Greenbank School

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.

Jasper wins on the coconut shy.
 

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.”

NSPCC VOLUNTEERS LAUNCH NATIONAL DRIVE ON CYBER BULLYING
Local NSPCC volunteers spent a morning at Greenbank Preparatory School as part of a nationwide campaign to tell children 'to speak out and stay safe”
The Stockport team gave an assembly to all the children at the top independent primary school on Heathbank Road in Cheadle Hulme before holding workshops with older children from Years Five and Six on recognising and dealing with the modern plague of cyber bullying.
NSPCC Schools Service Volunteer Alison Dwan said “The dangers of cyber bullying have increased dramatically over the last decade. Many children have smart phones by the age of 11 and can get into damaging relationships where it is hard for them to know what is right and wrong.  Working in partnership with O2 we have produced a leaflet for parents to help them recognise the signs of their child being a victim or, indeed, a bully themselves and to help them install and maintain the important parental controls on all their children's devices.  Our key message to the children is to identify who is a trusted adult and to always speak out and stay safe. Of course this will normally be their parents but it could be a teacher, an aunty or uncle, someone they respect.”
Greenbank Preparatory School Headteacher Janet Lowe said “We are grateful for the NSPCC”s specialist expertise in this increasingly problematic side effect of today's fast moving technological revolution and applaud their crusade to talk to every child in the country on this issue.”
Alison Dwan and NSPCC mascot Buddy oversee a workshop at Greenbank.
 
 
PECULIARITIES OF ENGLISH PANTOMIME EXPLAINED BY GREENBANK'S FILM ACTRESS
Greenbank Preparatory School's former film and soap character actress Adele Firth found it hard to explain some of the quintessential peculiarities of the traditional pantomime when she used their Christmas performance as a lesson in all things English.
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.

SALE OF HILLCREST ENABLES £70,000 GIFT TO GREENBANK
The sale of one famous Stockport school has benefitted another as the former Trustees of Hillcrest Grammar School have donated £70,000 to Greenbank Preparatory School from the proceeds.
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. 
 
GREENBANK PA DINNER DANCE 2016

It was a night of flames and fantasy as Greenbank Preparatory School parents danced the light fantastic at a glittering masked ball at The Deanwater Hotel in Woodford.  Helped by fire eaters, mystics and the stunning generosity of retailed in Cheadle, Cheadle Hulme, Bramhall, Wilmslow and Alderley Edge, who donated raffle prizes, the parents and teachers at the top independent preparatory school in Cheadle Hulme raised 33,664 for state of the art computer equpment.

 

Organiser Saneta Johnson said "It was a fabulous night with some extra snap, crackle and pop.  We achieved a great target thanks to the amazing generosity of all the guests who made the night.  Let's hope the heads were not too sore the following day."
Greenbank Preparatory School Headmistress Janet Lowe said "A strong bond of friendship between parents and teachers is at the heart of a happy school and it is always wonderful to enjoy a fabulous night out with parents both past and present."

GREENBANK CHRISTMAS FAIR
Mother Sally Lochrie saw Christmas through her baby daughter's eyes when they enjoyed all the dazzle of their first Christmas Fair together. 
Sally, a Games Teacher at the independent preparatory school on Heathbank Lane in Cheadle Hulme and daughter Myla who is just two years-old, were among a happy festive gathering of parents, friends and children who raised £2,300 to help equip the school's new media centre.
Sally said “It's such a wonderful time to be a young family. Myla is really experiencing Christmas for the first time and now we can see it through her eyes it's all new to us too.”

 

CAMBRIDGE UNIVERSITY DINOSAUR LECTURER TALKS TO PRESCHOOL & RECEPTION CHILDREN IN CHEADLE
Cambridge University lecturer Jamie Jordan breathed life into the fossilised remains of the jurassic age when he taught Preschool and Reception children at Greenbank Preparatory School about living with dinosaurs.

