GREENBANK RANKED 27 IN GLOBAL MATHS CHALLENGE
Greenbank's Preparatory School's fearless mathematicians have made their mark on the global stage with their Year 6 team of budding boffins ranked 27th best school in the world.
The top independent primary school on Heathbank Road in Cheadle Hulme took part in a worldwide online Maths challenge on World Mathematics Day run by Mathematics competing against four million students from 17,000 schools nationwide.
At the end of the challenge, which pits inquiring young minds against each other in on-line head to head maths competitions covering 20 different aspects of the subject, Greenbank's Year 6 class were ranked 27th with their Year 5 class in 65th place.
Adam Dyson, Greenbank's Deputy Head and Mathematics specialist, said “ It is a fantastic result achieved by the full class and not just our star performers. The secret to enabling your child to learn and enjoy Maths is to take away the 'Fear Factor'. Show them the subject is fun and that you can build on basic skills such as fractions and calculation until you can solve some really complex problems.”
Year 6 mathematician Shabbir, 10, from Cheadle, who wants to be an architect, said “I like Maths because knowing the rules means eventually I'll be able to design buildings or computers.”
Tiger, 10, from Bramhall, added “I like Maths because you learn something new every day, it's not just adding, subtraction, division and multiplication but so much more.”
Greenbank is an Independent Schools' Association's nominated centre of excellence for the Gifted and Talented provision.
Pictured with Adam Dyson from left to right at the top are Leo and Elango and at the front Thomas , Tiger, Shabbir and Iris.
YEAR 6 WIZARD OF OZ PRODUCTION
Greenbank Preparatory School's Head of Drama Adele Firth hopes the Yellow Brick Road will lead to the discovery of another star of the West End Stage.
Adele, herself a former soap actress, first cast Danielle Hope aged 11 in Annie Get Your Gun and years later Danielle went on to win BBC”s Search For a Star competition to land the coveted role of Dorothy. “Now I wonder who the next star will be, and there are certainly some contenders in this production,” said Adele.
“I chose this because it's a true children's classic with a wonderful story, powerful message and some fantastic pyrotechnics. We have got a metre high hologram of the Wicked Witch, flying monkeys and a harum scarum cyclone all courtesy of the Greenbank leaf blower. More importantly it's one for all generations of the family.”
Heather, who plays the scarecrow, confirmed that verdict “I've watched the film so many times with my grandma and it's just a dream come to true to play my favourite character the Scarecrow.”
Natasha , who plays Dorothy, added “I will certainly be basing my character on Judy Garland. She was a wonderful singer and actress and she made the part such fun to play.”
Tiger, who plays the Wicked Witch of the West, added “The newer children's films just don't have the same attraction and are easily forgettable, but we will all remember The Wizard of Oz for the rest of our lives.”
The play won standing ovations from packed audiences of parents, friends and relatives over the two might run.
Pictured Natasha in the foreground are Tiger, Heather, Shabir, Grace, George and Andrew.
Greenbank Preparatory School's mini market traders turned a tidy £200 profit for Port Reitz Special School in Kenya when they sold their wares at the Artisan Market in Cheadle Hulme Precinct.At home parents had been baking cup cakes for the special event, while in school the children had the tougher task of making bird feeders from a mix of millet, oats, raisins and lard.
The fledgling business boffins also produced decorative plant pots and fashion bags, peppermint creams and nut brittle to coax the cash from the punters' pockets.
Every year since, the top independent primary school in Cheadle Hulme has sent parties of teachers to volunteer in Kenya and in October the Headmistress's husband Derek Lowe and Head of Music Kate Mercer will climb Kilimanjaro as part of another major fund raising exercise.
Headmistress Janet Lowe said “The project taught the children so much about profit and loss, customer service and high standards of production, but hopefully, more importantly, will raise awareness of the vital work in Port Reitz.”
Janet added “The children have such an unfair advantage when it comes to sales: who could possibly turn their backs when they are asking you to buy their cakes.”
Pictured from left to right are Greenbank mini market traders Heather, Adil and Zahra.
EXTREME READERS WIN TOP BOOK SHOP COMPETITION
Young readers at Greenbank Preparatory School rose to the challenge posed by Simply Books to read a book in the most extreme places.
Every child in the top independent primary school in Cheadle Hulme had a picture taken of themselves reading in the most weird and wonderful of locations. From the top of the Empire State to a cliff's edge in the Lake District, from mid somersault to an aeroplane flight deck every child was pictured deep in thought reading their favourite tome.
The full school competition which saw some 200 pupils take part was then judged by Simply Books co owner Sue Steel who said “We wanted to show you don't have to be in a classroom, in a library or even in a book shop to enjoy a good read, you can be anywhere.” Sue added “It's wonderful to see that books are becoming even popular in the so called digital age and that children love the touch and feel of a book rather than the glare of a screen.”
The winners from all year groups from Nursery up to Year 6 each received a book token and will also get a special treat from the Simply Books cafe.
The winners are pictured with Sue Steel in the school playground doing some extreme reading.
Joshua reads while he sits in a fork lift truck at Progressive 3PL Ltd.
