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Newsletter of Heartlands Academy

Issue 7, Autumn Term 2011

Academy students on the beeb for children in need!

From Mrs Jones, Principal At the end of another term at Heartlands Academy we need to reflect on the successes and opportunities our students have had. The E-ACT games saw the second event, rowing, take place at Nechells Sports Centre. Not only this, Creative Curriculum week provided a variety of new experiences for our children. The new building is really taking shape and is on target to open in September 2012. This will mean we will have to close early in the summer term so that the builders can have access to the old building. The staff will use this time to pack up and prepare to move into the new building in August 2012. Therefore the academy will close to students on Thursday 12 July 2012. We are also looking to change the academy uniform. This is something the students are working on with me.


his year the BBC Children in Need team staged the “Big Sing�, an event where, with the aid of satellite technology, choirs from around the country were able to sing simultaneously for a live broadcast on Children in Need. When the BBC contacted staff at Aston Hall to ask them to suggest a local secondary school to take part in this event, they immediately suggested Heartlands Academy. This was a credit to the excellent behaviour and the good impression that students and staff have made when taking part in various projects

at Aston Hall over recent years. As a result, sixty students were chosen for the choir who were all keen to attend lunch-time reahearsals with Mrs Hanson. Their hard work paid off and a week before the live broadcast, the BBC filmed a rehearsal session at the academy that went out on Midlands Today. This culminated in the opportunity of a life time on 18th November, when they performed on the BBC Children In Need programme which was broadcast live from Aston Hall. What with that, Midlands Today and Radio WM we really were media stars for a day. Mrs Hanson Pictures and more on pages 4-5...


Every term is a busy one, with new challenges and opportunities. I would like to thank all of the staff for their commitment in giving our young people so many opportunities and support. As always thank you for your continued support and every best wish for 2012. Mrs. G. Jones

Inside this issue

E-ACT Games / Creative Curriculum Year 7 Residential to the Lake District GCSE PE Sixth Form Cultural Day Children in Need Live H & SC / Shakespeare for Schools Debate Mate Reward Trip Community Partnership Year 7 Update/Term Dates

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he last Creative Curriculum week saw Miss Fleming, Mr Shaw and Mrs Rutter embark on an epic adventure to the Peak District with KS4 Geography and Leisure and Tourism pupils. The morning was spent meandering around the historical Ashbourne, a ‘honeypot’ tourist village, exploring the magic of the underground ‘pedestrian tunnel’ and talking to the local villagers about the impacts of tourism on the village. The afternoon saw a greater challenge for the pupils as some came face to face for the first time with not just one cow, but fields full of them! The pupils were practising their map reading skills whilst negotiating nature and the majority made it up ‘Thorpe Cloud’ (286 metres/ 938 feet) peak, which provided an emphatic, awe inspiring view across the southern peaks. The relief and sense of achievement the pupils (and staff!) felt was etched across everyone’s face! Some even claimed it was their greatest life achievement to date and that they quite liked the countryside (bar the odour-de-cow and the special surprises they leave on the ground!). A thoroughly enjoyable day was had by all, whetting the appetites of pupils for more outdoor pursuits! Many thanks to all involved. Now let the pictures do the talking! Mr Shaw

KS4 in the Peak District

E-ACT Games Rowing Competition

Nechells Sports Centre 19th October 2011


ollowing the success of the Athletics opening event in July, there has been an air of excitement amongst the E-ACT academies in anticipation of the rowing competition. Staff and students from E-ACT academies travelled from all over the country and, once seated in the sports centre, there was an electric atmosphere. The competition consisted of three events: singles, paired and quad races. All of the races were recorded and projected onto a big screen adding to the excitement and tension of the day. Some of the races were thrilling and had the whole sport centre rocking. In particular, the Year 8 boys paired race, in which Davon Williams and Astley Cooper Scott (pictured) broke all records and blew the opposition out of the water! As part of our cross curricular links, pupils were given the opportunity to show off their other talents by entering either the Dance or Poetry competition (or both). The whole day proved to be another memorable

