As we forge ahead with positivity and enthusiasm, we should endeavor to emulate the success of this and past years as we enter yet another exciting phase of the boy’s education.
Good luck to everyone for this school year.
Headteacher, Sian Graham said, “We have a great track record at West Derby for ensuring that students progress successfully beyond our sixth form into University, Apprenticeships and Training or Careers. This year it is an added pleasure to celebrate the incredible achievements of our young men and women who have attained exceptional results. There is a strong work ethic in our sixth form that is created by the dedication of our staff and supported by our parents and community. My sincere thanks go to all who have made these results possible and we wish our students all the very best for their future.”
This is a nice way to finish off the year, showing that our boys are always ready and willing to do things to help others and also to engage themsleves and learn whilst doing so.
Mr. Keegan was delighted with the boys' efforts. "The short time that the boys had to actually stage the events was quite limited but they showed real enthusiasm and verve and I was very impressed by the amount they managed to raise for Clatterbridge."
This annual event is becoming increasingly popular with our Business students and it's great for them to get first hand experience of what it's like to actually run a small business.
Well done to all the boys involved.
Mr. Handihill was a poor man's Bradley Walsh as he posed a series of Maths related questions to Year 7, who were up against The Chaser in the form of the 'Yorkshire Terrier' Mr. Clarke. In a close fought contest the boys triumphed against a rather frustrated and grumpy looking Chaser.
Following on from the younger boys, Year 8 took to the stage to pit their wits against the moody looking Science teacher. Again, it was the boys who came out on top, much to the delight of their peers in the audience.
This was a fun and interesting way to get the boys thinking from a mathematical perspective. 'Bradley' Handihill invited audience participation, so everyone who wanted to had a chance of answering the numeracy centred questions.
Yorkshire Terrier Mr. Clarke was gracious in defeat. "Eeh by gum! Ecky thump! Well I'll go to t' foot of our stairs! It were reet annoyin' to be beaten by a gang o' wily whippersnappers. But I must admit, I thought t' boys did really well, though!"
On a more serious note, Mr. Handihill looked back on a year of all thing numerical. "From Numeracy Bugs to the mimicking of The Chase, everyone has eneterd into the spirit of things enormously. Obviously, the main point is that they grasp an appreciation of the importance of numeracy in our lives. This is the key aim, but having fun doing it helps too."
We'll be counting on Mr. Handihill to make it all the more exciting again next year.
The run was open to all boys in Years 7-10. To enter, each boy got at least £5 sponsorship money and it was pleasing to see how many boys turned out to take part in the ten lap run. It was quite amusing as many of the boys belted off as if they were still doing last week's sports day, but soon slowed as they realised just how far they had to run.
The atmosphere was lovely and a great way to end the school year with such a positive event. Staff who were supervising urged the boys on to complete the course and they responded with grit and determination, traits familar with the effort our boys put in to any of the charity events we run.
As the boys finished, photos were taken and each boy recieved a certificate of participation. The three boys who raised the most received a gold, silver and bronze certificate, respective to the amount os money they raised as individuals.
The most important aspect of the morning event was that the boys raised a fantastic £650 for Cancer Research UK.
Well done to everyone who took part. you were all brilliant.
Have a great summer. See you in September.
SPORTS DAY RESULTS 2017
Please click the link below for results;
From world famous poet, Levi Tafari, to an exciting demonstration by a couple of promising young West Indian cricketers, there was something for everyone, and our boys got involved, as they always seem to do, with great purpose.
The knowledge our visitors and teaching staff conveyed to the boys throughout the days showed a deep understanding of the diverse array of Carribean cultural influences, whether it was through the moving but humorous poems of Levi Tafari or the traditional dance of the West Indies as demonstrated in the Dance sessions with Maxine.
All in all, the two days serve to widen the cultural appreciation of the boys, enabling them to think of the world as a bigger place rather than the focus being on their own personal culture. In turn, this is a positive for the multicultural appreciation that should be at the bedrock of schools throughout the country.
