160th Anniversary Celebration

King Edward VI Handsworth Grammar School has been celebrating its 160th Anniversary for the past year. The school is technically the oldest Grammar school in Birmingham with a long history of achievement and success. As part of our planning and decision making we liaised with students, staff, governors and trustees as well as specialist companies like Limelight Studios.

As part of our celebrations we have:

  • Enjoyed a celebration lunch for all staff and students.
  • Enjoyed a Birthday Cake.
  • Installed a flag pole which proudly flies the school flag.
  • Installed time capsules representing each year group which are to be opened in 40 years’ time.
  • We have commissioned handmade, bespoke new furniture for Big School which include a table, chairs and lecterns.
  • We have commissioned as a centre piece our new stained-glass window.

The stained-glass window was designed and created by Derek Hunt of Limelight Studios who met with our students and staff as well as taking on board all the suggestions and ideas put forward by School Council et al. The contemporary design is a celebration of the inspirational values of Handsworth Grammar School and captures the school’s long history of teaching students in a caring and uplifting environment, within the local community. The window demonstrates how the school is in and of the community. The central inscription is an excerpt from the poem “Biko the Greatness” by Benjamin Zephaniah who was born in Birmingham and raised in Handsworth.

“The Greatness that inspired educators to become liberators And a nation of children to become great themselves”.

The imagery in the window represents Birmingham through the sky line and Bull, the NHS, our multicultural students both female and male, Remote Learning, Sport, Music, Academic Success, our history and traditions from the Bridge Trust to the King Edward VI Foundation and the poppies represent the blossoming of intellect and knowledge as well as referencing the Fallen Heroes from War.

The window has been made traditionally using handmade techniques including coloured antique glass and lead, with supporting saddle bars and copper ties. All the detailed imagery was hand painted onto the glass and kiln fired. The design is uplifting and celebrates the history and significance of Handsworth Grammar School.

The dedication ceremony took place on Thursday 16th March 2023 and was led by Reverend Dr Robert Stephen, Chair of Governors. I would like to express my deep gratitude to our Charity Trustees who funded this project.

Dr SN Bird.