Mrs Janet Thomas - Head Teacher
Mrs Janet Thomas
I was born and brought up near Chester on a small farm. I had two ponies and lots of other animals. Consequently I still love animals and have a chocolate Labrador called Coco (who is exceptionally greedy!) a cat called Kizzy and two rabbits – Fudge & Treacle.
I also have four children and a husband who are very keen on sport so I spend a lot of time watching sport. I particularly enjoy cricket and football – especially Liverpool Football Club. My favourite T.V. programmes are Match of the Day and Sky Sports; but only if we win!
My own hobbies are Yoga – which I always make time for – and Cookery and Reading when I have time.
I have been teaching in Liverpool for almost 30 years, both in the Independent and State Sector. I have taught Nursery and Year 6 and thoroughly enjoy my job. I joined Merchant Taylors‘ Boys’ School in 2008 and love working here.
The Boys’ Junior School is a very happy and lively place to be and I look forward to having a long association with the Merchants’ family of Schools.
Mr Derek Youngson - Deputy Head - Pastoral
Derek Youngson – Deputy Head – Pastoral
I was born sometime in the last century… lost in the mists of time….in the Kingdom of Fife in Scotland. Although I left my homeland when I was 2 years old I am still fiercely loyal to the greatest country on Earth and can’t wait for the next time Scotland beat England at rugby (been waiting a long time currently… and still hopeful year on year. Lost all hope with the football team).
When I started work at MTS I was known as the ‘Token Youth’ – that’s how long ago it was. There were four teachers then and four classes, plus a headteacher and no support staff or secretary. I taught a Y4 class of 30 lads in a room with antique desks with integral seats. Cricket, football and rugby have, over the years, taken up a huge amount of my time here and provided many great memories of boys and teams.
Currently I am Deputy Head Pastoral and have various responsibilities for whole school events, pupil well-being and coordinating extra-curricular activities.
I enjoy all this and still love the teaching bit.
In my spare time I am often found out walking with my lovely wife Jackie or attempting to run or cycle in a geriatric way, or walk with my even more geriatric dog Monty. I have played staff basketball for 30 years and miraculously still have my own teeth and limbs.
Mr David Lyon
Mr David Lyon
After much nagging from Mr Wardle (he’s very good at it), I have finally agreed to update my profile, although leaving the other one on would have helped me to feel ten years younger (well that’s how long ago I wrote it!).
I have worked at Merchants since ’94, when I had more hair than Mr Youngson! (That was long, long ago…. – PAW). I am currently teaching a Year 6 class as well as being curriculum co-ordinator for mathematics.
In my spare time I enjoy taking our dog Archie for a pull (he’s not learnt that I’m the boss yet!), playing golf and wining and dining my lovely wife, Amanda. Oh yes, I almost forgot! I treasure my time with my two ‘wonderful’ children and my two step-children.
Mrs Lisa Rogers
Mrs Lisa Rogers
Sometime last century, around about 1974ish
I have managed to endure the education system for a number of years even surviving university life. I attended Knowsley Village Primary School and then went to Huyton College at the age of 11 years old. It was there that I decided I wanted to become a teacher, I think it was because I was bossy and liked organising people!
I finally flew the nest from Knowsley Village and went to live in the hills with the sheep ….Wrexham! I spent four happy years there achieving a BEd in Primary Education.
It was while at university that Brian Bennett (our previous Headmaster) gave me the job.
Life at MTS
I finally began a sensible working life and even got paid for it. I started at MTS in 1997. I began teaching the lively characters in Junior 4, who have now left University and that makes me feel a little old! Although not looking it…the blonde tint sees to that problem and before the male staff comment the polyfilla too!! (“she uses enough to plaster a classroom!” – the male members of staff) I am also the school’s Geography Coordinator. I think Mrs Thomas may need to send me on some long haul insets known as holidays to familiarise me with the world…….
With Mrs Wynne, my partner in crime, we produce the J3 & J4 end of term show. We have undertaken the role of organising our annual Junior School Ball, where we can be seen dancing the night away as well as raising lots of money for charity.
I have a young son called Harry (AKA Spiderman) who certainly keeps me busy. Life was hectic before and now it’s manic. However, words cannot describe the joy children bring to your life.
Mrs Yvette Bonfante - Deputy Head - Academic
Mrs Yvette Bonfante – Deputy Head – Academic
Mrs Helen White
Mrs Helen White
I’ve been here long enough to know that MTBS is a dynamic, living and ever changing environment, invigorating for both staff and pupils.