A self taught palaeontologist from Cambridgeshire, Jamie first developed a fascination for the animals that ruled the Earth for over 180 million years when as a child, no older than the boys and girls at Greenbank, he found a fossilised footprint of a dinosaur bird on a beach in Skegness.
“I was hooked at that moment. We had the fossil authenticated by the Natural History Museum and since then I have dedicated my life to finding out more about what lies beneath our feet.”
Jamie told the children that Cheshire was not really a seed bed bed for dinosaur bones, but if they went to the Dorset coast or Sussex, Surrey and Suffolk they might indeed unearth evidence of our ancient ancestors. You just have to keep looking.
He added “ I tell the children that if you stretch your arms out from side to side that represents the length of time that there has been life on Earth. The gap from your shoulder to your elbow is how long there were dinosaurs and the thickness of their little fingernail represents human existence.”
He added: “They love the names, the different shapes and sizes and the roars and different noises dinosaurs make and though films like Jurassic Park might have obscured scientific fact, they certainly captured the imagination of the young mind.”
Laura Bradbury, Greenbank's Head of Early Years, said “Jamie had the children hanging on his every word as they discovered more and more incredible facts about dinosaurs and how animals just like the plastic models that most have in their toy boxes, roamed the earth 70 million years ago.”
 
Jamie is pictured with Greenbank Reception children Precious and Noah and some dinosaur remains.
 

STOCKPORT'S CHARITY ATHLETE TEACHES SELF DEFENCE DURING ANTI BULLYING WEEK
Three time sport karate world chamion Carl Thomas told pupils at his sponsor school Greenbank simply to avoid confrontation at all costs during their anti bullying week.  “Don't give into peer pressure to front up and save face, just run and run as fast as you can,” the martial arts experts said.

However, if all else fails, Carl who owns four local martial art centres and helps to train hundreds of students of all ages every week, was ready to hand on a few vital lessons in self-defence. “When in danger it is important to be self confident and to react calmly. In that way you can defuse situations with simple techniques using key breaking points for example on the wrist and throat to disable any assailant.”
Greenbank Preparatory School in Cheadle Hulme has nominated Carl''s charity “4areason' as this year's special cause and hopes to raise over £5,000 for his cancer care mission.
Last year Carl ran 10 marathons in 10 days from Trafalgar Square back to his home in Stockport and this year, he and his crew are planning a 1500 mile cycle ride taking in England, Scotland and Wales, completing 150 miles on each of the first eight days and then 300 miles on a final gruelling 27 hour stretch.
Carl, 32, who has already raised £16,000, after witnessing close friends battle with cancer, said “I want to raise one million pounds by the time I am forty and we are planning 10 challenges. We started with running, next will be cycling and then I think it will be triathlon, but it all depends on how the body stands up because it isn't getting ay easier.”  Greenbank Preparatory's School Headmistress said “Carl's enthusiasm is infectious and he is just the type of local entrepreneur we want to encourage; a hard working, young man who puts philanthropy at the heart of his mission.”
 

MACBETH IS JUST SUCH FUN SAY EIGHT-YEAR-OLD ACTORS
It was bubble, bubble, toil and trouble at Greenbank Preparatory School as Year Four thespians staged their own production of the Scottish Play.  It might be Shakespeare’s most blood stained saga but to the eight-year-old actors it was simply great fun and more comedy than tragedy.

Leo B who played Lady Macbeth's doctor and is also in Northenden's Players 'Seven Year Itch' said “Shakespeare is such fun, there's more laughter in Macbeth than the Seven Year Itch.”

