Pupils grill Liverpool legend Phil Thompson for media project

Published on: Wednesday, 12-March-2014

Budding journalists and movie makers from Kirkby High School met Liverpool FC and England legend Phil Thompson as part of a media project to learn more about the area's history. 

The pupils also interviewed older members of the local community for a documentary film called 'Kirkby The New Town' which is being produced by Bootle-based SAFE Productions.

It is being supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund and is exploring the area's growth as part of a community project.

Assistant head teacher Karen Soper said the pupils were enthralled by the tales they heard.

"Phil Thompson was a pupil at Brookfield High School which was a forerunner to Kirkby High School and was based on the same site," she said.

"He stressed how everything that happened to him growing up in Kirkby informed him in his adult life and his football career.

"When he joined Liverpool, he tried to do everything perfectly, such as cleaning the players' boots, and eventually the management saw this quality in him and gave him a contract.

"The pupils were inspired by his answers which reinforced a sense of pride about coming from Kirkby."

Ms Soper said the pupils also interviewed and filmed older members of the community, all of whom had moved to Kirkby either as children or with their own young families.

The students, from Eastcroft, Millbrook and Kirkby Church of England primary schools, as well as from Kirkby High School, learned how Kirkby had changed over the decades.

A series of workshops have taken place over the past six weeks at Kirkby High School with the documentary due to be completed in late summer after which a premier screening will be hosted for those involved.

It will then be posted online and feature in an exhibition at the Liverpool Life Museum.

Headteacher Bill Leyland said the filming was a great success and showcased the broad range of projects the school runs outside of the classroom.

He said: "We are keen to offer pupils as many opportunities as possible to get involved in projects which are a little bit different, while improving student confidence and ambition.

"So it was great to welcome in youngsters from three different primary schools who could be joining Kirkby High School in the future.

"We are also very grateful to SAFE Productions for offering the Year 9 students the chance to learn more about film making and inspire the next generation of broadcasters and directors. We must also thank Phil Thompson, who spoke to the children brilliantly and gave up a lot of his time.

"We would encourage parents to see our facilities and strong ethos at Kirkby High and learn for themselves what the school can offer."