Monday 21st March 2011:
by His Grace, the Most Rev. & Rt. Hon. Lord Archbishop of York, Dr. John Sentamu
Woodchurch High School was honoured and proud to welcome Dr. John Sentamu (Archbishop of York), and Keith Sinclair (Bishop of Birkenhead) to school to officially open our £25 million new build. Woodchurch High School was selected by Wirral Borough Council as the BSF Single Pathfinder School for Wirral, due to its proven track record, being graded ‘Excellent’ by Ofsted in 1999, then ‘Outstanding’ in 2005, 2008 and 2009. The school has also been recognised nationally for its inclusive practices. School was proud to welcome members of the Local Authority Children and Young People’s Department, local community, politicians, dignitaries from the council, Esther McVey, MP, and other friends of the school for the opening.
There was a Celebration Service, during which the Year 10 GCSE Music Group sang ‘Let it Be’ and the winner of the Year 8 ‘Woodchurch Has Talent’ contest, Jessica Hornby, sang ‘Black-Bird’. The Head Boy and Head Girl each read a passage from the Bible.
During the assembly, Mr. David Armstrong, the Interim Director of Wirral’s Children’s and Young Peoples Department, spoke about the school, and paid tribute to pupils. He was followed by the Bishop and then the Archbishop, who both gave inspiring talks, which were both poignant and enjoyable. The Headteacher, Ms. Rebekah Phillips also spoke of her pride in being the Headteacher of such an outstanding school.
The assembly concluded with pupils from Woodchurch High School and Meadowside School presenting the Archbishop with a stole they had made, incorporating wool from the Woodchurch High School sheep.
Following the assembly, the Archbishop then unveiled the commemorative plaque.
To the Head teacher, staff and pupils of Woodchurch High School
I would like to say how impressed I was when I attended the school for its official opening yesterday. As an ex secondary school teacher I know that it is not easy to orchestrate such a high profile event and coordinate pupils and teachers in the way that you appeared to manage. The students behaviour was exemplary as was the quality of their music, reading and artwork and the small things like the quality of food and drink and the tidiness of public areas was well attended to. It was my first visit to the school but I very much hope that it will not be my last.
I wish you all well for the future,
Revd. Jenny Gillies, Curate, St Oswald’s, Bidston.
Dear Ms Phillips
Just a line as two say what a wonderful occasion it was at this afternoon’s official opening of the new school by the Archbishop of York.
He made a tremendous impact on everyone present but what impressed me more were the readings and music from the school pupils themselves. Also the Year 11’s who provided an impressive line up as the guests passed through.
Everything was simply perfect.
With best wishes
Birkenhead Deanery Secretary and member of the Chester Diocesan Board of Education.
Thank you so much for your welcome today. Would you pass on my thanks to Lyndon and the whole team for a superb opening ceremony, welcome at the gate, guard of honour, the school functioning “normally”, the cuisine, the fantastic readings and the music, and just the sense as David said of being part of the Woodchurch Family.
‘God has been spoken to us and blessed us; he has made his face to smile upon us.’
No event like this happens without superb precision and preparation. It was an honour to be there and a moment I will treasure for a very long time.
With love in Christ
Bishop of Birkenhead