20 October 2021

Birkenhead School is delighted to announce the appointment of Mr Rule as Head of Middle School. 

I was appointed as Head of Year 10 in 2013, having spent a year shadowing the previous occupant of the role, Mr Parry. Pastoral care is an area of education that I have always been interested in and, despite teaching almost exclusively students of A Level, I have been fortunate enough to be placed as a Form Tutor with Key Stage 4 during my time at the School. These are formative years, and a strong pastoral input can make a huge difference in the development of mature and resilient young men and women. I was Head of Year 10 for the following five years before rotating between Years 9, 10 and 11 thereafter. I have managed to gain considerable pastoral experience during this time and have worked with many excellent and dedicated Form Tutors.  

The role of Head of Middle School has been driven by the growing number of students in the school. In September the first four years of Senior School will average over 80 students per year and ‘Middle School’ will be the largest ‘section’. We currently have a Head of Overdale and a Head of Sixth Form, so this position was the next logical step. The appointment was also made to reinforce the School’s commitment to excellent pastoral care. I will oversee the work of the Heads of Years 9, 10 and 11 and help them to support the needs of our students in a way that is consistent throughout their GCSE years. With a firm but fair approach, I try to treat the students as maturing young men and women. It is important to recognise that students do make mistakes and close pastoral intervention and early communication are key to a student’s developmental journey. Being a presence around School and proactive in dealing with issues is central to ensuring that students are well cared for and supported.  

Part of my role is the monitoring of student performance and coordinating of academic interventions. I will be working closely with Heads of Departments and the Academic Deputy Head to ensure that students are given the best opportunities to meet their potential. With the help of our Futures Team, I will also be looking to provide early guidance to support students on to the next stage of their educational journey. This will often involve A Levels at our 6th Form and robust applications to universities, but in some cases, students may need additional help to plan out an alternative route.  

I am hoping to develop a Leadership Team in Year 11, which will allow students to take a more active role in shaping the School, as well as providing crucial role modelling for younger members of the school community. The J. P. Hargreaves Diploma will also fall under my supervision now and I look forward to seeing increasing numbers of students completing this in the years ahead.  

I am excited by the challenges that this new role presents, and I am dedicated to developing further the excellent levels of pastoral care, student behaviour and academic performance, on which the School prides itself.