VETERAN CLIMBERS TO TACKLE KILIMANJARO FOR KENYAN SPECIAL SCHOOL
Two veteran charity fundraisers from Greenbank Preparatory School are to climb Kilimanjaro to continue their long term mission to support a Kenyan special school.
Derek Lowe, 60, from Davenport and Kate Mercer, 52, from Whaley Bridge will form the backbone of the Greenbank Preparatory School party taking on the highest mountain in Africa.
Derek, the husband of Janet Lowe, Greenbank's headmistress, is a regular on mountain sides in the Lake District and Snowdonia but says he has never attempted this type challenge, while Greenbank's Head of Music Kate is an accomplished long distance walker who has already completed a succession of challenges, including the 100 mile St. Cuthbert's Way in Northumberland.
They will be supporting leg amputee Wendy Baardman, the Treasurer of the Port Reitz Special School Foundation, on the once in a life time venture aiming to raise 20,000 euros to buy a new mini bus for the orphanage in Kenya, which educates children many of whom have severe physical and mental needs.
Greenbank Preparatory School, based on Heathbank Road in Cheadle Hulme, began raising funds for Port Reitz in 2011 after their former pupil Harrison Wood, then aged just nine-years-old but now a young man of 16 and a pupil in the Cheadle Hulme School Sixth Form, had visited the Kenyan special school with his parents.
Since then as Wendy confirmed "the charity has raised over 500,000 euros from donors all over Europe, but the majority due to the efforts of Harrison, who is a remarkable young man and continues to raise sponsorship from businesses in Cheadle Hulme and beyond.”
Both Derek and Kate have visited Port Reitz before on Greenbank's annual trips to offer teaching and practical support in Kenya and both say the experience changed their lives.
Derek said “Visiting Port Reitz Special School I was amazed by how lucky we are in this country but how often we seem to be miserable, yet how unlucky some of the children could be seen to be, but how happy and thankful they are, always smiling and laughing and a sheer delight to be around. It's a very special place and one that leaves an indelible impression on all those who visit.”
Kate added “Port Reitz changes the lives of everyone who visits and is a wonderful cause but as well as raising money I want to support Wendy, who as treasurer of the Port Reitz Foundation has dedicated the last 16 years of her life to the cause and our former pupil Harrison who has worked so hard for seven years to raise money..”
After 16 years in a wheel chair Wendy only received her prosthetic leg two years ago and though for many years she has been a Dutch wheel chair bound Martial arts champion, has only just started walking again in the last 18 months.
Linzi Wood, Harrison's mum who spoke to us while Harrison was at school, said “It's amazing that from such small acorns such large trees grow. To think that the Foundation has now raised over 500,000 euros is incredible and this is making a tangible difference to the children's lives. It took a giant leap of faith from Janet Lowe for Greenbank to back this project. Harrison told her what he had seen, but we all felt it probably had to be seen to be believed, yet Janet believed from the start.”
Derek and Kate will be part of a 16 strong team starting their six day ascent of the 5,860 metre peak in Tanzania on October 21. stopping off in special mountain huts each night as they make what can be a gruelling ascent. Both said “We are in training now, neither of us will want to let the team or the children down.”
If you want to sponsor the team or help with the Port Reitz Foundation please contact Greenbank on 0161 485 3724.
Pictured from left to right are Kate Mercer, Charlie, Wendy Baardman, Sumaya and Derek Lowe.
PANTO SEASON OPENS AT GREENBANK
He was behind them all the time when the Babes in the Wood met Robin Hood for a Christmas Pantomime at Greenbank Preparatory School.
Year Three pupils at the top Cheadle Hulme independent primary school learned all about the great British tradition of quick fire, cross dressing farce and double entredre in a hectic session of just six rehearsals before performing for a packed audience of friends and family.
Former TV actress Adele Firth, who is now Greenbank's Head of Drama, said “Next year they study Shakespeare, but in Year Three they learn all about audience participation, stage direction and slapstick which are vital parts of this wonderful and particularly British tradition.”
FORGETFUL SANTA IN TROUBLE WITH HER INDOORS
Forgetful Santa was in trouble with her indoors at the Greenbank Preparatory Preschool and Reception Nativity when he forgot to pack the most important Christmas present.
Even though he went through his check list ticking the most important things to do such as feeding the reindeer and packing presents for children around the globe he forgot Christmas crackers, cards and dinner and woe betide him his all important present for Mrs Claus.
The naughty Santa was forgiven, however, when he reminded everyone of the true spirit of Christmas and the birth of baby Jesus in a misty eyed ending, which left not a dry in the packed audience at the top independent school in Cheadle Hulme.
Pictured are just some of the 60 young actors who performed in the wonderful Greenbank Nativity with Hector as Santa and from left to right Vihana, Emily, Elsie and Thomas.
Greenbank Preparatory School travelled through Time for their Year One Christmas Play as four intrepid adventurers opened a secret door to come face to face with Old Father Time. Narrated by the ever green Polly, the play focused on the passing of each season with a wonderful Christmas celebration at the end of each cycle.
Enjoyed by a packed audience of friends, parents and relatives, the play touched every heart with the clever young thespians showing great presence, confidence and charisma on stage.
Pictured from left to right on the back row are Zak, Seth, Ibrahim and Polly. At the front are Gigi and Harriet.
