MUCH LOVED HEAD TEACHER RETIRES
Much loved Headteacher Janet Lowe is to retire at the end of the year after 39 years’ service in two leading Stockport schools.
Under Janet’s leadership Greenbank Preparatory School in Cheadle Hulme has won national awards for ecology, parental engagement and value for money.
The last years 12, since Janet took the reins as Headteacher, have also seen the school roll increase at all age levels with a continuing expansion and rebuilding programme to create a modern multi-media learning environment with superb indoor and outdoor facilities.
Greenbank’s local, national and international charity work, notably with the Port Reitz Special School in Kenya, saw Janet win the Stockport Rotary Club’s Paul Harris special achievement award in 2015.
Before she joined Greenbank, Janet had worked for 27 years in Stockport Grammar School Junior Department, developing her own child centred philosophy. “Developing self-esteem is so important in the early years so you encourage, nurture, love, praise and teach the way children learn.”
She added: “The awards have been wonderful, but it has been so much more important to see confident, articulate, creative, expressive and happy children move on the next stage of their education and it’s the children I am going to miss most.”
“I’ll miss all my friends on the staff too, of course, every day is a team effort, but what an absolute privilege and sheer joy it has been to work with these wonderful young minds. They bring a smile to your face each and every day.”
Married to Derek, who climbed Kilimanjaro last September for Port Reiz, with two children and two grandchildren, one aged just eight months, Janet will continue to work part-time as an Inspector for the independent School’s Inspectorate and for Manchester Metropolitan University.
However, she is happy to be handing over to former British Olympic squad canoeist, Malcolm Johnson who is moving from his role as Deputy Head at the neighbouring Cheadle Hulme School to become Greenbank’s new Head in September.
Janet said: “We had applications from the length and breadth of the country but know we have found the ideal person right on our doorstep.”
Greenbank’s Chair of Trustees Phil Enstone said: “The role of Headteacher is fundamental to a school’s and its pupils’ success and Greenbank has been very lucky to have had such a marvellous professional and role model.
“Pupils, parents, staff and Trustees will miss her very much but know her legacy will continue to flourish.”SUPERHERO DADS
The Caped Crusader and even the Incredible Hulk made guest appearances at Greenbank Preparatory School as super-dads were celebrated at a special Father’s Day breakfast.
Every year the top independent preparatory school in Cheadle Hulme throws a Father’s Day breakfast with sausage and bacon butties and games for sons, daughters and dads to play together.
This year the theme was superheroes with indoor and outdoor feats of daring for everyone to enjoy.
Dad Mahmoud Elmalky, a consultant doctor, who grew up in Egypt, said “Respect for our fathers was important but we never did anything quite like this. I loved it and it helped me see the world through my son’s eyes.”
Robert Briggs, who grew up in Bolton, said “There was nothing like this in my day. I think it’s good that the school creates such a close bond with parents.”
His daughter Polly, 8, summed up the feelings of the children. “My dad is the best, better than any superhero.”
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.”
Mohmoud as the Hulk with his son Kareem
Robert as the Caped Crusader with his daughter Polly.
GRABBA GRANDPARENT DAY AT GREENBANK
Mamma Mia Greenbank Preparatory School pupils put on a concert of Abba classics for their Grabba a Grandparent Day.
Every year the top independent primary school in Cheadle Hulme celebrates the older generation with a special concert for all the nannas and grandads.
This year they reprised the Abba movie with songs including Take a Chance on Me, Thank You For The Music and the obligatory Mamma Mia.
The event allows the seniors to see just how much education has changed. Jean Costello, nanna to Charlotte Dicks, remembered the bad old days. “My primary school in Hollywood Stockport was far too strict, The teachers used to throw board dusters at me and my mum went in time and time again to complain. I hated it but today, Greenbank it is just totally different. The children are valued and cherished not frightened.”‘Nanna’ Jean and her husband Raymond ‘pops’ Costello sent their son and daughter to Greenbank and now both their grandchildren have gone to the same school.
Granddaughter Charlotte, 7, explained why it was a special day for the children as well. “I love my nanna and pops. They are very special to me and love me so much. I am proud of my work and I really enjoyed showing them what we do at school.”
