GOOGLE TEACHES STOCKPORT PUPILS TO BE INTERNET LEGENDS
Google ambassadors showed pupils at a Stockport school how to stay safe online in their mission to visit every school nationwide.
Chris Jeffries and Rhiannon Jones are among a team of young actors who have been recruited by the Internet giant to communicate key messages about online safety and behaviour.
They provided a fun, age-appropriate learning experiences in assembly at Greenbank Preparatory school around five internet safety pillars; Think Before You Share (Be Internet Sharp), Check it’s For Real (Be Internet Alert), Protect Your Stuff (Be Internet Secure), Respect Each Other (Be Internet Kind) and When in Doubt, discuss (Be Internet Brave).
Rhiannon Jones said “Our aim is to make all our children Internet legends so they can benefit from everything the Internet has to offer, but in a totally secure and safe environment.”
Greenbank’s Media manager Lyndsey Aizlewood said “the Internet can be a wonderful place however, it also comes with many dangers. By using dedicated internet filters, working closely with parents, and having the tools and methods we need to teach online safety fundamentals in the classroom, we are allowing our children to build resilience, make safe online decisions and start to form a positive digital footprint.”
Chris Jeffries added “One of the key resources is Interland, a playful browser-based game that makes learning about digital safety interactive and fun and has been developed by Google in partnership with educators and online safety experts at Parent Zone.”
Greenbank’s pupils’ enthusiasm for online play and learning was undimmed. Ryan, 10, said “It helps with your homework.” While his co school captain Iris, 11, added “It allows you to check facts quickly and easily.”
Mariam, 9, added “I love playing Friv at home and Mathletics and Purple Mash in school. I know if the red stop or alert sign comes up just to get off quickly and tell the teacher or my parents.”
Pictured from left to right are Rufus, Ryan, Chris Jeffries, Rhiannon Jones, Iris and Mariam.
SCHOOL ADOPTS MANCHESTER'S BEE TO BUILD COMMUNITY SPIRIT
An award winning South Manchester preparatory school has adopted the city’s iconic symbol to encourage their boys and girls to become busy bees.
Greenbank Preparatory School in Cheadle Hulme has introduced the school mascot Banks Bee to encourage pupils from the reception class to Year Six to take part in all the many and varied school community events and enjoy all that their education has to offer.
The scheme also applies to the mums and dads with a Parent Bee award for helping their children to complete all 120 activities throughout their school careers.
What are termed as the hive activities range from smiling on your first day in school to giving a solo performance on stage, from acting in one of the school’s drama productions to planting seedlings and tending vegetables in the eco garden There are also bonus activities which extend further the range of challenges.
The awards are separated into Eco, Media, Spelling, Research and Reading tasks and get increasingly complex as the children get older, with bronze, silver gold and platinum awards available to the end of the year for the number completed.
Over the last five years Greenbank has won a series of national awards for eco friendliness, parental engagement and value for money pro rata outstanding academic results and was recently visited by a Chinese delegation to analyse the secrets of their success.
Greenbank Headmistress Janet Lowe said “Banks Bee will encourage our children to explore all parts of the personality and work as a community to achieve their goals. It’s about firing their enthusiasm, lighting up their imagination and making learning fun.” She added “We chose the bee as it has such significance for all people in the region, especially our children.”
Pictured are Nursery Leader Erin White as Banks Bee with five-year-olds Pippa and Aziz.
Pictured are Nursery Leader Erin White as Banks Bee with Rohan, Aziz, Pippa, Moira and Ryan.
CHINESE TEACHERS VISTS TOP SOUTH MANCHESTER SCHOOL
Chinese teachers observed classroom methods in a top South Manchester school to learn the formula for a successful British education.
Greenbank Preparatory School in Cheadle Hulme was the first stop on a two-week tour of the U.K. for 17 Chinese teachers on a cultural exchange from Quingdao City.
Manchester Metropolitan University has organised the exchange programme between teachers in the North-West and Shandong Province on the Yellow Sea to share best practice world-wide.
Kino Ju, who studied Maths at Manchester University and now coordinates the trips with Suman Education, said “The Chinese teachers were very impressed with how happy the children and teachers were at Greenbank and how they all enjoyed the work rather than seeing it as a task.”
She added “There is a very inclusive culture in which teachers and children work together and the parents are very much included too and I think the Chinese teachers enjoyed that special atmosphere.”
