TWINS PLAY TWINS IN SHAKESPEARE'S TWELTH NIGHT
Shakespeare must have had Greenbank Preparatory School's twin brother and sister Amity and Atticus in mind when he wrote Twelfth Night says the top preparatory school's Head of Drama Adele Firth. The nine-year-old thespians play twin brother and sister Viola and Sebastian in Shakespeare's rom com classic and are loving every moment.
Atticus said “It's a real honour and it's great fun. Shakespeare is so funny and you have to think hard just to keep up with everything that happens.”
The plot revolves around a complex quartet of cross dressing love affairs in which boy meets boy and girl meets girl only for everything to be resolved in a happy ever after denouement. What is more there is some extra comic relief from one of the Bard's iconic comic caricatures Malvolio.
Mrs Firth said “I have known for some years that Atticus and Amity would eventually come into my Year Four drama class and have been planning their parts in Twelfth Night since they were toddlers.”
Greenbank is an Independent School's Association's designated centre of excellence for the Gifted and Talented and Shakespeare is very much part and parcel of the curriculum.
Mrs Firth added ”We have spent the last six weeks not only in rehearsals but studying the culture and customs of Shakespeare's times.”
The former soap star and drama company owner who has been in charge of Drama at the Cheadle Hulme school for nearly 20 years added “I don't think one needs to read too much into the cross dressing antics but simply realise that Shakespeare was a highly practical man and a theatrical impresario as much as a wonderful writer and as he couldn't work with female actors the constant swapping of genders created so much extra fun and mayhem on stage”
Amity and Atticus are pictured with Jasper, Florence and Umair as Malvolio in Greenbank's Twelfth Night.
PARALYMPIC ATHLETE VISITS GREENBANK
Denton based Paralympic silver medallist Michael Churm told the tireless toddlers at Greenbank Preparatory School to enjoy sport. Michael 36, was speaking on a fundraising day organised by Sport for Schools in which the young pupils at Greenbank Preparatory School an independent primary school in Cheadle Hulme took part in a series of exercises as part of a sponsored circuit.
Born with cerebral palsy affecting his right side, Michael became one of this country's finest ever Paralympic sprinters after developing a passion for track running at East Cheshire Harriers and Chorley AC.
He said “I found a sport I absolutely loved and therefore enjoyed every second of all the hard work I needed to do to become one of the best in the world. The first thing you must do is find a sport or an activity that you really really enjoy and that makes all the training and hard work much easier and like me you never know what will happen.”
Michael competed at both Sydney 2000 and Beijing 2008 Paralympics in the T37 individual class and the T35 -T38 relay class and now among many different projects works with children the length and breadth of the country.
He said “When I started the Paralympics was an afterthought really. We were lucky if we got an hour a night off peak on television, but now just 15 years later we have virtual parity; are invited to the same training camps and have global superstars such as Johnny Peacock as role models.”
However he warned “We still need to raise awareness about the neurological conditions such as cerebral palsy where sometimes some people cannot see any disability and wonder what all the fuss is about.”
Greenbank Preparatory School Headmistress Janet Lowe said “Michael's message about sheer joyfulness and an indomitable human spirit really touched our children's hearts and helped us in our mission as teachers to inspire the next generation.”
Michael Churm is pictured with sportivator Tony Bird from Schools for Sports and Greenbank Year One pupils Henry and Harriet.
Gifted and talented children from across the North-West learned the ancient Oriental board game 'Go' at Greenbank Preparatory School on a day devoted to stretching the region's most inquiring young minds.Greenbank is one of the North-West's centres of excellence for the teaching of Gifted and Talented children and had 20 of the region's brightest young brains come to their school on Heathbank Road in Cheadle Hulme for an introduction to the 3,000-year-old Chinese game of cunning and strategy.
Roger Huyshe, President of the British Go Association, who lives in Wilmslow, came to introduce the children to the game that as he said “takes little time to learn, but a lifetime to master.”
“The art,” said Roger, “is a balance between defence and attack, working out whether it is better to go for short term gain rather than long term influence.”
However in the Far East the game is the dominant mind sport with with some 280 million people watching the latest epic contest between the Deep Mind’s Alpha Go computer and the South Korean maestro Lee Sedo.Roger added “We feel Chess is primarily tactical but that Go uses both tactics and strategy. It is more difficult for a computer to determine each move because there are more mathematical possibilities available than Chess. It's certainly a wonderful way to teach children conceptual reasoning."
