Wellbeing Advice – Active April

Morocco Trip

This term a group of Y10 and Y11 had the opportunity to practise their speaking skills and broaden their cultural knowledge of the French-speaking world during a 5-day trip to Morocco. From the busy souks of Marrakesh and the lively Jemaa El-Fna, to the sand dunes and camel rides in Essaouira, students have had a journey filled with new experiences before taking in the breath-taking views from the most beautiful hotel up in the Atlas Mountains.

We have had the most amazing time in Morocco and have made life long memories of such an enriching cultural experience.

Click here to view more photos in the gallery.

Competition for Biotechnological Inventions

The science department selected 18 students from years 7, 8 and 9 to complete a research project. The Leta Stetter Hollingworth Competition for Biotechnological Inventions was created by University of Birmingham student Alex Ercsei and organized by Mr Hussain.

The students were tasked to look within the Bioscience field to identify a problem faced by humans or other organisms. They would need to research and design a solution, whilst also explaining how it would benefit us all.

The students delivered some excellent presentations on nanotechnology, genetically modified plants, algal based biofuels, vaccines to prevent bioaccumulation and viruses programmed to treat bacterial infections etc.

All students participating did an amazing job and left the expert panel of judges speechless. Thank you to Dr Juliet Cotes and Mr Ahmed for judging and wishing Alex the best of luck in her journey into teaching.

Full list of participants:

Winning Group:

Kieran Hay 8W

Ashfak Nasif 8W

Mohammed Zaman 8W

Click here to view their Biodiversity Pitch Presentation.

Lessons from Auschwitz Project

At the start of the day, I didn’t know what to expect from the trip to Auschwitz because there is nothing that I could relate it to. Nothing I knew could prepare me for the day which, in a way, made it scary. I think this also points to the fact that the events of the Holocaust seem so inhumane and unnatural that even visiting a site where it took place just over half a century after feels unlike anything.

The day started with a short visit to the Polish town of Oświęcim which was what many know as Auschwitz due to its German translation. It was an interesting first stop which gave us an insight on pre-war life for Jewish people.

After this we went to the Auschwitz concentration camp which was a profound experience. We were given a tour around different buildings in the camp. We were shown rooms with personal belongings, human hair and individual stories which all belonged to victims of the camp. One of the final and most memorable stops was in the room with the ‘book of names’ which I expected to be a big book that could be picked up and looked at but instead it was a double-sided wall of pages the same height as me. I think this was the room I remembered the most because it really put the whole thing into perspective. I knew that millions of people died during the Holocaust, but I had never stopped to think about what millions of individual human lives really looked like and so the book of names really shocked me.

The final stop of the day was the camp of Birkenau which some refer to as Auschwitz 2. This is where the famous picture of the train tracks into the ‘gates of death’ was taken. Birkenau really highlighted the Nazi mistreatment of their mostly Jewish prisoners with them being given animal-like conditions to sleep in. The day finished with a service from a Rabbi who was with us which was very moving and I think it was a solemn yet hopeful way to end the day.

Ben Whiteoak – 12KOR

 

 

Even though millions of people lost their lives to the genocide, sometimes it can be easier to leave these events in the past, move on with life and heal the trauma of the incidents with time. However, the lessons of the Holocaust must be taught today as hate and prejudice (foundations of this ethnic cleansing) are still ever-present. The Holocaust highlighted the damning ramifications of permitting hatred of other cultures, religions and livelihoods to grow, leading to the dehumanisation of entire groups of people. For these 17 million people, their hopes, dreams and ambitions were to be unceremoniously lost in their ashes and their entire livelihoods were to be forgotten behind a numerical digit, a death toll.

Something that stuck with me, from the visit to Auschwitz, were the words of Rabbi Marcus. Often people question where God was during such harrowing events but he points towards humans. “Where was MAN?”, he exclaimed. That question is an uncomfortable one. At the end of the day, these murderers were… people. They had families they returned home to, probably played football on weekends and enjoyed drinks with friends. Yet, these are the same people who unleashed 56 tons of Zyklon-B gas on innocent men, women and children. Perhaps this highlights how unchecked hatred can grow, spread and become all-consuming. Maybe this shows that society’s differences are to be embraced, not to break it apart. But certainly, the Holocaust demonstrates that if we don’t live in harmony, if we let intolerance prevail, many will suffer.

Therefore, in current times of an increase in different forms of discrimination together with conflict around the world, it is crucial, now more than ever, to set aside our differences and come together to live happily alongside one another and ensure that such events of the past never happen again.

Shrey Kapoor – 12PSK

Coventry City FC Academy New Signing

Everyone here at KEVI HGS would like to congratulate Lucas Daniels (8N) for his successful recent signing by Coventry City FC Academy.

We all wish him the best of luck with his journey at Coventry City FC Academy and his football career moving forward.

Strictly Talk Shakespeare Grand Final

As our Shakespeare season draws to an end, we have had a fantastic final of all of the year group winners who performed speeches from a range of the Bard’s plays.

The recitals were judged by a “celebrity” panel, made up of Mr Kafai, Mrs Harvey and Ms Cutler.

The scores were Ayaan Badre (10 W), 22

Mikaeil Syed (7N), 25

David Daniel (9A), 26

Shrey Kapoor (12 PSK) 27

Oliver Green (12JHI), 29

Sami Khan (8G), 30

Michael white (11W), 30.

So, our joint “Strictly Talk Shakespeare” winners are Sami Khan and Michael White.

