IN THIS ISSUE
HIGH TIMES February 2010
FORMIDABLE!! We end the term with another successful trip to France which will be reported on in more detail within a ‘trips and events’ spread in our next newsletter. Suffice to say though, even if we emphasise achievement in our communications with home, we also care deeply about the ‘enjoy’ part of ‘enjoy and achieve’ in the Every Child Matters agenda. Yes, we are above the national average for 5 A* - C GCSE passes, yes we do score more highly than many of our neighbouring schools for value added, yes we do exceed the national average for science and ICT, and yes we are confident about exceeding our National Challenge for 5 A* - Cs with English and maths this summer, but achievement does not happen in a vacuum. We know that children will only achieve if they are secure and happy and that is why we place great store on the big things like behaviour, and on the finer detail like school uniform because these things send strong messages about the kind of school we are. We want to give your children as varied a curriculum, both in and out of the classroom, as possible. And this is possible because we know we can trust them to do us and themselves proud whenever they wear our uniform with pride. I hope you will continue to support the school in this so that we can continue to be told, as we were by the coachdriver at the end of our three-day French trip pictured below, ‘KNHS children were a pleasure to drive and better than any other school (that he had driven in his coach).’ We can all take a pat on the back for this, you as parents and carers, your children, the school, and the staff who took them and looked after them with such care.
MUSIC IS IN THE AIR
Have a great Easter and we look forward to greeting the learners again on Monday 19th April. Denise Burns, headteacher
"When we went up the Eiffel Tower the view was amazing and they turned the lights on then the whole Eiffel Tower lit up. When the was lift going up you were wondering all the time "how high are we?" It did not seem like it was going to stop. But as soon as you got up there you felt like you were on top of the world. We all put some money together to buy all the teachers and the coach driver a gift for all the hard work and effort they put into giving us an amazing experience to say thank you. France was amazing!!" Chloe Matthewson (Year 11)
We visited le Louvre to see the Mona Lisa and the goddess of love Aphrodite, and then we made our way out of le Louvre to sit and have lunch in the sun. When we finished we headed towards the river Seine for a boat trip. It was very informative and told us about the main sites of Paris. Then we visited the Eiffel Tower which was an amazing experience most of us (not including Mrs Hammond) got to the top of it. We then visited the Arc de Triomphe which was also an amazing experience. "
Nicholas Harris (year 11)
Disney fieldwork??? As part of their studies, the GCSE geography group undertook fieldwork in Warwickshire and Solihull on Monday 22nd March. They were tasked with identifying characteristics of suburbanised villages and visited the settlements of Henley-in-Arden and Dickens Heath. The former provided much needed sustenance in the shape of Henley ice-cream and the latter was debatably described by one of the students as being 'like Disneyland'. Although Mickey, Goofy and co weren't around, a great time was had by all and the complex geographical processes that determine settlement structure and growth were explored in great detail. Mr Moore, KS4 Manager
WISE UP ON ATTENDANCE Earlier in the term, Kings Norton High School and the Education Welfare Service have worked in partnership over a number of weeks to focus on learners who are persistently late or absent. Our activities included learner watch patrols with the police, contact with parents/carers, welcoming learners who arrive on time and having conversations with learners who are late, assemblies and undertaking learners 'punctuality' workshops. We are glad to inform you all that punctuality to school and lessons improved by 25% for the whole school with punctuality to school improving by 30%. As a result we had 194 detentions less compared to the previous half term. The most improved year for time-keeping is year 10, closely followed by years 7 and 8. Persistent absence to school has been reduced by 13% compared to the first term this academic year. We are asking all parents/carers and learners to continue to support us in our efforts and assist us by ensuring that learners attend school and arrive on time. Lessons start at 9.05 am on Mondays and 8:50 am on Tuesday to Fridays. All students who achieve 100% attendance to will be invited to a celebration meal after half term.