There are Go clubs in Manchester including one at Greenbank School and to find out more please go to www.britgo.org.Greenbank Headmistress Janet Lowe said “It is a privilege to be chosen by the North West Gifted and Talented Association to run these master classes and a great pleasure for us as teachers to help develop such natural talent. Go has tested, teased, challenged and I dare say frustrated many players for thousands of years and these children were immediately enthused and engaged by this new challenge.”
BAKE OFF RAISES £620 FOR MACMILLAN CANCER
Even Paul Hollywood would have shaken the hands of Greenbank Preparatory School's amateur bakers after the parents produced hundreds of show stoppers for the Macmillan Coffee Morning.
The now annual event at the top independent primary in Cheadle Hulme raised over £620.75 for the cancer care charity and as Headmistress Janet Lowe said “Many of our families will have been touched by cancer and this annual event is always hugely supported and is an important day in our calender.”
Pictured are mum Penny Marshall Silver with her daughter Natasha, the School Captain. Penny said “There wasn't a soggy bottom to be seen,” while Natasha added “All the cakes were a bit naughty but also very nice.”
ZULU ON THE CURRICULUM FOR LANGUAGES FINALIST PEDRO
Zulu is on the curriculum at Greenbank Preparatory School as their brilliant young linguists prepare for the national final of the Independent School's Association's Junior Language Challenge.
The tiny translators learned Japanese for the semi-final with the multilingual Pedro one of only 31 pupils from over 2,000 original entrants nationwide to make the U. K. final to be held in London on October 13. Now Pedro has to master Zulu as he battles to win the title.
He said “I've mastered a few words and phrases in all the languages such as 'Saubona' which means hello in Zulu, but there is so much more to learn and I've downloaded a special app to help, though my class mates, who were with me in the semi-final are testing me out too.”
Pedro, 9, from Wythenshawe is naturally bi-lingual, speaking Portuguese at home with his Brazilian parents and at Greenbank he has been learning both French and Spanish from the age of just five-years-old in Year One.
Word perfect Pedro is pictured wearing the head phones with his friends who all made the semi-final thanks to their mastery of the basics of Japanese from left to right Toby, Nathan, Andrew, Charlotte and George.
Charlotte said “Learning languages is very important because it will look good on your CV.” While Toby argued “You cant' just rely on everyone else to speak English; it's not fair.”
Greenbank Headmistress Janet Lowe said “Our children's brains are like sponges soaking up so much information from the moment they are born and that's why it is best to start learning different languages as soon as possible, to make it an almost intuitive process.”
ART LOVERS ENJOY NORTHERN EXHIBITION AT GREENBANK
The creative flair of the region's top young artists is on show at Greenbank Preparatory School's annual Northern Independent School’s Association’s Art and Craft Exhibition.
The exhibition in the school's art rooms on Heathbank Road in Cheadle Hulme has hundreds of pieces in 30 different categories with work from children aged from two to 18-year-old from over 20 of the region's top schools.
From photography to sculpture, from charcoal sketches to oil painting, from textile design to computer animation, the region's young artists showed that the coming generation is more creative than ever.
Adjudicator and local artist Joanna Allen, said “It's important to allow youngsters to explore their imaginations. It makes for more rounded individuals who will have a passion for life. As importantly it offers so many opportunities in today's Britain which is the world leader in the creative industries. From car design to animation, from architecture to textiles, Britain leads the world and it all starts in our classrooms.”
Greenbank pupil Rohan agreed “I love art lessons because you have the freedom to create anything you want." Amelia, 9, added "I love using all my colours and enjoy sketching flowers the most.” While Maia added "I like Maths, but Art is more fun."
Pictured from left to right are Greenbank's young art lovers Amelia, Rohan, Maia and Xavi.
The innovative brand of modern education provided by Greenbank Preparatory School has been recognised as 'Outstanding' in all areas by OFSTED. An Independent Schools' Association Centre of Excellence for the Gifted and Talented, which is on Heathbank Road in Cheadle Hulme, Greenbank was seen as a beacon of excellence both inside and outside the classroom.
Long serving Headteacher Janet Lowe said “The OFSTED report is a wonderful testament to our methods which go well beyond the demands of the National Curriculum and are designed to instil a love of learning, exploration and independent thought from the earliest age.”