A lot of the boys took place in a special performance, held in the theatre, to round off the second and final International Day. Drama, Dance and Poetry, were all performed with enthusiasm and gusto by our ever willing students. The reception from the year groups who got to watch this final showcase was fantastic, and this was echoed with the performance for the parents.
The ability to get involved sets our boys aside. They always have a go, even if what they are being asked to do puts them out of their comfort zone. Levi Tafari commented on this. "I have been impressed with the way the boys have taken on the poetery sessions we did to create and perform, which is always difficult, especially amongst your peers."
A great two days was had by all and thanks to all the boys who took part and those from Media who either helped to film the event, or were involved in creating videos for inclusion in the showcase itself.
Mr. Black accompanied the boys to the Ideas Foundation event, where they were up against two other schools from the Liverpool area, Cardinal Heenan and Gateacre High School.
Unfortunately, the boys didn't quite win the top prize, but the judges remarked that they were amazed at how far the work they had done with Mr. Black had come on since last week's initial presentations.
Falling at the final hurdle is a lesson that we all have to learn in life, and we are confident that the boys will come back next year all the more determined, and with an even stronger promotional campaign to put before the judges.
Well done Ryan Barr, Shay Smith, Joe Todd, Tom Simmons and Joe Tong, for the excellent work they contributed to on the videos, gifs and memes.
Click on the links below to see the work that the boys did for the competition.
On the track the boys had the opportunity to test themselves in everything from the 100 metre sprint and relays to the lung busting middle distance of 800 and 1500 metres, taking part in heats in the morning for the sprint events then the finals in the afternoon, if successful.
The field events provided were the long jump, triple jump and the shot putt. These disciplines really test the power and strength of the boys, and some of them exceeded expectations and have hopefully got close to a few of the school's athletics records.
The boys involved really put in a superb effort, as they fought and strained themselves in order to win points fior their teams. The results will be announced on the school site once they have been collated and all school records have been checked.
The whole event was superbly organised and the day ran like the proverbial clockwork. Head of P.E. Mr. Zachariedes was impressed, "What I really liked was the spirit in which the boys participated. Even though some of the boys were on different teams the boys still cheered on their friends to the finish line. It was a really enjoyable morning. I'd also like to thank all the staff who helped out in the morning session."
Watch this space for the results and updated school records.
The boys' film Attack of the Cancer Crew, highlighting the dangers of smoking, had won the Popular Vote Award at the recent Liverpool Cut Films Awards at FACT. As a result of this it received the national nomination.
Accompanied by Mr. Black and Mr. McGrath, the boys had time before the awards to see a few sites in the capital city. They went to the Horseguards Hose, Downing Street, Big Ben, the Houses of Parliament and leicester Square, before heading of to the famous Curzon Soho Cinema.
As they headed towards the impressive venue the boys were delighted to see that a huge film poster of their film adorned the display area on the outside of the cinema. Many photos were taken as the boys gleefully surrounded the poster that had all their names up in lights.
Out of thirty-two films put forward for the popular vote the boys' film got into the top three, and though theyy didn't win the main award their achievement was, nonetheless, superb, when you conseider schools from all over the country entered films into the themed Cut Films initiative.
An after show party gave the boys the chance to have a few 'mocktails' and Cut Film cakes, and they had a thoroughlly good time. Their behaviour was excelllent and, as ever, they were a credit to their families, friends and the school.
On the train home, the talk was of how they could improve their scripts and filming for next years' competition, and you wouldn't bet against the same boys heading of towards the capital's theatreland the same time next year.
Well done to Ryan Barr, Shay Summer, Cameron Tucker, Harvey Wilson, Joe Tong and Shay Jones on your fantastic achievement.
Firstly, the boys had to research their own business idea and present it to the rest of the class. After this, they worked in their small teams and conducted formal business meetings where the merits of each of the ideas were discussed. Minutes were recorded to show evidence of how the boys came to choose the particular ideas they were going to work on.
