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Bits & Bytes KING’S HEATH BOYS’ MATHEMATICS AND COMPUTING COLLEGE NEWSLETTER December 2010 Issue 9

King’s Heath Boys’ Mathematics and Computing College is 50 years old Our open evening in September started our celebrations and our new prospective year 6 students and their families were invited to see school in action. They were welcomed by our Year 7 students and lots of action packed activities in school and a cake.

IN THIS ISSUE... • COMIC LIFE • UK JUNIOR MATHEMATICAL CHALLENGE 2010 • GEOGRAPHY FIELD TRIP • DISCO INFERNO • TECHNIQUEST • MATHS DAY • E-SAFETY • GCSE ICT • 2010 FIFA WORLD CUP AND MUCH MUCH MORE...

Look out for more 50th Anniversary activities as we go through the year.


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Keeping it real ‘COMIC LIFE’ When I mention the word ‘Shakespeare’ I usually get one of two responses – either, “Urgh! I hate Shakespeare – it’s boring”, or “It’s rubbish. I can’t understand a word of it.” In fact, it’s very rare that I get a, “This is great Miss!” - especially when the focus is Romeo and Juliet. But that is exactly what I got from my Year 10 set. Well, yeah - you’re probably wondering where the catch is now; and ‘catch’ is exactly the right word to use. Even though it pains me to say this, study Shakespeare can sometimes be quite a bore, and can be difficult to understand, but using Comic Life not only made the Shakespearean language seem a whole lot easier to understand, but it helped with understanding the stagecraft and dramatisation of characters, their thoughts, feelings and motives, as well as capturing how an audience might see things. Basically, Comic Life really did hook students in to a new, alternative and more life-like way of studying Shakespeare. Not only did they have the chance to improve their ICT skills with the use of digital photography and the complimentary Firefox editing package, but also (and without very much effort) their acting and directing skills. And to top all of this, they now have some fantastic revision material to help them prepare for their GCSEs! By Ms Kirk

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United Kingdom Mathematics Trust UK Junior Mathematical Challenge 2010 The UK Mathematics Trust (UKMT) is a registered charity whose aim is to advance the education of children and young people in mathematics. The UKMT organises national mathematics competitions and other mathematical enrichment activities for 11-18 year old UK school pupils. Some of our Year 7 and Year 8 students entered guided by Mr Pearson. Bronze awards awarded to: Tommy Walker, Ross Winspur, Nazhan Wahab and Shane Lange With the gold award awarded to: Ben Mackcracken

EnMa Fifteen year eleven students took part in the “EngMa� project, which was designed to improve their grades in GCSE maths. They took part in workshops and group sessions, as well as having to complete workbooks and individual challenges. Each student was supported by an academic mentor, who attended all the sessions with them, and all students involved had committed themselves to seven months of extra study. The project kicked off with a visit to Birmingham City University to use the ICT facilities there, and other sessions were held at places like the education centre in Harborne. Every student involved worked really hard and all stated that they felt that the project had really improved their chances of achieving a C grade.

Additional Maths for Year 11 This year we saw lots of students succeed in passing there maths GCSE in November. This allowed us to take 13 of our top maths students through the Additional Maths course which goes well beyond the normal GCSE curriculum and introduces students to a number of A-level topics and techniques. The final exam is more like an A-Level exam in structure and difficulty, so well done to all of the students who rose to the challenge. These students are now far better equipped to start difficult Maths A-level courses in September.

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Geography Field Trip In July this year a group of 60 year 10 Geography GCSE students travelled to The Hope Valley in the Peak District to collect data for their coursework. Found in the heart of the Derbyshire Peak District National Park, Castleton village is the most famous honeypot village in the Peak district. Castleton as it is known today dates from approximately the 11th century and has developed over the years to become one of the most treasured and revered areas of any National Park in the UK. Castleton more than lives up to its name and has a well deserved reputation as a beautiful, tranquil and fascinating rural hill-village which is steeped in History and best known for it’s Geology and unique Geographical landmarks Castleton is surrounded on three of its four sides by steep hills, the most prominent of which lies just two miles to the north-west of Castleton and is known as the Great Ridge. The most imposing section of the ridge is Mam Tor, which is a popular tourist destination for many visitors to Castleton. During their visit to Castleton, students worked both independently and as part of a small group to research and gather data based on the impact tourism has on the local environment of Castleton and the wider environment of the hope valley. Data was collected using various techniques such as Environmental Impact analysis, questionnaires and surveys. Evidence was gathered using Digital cameras, mobile phone cameras and video and the use of secondary evidence sources such as the internet and Geographical Information Systems such as Aegis map software. The students started their research in the village of Castleton and eventually moved up the valley to the foot of Mam Tor where they gathered further data on the impacts of tourism on the surrounding rural area. The village also has four ‘show caves’ - Peak Cavern, Blue John Cavern, Speedwell Cavern and Treak Cliff Cavern which are famous for mining Britain’s rarest mineral Blue John Stone. The students took the opportunity to have a tour of the caverns which involved a decent of nearly 500 feet under ground. Despite the long journey it was a pleasure to see all students applying themselves fully to tasks and picking up a range of new skills. Well done to all the year 10 students who made all the teachers very proud on the day. Mr Gaughan Head of Geography