Pictured are the four seasons Alexa, Scarlett, Roshan and Fatima.
LOVE NOT MONEY IN ERIN AND NATALIE'S CHARITY MISSION TO KENYAN SPECIAL SCHOOL
Two hard-working nursery school teachers have just returned from a busman's holiday to the Kenyan outback that touched their hearts and changed their approach to teaching and learning. Erin White, 29, from Heald Green is the Nursery Leader at the multi-award winning Greenbank Day Nursery in Cheadle Hulme, while Natalie Walton, 23, is a Nursery Assistant.
Since 2011, Greenbank has made it its mission to help in a Kenyan special school Port Reitz which educates some 200 children aged from 3 to 15, the majority with a mental and or physical disability and many who have been orphaned. They go out to teach, to train African teachers and to help repair, refurbish and renew school buildings and facilities. But most importantly, as Greenbank Headmistress Janet Lowe, who has just won the Rotary Club's highest international honour in recognition of the school's overseas aid programme, recognised “We send our staff to Kenya to open their eyes to the wider world, the acute needs of others and bring that compassion back into our own classrooms.”
Erin said of her trip “It was an amazing honour to be part of such an important project and to see how the children, though they have so little, still be so happy and constantly smiling and laughing.” The two women worked tirelessly over two weeks to redecorate completely two classrooms, also taking with them a range of educational equipment, clothes and toys collected from school parents, staff and friends.
Natalie added “It brings it home to you just how much, if we are not careful, we can waste and throwaway in the U.K. and how valuable every little thing is to the children in Kenya.” Erin continued “They make the very best use of all their natural resources and as an award winning Eco friendly school that’s what we are trying to do at Greenbank, but I have to say from different ends of the spectrum. They do it because they need to, we do it because we should do. If it has taught me anything it is that it is love and not money they truly counts in education.”
Erin and Natalie with senior Port Reitz pupil Brian.
NEW CREATIVE WRITING WORKSHOP INSPIRES COUNTY'S BRIGHTEST IMAGINATIONS
Greenbank Preparatory School pupils were among scores of primary school children from across the country unlocking their imaginations during a special, new creative writing workshop event at King's Girls Division.
Organised by King's Girls' Division's Senior Subject Leader for English Kim Griffin, the afternoon event aimed to inspire some of the county's brightest young brains to produce their own poetic masterpieces, using Autumn as their theme.
The workshop which was enjoyed by children from 15 leading state and independent primary schools, including 20 pupils from Greenbank in Cheadle Hulme, and saw pupils work both inside and outside, braving the seasonal showers in King's own abundant meadow, to get a first hand experience of the sights, sounds and smells of Autumn.
Kim Griffin said “All of us, especially the youngest of us, have untold creative potential and it is simply a matter of unlocking that potential by challenging the way they see the world, and teaching them to look behind the eye lens to discover the world in all its grandeur and detail.”
Greenbank's Year Six teacher Kelly Jones said “It was a wonderful opportunity for our pupils not only to learn some new creative writing techniques, but also to see what classroom life might be like as they get older and the values and work ethic of one of the region's top secondary schools.”
Kelly Jones and Kim Griffin are pictured with Greenbank's young writers Natasha and Fay.
HUMANITARIAN HEADTEACHER RECEIVES ROTARY'S TOP HONOUR
Greenbank Preparatory School Headmistress Janet Lowe has won the Rotary Club's top award in recognition of the Cheadle Hulme school's humanitarian work in an African special school.
Ever since former pupil Harrison Wood returned from a holiday in Kenya in 2010 telling his classmates of the life changing experience of visiting the Port Reitz special school, Janet has made it the leading independent school's mission to reach out and help.
Each year two staff travel the 5,000 miles to the Kenyan outback to help train teachers, complete building and restoration projects and learn more about the life of the children, many of whom have physical and mental disabilities and have been orphaned by endemic disease.
Now the Cheadle and District Branch has made her a Paul Harris Fellow, named after the movement's founder, and given for international humanitarian work. The President of the Cheadle and District Rotary Club Marian Basu said “Janet personifies The Rotary Club's motto 'Service Above Self' and for many years we have marvelled at the immense efforts of herself, the staff, the trustees, the parents and pupils to help children who have so little and live so far away.”
Janet said “I am deeply honoured to accept this award on behalf of the school. The Greenbank community does have to make some significant sacrifices to continue this commitment but we feel it is now very much at the heart of all we do and sets a wonderful example to our children. Each year two staff travel to Kenya; their passage is paid for by our Trustees but they have to raise funds themselves so they can make material difference while they are out there. We have helped to build and restore key facilities and provide a supply of nappies and fruit, as well as train teachers, work with the children while we are out there and give some vital educational supplies, such as pens and pencils which we take for granted.”
She added “Last year the difference in circumstances between the lives of our children and their children was brought home to us when the children suggested the money we sent to them after our Christmas Carol concert should be spent on presents, only for Mercy their much loved and respected headteacher, to say they really needed the money for food.” Janet added “When our teachers return from their two week trips they always bring home the same message that “the children have so little but are so happy, so grateful and so strong in the face of adversity.” She concluded “This example underpins our own educational provision and we all feel we get so much more out of the relationship than we are able to give.”
