I am called on to make many decisions over the school year but annually the one I find most difficult is to select the Head Boy, Head Girl and the Deputies. In my opinion any student who is prepared to put themselves forward for a competitive process, speak in front of the whole school and at the open hustings deserves our utmost respect and so invariably, every year I have to select from a group of wonderful students. This year was no exception and all the students who put themselves forward conducted themselves in the most exemplary fashion and I am delighted to be able to inform you that the Head Girl and Head Boy for 2017/18 are Tom and Jenny and the Deputies are Joe and Kia. I have no doubt that each of them along with the Officer team will make a very significant contribution to the life of the school. Tom and Jenny attended their first Full Governing Body meeting in June where they presented the collected evidence and their thoughts regarding possible follow up actions from the recent School’s Social Media Usage survey.
As always Sports Day was an excellent event and my thanks go to the PE department and other colleagues who facilitated such a smooth running and enjoyable day. Inevitably, the excitement built as the day progressed and there was movement amongst the ranking but the overall winner of the Sports Day Cup was Chiron House.
Each year Haybridge’s Personal Challenge Week in July offers students of all year groups a wide range of stimulating, challenging and enjoyable activities and this year was definitely no exception. Students took part in a wide range of exciting activities both on school campus and much further afield as they took advantage of varied opportunities to develop their skills, their knowledge, their creativity and their teamwork.
Over 100 Year 9 students and staff took part in the annual adventure activities trip to the beautiful Ardèche region of France, where they enjoyed canoeing, camping, walking and climbing. Other Year 9 students immersed themselves in the world of robotics, 3D Design and gaming and their week was rounded off with the very real-world thrills of Alton Towers!
Sixth Form geographers went to Iceland to observe its amazing, dynamic terrain while A Level Physics and Maths students got to grips with the phenomenal research work being undertaken at the CERN research complex in Geneva, home to the Large Hadron Collider.
Many students in Year 10 and 12 spent the week on Work Experience – in settings ranging from architects to a bank and a delicatessen to a law court.
Year 8 students’ Creative week saw them producing interpretations of scenes from Shakespeare– ranging from a sci-fi version of ‘Romeo and Juliet’ to a gangster-themed ‘The Merchant of Venice’. Students developed their self-confidence as well as an understanding of various performing arts, including music, acting, prop design and costumes.
Once again this year’s public examinations season saw the Examinations team organise over five hundred examinations and the Governors and I would like to take this opportunity to thank the team so ably led by our Examinations Officer for the exemplary way in which they run this incredibly complicated and extremely important element of school life.
I am also tremendously grateful to the people in our community who continue to support us on a voluntary basis and the end of the school year is an opportunity for me to thank the Governors, PTA, Parent/Carer Forum and Appeals committee who work so tirelessly on behalf of the students and the school.
On Wednesday 21st June, Year 13 student Miles was awarded the Becky Giddins Award for commitment and contribution to school sports and the Wyre Forest School Sports Partnership Sports Awards. Miles was unable to attend as he was immersed in his A level examinations but extracts from the text of his nomination reads as follows, ‘he is committed, determined and contributes to any team or activity he is associated with.’ ‘Miles has modelled behaviour as a PE Assistant in lessons and, within this role, has shown empathy and an ability to motivate younger students.’ ‘Miles is currently a regional level badminton player and has been pivotal to Haybridge’s badminton success in recent years. He is a very humble and charming young man.’
Good News Friday continues to allow me to meet with individual students, teams and groups to say well done. Most recently I met with the eighteen musicians who performed a concert at St. Saviour’s Court on 27th June. The feedback was as follows, ’Thank you for yesterday’s visit, it was delightful. The musical ability and behaviour of the students was a joy to behold and the dedication of the staff was commented upon by most of the audience.’
We are delighted to have recruited sixteen Community Ambassadors for the 2017/18 Academic year. The core aim of the Community Ambassador Programme, which runs across the schools in The ContinU Trust partnership of Wyre Forest & Hagley, is to utilise the skills and enthusiasm of young people to promote key safety, citizenship and wellbeing messages to their peers through a calendar of assemblies, literature, presentations and/or displays, social media.
The role includes engaging in approximately 6 activities over the year covering, for example, raising awareness around Personal Safety, Internet Safety, Anti Bullying, Domestic Abuse / Healthy Relationships, Drugs & Alcohol awareness and charity events with a local focus.
The Ambassadors will also conduct surveys and fact-finding work amongst peers in school, providing evidence-led approaches to tackling issues and promoting well-being.
