Senior Prefects – Statements
“As the Senior Prefect team, we would like to take this opportunity to welcome you to our school. We are very excited to inform you of the new developments and changes taking place here at Handsworth Grammar School. The Sixth Form has a brand new, state of the art building built to facilitate more hard working and intelligent students like yourself. Together with your ideas and suggestions this exciting new space will provide you with the opportunity to develop yourself as well as study for those crucial exams.”
Abdulrehman Shaker – Head Prefect
As I sit down to pen my experiences as the Head Prefect of this extraordinary institution, I am filled with an overwhelming sense of gratitude and nostalgia. For the past seven years, this school has been my second home, shaping me into the person I am today. From the moment I set foot on this honoured ground as a wide-eyed eleven-year-old to assuming the prestigious role of Head Prefect, this journey has been nothing short of awe-inspiring.
To truly understand the wonders of this school, one must immerse themselves in its vibrant tapestry of experiences. Whether it’s the spirited inter-house competitions that ignite a sense of camaraderie amongst students or the stimulating classroom discussions that broaden our horizons, every facet of this institution is designed to nourish the mind, body, and spirit. We are not just taught subjects; we are encouraged to think critically, question the status quo, and embrace diversity.
What sets this school apart is the unwavering commitment of our dedicated teachers, whose passion for teaching extends far beyond the confines of the classroom. They inspire us to dream big and reach for the stars, nurturing our talents and instilling in us a thirst for knowledge. It is their unwavering belief in our potential that empowers us to break barriers and achieve greatness.
As I reflect upon my journey, I can confidently say that this is a place where dreams come true. It is a community that fosters growth, resilience, and empathy. As Head Prefect, my one fervent wish is for readers to send their children to this school so they too can experience the transformative power that lies within its walls.
My important message to all who read this is simple: education is not just about academics, it is about nurturing the whole individual. It is about fostering a love for learning, cultivating leadership skills, and embracing compassion. So, to all parents considering this school for their children, rest assured that they will find a place where they can grow intellectually, emotionally, and socially. They will find a place where they will be supported, challenged, and inspired to become the best versions of themselves.
Intricately woven with the fabric of this institution are the memories, friendships, and lessons that will last a lifetime. So, I invite you to embark on this enchanting journey with us, and together, let us create a brighter future for the leaders of tomorrow.
Amar Aulakh – Deputy Prefect
It is a privilege to have been named Deputy Head Prefect here at Handsworth Grammar during my 7th and final year at this incredible institution. Throughout my time here, I have witnessed significant changes in the school and watched the senior prefects at the forefront of this. Thus, I am honoured to have the opportunity to continue this tradition and serve as a representative for the school, helping to uphold the high standards of excellence that have long preceded me.
One of our biggest strengths as a school is the diversity of our pupils and staff: this is reflected through the culturally enriching opportunities that are available. Through trips to Texas and annual culture days, being able to broaden our knowledge beyond academia is a crucial experience in order to become well-rounded people for the future. As a result, students are able to make a positive impact both within school by supporting other pupils, and also in the local community by helping charities.
These experiences help to develop our character as well as our knowledge, instilling a moral code of conduct that is representative of the school’s excellence. This extends to developing interests and igniting passion in future vocations. The quality of the science department and their willingness to encourage my curiosity has been an influential factor in my decision to study medicine, and the passion of the teachers extends to other students alike. Therefore, I would strongly encourage all students to take advantage of all opportunities provided to them: the possibility of success far outweighs the consequence of failure, and the regret of wasted potential.
The continued positive impact that the school has had on my development has encouraged me to be a leader and role model for other students. Just as previous senior prefects inspired me to be a force for good, I hope to do the same for you.
Simran Gangji– Deputy Prefect
I am honoured to be a part of this renowned institution with a rich history of academic excellence and character development. Our school’s commitment to nurturing young minds and fostering a spirit of curiosity is truly commendable. It’s a privilege to be part of a community that values both tradition and innovation in education.
Although only being at this school for a year, the school atmosphere, teachers and students alike, have allowed me to truly develop as a person and grow my confidence skills exponentially. Even though the girls are within the minority at this school, the sense of community I still feel I am always grateful for. Moving to this school has opened so many doors for me, and has even allowed me to find my true passions for my career path, which I couldn’t have done without the support of this school.