Greenbank, which over the last five years has won a series of national awards for eco friendliness and value for money prop rata outstanding academic results, in turn has been adopting methods developed in China where results are among the very best on the planet to improve their own Maths teaching.
Adam Dyson Greenbank’s Assistant Head and Maths specialist, said “Maths teaching is evolving all the time and we must look worldwide for the secrets to sustained improvement".
The Chinese Mathematics curriculum is led by their universities and uses the Mastery principle so that at the same moment children right across the city will most likely be studying exactly the same lesson content. This illustrates the principle of ‘Coherence’, demanding the subject be taught step by step so that a student’s knowledge accumulates and builds on strong foundations.
The teacher is at the centre of the learning but acting as a conduit, not teaching basic procedures and asking the children to learn by rote but demanding a deeper conceptual understanding.
As well as top primary and secondary schools, the Chinese teachers are also visiting Edinburgh, The Lake District and Manchester United.
Pictured are Greenbank pupils and Headmistress Janet Lowe with members of the Chinese delegation.
OH GO ON ITS CHRISTMAS ….
It’s the pantomime season not just at Westminster but in our schools too according to Greenbank Preparatory School’s Head of Drama Adele Firth.
This week the independent primary school in Cheadle Hulme staged Snow White and the Umpteen Dwarfs, and “we could have taken the cast from the Houses of Parliament,” joked the distinguished local director.
“We have added to the cast,” she chuckled “to give everyone a part. There is Doc and The Professor, Happy and Jolly, Sneezy and Snotty, Bashful and Shy, Sleepy and Dozy and Grumpy and Cranky and you could just pick your politician to match.”
Adele added seriously “It’s a magical interactive performance which introduces children to live theatre and, above all, is simply sheer fun.” She added “Pantomime is a British tradition and you just need to utter the words “He’s behind you” and everyone thinks back to their first show.”
Pictured are Charlotte as Snow White, Seth as Grumpy, Polly as the Wicked Witch and Zak as the Prince.
STAR REGAINS ITS TWINKLE
The little star had lost its twinkle at Greenbank Preparatory School but as Christmas drew ever closer everyone got their chance to shine again. A packed audience of adoring mums and dads laughed, cooed and even cried during this traditional nativity at the independent primary school on Heathbank Road in Cheadle Hulme.
Pictured in the foreground are Luke and Ellie and at the back Harry and Francesca.
STAR IS THE TOP DECORATION IN GREENBANK NATIVITY
The little star was top of the tree in Greenbank Preparatory School’s nativity play but only after a lengthy debate.
Santa, the Little Drummer Boy, Mr Tinsel and even Rudolph wanted to be the crowning decoration, but when the Twinkle Star explained she led the way to Bethlehem she got the vote.
Alexa presents the other Christmas decorations at the independent preparatory school in Cheadle Hulme.
XMAS FAIR MARKS START OF XMAS SEASON
When seven-year-old Greenbank Preparatory School pupil Harriet was asked what was her favourite thing about Christmas, she immediately replied “presents, of course,” with her classmate Seth (8) adding sagely “yes, she’s exactly right there.”
There was a treasure trove of presents for all the family at the independent preparatory school’s Christmas fair on Heathbank Road in Cheadle Hulme with goodies from all over the world on sale.
The event raised £2,500 for The Friends of Greenbank, who have now raised £14,000 last year alone, with the money going towards all the facilities necessary for an outdoor classroom to be unveiled in time for Spring.
Claire Youel Chair of The Friends of Greenbank said “It’s always a superb event and marks the start the Christmas season. Who can resist a glass of mulled wine and a mince pie?”
Anais (8) and Ava (8)
Harriet (7) and Seth (8)
Holly (2) and mum Laura
STORY TELLING AT GREENBANK PREPARATORY SCHOOL
You’re never too young to love the theatre according to South Manchester educational acting troupe Artful Playground. This week they played to pupils aged from just three-to–seven-years-old at Greenbank Preparatory School in Cheadle Hulme introducing them to music, dance and drama with a colorful interactive celebration.
Created by actor, writer and director Susanna Lloyd and featuring distinguished character actor Sarah Groarke and composer Rebekah Hughes, the story focuses on young Quentin’s struggle to find his own voice.
Greenbank Year One teacher Sarah Kopnick said “There are so many different aspects to Artful Playground’s production as it fuses music, dance and drama all so excitingly portrayed by these top-quality professionals. At Greenbank we feel our children are never too young to be challenged and by introducing them to a live theatrical production at such an early age we are instilling a passion for life.”