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The Hope Valley


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The IT Diploma @ Kings Heath Boys School “The Diploma in Information Technology teaches young people about IT in business. The employer-endorsed content is up-todate and relevant, reflecting the blend of business, technical, interpersonal and project skills needed by someone who is thinking about a career in the IT and telecoms sector.” KHBS first offered the IT Diploma as an option subject in 2009. Twenty two boys took up the challenge in September and we began teaching Unit 6 (How to build a Computer Network). Mr Hodgkins, our school’s Network Manager offered to deliver the unit of work supported by Mr I Jones.

Since January 2010 the Diploma has been delivered on a Thursday at Kings Norton CLC.

We have

completed Units 5 (Multimedia), 6 (Networking and Databases) and One (The Potential of Technology) in year 10 , and in year 11 we are currently working on completing Units 3 (Effective Communication) and 4 (Skills for Innovation). The boys enjoy the more mature approach to their learning and the way they are treated as adults. As part of the course they have visited:

Heart FM on Broad Street

The Village Hotel in Solihull

David Lloyd Health and Fitness Club in Solihull

Jaguar Cars at Castle Bromwich

Each time they have represented our school the businesses have commented on the boys’ subject knowledge, their attitude and approach to the subject.

The return of GCSE ICT Year 10 students have had the opportunity to opt for GCSE ICT this year and it has been a very successful start to the year. They have been embracing theory for the Unit 1 Exam. Their topic this term is ‘exploring home entertainment’ taking a practical approach to comparing games consoles from ten years ago with the high quality graphical devices of today. as well as other topics such as home and personal communication systems and data types. Students are keen to embark on their first piece of coursework soon following the Controlled Assessment model.

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Fast Track Boys lead the way! The Design Technology department have for the past three years entered pupils in Years 8 and 9 for GCSE Graphic Products. This year 30 “Fast Track� pupils, who achieved a grade C in 2009, have taken the higher tier examination in Graphic Products. In addition another 30 boys from KS3 sat the foundation and higher tier papers. AS Level AS level is now embedded into the curriculum. It an over subscribed course with 20 pupils due to take the examination in 2011, after starting their course in September 2009. The development of CAD/CAM has led to exciting opportunities for the boys to achieve higher levels of attainment. Pupils are now conversant with the use of the laser cutter, plotter and milling machine. The Sublimation printing system has also provided an amazing resource for the students to create work of a professional standard.

Below are examples of the coursework produced by these students:

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European Computer Driving License “European Computer Driving Licence (ECDL) also known as International Computer Driving Licence (ICDL) is a computer literacy certification program provided by the ECDL Foundation. The ECDL / ICDL certification is a globally recognized Information and Communication Technology and digital literacy certification. According to ECDL Foundation, the ECDL / ICDL certification is recognized and supported by governments, computer societies (BCS), international organizations and commercial corporations.” KHBS will be introducing this ICT qualification in September 2010 to parents of year 7 pupils. We became a registered centre for the British Computer Society in July and plan to offer this new initiative in the Autumn term. We have purchased “individual learning materials” through “Thirdforce” and parents who register for this course will have access to the materials through the school’s computer network during after-school sessions. If you are interested in joining this group please contact Mr I Jones (Head of Maths/ICT Faculty) at the school.

e-learning that works

Safer Internet Use E-safety is a skill that is continually re-enforced at Kings Heath Boys and Safer Internet Week allowed the school community to explore this even further. The focus this year was “Think before you post” referring to raising students awareness of the dangers of sharing their details online. a A parental workshop was delivered to support parents whose sons’ use computers at home and assemblies too were focused on encouraging students to be responsible when using the internet and reminding them that whatever goes online stays online. Our top tips for Safer Internet Use are; Stop – Don’t give out your personal details Think – Things aren’t always what they seem so questioning everything you see. Stay safe – Always speak to an adult if you are ensure about something. For more information please visit www.thinkuknow.co.uk

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Video conferencing opportunities for our students As part of Year 9 ICT Enrichment Day this year students were given the challenge of planning a new building for Kings’ Heath Boys’. They had to work in teams across a range of activities including producing radio adverts, news bulletins, comics for Year 6 as well as a parental newsletter. Throughout the day a live video conference link was open for students to gain news bulletins from a group of intrepid new reporters at Kings Norton City Learning Centre. This was then feedback to their teams in school. A thoroughly enjoyable day was had by all.