New for 2012


occasion with everybody leaving with smiles on their faces, eagerly asking, “when are we going to have our next event...?” S. Vyakaranam Heartlands students win Bronze in the Poetry competition - Page 9


eartlands Academy has identified a suitable residential site in Shropshire with accommodation for up to 36 staff and students. It can be used as a centre to promote cross-curricular learning and as a reward for hardworking students. The PE department will use the facility for students in year 9 to complete the Duke of Edinburgh Award . There is additional space in the grounds for camping. R Buckingham Community Director


fter a few hours on the coach, we finally arrived. We were taken to our accommodation and left to unpack. We had to change into something that we didn’t mind getting wet. We didn’t change though, because the only thing we didn’t mind getting wet was our P.E kit. Later in the day, we had to design a raft. The instructors explained to us how to build it and taught us how to steer. However, we only had six logs, (half a tree trunk to be exact), and four barrels. Once we had designed it, we had to build it! To check it was up to standard, I had to use my foot! It all paid off, though, and our excellent teamwork meant that it was a quick process, with the end result being a safe, sturdy raft. We had to race to ‘rescue’ a rubber duck from a canoe and head back to land. All of the teams did well, but the obvious winner was our group! Commiserations to our rivals, who although they didn’t win, still did very well. As a treat afterwards, we had the opportunity to play in the lake. Even though it was cold, everyone wanted to get involved. The next day was even muddier, a perfect excuse to wear our P.E kits again! “Nightline” was an obstacle course with a difference! We were all blind folded and had a rope to guide us round the course. Rain the night before meant it was extra muddy! Later on that day, we went on to complete a rope course. If you touched the floor, you lost a point and once you’d finished you had to encourage others over the course. Other highlights included the zip wire, where you had to cross the lake using a wire. I didn’t scream though, but some people (they know who they are), screamed all the way. In my opinion King Swing was the best. This was where you were suspended between two trees and were raised up by your team mates. When you were high enough you had to let go of the rope and swing through the trees. Not mentioning any names, someone was telling us all to be brave, and then screamed their head off when they had a go (didn’t you Miss Hinch...oops I mentioned a name!) I didn’t need to be brave. I went upside down hands free! Once we were back in, we changed into our evening clothes, got food, and made a cuppa using the machine. It was perfect, after a day of coldness! We had the opportunity to play games, buy things from the shop and rest. In the girls’ dormitory we had a party and kept the teachers up all night! On the last day we had to take part in orienteering. Sadly, our team didn’t quite work well enough to win, but it was fun! Then we were on the coach ready for the journey home. We all had so much fun and most people didn’t want to leave. In fact, I wish we could go back soon! Shyann Phillips 7ALF

During Creative Curriculum week (17-21 October 2011), all Year 7 students were invited to attend a residential which was held at the National Centre, Lakeside in the Lake District. This was an exciting opportunity for Year 7 students and gave them a chance to be more independent, build relationships with both peers and staff, and to learn to work as a team. A variety of activities took place including raft building, obstacle courses and orienteering. Students thoroughly enjoyed themselves and Shyann Phillips 7ALF reports on her highlights of the trip. Miss Hinch, Year 7 Learning Manager

Year 7 Visit the Lake District

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GCSE PE @ Ackers H

eartlands Academy Year 10 pupils are a lively bunch, and are always willing to work hard for each other. As part of their GCSE qualification they will be assessed in four different sports. A fantastic opportunity arose this year enabling students to attend a number of outdoor educational activities and so, during the recent Creative Curriculum week, Mr.Hanson and Mr.Vyakaranam took a number of pupils to the Ackers Outdoor Centre. They were able to test their skills in the following activities: orienteering, rock climbing and canoeing.


With the aid of only a map (no sat-nav on this exercise!) the task to was to collect codes from around the four acre outdoor site. Congratulations must go to Bethan, Haleema and Fatima who really did show the boys up by finishing in the quickest time.