The children's love of the great Bard was confirmed by former soap star actress Adele Firth, who is Head of Drama at Greenbank “The kids can't get enough of it. They love the blood, the gore, the stabbings, the intrigue, the witches, the madness and the dramatic denoumen, with the trees moving across the stage. They're not scared at all, they are just completely engrossed.”  Every child gets in the year group has a chance to play a main part with four Macbeths this year and even five Lady Macbeths

Adele, who has been pulling the strings behind an eclectic range of productions at the independent preparatory school in Cheadle Hulme for the last decade, added “It seems to work perfectly, our theatre goers are so engrossed in Shakespeare they don't even seem to notice a string of different faces or at least let it show.”  The popular local dramatist added “People ask how on earth do children as young as eight years-old get to grips with Shakespeare, but they do and they absolutely love it. The idea is that when they progress to secondary school and are presented with a Shakespeare text in a literacy lesson, they won't turn their nose up, but say 'yes I love it, I can't wait and, of course, they always get so much more from playing in on stage than reading it from the text.”


STOCKPORT FOODBANK FACE INCREASING CHALLENGES
The Chair of the Chelwood Baptist Church Foodbank David Phillips has said their job is getting more challenging month on month.  Speaking at Greenbank Preparatory School's vital annual harvest, he said “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.”  He added “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's 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. He added “We feed hundreds and hundreds of people every year. There is no peak demand period, just a steady flow of people who are very much in need.”

Greenbank Headmistress Janet Lowe said “Our harvest festival is more important to the local community than it has ever been and we are grateful to all our parents for recognising that they can make a vital contribution to the local community, not just now but throughout the year”  

Andrew is pictured with Greenbank's school captains Ben and Nia.

GIFTED AND TALENTED USE OLD BLUE PETER TECHNIQUES TO ADVANCE LEARNING
Gifted and talented children from across the North West came to Greenbank Preparatory School for a special workshop designed to challenge the region's brightest young minds.

As members of North West Gifted and Talented Association, Greenbank Preparatory School in Cheadle Hulme, designed and delivered a special day to engage and enthuse minds that might easily tire of the day to day curriculum.  30 budding boffins from 20 top state and independent schools worked on a complex art project designed to stretch even the most inquiring of young minds.

At first glance it might look like a copy of a old Blue Peter clip as the children made exotic flowers from old plastic bottles, but with each part that was created came a lesson not just on the beaity but the function of the stamen, anther, petals, stem all of nature's fabulous creation.

Greenbank Art teacher Gaye Chorlton who designed the programme said “The secret is to make the learning journey complex and exciting. It's not like doing a simple design. The children have to go through a series of complex individual processes before they eventually get a finished artwork and are continually learning more through each process”

Greenbank's Very Able and Talented Co-ordinator Mrs Philippa Atha added “It's a sheer joy to work with these children; the harder the task, the more they seem to enjoy it and there is always that busy but almost serene hubbub of work and study throughout the day.”  Greenbank School Headmistress Janet Lowe said “If not encouraged, motivated and challenged, gifted and talented children can be become frustrated and distracted in class. Designing and delivering this workshop allows our teachers to develop further best practice and spend a hugely enjoyable and rewarding day with the some of the region's sharpest young minds.”  Mrs Lowe added “As lead school we had children coming to us from both the state and independent sectors with many of our own pupils rising to the special challenges we had designed for the day with tremendous enthusiasm”

Pictured with flowers are Greenbank pupils Amelia and Grace.

TOUGH HAT TRICK HEROES LIFT NORTHERN WATER POLO CHAMPIONSHIPS
Greenbank Preparatory School's hat trick heroes have won the Independent Schools' Association's northern regional water polo championships for the third consecutive year, even though they had never played as a team before.

The top primary school in Cheadle Hulme, however, has a squad of superb young swimmers and once again proved just too tough in the water for 16 other teams from across the region.

Greenbank cruised through the round robin series and then beat Forest Park 2 – 1 in the semi final courtesy of goals from midfield play maker Claudia Freeman with a fierce shot from distance and the power house Isaac Hughes who had been man marked throughout the tournament but simply shrugged off the opposition.

Clinical finisher Hughes was then on hand to add another two goals as they beat Prenton from the Wirral 2 – 1 in a nail biting final.

Captain Abdul was resilient in nets, shieldied by the uncompromising Dylan. Other key players all pictured were: Leah, Matilda, Ben, Madison, Aurelia, Jamie, Oliver, Diya, Nia, Joel and Jude.

