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Issue No. 8

Winter 2014


Small Heath School and Sixth Form Centre

Small Heath School - Outstanding Once Again Dear Parents and Families, Another bumper edition of our School Magazine reflecting the vast array of enriching learning activities on offer to all of our pupils and students. Learning and the curriculum should be about deepening knowledge and understanding across a broad range of subject areas. They should promote creativity, literacy, numeracy and the skills and qualities required for work and future life. Learning and the curriculum should not simply be about attainment. As always, our magazine focuses on a curriculum for learning and one which truly allows our children to develop into great young people. I often use the following quotation in letters: ‘Do not judge a school on the greatness of its examination results but on the flourishing young people that leave its doors’. Enjoy your read. With my very best wishes, P Slough Headteacher

Another busy term developing our young pupils’ creative minds and experiences outside of the classroom. From the Birmingham Schools’ Art Exhibition that we were kindly allowed to exhibit at Millennium Point, to our Year 7 and Year 12 pupils visiting Birmingham Airport and Monarch’s new engineering hangar as well as a week packed with literacy based fun activities, pupils at Small Heath School have a lot to get their teeth into and long may this be the case. Enjoy the read. O MacNamee 1

HIRB Ackers Trip I went to Ackers and the first thing I did was go climbing. The first part of the wall was easy but the middle part of the wall scared me when I tried to get down. The people that were there helped me though so I could get down easily. The Zip Line was very scary I did walk to the top of the tower but it was very high and I did not want to do it. We then had our dinner outside before we went into the forest. There were lots of things to climb on in the forest and the men told us where to walk on the different things such as tree logs and small bridges made of wood. There was also a tunnel there that we tried to go up but it was to slippery so the man told us to go down it instead then we went back to school. I liked the forest work the best because it was a lot of fun and I really enjoyed it. By Shamraiz Mohammed 8KDV I went on a trip to Ackers. The first thing I went on was rock climbing, I just climbed half way up because I did not want to go up to high. The second thing I went on was zip wire it is not really scary, but it felt like I was flying. I could see the people at the bottom. We had lunch then we went on the jungle trek in the forest. We had to stand up and line up and we jumped over and under big logs. We all had to stand on a big wooden circle it was very slippery! We all came back on the mini bus. I think it was a fun day. I would go back again. By Ataur Rahman 8KDV I went to Ackers with the HIRB (Hearing Impaired Resource Base). I enjoyed the day I did climbing, zip wire and jungle challenge. I was scared at first to go on the zip wire as it was high but with my teachers help I did it! It was a great day and the best part was working with another school. By Mujahid Fiaz 10AMI

Forest School - New Logo This is our Forest School logo. Designed by Madheha Haydor 8MBO and then re-imagined by Miss Bibi and Mr Mohr. 2

Reading Week - Autumn 2013 At three times during the year Small Heath School’s librarians, English Team and Literacy Team plan and produce fun and enriching activities, visits and trips to promote reading and the variety of reading materials out there. There truly is something for everyone and with the school’s libraries always busy at break and lunchtimes this is testament to the power of the written word and the enjoyment it can create; transporting the readers to different worlds and dimensions with just the turn of a page. With two more weeks yet to come, here is a rundown of some of the activities we ran that week, which ultimately expanded to incorporate the whole month of October in one way or another. - Author visit from long time friend of the school, Bali Rai (see opposite page) - Royal Shakespeare Company Theatre Trip (see page 9 for a full report) - ‘We Love Jaqueline Wilson’ Book Group - The Etherington Brothers visit us once again - A visit to Nostalgia and Comics - A trip to Birmingham’s new library O MacNamee - Editor, English and Media


Author Visit - Bali Rai During Reading Week in October, Ms Garvey arranged for the Leicester author Bali Rai to visit Small Heath School. He has written lot of books for young people, including (Un)arranged Marriage, Revenge of the Number Two and The Soccer Squad series. Pupils from 8Q enjoyed hearing about his life in Leicester and listening to readings from some of his novels. They then became budding novelists and wrote their own horror stories. Here is what some of the class thought about the session: “I learnt that to make your reader interested, you should open with a fantastic opening. You should also set the story where you live and add some humour to stop the reader from getting fed up and shutting the book” - Haleemah Hussain “Bali Rai uses his friends and local shops in his writing. He says you should always start a story with action” Maazin Osman