Rock climbing

After donning safety helmets and harnesses pupils were ready to climb (some more eagerly than others). They first of all practiced the foot and finger holds on the warm -up wall, giving the group a false sense of security at just six inches off the floor. Confidence levels soon ebbed away when the intructors escorted them to the large climbing wall where they craned their necks to see the 30ft summit. Once the exercise had begun, students demonstrated a mature attitude handling the ropes and

pullies and being responsible for one another’s safety. Congratulations to all pupils for giving their all and really trying to reach the top. However, only a few succeeded, .


Pupils were talked through all the safety aspects of the activity and were given bouyancy aids to ensure that they floated should anyone topple over. Different skills such as paddling in teams and turning on the spot were taught to the group. They were then taken out on to the canal, where they had to battle overgrown bushes and even long boats for space in the water. There were two pupils however, who decided that canoeing was not enough action for them and decided to go for a swim leaving Mr.V with a dilemma: to take pictures or help them out of the water. I think we’d all agree, the picture of Abdullahi and Mehmood demonstrating a perfect front crawl is proof he made the right decision. Well done to Alamgir, Shahriq and Ihsaan who managed to stay in their canoe for the entire adventure. The PE GCSE pupils had a great day and were a credit to the Academy demonstrating exemplary behaviour. Congratulations to all for a great day! Anyone in Year 9 should be very excited about the prospect of choosing GCSE PE when their options are made later this academic year. Mr Hanson

Sixth Form Cultural Day

The Year 12 students helped raise money for Islamic Relief by donating £1.00 to wear items to symbolize their culture. It was both a fun and colourful day. All of the students got involved. The students raised a total of £88.07. It was a day where students were able to share their culture with each other and raise money for a charity.

Miss Taylor


W h e r e will you b e n e x t year? Have you conside re d t h e b e n e f i t s o f p o s t 1 6 option at Heartlan d s A c a d e m y S i x t h F o r m ? • a new and developing Sixth Form which you can help to shape • a Sixth Form that will work with you to meet your personal requirements • small classes with excellent teacher to student ratios • a wide range of courses at both Level 2 & 3 • committed teachers who you know and who know you • a familiar environment • your own Sixth Form area in which to work and socialise • special Sixth Form events and activities • support with career, further and higher education decisions • a challenging and supportive ethos

om e fr r e h nyw a Go


Sixth Form Centre




eing on television was exciting. We waited in a room in Aston Hall talking to our friends. We went for our first rehearsal and we were fab so we had a second go and we sounded amazing. We had food and rested. Then it was time to see our sweatshirts. I liked it because we were showing our spots. Then I got interviewed by Ben Rich, the BBC weatherman followed by our big performance. I cannot tell you how proud I was. Abid Hussain, Year 8


eing on television was a fantastic experience because we met a lot of new people, including the Pudsey bear himself. Being on live TV meant we had to wait around a lot, but overall it was worth it. I was very privileged to be singing with Gareth Malone and his other amazing choirs across the UK. Sabreena Iqbal, Year 10




ebate Mate has begun this term, and already the 2011 Team are preparing for the competitions

that will take them all over the country after Christmas: London, Birmingham and Oxford, to name but a few. Mita Desai from Birmingham University is now in her second year as the Heartlands Debate Mate mentor. She is training students in the fine

Year 10 Health & Social Care Visit to HealthTec uring Creative Curriculum week the


Year 10 Health and Social Care groups had the chance to experience a fresh way of gaining hands on experience related to their study at the HealthTec in Tamworth.