Coach Adam Dyson said “I'd like to take some credit, but it's down to our brilliant boys and girls. They are very fit, very competitive and have a wonderful team spirit and we just keep confounding the opposition.”

BAKE OFF TREATS RAISE £700 FOR MACMILLAN
Greenbank Preparatory School held their own giant Bake Off for Macmillan Cancer Care as hundreds of show-stopping cakes and pastries were made by the Parents' Association.

The now annual event at the top independent primary in Cheadle Hulme raised over £700 for the cancer care charity and as Headmistress Janet Lowe said “had us buzzing all day with something of a sugar rush, even if the children unlike the parents and sadly the teachers were on strict rations.”

Pictured are mums Cheryl Walker (left) and Jacqui Bryning with their daughters, Iris holding the cake, and Maia.

Jacqui Bryning, clearly a fan of Mary Berry, said “There wasn't a soggy bottom to be seen, all lovely and crisp with a good bite and even bake,” while Cheryl added “All these cakes were very naughty but also very nice and you have to enjoy a treat sometime.”

Greenbank Preparatory School Headmistress Janet Lowe added “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 calendar.” At the back are with Janet Lowe are Natasha S, Heather D and Zahra R.  

FATHER DAYS BREAKFAST TO CELEBRATE UNSUNG FAMILY HEROES
It was a day for the dads as Greenbank Preparatory School hosted a special Father's Day breakfast for the family's unsung heroes.

Bacon and sausage butties with a special halloumi and mushroom alternative for the modern man, were served with a challenging quiz and exercise session for those about to go off to work. Pedro Simoes, who has three children Joyce, Johann and Pedro, said “We are all much more involved in our children's education than our own fathers used to be and this can only be a good thing. It's a very special time and we all want to enjoy every moment.”  Darren Baythorpe, who has two children Ellis and Leo, is pictured with the other dads trying to answer a devilishly difficult quiz on the names of favourite sweets and chocolates through the ages, said “Well I feel a proper fool, I hardly got one answer right but let's face it, that's all part of being a dad.”

 

Greenbank Headmistress Janet Lowe said “Dads are more involved in every aspect of their children’s life and education than in previous generations and their sons and daughters really enjoyed saying a big thank you”

Pedro and Darren are pictured on the left and going round are Paul Frayne, who has two children Ava and Ryan, Martin Dunn, who has two children Leo and Toby and Chris Bellamy, who has two children Adam and Will.

CREEEPY CRAWLIES INVADE GREENBANK
Throughout the millennia snakes have definitely had a bad press according to the presenters of the Creepy Crawly show.  Snakes, lizard, toads, spiders, all God's creature which induce phobic reactions in many, should rather be celebrated for their immense beauty and vital part in nature's tapestry.

Children at Greenbank Preparatory School learned to overcome any fear they might have of snakes, creepy crawlies and all things that slide, slither and walk sideways when special presenter Jungle Jonny brought down a veritable menagerie of toe curling creatures.

Owner of the Creepy Crawly Show, which operates out of the Cheshire Reindeer Lodge, Craig Crowton, said “Our message is simple: we want to get children interested and excited about animals and nature and show that animals such as snakes are to be admired rather than feared.”  Jungle Jonny is pictured with Grreenbank pupils Barney M and Myla S and royal python which goes by the name of Liz.

Greenbank Preparatry School Headmistress Janet Lowe said “One or two of the staff had to encouraged to get up close and personal with the snakes and spiders, but that's the point to reduce anxiety at an early age and learn about the miracles of nature rather than being frightened by ancient mythologies.”  

GRANDPARENTS CELEBRATE QUEEN'S BIRTHDAY
The youngest and oldest generations came together at Greenbank Preparatory School to celebrate the Queen's 90th Birthday with a special concert and street party.  Every year the independent preparatory school in Cheadle Hulme sets aside a special day for the children’s grandparents and this year they made sure it coincided with the birthday of the great grandmother of the nation, Her Royal Highness Queen Elizabeth II.

