Senior Girls News

MTGS Welcomes Back Recent Leavers for Returnees Day

The Girls’ School was pleased to welcome back recent leavers for its annual Returnees Day.
Returnees Day is an important date in the School calendar and serves a dual purpose. It allows recent leavers to return to the School following their first year of University and share their experiences with staff and friends, but also offers vital advice and guidance to the current Lower Sixth, as they begin their final year of study and start to make decisions about their own University choices.

Our returning girls were extremely generous in giving their time, and answered any questions the pupils had. Following this they assembled in the quad for refreshments and to meet with staff. During this service, they received a humorous and insightful speech from Marie-Clare Gervasoni about the benefits of the Old Girls Association, and how it can be a vital resource for them following the completion of their own studies and entry into the workplace.

Our thanks to the girls for returning and to Head of Sixth Form Mr Lawell for organising the day.

Outstanding Rowing Success for Nia

Over the past few weeks Nia Almond has raced in her single scull at Chester Regatta and at Henley Women’s Regatta. Due to her outstanding levels of hard work, commitment, drive and focus she has performed to an excellent standard.

At Chester Regatta Nia was the fastest female sculler over the whole day racing in Women’s Elite Single Sculls, a superb result and was awarded the ‘City of Chester Trophy’ by the Regatta Secretary and Lord Mayor of Chester Cllr Razia Daniels pictured below.

Nia then competed at Henley Women’s Regatta which held on the river Thames at Henley-on-Thames, an event targeted at elite women’s rowing. After completing a time trail down the 1500m course in the morning Nia qualified to race in the knockout stages of the regatta. Nia won the next round of the event by beating an accomplished sculler from Putney High School. In the quarter finals a Sculler from Agecroft Rowing Club, a centre of excellence in the North West, beat Nia to the finish in a tough and hard fought race. Nia has done a brilliant job to reach this high level of performance and competition after recovering from a severe back injury that ruled her out of racing for twelve months.

(Nia boating on the Thames)

Nia is one of a small number of pupils who are really leading the way and are an excellent example to the younger year groups and aspiring athletes.

report by Rowing Master James Carew

Service of Thanksgiving for Louis Simpson

The whole school, alongside his family, joined together on Friday 16th June for a Service of Thanksgiving to remember and give thanks for the life of Louis Simpson, a pupil at the school from 2013 to 2017.

The service was held in St Faith’s Church, Crosby and was planned and prepared with great love by Louis’s friends in Year 9  – they had reflected on their friend who had such an impact on them and with whom they shared laughter, joy, fun and also difficult times.   Through it all, and through facing the death of so lovely a friend, they honoured Louis in their prayers, readings, music and thanksgiving.   The service was very beautiful and all of us who were privileged to be there, while very sad, were also uplifted by the actions of Year 9 pupils and deeply proud of them.  The Middle Girls’ School Chamber Choir’s rendition of ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’, one of Louis’s favourite Liverpool anthems, was particularly poignant.

After the service, a tree was planted in Louis’s memory on the Boys’ School site in the presence of his family and friends.

This service will undoubtedly remind the pupils of the friend they have lost and their personal sadness so the following advice from bereavement experts may be helpful as you talk with your son or daughter:  

  • Tell the truth. Talk about death vs. “going to sleep.”
  • Allow for your son to talk about feelings. If this is the first loss your son has experienced, he may not know how to respond and will be looking for your guidance.
  • Affirm all expressions.  It is okay to express feelings honestly. Tolerate the expressions rather than dismissing them or discouraging the expression of feelings.
  • Encourage for written expressions such notes, letters
  • Reaffirm that your child is safe and that your child is loved.
  • Affirm that your son’s reaction is normal and you understand the way he feels.
  • Help your son to return to as normal routine as possible.

