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Heartlines Newsletter of Heartlands Academy

Autumn Term 2009

Evening of Creative Culture

From Mrs Jones, Principal As we come to the end of our first term as an academy, we can reflect on the many opportunities this has presented to our students: • • • •


eartlands Academy delivered an “Evening of Creative Culture” on Thursday, 23 October after school on the premises. The intention was to stage a one-off event to celebrate the diversity of cultures within the Academy’s community. The event involved putting on a fashion show derived from

As part of Heartlands Academy’s initiative to celebrate diversity and black history month, we invited ‘Sister Act,’ an all-female performance group, to share their production with all of years 7 and 8. It gave an insight into how black history and culture has developed over

countries with different cultures. As well as a depiction of typical clothing from these cultures, there were dances, songs, drama, food, professional performers and a portrayal of cultural and historical backgrounds. Pupils, staff and professionals took part in this event and celebrated together the diversity and multiculturalism within the Academy. Khadija Smith MFL

the past 150 years. It was a fantastic performance and pupils and staff really enjoyed watching it. Another way to celebrate black history month was to send 30 pupils from different year groups to Liverpool museum. Pupils again discovered more exciting facts about black history and its culture. Khadija Smith


a new language ICT room a new music technology suite a new ICT facility in science laptops for all of year 11

Of course there has been the new name, new logo, new signs, new sports kit etc, but what has been significant is the way in which our students have embraced this change. As we move into 2010, we will be discussing post-16 options with Year 11. We will be encouraging them to consider the academy as their post-16 preference, and parents will be invited to contribute to these discussions. May I take this opportunity to thank you all: staff, students and parents for your continued support. Very best wishes for this coming season’s break and we look forward to continued success in 2010. Glynis Jones

Inside Star pupil, Jiaqi Shi Xmas Concert Heartlands in South Africa Careers Week Year 6 transition Academy dates

2 3 4-5 6 7 8

Hands On Languages Day On Friday December 4th we held a “Hands On Languages” day involving fifty Year 9 students who are studying French. The day consisted of workshops which the students enjoyed enthusiastically. The aim of the project was to promote creative, independent learning, as well as team work and creativity. There was a series of art workshops including making powder Rangoli patterns, weaving, pop art printing, and making a scale model of the Eiffel Tower. These workshops represented different world cultures as well as enabling students to develop art skills further. There was a carousel of food activities where students made world cuisine dishes such as paella, crepes, shepherd’s pie, and Chinese food. After the cooking, there was of course the tasting! Finally we set each group the challenge of learning, rehearsing and filming a play in French – in just an hour! Each group brought different interpretations and improvisations to the basic script and afterwards, it was generally agreed that the drama had increased their confidence in speaking a foreign language, as well as being great fun.

All in all it was an innovative day which got students fully involved and enjoying themselves while learning and refining their skills across the curriculum. Khadija Smith

HALF MARATHON DAY On 11th October, Leanne Walsh and Melisa Hanson were flag bearers for the opening ceremony of the Birmingham Half Marathon held in Centenary Square. Melisa represented Ethiopia and Leanne represented Estonia. Meeting Kelly Holmes, the 2004 Gold Medal winner, they were told “You could both become sports leaders if you put your mind to it”. Leanne said “I enjoyed the experience of getting chosen out of all the pupils at Heartlands Academy (673). I also enjoyed holding the flag and having the opportunity to go out on stage representing a country (Estonia) other than my own.” Melisa said “ It was an experience of a lifetime - I enjoyed holding the Ethopian flag and representing that

country”. Leanne and Melisa both said they would like to have the opportunity to be involved again in any similar event in the future. They both thought this could be something they can add to their CVs giving them a boost when applying for college. Melisa Hanson & Leanne Walsh


Jiaqi Shi I graduated from what was Heartlands High School in 2007 after studying for 5 years at the school and achieving 8 A*s and 2 As at GCSE. My achievement would not have been completed without the continued support and encouragement from the teachers. This springboard enabled me to apply successfully to King Edward VI Camp Hill School for Girls, where I studied 4 subjects at A-Level: Biology, Chemistry, Maths and Further Maths. I’ve now embarked on my Gap year to work at the Academy after gaining entry to study Medicine at Imperial College London, after achieving 4 As at A-Level. It fills me with immense pleasure to see progress being made in leaps and bounds as I’ve discovered a new lease of creative energy and positive, outstanding attitudes to learning displayed in classrooms across the disciplines. The school was seen as failing in 2003 until it came under the leadership of the Principal. There is now a strong belief instilled in the hearts of students that if you work hard to fulfil your full potential, anything is possible. After being involved in various Academy projects, it reinforced in me once again how inspirational the Academy is to its students, young people and their families in the Nechells community and beyond. The Academy is vibrant, diverse and always committed to encourage more young people like myself to realise their hopes and aspirations. I cannot emphasise enough what a rich and wonderful experience it is to be able to study here as a student; the encouragement and inspirations that you receive will carry forward to many, many new beginnings. Jiaqi Shi