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The main purpose of the visit was to make students more aware of Health and Social Care services and to enthuse students about science in addition to developing their understanding of their own health and well-being through vivid simulations and by meeting with ‘champions’ from the real working world. As there are career opportunities in almost every occupational and professional area across the wider

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workforce, the aim was to make learning relevant to the world of work in the sector, and to support and promote excellent careers advice and guidance about the

“An impressive piece of acting from both Othello and Desdemona”*

s part of the 2011 Shakespeare for Schools Festival, a group of drama students from year 11 and 12 performed a 30 minute adaptation of Othello at The Old Rep Theatre, Birmingham on Friday 4th November. The students rehearsed during lessons and after school for several weeks The process involved a cast workshop with members of the National Theatre and a technical/ dress rehearsal at the theatre. This was a fantastic opportunity for students enabling them to work with professionals from the Performing Arts industry in a professional theatre. Mr Henshaw

“Congratulations to your cast for such an amazing achievement”*

tremendous range of opportunities available. At the HealthTec, they successfully undertook activities that relate to real life situations in health and social care settings - eg: an older person’s living room; the back of an ambulance; an A&E bay; a typical family home; a ward cubicle; a rehabilitation assessment bay; a modern diagnostic and treatment centre; and other facilities involved in both Primary and Secondary Care. All the students had a fantastic experience that will help them with their forthcoming assignments. Mr Hussain

“The principal actors brought energy to the stage”*

* Feedback from the organisers of the Shakespeare for Schools Festival

Debate Mate is held every Monday at 3:15pm in T6

Yousaf Said and Adam Khan


came second in the E-ACT Games poetry competition.

Where talent turns to fame, Where it’s never just a game, Sometimes injuries and sometimes shame, Who could ever call sport lame. Some say sport is sport, Some say a game is too short, But I say happiness cannot be bought. Sport comes through blood, sweat and tears, And in this there are always fears Overcome them with the crowd’s cheers. And when you win they will all shout But inside you know what really counts, Did you try your best? Have you given everything? Sport is in the ‘yes’. Yousaf Said and Adam Khan


art of competitive debating: presenting arguments on a given topic and discrediting those of opponents. Current highlights have been Abid Hussein’s recent victory in the three minute speech competition and Hodan Abdi who is already showing great promise as the future publicity manager of the group. After January, students will begin to enter the national competition for the Urban Debate League and the Oxford International Youth Competition, which will put Heartlands Academy in competition with hundreds of other students around the world. Miss A Smith



orty pupils from years 7 to 11, selected* for their true dedication to sport by participating in extra-curricular clubs and/ or for representing the school in match fixtures, were rewarded by the PE department with a fun trip to a local ice skating rink. The result was an exceptional mix of pupils who looked after one another superbly and got on well together despite their varying ages. At the rink, the spectacle was like watching Bambi all over again (and that was only Mr Hanson!). There were trips, falls, holding hands and lots of laughter – and even some blood!

There was some fantastic skating done by all, from the year 7 girls who whizzed around backwards and performed spins and jumps - to the Bambi look-alikes who made it round the rink safely holding onto the side. They were all sporting types and it was fantastic to see their real dedication to learning a new sport. No-one gave up. Overall, everybody had an incredible time, staff and students alike. We would like to give a special thank you to Larry Heath for providing us with photographic evidence of our superb skating skills (if you believe that you’ll believe

anything!). Also, thank you to Miss Brown and Miss Morris for organising the event. Congratulations must go to all the students who attended and displayed impeccable behaviour and gratitude to the staff by saying “thank you” to every single member. It is great to know the trip was appreciated! Miss Morris

Developing Employability With Our Business Partnerships

New business partnerships for 2012: • Chamber of Commerce • EDT Partnership

*The selection criteria was those that had attended the most extra-curricular clubs or had represented the academy a significant number of times.

Both company partnerships will be focused on developing students’ employability through projects and business visits that develop their soft skills and give students the enrichment opportunities required to show employers they are employable.