The boys then had to plan their business event, taking into consideration a range of logistics including venues and timings. This was important as the events were to run in the school lunchtime. After costing the events the boys had to balance this against what they were going to charge in order to make profit for the cancer charity. Once this was done, roles within each group were finalised and then the students were ready to go ahead.
The events, themselves, took place in the back end of June and into July. At some points the weather threatened to spoil some of the events but the boys had contingency plans in place in the event of this. For example, the football event was moved from the school field to the MUGA as weather forecasts had predicted rain on that particular day. As it turned out the event ran smoothly with no interruption. Other events including a cake sale, always a popular choice with our boys.
All in all, the boys learned valuable lessons about the planning, promotion and running of a small business for a day. It was heartening to see how well they responded to the task. The maturity and diligence of the boys was impressive and they seemed to really enjoy the hands on aspect of running the businesses. The added bonus was that their successful completion of the task meant that their coursework grades improved considerably.
As a result of the hard work the boys put in over the Business Enterprise week not only did they get to have a positive experience they managed to raise £418 for the Clatterbridge Cancer Charity in the process. This was a brilliant achievement.
Well done to all the boys who took part.
As usual, the early evening was packed with a collection of performances showcasing a diverse range of musical genres played by individuals and group collectives, under the watchful eye of Miss Ellison and long time collaborator Andy Pickering and his host of brilliant musicians from the peripatatic agency Pulse.
From the huge sound of the Concert Band to the excellent solo instrumentalists and the Rock Bands, the assembled cast of burgeoning talent thrilled and entertained the audience for over an hour and a half.
This was another night where you had to simply sit back and take stock of the immense hours of rehearsals it must have taken to produce a concert of such superb quality.
Well done to everyone involved in this latest musical extravaganza. Everyone present left in awe of the talent of our boys.
The work on show looked really great and it was lovely to see the enthusiasm of the visitors as they milled around the displays, talking animatedly about the pictures and photographs on show.
Miss Maxwell, Mr. Wyatt and Mr. Walker spent many hours preparing the displays of the boys' work and the excellent work on show was a testament to this preparation.
Tea and coffee, and a few nibbles, were provided for the guests and the whole exhibition was received really positively, setting up the visitors nicely for the Summer Concert by the Music Department.
In group A, Lallanas in Pyjamas (a staff team) won both their games to top the group, with Smig FC also qualifying for the semi-finals.
In group B, Staff A Team finished unbeaten with dark horses Banter Lads Certified topping the group on goal difference. Some GREAT goalkeeping by Mr. Siddall kept the oppostition at bay (happy now Mr. S?).
Onto the semis, where Banter Lads enjoyed an easy 4-0 win over Smig, but it was a much closer battle in the other game between the two staff teams. Staff A Team, without Mr. McGrath who picked up a hamstring problem in the group stage, were heading out, but with time added on Mr. Hall scored a dramatic equaliser to send the game to penalties.
A combination of poor spot-kicks by the likes of Mr. Hall and Mr. Handhill, plus the goalkeeping heroics of Mr. Roberts and Mr. Siddall, took the shootout to sudden death, where the two goalkeepers had to face each other. Mr. Siddall was unsuccessful, but Mr. Roberts converted to send his team into their first ever final.
In the final, Banter Lads were cruising to an easy win, but in the last few minutes Lallanas pulled one back to set up a tense finish. However, the Banter Lads held on to lift the trophy, and ensured qualification to the European Schools Six-a-Side on the Astros League next year.
The winning squad members were the captain Tom Jeffery, Jordon Adebisi, Andrew Lott, Kieran Moran, Aaron Towner, John Ward and Jack Watt.
Mr. S. Donohue, Match Referee and Organiser-in-Chief
The school's GCSE Art & Photography Exhibition takes place this Thursday between 4.00-5.00pm. Friends and family are welcome to come along and view some of the fantastic work that the boys have produced this year.