The report on the school, which has grown rapidly over the last decade and now has some 300 pupils starting in their Day Nursery from age of six months up to 11, stated “Pupils achieve excellent results in entrance examinations for academically selective senior schools with a number gaining awards and scholarships for academic success and for sport. Their learning journey begins in the Early Years Foundation Stage where children actively enjoy their learning and rapidly develop key skills which allow them to become independent learners who can make their own decisions.”
Praising how the school encourages the children to think for themselves, the OFSTED inspectors continued “Pupils as a result are able to take their own learning forward, take risks with their learning and develop independence and resilience.”
Inspectors focused on the contemporary approach “By the time they leave school pupils are skilled in the use of modern technology using a range of devices they learn to code, utilise the internet for research and use presentation software with confidence. The report even picked out how the older children had 'enjoyed masterclasses in English and Mathematics at local universities.'
Greenbank was also praised for its holistic approach with children “developing a level of maturity for their age' thanks to an ethos of charitable giving, confident artistic self-expression and sporting endeavour.
While, 'residential trips for older pupils including to the Lake District and France allow pupils the opportunity to wonder at the power of nature and at man's inventiveness.'
Mrs Lowe added "Thanks go to our staff and parents; this has happened by design not by accident."
Greenbank Preschool teacher Rebecca Phillipson works closely with two young ones.
VETERAN DRAMA EXPERT ARGUES FOR MORE THE ART OF SPEECH
A new generation of performers were judged by one of the region's most distinguished drama experts when Garth Jones volunteered to adjudicate at Greenbank Preparatory School's annual Speech and Drama awards.
Garth has spent nearly 50 years as an actor, drama school owner, teacher and government advisor, advocating the importance of clear oral communication as an essential element of education.
He said “What ever walk of life, what ever profession, you will increasingly need to perform. If you can communicate clearly and confidently, you have more chance of success. Drilling young people in the art of speech develops the necessary skills set and, most importantly, builds confidence and I believe passionately that all children should be given the opportunity to perform and the opportunity to speak in public throughout their education.”
Former professional actress Adele Firth, who is now Head of Drama at Greenbank, said “I was a young pupil in Garth's drama school and I owe any success I have had to his inspirational methods. Like Garth did for me I aim to ensure the children enjoy every moment on stage and as well as learning the basic skills of diction, projection and presence gain the sort of confidence to stand up and say their piece when others shrink under pressure.”
Pictured with Adele and Garth are from the front Greenbank's Inter-House Speech competition winners in each year group: Harriet, Seth, Aidan, Samee, Ben, Steffan and Aurelie.
SUMMER FAIR RAISES £2000 FOR NEW MEDIA CENTRE IN CHEADLE HULME
It might not have been flaming June, but pupils, parents and staff raised over £2,000 towards equipping Greenbank Preparatory School's new media centre at their annual summer fair.
From pony rides to dangling donuts, a rope maze to a coconut shy the young boys and girls revelled in traditional English summer pastime, dodging the showers as they played away the afternoon.
Greenbank, an Independent Schools' Association Centre of Excellence of the Gifted and Talented in Cheadle Hulme, will open its new media centre in September with the all monies raised going towards state of the art laptops for the young students.
ANNE FRANK RELIVED BY GIFTED AND TALENTED YOUNG ACTORS
Greenbank Preparatory School pupils read and then amended for the stage the Diary of Anne Frank before producing a powerful performance of the anti war classic.
An Independent Schools' Association North-West centre for Gifted and Talented children Greenbank's troupe of young actors was supervised by former television and theatre star Adele Firth, who is now Head of Drama at the top school based in Cheadle Hulme.
To ensure everyone had a part there were three of each of the key members of the cast: three Annes, three Mr Franks, three Mrs Franks and three of all the Van Damme family.
Pictured is the first of the three Annes to appear on the stage Sumaya, aged nine, who said “I read Anne's diary before playing the role and it made me sad. Childhood should be about being happy, but Anne had to hide and eventually died. It was very sad, but she was very brave.”
Adele Firth added “The children will be studying World War Two next year and this gives them a very personal insight into the social history before they begin. With such talented children it's important to let them take the lead in writing and staging the piece and guide them through the process. Our plays are more like workshops, giving the children a chance to explore all levels of their creativity.”