Former MTGS Pupil receives Damehood

The Schools were delighted to receive news that former MTGS pupil, Professor Caroline Watkins, was to receive the DBE in the New Years Honours list for her services to stroke care nursing. Caroline is the only Nursing and Stroke Care Professor in the UK, and has received recognition throughout the field for her dedication and commitment to improving stroke care for patients.

A nurse for nearly 40 years, Caroline has held a position as Professor at UCLan for the last 15 years. In that time she has spearheaded numerous initiatives to improve stroke care, which has seen her research incorporated into the National Clinical Guideline for Stroke, the Joint Royal College Ambulance Liaison Committees Guidelines, and the National Stroke Strategy. She co-leads HeadPost, the UK arm of an international study into acute stroke care which is one of the largest nursing care trials in the world and last year received a ‘Special Recognition Life After Stroke Award’ from the Stroke Association for her contribution to improving the lives of stroke survivors. Her work has also produced the Stroke-Specific Education Framework (SSEF), a free digital service which allows care-providers to easily self-assess their knowledge and skills, and generates bespoke educational resources for the individual’s needs. The application won the Guardian University’s Digital Innovation Award for 2017 and is used by medical institutions throughout the UK.

On the day, Caroline was the first to receive an award, and said the whole experience ‘felt like a dream’. She recalled: “I don’t think I’ve been quite so nervous recently! However, I needn’t have been because the Buckingham Palace staff are just amazingly supportive and the whole day was organised to the nth degree. The Palace is very splendid and it was so humbling to see the other 87 people and their families queuing to go up to receive their awards for all the amazing things they have been doing”.

Caroline attended the event with her family – husband Kevin, son and current MTBS pupil Josh, and her 96 year-old mother, Ivy Emily Pope. The day was one of surprises, not least because Caroline found herself sat next to former Kinks frontman Ray Davies, there himself to receive a knighthood for services to the arts. “Ray Davies was just lovely – very modest and unassuming. He too was pleased to think of his mum being so proud of him having the knighthood. It was so lovely of him to congratulate me and it was so cool to meet him”.

While extremely grateful to have received the award, Caroline was keen to stress that none of these things happen in a vacuum, and that the award represented the work of many people in unison. “I always feel a bit of a fraud because research is not a sole pursuit. I have whole teams of fantastic staff that work alongside me, and senior colleagues and peers who are truly supportive on a day to day basis. I am also very lucky to have made contact with, and work amongst lots of incredible researchers and people in all walks of life that we collaborate with on projects and programmes.  Not least the people who themselves have had a stroke, or their partners and relatives. They give their time so freely to contribute to improving care and research – not for their own benefit but for others. So I think the award is for all of them too”.

We would like to congratulate Caroline on her success and wish her well for future. For more information on Stroke Care please visit: For more information on the SSEF, please visit:

Delighted Pupils from Little Crosby Primary School Win Cricket Festival

Merchant Taylors’ Boys’ School was delighted to welcome 80 Year 5 and 6 primary school pupils to take part in its annual Kwik Cricket Festival in Crosby.

Kwik cricket is a high-speed version of cricket aimed at encouraging children to take part in the main sport.   Many of the rules are adapted from cricket and can be altered so that virtually any number of children can play in the time available.  For this festival each school brought 10 players – with 8 per team on the pitch at one time and each team played 4 games and had a great day of cricket.

The festival winners were St Mary’s Roman Catholic Primary School, Little Crosby.  Rachael Webb, who brought the victorious team, commented that “the pupils were absolutely thrilled to win.   For some of them, it was the first thing they have ever won with school”.     Thomas from Year 5 said “it was amazing!    We’ve never done a cricket tournament before, or even really played cricket, so it was really great to win!   It’s one of my favourite memories ever from school.”  It was the first time the pupils from Little Crosby had visited Merchant Taylors’ which made the victory even more special for them.