My family has been associated with the traditions of the school for the past 50 years! Teaching must be in the blood and following in my Dad’s footsteps in a roundabout way, I have been specialising in art here for the last 15 or so years as well as working with the J3 and J4 classes.
My parents came to Crosby for their first teaching posts and stayed. I came via Oxford (nursing and BA honours), to Warwickshire (PGCE and first teaching post), to South Africa,( Training Department for a firm of Accountants), to London (same position), to Bristol, (teaching and training department for Hewlett Packard), to Crosby, (redundancy and teaching post).
I think I will be remaining here for a while as my son is very happily settled in the school. I trust that my varied, interesting career makes me a varied and interesting teacher.
My new resolutions are to embrace new experiences, so far, holistic therapies, pony trekking, Sardinia, plus retaining old favourites, book worm extraordinaire, mountain walking and my garden; I must get my bike out again too.
Mrs Amanda Wynne
Mrs Amanda Wynne
After GCSE’s, A levels, swimming the Irish Channel and four great years at Liverpool Hope University I started my grown up life at MTS in 1998 when I was given a Junior 4 class. I was also convinced it would be a good idea to take the role of geography co-ordinator as I thought Tie Rack was near Iraq! (that really is the truth! – PW)
After returning from maternity leave I moved to junior five for two years and have adopted the role of science co ordinator. I am now moving back to Year 4 and am enjoying working with my class.
Along with Mark Whalley I teach swimming in the junior school. I am able to work along side Mrs Rogers organising the J3 and J4 production and we are heavily involved in arranging the annual Charity Ball. In my spare time I enjoy spending time with my husband, our beautiful daughter Poppy Louise, two labradors, cat, pet chickens and ducks. Even though I’ve been married since 2001 I still can’t cook and accidently on purpose forget to put the washing in the machine.
Mr Phil Wardle
Mr Phil Wardle
I then decided to go to Liverpool Hope University College to do an Access Course, followed by a 4 year B.Ed (Hons) course, studying Education and ICT. I surprised myself by achieving a first class honours degree!!
I have been at Merchant Taylors’ since I graduated in 2001. This year I am teaching a Year 6 class (Y6W) and I am really looking forward to having my own class again. I take some responsibility for publicity and marketing in the Junior School, which includes writing much of the jibberish that you read on this website. My degree is in ICT and I teach the subject as my specialist subject.
I am the ‘Grandmaster of the Chessboard’ as I facilitate the Chess Cafe that takes place each Monday lunchtime. This is an opportunity for the boys to play chess with each other – and usually with the addition of some of the pupils from Waterloo Primary School who pop down each week to eat sandwiches, play chess – and have a good chin-wag too.
I have been married to Karen since 1984 and we have two great(ish) kids, Chris works in the Communications Department at Liverpool University and Rebecca, a student primary teacher at Liverpool Hope University. Without them I would be a lot richer, I can tell you!
Mr Joe O'Shaughnessy
Mr Joe O’Shaughnessy
I started teaching at Merchant Taylors’ in January 2010 following my graduation from Liverpool Hope University the previous summer. I have taught years four and five in the past but currently teach the youngest boys in the Junior Boys in year 3.
In the school I coach the football teams as well as other sports like athletics. Many of my class and fellow colleagues will tell you I’m a loyal Bury FC fan. I still cling on to the hope that we will return to the glory days of 1903 & 1906!
I have many interests that keep me occupied, predominantly film, reading and music. I attempt to play golf although this is very much a work in progress!
I have recently got married to the wonderful Jen and we live in Crosby with our two kittens Fred and George.
I would like to think that I’m a hardworking and enthusiastic teacher who will always try to get the most from pupils. I hope the boys are ready for the challenge!
Mr Nick Benbow
Mr Nick Benbow
I left Merchant Taylors’ in 2007 with two A’s and a B and headed straight for the bright(ish) lights of Leeds, where I studied philosophy at the University of Leeds. After three fantastic years playing rugby, socialising and – of course – studying hard, I came out with a 2.1 Honours in 2010.
Just as I was dreaming of the delights of a gap year exploring the mysteries of the world, I was contacted by MTS and offered the chance to make a grand return to the school I had left just three short years ago. I naturally put all ideas of travel on the back burner and returned for one last hurrah as a teaching assistant, helping out on in the classroom and on the sports field where I used to play.
My year at Merchants’ was coming to an end and ideas of travel were once again bubbling up inside me, when I was fortunate enough to be offered the chance to apply for a full teaching position at MTS. It was then that I decided that there might just be another chapter in my MTS story.
