Though many consider school to be the best time of our lives, Greenbank Preparatory School and Day Nursery is dedicated to equipping their students with the credentials to prosper long after their time in education ends.
While the school instils high standards amongst students and staff alike, Headteacher Malcolm Johnson is promoting a culture whereby care and community are also seen as essential everyday traits.
“I do think that Greenbank is unique. We have a nurturing community and we know the children extremely well.
“We’re a family here, as well as a school; to me and the staff that’s so important because if you know a child well and if you nurture and care for them, then they’ll achieve their potential. However, it does start with ensuring that they’re cared for in the right way.”
The staff at Greenbank Preparatory School and Day Nursery have earned a stellar reputation within the education sector, providing enthralling, engaging lessons for pupils, in a bid to provide youngsters with a solid foundation to achieve. With some educators lacking vigour, the dedication of the staff members at Greenbank hasn’t gone unnoticed by Mr Johnson.
“Teaching isn’t just a job. Some go into it and aren’t sure initially, but then find it extremely rewarding, because they’re helping people.
“On the other hand, there are others who teach because they just want a job, in which case, that’s not the right approach to take at all – in my opinion. We’re extremely lucky here because we have some teachers who attended Greenbank as a pupil, therefore, they understand what our philosophy is all about and communicate that to the students. All of our teachers and teaching assistants are here first and foremost because they love to support and challenge our children for them to flourish.”
Evolution and change are essential within any domain to ensure that the best practices can be delivered; in an educational context, growth provokes optimum pupil performance. While Greenbank’s dynamic Headteacher is amenable to change, he maintains that Greenbank Preparatory School and Day Nursery’s traditions and historical values will not be compromised during his hunt for success.
“The school’s values are extremely important and are a constant, however, we always want to keep moving forward. I believe that two key areas are extremely important: The environment and technology. We want to engage children with these in their everyday life; that’s why we’re an eco-school. We have solar panels, we grow our vegetables, we recycle much of our plastic, there’s a cycle-to-work scheme on offer for members of staff. We’re extremely dedicated to making a difference, environmentally, as well as educationally.”
An array of new-technologies plays a significant role in how we live our day-to-day lives and the younger generation are growing up in an era whereby being tech-savvy is borderline compulsory.
Whereas the education system once shied away from the implementation of technology, more schools are incorporating an innovative mindset, with Mr Johnson and staff at Greenbank Preparatory School and Day Nursery advocates of using tech to enhance learning.
“We’re keen to make children at the school aware of emerging technologies so that they can learn how to use these wonderful tools in the right way. When used properly, technology is amazing, but it can be dangerous when used incorrectly. We have our pupil digital leaders who help to guide their classmates and often teach through the effective use of technology.
Every day, we’re showing the pupils how technology can help the environment. For instance, we use digital files, printing less on paper; we’re also in the process of setting up Google Classroom, a new online educational platform.”
Before entering the education sector, Headteacher Malcolm Johnson trained rigorously as a canoeist to compete for honours at the Olympic Games, only to suffer the disappointment of narrowly missing out after four years of dedication. Nonetheless, rather than adopt a pessimistic stance, he has remained positive and turned a negative experience into a resounding positive.
“Elite sport has taught me to aim high, but embrace failures; without disappointments, we wouldn’t get to where our potential lies. I want the staff to provide a challenge – hopefully, there will be times when the pupils struggle because that’s how we learn in life, improve and leave a lasting impact on other people who we encounter throughout our journey. There are times when we all need help, but to come through something challenging feels amazing and it’s nice to reap the rewards.”
Although there are schools across the UK who label a select group of students as ‘gifted and talented’, this is a description that doesn’t apply for the intake at Greenbank Preparatory School and Day Nursery. Malcolm Johnson and his cohort of staff prescribe to the view that all of the children are gifted and are keen to provide guidance and support to identify areas whereby they’re able to thrive.
With plans in place for a new reception classroom, the school is continuing to solidify its reputation as an avant-garde establishment who continually strive to enhance their practice. Greenbank Preparatory School and Day Nursery are digital leaders who continue to explore how technology can benefit education and their students.
“There are designs for a new reception building that will allow us to take our philosophy into the future. As well as technology, we’ll be using the most environmentally efficient materials available, to ensure that we’re being as energy efficient as possible, thus reducing our carbon footprint significantly.”
One of the best-kept secrets in Cheshire, Greenbank Preparatory School and Day Nursery is a green flag school with a whole host of ideas for continued growth on a grand scale.
For more information about school admissions, or to discuss upcoming events, please call Greenbank Preparatory School and Day Nursery on 0161 485 3724.