Greenbank Headmistress Janet Lowe said “Grandparents play such an important role in a child’s education with their love, wisdom and support and all the children just love to say thank you.”
Raymond and Jean are pictured with granddaughter Charlotte.
GIFTED KIDS DISCOVER WHAT IS BEHIND THE MASK
Gifted and talented children examined the gulf between appearance and reality when they spent a day making traditional African tribal masks at Greenbank Preparatory School.
The region's brightest young minds came to Greenbank in Cheadle Hulme for a special workshop designed to challenge their creative, analytical and team-working skills.
The children spent the day making their own tribal African mask using cardboard, string, saw, sand, beads and rings to create an individual persona to hide their faces.
The process allowed Greenbank’s Art Teacher Gaye Chorlton and Learning Support Coordinator Philippa Atha to discuss the purpose of the mask, how they were used to identify different tribal members and their rank and scare off rivals and how some of us still wear masks today to disguise our true selves.
Molly said “They were used as identification and to scare off people.” Amity also added “I don’t think we are that scary so a mask could be very useful for Molly and me.” Aarya concluded “We all really enjoyed making our masks and then finding out just how important they were in some societies.”
As members of North-West Gifted and Talented Association, Greenbank Preparatory School in Cheadle Hulme, holds regular workshops to engage and enthuse minds that might easily tire of the day to day curriculum.
Twice a year over 60 children from 35 schools across the region use their Saturdays to come to Greenbank to learn about topics standard primary education cannot reach.
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.”
Pictured are Molly and Amity with their masks
Pictured is Aarya with her mask
CHILD ACTORS RECREATE ROALD DAHL FOR CHARLIE AND CHOCOLATE FACTORY“It’s not the Gene Wilder version and it’s certainly not the Johnny Depp version, it’s our version” so said 10-year-old co-author Georgia before Greenbank Preparatory School’s adaptation of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.
The Year 5 pupils at the top independent primary school in Cheadle Hulme have spent the past six weeks writing their own version of the Roald Dahl classic and, unlike the cinematic pieces, even allowed the great Mr Dahl himself a role, as the narrator.
Greenbank’s Head of Drama Adele Firth said “We start with improvisations, before committing words to paper and then we had six or seven rehearsals to fine tune the piece and the children are right, it’s not a copy of either the Mel Stuart or the Tim Burton film.”
Georgia was happy to admit, however, “If I had to choose, I’d watch the first version with Gene Wilder. It’s funnier.”
Elijah Bill, 10, who played Roald Dahl said of his alter ego “He’s smart, has a great imagination and makes even the most ludicrous things seem real.”
The 45-minute play was received with riotous laughter by parents and friends at the school on Heathbank Road in Cheadle Hulme.
Pictured at the front are Elijah Bill, as Roald Dahl and Georgia, as Willy Wonka. At the back are Umair as Grandpa Joe, Hasfah as Violet Beauregard Thomas as Charlie Bucket.BIRDIE MACHINE ALEXANDER WINS GREENBANK GOLF DAYNerveless budding birdie machine Alexander won the Greenbank Preparatory School Golf Day Junior Open by a single shot on a glorious day at Alderley Edge Golf Club.
The event raised £1700 for the independent preparatory school in Cheadle Hulme as parents, pupils, teachers and trustees roamed the fairways.
Winners in the adult section were Lloyd Taylor, who plays off 14 and Nick Bailey, who plays off 9 at Bramhall Golf Club, but it was their fellow club member Alexander wo stole the show with a one-shot win over Xavi.
Event organiser Hugh Burden said “The second Annual Friends of Greenbank Golf Day was a great success. Any event that allows the staff, parents and, most importantly, children to come together for a fun day out is on to a winner. The fact we raised over £1,700 for a great cause is a big bonus.”
Modest Alexander, 10, said in the true traditions of the sport“It was a close competition but I just got the luck of the bounce at the end.”
Alexander picks out the winning putt.
Adult pairs winner Lloyd Taylor and Nick Bailey with organizer Hugh Burden.