King Edward VI Handsworth Grammar School offers a wide range of academic and extracurricular opportunities. From our challenging curriculum to our diverse clubs and societies, there is something here for every student to explore and excel in. I’m proud to say that our school equips us not only with knowledge but also with the skills needed to succeed in an ever-changing world, providing a knowledge of balance between enjoyment and education.
My advice to students at Handsworth Grammar is to always keep focused on your goal, and make sure you can do whatever it takes to be able to attain this. Your time here is limited, so make the absolute most of it to be able to foster the best opportunities possible for your life to be successful.
Uwaifiokun Osagie – Deputy Prefect
I’m immensely proud to be Deputy Head Prefect of KEVI Handsworth Grammar school; it’s an honour to hold the role and my desire to maintain the standards we’ve held has only been strengthened. The school has nurtured many young talents and guided them through secondary education with poise and elegance. They then choose from a multitude of different paths, more often than not, achieve the right one for them.
It’s been seven years since I started studying at HGS and in that time I’ve seen the school continuously change, each iteration being an improvement on the last. HGS lit the torch to the path for budding minds to achieve their dreams. Our strengths include a very diverse and multicultural core which has only grown since we were founded in 1862, and a broad range of activities for students to be part of, such as the School Council where the collaborative nature of the school truly comes to life. It’s here that students of every age can have an input.
Every student who studies at HGS has a chance to express themselves, be it academically or in their own special niche. Having been part of the chess club and debate society, the possibilities are many. Despite this, we act as a collective and look after our own. Any query is answered and ideas are heard, which helps us create a welcoming environment. It’s been an absolute pleasure to witness some of these innovative ideas first hand. Experiences like these are what spur personal development.
There is no set method to succeeding at HGS; the most important aspect of it all is to enjoy the journey as it’s of equal importance to the result. My advice would be to learn, learn, learn and continue to learn, from both the good and the difficult. Thanks to the help of the brilliant staff, you’re not alone and you do not have to take on the burden alone. It will be challenging but more rewarding than you can imagine!
Murtaza Ahmed – Joint Chair of School Council
“Do not follow where the path may lead. Go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.” -Ralph Waldo Emerson
King Edward VI Handsworth Grammar School stands as Birmingham’s oldest surviving Grammar school, yet our outlook remains firmly focused on the future. HGS propels itself towards the future while firmly rooted in its well-established foundations. These foundations are most evident in our unwavering commitment to the values of diligence, self-discipline, exemplary behaviour, and outstanding achievement.
Throughout my time at HGS, I consistently aspired to assume the role of Chair of the School Council, taking charge of initiatives within the school independently. Since my election to the school council in Year 9, I have dedicated a total of four years to serving our school community. During this time, I’ve actively contributed to the implementation of several impactful initiatives. These initiatives include organizing reward trips for students across various academic years and promoting academic enrichment programs that equip students with essential life skills not covered by the standard curriculum.
Additionally, I have had the privilege of delivering assemblies on the core British values that are integral to our society. These values, such as the rule of law, democracy, individual liberty, respect, and tolerance, have been a central focus of our efforts to instil a sense of responsibility among our student body. The School Councils’ objective has always been to prioritise the well-being and development of our fellow students. We continually strive to implement improvements that ensure students at HGS are provided with all the tools necessary for success, ensuring they receive a well-rounded education. We assure every HGS student that they will receive both accommodation and support to pursue their aspirations. There is unquestionably a strong sense of comfort and confidence among students, knowing that their dreams are within reach.
I can personally vouch to the ability of King Edward VI Handsworth Grammar School to offer the resources necessary for a successful future. My advice would be to work diligently, enjoy the journey, and always keep in mind that there are no shortcuts to any destination worth reaching.
Thevayan Navaratnam – Joint Chair of School Council
What a great honour that I have the incredible role of Chair of School Council. It has been a role I have always desired since first being elected for school council back in Yr7, where my initial spark of interest came from, to now in Yr13 in my seventh and final year at this school. As Chair of School Council, I’m able to liaise with younger years enabling me to bring forward new ideas which ease both the academic and extracurricular life of a HGS student as they progress through this extraordinary institution.
Here at HGS the school council plays a vital role by giving a voice to the students here who aspire to speak up and voice their perspectives, ideas and concerns. Some of our successful implementations over the past few years have included allowing students to come in their games kit when they have PE or Games, halal food, new Astro turfs both on and offsite as well as the introduction of the 2-week timetable. Regardless of how big and small, the student’s interest is always and will always be at the forefront.
