At the carol service I reflected on the journey of the wise men. As we journey into the new term, I would like to thank all of you for your support over 2016 and wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a prosperous New Year. Like the wise men we look to:


  • Follow our beliefs and values
  • Stay on an even course not swayed by unhelpful influences
  • Undertake each task with resilience and determination
  • Seek out opportunities in unexpected places


We can reflect on the gifts that that were presented in the Christmas story and seek to strengthen our approach to 2017.


Gold is malleable and precious. It can be hammered paper thin and it will not shatter. Gold represents something indestructible, eternal, and adaptable. We trust that the values and inner strength of our pupils remain strong and unbreakable. We hope that they will shine as examples of integrity in the new year.


Frankincense is an aromatic resin which is obtained from an

extremely hardy tree called Bosaellia Sacra which has the ability to grow in the most hostile, rugged and unforgiving environments. It has the ability to grow where there is no soil; it can even grow out of solid rock. Therefore this tree is a symbol for resilience, strength, endurance and leadership.


Myrrh is a resin obtained from a thorny tree which grows in dry and arid desert regions. When the bark of this tree is cut open, its resin seeps out as a gum. Myrrh is often use to help people recover from injury. It helps us reflect that there may be challenges in 2017 however we are equipped to overcome these and support others in need.


A Christmas Reflection

May the children at our school be filled with with the wonder of Mary, the obedience of Joseph, the joy of the angels, the eagerness of the shepherds and of course


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End of Term 2016

Catching the Spark

As members of our school community we subscribe to our school ethos and aims. As parents, pupils, and staff we strive to create a place, a society that enables the spark in our children to become a burning fire.

To achieve this we must:

  • Create an environment that enables imagination to be harnessed
  • Create a culture that allows for creativity and curiosity
  • Ensure that we are actively looking, anticipating a small spark that needs to be fanned through experience and encouragement

It all begins with Imagination

Imagination is the source of our creativity but it is not the same as creativity. Imagination allows us to use our mind to create concepts and ideas. Imagination can take us away form the present and allow us to create ideas that could transform the future.

Creativity occurs when we put this imagination into practice and this is where the spark must have the skills and environment required to make it succeed. Creativity and innovation are critical to the future success of our pupils. In a world that is changing by the second, those with the ability to innovate will always rise to the challenges of the future.

On our school crest are the three words: Fidex, Pax, Gaudium. These words remind all of the staff, pupils and parents of Scarisbrick Hall School what we stand for. These words encourage the spark in pupils to burn into a flame and promote a positive ethos in our school.

  • Fides – Faith, (actually translated trust) , resilience, teamwork, leadership, self belief,
  • Pax – Peace, tolerance, wellbeing, internationalism, reflection, emotional intelligence
  • Gaudium – Joy, happiness, fulfilment, delight, bringing joy through service to others, finding one’s place in the world.


I would like to thank you for all of your support this academic year and look forward to seeing you all in September.



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Spring 2016

One thing that is much loved about our country is the contrast we have in our seasons. They are a steady reminder that, although our lives are busy with the hustle and bustle of the world, there is a constant reassuring cycle that reminds of our position and of the order of things.


During the winter time, days are shorter, wetter (especially this year) and the ground lies sparse and black. As the days roll on we become accustomed to this season, used to the cold and prepared for rainy days.


As we move into April, the sun suddenly feels richer and every shoot (no matter how small) becomes more noticeable. We celebrate every small sign of life that peers through the damp soil and we take courage that spring is on its way. The long cold toil of winter, although sometimes challenging, gives us all us a greater appreciation of spring.


This term, we have been developing strategies that support resilient learning. Through this staff have been looking at developing craftsmanship in our pupils, encouraging them to enjoy thinking through problems in the same way a fine craftsman whittles a piece of wood.


Like the seasons craftsmanship requires drive and determination, even through times of frustration. When the pupils at our school apply craftsmanship to a skill such as reading poetry by heart, spelling bee, musical recitals, sports skills and academic study, they develop a deep-rooted passion for this area and strive to develop their skills. At the first signs of progress we celebrate their achievement and encourage them to press on.


At Scarisbrick Hall we seek to encourage every individual learner to be all that they can be, to foster the skill of craftsmanship and become all that they can be. As they move on in their careers beyond our Sixth Form, these skills of determination, craftsmanship and confidence will ensure that they are well equipped for any future.