I have now completed my PGCS and, from September 2013, I will be teaching Year 5 with Mrs Rogers (whose first class at MTS was my year group!) . I am honoured to have the title of ‘Youngest Member of Staff’ (beating PW by a few months) (just a couple, eh??!! – PW) and have so far found teaching to be a greatly rewarding experience. As an Old Boy and as new teacher, I can honestly say that Merchant Taylors’ is a great place to be!
Miss Rachael Hargreaves
Miss Rachael Hargreaves
I attended St Oswald’s Primary School & Broughton Hall High School Technology College. After my A-Levels I joined JMU to do a degree in Design Technology Key Stage 2/3. I realised during my first year that the course was not the right one for me, so I decided to leave and gain some experience, with the plan of returning after a year!…..
I joined Runnymede St Edwards School, where I spent 4 ½ years working throughout the juniors and in January 2009 I started my job here at Merchant Taylors, providing Learning Support throughout the school. Alongside this I have been studying for a Teaching and Learning Degree on a part time basis.
I am now looking forward to the challenges ahead, teaching a Year 4 class alongside Mrs Wynne.
My hobbies include keeping fit (she needs to with the amount of chocolate she shoves into her mouth – PW) music concerts and shopping till I drop as well as spending time with my family and friends.
Miss Caroline Fraser
Miss Caroline Fraser
Over the next couple of years I worked in commerce; firstly as a Recruitment Consultant in the oil and gas industry and then as an Account Co-ordinator. At the same time, I helped in local schools and also volunteered as a Special Police Constable. I began to realise my future really was in teaching. Last year, I decided to bite the bullet and applied and was accepted onto the Primary PGCE course at Edge Hill University. All the hard work and perseverance certainly paid off and I was thrilled to accept the teaching position at Merchant Taylors’!
I have never been one to sit still; swimming competitively throughout my youth, completing my Gold Duke of Edinburgh Award and latterly taking part in triathlons for pleasure and regularly attending the gym. This is necessary as in my spare time I like to cook and eat chocolate!! (Me too…well eating the chocolate anyway! – PW)
Mr Mark Whalley - Swimming Master
Mr Mark Whalley – Swimming Master
After recovering from a form of polio which had paralysed me for several months I became involved and developed a keen interest in sports during my early years in junior school, not only swimming but also football and Athletics. Always a keen participant, it was actually Athletics where I achieved my best successes, breaking many records in high jump, long jump and 100m.
After O Levels I went on to serve my time as a motor mechanic before realising that lying underneath dripping wet cars in the freezing cold winter was not for me.
I was forced to give up most of my athletics, swimming and football after a freak accident left me with severed ligaments in my mid twenties. After several professions, I went back to studying, but it was a desire to help my own children that led me to want to understand more of the science of sport. I studied anatomy physiology and biomechanics and later Sports Psychology at Newcastle.
By 1993 I was working around 20 hours a week on a voluntary basis with a local swimming club coaching children and had risen to the rank of swimming coach within the Amateur Swimming Association, a member of the Institute of Swimming Teachers and Coaches, and of the British Coaches Association.
My efforts and achievements had been recognised and I was invited to take up a position at Merchant Taylors’ Schools in 1995. Excited at the challenge I gave up a full time job without any hesitation to work here for what was initially only 8 hours a week.
Mrs Angela Hodson - School Secretary
Mrs Angela Hodson – School Secretary
Angela is in the Office from 8:00am – 4:00pm (Fridays 8:00am – 3:30pm). She knows just about everything that’s going on in our junior school and, if she doesn’t know something, she knows someone who does!
Mrs Paula Graham - Learning Support
Mrs Paula Graham – Learning Support
Mrs Graham runs our Learning Support in the Junior School. At the end of the school day she also supervises our Late Room facility.
She is married, lives in Crosby and has two sons, Harry and Jack, both of whom are Merchants’ boys.
Mrs Pauline Rule - Welfare Assistant
Mrs Pauline Rule – Welfare Assistant
Mrs Helen O'Sullivan - Classroom Assistant
Mrs Helen O’Sullivan – Classroom Assistant
Originally from Yorkshire, I studied Chemistry at Nottingham University and then moved to Liverpool to train and work as an accountant.
Fourteen years later I decided to leave work to be a full time mum to my two sons Michael and James. As they are now getting to the age when they are nearly as tall as me I thought (and so did my husband!) that it was time I got back to work. I am very happy now to be a classroom assistant at Merchant Taylors’ Junior Boys’ School (much more enjoyable than accountancy!)
When I’m not at work I’m usually on a windy and rainy touchline watching my sons play rugby and football. Any other spare time is spent walking our dog Dixie, playing tennis or shopping (my favourite pastime!).