Greenbank golfers on the fairway at Alderley Edge
ECO WARRIOR RECRUITS CHILDREN FOR GREENER PLANET
Former National Eco School of the Year Greenbank Preparatory School want their pupils to be the agents of change for a greener planet.The independent preparatory school on Heathbank Road in Cheadle Hulme, welcomed parent and NHS Public Health Consultant Darryl Quantz, to discuss the issues with its eco-friendly pupils as part of the school's eco-week. Normally Darryl works at a corporate level and is responsible for developing public health strategy but was delighted to tell Greenbank’s eco warriors, “The young generation is going to provide the leadership needed to help make the change needed for a better city and world. You’re going to be the agents of change.”
He discussed the causes of climate change; its effects on a global and local level and showing the children just what they can do right now to do to enable Britain to become a world leader in changing course. He used a series of props, pictured being held by the children, to show “almost everything in our lives has a carbon footprint, even day to day items which we all need or want such as, pets, holidays and food.”
He added “Solutions come from using less energy, using renewable energy and creating a city in which we can bike, walk and scoot safely. ““Most importantly, kids can make a difference and are already showing leadership on environmental issues. At school, they can look at measuring and reducing their carbon footprint and make sure the school encourages parents and carers who are driving to not idle their vehicles around the school during pick up and drop off times.”
Using his advice as a touchstone, Greenbank implemented an energy free day, had children come walk to school or by bike or scooter, ensured there were waste free lunches, held a series of half day outdoor classroom lessons for all classes and had the children contribute a line for a school eco poem and code.
Greenbank Headmistress Janet Lowe said “Darryl is working to ensure the threats from climate change are seen as a health issue and his participation at the school reminds us that it is the youngest members of society who will feel the impacts of climate change. As such, we need to educate them to take action and accelerate the necessary change.”
CAPTION: Pictured with NHS Public Health consultant are some of Greenbank’s eco warriors Hafsa, Jasper, Sam and Isabelle.
QUEEN FOR THE DAY AT GREENBANK'S MOTHERS DAY CONCERT
Mums were treated like a Princess for the day at Greenbank Preparatory School's special Mother's Day Quiz and Tea Party.A Mother’s Day morning quiz left more than a few mums teary eyed but beaming with joy as their young ones sang for them before serving up tea and cakes.
Mum Sarah Ford said “I love the way the school makes such a fuss on Mother’s Day and Father’s Day but I have to say just being a mum is thanks enough.”Greenbank Headmistress Janet Lowe said “The Mother's Day Quiz is a truly family affair and one we can all share and celebrate.”
Pictured are mum Sarah Ford with son Jasper.
CHARLOTTE BORN TO PLAY ORPHAN ANNIE
Aspiring actress Charlotte fulfilled a life-long dream when she played her alter ego Annie in Greenbank’s Preparatory School’s annual theatrical extravaganza.
The 10-year-ood from Bramhall has naturally auburn hair, freckles and a theatrical singing voice and said “From seeing my very first school play, I’ve always hoped our final Year Six production would be Annie and I couldn’t believe it when Mrs Firth told me she had chosen the play.”
Adele Firth, a former soap actress who now produces all Greenbank’s drama, said “It seemed the obvious choice. Charlotte is a dead ringer for Annie and looks uncannily like the Harold Gray’s original Chicago Tribune cartoon, on which the musical is based.”
Mrs Firth added with a smile “It very much suits the rest of the cast too who are adept at either playing scallywags or big wigs.”
Charlotte continued “My mum has done my hair with chop stick curlers so I really do feel the part. I so much want to be an actress just like my favourites Emma Watson and Julie Walters and I hope this is just the start.”
The main hall of the preparatory school on Heathbank Road in Cheadle Hulme was filled to the rafters for two nights last week with Annie and the cast stealing everyone’s hearts.
Charlotte as Orphan Annie
Moira as Miss Hannigan, Nicholas as Daddy Warbucks, Charlotte as Orphan Annie and Xavi on trumpet
ENTENTE CORDIALE SEALED WITH FRENCH BREAKFAST
A top South Manchester preparatory school is aiming to seal the entente cordiale to buck the national decline in modern foreign languages.
Greenbank, a national award winning independent primary school in Cheadle Hulme, held a French breakfast to whet the appetite for some truly interactive teaching.
The children were served crossiant, beurre, confiture and le chocolat as they turned their classroom into a French café for the morning.