All HGS students will be accommodated and supported to achieve their desired aspirations, and I strongly believe that the school has plenty of opportunities for them to succeed. From the experienced and passionate teachers to the state-of-the-art educational facilities there is absolutely no doubt that students feel assured that their dreams can be attained. Ultimately it is up to the individual to take every opportunity provided to them whether it be academically orientated or an extracurricular activity.
If King Edwards VI Handsworth Grammar School sparks your interest, I can personally say this school can provide the provisions for a successful future. My advice will always be: keep calm, keep focused and keep it fun! Yes, the journey will have a few bumps, but it’s the ability to bounce back and learn from these unexpected divots that creates smooth foundations for a successful academic career. It is not just success that shapes the character but also failure.
Humzah Ghangro – Lead Mental Health Ambassador
At HGS, we recognise the significance of addressing mental health concerns among young men and providing them with the support they need. Young men often face unique challenges when it comes to discussing their emotions and seeking help, which can have a lasting impact on their well-being. To bridge this gap and create a safe and nurturing environment, our team of dedicated mental health ambassadors is working tirelessly. Through various initiatives such as shadow mentoring, games clubs, and one-to-one sessions, we strive to offer a listening ear, guidance, and a sense of belonging to young men in need.
By actively promoting open conversations and breaking down stigmas, we aim to ensure that every young man at HGS feels supported and empowered to prioritise their mental well-being. Join us as we explore the invaluable role played by our mental health ambassadors in fostering a positive and inclusive culture for young men’s mental health. By providing a safe space for open discussions and offering guidance through various initiatives, we are breaking down barriers and encouraging young men to prioritise their well-being. As Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson once said, “It’s okay not to be okay; it’s okay to ask for help.” Through our work, we aspire to empower young men to embrace vulnerability, seek support, and develop the resilience needed to navigate life’s challenges. Together, let us continue to champion young men’s mental health, creating a future where every young man feels seen, heard, and supported.
Harkirat Saggu – Lead Mental Health Ambassador
Here at HGS, mental health is a key point of discussion as we try to break down the stigma surrounding boys and mental health issues. We rarely hear about boys talking about their problems which in itself has an impact on their ever-growing minds. Yet if they do talk about these issues, they are no longer perceived as “manly”. This mindset, in no way, helps boys in dealing with their emotions and with the lack of resources to aid these young boys, an uncomfortable environment is being formed.
This is where we, the mental health ambassadors, come in. By being a friendly face for these young boys to discuss their mental health issues with or just for them to see that they are not alone through the means of games club or mentoring, we hope that boys see that it is completely normal to go through. We desire to create a school environment which is both safe and supportive. One in which no one finds themselves feeling alone. By discussing mental health issues regularly, we hope that this becomes a problem that is not easily over-looked as if you are going through this it will have a toll upon your studies and overall happiness. We do not want this to be an issue that is touched upon only when something severe happens; this is an issue that is common and is present in most people’s day-to-day life so it should be spoken about frequently. Our role is to remind these boys that it is completely normal to not always be feeling okay. It is how you deal with these emotions that can have a greater effect.
Sami Zahid – Lead Mental Health Ambassador
As a mental health ambassador, we have two main responsibilities: shadow mentoring and games club. Some of us also do one-to-one mentoring. Shadowing started before December, initially with volunteers but later with MHAs. It is carried out by an external organisation called ‘Think For The Future’. It is structured so that each period a group of students from a particular year group sits and takes part in a lesson where they are taught valuable life skills, with us MHAs there to help out, particularly with discussions.
These sessions are always interesting and fun since the students are in a relaxed environment where they can partake and have a laugh at the same time. The person who actually carries out the sessions, Ezekiel, is also very friendly and good at delivering the sessions in an engaging way.
Unlike shadowing, games club is more independent. Two MHAs will sit with a group of children and play board games with them. This helps the children to come out of their shells and escape from anything that may bother or worry them. It is a quiet and safe space for the kids who want to escape the noise found outside. Quite possibly the best project given to us MHAs is the one-to-one sessions Mrs. Saleem has some of us do. As one of the few who did this I can say that it doesn’t only benefit the Year 7’s we mentor but also us. It allows us to become more sensitive and understanding of issues facing younger students and relate to our own experiences in order to give useful advice to them. I can confidently say this works as the Year 7 I worked with decided to end our sessions since his worries and problems were resolved. Our job as mental health ambassadors is to help younger students, and all three of these responsibilities certainly helps us to do that. This role is so fulfilling and interesting, and I am very grateful to be part of something so important.