Merchant Taylors’ Schools are a famous family of schools based in Crosby, just north of Liverpool. The Senior Boys’ School maintains strong links with the other three schools as many of the boys come up through Stanfield Mixed Infants and the Junior Boys’ School before attending the Senior Boys’ School. Many of them also have friends and sisters at the Junior and Senior Girls’ Schools prior to benefiting from the strong structural, curricular and extra-curricular links that also exist with the Girls’ Schools.
Merchant Taylors’ Boys’ School is an independent, non-denominational, day school for boys aged 11-18: it is one of the leading boys’ schools in the North West and consistently tops the Sefton League Tables for examination results. The School has a strong history and tradition of excellence as well as a reputation for producing well-rounded, successful and happy young men. Many of our ex-pupils go on to enjoy great achievements in whichever career field they choose to enter as well as profiting from the social, pastoral and extra-curricular benefits a Merchants’ education can offer.
Our aim is to produce well-educated and well-rounded young men. The curriculum is broad but also offers the chance to study subjects in depth. We expect pupils to work hard, believing a good education is a voyage of discovery to be enjoyed. Above all, the relationship between boys and staff is friendly and professional.
All our boys are bright but they have different academic needs: some are gifted mathematicians and go on to distinguish themselves in national competitions; others are talented linguists or classicists. Many love science and go on to become doctors or engineers; others love reading and writing, expressing themselves elegantly in poems and essays. Some like the cut and thrust of debate in history and law, whilst others like to work creatively or collaboratively in ICT, art, music and drama.
Curiosity is the key, together with a desire to regularly go the extra mile. By the time they leave our boys should be independent learners, ready for almost anything!
Merchants’ boys work hard and get good results. A positive work ethic, talented teachers and small classes combine with high expectations from parents and staff to produce success year on year. However, the Senior Boys’ School is much more than just about success in the classroom. Our School is a happy, vibrant place, full of energy; ultimately it is the staff and boys who make this a great School.
Mr David Cook
The Schools’ Mission and Aims
Founding motto: Concordia Parvae Res Crescunt – Small things grow in harmony
Merchant Taylors’ Schools’ strapline: The Best Education for Life
Our Mission is:
‘The rigorous pursuit of excellence, within and outside the classroom, combined with a passionate concern for each individual.’
We aim to achieve this by:
a) Encouraging the growth of intellectual curiosity, creativity and independent learning whilst also focussing on examination preparation and success.
b) Recruiting and retaining high quality teaching staff, committed to continual professional development, who have expertise and high expectations of all pupils, who enjoy teaching and learning and who enable pupils to fulfil their academic potential.
c) Providing outstanding pastoral care and ensuring relationships and behaviour within the school are based on mutual respect within a supportive and safe environment.
d) Encouraging the development in each pupil of confidence and compassion, leadership and a concern for others, combined with the growth of resilience and good physical and mental health.
e) Offering excellent facilities and a wide range of extra-curricular activities which enable pupils to participate and to experience competition and collaboration, and which develop character and confidence as well as the enjoyment of artistic, cultural, intellectual and sporting interests.
f) Preparing pupils for life beyond school through an understanding of higher education and career opportunities, a development of collaborative and leadership skills, an understanding of core British values balanced by an appreciation of the diversity of the world and a sense of service and responsibility to the wider community.
g) Working in partnership with the Merchant Taylors’ Girls’ School, with parents and Alumni and the local community, for mutual benefit and support.
Merchant Taylors’ Boys’ School is part of a family of four schools in Crosby, that includes two senior schools, and two junior schools, the first founded in 1620 by John Harrison, a liveryman of the Merchant Taylors Company, in the City of London. His legacy provided the first school building on the current site of Merchant Taylors’ Girls’ School and a long tradition of bursaries and scholarships, allowing boys and girls from a wide variety of backgrounds to benefit from an education at Merchant Taylors’. It also established the broad Christian foundation on which the School is built. Today, Merchant Taylors’ warmly welcomes those of all faiths and none, although broad Christian values still inform and underpin the curriculum and our extra-curricular provision.