Sarah concluded “You should have seen the children’s faces. They simply lit up from the entrance to finale.”
Pictured from left to right are Susanna Lloyd, Sarah Groarke and Rebekah Hughes with Hannah and Haaris.
A trustee of Chelwood Baptist Church Foodbank Anne Rodger has said the delays in the benefits system due to the imposition of the Universal Credit are increasing demand at their four foodbanks across Stockport.
Speaking at Greenbank Preparatory School's annual harvest festival where parents donated a van load and more of non-perishable goods, Anne said “We have certainly noticed an increase in demand, particularly from hard-working families, who have simply been unable to access their benefits and we need more contributions from the general public and local organisations.”
She added “There has been an increase in demand as more and more people hit a crisis point, but because foodbanks are now less in the media we are finding it much more difficult to collect enough food to meet that increasing demand.”
Anne concluded “That's why harvest time is so vital and why we would like to say a massive thank you to Greenbank and the 20 other schools throughout Stockport who give so much at this time of year. We would not be able to keep going without schools and churches, their generosity is a constant surprise to us all.”
The Chelwood Foodbank Trust main distribution centre is in the Baptist church on Adswood Road in Cheadle, but they also have distribution points in Brinnington, Edgeley and Stockport Town Centre.
She added “We feed hundreds of people every week. The vast majority are hard-working people who for whatever reason have temporarily fallen on hard times and that’s when we are there to help.”
Anne is pictured with Greenbank's school captains Xavi and Moira and both aged 10 and Headmistress Janet Lowe, who said “We support a special school in Port Reitz in Kenya throughout the year but are also very keen to work with the local community which is why we are so grateful to the hundreds of volunteers at Chelwood who do such an important job on behalf of the whole community. We are continually grateful to all our parents for recognising they can make a vital contribution, not just now but throughout the year.”
MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S DREAM ENGAGES THE YOUNG MIND
The light-hearted love and laughter of Shakespeare’s comparison between the forest fairy kingdom and the Court clowns “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” enthralled packed audiences at Greenbank Preparatory School.
Staged by Year 4 pupils at the leading independent primary school in Cheadle Hulme, the shortened version of the tale of love lost and love regained shows as Puck proclaims, “What fools these mortals be.”
Greenbank’s Year 4 teacher Jacqueline Reeder said “A Midsummer Night’s Dream is a timeless Rom Com that introduces young children to the Bard’s recurring theme of what might appear simple on sight is always far more complex in reality.
PARENTS GET EYE OPENER IN PRESCHOOL CLASSES
Parents spent a morning learning about the school lives of their three-year-olds at the Greenbank Preparatory School Day Nursery.
Preschool teacher at the award winning Preparatory School and Day Nursery on Heathbank Road in Cheadle Hulme Katy Reynolds explained “Early years teaching has changed dramatically over the last two decades with teachers adopting a more child centred approach tailored to the individual needs of each child, rather than a prescriptive style. We work on a one to one basis and in small groups and play with a purpose is at the heart of each day.”
Anna Marsh, who is pictured with her three-year-old Luke, said “It was a real eye opener and nice to know just what happens after you drop your child off in the morning.”
Kwok Chiu, who is pictured with his son Daniel, also aged three, added “Daniel has come on leaps and bounds since joining Greenbank and now I know why. There is a lot of individual attention, working at a pace to suit his personality.”
ITS NORTH WEST EXHIBITION FINALS FOR NORTH AREA IN COVENTRY
Greenbank Preparatory School staged the North-west region of the Independent Schools’ Association’s annual art exhibition to showcase the amazing creative talent of Britain’s youngest generation.
Hundreds of artists aged from just three-years-old to 18 exhibited their works with the final selection now being shipped to Coventry for the Northern area finals.
From self-portraits to designer dresses, evocative photography to detailed pencil drawings, artists from over top 20 schools from across the Northern region were judged by local artist and teacher Michelle Taube.
Among the exhibitors were Greenbank pupils Dove (7) and Luke (8). Dove produced a multi-coloured cut out painting of a butterfly, which she said “can also be a clip for my hair,” while Luke produced an abstract woodland scene and said “You have to think really hard when you are creating.”
Greenbank Preparatory School Art Coordinator Jacqueline Reeder said “Britain is acknowledged as the world leader in the creative industries because we encourage, nurture and applaud our young talent. Whether in fine art, film and TV, graphic design or the built environment Britain offers the very best and the sooner we start showing our children all the possible approaches, the more imaginative, versatile and amazing will be their response.”