Following the exhibition there will be a music performance in the school theatre.
Please come and attend this early evening of culture here at West Derby. We look forward to seeing you.
The day started with the boys gathering in Cafe West, ahead of an assembly by Head of Sixth Form Mr. Feeney. The attitude of the boys set a promising portent for the rest of the day, as they stepped into the shoes of boys two years their senior with confidence and aplomb.
They took part in a vast array of differing subjects, from Physics to Photography, and their approach to all the lessons they took part in was, on the whole, excellent. On speaking to the boys they felt that they'd enjoyed the day as it was good to be the oldest boys in the school and they said there was a sense that they were appreciative of the efforts put in by staff which led to them having a mutually beneficial day.
Going by the Taster Day experience the Sixth Form is in pretty safe hands when the boys step up to do the real thing in just over a year or so's time.
Mr. Feeney would like to thanks all the staff who took part on the day.
The fundraising events include; a cake sale, penalty shoot-out, ice cream sale, obstacle course and a film event for Year 7. All monies raised will go directly to Clatterbridge Cancer Centre, a worthy cause if ever there was one.
During the week, the boys will be responsible for every aspect of their entrepreneurial activities, from costing, accounting and steering their individual groups towards making a profit for the chosen charity.
This is always a fun week with the added bonus of working towards providing much needed money for the selected charity. In addition, staff and pupils alike get involved in the diverse range of fundraising opportunities on offer.
Thanks to Mr. Keegan and all of the Year 10 Business Studies students for raising money for Clatterbridge Cancer Centre.
We know you'll do yourselves proud.
Please take this opportunity to come and see the students' work. There are some outstanding pieces of art and some amazing photographs that have been taken and edited, some to approaching professional standards.
The Art & Design department continue to thrive and they are very optimistic for the year ahead, with the return of Advanced Level Art being just one of the exciting news signs of progress.
There will be refreshments on the evening. Please come and support our West Derby students.
The boys will be working on a brief supplied to them by the I Am Creative organisation. For this year's project it will centre around BBC Radio 1's flagship event Big Weekend. The task will involve the pupils creating a campaign to raise awareness and to promote Radio 1's Big Weekend to a target audience of young people between the ages of 15-29, using a variety of different media ideas to reach the potential audience.
The boys will learn about brand awareness and how this can be used to enhance the Radio 1 music show as a product. In addition, they'll learn vital skills such as the benefits of teamwork and the importance of good communcation in the arts and media industries.
At the end of the two day initiative the boys' efforts will be judged by employees from I Am Creative and there will be a final event to be held at FACT, Liverpool, in July.
The boys should have a great couple of days and we are optimistic that their efforts will result in a trip to the I Am Creative final event.
In the 12-15 age bracket Smoke Fighter received an award for third place in the Judge's Choice Award. This is a great effort, as this award is judged by noteworthy members of the film industry.
One of the awards most sought after by the schools was the Overall Popular Choice, an award voted for by a collection of children and adults who'd viewed all the nominated films. Amazingly, our boys came first in this category with their film Attack of the Cancer Crew.
This film now goes forward to the London National Cut Films Award ceremony, to be held in early July at the Curzon Cinema, Soho, in London.
Well done to all the boys in keeping up the West Derby School tradition of having great success in student filmmaking.
For the third time, recently, go and Break a Leg, in London!
The boys were split into equal groups, and attended entertaining lessons in Catering, Photography and Creative Digital Media Production, subjects that, despite being new to them, they embraced with enthusiastic gusto to ensure the day went swimmingly across all three subject areas.
In Catering, the boys made delicious pizzas. They learned about taking a photograph and manipulating it in Photoshop, in Photography, and were introduced to film analysis in Creative Digital Media Production.
All in all, the day went really well and several of the boys decided to change their original option choice to one of the new subjects at the end of the taster day.
