As a school we strive to be as well-informed about our students’ needs and experiences as we can. To this end we have spent a considerable amount of time this year consulting with students on a range of topics by means of online surveys.
Firstly, we have been conducting an extensive ‘Student Wellbeing Survey’ which has had a fantastic response – almost 800 responses at the time of writing. Our ‘Social Media Usage Survey’ has had 400 responses from students across the year groups and provided us with over 50 pages of student-eye-level insights and experiences of their lives online – the positive and the negative. We are listening carefully to what we are being told by both surveys in order to plan how best to advise and support our young people – and how to take the great advice they themselves are offering to us.
Sixth Form students who took part in the annual ‘Lessons from Auschwitz’ educational programme, including a one day visit to Auschwitz-Birkenau in March returned deeply impressed and moved by their experiences and are full of ideas on how to work with their peers to share their insights.
This academic year we have substantially increased the number of students going to Parliament for guided tours and interactive workshops with the Parliamentary Education Service. By the end of May over 100 students will have spent the day in Westminster getting acquainted with the work of MPs, debates and law-making. The better informed they are the better able to be active citizens
The weeks running up to Christmas were absolutely packed at Haybridge High School & Sixth Form.
We were honoured to host Mr Rudi Oppenheimer, who survived the Holocaust as a child prisoner in Belsen concentration camp. Rudi spoke for nearly two hours to an audience of 300 students and staff. It was a truly inspirational and very powerful testimony.
Students from Years 9, 10 and 11 visited Parliament for a guided tour and interactive workshop on how the UK voting system operates. We are planning more visits to Westminster for Spring Term to support Personal Development/Citizenship and also A Level Economics & Law.
Our Year 10 Community Ambassadors helped deliver assemblies during Anti-Bullying Week and were guests of honour at a reception at Kidderminster Town Hall hosted by the three mayors of the Wyre Forest towns.
Our Sixth Form students delivered powerful assemblies raising the profile of the White Ribbon Campaign, highlighting the plight of women in violent or controlling relationships. Many of the students were drawn from Year 12 ‘Think Tank’ debate group who also provided our team for the Lord Mayor of Birmingham’s Mega Quiz at Birmingham University.
The whole school supported the Black Country Food Bank with collection of non-perishable food items and toiletries to support those in the area who find themselves in need.
We wish all of our friends in the Community a very happy and healthy 2018.
Haybridge students have voted for the 3 main charities for whom we will be fundraising in 2017/18. Over 400 students took part in an online vote for a local, national and global charity to receive shares of the funds we will generate through a range of activities and events this academic year.
The local charity is the Midlands Air Ambulance, the national charity is the NSPCC and the global charity is the International Red Cross/Red Crescent. We look forward to updating you with work done to support these charities in terms of financial support but also in terms of learning together about what exactly each organisation does, the ways in which our community can help them, and also how they can support learning within school.
Our students continue to raise donations of rice to the World Food Programme by taking part in the brilliant ‘Free Rice’ online quizzes. To date we have generated 5 million grains of rice by correctly answering 500,000 quiz questions. A great way to harness brain power for the good of others! Why not check it out for yourself: www.freerice.com
Young people taking positions of responsibility:
Planning is now under way, with our students, for the best deployment of our new Community Ambassadors, Anti Bullying Ambassadors, Student Officer Team and Executive Student Council. These students have put themselves forward to contribute to the school and wider community and we greatly appreciate their commitment and enthusiasm.
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