Old and young alike could share their love for the Queen with the older generation telling the young ones, just what a contribution she has made not just to British life but to global affairs for nearly 64 years on the throne.

Pictured with some of the Greenbank Beefeaters are one family: Natasha and Charlotte S with grandma and grandpa dental surgeon Greg Marshall and his wife dental nurse Sue, all happily living close to one another in Bramhall.  Charlotte said “Our Queen represents all that is best about Great Britain and we are the envy of the world.”  While Natasha said “I think she has been absolutely wonderful and we all love her very much.”

Grandma Sue added “The Queen has been a great unifier not just for us here in Great Britain but for many peoples around the world.” Greg added: “I cannot imagine that we could have had a better figurehead; impartial, reserved and always conscious of her duty.”

The event also gave the older generation an opportunity to look around the school and see how education has changed since their own salad days

Sue said “They seem to have so much more fun; which is a wonderful thing.” Greg added “The children study so many different topics; more science, more IT and Charlotte is even studying Mandarin and Portuguese, which would have been unthinkable in my days St. Winifred's in Heaton Mersey.”

Greenbank Preaparatory School Headmistress Janet Lowe said “Our grandparents are our own royalty and everyone, the children and the staff love to make them feel appreciated, just as the nation likes to do for the our beloved Queen.”

BUGTASTIC DISCO TO CELEBRATE NATURE'S MINI BEASTS FOR CHARITIES WEEK
It was a case of fright fever at Greenbank Preparatory School's 'Beautiful Bugs Ball', a sponsored disco in honour of nature's wonderful mini beasts.

As part of the independent preparatory school in Cheadle Hulme Charities Week fundraising frolics, some 70 children from the Day Nursery up to Greenbank's Reception Class all dressed up as their favourite creepie crawlies for a bugtastic disco.

The event was part of the school's drive to raise over £5,000 for the Cleft Lip and Palate Association, Greenbank's nominated charity this year, but also gave the children an opportunity to act out the lessons they have been studying in class as part of the EYFS National Curriculum.

Laura Bradbury, Head of Greenbank's Early Years Foundation Stage, said “There were all manner of lady birds, butterflies and spiders shaking their legs and spreading wings for the disco. We had even built our own mini beast hotel to attract more visitors so we could learn more about their life cycle, their body parts, their habitats and their fundamental importance to the balance of nature.”

Pictured with Greenbank's Teaching Assistant Molly Cochrane are Polly B, Charlotte D and Zak M.

DICKENS CHALLENGE
Greenbank Preparatory School's young actors are taking a break from Shakespeare to delve into Dickens as the Cheadle Hulme based school continues to challenge it's young minds with Britain's greatest writers.

This week Year Five pupils staged a 45 minute production of Little Dorritt which Head of Drama and former soap star, Adele Firth says, “was the Eastenders of its day; just very much better written.”  Adele said “Dickens wrote 800 pages, the BBC condensed it to 14 hours but we are doing it in 45 minutes.”  She said “Dickens was the most popular writer of his day, with his novels serialised in national newspapers and written to leave the reader desperate to know what happens next and our pupils love that level of suspense.”  She added “Dickens also explored into the odd, the quirky and down right weird and our pupils love his characterisation and at the same time learn about some of the great social questions of the 19th Century.”  She concluded “Written between 1855 and 1857, Little Dorritt explores the Catch 22 of Victorian debtors' prisons, where those who owed money were imprisoned, unable to work, until they repaid their debts. The prison he satirises is the Marshalsea, where Dickens's own father had been imprisoned.”

Greenbank Preparatory School Headmistress Janet Lowe said “Our last production was Romeo Juliet and now we are staging Little Dorritt as we seek to open our boys' and girls' minds to our finest story tellers and philosophers.” 

Pictured seated are Jude W as Arthur Clenan and from left to right: Aurelie D as Franny, Madison D as Mrs Merdle, Marwah C as Little Dorritt and Isaac W as Daniel Doyce.