Xmas Concert

A fantastic evening of music and dance was enjoyed by an audience of 200 students, staff, family and friends of the Academy on December 9th. Students from every year group displayed an amazing array of performance skills in drumming, dance, woodwind and brass instruments, guitars, keyboards and vocals. We are very proud of the creativity shown by our students and the enthusiastic support given to them by the audience can only build their confidence to go on to bigger and better things in the future. Thinking of the future gives me the opportunity to invite you to put the first date in your new 2010 diaries- July 6th, 7th and 8th will be the dates of our production, Wizard of Oz which we are very excited about. Main characters have been auditioned and I am delighted to announce that the main role of Dorothy will be played by Deanna Earp in Year 9 and Tamiah Forbes in Year 7, so congratulations to them and the rest of the cast. More details will follow!

The Very First Heartlands Academy Christmas Concert

Maggie Hanson Lead teacher, Performing Arts


Girls Football Year 7 - The Year 7 5-a-side football team played well throughout some hard matches, playing against Aston Manor, King Edwards, Kingsbury, Bordesley Green, Broadway and George Dixon and John Willmott. The team had a really good result of 2nd place with John Willmott taking first place. Year 8 – The year eight teams played well with some good play beginning to emerge from both teams. Both the A and B team played against King Edwards, Kingsbury, Bordesley Green, Broadway and George Dixon and John Willmott. The fantastic results involved the A team taking second place and the

B team taking eighth place. Year 9 - The year nine football team played really well against Kingsbury A, Kingsbury B and King Edwards. Some of the matches were hard but we kept our positions and held the space well with another good result of 2nd place. Netball The U16 Netball team played in the first round of the county schools netball tournament. This is the first time that Heartlands has been entered into this tournament. With the standard of play being at a very high level and some of the players training in the County Academy talent squads, we had some stiff competition


and we played really well with some of the umpires commenting on how well the girls played at this standard. Well done to all those who played! Climbing So far year 7 and 8 have had the opportunity to take part in taster rock climbing sessions. This has been a great success and both year groups have enjoyed the experience. Year 9 and 10 will be going rock climbing after half term. Vicky Allen

Amakhwatha Junior Secondary School South Africa Principal – Petros Mdlalose to the school we visited in South Number on roll: 1266 Africa. The condition of school very poor compared to UK counterpart. Number of staff: 31

Heartlands Academy is very fortunate in being able to participate in an international project linking our school with a school in South Africa. Mrs M Smith (Assistant Principal) and Mr S Vyakaranam (Director of Sport) went to SA just before half term. The International Inspiration programme has been designed to transform the lives of children and young people in schools and communities in the UK and countries abroad through the power of sport. The International Inspiration programme aims to develop partnerships with countries around the world who are currently working on the improvement of physical education and school based sport. School links are an integral part of the International Inspiration programme as a key tool aimed at developing young people through sport and supporting whole school development through international educational links. The school partnerships will enable secondary schools to implement an agreed joint partnership plan that will focus on using sport to achieve positive social and educational change in both British and international schools and their wider communities.


The school established in 1950 and is situated about 15 minutes outside the town. All pupils were dressed in a green and gold uniform. Pupils enter at Grade 7 and leave at Grade 9. Approximate age 11 – 16, pupils do not progress to the next grade until they have passed/achieved certain academic standard. There are external exams Grade 9 & 12. There are no separate PE lessons on the school curriculum – it forms

There are 3 computers in the whole

part of LO = Life Orientation subject area, which also includes Social, Health, Personal, Work and PE. This is common across all South Africa schools. We are very fortunate in Heartlands Academy to have such a wellequipped school in comparison

the size of the groups and staff:pupil ratio, the behaviour of the students was good. The children were very friendly and welcoming. The quality of sports skills demonstrated by the school teams was absolutely outstanding. The skills demonstrated on what was mere scrub ground were excellent. The school teams had sports kit, however the girls’ netball teams played in bare feet. The cultural show was astonishingly moving and entertaining – I would pay to hear singers of this quality. Before the show started the pupils lined up in the courtyard in chronological age. There were no staff around except Mr V and myself. Out of nowhere the young Grade 7’s started to sing/call which echoed like a wave along the pupils. It was very beautiful.