The PwC Heartlands Employability Day

The day was tailored to respond to the employability issues and barriers the Academy’s own students had previously told us about. Over 65 PwC staff and 4 partners attended the day. Normal lessons were suspended for 120 students in Year 10, and replaced by employability workshops, business speed dating and communication workshops. To date, feedback for the day has been fantastic and student ‘employability champions’ are going to work with us on this agenda over the coming months. James Howse PwC

A special thank you to all our business partners for all your

dedication and commitment during 2011. You have made a difference to many of our students’ future opportunities and you continue to support our ethos that “Every Child CAN”. We are looking forward to continuing our working relationship during 2012 and exploring further partnerships that will impact on our students’ success in the world of work. PwC ∑ Enabling Enterprise ∑ Business Class ∑ Business in the Community ∑ Deloitte ∑ BMW ∑ Jaguar ∑ Business Dynamics ∑ EDT Open Industry ∑ Adult Education and Family Learning ∑ Heritage Society for continuing to mention Heartlands Academy to your contacts especially Aston Hall Children in Need ∑ Heartlands Academy would like to say a Special Thank You to Martineau UK Law Firm for providing Mrs Jones with the use of their conference facilities. Martineau UK is one of the UK’s leading independent law firms experienced in delivering the full range of commercial legal services.

PwC and Enabling Enterprise

Year 10 set two Maths will be taking part in a Student Leadership Programme intended to develop students’ employability skills. The programme will focus on developing their entrepreneurial skills eg. leadership, innovation and financial management. Students will learn about setting up a viable business or community project. This is intended to be a springboard from which students can set up their own business, or alternatively gateways to further or higher education improving their business prospects and employability. We expect that the soft skills gained by students taking part on this course will also make a difference to their future success in life – developing personal motivation, self-confidence, practicality, and resilience in the face of challenges.

Ice Skating Reward Trip!!! And they all fall down... Watch out for more trips in the coming months. Earn points by attending extra-curricular clubs to secure a place on the next trip. Remember you earn 2 points for a morning club, 1 point for a lunch time club and 3 points for an extra-school club/match.

Deloitte Business Class Partnership Year 10 Maths set 1 and

Gifted and Talented This was first launched in October by a group of dedicated students attending a conference at the Deloitte offices in Birmingham. Students will work towards giving a boardroom presentation to executives from Deloitte. They will challenge each other’s strengths by competing for a winning contract, developing their skills in self management, team working, business and customer awareness, problem solving, communication and literacy, application of money and the role of ICT.


If you would like information about: • primary school transition • Heartlands Academy events • parenting support programmes • community partnership work

contact: Mrs Rachel Buckingham Community Director

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

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Year 7 Update

Students in Year 7 have settled well into school life and have fully immersed themselves into the school community. I wish all Year 7s a very happy and restful holiday, ready for them to start the new term with enthusiasm and a determination to succeed. Miss Hinch


Students have settled in well, getting to grips with school life. The form are very competitive and have worked well at achieving ‘good news’ and sharing celebrations such as birthdays and certificates with others. They are very supportive of each other and take pride in their duties. Shaniah and Adam are our school council representatives and are doing a great job for the form and feeding back to class with issues. Well done to 7AKH for all their good efforts so far! Miss Akhtar


The group has had an exciting start to their time at Heartlands Academy and have already enjoyed privileges such as attending the year 7 residential and participating in a range of extra-curricular activities. Some members have represented the school at netball or football, and some have begun taking instrumental lessons. They had a great time on the residential, especially when some of them went for a swim in the lake, or even in a swamp! Taye Warner and Harry O’Shaughnessy were voted as student council representatives, and have regularly attended meetings so far this year. Although they have not taken assembly yet, they look forward to creating a fresh start to the new year when they take assembly in January. Miss Burgess


All the students have started their first year at Heartlands Academy on a really positive note! Every morning I come to school and see 21 smiling faces that are eager to learn, work hard and ready to achieve. They are motivated by all the ‘good news’ they receive because they know the high standards I expect! In addition, there are nearly-perfect equipment checks and immaculate uniforms and they are

even willing to put up with my cheesy jokes! Almost all members attended the residential and had an awesome time (see page 3). The student council representatives are Niyaz and Usman and we can really depend on them to report back all the information they learn. Mr Farrah


What a fantastic start to the year in 7ALJ! Over the past three months students in 7ALJ have taken part in extra-curricular activities and some have represented the school during Children in Need in the school choir. Members of the form also attended the residential where they took part in team-building activities and developed skills in problem solving and communication. These skills have been implemented in the classroom during tutor times where each member of the form has an important role in class, whether it is a daily/weekly responsibility or offering peer support to the other members of the form. Mrs Campbell