ROCKET SCIENTISTS GROW SEEDS FROM INTERNATIONAL SPACE STATION IN CHEADLE HULME
Young scientists at Greenbank Preparatory School are keeping a starry eyed watch over the rocket seeds brought back from the International Space Station.  The budding boffins are part of a nationwide experiment to determine the effects of micro gravity on the germination, growth and nutritional value of food sources subjected to micro gravity.

On December 15 British astronaut Tim Peake took up two kilograms of Eruca Sativa, a cultivar fittingly of rocket seeds, which then over the next three months orbited the planet at 17,000mph under micro gravity conditions.  The seeds came back to earth when NASA astronaut Scott Kelly and Russian cosmonauts Mikhail Kornienko and Sergey Volkov of Roscosmos landed safely back on terra firma on March 2 and have since been distributed to schools across the U.K.

Now eager young horticulturalists are growing two sets of seeds marked red and blue, but have no idea which ones have been in space and which are the control group.  Under strict conditions set by the Royal Horticultural Society, teachers and pupils are turning the seedlings every day, monitoring their growth and giving them exactly the right amount of water with their findings recorded meticulously for analysis by the RHS and space scientists.

Greenbank pupil Dylan S, from Bramhall said “I think the ones in space will grow more quickly as they haven't been weighed down by gravity.”  While fellow pupil Charlotte S, from Cheadle added “It's such an honour to be included in the project. We can't keep our eyes off the seeds, but we all know we must not touch.”

Greenbank's Upper Junior teacher Heather Burnett said “There are already some discernible differences between the red and blue group, so it will be fascinating to see what the results are when all the data is collected from every school involved up and down the country.”  Dylan was not convinced about a life in space. He said “Actually, I'd rather be a banker.” While Charlotte added “I think it will be a long time before we colonise space. At least four years.”  Mrs Burnett added “You can never say never about mankind being able to colonise space. Look how far we have come in the last 200 years, who knows where we will be in another 200 years. If we do manage to move off this planet I don't suppose it will be in any way we have thought of yet.”

 

Minister for Universities and Science Jo Johnson said "Britain’s space industry is going from strength to strength, and for this to continue it’s right we inspire the next generation of scientists and engineers. ‘Rocket Science’ is doing just that by giving thousands of schoolchildren the opportunity to play a part in Tim’s mission to the International Space Station, while learning new skills in a fun and unique way.”

Pictured are Greenbank's Dylan S and Charlotte S with seedlings from space and from planet Earth. 

ST JOHN AMBULANCE GIVES DAY LONG LECTURE TO YOUNG LIFE SAVERS
St. John Ambulance man Laurence Brennand gave Greenbank Preparatory School pupils a common sense approach to first aid that might save someone's life during a day long lecture programme.

The Schools and Community Trainer operates across the North-West talking to with children and young adults of all ages and last year was part of a team that worked with 46,500 youngsters.

He said “It's about reassuring them that life saving can be simple if you know what you are doing and if you keep calm and don't panic. We go through basic measures to help those who might be choking, who are having asthma attacks, might have taken poisons or have suffered burns and ensure that those on the spot know the correct physical procedures and whom to contact.”

The St John Ambulance is a modern, dynamic charity and their vital work is underpinned by a long and diverse heritage. The St John Ambulance Brigade was formed in 1887, but their enduring story goes all the way back to 11th century Jerusalem, where the first Knights of St John set up a hospital to care for sick pilgrims. The eight-pointed cross on their volunteers’ uniform is the symbol worn by those knights who provided free medical care in that first hospital in Jerusalem.

Greenbank Preparatory School Headmistress Janet Lowe said “Officer Brennand provided a detailed yet easy to follow guide for our children who were all intent on gathering every little bit of information they could so that they might be able to help others in the future.”

Laurence is pictured with Greenbank pupils Kristian V and Saskia B practising the recovery position.