David Cook, Headmaster at Merchant Taylors’, was delighted to welcome so many enthusiastic cricketers to school.  “Currently we have 8 boys from various year groups who have been selected for Lancashire cricket teams.  One of our pupils, George Lavelle, captained the England Under 16 team in 2016 and has been selected to play for the full Lancashire 2nd XI in several games already this season.   Another of our 1st team players, Tom Hartley represented MCC Schools at Lords last year and we are celebrating our Under 15 team recently becoming North of England champions in the ESCA Cup.   It is excellent to see so many boys and girls taking part in today’s festival and that the future of the sport looks to be in safe hands”.



Chloë Organises Charity Orchestral Flashmob

On 2nd June, Chloë Ellen Jones from Year 11 successfully organised an orchestral flash mob in aid of the Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation and also the Manchester Arena Victims.

Chloë joined 23 of her friends from the Junior Royal Northern College of Music which she attends every Saturday, at the Trafford Centre Manchester during the half term. As well as Chloë on the flute another MTGS student, Angelina Dorin-Barlow was playing violin. The group had been rehearsing since February and the event raised over £1100 for the causes.

Chloë has been recognised as a community champion by the Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation and continues to raise funds for this charity which is close to her heart.

Please follow the links to view the Flashmob

Cadets Put on Outstanding Inspection

We were delighted to welcome Old Boy, Brigadier Matthew Lowe MBE to return to School as the Inspecting and Review Officer of the Combined Cadet Force for Inspection Day this year. After leaving in 1981 and following a career in the Army he has successfully achieved a Rank of Brigadier in the Parachute Regiment and has held outstanding appointments all over the world.

Brigadier Matthew Lowe was commissioned into The Parachute Regiment in 1984. He has served in all continents less Antarctica and has been deployed on operations to Northern Ireland, Kosovo, Sierra Leone, Iraq, Pakistan and Afghanistan. He has been: an exchange officer in Australia; an instructor at Sandhurst and the Joint Services Staff College; the Commanding Officer of the 3rd Battalion The Parachute Regiment; and the Deputy Commander of London District during the Olympics. He is currently responsible for controlling the Army Cadet Force and the Combined Cadet Force. In his spare time he is a trustee of the Parachute Regiment Charity, a rugby referee, and an enthusiastic user of good quality chainsaws.

The Brigadier was welcomed back to the School by Mr Cook, Mrs Robinson and Contingent Commander Colonel Mike Slemen, then introduced to a large gathering of N W Military who were supporting the special event.

There was a Lunch for all the guests and on completion the programme commenced with the Brigadier inspecting a Guard of Honour. Three Senior Tri Service Cadets then escorted the Brigadier round the various stands before the 260 cadets formed up and marched on for the Final Parade. A large gathering of guests and parents also enjoyed touring the activities.

Following the Final Parade the Brigadier presented awards to cadets including prestigious Gold Duke of Edinburgh Awards and a Memorial Trophy was presented to the Outstanding Cadet Recruit, Tom Dixon.

The Brigadier finally expressed a “Thank You” for being invited back and he praised all involved including Officers and proud parents and then wished the Cadets every success in the future. Brigadier MP Lowe then received ‘Three Cheers’ to complete the successful Inspection.

In the evening the Brigadier was the Guest at the Dining Out Night, as many of the Senior Cadets now go on to Universities. At the Dinner it was announced that the Best Cadet of the Year was Regimental Sergeant Major Jacob Foster and he was presented with a Trophy. He was then given the task of presenting an engraved Tankard to the Brigadier to remind him of his day back at his Old School.

Brigadier MP Lowe added:

“I was delighted to return to Merchant Taylors’ as the CCF Inspecting Officer on 5 May 2017. Lt Col Mike Slemen, my erstwhile rugby coach, had organised a brilliant day: lunch with both Heads, Contingent Officers and supporting staffs; a Guard of Honour; a range of activity stands; a section attack demonstration; a parade with awards; and a dining out for the senior cadets in the library-all executed with great panache and style, and widely supported by families.

