Greenbank High School
Sefton, United Kingdom
About Greenbank High School
Southport is a very pleasant seaside resort, some twenty miles north of Liverpool with very good road and rail links. It has excellent living, working and recreational facilities. The town is part of the Sefton Metropolitan Borough, created by the local Government Act of 1972.
Greenbank High School is the only all-girls' school of the four 11-16 comprehensive schools serving Southport. Most pupils continue in further education: post 16 provision is centred upon King George V College, Southport College and school sixth forms. It is the only state girls’ school in Sefton.
The High School was founded in 1907 and, from 1945 to 1978, it was a four-form entry Grammar School for girls. In 1978 it became fully comprehensive and, as an outstanding school, converted to an academy on November 1st 2011.
The school moved to its present fourteen acre-site in 1958. The buildings are situated very near to the sea, surrounded by the Royal Birkdale Golf Club and a very pleasant residential area. Major extensions took place in 1968, 1978, 1981 and 2001. A new Science laboratory was constructed in 2001 and four have been refurbished since. Accommodation includes 7 laboratories, 8 Technology rooms, 5 ICT bases, a Resource Based Learning Centre, Hall, gymnasium and a Music suite. The school is fortunate to have a floodlit multi-purpose all-weather pitch to international hockey standards, which benefits not only the pupils but the community. A sports hall opened for school and community use in September 2004. 2009 saw the completion of a new room for Home Economics and a new room for DT, ICT and vocational subjects. The Art rooms have been totally refurbished, a new Textiles room was completed in September 2010 and a dance/drama studio opened in December 2011.
Greenbank enjoys a high reputation in the neighbourhood. It has a very strong academic record and a history of which it is justly proud, with examination results well above the national average. 90% of pupils gained 5 or more A*-C grades in 2011, 68% including English and Maths. Girls make excellent progress at Greenbank with a value added figure of 1018.1 in 2011 which places the school in the top 20% of schools in the country. There are at present 876 girls on roll with 56 teaching staff. The support staff includes an Office and Finance Manager, a Business and Community Manager, 6 Finance/Administration Officers, a designated Language College Administration Officer, a Learning Mentor, a pastoral support worker, a Learning Support Unit Manager, 1 technology technician, 2 laboratory assistants, 3 ICT technicians, a Resource Base Organiser, 3 teaching assistants, 3 caretakers and 6 welfare assistants. Sefton provides the catering service.
An OFSTED survey visit (December 2009) stated that:
- “work on promoting the achievement of girls and young women, and in developing their future economic well being, is outstanding.”
- “ the girls are motivated to achieve highly.”
- “Cross curricular work, linked to the school’s status as a language college and its international links and work, provides the girls with excellent opportunities and an outstanding awareness of different cultures, both within the school and across the world.”
The latest OFSTED report (November 2010) described the school as outstanding and includes the following comments:
- “Greenbank High school provides its students with an outstanding education and very high quality care, support and guidance.”
- “Students become mature, self-confident individuals with high aspirations. They are extremely well prepared for life beyond school. Their attendance, behaviour and attitudes to learning are excellent.”
- Student comment to the inspectors: “There are just so many opportunities. You can do so much here.”
- “The curriculum is outstanding.”
- “The outstanding quality of care, guidance and support is reflected in the positive relationships that exist between staff and students and the very strong sense of community in the school."
Greenbank was also named in the first HMI Annual Review in 1993 as one of 52 schools, which had achieved a good Ofsted report together with vastly improved exam results and was again listed in 1999 as an outstanding school. We are included on Ofsted’s internet data base of particularly successful schools. In 2000 and 2002 the school received School Achievement Awards. The International Schools’ Award was gained in 2006 and re-awarded in 2009, we achieved the bronze Eco Schools Award in Spring 2007 and gained silver in 2009; the Healthy Schools Award was awarded in Autumn 2007. In September 2010 Investors in People status was re-awarded. The school received the Artsmark Silver Award in October 2009.
The school was designated as a DfES specialist Language College in September 1998 and was re-designated for a fourth time in 2008. As a result, all language teaching areas have been upgraded and a Language Centre, which houses an authentic foreign street and market place, has been built. Russian, German and Mandarin Chinese are now offered as well as French and Spanish. In conjunction with the Merseyside Education on line project we were able to network the main ICT areas and installed 71 new machines allowing access to internet, e-mail and video-conferencing facilities. All faculty areas contribute towards the delivery of internationalism, to ensure pupils are prepared to face the demands of the wider world. The governors wish to maintain the ethos of the specialism despite recent changes in funding.
The school is based on a Faculty structure - with the six faculties of English and Communication, Languages, Mathematics, Technology, Science (including PE) and Humanities. In year 7 pupils are placed in ability sets for Mathematics and taught in mixed ability groups for other subjects. In year 8 there is setting in Mathematics, English and Science and in year 9, in Mathematics, English, French, Spanish and Science. In Years 10 and 11 there is setting in Mathematics, English, Science and to some extent in Languages.
Spanish and French are taught in Year 7, and Russian, German and Chinese are introduced in taster sessions for Year 9. All year 7, 8, and 9 pupils follow the National Curriculum. All pupils in Year 10 study English, Mathematics, Core Science or separate Sciences, PE, ICT, RE, PSHCEE, at least one language, History or Geography and a choice of options.
Great emphasis is placed on independent study, centred on the Resource Base and through ICT.
Information Technology at Greenbank is taught through and throughout the curriculum. All faculties use I.C.T. equipment where appropriate to help them in their teaching and they all contribute to the delivery of National Curriculum Information Technology. In addition ICT is taught as a discrete subject in years 7, 8 and 9. The Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) has greatly enhanced staff and pupil access to resources and has enabled forums for staff and pupils to be developed. The school has over 350 networked PCs and 28 electronic interactive whiteboards.
The former house system is used to provide mixed-ability registration groups; a wide range of sporting and other activities is undertaken within year groups. The school prides itself on its concern for the individual and its strong pastoral system bears witness to this. Progress Leaders are in charge of each year group. Emphasis is also placed on the Form Tutor as the key person in supporting the pupils. Pupils are actively encouraged to strive for the highest possible standard in all they do. Uniform is worn by all pupils.
The pupils take pride in their contribution to all aspects of school life. There are strong links with the local community and a considerable amount of money is raised each year for a large variety of charities. The school has a very strong tradition in sport, drama and in musical activities. Parental participation is actively encouraged and there is a flourishing Parent Teacher Association, which has made important contributions to the life of the school.
Child protection is of paramount importance; the school follows local procedures to ensure rigorous systems are in place. All successful candidates for positions at school require full CRB disclosures and each position is exempt from the provisions of the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974. This means that applicants are required to disclose details of any criminal convictions, cautions or bind-overs they may have incurred on the application .