7AHG have settled in well. In terms of good attitudes, good behaviour, full uniform and equipment, students are adhering to the school policies. Most students went on the residential to the Lake District and had a really good time. Some members of the form represent the Academy in the football team (Kyle Masih) and the netball team (Amira, Ayann and Taylor). Furthermore, Taylor and Shakera have been attending some after-school ice-skating lessons. We have some budding musicians within the form: Ayann is learning to play the drums and Amira plays the trombone. Recently, Monique, Shumaya and Taylor were in the school choir where they helped to raise money for Children In Need. You may have seen them on the TV! 7AHG will be taking part in an assembly in February about ‘Overcoming Difficulties’ - they are busy thinking of ideas and it is good to see them all contributing. Mr Ahmed


They have had a good start to the year and are involved in all aspects of school life. Whilst Miss Allidina is out of school, Miss Zhang has taken over as form tutor and is busy getting to know members of the tutor group.


A great start for 7SHM, they have settled into the Academy with ease as well as achieving so much more this term. The residential to the Lake District was a major thumbs up as it enabled them to build new relationships with other students and overcome their fears of heights, being away from home and generally become more independent. 7SHM were also the first tutor group to write, direct and perform an assembly to the rest of the year group based on the theme of ‘Controlling Yourself’. I am very pleased to hear that many of my tutees attend after school extra activities such as homework club, representing the school in football tournaments and not to forget singing in the choir for Children in Need. Miss Shah

How We Used To Play

How We Used To Play is a collection of poems and personal accounts about childhood play. Jane and Matt, both poets in their own right from Nine Arches Press, worked in partnership with the academy to produce the final version. They met members of our staff and local community to listen to their accounts of childhood games. There were many happy and some sad moments as people recalled their past memories. How We Used To Play has now been published and, by way of a thank you, all the contributors will receive a personal copy. We are very privileged to work and live in such a vibrant and culturally rich city that promotes and celebrates its cultural heritage. How We Used to Play is a reflection of the diversity of Nechells and a celebration of community engagement. Rachel Buckingham

Thank You Nine Arches Press What Next?

How We Used to Play will be used to promote primary transition projects between our feeder schools. During National Story Telling Week, the wider community will be invited to celebrate games played by different generations. Senior members of the community will share stories with students and, at the same time, students can participate in traditional games and, in turn, share their understanding of modern technology with the senior members.

Spring Term

Academy Dates 2012 Begins: Wednesday 4 January

Year 11 Parents Evening

Thursday 2 February

08:00 - 08:35

Half Term: Monday 13 February - Friday 17 February

Ends: Friday 30 March

Year 9 Parents Evening

Thursday 8 March

11:10 - 11:25 12:35 - 13:45

Summer Term

Easter Break: Monday 2 April - Friday 13 April

Begins: Monday 16 April

Year 10 Parents Evening

15:05 - 16:00

Thursday 17 May

Half Term: Monday 4 June - Friday 8 June

Ends: Thursday 12 July (students) Friday 13 July (staff)

Teacher Days (non-pupil) Mayday (school closed) Year 8 Parents Evening Year 7 Parents Evening Teacher Day (non-pupil)

Library Opening Times

IMPORTANT NOTICE TO PARENTS If you bring your child to school by car, in order to avoid dangerous congestion, it would be appreciated if you could park on Wardlow Road and NOT in the car park. Thank You

Thursday 3 May & Friday 4 May Monday 7 May Thursday 28 June Thursday 12 July Friday 13 July


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

Heartlands Academy Heartlines Newsletter Issue 7 Autumn 2011  

Heartlands Academy Heartlines Newsletter Issue 7 Autumn 2011

Heartlands Academy Heartlines Newsletter Issue 7 Autumn 2011  

Heartlands Academy Heartlines Newsletter Issue 7 Autumn 2011