YOUNG ATLAS' LIFT WORLD FOR INTERNATIONAL SOCIETY
Atlas had his rivals when Greenbank pupils lifted the world on high when they played host to Greater Manchester’s International Society.  Founded in 1966 by a handful of foreign students, Greater Manchester’s International Society now has 10,000 members drawn from across the city - now the largest international student centre in the U.K. and one of the largest anywhere in the world.  Organised by their Project and Training Manager, Sam Harris, the visit to the independent preparatory school in Cheadle Hulme is aimed at broadening the horizons of the youngest generation.

Sam said “Our aim is to promote international friendship and peace by giving children the chance to meet people from a whole range of different countries, listen to their music, learn about their customs and see that apart from geography how remarkably similar we all are.”  The event saw visitors from countries drawn from across the globe including: China, Latvia, Palestine, Malaysia, Germany, Columbia, Iraq, Kuwait, Ecuador, Canada and Indonesia.  Sam Harris added “The globe makes a fantastic centre piece and always draws the children’s attention.”

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 these countries represented today by the International Society. The event showed that we share a common bond of humanity.”  Greenbank pupil Harriett H aged just four said “The world is a lot heavier than I thought.”  To find out more please visit internationalsociety.org,uk

Pictured are the young Atlas' from left to right: Seth H, Ava F, Thomas D and Harriett H.

DANIELLE HOPE TELLS GREENBANK THESPIANS TO BREAK A LEG
West End musical star Danielle Hope has sent the young thespians at Greenbank Preparatory School a good luck message ahead of their production of The Sound of Music.  Danielle was first spotted by Greenbank's Director of Drama Adele Firth when she was a Year 7 pupil appearing in Knutsford High School's production of Grease.

Adele, a former Coronation Street actress, who has been running theatre schools across Cheshire for the last two decades, said “Straight away you could see what a talent and I persuaded her to come to my theatre school to develop that potential. Sure enough, she later applied for and won the BBC”s “Over the Rainbow' television audition series and has gone on to star as Dorothy in the West End."  Now Danielle has told the Greenbank players “to think big, dream big and enjoy every moment,” of their production of The Sound of Music.

Adele said “We aren't putting on a sentimental version of this production but a more gritty and realistic production that highlights the very real fears of living in Nazi ruled Austria before the outbreak of the Second World War. The children are studying that war in history and this piece does show the contrast between the world of the monastery and the growing terror out in the community.”

Pictured in front of the Family von Trapp are Dylan S as Captain von Trapp and Emily B as Maria. Emily said “It was such a thrill to read the letter from Danielle that has really given us all something to live up too.”

Adele concluded “I wanted to show the children that this isn't just a school production but could be the start of something big. Who's to say one of them won't follow Danielle and the many others I have worked with, into the profession.”

GIFTED & TALENTED 'GO' CLASS
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 30 of the region's brightest young brains come to their school on Heathbank Road in Cheadle Hulme for an introduction the the 3,000year-old Chinese game of cunning and strategy.

Roger Huyshe The British Go Association board member came to introduce the children to the game that as he said “takes little time to learn, but a lifetime to master.”  The rules appear breathtakingly simple: Black plays white placing stones on to the chequered board. The board starts empty and gradually fills up as the stones cannot be moved once placed, though a player can remove stones by surrounding them.

“The art,” said Roger, “is a balance between defence and attack, between ying and yang, working out through planning, prudence and logic when to attack and when to defend.”  Cheadle Hulme residents Martin and Helen Hardy have started a number of Go clubs in the local area including one at Greenbank Preparatory 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.”

Roger Huyshe is pictured with Thomas and Ben.

BEWARE THE YEAR OF THE MONKEY AS GREENBANK CELEBRATES CHINESE NEW YEAR
Greenbank Preparatory School shared celebrations for Chinese New Year with their popular classmate Kayley with a sumptuous lunchtime feast.  The boys and girls at the independent school in Cheadle Hulme mastered the art of chopsticks for the lunchtime treat of sweet and sour chicken, noodles and savoury pancake rolls.