Miss Dudley, the boys' PPL, was delighted with the feedback from the teachers involved, who praised the boys for their attitude throughout the day.
The film nominated is called Attack of the Cancer Crew and it was written and produced by Ryan Barr, Shay Jones, Shay Smith, Joe Tong, Cameron Tucker and Harvey Wilson, in association with the Liverpool Cut Films brief, which was about the dangers of smoking.
This is a great achievement and if the boys are successful it'll be the third national award that West Derby School has won in the last six years, an achievement in itself.
Win or lose, the boys deserve their moment in the spotlight, and they will be attending the glittering ceremony in London early next month.
For the second time in the last month, Break a Leg, boys!
Over the course of the Spring term the Year 9 boys worked with a local filmmaker Josh Rigby Farrell, from Cut Films, to plan, produce and edit a number of films, all working on the same anti-smoking theme. They submitted four films for consideration for nomination to the next stage, the Livepool Awards event itself. Mr. Black was delighted with the boys' efforts. "To come up with four different films in such a short space of time is an achievement in itself, but to have two films nominated is a tribute to the efforts made by all of the boys involved."
In true West Derby tradition, it's to be hoped that the boys continue the long run of success in making school films by hopefully being lucky enough to win an award or two at these events.
The Media department would like to congratulate all the boys who took part in this initiative and good luck to all who have been involved in the production of the two films nominated.
In film terms we'd say, "Break a Leg!" (not literally, though!).
Representatives from Year 7 to Year 12 have battled it out week to week to try to secure a place in the Grand Final, which took place in the Activity Studio, after school on the 24th. May.
Six boys, one from each year, fought out a fantastic late afternoon of table tennis and only one could be crowned the champion. The following boys represented each year group; Harvey Burke (Year 7), James O'Dwyer (Year 8), Tom Safayo (Year 9), Ming Rong (Year 10), Zhixuan Yan (Year 11) and Jonathan Kenda (Year 12).
The competition between the boys (who took part in a round robin type event to see who would have the most wins or positive points difference) was intense but also very much one of comradeship and positivity. As much as they wanted to win they egged each other on whilst watching each other's matches and the atmosphere was really heartwarming.
Nerves jangled for the boys from Years 8, 10 and 11 as the final games took place. Any one of the three could have clinched the title and, when it came down to the final count up, three boys had the same amount of wins, James O'Dwyer, Ming Rong and Zhixuan Yan. You could almost hear a drum roll as Mr. Jones drew out the announcement of the winner, who had come out on top due to their positive points difference.
The winner, and the first West Derby Schools Table Tennis Champion is James O'Dwyer, of Year 8, a great achievement for the young boy against three boys who were a lot older than him. Well done to James.
Mr. Jones was happy with the way the event went. "As a school, the provision for table tennis is second to none across the city, and the boys have responded in large numbers to take part in this tournamant. The standard of the play has been tremendous and I think next year it'll be even more of a succes."
The final word goes to James. "I was so pleased to win. It was really tense at the end, when Sir was announcing the results. I can't wait to defend my title next year."
As usual, the event was a great experience for the pupils involved, and the cacophony of noise raised as the young children got more and more excited, was, at times, through the roof (if there had been one!).
St. Mary's emerged as the overall winners of the event, pipping Blackmoor to the post in a late afternoon of fun in the sun out on the MUGA. The winners won the last game to secure victory securin a score of 60 points to Blackmoor's 51.
The sense of competitive but fair play was, as ever, an impressive feature of this sporting competition and in victory or defeat it was great to see how respectful every child was to each other.
As we head into the final event, athletics in June, the destiny of the Primary Schools Trophy is still unknown. The final event promises to be the most exciting of the year.
Best of luck to all school who take part in the great initiative.
After their narrow defeat to arch rivals Cardinal Heenan, in the recent Liverpool Schools Cup, the West Derby boys have a chance to avenge that defeat when they take on the same team in the Merseyside Cup Final.