“Without craftsmanship, inspiration is a mere reed shaken in the wind.” J Brahms



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Update letter to parents and guardians

Summer Term letter to parents 24 04 15

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Spring Message

It has been an unusual start to 2015 and a very emotional one. The students and pupils have been fantastic, this has been demonstrated in their exemplary attitude and commitment to uphold the values of Scarisbrick Hall School. As we move into our second half term of 2015, we notice that the seasons are turning and Spring is making an appearance. As I drove into school this morning, I saw the daffodils breaking forth and the air felt warmer (just slightly). I am proud, and privileged to work in such a stunning environment of natural beauty, where the seasons  are celebrated by the wonder of nature. I would like to extend my thanks to all of the staff who ran our school trips in February. Two highly successful visits to New York and Italy (Skiing) will provide lifelong memories for all staff and students involved.  There is something truly special about sharing these trips with your friends, plans are already in motion for the next set of international visits. We also look forward to our First School trip to York later in the year. Last term saw the launch of our Great Hall Lecture Series, this was a real success, with topics ranging from dinosaurs to space probes being discussed and shared in the iconic Great Hall. There is little doubt that these experiences broadened the minds of the students in the school (pupils as young as seven years old attended these sessions). The ambitious nature of this lecture series makes a clear statement about the aspirations that we have for our students. As we look forward to this half term we have some exciting events to note:

  • 10th March Year 5 Parent Evening
  • 16th March  First School Assessment Week
  • 25th March Year 7 Parent Evening
  • 31st March First School Parent Evening
  • 1st April First School Parent Evening
  • Inter House Cross Country
  • Last day of this term is 2nd April 2015

Building Works  You may have noticed that some of the scaffold has started to come down on the Science build. This is a very positive sign and indicates that we can press on with the internal fittings over the coming half term. The official opening date for the labs will be published later this year and I look forward to inviting you in for a tour. No sooner has one scaffolding gone down then a new one will go up, we anticipate external works on the Sixth Form to commence soon. As you may have seen from the recent article in the local press, this development has attracted a great deal of interest and excitement. Our first cohort of Year 12 students will enjoy exceptional facilities and teaching, supported by world class lecturers. PE Kit I wrote to you in March last year about the launch of a new PE kit for the school. After some teething difficulties (and unusual sizing for track suits), we are pleased with the quality of the kit that we have. After a twelve month transition period the new Orion kit will be the only one that can be worn by students after Easter. The only exception to this will be Year 11 students. One of the most popular items of clothing has been the new base layers, so much so that we are now able to provide base layer shorts as well as tops. With the ISA Athletics championship looming in the Summer, we feel confident that these will be a popular addition.  With two daughters myself, I am also pleased to say that the kit washes very well and dries very quickly! We have also been informed by Whittakers that the Southport shop is scheduled for a re-fit. It is scheduled to run from Monday 9 March to Friday 10 April. Parent Portal  I would like to thank all of the parents who have accessed the portal (this can be accessed via I would like to stress the importance that all parents access this system to view assessment results etc. As we progress through the year this area will be expanded to include fee invoicing. The School Drive  As many of our parents are aware pulling out of our drive can be a challenge when turning right. Although we are a school, it seems that traffic from the Southport direction often do not slow down to an appropriate speed. Can I therefore encourage parents to turn left where possible when exiting the drive. Regards Mr J Shaw Headmaster Scarisbrick Hall School

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Happy New Year

I would like to thank all of you for all of your hard work and support that has made the first term a real success. All of the new students have settled in and the new fifty-minute lessons are working very well. The first half term saw the launch of the parent portal and intranet, which will allow us to further improve our parental communication. All parents/carers have been issued with a PIN number that will give them access to assessment updates, attendance records and other key information about their children.

It is important that you all access this portal as it will soon will expand to include not only assessment information but also fee invoicing (including balance checks). The portal is accessed via the school intranet at The intranet also stores all letters that have been sent home in in the parent communication section of the site.

When I wrote to you in September I mentioned that we were moving away from national curriculum levels in favour of an A* – D system in middle school. Mr Norbury has posted a letter on the intranet that explains how you can interpret the half term assessments, as well as the rational behind this system.

Update on our building projects 

Those of you who attend the Headmaster’s breakfast or afternoon tea events will have been given a preview of of building development for the next 3 years. The Science Faculty building is going well and despite some interesting challenges, we are confident that the Faculty staff will commence their move in the New Year. Pictures of the new build are available to view at school and will later be posted onto the school website.

The Sixth Form Suite is on schedule and will consist of innovative learning areas that will enhance the true ‘Pre University’ feel of our new Sixth Form. In January our inaugural ‘Great Hall Lecture Series’ will commence. The lecture series defines a new era for the school with leading professors and doctors delivering sessions on exciting and inspiring topics. Further details on the series can be found on the school website (a few places are still available, please contact the school office).


I would like to thank you for all of your support at our festive events. As always the students were exceptional, brimming with confidence and working as a real team. On our ‘Make a Difference’ day we supported many local charities and made personal visits to local care homes.