Captions Janet is pictured receiving her award from Cheadle Rotary President Marian Basu. Greenbank Nursery Leader Erin While and Nursery Assistant Natalie Walton with four-year-old Port Reitz pupils Samwa and Zabra.
TWINS PLAY TWINS IN SHAKESPEARE'S TWELTH NIGHT
Shakespeare must have had Greenbank Preparatory School's twin brother and sister Amity and Atticus in mind when he wrote Twelfth Night says the top preparatory school's Head of Drama Adele Firth. The nine-year-old thespians play twin brother and sister Viola and Sebastian in Shakespeare's rom com classic and are loving every moment.
Atticus said “It's a real honour and it's great fun. Shakespeare is so funny and you have to think hard just to keep up with everything that happens.”
The plot revolves around a complex quartet of cross dressing love affairs in which boy meets boy and girl meets girl only for everything to be resolved in a happy ever after denouement. What is more there is some extra comic relief from one of the Bard's iconic comic caricatures Malvolio.
Mrs Firth said “I have known for some years that Atticus and Amity would eventually come into my Year Four drama class and have been planning their parts in Twelfth Night since they were toddlers.”
Greenbank is an Independent School's Association's designated centre of excellence for the Gifted and Talented and Shakespeare is very much part and parcel of the curriculum.
Mrs Firth added ”We have spent the last six weeks not only in rehearsals but studying the culture and customs of Shakespeare's times.”
The former soap star and drama company owner who has been in charge of Drama at the Cheadle Hulme school for nearly 20 years added “I don't think one needs to read too much into the cross dressing antics but simply realise that Shakespeare was a highly practical man and a theatrical impresario as much as a wonderful writer and as he couldn't work with female actors the constant swapping of genders created so much extra fun and mayhem on stage”
Amity and Atticus are pictured with Jasper, Florence and Umair as Malvolio in Greenbank's Twelfth Night.
PARALYMPIC ATHLETE VISITS GREENBANK
Denton based Paralympic silver medallist Michael Churm told the tireless toddlers at Greenbank Preparatory School to enjoy sport. Michael 36, was speaking on a fundraising day organised by Sport for Schools in which the young pupils at Greenbank Preparatory School an independent primary school in Cheadle Hulme took part in a series of exercises as part of a sponsored circuit.
Born with cerebral palsy affecting his right side, Michael became one of this country's finest ever Paralympic sprinters after developing a passion for track running at East Cheshire Harriers and Chorley AC.
He said “I found a sport I absolutely loved and therefore enjoyed every second of all the hard work I needed to do to become one of the best in the world. The first thing you must do is find a sport or an activity that you really really enjoy and that makes all the training and hard work much easier and like me you never know what will happen.”
Michael competed at both Sydney 2000 and Beijing 2008 Paralympics in the T37 individual class and the T35 -T38 relay class and now among many different projects works with children the length and breadth of the country.
He said “When I started the Paralympics was an afterthought really. We were lucky if we got an hour a night off peak on television, but now just 15 years later we have virtual parity; are invited to the same training camps and have global superstars such as Johnny Peacock as role models.”
However he warned “We still need to raise awareness about the neurological conditions such as cerebral palsy where sometimes some people cannot see any disability and wonder what all the fuss is about.”
Greenbank Preparatory School Headmistress Janet Lowe said “Michael's message about sheer joyfulness and an indomitable human spirit really touched our children's hearts and helped us in our mission as teachers to inspire the next generation.”
Michael Churm is pictured with sportivator Tony Bird from Schools for Sports and Greenbank Year One pupils Henry and Harriet.
Gifted and talented children from across the North-West learned the ancient Oriental board game 'Go' at Greenbank Preparatory School on a day devoted to stretching the region's most inquiring young minds.Greenbank is one of the North-West's centres of excellence for the teaching of Gifted and Talented children and had 20 of the region's brightest young brains come to their school on Heathbank Road in Cheadle Hulme for an introduction to the 3,000-year-old Chinese game of cunning and strategy.
Roger Huyshe, President of the British Go Association, who lives in Wilmslow, came to introduce the children to the game that as he said “takes little time to learn, but a lifetime to master.”
“The art,” said Roger, “is a balance between defence and attack, working out whether it is better to go for short term gain rather than long term influence.”
However in the Far East the game is the dominant mind sport with with some 280 million people watching the latest epic contest between the Deep Mind’s Alpha Go computer and the South Korean maestro Lee Sedo.Roger added “We feel Chess is primarily tactical but that Go uses both tactics and strategy. It is more difficult for a computer to determine each move because there are more mathematical possibilities available than Chess. It's certainly a wonderful way to teach children conceptual reasoning."
There are Go clubs in Manchester including one at Greenbank School and to find out more please go to www.britgo.org.Greenbank Headmistress Janet Lowe said “It is a privilege to be chosen by the North West Gifted and Talented Association to run these master classes and a great pleasure for us as teachers to help develop such natural talent. Go has tested, teased, challenged and I dare say frustrated many players for thousands of years and these children were immediately enthused and engaged by this new challenge.”
BAKE OFF RAISES £620 FOR MACMILLAN CANCER
Even Paul Hollywood would have shaken the hands of Greenbank Preparatory School's amateur bakers after the parents produced hundreds of show stoppers for the Macmillan Coffee Morning.