The game will be held at Liverpool University's Wyncote Sports Ground, on Thursday 18th May and kick off is at 4.30pm.
We urge as many staff, parents, friends and family as possible to go along to the game to offer the boys their support.
With just one more final effort we hope that the boys can get over this last hurdle and stop Cardinal Heenan from achieving the double.
Believe in yourselves, boys, and you could prevail.
Best of luck!
Stephen's work will now be exhibited at St. George's Hall from 16th June onwards, a fantastic achievement in itself.
There will be an open evening where the overall winner from all of the participating secondary schools will be announced. Best of luck to the young Year 9 artist for the final stage of the competition.
A Fun Run that the boys organised, to raise funds for the Doctors Without Borders organisation, took place on the last day of term, just before the Easter holidays. Miss Parker was in charge as Year 7 and a number of other student and staff helpers took part in the run to raise money for such a worthy cause.
The event was a great success and all of the boys who participated not only raised a fantastic amount of money but also had great fun doing it too (which is always handy when doing a Fun Run!).
Miss Parker was praiseworthy of the boy's efforts. "As always the boys entered into the spirit of the event and ran with great effort and enthusiasm. They were fantastic."
Altogether, the boys raised an admirable £357.58 for Doctors Without Borders and it must be remembered that none of this would have happened without the fantastic selfless attttitude and efforts of Terry and Dean.
Well done to both boys.
A panel of judges have been looking at a variety of artwork from schools all over the north west and they picked out the work of Callum Morrissey, Stephen Williams and James Clarke from our school to be put forward to the public vote.
The artwork with the most votes will have their work displayed in the Walker Art Gallery in June, and the winner will receive some fantastic art based prizes.
All you have to do to vote is click on the link below and select the piece of artwork that you believe to be the best and your vote will automatically be counted. You are allowed to vote more than once, but you have to use different email addresses for each vote. Voting opens on Monday 3rd. April and closes on Friday 5th. May.
It'd be great for one of our boys to win so please make the effort to click on the link and vote.
The boys were asked to be creative and encouraged to be as imaginative as possible, exploring a range of ideas, methods and materials to produce work that would really give a sense of what life must have been like in the era of workhouses and the polluted environment of London, at the time. What was really pleasing was the way that they embraced the task to produce a variety of phenomenal pieces of work.
In just two weeks the boys created their pieces and then showcased them to the class in their English lessons. The time, effort and care taken, and the application to the task, produced work of a sublime quality.
Here are just some of the amazing projects that the boys created over the two weeks:
- A beautifully painted clay model of bullseye, Bill Sykes's dog.
- A shoebox workhouse showing the appalling conditions inside.
- Fagan's treasure chest, full of his precious hjewels and handkerchiefs.
- A chocolate version of Fagan's treasure chest.
- A Lego model of a London building depicting Sykes's dramatic demise!
- A 3D model of London with the main characters lurking the streets.
- A 3D model of Fagin's lair, bringing to life Dicken's detailed description.
As you can see, the task certainly stimulated the creative juices of the boys and Miss Bennett, their English teacher, was delighted with the results.
"I was so impressed with the way they got involved with the project, displaying fantastic creative and imaginative skills to produce work of an excellent standard. They all really enjoyed the task and their grasp of the intricacies of the novel has really stuck with them. I'm so pleased with their efforts."
Well done to all the pupils involved. Like Oliver before them all those years ago, this project left the Year 7 boys asking for more.
The boys have decided that they would like to raise money for the Doctors Without Borders, an international humanitarian non-governmenrt organisation, better known to many of us as Medecines Sans Frontieres. They carry out invaluable work in war torn countries affected by endemic diseases.
In addition to their admirable efforts with regards to raising money for the organisation, the boys also wanted to make our Year 7 pupils more aware of the horrors facing young children in war ravaged Syria. As a result they conducted an assembly for the Year group via their English teacher Miss Parker.
