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Birkdale School

Birkdale School
Motto Res Non Verba
"Deeds Not Words"
Established 1904
Type Independent school
Religion Christian
Head Master Paul Owen
Deputy Head Master Nicholas Pietrek
Founder Maurice Asterley
Location Oakholme Road
South Yorkshire
S10 3DH
DfE number 373/6005
Staff ~200
Students ~1,000 pupils (inc. Prep School)
Gender Male, coeducational 6th Form
Ages 4–18
Houses Griffiths, Asterley, Hall and Heeley.
Colours Red     , Dark Blue     
Publication The Birkdalian
Former pupils Old Birkdalians
Partner Schools Peace Garden School, Nepal

Birkdale School is a Christian independent school for boys aged 4-18 in the city of Sheffield, South Yorkshire in England, and is a member of the Headmasters' and Headmistresses' Conference. Since 1995 girls have been admitted to the Sixth Form.


  • History 1
  • Buildings 2
  • Houses 3
  • The Birkdalian 4
  • Administration 5
  • Sport 6
  • Head Masters 7
  • Nepal 8
  • Notable alumni 9
  • References 10


Birkdale was founded in 1904 by the Maurice Asterley as a preparatory school for boys between the ages of 4 and 13 to provide a [1] The school moved in 1915 to the Oakholme building under Griffiths' leadership (1909–1939).

At the start of the [1] The Westbury building was purchased in 1946 from Thomas Cole of Cole Brothers (now John Lewis) to allow for the continued expansion of the school. The Endcliffe building on Endcliffe Crescent was purchased in 1975 with the Grayson and Johnson Buildings following later to create the current school and campus.

The period of greatest growth within the School was overseen during the tenure of the M. D. A. Hepworth, Head Master from 1983 to 1998. More recently, an extension of the Grayson Building was built to house the Sixth Form common room and an extension was also built on the back to allow space for the Modern Languages department and additional science laboratories. The Octagon, a music practice room designed to amplify sound was added to the original Oakholme Building in 1989. As part of a major building project, which saw the construction of a large sports hall over the site of an outdoor swimming pool, the Caxton building was built to house the DT and IT departments. The science labs and Heeley Hall were built recently.


The Johnson Building

Birkdale has seven main buildings: Johnson Building, Grayson Building, Endcliffe Building, Oakholme Building, Westbury Building, and Science Block.


There is a House system employed at Birkdale, four in total, each named after old Head Masters. In the senior school, each house consists of a House Master who is a member of faculty, a House Captain who is a member of sixth form, and a dozen House Prefects also from the sixth form, chosen by faculty. Their roles consist of holding house assemblies and organising house events.

House Name Named After
Asterley Maurice Asterley 1904–09
Griffiths Alban Griffiths 1909–39
Hall John Hall 1963–83
Heeley Howard Heeley 1943–63

The Prep School has a slightly different house system, with a house dedicated to J.G. Roberts, Head Master 1933 - 43, and one to the family of Sir John Osborn, Conservative MP for Sheffield Hallam 1959 - 1987, of Osborn House, the current site of the Preparatory School.

The Birkdalian

The Birkdalian has, since the mid-twentieth century, been the school magazine. Currently published once a year late in the Christmas term it provides an account of a year in the life of the school. Articles are written by staff and pupils and edited by a small group of staff and senior pupils.


The current Head Master is Paul Owen, who took over the role from R. J. Court in September 2010 after 12 years. Previously he was the Academic Deputy at Wellington School in Somerset. The current Deputy Head is Nicholas Pietrek. The previous Deputy Head Master was Alastair Gloag, from King's School, Gloucester (now head at Rishworth School). He replaced Andrew Johnson, who left at the end of the Summer Term 2006 for the post of Head Master at Stonyhurst College.


Badminton at Birkdale School

The school's sporting facilities include playing fields at Castle Dyke, located on the outskirts of Sheffield. On campus the school has a sports hall and an attached gym.

During the 2007–08 school year, the U16 Rugby team reached the national quarter final of the Daily Mail Vase.[2]

Head Masters

Head Master Years Active
1900s 1910s 1920s 1930s 1940s 1950s 1960s 1970s 1980s 1990s 2000s 2010s
Maurice Asterley   1904–09  
Alban Griffiths   1909–39  
J. G. Roberts   1939–43  
Howard Heeley   1943–1963  
John Hall   1963–83  
The Rev'd Michael Hepworth   1983–98  
Robert Court   1998–2010  
Dr Paul Owen   2010–


Peace Garden School, Nepal

As part of the school's charity projects it has developed strong links with some institutions in and around Kathmandu in Nepal. Most notable are the Peace Garden School, for which the school has helped raise money for a new school building, and a leper colony on the outskirts of Kathmandu, where Birkdale is helping to build new facilities and a new school. Money has also been granted to other schools to help purchase equipment or develop facilities.

As with other school charity projects, the money is raised through charity events and fund-raisers (as opposed to taking it from the school accounts). Since the year 2000, trips have been run once a year to Nepal for pupils and teachers. These involve volunteer work teaching or otherwise working at the schools and leper colony as well as a trek in the Annapurna region and a visit to the Chitwan jungle. The trips are considered crucial in maintaining strong personal links with contacts in Nepal, and helping charitable funds to be focused effectively.

As well as links with Nepal, the school has begun to form links with J. E. B. Stuart High School in Virginia, USA, following on from a teacher exchange.

Notable alumni


  1. ^ a b "Birkdale School - Actions not Words" (PDF). Birkdale School. Retrieved 26 May 2013. 
  2. ^ Sheffield Telegraph, 25 January 2008
  3. ^ Guide to Independent Schools, 2005
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