The now annual event at the top independent primary in Cheadle Hulme raised over £620.75 for the cancer care charity and as Headmistress Janet Lowe said “Many of our families will have been touched by cancer and this annual event is always hugely supported and is an important day in our calender.”
Pictured are mum Penny Marshall Silver with her daughter Natasha, the School Captain. Penny said “There wasn't a soggy bottom to be seen,” while Natasha added “All the cakes were a bit naughty but also very nice.”
ZULU ON THE CURRICULUM FOR LANGUAGES FINALIST PEDRO
Zulu is on the curriculum at Greenbank Preparatory School as their brilliant young linguists prepare for the national final of the Independent School's Association's Junior Language Challenge.
The tiny translators learned Japanese for the semi-final with the multilingual Pedro one of only 31 pupils from over 2,000 original entrants nationwide to make the U. K. final to be held in London on October 13. Now Pedro has to master Zulu as he battles to win the title.
He said “I've mastered a few words and phrases in all the languages such as 'Saubona' which means hello in Zulu, but there is so much more to learn and I've downloaded a special app to help, though my class mates, who were with me in the semi-final are testing me out too.”
Pedro, 9, from Wythenshawe is naturally bi-lingual, speaking Portuguese at home with his Brazilian parents and at Greenbank he has been learning both French and Spanish from the age of just five-years-old in Year One.
Word perfect Pedro is pictured wearing the head phones with his friends who all made the semi-final thanks to their mastery of the basics of Japanese from left to right Toby, Nathan, Andrew, Charlotte and George.
Charlotte said “Learning languages is very important because it will look good on your CV.” While Toby argued “You cant' just rely on everyone else to speak English; it's not fair.”
Greenbank Headmistress Janet Lowe said “Our children's brains are like sponges soaking up so much information from the moment they are born and that's why it is best to start learning different languages as soon as possible, to make it an almost intuitive process.”
ART LOVERS ENJOY NORTHERN EXHIBITION AT GREENBANK
The creative flair of the region's top young artists is on show at Greenbank Preparatory School's annual Northern Independent School’s Association’s Art and Craft Exhibition.
The exhibition in the school's art rooms on Heathbank Road in Cheadle Hulme has hundreds of pieces in 30 different categories with work from children aged from two to 18-year-old from over 20 of the region's top schools.
From photography to sculpture, from charcoal sketches to oil painting, from textile design to computer animation, the region's young artists showed that the coming generation is more creative than ever.
Adjudicator and local artist Joanna Allen, said “It's important to allow youngsters to explore their imaginations. It makes for more rounded individuals who will have a passion for life. As importantly it offers so many opportunities in today's Britain which is the world leader in the creative industries. From car design to animation, from architecture to textiles, Britain leads the world and it all starts in our classrooms.”
Greenbank pupil Rohan agreed “I love art lessons because you have the freedom to create anything you want." Amelia, 9, added "I love using all my colours and enjoy sketching flowers the most.” While Maia added "I like Maths, but Art is more fun."
Pictured from left to right are Greenbank's young art lovers Amelia, Rohan, Maia and Xavi.
The innovative brand of modern education provided by Greenbank Preparatory School has been recognised as 'Outstanding' in all areas by OFSTED. An Independent Schools' Association Centre of Excellence for the Gifted and Talented, which is on Heathbank Road in Cheadle Hulme, Greenbank was seen as a beacon of excellence both inside and outside the classroom.
Long serving Headteacher Janet Lowe said “The OFSTED report is a wonderful testament to our methods which go well beyond the demands of the National Curriculum and are designed to instil a love of learning, exploration and independent thought from the earliest age.”
The report on the school, which has grown rapidly over the last decade and now has some 300 pupils starting in their Day Nursery from age of six months up to 11, stated “Pupils achieve excellent results in entrance examinations for academically selective senior schools with a number gaining awards and scholarships for academic success and for sport. Their learning journey begins in the Early Years Foundation Stage where children actively enjoy their learning and rapidly develop key skills which allow them to become independent learners who can make their own decisions.”
Praising how the school encourages the children to think for themselves, the OFSTED inspectors continued “Pupils as a result are able to take their own learning forward, take risks with their learning and develop independence and resilience.”
Inspectors focused on the contemporary approach “By the time they leave school pupils are skilled in the use of modern technology using a range of devices they learn to code, utilise the internet for research and use presentation software with confidence. The report even picked out how the older children had 'enjoyed masterclasses in English and Mathematics at local universities.'
Greenbank was also praised for its holistic approach with children “developing a level of maturity for their age' thanks to an ethos of charitable giving, confident artistic self-expression and sporting endeavour.
While, 'residential trips for older pupils including to the Lake District and France allow pupils the opportunity to wonder at the power of nature and at man's inventiveness.'
Mrs Lowe added "Thanks go to our staff and parents; this has happened by design not by accident."
Greenbank Preschool teacher Rebecca Phillipson works closely with two young ones.
VETERAN DRAMA EXPERT ARGUES FOR MORE THE ART OF SPEECH
A new generation of performers were judged by one of the region's most distinguished drama experts when Garth Jones volunteered to adjudicate at Greenbank Preparatory School's annual Speech and Drama awards.