Administrative Team

After speaking with parents we have made some key changes to the administration of the school. From January 2015 the following new appointments is in place to support the school:

Headmasters PA – Miss Sarah Cottle (option 2 on the main phone line). Miss Cottle manages all appointments and meetings for the Headmaster as well as leading the overall administrative team.

Personal Accounts Manager – Miss Zerina McCarthy (option 3 on the main phone line). Miss McCarthy will be introduced to all of our parents and will be the main point of contact for fee based enquiries. Her role will include additional billing changes such as music lessons or lunches, this will provide parents a personalised service when initiating or maintaining their accounts. She will also be responsible for the invoicing of fees.

Administrator and Receptionist – Mrs Julie Murtagh (option 1 on the main phone line). Mrs Murtagh will be based in the school office and will be the first point of contact for any school based messages such as absence, illness or dropping off equipment that a student may have left at home.

Miss Walmsley continues in her role and Miss Massam continues as our Examination Officer.

I would like to take this opportunity to remind you that the term commences on the 6th January 2015.  Future dates for your diary are:

6th January – Year 11 GCSE Mock Examinations all week

28th January  – Senior ISA Cross Country Competition at Scarisbrick Hall School

21st January  – Entrance Examination (Year 6 Pupils)

27th January – Great Hall Lecture  – Lecture 1 Professor Charles Walkden

Enigma Variations and Cryptography (3pm – 4pm)

28th January – Entrance Examination Interviews

29th January – Science day with Professor Phil Manning

29th January –  Great Hall Lecture  – Lecture 2 Professor Phillip Manning

Palaeontology and the Wonders of Natural Science (3pm – 4pm)

29th January –  Great Hall Lecture  – Lecture 3 Dr Chris Arridge

Astrophysical magnetospheres (3pm – 4pm)

29th January –  Great Hall Lecture  – Lecture 4 Dr Leonid Ponomarenko

The amazing properties of the grapheme (3pm – 4pm)

10th February – Year 8 Options Evening

11th February  – NYC trip Departs

12th February – Ski trip departs

I look forward to seeing you in the New Year and also updating you on all the exciting developments over the coming academic year.


Mr J Shaw


Scarisbrick Hall School

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End of term message December 2014

As we approach Christmas at Scarisbrick Hall School we have been reminded of the impact that the small things we do can make. In assembly time we have looked at Mother Teresa and how her humble way served some of the most helpless and rejected members of our global society.

At Christmas time we read the story of a baby born in a manager, because there was no room to be found in a more appropriate dwelling. It’s not that Joseph and Mary were late to town, but it’s that they were rejected by their family.  Clearly they had family members in town, as that was the reason they returned to Bethlehem for the census.  That there was no room in the guest chamber for a pregnant woman indicates that they chose not to make room for this unwedded mother.  The birth of Jesus in a room where animals lived suggests shame and rejection. .

It is staggering to think that from this family that was cast out by their relatives, left homeless albeit for a barn, a son would be born that would have a prolific and transformational impact on our way of life.

The owner of the barn would have had no idea that his compassion to a rejected homeless family would be replayed in the traditional nativity play over two thousand years later (with the aid of a tea towel and skilfully tailored sheets). It just took a moment for him to have compassion on this homeless couple, even though their own family did not.

This story helps us to reflect on our own lives and the opportunities that we have to make a difference in the lives of others that we see.

What we may perceive as insignificant may be pivotal

What we see and nothing may be critical

Our own lives are but a flicker in the vast expanse of time yet every day, every second presents an opportunity to light a spark that will echo in time. In the words of the Ridley Scott film Gladiator “ what we do in life echoes in eternity”.

From the overthrow of apartheid in South Africa to the civil rights movement in the United States; historic events begin through the acts of ordinary people doing simple yet extraordinary things . I agree that sometimes spectacular acts are called for, as in the story of Moses or the Berlin Wall, but other times, great historic events begin with simple actions, such as a tired Rosa Parks deciding to stay “and refusing to move” on a bus.

I understand that it is easier to walk past a situation or to not ‘stand up for what is right’ and indeed the fast paced world that we live in blinkers us to anything that it does not want us to see

We are bombarded with adverts that say Christmas is about getting what you want, or perhaps more accurately buying what we are told to buy by the media.We are chaperoned into thinking that the more we spend the happier we will be.

Giving someone faith, peace and joy (the words of our school crest) is allowing you eyes to be opened to see an opportunity to encourage, an opportunity to help, and opportunity to show kindness, compassion and to share love.

Our passion is that we make a difference in the lives of the young people in our school and that they in turn are inspired to be the change (or spark) that inspires the future.

I wish you all a very Happy Christmas and a prosperous New Year

Mr J Shaw


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