Adele added “The only problem were the costume changes so we decided to do the two major change arounds on stage, just changing a coat or a hat, so the audience didn't have to suspend their disbelief for too long.”
CULTURE SHOCK AWAITS TOP SCHOOL'S TEACHERS IN KENYA
Greenbank Preparatory School Day Nursery staff Erin White and Natalie Walton hope to use the experience of spending two weeks working with severely mentally and physically disabled children in Kenya to improve further their own teaching in one of the country's leading independent preparatory schools in Cheadle Hulme.
The firm friends are the latest Greenbank staff to visit The Port Reitz orphanage, some seven years after former pupil Harrison Wood, then aged only nine, inspired his school to adopt them as one their nominated charities.
Mother of two and Greenbank Nursery Leader Erin, 32, from Heald Green and Nursery Assistant Natalie Walton, 24, from Heaton Mersey will suspend their duties at Greenbank for a two week trip to Kenya in September and have been warned to expect a culture shock.
“Many Greenbank teachers have already visited Port Reitz and told us the experience is going to pull at our heart strings.” said Erin “I have worked in Uganda before,” added Natalie "so I understand just how different life is like in the developing world and I know we can learn just as much from them as we can teach from our experience in England.” Natalie added “In particular the experience reinforces the value of resources. Every book, every pencil, every children's toy is precious out there and I hope to bring that ethos back to Britain, where our children can be perhaps forgiven for thinking everything is disposable.”
The young women will be working in the orphanage's assessment centre determining levels of disability and also with their teachers discussing contemporary British teaching methods.
Erin added “We also want to take out as many resources as possible such as books and toys and are busy fundraising now with a quiz night, a colour run and a just giving page. It will be very different to working in Greenbank, but we are there to help, advise and share best practice not to become too overly emotional about their daily struggle.”
Greenbank Preparatory School Headmistress Janet Lowe said “An essential part of our teaching is to demonstrate to our boys and girls just how lucky they are to be living in in Great Britain and how different and difficult the lives of other children are around the world. As well as offering practical support our continuing relationship with Port Reitz enables us to reinforce that key message.”
Natalie right and Erin left are pictured with Sahara and James in front of the school's display on their work at Port Reitz.
WEST END STAR RETURNS TO THANK MENTOR BEFORE STARRING IN GREASE
Award winning musical star Danielle Hope gave Greenbank Preparatory School's young actors a once in a life time drama workshop before their production of Annie Get Your Gun.
On the day that Danielle, winner of the BBC's Over the Rainbow competition in 2010, opened at Manchester's Palace Theatre as Sandy in Grease, she took time out from her hectic schedule to thank her former stage school teacher Adele Firth.
Now Head of Drama at Greenbank in Cheadle Hulme it was Adele who first spotted Danielle in her own school play in Knutsford, and she remembered thinking “That one is mine; I have got to work with that girl.” Adele added “She was in a small supporting role in her school play, but I cast her as Annie Oakley and you could tell straight away she had amazing stage presence and immense natural talent. I haven't been at all surprised by her success. She has wonderful all round talents as an actress, singer and dancer but above all every word she says or indeed sings on stage is truthful.”
Danielle, who went on to develop her craft both at Knutsford High School and at Adele's theatre school, said “I came today because if it wasn't for Adele I wouldn't be here, simple as that. She was my mentor. It may sound hard to believe now, but I was a very shy child but Adele instilled in me an inner confidence and self-belief and that is what I am here to tell the children today. I can talk about stage craft, projection and the importance of rehearsals and hard work but above all it's about believing in yourself.”
Madison from Heaton Moor, who is playing Annie in Greenbank's two night production on March 29 and 30, said “It's really exciting to meet Danielle and to hear how she felt when she was my age and that she had been in exactly the same part with the same teacher. I have been acting since I was four and would love to follow in Danielle's footsteps.”
Madison, Adele Firth and Danielle Hope are pictured with members of Greenbank's Annie Get Your Gun cast.
CROISSANT OMELETTE OR SAUSAGE ON EUROPEAN LANGUAGES DAY AT GREENBANK
Parents had a choice of a French croissant, a Spanish omelette or a German sausage at a special parents' breakfast to celebrate Modern Foreign Languages at Greenbank Preparatory School.