As part of the assembly, Dean and Terry told the boys about a charity fun for Doctors Without Borders. Their year group will all take part. This will take place on Thursday 6th April. All monies raised will go to this excellent cause.
"I'm so proud of the Dean and Terry. Their mature approach in not only organising fundraising for such an important organisation, but also in appreciating the importance of raising awareness amongst the younger boys is marvellous. They are a credit to the school, and their parents."
In addition to the Fun Run, boys will be collecting money in form time on the day, so please give generously.
Well done to Dean and Terry.
The scheme is designed to not only give pupils information about road safety and awareness but also to put the information into practice by taking the boys out on the roads themselves. It has proved to be a very popular part of the boys' learning and this year there will be some Year 8's who missed out on Bikeability last year joining the Year 7 boys out on the roads of West Derby.
This is the fifth year that the school has had Bikeability in and it's no coincidence that there has been a downturn in boys from our school being involved in bike accidents on the roads these last few years. This is due in no short measure to the work done by the Bikeability staff. In addition, this shows that our boys are listening and taking in the messages about the importance of road safety.
All the boys between Year 7-11 will have experienced Bikeability once this present group goes through. Long may this fantastic initiative continue.
Thursday March 9 saw the launch of the third year of Stephen Twigg’s Liverpool to Oxbridge Collaborative Project.
The event brought one hundred and fifty invited students and parents together to formally launch the 2017 programme. A collaboration between the eight secondary schools in the West Derby constituency (West Derby, Holly Lodge, De La Salle, St John Bosco, Broughton Hall, Cardinal Heenan, Broadgreen and St Edward’s College), the Collaborative is designed to encourage more students from the area to consider applying to Oxford and Cambridge Universities. Now in its third year, Year 10 and Year 12 students are nominated to the Collaborative by their schools and are provided with opportunities to visit both Oxford and Cambridge, alongside aspiration-raising events, mock interviews and assistance in writing personal statements and other assistance.
The launch, hosted this year by West Derby School, heard from Liverpudlian Oxbridge alumni Leon Tootle and Rachel Cain about their own experiences in applying to and studying at Oxford University, and also our very own Jack Clarke, offered a place at Cambridge University after completing the Collaborative’s programme last year.
“I was absolutely delighted”, said Stephen Twigg MP. “It was wonderful to see so many young people come to our launch event, many with parents or other family members. I started this project because of my own experience as a 17 year old. One of my teachers at my comprehensive school encouraged me to consider applying to Oxford. I may not have done it without that encouragement. I know we have terrifically bright young people in West Derby, and if we give them the same encouragement I was given, who knows what they can achieve?”
Jack Clarke added “I had a brilliant time on the Collaborative. They provided lots and lots of encouragement and practical support and it was all really helpful. I know I would never even have thought of applying to Cambridge without being involved in the Project. I’m really grateful to Stephen and the team.”
West Derby School Headteacher Sian Graham added “We were really thrilled to be able to host this year’s launch event. We know that when schools work together, we are able to achieve more for our students. This is a really important initiative and I’m delighted that West Derby have been involved from the start. We could not be prouder of Jack Clarke – he’s one of our real success-stories”.
The Collaborative project has seen more than two dozen students apply to Oxford and Cambridge Universities and a number have been already been successful in receiving offers or being admitted.
The Oxbridge Collaborative, organised by our local Member of Parliament, Stephen Twigg, is an initiative that is there to encourage young students from non-selective schools to apply with confidence to one of the two big universities in the country, Oxford or Cambridge.
For many years, these universities have been seen as the reserve of the privileged classes, and the Oxbridge Collaborative strives to disengage this ideology by encouraging students from more working class backgrounds to push themselves forward and apply for the university's under-graduate courses.
As part of the initiative the boys will find out about what support is available to them if they decide to go down the avenue of the application process, when they are in a position to do so. In addition, successful Cambridge applicant Jack Clarke, from Year 13, will do a talk for those present based on his experiences of the programme.