Wise up, make the most of school, enjoy and achieve Don't let your attendance drop, come to school and rise to the top
ENTERPRISING ACTIVITIES! Wednesday 3rd March was a good day for 80 of our year 9 and 10 students – a whole day off timetable to work in the world of business! The day was led by Geoff Heaps, a business consultant, and 23 business volunteers—all from the world of work. Students working in small teams away from their normal friendship groups had a variety of challenges set before them. The ice was broke by giving our visitors a warm welcome before settling down to decide what makes a good employee. The majority of the day was spent working on planning the launch of a new coffee shop. Tasks included deciding on a name and logo, researching and pricing menus, producing advertising materials and designs for mugs and plates. The final designs were then reproduced by hand and taken to a team of rather choosy buyers. Those copies that passed close scrutiny were bought as a source of income for the teams. Fines were also imposed for poor punctuality or not keeping their workplace clean and tidy. The climax of the day came when displays were mounted for inspection and each team had to give a presentation about their project. These were also judged. It was heartening to see how the relationship between students and employers developed as the day progressed leading to mutual respect and admiration. We would like to offer our thanks to everyone who contributed to making this day such a success and especially to the students who engaged in such a positive way. Mr Taylor and Mr Benham WRL Co-ordinators
Volunteer comments “I was impressed with the way my team worked together to complete tasks” “Good kids, good behaviour, good interaction” “Young people need exposure to skills that are used in the workplace” “Haven’t been here for a while the school has changed” “Kings Norton High School is a good place to be”.
Student comments “I’ve learned how to do a marketing job” “I know what it takes to make a business plan” “It has shown me how to work in a team and with different pressures” “I will remember the fun we had in our group”.
SHARP SAFEGUARDING As part of our ongoing improvement in safeguarding, we are introducing a confidential reporting system via the internet call the SHARP system. SHARP stands for ‘School Help Advice Reporting Page’. This system has been introduced in many secondary schools across the country and has been effective for both students and parents to report concerns. These concerns are then either dealt with by the school and are passed on to other agencies as necessary. The ‘SHARP’ button is available on our website—web.kingsnortonhigh.bham.sch.uk.
Go Team KNHS! On 4th March Kings Norton High School was represented at the United Kingdom Mathematics Trust (UKMT) Team Maths Challenge Regional Final by four KS3 students at the Rugby High School in Rugby. The UKMT competition combines mathematical, communication and team working skills whilst offering students an alternative way to express and develop their enjoyment of mathematics. There were four rounds to the regional final and ‘Team KNHS’ took part in the group competition, cross number, head-to-head and the relay race where, with great awe, were placed 10th in the regional final after competing against grammar and independent schools. Over all, the day was brilliant, I met new people, I came across ‘Team KNHS’ were enthusiastic and excited to spend the day just having fun doing mathematics, meeting students from other schools and sharing ideas and skills whilst competing.
challenging questions that really tested my brain and got to work with different people of different skills in my team. I personally enjoyed the day and learnt new things. I also learnt that I need practice with word solving questions because that is the area I found problems. I thank the people who organised this event and my teachers who gave me the chance to take part. I hope I can go on other challenges someday. Agnes Birungi (Year 9)
The UKMT team challenge day was an incredible learning experience and wonderful fun. Everyone was on task from start to finish and a renewed determination to conquer challenges with their school work was evidence by the end of the challenge.
I really enjoyed the day. It was not just a simple competition but a big challenge for me; it was my first experience entering such a big competition. When the competition started, I felt excited, nervous and afraid we would lose, but overall I think we did very well because we competed against grammar schools. Although we didn’t get a really good score, we tried our best. Everybody worked so hard for it, although when we got questions wrong I felt down, but just like Mrs Morris had said “We’re here to have fun!” I’m glad that we entered the UKMT this year, if I’m given the chance I would definitely go again next year and hope we will get a better result! Cindy Don (Year 8)
Bridging the Gap My name is Liz Crooks and I work here at Kings Norton High School as the home-school link worker. I know that all sorts of things worry parents! We worry that our kids might be not happy, we worry about their ‘teenage behaviour’, their friendships, if they are going to do well at school and if they’ll pass their exams. We worry that we could do a better job as a parent, we worry about money, housing, health, relationships, family and the future – the list is endless! Nobody has all the answers, but sometimes by talking or dealing with a problem quickly it can turn a bad day into a more positive one – both for you and your family. I can support parents and carers in lots of different ways: • • • • • • •
Be available to talk or visit when you need a little extra support Help you speak with the school about matters that are important to you and your child Help you to improve your own learning and lifestyle skills Help you understand the curriculum and teaching methods so you can help with homework and learning Help you access drop-in sessions, information, services and grants Help and advise you on completing forms and applications Work with you to improve your parenting skills Give me a call and we can work together to find solutions for your concerns, however big or small. Liz Crooks on 0121 459 4451 ext 225 - firstname.lastname@example.org