Garth has spent nearly 50 years as an actor, drama school owner, teacher and government advisor, advocating the importance of clear oral communication as an essential element of education.
He said “What ever walk of life, what ever profession, you will increasingly need to perform. If you can communicate clearly and confidently, you have more chance of success. Drilling young people in the art of speech develops the necessary skills set and, most importantly, builds confidence and I believe passionately that all children should be given the opportunity to perform and the opportunity to speak in public throughout their education.”
Former professional actress Adele Firth, who is now Head of Drama at Greenbank, said “I was a young pupil in Garth's drama school and I owe any success I have had to his inspirational methods. Like Garth did for me I aim to ensure the children enjoy every moment on stage and as well as learning the basic skills of diction, projection and presence gain the sort of confidence to stand up and say their piece when others shrink under pressure.”
Pictured with Adele and Garth are from the front Greenbank's Inter-House Speech competition winners in each year group: Harriet, Seth, Aidan, Samee, Ben, Steffan and Aurelie.
SUMMER FAIR RAISES £2000 FOR NEW MEDIA CENTRE IN CHEADLE HULME
It might not have been flaming June, but pupils, parents and staff raised over £2,000 towards equipping Greenbank Preparatory School's new media centre at their annual summer fair.
From pony rides to dangling donuts, a rope maze to a coconut shy the young boys and girls revelled in traditional English summer pastime, dodging the showers as they played away the afternoon.
Greenbank, an Independent Schools' Association Centre of Excellence of the Gifted and Talented in Cheadle Hulme, will open its new media centre in September with the all monies raised going towards state of the art laptops for the young students.
ANNE FRANK RELIVED BY GIFTED AND TALENTED YOUNG ACTORS
Greenbank Preparatory School pupils read and then amended for the stage the Diary of Anne Frank before producing a powerful performance of the anti war classic.
An Independent Schools' Association North-West centre for Gifted and Talented children Greenbank's troupe of young actors was supervised by former television and theatre star Adele Firth, who is now Head of Drama at the top school based in Cheadle Hulme.
To ensure everyone had a part there were three of each of the key members of the cast: three Annes, three Mr Franks, three Mrs Franks and three of all the Van Damme family.
Pictured is the first of the three Annes to appear on the stage Sumaya, aged nine, who said “I read Anne's diary before playing the role and it made me sad. Childhood should be about being happy, but Anne had to hide and eventually died. It was very sad, but she was very brave.”
Adele Firth added “The children will be studying World War Two next year and this gives them a very personal insight into the social history before they begin. With such talented children it's important to let them take the lead in writing and staging the piece and guide them through the process. Our plays are more like workshops, giving the children a chance to explore all levels of their creativity.”
Adele added “The only problem were the costume changes so we decided to do the two major change arounds on stage, just changing a coat or a hat, so the audience didn't have to suspend their disbelief for too long.”
CULTURE SHOCK AWAITS TOP SCHOOL'S TEACHERS IN KENYA
Greenbank Preparatory School Day Nursery staff Erin White and Natalie Walton hope to use the experience of spending two weeks working with severely mentally and physically disabled children in Kenya to improve further their own teaching in one of the country's leading independent preparatory schools in Cheadle Hulme.
The firm friends are the latest Greenbank staff to visit The Port Reitz orphanage, some seven years after former pupil Harrison Wood, then aged only nine, inspired his school to adopt them as one their nominated charities.
Mother of two and Greenbank Nursery Leader Erin, 32, from Heald Green and Nursery Assistant Natalie Walton, 24, from Heaton Mersey will suspend their duties at Greenbank for a two week trip to Kenya in September and have been warned to expect a culture shock.
“Many Greenbank teachers have already visited Port Reitz and told us the experience is going to pull at our heart strings.” said Erin “I have worked in Uganda before,” added Natalie "so I understand just how different life is like in the developing world and I know we can learn just as much from them as we can teach from our experience in England.” Natalie added “In particular the experience reinforces the value of resources. Every book, every pencil, every children's toy is precious out there and I hope to bring that ethos back to Britain, where our children can be perhaps forgiven for thinking everything is disposable.”
The young women will be working in the orphanage's assessment centre determining levels of disability and also with their teachers discussing contemporary British teaching methods.
Erin added “We also want to take out as many resources as possible such as books and toys and are busy fundraising now with a quiz night, a colour run and a just giving page. It will be very different to working in Greenbank, but we are there to help, advise and share best practice not to become too overly emotional about their daily struggle.”
Greenbank Preparatory School Headmistress Janet Lowe said “An essential part of our teaching is to demonstrate to our boys and girls just how lucky they are to be living in in Great Britain and how different and difficult the lives of other children are around the world. As well as offering practical support our continuing relationship with Port Reitz enables us to reinforce that key message.”
Natalie right and Erin left are pictured with Sahara and James in front of the school's display on their work at Port Reitz.
WEST END STAR RETURNS TO THANK MENTOR BEFORE STARRING IN GREASE
Award winning musical star Danielle Hope gave Greenbank Preparatory School's young actors a once in a life time drama workshop before their production of Annie Get Your Gun.
