Staff farewells – May 2015

Mr Steven Capstick

On behalf of all the 100s of staff and 100s of students who have been part of Helsby High School since 1997, I would like to say a big thank you to Mr Capstick.

Mr Capstick joined Helsby as Deputy Head Teacher 18 years ago.  It was his 4th Cheshire school after Knutsford, Neston and Lymm.

Since then Mr Capstick has been a valued and supportive colleague.  He is genuinely interested in other people and always looks to seek the best in people.  In his dealings with staff and students he is always balanced, fair and considered.

Across the school Mr Capstick has always been visible out and about, talking and listening to young people.  He always has the interest of the whole school community at his heart.

I know he will be really missed in the History department and across the school.

On behalf of everyone, I would like to wish Mr Capstick a long and happy retirement and best wishes to the Trotters (Bolton Wanderers) on the golf course!

I would also like to say thank you and best wishes to Mr P Conn.  Mr Conn has covered two periods of maternity cover in our Modern Languages department and has been a part of a number of visits and exchanges during that time.  We all wish Mr Conn well for the future.

We also wish Mrs B Hunter well as she starts her maternity leave.

I would like to wish everyone associated with Helsby High School an enjoyable May half term break.

Mr John Dowler


Thanks for the memories.

The Hornets- Year 7 Team- 1962


Terence O Neill (1959-1966)

During the days we had the 11+ only 2 boys from Helsby passed at the time, myself and Dave Wood (Team captain- with ball).  I am 4th from the right, on the back row.

As you can see Dave is a sprightly lad and I’m much bigger, hence he was a back and I was a prop.

The very first time we had rugby games with Alan Pickering (Head of PE) it was on the 1st XV pitch which ran up and down next to the tennis courts, so anyone in class could always see the games going on.

The first time Dave got the ball he ran through us all and scored so Picko lined us all up all the goal line and gave us a right dressing down.

The next time Dave got the ball he did exactly the same thing and scored again.

This time Picko lined us up again but, this time made us all bend over and whacked us with the knotted cord he had on his whistle.

Needless to say, Dave wood never scored again and I will forever be thankful that it made me such a good tackler.

I later took over as Captain and played in the back row, see photo The Colts (Year 9’s)-1966, and played for the County Colts on tour in Northumbria and playing on the Gosforth stadium

John Kelly (1961- 1968)

We played competitively on Saturday Mornings against various other Schools and teams, such as Ellesmere Port, Wade Deacon, Upholland,  Cardinal Allen (Liverpool), Hillfoot Hey (Liverpool), Chester Veterans, and in 7’s competitions against other Cheshire Schools.  We also had Inter-House competitions between the four ‘Houses’ of the School.

There were various teams depending on the year you were in at school. The 4th year (Year 10 ) were the Colts, the 1st Year (Year 7)were  the Hornets and the 5th and 6th Year were the 1st and 2nd teams. We also played in the Cheshire Schools Sevens Competition and in 1968 it was held at Birkenhead Park RUFC and I think we won but as the bar was open I only have hazy recollections of that.

Martin Smiddy (1963-1970)

Our first 2 lessons were boxing. Picko gave gloves out at random for 2 x 2 minute rounds. The ring was made up with four gym benches.

Our 1st Year games (Year 7) were rugby with “Gobber Noonan” (Chemistry Teacher) and “Tub” Jones (Chemistry Teacher). Gobber got his name from thumbing kids who missed tackles.

The Colts (Year 10’s)- 1966


4th and 5th Year (Year 10/11)- 1966


First XV (6th Form Team) 1966


6th Form Sevens Team- 1967


Helsby High School Year 11’s (2010-2015)


If anyone has any other memories you would like to share play email


Mr Callaghan

English Schools Athletics County Round Results.

On Tuesday 12th May four Helsby athletics teams travelled to Victoria Park, Warrington to compete in the first round of the ESAA track and field cup against schools from all over Cheshire.

There were many notable individual performances despite the poor weather; Charlie M had the highest score for the Inter Girls in her two events with 31 points, Skye M led the Junior Girls with 33, Luke S scored 35 for the Inter Boys whilst Harvey C was the high scorer for the Junior Boys with 45.

The Junior Boys’ team produced the best overall team performance scoring 370 points which was the highest in Cheshire and second highest in the North-West. This means that with some hard work they have a good chance of winning Round 2 and reaching the National Finals to be held at Bedford in July.

Team results:

Inter Girls – 4th

Junior Girls – 3rd

Inter Boys – 3rd

Junior Boys – 1st

Detailed results can be found at:

Amazed by Science.


Amazed by Science is a Cheshire-wide festival focusing on science, technology, engineering and maths in one of the most science rich areas of the United Kingdom. The core aim of Amazed by Science is to capture children’s imaginations and excite families about science in Cheshire.

With over 100 events, the festival will take place during half term week from 23rd to 31st May 2015 in many locations across Cheshire.

A few exciting highlights of Amazed by Science 2015 include:

-The return of CBeebies Jess French at Chester Zoo

– Coding workshop; an interactive and creative workshop, learning how to use simple code, chipboards, fruit and other conductive objects to make music!

-A full day of hands-on science in Crewe including an Audio Assault Buggy, and the ever popular free Air Products Science Show at Crewe Lyceum, celebrating the International Year of Light.

-Join the team at Tatton Park for a host of events to explore how science is helping maintain and conserve Tatton Park’s historic, built and natural features.

-Meet the experts at Jodrell Bank with a Space Science Special, discovering their work with some of the world’s most amazing telescopes.

-Former TV presenter Johnny Ball, and his ‘Funtastic Maths’, who will take children on a journey through the history of mathematics showing how everyone is capable of genius… and much much more!

As well as all this there will be competitions and interactive activity on social media- now using #juniorgenius as the twitter handle and @amazedbyscience and Amazed by Science on Facebook.

The new website is now available and includes up to date information of all activities and locations during the week.

Kindest Regards

Nick Brown, Head of Partnerships, Marketing Cheshire

My Bronze Duke of Edinburgh Award.


My DofE experience was a very fun but a challenging experience. As I had never done anything like this before I was keen to see what new challenges I would be faced with. I had to learn to improve my confidence in various ways, but most importantly, the confidence in myself. I learnt so many new skills and made some new friends in the process. Doing the DofE gave me the boost of confidence I needed to be able to do things for myself and become more independent.

There were many obstacles that I had to overcome during my DofE but having the support of my friends and the leaders meant that I was able to enjoy the experience. The best part of the DofE for me was the friendships that I made. The friends I made helped me not only make this experience enjoyable but helped me to believe that I was capable of doing this. I really enjoyed the experience and would recommend it to anyone who enjoys a challenge.


School Skirts.

As you may be aware we are currently conducting a review of girl’s skirts. This is as a result of parent, community, student and staff feedback.  As part of the review we are gathering parental and student voice.  This started last week as senior members of staff went into all assemblies to discuss the matter openly and honestly with the female pupils.  Moving forward this has been an incredibly useful opportunity for key pastoral staff to discuss the matter with students.  A high proportion of students in a range of year groups thoroughly understand the issue and have maturely shared with us their thoughts about how to address this matter.  It has also been useful to have parental feedback including suggestions for the future.  All this information is crucial to the review and we appreciate the support that has been given. The next step is to complete the review which will include clear defined guidance for parents, students and staff before the end of the academic year.  This will also include suggested suppliers of skirts other than our uniform shop.  If you have any feedback or thoughts on this matter we would gladly welcome any further parental voice.  Please email this directly to Ms C Simmonds, Key Stage Leader at


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