We value each pupil as a unique individual and work to ensure that all relationships in the School are based on mutual respect. The ISI Report of 2010 identified excellent pastoral care and highlighted the good relationships between younger pupils and older pupils, and between the staff and the boys. We expect high standards of behaviour, founded on personal responsibility and self-discipline combined with genuine concern and compassion for others.
The outstanding pastoral care offered at Merchant Taylors’ Boys’ School means all students receive carefully considered advice and support at every stage of their school career, tailored to their individual needs and circumstances. All students have a Form Tutor, someone they see at least twice a day, who will listen, advise and encourage them to fulfil their potential and to participate fully in the busy life of the school.
MTBS has a dynamic and creative curriculum ensuring that our boys are prepared for the challenges of the twenty first century. We have maintained our high standards in the ‘hard sciences’, maths and english, but have made progress in the whole area of personalised learning. Increasingly we want our boys to develop an ownership of their own progress and learning; being honest and candid about their performance, and reluctant to accept mediocrity.
Unobtrusive and Strong Pastoral
Care In a school of 600, we know and care for every boy. Each one has a tutor and a head of year. New boys invariably settle in quickly. That doesn’t happen by chance.
Success breeds success
If stories in the national media are to believed, the education of boys is in crisis. Nothing could be further from the truth at Merchant Taylors’! Our boys consistently produce some of the strongest results on Merseyside, and in the North West. At GCSE, our year by year results put us squarely amongst the best schools in the country; at A Level our boys continue to excel.
The School is committed to offering full support for parents and students and as such has developed an online resource that can be used around the clock. The careers service website page provides support and advice for students, and their parents, from Year 9 to Sixth Form.
Whilst our students are always keen to follow traditional careers such as Law and Medicine the School recognises the need to promote other professions with which students may not be too familiar.
To help students make an informed decision we have numerous activities from an Annual Joint Careers Fair, working careers lunches and dinners, questionnaires and careers visits to employability sessions and speakers who discuss specific careers and other options such as a Gap Year and studying in Higher Education abroad.
We are also keen to involve our alumni and parents in this process and use the recognised Merchants’ community network.
History of the School
The Schools were founded in 1620 by John Harrison, citizen and Merchant Taylor of London. The Guild of Merchant Taylors in London is one of the twelve great City Livery Companies that have survived from medieval times. The Merchant Taylors’ Company was originally an association of citizens controlling the craft of tailoring; over the years members’ interests spread into commerce and philanthropy.
Merchant Taylors’ Schools are proud of their historical links to the Company, and still welcome visitors from the Company every year. We are a famous School with an enviable reputation. We are determined to remain true to the guiding principles of our founder: to provide an academic education to pupils from the surrounding area.
Notable Old Boys
Notable Old Boys
Charles James Matthews
Stage Comedian of renown
William Watson Rutherford
Lord Mayor of Liverpool
Lord Mayor of Bootle
John Lawson Walton
Appointed Attorney General 1905
George Edward von Worm Kruger
Designer of the Collar of the Order of the British Empire and silver coinage
Arthur and Frank Witty
Founders of Barcelona FC
Lord Robert Alexander Kennedy Runcie
Archbishop of Canterbury 1979
Author and Broadcaster
Formula 1 and BBC Commentator
International Rugby Player
BBC News Business Correspondent
BBC Chief Political Correspondent
Lord Mayor of Liverpool in the Millennium Year
Alfred James Costain
Member of Costain building dynasty
Guy De Launey
Freelance Broadcast Journalist
Sir Robin Mountfield
Eminent Civil Servant who became permanent Secretary of the Cabinet Office. Also brought Nissan to the UK in the 80s
Sport loving Philanthropist and successful Financial Services Entrepreneur
The Harrison Scholarship is the School’s most prestigious academic award, and is granted to students who meet the demanding GCSE A* tariff set. This tariff is reviewed annually by the Headmaster, but is intended to ensure that awards are reserved for an elite group of high achievers. Indeed, Harrison Scholars have demonstrated outstanding commitment to their studies and very impressive public examination results for generations.