Each year the new recruits are formally invested as Community Ambassadors by West Mercia’s Police & Crime Commissioner at the Young Citizenship Celebration event at Kidderminster Town Hall in July, before an audience of parents, councillors, mayors and senior offices in the uniformed services.
The role develops students’ team working, research and presentation skills as well as raising their awareness of a wide range of important issues.
A sample of what the students say they are looking forward to:
‘Helping and informing people about how to be safe’, ‘Coming up with new ideas to get people interested and make them aware of local issues.’ and ‘helping the community’.
We wish them well in their roles
We were delighted to receive the prestigious Leading Parent Partnership Award for the third consecutive time. Assessor feedback included, ‘Parents have very high levels of satisfaction with the school. They feel that it supports them and their children in a huge variety of way.’ Sincere thanks to the parents & carers they interviewed.
Feedback from those attending Year 11 & 13 Prize-giving was very positive. Particular thanks to our guest speaker Jon Bradbury, our Head Boy from 1988 – 1989.
Recent and upcoming musical endeavours include the Spring Concert (which featured fabulous farewell performances from Year 13 students), the Hagley Music Festival and the Summer Concert. Thanks go to Mr Raggett, Mrs Orr and Mrs Morton for their support. Staff thanks also to Mr Kilmartin and Mrs Gale who led the Berlin visit.
Some outstanding students include Taylor Gibson, Ellie-Jai Bateman, Gunvir Dhillon and Emma Warne who have received awards for high quality curricular work while Tom Stephens, Millie Hughes, Molly Ashen and Rohan Chelvarajeh-Lopez represented us superbly at Maths Challenge at Malvern College.
Students from five schools joined us for the fifth annual Year 10 Luke Chapman Trophy in April. The tournament began with a minute’s silence and saw high quality rugby and an outstanding spirit throughout.
As ever, Haybridge students are actively involved in a range of local and global citizenship initiatives.
Year 12 students Scarlett Bond, Ben Thomas, Reanna Sandhu and Lucy Robson are taking part in the Holocaust Education Trust’s ‘Lessons from Auschwitz’ educational programme, which has included a visit to Auschwitz/Birkenau and are currently planning how best to share their learning with fellow students via assemblies and history lessons.
Student impressions of the programme include:
“The seminars involved with the trip allow you to reflect on things that you may not have thought about before. It has made me feel lucky and made me want to learn more about the holocaust.”
“The visit gave me a new outlook on life and taught me not to take anything for granted. Thinking about it makes you thankful for everything you have and teaches you so much about what people have been through”.
For more information on the work of The Holocaust Education Trust see www.het.org.uk
Our weekly current affairs ‘Think Tank’ group for Sixth formers fielded a team for the Bromsgrove constituency inter-schools debate competition hosted at North Bromsgrove High School. We reached final and our students loved the experience. “The debate competition on Friday was fantastic, with a great energy. The Think Tank itself is a regular opportunity to look at a variety of topics in a new light and a supportive environment for different opinions and ideas.” Abigail Wareham.
And finally, a ‘loose change’ collection for Water Aid in the last week of term raised £230.
As always the spring term is an incredibly busy one not just in terms of preparations for the summer public examinations but also in the range of other exciting activities which our students can engage with.
We have around 100 students involved in the Duke of Edinburgh award and our gold and silver students are currently undertaking their expeditions. We were delighted to hear that the following former students have now completed their Gold award and are awaiting a date for their presentation at St. James’s Place. Well done to Thomas Emery, Jack Dukes, Monica Reading and Jordan Williams. We also had the honour of being able to present the following current sixth form students with their Silver award. Well done to Cameron McCairn, Adrian Sidaway, Aaron Gordon, Zul-Kifl Chaudry, Emily Dennis, George Hands, Grace Law, Alex Bishop, Mia Thomas, Thomas Higgs and Daniel Greenhow.
Our school show ‘Hairspray’ was fantastic and what excitement it generated at three sell-out performances. As always the team’s commitment to quality in the acting, music, dancing, costumes, set and props to name but a few elements and the hours spent in achieving this were breath-taking and we heartily thank everyone involved.
Haybridge also took part in Science week which along with some pretty amazing awe and wonder moments including a fabulous experiment in the quad and a trip to the Big Bang Show included a Haybridge version of a Pokemon Go challenge and the search for the golden pikachu who made the occasional guest appearance at the window of the Headteacher’s office.