Visit to Techniquest Year 8 students visited Techniquest, a Science and Mathematics Discovery Centre near Wrexham in July 2010. The boys enjoyed a variety of activities. They attended a presentation called ‘Mathemagic’ where the boys explored some of the more creative areas of mathematics. At the end of the tour the centre guide complemented the boys on their outstanding behaviour. At the end one of the year 8 boys was heard to say “It was the best trip they had been on yet”!

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Disco Inferno An approach to teaching control for Y7 students This year during Year 7 Activities Day the ICT Department ran a carousel of workshops utilising Lego Mindstorms and Yenka software to enable students to develop their skills, knowledge and understanding in the use of control within ICT. The day enable the students to get some hands on experience with the Lego kit and programme a Disco ball and light to run in a sequence. The Yenka workshop had the students creating flowcharts to control an on screen character to dance to music and some really great routines were developed.

As our students enjoyed the

sessions so much the event was offered to other local schools who brought their students over for a morning.

Both events were hugely

successful and we plan to build on these in the future.

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World Maths Day 3rd March 2010 The school celebrated World Maths Day earlier this year with a full programme of Maths enriched learning across the curriculum. Staff embraced the opportunity to explore numeracy within their subject areas with vigour and the day saw students calculating energy in food types within science; working out colour combinations through number patterns in art; modelling football scores within ICT as well as calculating distances in geography.

Maths Activity day July 2010 Students took part in a variety of activities which included Origami, Bridge Construction, Probability and Maths in Art. The students were so enthralled that it was hard to get them out of the room for their break and lunch time!

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South Network Gifted and Talented Maths Challenge This year saw the formation of the first South Network maths challenge for year 9 students. Ten South Network schools each entered a team of six students. There were three rounds of different types of maths challenge with the Kings’ Heath Boys’ team winning gold medals in the third round. When all the scores were added up we finished 3rd overall behind Wheelers Lane and King Edward VI Camp Hill Boys. Well done to all who took part. Mr Adams was heavily involved in the organisation of this highly successful event. As a bonus the team got to compare medals with our Celebration Evening guest speaker Stephen Parry, who had brought in his Olympic Games bronze medal.

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2010 Fifa World Cup South Africa on the PS3 Congratulations go to Hamza Mahmood (8ATO) for winning the PS3 World Cup playing as Honduras who beat Amardeep Landa (10 AAG) playing as the USA in the final. The semifinals were fantastic matches to watch, (better than the real ones). Both were close with plenty of goals. Kelvin Zhuwakini (10 KUP) playing as South Africa scored a wonder goal but just ran out of time trying to come back against Honduras, while Yasir Emtyaz (10 SHU) let a good lead slip against the USA losing in the dying minutes.

Hamza Mahmood PS3 World Cup Winner

Well done to all 32 players who took part, it’s fair to say that it had more goals than the real event and just as much controversy. Schools Fantasy Football League 2009/2010 Year 10 and staff members dominated the top 10 positions this year with Azad Ilyas (10 TGA), coming first, Uzeffa Shah (10 IJO) finishing 2nd and Mr Adams claiming the staff prize and finishing 3rd overall.

Azad Ilyas SFL Winner

Supporting our primary schools Year 3 & 4 explore making movies A local Primary school wanted to explore the topic of “Change” with their Gifted & Talented pupils in Years 3 & 4. In collaboration with King’s Heath Boys’ a movie workshop was devised in which the pupils mapped out their ideas on the topic, researched suitable imagery, produced key statements, storyboarded their ideas and then combined it all in a movie making package. The results were wonderful and the school were able to incorporate the pupils work on their visual electronic display within their own school’s reception.

Feedback, questions & virtual suggestions box At King’s Heath Boys’ feedback is always welcome so, please feel free to email yours or, any questions or suggestions you may have regarding any issues in this Newsletter to the email below. rhowat@kingsheathboys.bham.sch.uk


2010 kings heath news issue 10