The award of Harrison Scholarship carries with it a modest financial incentive in the form of fee remission but, more significantly, entitles the holder to be presented with the award on Speech Day and earns him a permanent place on the academic honours board housed in the historic Main School building.
Those finishing their Upper Sixth year can also gain an Honorary Harrison Scholarship should they meet the A Level criteria determined by the Headmaster and they have not already been awarded a Harrison Scholarship at the end of their GCSE studies.
For further information on the Harrison Scholarship please contact Mr R A Simpson (email@example.com), Deputy Headmaster Academic.
Merchant Taylors' Company
Merchant Taylors’ Company
Merchant Taylors’ Company is one of the “Great Twelve” Livery Companies of the City of London, and dates from mediaeval times. The 108 Livery Companies trace their roots back to the guilds which developed around the different trades active in the City.
Whilst many of the ancient companies now have only vague links with their original trade, new Livery Companies continue to be formed to this day and serve as ‘guilds’ in the traditional sense. The most recently formed is the Worshipful Company of Security Professionals, which became a Livery Company in February 2008.
Merchant Taylors’ was originally a religious and social fraternity, founded before the beginning of the 14th Century by an association of tailors and ‘linen armourers’ (the latter made the padded tunics or ‘gambesons’ worn under suits of armour.) By virtue of a series of Royal Charters granted from 1327 onwards, the functions of the ‘Gild’ were extended and by the end of the 15th Century it controlled the tailoring trade.
However, the membership ceased over time to be composed of craftsmen, and became dominated by merchants trading with other parts of the world. The nature of the organisation therefore changed to the extent that, by the 17th Century, it had become what it is today – a social and philanthropic association devoting its energy to educational and charitable works, forming part of the fabric of the City of London.
Today’s Company plays a role in three key areas of activity: education, social housing, and charitable grant-making. These, together with investments and social activities (serviced by its world-class catering subsidiary, which is available for private hire), are run by a governing body called the Court, composed of people from industries including finance, law, construction and engineering, with the support of a small professional staff.
Senior members of the Company known as the Livery assist the Court in many of the Company’s activities. One such ‘Liveryman’ was John Harrison, founder of Merchant Taylors’ School, Crosby.
Applications for Membership of the Company are open to all. Young people often apply to join the Company as an ‘apprentice’ between the ages of 14-26, which involves attending Company events and meeting regularly with an existing member of the Company who acts as a mentor. After a period of time, successful apprentices may be admitted to the Company as “Freemen”, at which time they are also eligible to apply for the Freedom of the City of London.
For more information about the Company and its activities, please visit our website: www.merchant-taylors.co.uk
The Coat of Arms
The Company’s present coat of arms was granted by Robert Cooke, Clarenceux, in December 1586. It replaced an earlier grant, of 1481. Below depicts its various components and what they signify.
The 1586 grant introduced camels as supporters. The camels are almost certainly an allusion to the Company’s increased involvement in international trade. The camel symbolised trade with the East. (The Grocers’ arms have a camel as the crest, ie on top of the shield, for the same reason. This crest was granted to the Grocers in 1562.)
The camel was however an established symbol of the Merchant Taylors long before 1586. In the Lord Mayor’s pageant of 1556, when Sir Thomas Offley, merchant taylor, was Lord Mayor, the Company paid 4s 2d for the man “that rode upon the camyll”, and £1 more for camel hire.
This is a secularized version of the Holy Lamb in the 1481 grant, which itself alluded to the Company being the Fraternity of St John the Baptist.
This is the English Royal lion, the lion of England. It is both a traditional heraldic charge on coats of arms, and also echoes the Company’s royal charter/ royal patronage of 1503, which re-named it “Merchant Taylors”.