It is the second successive year that the top independent primary school in Cheadle Hulme has been selected to host the exhibition.
Dove and Luke proudly display their art works at the ISA annual art exhibition at Greenbank Preparatory School.
JUNIOR LANGUAGE CHALLENGE
Greenbank Preparatory School’s brilliant young linguists are busy learning Kindyaryanea, the native language of Rwanda, ready for the National Finals of the Junior Language Challenge.
From many thousands of entries nationwide, the leading independent primary school in Cheadle Hulme, has two top translators in the final 25, the only school nationwide to have more than one contestant.
For the quick-witted Pedro Simoes, 10, from South Manchester, who naturally speaks both English and Portuguese fluently, it will be his second appearance having come fifth last year when he was a year younger than the vast majority of his fellow competitors.
For the silver-tongued Charlotte, 10, from Bramhall it will be her first appearance in the final, to be held at the Language Show Live in London’s Olympia on November 9.
Both the children, along with four superb Greenbank semi-finalists Moira, Xavi, Toby and Nathan, had to learn Khmer, the language of Cambodia, for the semi-final and Charlotte says the secret is simple “You have to listen; then you have to repeat, repeat and repeat the word against the meaning until you get it firmly in your head.”
Modest Pedro was the first to admit he had an advantage, “Because I speak two languages I can recognise the similarities in other languages more easily; you might think it would not count for much, especially learning Cambodian and Rwandan, but surprisingly there are quite a few similarities.”
Neil Delaney, Greenbank’s Modern Foreign Languages Coordinator, said “The earlier children start to learn a language the better. Our infants have 45 minutes French and Spanish each week, increasing to 90 minutes in the juniors. We also have a German Club and a special lunch time French club, run by our teaching assistant and native French speaker Christelle Thomas.”
Mr Delaney added “Primary school children are much less inhibited, willing to have a go and don’t mind making mistakes, so it’s important to keep the learning fun, full of game playing and always engaging. You want to build their confidence and then see how quickly they progress.”
Every year the independent preparatory school in Cheadle Hume throws an early morning party for the family's unsung heroes with sausage and bacon butties, tea, coffee and a series of weird and whacky races to flex those competitive muscles.
The dads shared the mood, Johnny adding; “Having three in twins Amity and Atticus and young Monty keeps you young even if it can be a little tiring at times.“ While Alistair added “It's great fun doing all the the dads and boys things like going to Manchester City, but I just wish he'd let me have a little more sleep in the morning.” Tim added "Being a dad is simply the best thing that has ever happened to me."
Greenbank Preparatory School Headmistress Janet Lowe said “The children love to make a fuss on Father's Day and we think we should all say a big thank you too.”
Ted and Alistair
Charlotte, Tim, Monty, Amity, Johnny and Atticus.
ENGLISH SUMMER FAIR THRILLS KIDS AND PARENTS
It was all the fun of the fair at Greenbank Preparatory School when they held a traditional English summer fair.
Whether dunking for donuts, shying for coconuts or tackling an obstacle course, boys and girls at the top independent preparatory school in Cheadle Hulme enjoyed the sort of family games that have been fun through the centuries.
The event raised £2,000 for The Friends of Greenbank and their Chair Helen Gately said “We all had a fantastic day, supported by staff, children, parents, friends and families of Greenbank”
Greenbank Headmistress Janet Lowe added “A happy partnership between home and school is at the heart of a successful school and at Greenbank we like to work and play together.”
The money raised will go towards an Eco outdoor classroom.
Harriet, 6, dunking for donuts
Gigi, 7, on the obstacle course
Former pupil Ellis, 12, now at MGS on the coconut shy
GRANDPARENTS DAY IS HIGHLIGHT OF THE YEAR FOR LOVING PUPILS
Grandparents remembered their own school days on a day devoted to the family's senior members at Greenbank Preparatory School.
The older generation were treated to a concert and tea party before being shown round all the latest technology and classrooms at the top independent primary in Cheadle Hulme by their proud grandchildren and whether from England or, indeed, from France the verdict was that education has improved beyond all measure in the last 60 years.
Alain Chassagne, whose granddaughter Grace translated on his behalf, said “I went to a school some 100km west of Paris. It was very tough and parents didn't have much contact with the teachers. Now all the family gets involved.”
Peter Davis, who went to to a local state primary in Brighton added “It was very regimented and no where near as colourful or, indeed, joyful. I love the way the children are encouraged to get up and speak in front of a large audience, I like how the teachers aim to instil confidence and character.”
