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.

Brass Ensemble Performance

Services for Education (which runs Birmingham Music Service) offers school across the city the opportunity to perform in their concert series. Our brass band was again invited to perform at the magnificent Concert Hall in the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire. The brass ensemble is comprised of students from year 7 through to year 13. It was wonderful to watch and hear our students working together to produce such high quality music. These students will be performing next at our Summer Concert on July 4th.

 

Click here to view more photos in the gallery.

Year 9 Enterprise Day

On Friday the 19th April, we visited the King Edward’s School in Edgbaston for an event called Enterprise Day. On arrival, along with 13 other King Edward schools, we made our way to their auditorium where an entrepreneur talked about his journey of his role where he started off with a degree in Mechanical Engineering all the way to creating his successful business called Posted Pigeon. The entrepreneur explained key parts of creating a successful business and gave us lots of vital pieces of advice. We then had the chance to ask some questions to gain further insight and learn about his journey.  After the Q&A, we were taken to the dining hall where we had a refreshments break. From there, we were split into groups of 2, and paired up with other schools to form a group of 6. A group from outside of the school came in to talk to us and set us on a mission to design a product that would be pitched to three judges, in the form of a Dragon’s Den. We learned the key parts of the manufacturing of a product, such as financing and production, along with key skills such as teamwork. There was a total of 12 teams and they were all split up into 3 different rooms to pitch their product to their designated Dragons. The product that attracted the Dragon’s the most were put forward into the Grand Finale, and this was where 3 groups would pitch their product in front of all of the judges and share their presentation.  It was an incredible day and it involved teamwork, hard work and it was very engaging.

Balraj Nijjar 9G

Model United Nations

Having attended the KEMUN conference last year, I came into the event this year with high expectations. All of these expectations were surpassed. Having chosen to represent Saudi Arabia, an upgrade from last year’s France, there was some pressure on us to try to balance our country’s conservative Islamic views with their diplomatic Western relations, which had to be compromised in places. From debates on Roe v Wade to the Arab-Israeli conflict every delegate present had utmost professionalism and eloquently presented their views. There was tension at times, but this became light-hearted banter during the lunch breaks! The highlight of KEMUN has to be the General Assembly, where we all got to see the results of our committees and see both avid support and determined opposition from other delegations, though ours was not uninvolved. Overall, KEMUN 2024 was an unforgettable experience. If I had the chance to do Model UN again I would not hesitate, and I would 100% recommend it to anyone.

Sami Zahid Year 13

Cricket Tickets

We have signed up to an initiative called Six4Schools introduced by Birmingham Bears which allows you to buy discounted tickets to the T20 matches at Edgbaston this summer. Details of this initiative are below:

Six4Schools is an initiative by Birmingham Bears which offers adult tickets starting at £13 (normally £25) for their T20 matches this summer when using a discount code unique to the school. U5s are always free and 5-15 year olds £5.

Our school will benefit because for every adult ticket sold, the school will receive £6 back. As an example, if 200 adult tickets are bought using the school’s discount code, we will receive £1200! Any money received through the initiative will be spent on resources to support the education of our pupils. (e.g. computer equipment, sports equipment or subject resources).
It’s a great opportunity for the school and hopefully a chance for you to enjoy the incredible T20 atmosphere at Edgbaston this summer.

To purchase your tickets, follow the instructions below:

  1. Visit: Tickets.Edgbaston.com
  2. At the top of the page enter this promotional code: KEHGSB24
  3. Select the Birmingham Bears fixture you would like to attend this summer (please note the discount only applies to Saturday 8 June and Sunday 14 July fixtures). If you did not enter the promotional code before this can also be done here on the right-hand side of the page.
  4. Select the stand in which you would like to purchase your tickets. U16s must be accompanied by an adult and for every 1 adult ticket sold, 5 U16 tickets may be selected.
  5. Make your payment using your credit/debit card

You will receive your tickets via email.

Careers as Civil Engineers

We were delighted to host two ex-students today who returned to speak about their careers as Civil Engineers.

Mo Mohammed and Usman Ali left HGS six and eight years ago respectively, and studied Civil Engineering at university. They are now both civil engineers working on HS2.

Mo and Usman spoke passionately about their careers and also about the HS2 project. They gave excellent advice to our year 12 students and it was a real pleasure for me to welcome them back to HGS, and to hear how well they had done in their careers.

The photo shows from left to right, Usman, Mr Conway and Mohammed.