In fact there is one tent, and two mantles. These are copied from the earlier grant. The two mantles symbolise the tailors’ craft. In the earlier grant of 1481, the pavilion/tent echoed the crest in that grant (changed in 1586). This crest showed the Blessed Virgin sitting under a tent, working on the seamless coat for which the soldiers cast lots after the Crucifixion. When the crest was simplified in 1586, the pavilion/tent on the shield remained. There may also be an echo from the history of the Company, though the Heralds have left no record of what they were thinking when they designed the shield in 1481: the man who bought the site of the Hall and gave it to the Company, John Yakesle, was Edward III’s pavilion-maker. Although the details of what he did for the Company are very obscure, the Company certainly regarded him as one of its great benefactors.
This information has kindly been provided by Stephen Freeth, who is the Merchant Taylors’ Company Archivist.
Membership of IBSC and Boy Friendly Teaching
At Merchant Taylors’ Boys’ School we are aware that boys and girls do not always learn in the same way. It has long been known that a single sex education at both Junior and Senior levels provides increased focus for boys and girls, however it also ensures that the classroom environment, interaction between pupils and staff, and approaches to teaching and learning can be tailored for both genders. This ensures that each individual is offered surroundings in which they feel comfortable, capable, challenged and provided for, benefitting both boys and girls.
In general, girls develop earlier than boys, and this developmental difference extends to the brain as well as the body. At Merchant Taylors’ Boys’ Schools, we take into account all that we know about how boys think, feel and learn, in order to help each one reach their full potential.
How do boys learn?
Sensory differences in boys
In general, we know that:
- Boys respond well to primary colours.
- Boys respond to visual clues and movement.
- Boys like direct statements not facial expressions – boys sometimes cannot read the cues.
- Girls are better at hearing higher pitched and softer sounds. A teacher or parent with a soft voice can be difficult for a boy to hear. We know it is also best to make sure boys can see the face of the person who is talking to them.
- Young boys tend to speak loudly and emphasis at MTBS, especially in the Junior School, is placed on learning appropriate noise levels for the situation as well as turn-taking.
- Boys do not necessarily have as well-developed verbal skills as girls and often need time for a question to register and to find the right words. We know that if a boy is pausing for thought; it’s normal, it doesn’t mean he doesn’t know the answer.
- The stereotype is that boys don’t touch each other in the same way that little girls, for example, might hold hands. Boys do touch but it is generally in the form of wrestling, punching and pushing. Schools need to allow a certain amount of rough and tumble play and provide a safe environment.
- We encourage all our boys to be active. Vigorous exercise mean boys are able to manage a more controlled classroom environment.
Very young boys will often need teachers/parents to give them the vocabulary to describe how they feel, for example, a boy who is trying to build a tower may need the suggestion: “It must be frustrating when you can’t make the blocks stand up”
Boys & Aggression
We make sure that all our boys know that it takes more skill to solve an argument without fighting. We teach them:
- Stop when the other person says stop.
- If something hurts, you are to say stop.
- Stopping or asking to stop does not make you a wimp.
Boys prefer matter of fact treatment and like to be involved in the decision-making of how to deal with a situation.
Humour helps defuse potentially confrontational situations with boys. They are likely to become confrontational when accused of shortcomings in front of others.
Competition & Co-operation
Research has shown that, for boys, competition helps academic performance. This can mean that boys like direct competition with each other, indirect competition with themselves and their own targets and personal bests, or in groups or teams: ‘co-operative competition’.
Merchant Taylors’ engages boys in the learning process by using indirect and co-operative competition.
What do we know boys like?
3) To know you like them/care
4) Hands-on learning
5) Short, direct instructions
7) Rough & Tumble play
8) Taking risks
10) Male role models
Dr Abigail Norfleet James, world-renowned teacher and expert on gender-based learning, spent two days at Merchant Taylors’ Boys’ Schools meeting pupils, staff and parents. This was her view of the schools:
“Merchant Taylors’ Senior and Junior Boys’ Schools are successful because they are using interactive and exciting learning strategies designed to meet boys’ needs. The boys are so lucky to have teachers who understand how they learn”.
ISI Inspection Report 2016