewing assessment data and downloading school reports all from the one app.
The school cannot recommend the app enough and encourage all parents to take advantage of this great
facility, in enabling excellent communication between school and parents we can improve the wellbeing
and achievement of your son giving them a great start to life here at Birkdale High School.
Keep your eye out as you will have received an invitations to the app via email, if both parents wish to
receive direct communications via Edulink please ensure you are both priority 1 parents.
Further details are attached below.
Newsletter October 16th
A lot has been happening this week with the Bike Right sessions, the Rotary Youth Speaks Competition etc.
More is to come with our Parents and Carers Forum this Thursday and our much anticipated annual joint
Year 7 Disco with Greenbank next Wednesday organised by the Birkdale Parents Association. The BPA are
also running a cake sale at break time on Friday this week to raise funds for the school. Please ensure that
your son has a bit of change on that day if you wish him to make a purchase. If you wish you can also send
cakes in to be sold on that day. All donations are to be taken to the front office who will also ensure that any
child bringing cakes in receives a merit.
As my second item in this newsletter I would also like to reiterate my request on Twitter earlier this week for
your support in identifying professionals in our community who would be willing to speak to Years 7 and 8
about their careers. We are constantly trying to create for students these "light bulb" moments that ignite in
students a passion or shine a light on a pathway they had never previously considered or even were aware
of. All the research shows that contact with real professionals in less well known fields is one of the most
crucial factors in opening young people's horizons. If you are, or know, such an individual, please contact us.
We would love to hear from you.
Newsletter October 9th
How can I possibly follow this week with the flurry of creativity and the amazing performances generated by
National Poetry Day last Thursday? Who said boys were not into poetry and creative writing? A huge thank
you to all the boys (and staff) who took part and particularly Mrs Jeffery for her energy and enthusiasm that
made it such a great event. I hope you will take the time to read the powerful poem by Brody Barclay 9HJJ
which he wrote for National Poetry Day and which is attached to this newsletter.
As students have now settled into the new year, many of the clubs have started in earnest (Celebrate, Green
Machine, Woodwork, Art, Sports, Animals, Reading, Homework) with many more starting soon. Please
continue to encourage your son to get involved. It's a great way to make new friends, develop new skills and
knowledge and build confidence.
Newsletter October 2nd
A reminder to parents that we have a Parents' Forum meeting on Thursday 17 October 2019 which begins at
6.00pm with a curriculum presentation specifically for parents and carers of Year 9 students. This is to support
students as they begin their GCSE studies. This is followed at 6.30pm with a general meeting for all parents and
L'Shanah Tovah to all our Jewish students and their families as they celebrated Rosh Hashana at the weekend.
Newsletter September 25th
Another busy week with our first PHSCE day of the year and the Year 7 Barnstondale residential taking place. All the
reports from the staff are that the boys had a great time and behaved impeccably throughout the trip. Well done. What a
great start to secondary school!
If you haven't joined us on Twitter at @BirkdaleHS, please do so and encourage others to follow suit. We do appreciate
that parents and carers already use a range of social media to keep in touch with family and friends as well as keeping
themselves informed for personal or business interests. For that reason, we made the decision, some time ago, not to
add to the flurry of information and notices you receive by sticking to one medium so you can all access anything we
publish as a school easily and simply. We try and post as often as we can to give you a real flavour of what goes on in
your son's school
Newsletter September 18th
What a way to start the week! Monday night was our 2019 Open Evening and it was our busiest yet. I would like to
thank all the parents and carers who came to visit the school for taking the time to come and see us and for the
amazing comments they made throughout the night. I would also like to thank all the staff, teaching and support,
for putting so much effort into ensuring that visitors get a real sense of just how good the school is.
Finally I have to say how proud I am of all the boys (over 300 of them) who came back to represent their school on
the night, be it in departments or as tour guides. You were absolutely amazing, each and every single one of you
and throughout the night I kept hearing comment after comment complimenting the boys' maturity, manners,
confidence and pride in their school.
Newsletter Sept 11th
Welcome to the new academic year and our first newsletter. As always it has been a tremendously busy week but
an incredibly enjoyable one as the new Year 7s seem to have settled very quickly and made a great impression on
all of us. This was the first time the school has been oversubscribed in many years and the new boys have all
arrived eager to learn and settle into their new environment. Well done! The Year 11 prefects and Year 8 peer
mentors have made a very committed start to their new roles and all the students seem to have come back with
renewed focus and maturity. Again, well done and keep it up!
I cannot start the year without mentioning results and how proud we are of last year's cohort. Results' day was a
very positive event with more boys arriving early than ever before to share in each other's celebrations having
achieved the grades needed for their respective post-16 destinations. We continue to outperform boys nationally
and have improved on last year's performance in almost every headline measure, and all indications are that, with
continued hard work, next year's will be even better. As we do every year, we have also identified areas for
continued improvement and we will focus all our energies on addressing them in order to provide your sons with
the best possible educational outcomes in order for them to secure their future pathways and lifelong success.
This week is dominated by next Monday's Open Evening. This is an important event in the school calendar as it
showcases the work we do to prospective parents. It is also a key opportunity for students to support their school
by acting as our ambassadors on the night. As parents, you will know yourself that one of the main deciding
factors when selecting a school is the opportunity to meet students and ask questions on Open Evening. Please
continue to encourage your son to attend and take part as a tour guide or in an individual subject area. One of the
proudest moment of my year as Headteacher is to hear the comments visitors come and share with me on the
night about the confidence, manners and engagement the boys have impressed them with. Year after year they
are a credit to our school and to you as their parents and carers. Years 7 and 8 students can also use Open
Evening as one of their Leadership tasks to be logged against their final LORIC award!
Please note that school will finish at 12.15pm for students for open evening on
Monday 16 September 2019.