“..the girls’ netball teams played in bare feet” school, two in the heads office that are currently not working and one in the admin office. The classroom furniture was in poor condition and many of the lesson groups were up to 60 pupils in a class. Considering

“The cultural show was astonishingly moving and “There are 3 computers in the entertaining – I would pay to whole school” hear singers of this quality.”


The show began with a group of boys aged14 -16 who sang and danced in Zulu – an anti drug song. The boys were dressed very smartly in shirts, ties and white gloves. What was noticeable about all the performers throughout the afternoon was their zeal and enthusiasm. There was 100% commitment to performing to the best of their ability. There were Zulu dances performed by girls and a Zulu wedding dance performed by boys and girls. The students were dressed traditionally. We saw boys ‘mock battle’ with sticks and

“We arrived wondering how we could help our partner school but left feeling humbled by what they could share with us.” shields. We also had a performance from the school choir, dressed in school uniform. One song was the Lord’s Prayer in Zulu. The quality of the singing and dancing was exceptional; very moving and inspiring. The joy and exuberance of all the performers was wonderful to behold. We arrived wondering how we could help our partner school but left feeling humbled by what they could share with us. It was an amazing experience and both Mr V and I feel very privileged to have the opportunity to join this project. We hope that in the Spring term two teachers from Amakhwatha school in South Africa will come to Birmingham to visit Heartlands Academy Marie Smith Assistant Principal


Heartlands Academy delivers a summer Do you have a brother or sister school for all children who attend in year six? Are they coming to Heartlands Academy. Heartlands Academy in September 2010? Here are some exciting WATCH THIS events to share with them:

he Learning Resource Centre is actively encouraging pupils to read, through initiatives like the “Book in a Bag” Scheme where all pupils must carry a book with them as part of their school equipment. As a result, more and more pupils are enjoying reading for pleasure every day. Many pupils can now be found reading during morning and afternoon registration every day. To encourage further reading and to celebrate World Book Day on 4th March 2010, the LRC is having a week-long Book Fair for pupils, parents and staff. The fair will provide a great opportunity for parents to help children find the books they want to read. Please support your child to read more. Here are some reasons not to miss the Book Fair in March:

1 You can shop from hundreds of quality books in every price range, interest, and reading level. 2 You’ll help earn books and funds for our school library. 3 You’ll find cheaper, more affordable editions of many of the most popular books sold on the high street. And best of all.... 4 You and your child can have fun choosing books together.

Careers Fair Week

Year 11 College Morning

22nd - 26th March 2010

The school is having a Careers Fair Week to help pupils in years 9 and 10 learn more about careers. More often than not, pupils have a subject they enjoy and are really good at but are unsure how to make a career out of it. Lots of pupils aspire to a particular career but it is unclear what qualifications or subjects are needed. Our week-long event aims to look at all of these issues by exploring careers

So don’t miss out – Be sure to visit the Book Fair when it’s here between 1st and 5th March 2010.

during lessons and having guest speakers from various industries talk to pupils. This event will also coincide with Options Day for Year 9 and Work Experience Preparation for Year 10. If you are an employer or someone you know is interested in getting involved in this event please contact Miss Patel in the LRC .


It’s that time of year again and pupils in Year 11 are thinking about many things including their future beyond Heartlands Academy. In November we invited nine local colleges to speak to our Year 11 pupils about their next step. They looked at A’ Levels, BTECs, CACHE, Diplomas and many more qualifications. It is scary for some and exciting for others but whatever the feeling, the clock is

ticking and decisions need to be made, application forms need to be completed, signed and sent off. To all year 11 pupils: let’s get those applications forms filled in and sent off. If you need support in making decisions ask for help, there are many people to support you: Miss Patel in the LRC, your parents or carers and teachers. Good Luck.

March 2010 Virtual Transition Transition mentors from Heartlands Academy will go live on the transition website to chat to year 6 children and help them find out about Heartlands Academy. Mentors will be from year 7. Open Evening Thursday 25th March All children who have been offered a place at Heartlands Academy will be invited with their parents/carers to the Open Evening to meet the Principal and staff. They will be given the opportunity to take part in taster curriculum sessions that include maths, science and PE activities. April 2010 Easter SATs Booster Classes for year six children During the Easter holiday in partnership with the Education Action Zone and Extended Services, children from local schools will take part in SATs booster classes and Extended Services fun activities. May Half Term Creative Transition holiday school In partnership with the Extended Services and the EAZ, Heartlands Academy will be inviting children starting in year 7, September 2010, to attend a pre-summer Academy club. The four-day project will involve Creative Curriculum Project Coordinators Artiseducation delivering transitional skills that include social and emotional awareness of change, independent learning, team work and communication. June Transition Project All children starting Heartlands Academy will be invited to attend the Heartlands Academy transition project. The project will be delivered every Wednesday throughout the month of June and the first week in July. Children will attend the Heartlands Academy just like a normal school day. Each young person will have a timetable of lessons and during that time meet Extended Services Providers from across the city. Providers include travel safety teams, environmental officers and other key partners who provide information about moving to a new school. July Summer school In partnership with the Youth Service and partner external agencies