The previous night Kayley aged nine had set alight some indoor fireworks and festooned her house in Stockport with Chinese lanterns as the annual celebrations took hold.  Kayley, aged 9, said “I love Chinese New Year; it brings all the family together and we always have such wonderful fun.”  2016 heralds the Year of the Monkey and those born under this sign during the 12 year cycle are said to be quick-witted, 
enthusiastic, self-assured, sociable and innovative but be warned those who fall for a little monkey as they are also said to be jealous, suspicious, cunning, selfish and arrogant.  Greenbank Preparatory School Headmistress Janet Lowe said “Manchester has a wonderfully colourful and creative Chinese community which all our children want to know more about and Chinese New Year is one of the many festivals from around the globe we will celebrate as if it was Christmas or Guy Fawkes Night.”

Kayley is pictured with her friends Pedro and Grace.

GREENBANK ODE TO HAGGIS CELEBRATION
Long serving Stockport G.P. and true Scot George Cowie addressed the haggis for hungry diners at Greenbank Preparatory School to celebrate Rabbie Burns.  Recently voted The Greatest Scot of all time, the Alloway born romantic poet, socialist and humanitarian is revered the world over on January 25 by Scots both at home and those wistfully remembering their own country.

It was no different at the independent preparatory school in Cheadle Hulme when Year Four teacher Jacqueline Reeder, who has been south of the border for 23 years wanted to share her Scottish heritage. “At Greenbank we teach our children about cultures from all over the world so I thought it was only right they got to know a little more about those countries in our own family of nations.”  To help she enlisted Dr. Cowie, granddfather of Year 4 pupil Tiger, who was born in Fraserburgh but has now been 61 years in England, serving from 1962 to 1998 as a G.P. in Offerton.  He said “Burns believed in the brotherhood of man and valued the character of an indidual not their rank or worth and his poetry has a timeless and universal appeal.”  He added “Although I have to admit I never tasted Haggis until I came south, in Burns' lifetime in the late 18th Century it was staple food providing great nourishment for the peasant classes and of great value to the backbone of the country.”  Dr. Cowie said “That's why Burns proclaimed the haggis as “Fair fa' your honest, sonsie face, 
Great chieftain o the puddin'-race.”  As well as Haggis the children enjoyed cock o'leekie soup, tatties and neeps and cranachan.

LONG ARM OF LAW CATCHES UP WITH THREE YEAR OLD HARRIET
The long arm of the law made sure Preschool children at Greenbank Preparatory School weren't going to be led astray with a special community visit.  Chief Inspector Laura Marler from the Manchester Partnerships team soon had three-year-old Harriet under lock and key as she showed the captive children all their special kit.  Laura, who has been a police officer for 17 years, said “The children love seeing all the kit we take from the back of our transit van; the handcuffs, batons, police radios and helmets and actually line up to be put in the cage.”  She added “We want them to know, we are their friends, there to turn to and there to trust and that when they have any fears they can call 999.”  Katy Reynolds, Greenbank Preschool teacher said “Our boys and girls now all want to become police officers when they grow up.”

Picture: Chief Inspector Laura Marler gives Greenbank pupils Myla, Harley and Barney a chance to go in the cage.  

GREENBANK SAYS THANK YOU TO VISIONARY LEADER JOHN KENNEDY
Greenbank Preparatory School said a fond farewell to its long serving Chair of Trustees John Kennedy who has been one of the driving forces behind its dramatic expansion and modernisation over the last two decades.
John, a former director of the former brewing company Whitbread, has spent 22 years as a Trustee with 14 as Chair over two spells at the co-educational independent school on Heathbank Road in Cheadle Hulme.
During that time Greenbank has enjoyed consistently full school rolls, while many other independent schools in the Borough have closed. It has continued to change with the times, with a Day Nursery from children from six months, a new ICT suite and Library, a new Music, Science and Administration building, an all weather playing field, a m