The class was taken by Christelle Thomas, who came to South Manchester from Brittany 17 years ago, and doubles as a Teaching Assistant and French teacher taking classes from Year One to Year Six. She said “We want the children to appreciate that French isn’t just a language taught from their set texts, but is something that they will use in real life when they travel abroad, or indeed, like me, live abroad.”
Greenbank Senior Teacher Jacqueline Reeder, who organised the French Café, said “We want to inspire our boys and girls and let them learn while they are having fun.” She added “The next generation will have to worked hard to seal the entente cordiale with our nearest neighbours and learning their language, just as they learn ours, is an important step.”
Christelle laughed and gave a Gallic shrug of the shoulders when asked what she preferred about Manchester to Brittany, saying “My family are here, but it would be all the nicer if it just stopped raining.”
Pictured from left to right are Olivia, Rufus and Zachari with Christelle Thomas.
AGATHA CHRISTIE MYSTERY FOR WORLD BOOK DAY
Young detectives at Greenbank Preparatory School solved a whodunit for World Book Day as they celebrated the mystery suspense novel.
Miss Marple, Sherlock Holmes, Hercule Poirot and even Agatha Christie herself roamed the corridors in search of the criminal who stole the golden pen.
Children were given three different scenarios from which they had to fathom, whodunit, howdunit and whydunit in a morning dedicated to the dark arts of the crime caper.
Senior Teacher at the independent prep in Cheadle Hulme Jacqueline Reeder said “They were totally engaged and absorbed, reading carefully, solving the problems and writing up their own findings.”
Polly, said “My friend Gigi and I share our books, but we’ll have to keep the endings secret from now on.”
Pictured from left to right with Year Three teacher Neil Delaney as Hercule Poirot are Gigi as Miss Marple, Polly as Agatha Christie, Huzaifa as Sherlock Holmes and Amelia as Nancy Drew.
NSPCC VOLUNTEERS LECTURE 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 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 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.”
NSPCC Schools Service Volunteer Alison Dwan with Isabelle and Ted.
GIFTED AND TALENTED CHILDREN LEARN ANCIENT CHINESE BOARD GAME
The oldest board game in the world challenged the grey matter of gifted and talented children from across the North-West at Greenbank Preparatory School.
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 to the 3,000-year-old Chinese game of cunning and strategy.
Martin Harvey, the North-West representative for the British Go Association, came to the top independent preparatory school to introduce the children to the game that “has seemingly simple rules but takes a life time to master and has many more potential moves than Chess.”
The rules appear breathtakingly simple: Black plays white placing stones on to the chequered board, with the aim to surround an opponent’s stone or in the advanced version of the game areas of space as well.
“The art,” said Martin, “is a balance between defence and attack, working out whether it is better to go for short term gain rather than long term domination.”
Introducing children to Go is just one of the ways Greenbank aims to stimulate the brightest minds. Greenbank’s Gifted and Talented coordinator Philippa Atha said “The aim is to challenge children by introducing them to a wide range of challenging and novel situations in which they have to think strategically and creatively to be successful, As well as Go we have art, DT and music clubs, debating societies, a chess club and cookery classes, anything that is novel to them and means they have to think differently.”
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.”
Martin is pictured with two of Greenbank’s bright young children Grace and Sam.
RECORD RESULTS FOR EXAM CLASS SCHOLARS
Young scholars at Greenbank Preparatory School are celebrating their best ever examination results.
Pupils in the Year 6 class at the independent preparatory school on Heathbank Road in Cheadle Hulme won four academic scholarships, two music scholarships and a sports scholarship from top schools across the region.
There was a 100% pass rate to Withington School, Manchester High, Stockport Grammar, Cheadle Hulme and King’s Macclesfield. Six boys have also won places at Manchester Grammar School and every pupil now faces a difficult choice of schools from which to pick in the coming weeks.
Headmistress Janet Lowe said “As we are non-selective, we feel this really is quite an amazing achievement. It is a team effort between the staff, pupils and parents. From their first day at school, we aim to make their journey both enjoyable and challenging, with teachers and classroom assistants working closely together on a one to one and group basis to meet every child’s needs.” Mrs Lowe said “Now the exam season is over, we can now extend the Year Six curriculum beyond the core subjects and give the children more opportunities to explore the world around them and develop independent, creative thought.”
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
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