Children’s Author, Bali Rai

“10/10 for enjoyment” - Abdisamad Hassan “The part I liked was when we were creating our own stories because we were being imaginative” - Ikra Mazhar “9/10 for enjoyment 10/10 for helping me write stories” - Mohammed Usman

Bali Rai with some of our pupils

“I liked it when he read the funny books which made me laugh and I liked it when he talked about himself” - Aman Nawaz “Bali Rai is an enthusiastic and funny author. He read some of his books and then made us write” - Rashed Ali “There is nothing that I did not like about the session” - Hasan Tariq “Bali Rai was very funny and he had good tips that will help us when we write stories” - Zahra Aslam O Jenkin - English and Media 4

Monarch Engineering Hangar Monarch Aircraft Engineering Limited set pupils from Year 7 a brief to create artwork for the offices of the new Monarch Engineering Hangar at Birmingham Airport. Run as a competition, five of the pieces were selected and the pupils were invited to attend the official opening of the brand new multi-million pound maintenance hangar at the Airport. At the end of November the pupils attended the opening ceremony which included a fly-past of an Airbus A321 and were treated as VIP’s. They were given a personal tour of the facilities, saw their artwork mounted on walls of the offices and as a special treat were given a chance to visit the cockpit of one of the planes being serviced in the hangar. All five had the chance to sit in the Captain’s chair and were amazed at the monitors and controls that the pilot uses to fly the aircraft. All thoroughly enjoyed themselves and said it was, “The best day ever in their lives!” J Green - Creative Arts

Year 7 pupils at the new Monarch Engineering hangar at Birmingham Airport 5

Year 12 Visit To Monarch The visit to the new Monarch Airlines Hangar at BHX was one of the most productive visits to widen the range of understanding about engineering for many of our sixth form and year 11 students. Aside from visiting the hangar, we were given the opportunity to find out more into what is required for engineering and also other programmes already in place (Sisk Construction) to get into the world of work. We were able to look around the hangar and learn about the advanced technology which had been developed and newly introduced to making the project a success. In addition, we were able to experience the busy life of workers, engineers and architects who were still at work pulling off the final touches. This opportunity has been a stand out as it highlighted not only the possible opportunities to get into work, but widened the spectrum of careers within such a project which has also had a positive impact in lessons, with information we learned during the visit now being put into practice in the classroom. Jeevan Chagger - Year 12

Jeevan and other Year 12 students, along with Mr Riley and Mr Gunn, at the Monarch Engineering Hangar


Future Chef 2013 The Future Chef Competition was a great success with 8 pupils entering. All pupils worked well and to a high standard creating fantastic food to rival any top chef. Dahnish Iqbal was declared the winner and will now go on to represent the school, participating in the local finals to be held at South and City College in December. We wish him all the best and we will let you know how he got on in the next issue of this magazine. Dahnish Iqbal – ‘I really enjoyed taking part in the Future Chef Competition. It gave me the chance to be creative and cook foods that I wouldn’t normally cook at home. I hope that I will go far in the competition.’ E Thompson - Food Technology

Zafar Hussain, Award Winning Chef, Visits From The Economist magazine A group of schools and firms take the skills gap into their own hands “Add water, not oil, if it gets dry,” Zafar Hussain tells pupils at Small Heath School, scattering turmeric into a sizzling pan of chicken balti. He goes on to explain how to manage ingredients in a restaurant kitchen. His business—a curry house—is doing well. But although youth unemployment in the area stands at 20%, he struggles to find employable staff. So here he is, trying to educate young people before they leave school. Zafar Hussain and our Catering Group


‘Keeping Up With The Children’ School Trip To Wales The Sidney Nolan Trust in Powys, North Wales, offered a day visit to the ‘Keeping up with the Children’ group run at Small Heath School, by myself, Mrs Khimji and Mr Osman. Mrs. Allenbury the school councellor who kindly agreed to drive the minibus and arrange this trip. The incentive to this visit was so that parents could enjoy and learn more about organic food and how it is farmed; along with the opportunity to participate in stone carving and Art workshop. Parents were accompanied by the younger children who also enjoyed themselves, walking through the meadows full of colourful flowers, seeing and feeding the young farm animals and picking flowers for the workshop. For many of the parents this was their first visit at countryside and the feedback from them was very enthusiastic and positive. Many felt it reminded them of the scenery of their homeland. Mrs Khimji