Cadet Forces are my job and I’m delighted to report that Merchant Taylors’ is one of the very best. Having Altcar Camp for shooting, RAF Woodvale for flying, and sailing water nearby helps enormously, but it’s the quality of the leadership opportunities that the schools’ CCF officers devise that really makes the difference. I was very impressed by the style and confident manner of many of the cadets I met, with the three Section heads and the NCO instructing on medical techniques being especially inspirational young people.

CCFs aren’t just about recruiting for Defence. They are about preparing young people to assume leadership positions in all aspects of national, and increasingly international, life. Academic achievement is highly desirable but it isn’t everything. Universities and employers want young people who can recognise a context, understand the goal, assess the resources available, make a plan, allocate tasks and inspire others.

I finish with a very personal thank you to Mike Slemen, his Contingent Officers and the three Section senior cadets for a wonderful day. I had a happy foray down memory lane, but much more importantly saw the next generation of our national leaders, and the future is bright!”

For the full album of photos of this event please click here

BAE Apprenticeship for Samantha

Congratulations to Upper Sixth student Samantha Jones who has been awarded a three year Aerospace Engineering Apprenticeship with BAE Systems subject to her achieving the requisite A level grades. Having made it through the highly competitive application process, consisting of an online test, Samantha was invited to attend an interview in Preston. Following a timed dexterity test where she was tasked to build the basic structure of a typhoon, Samantha was offered one of only 50 places on the apprenticeship scheme.
This alternative to university will allow Samantha to make valuable contacts and learn hands on about the industry whilst getting paid to do so. She will spend her first year learning together with other apprentices before specialising in her second and third years. With potential to secure a career with BAE Systems following completion of her three years, this promises to be a rewarding and successful further education route.
Samantha joined Merchant Taylors’ Girls’ School in Sixth Form as an Ogden Scholar and chose to study Physics, Maths and Art at A level. She thoroughly enjoys the diversity of her subjects and hopes to combine them in a creative role in engineering design in the future. STEM subjects are extremely desirable to employers and are very popular amongst students at Merchant Taylors’. As more women are being inspired into scientific careers, Samantha is proud to be entering this industry. She added “BAE Systems is an amazing company and I am thrilled to have been given this opportunity. I would like to thank Mrs Copley for suggesting it as an option for me to pursue.”

Outstanding Result for Charity Appeal

Merchant Taylors’ Schools recently contributed to the efforts of many participants to promote the charity Vision Aid Overseas. The initial aim was to collect in 500 pairs of glasses in the “Every Pair Counts Appeal” during Lent. The appeal was extremely well supported by so many pupils and a staggering 3,510 pairs of glasses were donated.
A number of parishes, including SS Peter and Paul, Crosby, St Edmund and St Thomas of Canterbury, Our Lady of Victories, along with Bishop Eton and St Mary’s Woolton, joined forces to collect the unwanted spectacles.
Helping in the project were many children from primary schools as well as pupils from several secondary schools, including  Archbishop Beck in Aintree and St Mary’s College Preparatory School, Crosby. Amongst a good number of other donors who contributed to the scheme were Sainsburys, Morecroft Solicitors, Alder Hey Children’s Hospital and the Walton Centre NHS Trust.
Vision Aid Overseas works in Africa to transform access to eye care services and is part of the Vision 2020 initiative to eliminate avoidable blindness by 2020. The old or unwanted specs are recycled by Vision Aid Overseas, a charity which specializes in providing eye care for those in poverty-stricken countries around the world. The money made from recycling the glasses is then used to fund the charity’s work. Since its inception in 1987, the UK-based charity has helped more than one million people in the developing world.
Mr Chris McLoughlin, manager of Specsavers in Crosby, kindly sponsored the forwarding of the numerous boxes of glasses to Vision Aid headquarters.
Thank you to all those who helped make this appeal so successful and to all that contributed to this worthy cause.

Mr Daniel Magill, Mrs Helen Sugden, Mr Jonathan Webster with pupils from local schools.