On the day that Danielle, winner of the BBC's Over the Rainbow competition in 2010, opened at Manchester's Palace Theatre as Sandy in Grease, she took time out from her hectic schedule to thank her former stage school teacher Adele Firth.
Now Head of Drama at Greenbank in Cheadle Hulme it was Adele who first spotted Danielle in her own school play in Knutsford, and she remembered thinking “That one is mine; I have got to work with that girl.” Adele added “She was in a small supporting role in her school play, but I cast her as Annie Oakley and you could tell straight away she had amazing stage presence and immense natural talent. I haven't been at all surprised by her success. She has wonderful all round talents as an actress, singer and dancer but above all every word she says or indeed sings on stage is truthful.”
Danielle, who went on to develop her craft both at Knutsford High School and at Adele's theatre school, said “I came today because if it wasn't for Adele I wouldn't be here, simple as that. She was my mentor. It may sound hard to believe now, but I was a very shy child but Adele instilled in me an inner confidence and self-belief and that is what I am here to tell the children today. I can talk about stage craft, projection and the importance of rehearsals and hard work but above all it's about believing in yourself.”
Madison from Heaton Moor, who is playing Annie in Greenbank's two night production on March 29 and 30, said “It's really exciting to meet Danielle and to hear how she felt when she was my age and that she had been in exactly the same part with the same teacher. I have been acting since I was four and would love to follow in Danielle's footsteps.”
Madison, Adele Firth and Danielle Hope are pictured with members of Greenbank's Annie Get Your Gun cast.
CROISSANT OMELETTE OR SAUSAGE ON EUROPEAN LANGUAGES DAY AT GREENBANK
Parents had a choice of a French croissant, a Spanish omelette or a German sausage at a special parents' breakfast to celebrate Modern Foreign Languages at Greenbank Preparatory School.
The independent preparatory school in Cheadle Hulme teaches French and Spanish from the age of just five-years-old, has a weekly German club for Year Six pupils and runs a languages workshop for the Gifted and Talented on behalf of the Independent Schools' Association for their own own and pupils from other schools. Greenbank has also figured consistently highly in the National Junior Language Challenge run by Eurotalk.
Neil Delaney, Greenbank's Modern Foreign Languages coordinator, said “Brexit doesn't mean we are leaving Europe; rather it demands that the next generation should make much more of an effort to integrate with our European friends.” He added “As Nelson Mandela said “If you talk to a man in a language he understands that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his own language that goes to his heart.
Mother and daughter Janine Dunn and Amelia and Lisa and Leo are pictured with Greennbank French Teaching Assistant and adopted Parisienne Christelle Abomnes.
GREENBANK SCHOLARS ACE THEIR EXAMS IN BUMPER YEAR AT GIFTED AND TALENTED SCHOOL
Greenbank Preparatory School scholars are celebrating a stunning set of examination results with every child now facing a tough choice of just which school to choose next.
The highly competitive independent secondary school market made offers to all 26 boys and girls at Greenbank, which is an Independent Schools' Association centre of excellence for gifted and talented children, with every child given a choice of top schools.
Popular next stops will be Stockport Grammar School Cheadle Hulme School, Manchester Grammar School, Withington, Manchester High and King's Macclesfield, as well as the Trafford grammar schools.
Greeenbank Preparatory School Headmistress Janet Lowe said “Confident, happy children with high self-esteem are much more likely to realise their full potential so it is important to work creatively outside the classroom as well as maintaining strong and supportive relationships with parents.”
The successful pupils are pictured with their Year Six Teacher Adam Dyson in the school's information resources centre.
MAD HATTERS STAR AT WORLD BOOK DAY PARTY
Never mind the modern day heroes of children's literature such as Harry Potter and Katniss Everdeen, it was characters from a bygone era that stood out at Greenbank Preparatory School's World Book Day party.
Lewis Carroll's Mad Hatter here portrayed by 10 year-olds Grace K and Cahner W were among the fantastically dressed young readers at the top Cheadle Hulme independent primary school.
They are pictured with Headmistress Janet Lowe, typecast as Cruella Deville, who said “World Book Day does demand an immense amount of effort, particularly from our parents, but we feel it is very much worth the preparation. Since it's foundation 20 years ago sales of children's literature have increased by 100 per cent across the U.K. in no little part due to this fantastic promotional event which captures the imagination of the children, whether they come as Harry Potter or Alice in Wonderland."
Speaking of the influence of classic characters from this or any other era Kirsten Grant, Director of World Book Day, said results "show that classic characters and stories stay with us, no matter how long ago we read them.”
Cahner W said “I like books where you want to turn the next page,” while Grace added “I like books which tell you right from wrong.”
OUTREACH TEAM EXPLAIN WHACKY WORLD OF SCIENCE TO INVENTIVE YOUNG MINDS
King's School scientists explained the weird, wonderful and down right whacky world of science to budding boffins at Greenbank Preparatory School. Sixth Form students at the top Macclesfield school dedicate Wednesday afternoons to their enrichment programme and when many choose music, sport, drama or hill walking, a team of young scientists work in local primary schools bringing to life the Key Stage 2 curriculum.
Under the eyes of King's Head of Science Jim Street, who was chosen this year to give the Royal Society of Chemistry Christmas Lecture, the sixth formers helped Greenbank's Year Six pupils to make a key ring from polymorphous plastic and a custard the kids could punch to turn from a liquid into a solid.