The independent preparatory school in Cheadle Hulme teaches French and Spanish from the age of just five-years-old, has a weekly German club for Year Six pupils and runs a languages workshop for the Gifted and Talented on behalf of the Independent Schools' Association for their own own and pupils from other schools. Greenbank has also figured consistently highly in the National Junior Language Challenge run by Eurotalk.
Neil Delaney, Greenbank's Modern Foreign Languages coordinator, said “Brexit doesn't mean we are leaving Europe; rather it demands that the next generation should make much more of an effort to integrate with our European friends.” He added “As Nelson Mandela said “If you talk to a man in a language he understands that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his own language that goes to his heart.
Mother and daughter Janine Dunn and Amelia and Lisa and Leo are pictured with Greennbank French Teaching Assistant and adopted Parisienne Christelle Abomnes.
GREENBANK SCHOLARS ACE THEIR EXAMS IN BUMPER YEAR AT GIFTED AND TALENTED SCHOOL
Greenbank Preparatory School scholars are celebrating a stunning set of examination results with every child now facing a tough choice of just which school to choose next.
The highly competitive independent secondary school market made offers to all 26 boys and girls at Greenbank, which is an Independent Schools' Association centre of excellence for gifted and talented children, with every child given a choice of top schools.
Popular next stops will be Stockport Grammar School Cheadle Hulme School, Manchester Grammar School, Withington, Manchester High and King's Macclesfield, as well as the Trafford grammar schools.
Greeenbank Preparatory School Headmistress Janet Lowe said “Confident, happy children with high self-esteem are much more likely to realise their full potential so it is important to work creatively outside the classroom as well as maintaining strong and supportive relationships with parents.”
The successful pupils are pictured with their Year Six Teacher Adam Dyson in the school's information resources centre.
MAD HATTERS STAR AT WORLD BOOK DAY PARTY
Never mind the modern day heroes of children's literature such as Harry Potter and Katniss Everdeen, it was characters from a bygone era that stood out at Greenbank Preparatory School's World Book Day party.
Lewis Carroll's Mad Hatter here portrayed by 10 year-olds Grace K and Cahner W were among the fantastically dressed young readers at the top Cheadle Hulme independent primary school.
They are pictured with Headmistress Janet Lowe, typecast as Cruella Deville, who said “World Book Day does demand an immense amount of effort, particularly from our parents, but we feel it is very much worth the preparation. Since it's foundation 20 years ago sales of children's literature have increased by 100 per cent across the U.K. in no little part due to this fantastic promotional event which captures the imagination of the children, whether they come as Harry Potter or Alice in Wonderland."
Speaking of the influence of classic characters from this or any other era Kirsten Grant, Director of World Book Day, said results "show that classic characters and stories stay with us, no matter how long ago we read them.”
Cahner W said “I like books where you want to turn the next page,” while Grace added “I like books which tell you right from wrong.”
OUTREACH TEAM EXPLAIN WHACKY WORLD OF SCIENCE TO INVENTIVE YOUNG MINDS
King's School scientists explained the weird, wonderful and down right whacky world of science to budding boffins at Greenbank Preparatory School. Sixth Form students at the top Macclesfield school dedicate Wednesday afternoons to their enrichment programme and when many choose music, sport, drama or hill walking, a team of young scientists work in local primary schools bringing to life the Key Stage 2 curriculum.
Under the eyes of King's Head of Science Jim Street, who was chosen this year to give the Royal Society of Chemistry Christmas Lecture, the sixth formers helped Greenbank's Year Six pupils to make a key ring from polymorphous plastic and a custard the kids could punch to turn from a liquid into a solid.
Among the King's School team was Francesca Southern 17, from Poynton, who is now studying Biology, Chemistry and English Language in the King's Sixth Form and is hoping to study Medicine, but first had her eyes opened to the life scientific in Greenbank's laboratory. Francesca said “I've been really excited all week about returning to my old school and remember the sense of wonder I had when I did my first practical experiments.”
Jude from Greenbank, which is a Northern centre for the Gifted and Talented, said “I really liked the punching custard experiment though I couldn't make mine into ball as it kept turning back into a liquid.” Oliver added “I liked how they turned what seemed to be water into something fizzy and foaming.” While Marwah added “It was fun to see how solids, gases and liquids can all change their shape.”
