Lower School

Making the Change

Starting secondary school is an exciting time and yet we also recognise it can be an anxious and daunting time for many 11 year olds.

At Birkdale we put a heavy emphasis on trying to ensure that the transition period from Junior School to our Senior School is as smooth as possible for both the children and parents.

At Birkdale Year 7 (S1) and Year 8 (S2), are known as the Lower School, and are based in the Johnson building and grounds. There is a specific pastoral structure in place which is designed to help the pupils to settle in quickly, to grow in confidence and become resilient independent young people.

We strive to make them feel quickly at home within their new school environment.

We have three forms in each year with a form tutor responsible for pupils in their care. In addition, form tutors have pastoral support from the Assistant and Head of Lower school, the school counsellor, Chaplain and wellbeing coach. We aim to develop a Lower School community where children feel happy, safe, and secure. We encourage pupils to foster friendships quickly so that they have additional support from their peers. The Johnson building and its extensive grounds are for the sole use of the Lower School pupils outside lesson times, and here they have their own common room, toilets and lockers.

Building the Team

One of the great strengths of our Lower School pastoral system is that with such a diverse school community, we see all our pupils as individuals and make sure all their needs are met.

We support the ‘growing up’ of pupils in a positive environment, allowing them to develop their characters, working and playing together as part of the Birkdale family community.

Even at this early stage of secondary school, pupils are encouraged to develop as leaders and to take on responsibilities in a range of areas. There are many leadership opportunities which we believe play an important part in the education of the whole pupil and we seek to provide further opportunities for character development outside of the classroom environment. We place a strong emphasis on gaining an education for life, not just for academic success.

Mr Howard Parker Head of Lower School