‘Big Bang’ Fair

On Thursday 20th June 2024, 30 students from Year 7 went to the ‘Big Bang’ Fair held at the NEC. Students had the opportunity to learn interesting facts during this Science trip. We were able to go around the exhibition hall and get involved with many activities and learn whilst having fun. We watched a show about what careers we could choose in the future, and learn what may suit us through answering a quiz. Alteeb Ahmed said “The trip was interesting and it was fascinating to see all the workshops. I’ve learnt that many careers involve Science.”

Thank you to Mrs Saleem for organising this amazing experience for the students.

Guanghui Li, Year 7

 

Cyber Explorers Success in Computer Science

Congratulations to Alvin Chan (8 Alfred) pictured below, receiving his Cyber Explorers Champion Certificate for completing all levels and missions on the Cyber Explorers learning platform.

Cyber Explorers is the government’s flagship online learning platform, currently teaching Cyber Security skills to more than 60 000 key stage three students across the UK.

Mr King – Head of Computing was approached by the Cyber Explorers team to discuss how our students find the programme and what factors would motivate them to consider a career in Cyber Security.

Please click here to read the full case study.

Summer Concert 2024

All politics is local!

On Tuesday, 4th June 2023, students from Year 10 and 12 were graced with the presence of the ever-exuberant and captivating John Sweeney, investigative journalist, author, and now hopeful Liberal Democrat candidate for Sutton Coldfield. He indulged the attentive audience with a selection of unparalleled experiences, from his time undercover in North Korea to his dealings with the Church of Scientology, while also providing interesting perspectives on global affairs, particularly concerning the ongoing situation in Ukraine and the tyranny of Vladimir Putin (whom he has in fact interviewed and nearly thrown up on as a result of a dodgy kebab—a story he enthusiastically divulged to us). Sweeney managed to maintain a humorous disposition while expertly educating all observers on the harsh reality of life in Russia and the constant pursuit of true democracy through the recounting of multiple ordeals with figures such as Alexei Navalny and even with Ukrainian soldiers who initially mistook him for a Russian spy.

Students and teachers alike were enthralled and therefore asked a range of questions, including those regarding the impact of social media on modern journalism, how former president Donald Trump has maintained seemingly high levels of popularity, and whether there is anything more sinister behind the relationship Russia has with the West, or if the fundamental disagreements between the two societies are so profound that peaceful coexistence may never be an option. Domestic policies were also discussed in depth, as Sweeney’s care for his constituency was displayed through his many ideas, including his desire for red deer to return to Sutton Park—after all, if they were good enough for Henry VIII, they are good enough for us.

Jack Gallagher 12PJO

He discussed the importance of democracy, acknowledging its flaws but emphasizing its value, especially after having experienced life in Putin’s Russia and North Korea. Referencing his time as an MP candidate for Sutton Coldfield, he expressed his frustration with those who choose not to vote. While I always understood the importance of democracy, hearing about his experiences in authoritarian regimes gave this sentiment a whole new depth. John Sweeney was an excellent speaker, and his passion for protecting democracy was evident. While I was somewhat familiar with many of the topics he discussed, his expert knowledge and real-world experience provided a deeper understanding.

Emils Jakubonis 12KOR

Wellbeing Advice – Joyful June

Year 10’s Oxford Dons!

On the 23rd May, 14 year 10 students swapped the industry and bustle of Birmingham for the Cotswold stone and colleges of Oxford. They had an inspirational day chock full of aspiration and great advice from current student guides. The guides armed our students with students with everything needed to make a strong application to a top university. The highlights of the day included a wonderful guest lecture from current PHD student Clare Burgess where the lads excelled in their perceptive questioning and got a chance to showcase their scholarship.  Next we followed in the footsteps of JRR Tolkien and visited the breath-taking Exeter College. In the words of Ethisham Hussain (10N):I learnt a lot from the experience, such as the fact that Oxford University consists of near 40 colleges. The tour of Oxford displayed its long and evident history, as well as the fact that it has also changed with time, and so has maintained its relevance even today, nearly 1000 years since its original founding. The trip has solidified my thoughts of attending a university like Oxford, or potentially even Oxford itself. I thoroughly enjoyed the tour and found it fascinating hearing about the journey from secondary school to Oxford, from Oxford students directly.

 

Visit of Bank of England Deputy Governor Sarah Breeden

On the morning of Friday 10th May, Handsworth was pleased to welcome the Deputy Governor of the Bank of England for Financial Stability, Sarah Breeden. Sarah along with team of economics supremos from Threadneedle Street kindly gave up their morning to inspire and educate our economics students. The talk was an amazing in its insight and ability to vivify and highlight how the theory they learn about in the classroom has real world consequences for all of us and the pounds in our pocket. Sarah also explained how the role of the central bank has changed over time and will continue to change due to themes such as AI, climate change and geopolitical tensions. I have never seen economics students so rapt as when Sarah was explaining how she personally crafted the responses to the run on Northern Rock and the unintended consequences of the Truss mini budget.

The visit also allowed our year 12s to meet and cement relations with fellow students from Aston, Handsworth Girls and Handsworth Wood Girls Academy and it was great to hear Sarah explain how important it was for the Bank to help make economics more diverse. My personal highlight was feeling proud as punch listening to the astute, engaged and thoughtful questions the students asked of Sarah – they grasped the opportunity with both hands. The Bank of England team concurred and were bowled over by the quality of questions from all students. To any readers of this piece I just want to share Sarah’s final and by far most important lessons from her career – be a learn it all not a know it all, be a sponge to those around and civic duty is a virtue rather than a vice.

LAMDA Results

Our latest LAMDA results are below, these are excellent performances from the LAMDA Exams taken at the Birmingham Public Centre in March 2024. Congratulations to all involved and to Mrs Reynolds our LAMDA teacher.

 

Wellbeing Advice – Meaningful May

Instrumental Progress Evening

Forty one students performed to a large, enthusiastic, nearly full Big School at our ‘Instrumental Progress Evening’.  This annual concert is a fantastic opportunity for our budding musicians at the beginning of their instrumental journey to show off their progressing skills.  The majority of performances came from the boys in years 7 and 8, but with a few year 9 boys who have taken up new instruments. We also had the support of a few more experienced year 9 and 10 performers who played in ensembles to support the less experienced beginners.  A grateful shout out to Daniel Alloh in 10 Nelson who supported and performed with the woodwind players as their teacher was not able to attend the concert.

We were favoured by solo performances from Tiziano Pasqualini (saxophone), Oscar Cawsey (piano), Ziona Paulson (Flute), Hritik Bansal (violin), Sukhmandeep Sanghera (Trombone), Glory Anishere (piano), Brandon Sidhu (guitar), Nicholas Bob (violin), Mikael Mahmood (saxophone), Joe Marra (guitar), Sanjeevan Chaggar (piano), Richie Rogers (viola), Sebastian Fernando (trumpet), Alvin Chan (violin), Ziheng Yin (clarinet), Arjun Bagha (violin), Guanghi Li (tuba), Mohammed Zakaria (guitar, and Abel Shane (violin). The evening also included performances by our year 7 guitar ensemble, string ensemble, dhol ensemble, woodwind ensemble and our junior keyboard ensemble.  There was a range of styles and themes throughout the night, with our woodwind team covering much of the repertoire of John Williams film scores. ‘Well done’ to the boys who performed and a big thank you to the teachers and families who work to support their progress.  Our next concert with be the Summer Concert in Big School in July.

Click here to view more photos in the gallery.