 

African and Caribbean Society Conference

African and Caribbean Society Conference – King Edward’s School, 23rd March, 2024

We started the day with a warm welcome for our hosts and a talk about the gist of the conference. We listened to an opening talk where the hosts talked about their experiences of being part of an Afro-Caribbean heritage themselves. We were asked to describe ourselves in three words: our past selves, present selves, and what we wished our future selves to be like. We were given the opportunity to express ourselves freely to everyone (I for one expressed myself that’s for sure).

Following the introduction, we listened to the first guest speaker; Mr. Wade Lyn. He was an ambitious person; the first black High Sheriff of the West Midlands – an honorary role! Although, before this, I hadn’t the slightest clue that that role existed! He was truly inspirational nonetheless and proved to us that despite our age, or where we come from “opportunity can come at any time.” (Those were his exact words just so you know). After that, we had group discussions between the audience and the hosts. After that, another guest speaker, Dr Pogus Caesar spoke to us about his extraordinary career as a conceptualist artist. He had many awards and many of his works were put in prestigious galleries and museums. He taught us that even from a tough background where people may not believe in your dreams, you can make them work.

Next, we had a networking task, and this was remarkably interesting (to me at least). We were given target subjects we discussed with people we didn’t know before. We talked about topics such as code-switching, micro-aggressions, and culture. This allowed us to engage with others to see their sides of their stories and their differences.

This was followed by a panel discussion with five panelists: Hannah Joseph, Sophia Bréchon-Smith, Stuart Lawrence, Celia Fraser, and Garry Stewart. We were allowed to ask them questions about their experiences, being part of an Afro-Caribbean heritage themselves. All the panelists were truly influential and gave us extensive replies to all our questions. However, the clear favorites of most people asking questions were Celia Fraser and Stuart Lawrence. Celia Fraser taught us that if things don’t necessarily go your way, you can still be successful. Stewart Lawrence also taught us many things, such as being open-minded but not blind-sighted by negative things, listening to others’ ideas as you will learn something new, and bringing out the best of yourself no matter the circumstances. All the other panelists taught everyone different things, and anything could be learned from their thriving life stories and ambitions toward their goals.

To conclude the ACS Conference was candidly an impactful event which helped show the beauty of Afro-Caribbean cultures and how following your dreams and aspirations will take you a long way.

Daniel Alloh, 10N

GCSE Science Live Trip

On Monday 26th February 2024, twenty Year 10 students embarked on a visit to the annual GCSE Science Live, an enriching presentation orchestrated by expert scientists with the intention of inspiring students to fulfil their potential. We arrived at Symphony Hall in the heart of Birmingham at 10 am sharp and were guided into the magnificent hall which housed over 2000 student coming from schools all over the country to hear these extraordinary scientists. After being provided with booklets which contained everything there was to know about the program, the show began with renowned biologist Professor Robert Winston, a man who was a part of the team involved with the invention of IVF in humans. He enlightened us all with his expertise in reproductive physiology and by the end of his performance, we were enriched with knowledge that could only be sourced from the best of the best. It was an amazing thing to hear from a person whose profession revolved around the very thing we study!

Next up was Dr Anna Ploszajski, an award-winning materials scientist and author of the popular Science book ‘Handmade’. Her talk was all about the amount of Science gone into the production of each and every man-made object in order to make it as suited to its function as possible. She told us her story about swimming the English Channel and made sure to explain all the Science behind her preparation to get through this astonishing feat. In addition, she gave us a memorable quote that helped her throughout her impressive journey – “The greatest view comes after the greatest climb”. This taught us specifically that when we try our free hardest, we will achieve the greatest outcome. After we finished listening, we were given a 15-minute break where we could have a walk around and purchase any snacks or drinks.

After the break, we were greeted by Dr Hannah Critchlow, an expert in Science communication and a scientist named one of Cambridge University’s inspirational and successful women in Science. Her knowledge-rich talk told us all about the human brain and delved us deep into the world of neuroscience, the fascinating study of the brain. I had the opportunity to ask her a question and impressively it stumped her! She was highly educated nonetheless and taught us effective ways to increase brain activity.

Following on, we had our long-awaited lunch and enjoyed some hearty meals before returning to the hall where we were met by theoretical physicist Professor Jim Al-Khalili, presenter of many famed Science documentaries and host of a weekly BBC Radio 4 program. He gave us an insight into theoretical physics and introduced us to the possibility of real time travel using the speed of light, a puzzling but enticing topic. It was here our knowledge of anything beyond Earth was boosted and it was a very enjoyable presentation.

Lastly, we were paid a visit by Chief Examiner Stewart Chenery, a man who informed us of all the do’s and don’ts of exams and taught us all about command words in test papers and how to structure exam answers. He also covered how the Sciences are tested and introduced us to some very essential revision techniques. This was really useful as we have all now been taught on how to approach our exams question by Chief Examiner himself! Soon after this, our day of learning came to an end as we all made our ways home feeling dejected that it was over but blessed that we had experienced this absolute gift of a program. It allowed us to explore new areas of Science that were previously unknown to us and gave us the opportunity to truly see the beauty of Science and how it shapes our world

Written by Adnan Wais (10G) and Daniel Alloh (10N)

Wellbeing Advice – Mindful March

Under 14 Premier League Tournament at St George’s Park

Well-done to Arijus Ahmadian (9G), who was awarded with a fantastic opportunity to represent Birmingham City Football Club Academy in a Premier League Tournament at St George’s Park. This is the English Football Association’s national football centre, built on a 330-acre site at Burton upon Trent, Staffordshire. The site boasts no less than 14 elite outdoor pitches, including an exact replica of the Wembley surface, a full-sized Indoor 3G and a futsal arena. The tournament provided Arijus with invaluable experience, playing in a competition against some prestigious Premier League Football Academies and he was also given some expert training advice from the attending Premier League coaches.