Greenbank Preparatory School Headmistress Janet Lowe said “Our boys and girls are always so thrilled to welcome their grandparents, perform for them, show them what they are working on and give them a tour of the school. Grandparents' Day is always one of the happiest in the school calendar.”
Pictured on the left are Joan and Perter Davis with their grandchildren Kaspar and Cesca and to the right Alain and Matilda Chassagne with their granddaughter Grace.
INTERNATIONAL SOCIETY VISIT GREENBANK
Greenbank Preparatory School pupils got a bird's eye view of the beautiful blue planet when they played host to Greater Manchester’s International Society. Organised by their Project and Training Manager, Sam Harris, the visit to the independent preparatory school in Cheadle Hulme aimed to introduce children to different global cultures and influences at as early an age as possible.
Sam said “We want to promote international friendship, celebrate diversity, encourage local thinking and broaden the horizons of the youngest and most precious generation.”
The Greenbank visit saw 10 international students from across Manchester's different universities show the pupils pictures of their homes, talk about their own childhoods and sing and then explain the significance of their country's folk songs, with students from China India, Japan, Libya, South Korea and Thailand among those taking part. They bring a giant globe as a centre piece which as Sam Harris added, “always has the children looking on in amazement.”.
Greenbank Headmistress Janet Lowe said “Even though Great Britain has become more culturally rich, few of our children will have ever met people from many of the countries represented today and the event showed that we share a common bond of humanity.”
Pictured with the children is Indian economics student Koysha, who is studying for a Masters at Manchester University, and said “Britain is a wonderful place to study and I want to give something back to the local community.”
Founded in 1966 by a handful of foreign students, Greater Manchester’s International Society now has 10,000 members drawn from across the city, which is now the largest international student centre in the U.K. and one of the largest anywhere in the world.To find out more please visit internationalsociety.org.uk
Pictured from left to right are Dove, Amelia, William, Yousaf and Indian student Koysha
Greenbank Charity Bake Off Competition
A river of chocolate buttons, a fairytale gingerbread castle and a unicorn cake were the winners in the novelty section of Greenbank Preparatory School's charity Bake Off challenge.
Judged by leading local bakers and confectioners Brian and Brenda Skelton from Cheadle Hukme, who have over 70 years combined experience in the baking industry, the icing on the cake was the £660 raised for the charity Kilimanjaro climb being undertaken by the independent preparatory school in Cheadle Hulme in the Autumn.
The bake off competition saw 50 entries all sold off after the school day and it was a family affair for the winners. Leo, 10, won with a sculpture of chocolate buttons flowing down on to cream covered chocolate sponge.
Brenda Skelton, who worked in product development for Marks and Spencer, said “This was a brilliant design, that would be a best seller, appealing to all ages. Original and very clever, we loved it.” Leo admitted “It was really my aunty Joanne McKinney who had the idea, but we did bake it together over an evening. The river of buttons were melted on to a stick.”
Pippa, 5, was not quite so quick to give all the credit to her mum Kenzie “Mummy did help me stick the gingerbread castle together, but I did all the moulding and decorating,” she whispered as if butter would not melt.
While Charlotte, 6, whose mum Lauren, made a unicorn cake, added “Mummy always makes great cakes and this was my favourite red velvet.”
Brian Skelton said “Every entry was very good and the overall standard was incredibly impressive. I am sure the Great British Bake Off has helped to improve the quality of home baking by massively raising the profile.”
Pictured with Brian and Brenda Skelton are Pippa, Leo and Charlotte.
Thomas Baker from Leigh Golf Club and Ryan McInstry from Ellesmere scored a superb 44 points in the two ball better format on a glorious day on the Higher Poynton links.
Thomas, who plays off 18, said “Not only is it the highlight of my golfing career, it's really the only high point.” Brian, who plays off 22, added “After years of playing we at last found some consistency, started very well and just about hung on.”
The real star was 11-year-old Harry Kell who with his dad Jonathan from Sandiway Golf Club came in fifth and won a bag full of goodies and notably some golf lessons. Harry said “I just tried to keep focused and listen to Dad, well for most of the time anyway.”
The event raised over £1500 for the top independent primary school in Cheadle Hulme and organiser Hugh Burden said “Our inaugural PA Golf Day was a great success, it was a fabulous example of the staff, parents, suppliers and friends of Greenbank pulling together to raise money for a great cause. I would like to congratulate all the participants and look forward to the 2019 version ”
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