Monday 1st February 2010 Parents Forum Coffee Morning In partnership with The Heartlands Cluster Parent Support Advisor (PSA), Heartlands Academy will be running a coffee morning for parents that would like more information about Academy programmes and external services. This is an open opportunity for the parents and carers of Heartlands Academy community to come together to plan how we will continue to develop parent partnerships. An invititation will be sent out with students nearer the time. Adult Education Are you interested in learning a new subject or taking a refresher course? In partnership with Extended Services, the Wardlow Centre, Adult Education and the Primary Care Trust (PCT) Heartlands Academy would like to offer courses that include: gaining an accredited certificate in Food Hygiene, Literacy, Numeracy, Languages, ICT at different levels, Arts and Crafts and many more. If you did not reply to the questionnaire sent out please contact Rachel Buckingham directly. Sports Leadership Would you like to gain an accredited award in sports leadership? Could you spare sometime during a weekend or during an evening to coach a football team or be a referee? Are you interested in basketball leadership? If yes, please make contact. More information will be circulated in the new year.

Virtual Transition Programme 2009-12-07

Education Officer, would like to say thank you for being Virtual Transition Mentors to: Haleema Naweed, Samson Alabi, Jake Teeling, Amber Shamaoon, Naveed Hussain, Sanya Hussain and Zain Ul Abedeen. Could you be the next Virtual Peer Mentor? Would you like to help year 6 children find out about Heartlands Academy. Are you in year 7? If yes, I will be seeking your support in 2010.

Anti Bullying Week 16-20 November

Year 7 school council leaders attended the Stay Safe in Cyberspace conference workshops during Anti-Bullying Week. In future, they will be focusing on bullying and how to prevent it. The experience of being cyber bullied, as with any bullying, can be very painful for those who are targets. Anti-Bullying week gave Heartlands Academy students the opportunity to address the issues around cyber bullying in a positive way. Tell someone Tell a teacher or an adult you can trust Call ChildLine on 0800 1111 or go to

if you would like information about: • primary school transition • Heartlands Academy events • parenting support programmes

Certificate of Achievement Students from year 7 were awarded certificates of achievement for Peer Mentors. The students were acknowledged for making a significant contribution to easing the transition of year 6 pupils toward Heartlands Academy in September 2009. Tony Howell, Birmingham’s Chief


• community partnership work

contact: Rachel Buckingham Community Director

Heartlands Academy Great Francis Street, Birmingham B7 4QR 0121 464 5531

Year 7 Bookmark Competition This half-term, the Art Department and Library held a year 7 art competition inviting pupils to design a book mark. The idea behind the design was to encourage pupils to read more. The winning design is to be printed and distributed to the whole year group to keep as their own personalised book mark. Congratulations to Sinead West whose book-mark design was chosen for First place. In Second place was Zara Akthar, and Third place Amin Hussain. Well done to all the pupils who took part in the competition! Husina Akhtar

Community Global Links 2009/2010 A very exciting opportunity arose during 2009 to develop Global Partnerships with St. Catherine’s Moorlands School, Buenos Aires, Argentina. Paula O’Conor Deputy Head at St. Catherine’s came to visit our Academy and spent time in the Language Department. She was very impressed by the standard of work and asked if we would develop community language links with her school. Students will start off by emailing and writing to each other in French and Spanish, a shared language in both schools. This is just the start of a developing global partnership. Rachel Buckingham

Academy Dates 2010 Spring Term Monday, 4 January - Thursday, 1 April Half term break Monday, 15 February - Friday, 19 February Teacher Day (non-pupil day) Monday, 22 February

Easter Break Friday, 2 April - Sunday, 18 April

Summer Term Monday, 19 April - Friday, 23 July Half term break Monday, 31 May - Friday, 4 June Teacher Days (non-pupil days) Monday, 19 April Monday, 5 July

Future Events Spring Term 2010

Thursday, 21 January Thursday, 4 February Thursday, 4 March Thursday, 25th March

Year 11 Parents’ Evening Year 9 Parents’ Evening Review day (Years 7, 8 & 10) Year 6 Open Evening


Heartlands Academy, Great Francis Street, Birmingham, B7 4QR Telephone: 0121 464 3931 •

Heartlands Academy Heartlines Newsletter Issue 1 Autumn 2009  

Heartlands Academy Heartlines Newsletter Issue 1 Autumn 2009