The King's Sixth Form outreach team has worked with over 1,000 young people across the locality and Jim Street said “Our students love working with these young inventive minds and gain so much from the experience, not least being able to put on this experience on their university application forms and CVs showing they have worked as volunteer teacher enthusing, engaging and managing a full class of nine, ten and eleven year-olds, which is much easier said than done.”
Pictured on the back row are Caitlin Plant, Francesca Southern, Hannah Wilcock, Pari Mehrabani and Thea Preston and on the front row Jude, Marwah and Oliver.
GREENBANK PRESCHOOL PHONICS WORKSHOP
Parents were in the hot seat for the first time at Greenbank Preparatory School as they had some lessons in teaching from the professionals.
The independent preparatory school in Cheadle Hulme, which is an Independent Schools' Association, nominated centre of excellence for Gifted and Talented children, gave parents a lesson in the latest teaching methods so they could practise their phonics at home.
Father Jonathan Gribble was one of scores of parents sitting down with their loved ones to go through the work out. Pictured sitting his four-year-old daughter Amelia, the proud dad said “It's fantastic. I drop Amelia off every morning but as yet have not been into a classroom. Now I can practise with Amelia at home and we can learn together.”
Greenbank Preschool teacher Rebecca Phillipson said “The early years are the most important in any child's development.” Her fellow Preschool teacher Felicity Keane added “By making learning fun and accessible both at home and school we can build strong foundations at the start of their journey.”
Adele, who now combines her own acting career with her stage school and working as Greenbank's Head of Drama, said “Our English children take very easily to pantomime, but we have a few children from overseas in the school and they do find the audience participation, cross dressing and general pandemonium a little difficult to understand at first, but when I tell them that's how it's supposed to be they soon enter into the spirit of the occasion.”
This year's Year Three Panto 'Cinderella', though seemingly chaotic was typically beautifully planned to engage, enthuse and entertain a packed audience who were behind every move on stage.
Pictured are Isabelle as Cinderella before the ball, Molly as Cinders after, ugly sisters Umair and Aidan and Jasper as the irrepressible Buttons.
Hillcrest's former Chair of Governors Wally Rogers and Headmaster David Blackburn presented a cheque for £70,000 to Greenbank Headmistress Janet Lowe and their Chair of Trustees Phil Enstone.
Originally established in 1940 in Bramhall, Hillcrest relocated to Cale Green and the site of the former Stockport High School for Girls in 1983.
Under then Headmaster David Blackburn, Hillcrest flourished achieving record numbers in 2008 but the economic downturn and the retirement of Mr Blackburn saw a decline in the school roll and despite significant investment in a new preparatory school building, Hillcrest was sold to a provider of technical education based at Stockport College in 2014, though plans for a conversion faltered just months later.
Wally Rogers, who had 37 years voluntary experience as Chair of the PTA and then Chair of the Trustees at Hillcrest, said “It's very sad for all of us to see Hillcrest's demise. I go past the building nearly everyday and it is just deteriorating rapidly, but we want to do something positive and support a school with a similar ethos.”
David Blackburn, who was Hillcrest's charismatic Headmaster for 20 years, continued “Greenbank focuses on the individual child and though we could support some of the area's larger schools as well we felt we wanted to provide a boost for a school that is very special.”
The independent preparatory school in Cheadle Hulme, which has record numbers across its Day Nursery, Pre School and Main School for boys and girls up to 11-years-old, has already spent much of the money on extending it's Main Hall, creating more storage space and providing a shaded canopy for the children's out door play. The gift will also help with the next stage of their five year development programme to provide universal wheelchair access across the site on Heathbank Road.
Phil Enstone, Chair of Trustees at Greenbank, said “On behalf of the Trustees, the teachers, our parents and the whole Greenbank community we want to say a big thank you to Hillcrest. This money will be invaluable in sustaining what Janet and her team have built here.”
Janet Lowe, Greenbank's Headmistress, added “David Blackburn was a wonderful mentor to me and as the local coordinator for the Independent Schools' Association really helped me in my early days of leadership. We were extremely sad to see Hillcrest close, but happy that we have been in their thoughts and have used this significant contribution to benefit our children just as David, Wally and everyone at Hillcrest would have intended.”
Pictured with some Year Four Greenbank pupils are from left to right are Janet Lowe, David Blackburn, Wally Rogers and Phil Enstone.
It was a night of flames and fantasy as Greenbank Preparatory School parents 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 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.
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.”
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.
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.
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 wri