Among the King's School team was Francesca Southern 17, from Poynton, who is now studying Biology, Chemistry and English Language in the King's Sixth Form and is hoping to study Medicine, but first had her eyes opened to the life scientific in Greenbank's laboratory. Francesca said “I've been really excited all week about returning to my old school and remember the sense of wonder I had when I did my first practical experiments.”
Jude from Greenbank, which is a Northern centre for the Gifted and Talented, said “I really liked the punching custard experiment though I couldn't make mine into ball as it kept turning back into a liquid.” Oliver added “I liked how they turned what seemed to be water into something fizzy and foaming.” While Marwah added “It was fun to see how solids, gases and liquids can all change their shape.”
The King's Sixth Form outreach team has worked with over 1,000 young people across the locality and Jim Street said “Our students love working with these young inventive minds and gain so much from the experience, not least being able to put on this experience on their university application forms and CVs showing they have worked as volunteer teacher enthusing, engaging and managing a full class of nine, ten and eleven year-olds, which is much easier said than done.”
Pictured on the back row are Caitlin Plant, Francesca Southern, Hannah Wilcock, Pari Mehrabani and Thea Preston and on the front row Jude, Marwah and Oliver.
GREENBANK PRESCHOOL PHONICS WORKSHOP
Parents were in the hot seat for the first time at Greenbank Preparatory School as they had some lessons in teaching from the professionals.
The independent preparatory school in Cheadle Hulme, which is an Independent Schools' Association, nominated centre of excellence for Gifted and Talented children, gave parents a lesson in the latest teaching methods so they could practise their phonics at home.
Father Jonathan Gribble was one of scores of parents sitting down with their loved ones to go through the work out. Pictured sitting his four-year-old daughter Amelia, the proud dad said “It's fantastic. I drop Amelia off every morning but as yet have not been into a classroom. Now I can practise with Amelia at home and we can learn together.”
Greenbank Preschool teacher Rebecca Phillipson said “The early years are the most important in any child's development.” Her fellow Preschool teacher Felicity Keane added “By making learning fun and accessible both at home and school we can build strong foundations at the start of their journey.”
Adele, who now combines her own acting career with her stage school and working as Greenbank's Head of Drama, said “Our English children take very easily to pantomime, but we have a few children from overseas in the school and they do find the audience participation, cross dressing and general pandemonium a little difficult to understand at first, but when I tell them that's how it's supposed to be they soon enter into the spirit of the occasion.”
This year's Year Three Panto 'Cinderella', though seemingly chaotic was typically beautifully planned to engage, enthuse and entertain a packed audience who were behind every move on stage.
Pictured are Isabelle as Cinderella before the ball, Molly as Cinders after, ugly sisters Umair and Aidan and Jasper as the irrepressible Buttons.
Hillcrest's former Chair of Governors Wally Rogers and Headmaster David Blackburn presented a cheque for £70,000 to Greenbank Headmistress Janet Lowe and their Chair of Trustees Phil Enstone.
Originally established in 1940 in Bramhall, Hillcrest relocated to Cale Green and the site of the former Stockport High School for Girls in 1983.
Under then Headmaster David Blackburn, Hillcrest flourished achieving record numbers in 2008 but the economic downturn and the retirement of Mr Blackburn saw a decline in the school roll and despite significant investment in a new preparatory school building, Hillcrest was sold to a provider of technical education based at Stockport College in 2014, though plans for a conversion faltered just months later.
Wally Rogers, who had 37 years voluntary experience as Chair of the PTA and then Chair of the Trustees at Hillcrest, said “It's very sad for all of us to see Hillcrest's demise. I go past the building nearly everyday and it is just deteriorating rapidly, but we want to do something positive and support a school with a similar ethos.”
David Blackburn, who was Hillcrest's charismatic Headmaster for 20 years, continued “Greenbank focuses on the individual child and though we could support some of the area's larger schools as well we felt we wanted to provide a boost for a school that is very special.”
The independent preparatory school in Cheadle Hulme, which has record numbers across its Day Nursery, Pre School and Main School for boys and girls up to 11-years-old, has already spent much of the money on extending it's Main Hall, creating more storage space and providing a shaded canopy for the children's out door play. The gift will also help with the next stage of their five year development programme to provide universal wheelchair access across the site on Heathbank Road.
Phil Enstone, Chair of Trustees at Greenbank, said “On behalf of the Trustees, the teachers, our parents and the whole Greenbank community we want to say a big thank you to Hillcrest. This money will be invaluable in sustaining what Janet and her team have built here.”
Janet Lowe, Greenbank's Headmistress, added “David Blackburn was a wonderful mentor to me and as the local coordinator for the Independent Schools' Association really helped me in my early days of leadership. We were extremely sad to see Hillcrest close, but happy that we have been in their thoughts and have used this significant contribution to benefit our children just as David, Wally and everyone at Hillcrest would have intended.”
Pictured with some Year Four Greenbank pupils are from left to right are Janet Lowe, David Blackburn, Wally Rogers and Phil Enstone.
It was a night of flames and fantasy as Greenbank Preparatory School parents danc