Year 8 National Writing Competition Talented creative writers in Year 8 have been working on their entries for the National Literacy Trust's Descriptosaurus Writing Challenge. This nationwide competition invites pupils to showcase their creativity and love of language by writing a short but gripping scene which leaves the reader wanting more. In our workshop sessions, pupils sharpened their descriptive writing skills through exercises looking at vocabulary, sentence structure, figurative language and character development. The focus was on using language in surprising and inventive ways. Pupils then created settings ranging from haunted houses to windswept clifftops, and characters from moody teenagers to vampires and talking millipedes! We wish them good luck in the competition. Dr O’Mahoney - English 8

Richard II at the RSC Thanks go to Andy Holding and Birmingham Airport for gifting 20 hard to find tickets for David Tennant’s sell out performance of Richard II at the RSC in Stratford-Upon-Avon on October 21st 2013. For many of our A level English Literature students, this was their first experience of the theatre, and what an experience it was. Not only were they able to view Shakespeare as he intended to be seen; on the stage, but thanks to Nicola Clements at the RSC, they were able to meet David Tennant (Dr Who, Broadchurch, Fright Night) after the perfomance. This was a bonus none of us had imagined would happen, and David was very, very accomodating with his time. If we hadn’t had to get the coach home I think many of our students would still be there now. For a first visit to the theatre, this takes some beating. But, more importantly, it gives our students an opportunity they may well never would have had and to see the Bard’s work live and in person is a very powerful thing indeed. The memories will be everlasting, I am sure, and hopefully it will inspire a whole new generation of writers and performers. O MacNamee - Editor, English and Media


Geography - See The World Differently

The start to 2013/14 has been a busy and exciting one in Geography with fieldtrips and hands on activities taking place. Year 9 – have spent the half term getting to grips with the natural earth and hazards people face across the globe. We finished the topic with an ‘explosive’ lesson where the pupils had the chance to erupt model volcanoes they had constructed as part of their series of homework tasks. Models ranged in size, colour, texture and eruptions were, at times, violent just as they would be in real life! Year 10 – spent their first CEE day of the year learning to use a variety of fieldwork equipment and successfully gathered data on the river in Woodgate Valley Park, perfect preparation for our real fieldwork visit in April. The weather was kind and the rain held off until we were getting back on the bus to return to school. Year 11 – ten girls, Mrs Rogers and Miss Mahon carefully packed the minibus and headed for an overnight trip to Wales. Stopping at Raglan Castle, Llanelli Wetlands Trust and then ending our journey at Port Eynon on the South Wales coast the girls learnt about key aspects of Geography including tourism, coastal features and processes. The night was spent in a Youth Hostel where the group cooked two delicious meals before retiring to their dormitory. Saturday morning was spent on the beach next to the Youth Hostel before heading back to school. All went home tired but happy.

Year 9 and their model volcanoes

E Rogers - Geography


Birmingham Schools’ Art Exhibition 2013

Working in partnership with several schools around Birmingham and Solihull, the October half-term holiday saw the first Birmingham Schools’ Arts Exhibition showcased at Millennium Point all that week. With artwork ranging from photography and screen-printing to creative writing and graffiti, courtesy of a local graffiti artists called Liskbot, the exhibition saw a lot of people over the week admnire our pupils’ stunning artwork and creative imaginations in action. Here then, we present some of the work that was on show. 11

Liskbot in action


Small Heath Young REP Picture the scene… Birmingham, February 1913, a hub of industry and The Birmingham REP has opened it’s doors for the first time to audiences who are waiting to be wowed by new material written by the country’s leading playwrights. Fast forward one hundred years and although Birmingham is not quite the industrial hub it once was, the same scenario was played out as the REP celebrated it’s 100th birthday. The celebration took the form of a performance entitled Decadence and involved ten schools from around Birmingham. Each school chose a decade and then had to devise a 10 minute piece around their chosen decade. Small Heath Young REP chose the 1990s and chose to base their piece around a Millennium Eve party. The “grown-ups” in the group shared stories about the ‘Millennium Bug’ that would spell the end of the world whilst the younger children sang their favourite 90s songs from the likes of The Spice Girls and Billie Piper to name but a few. The performance was very well received on the night of the show and the pupils were able to stand shoulder to shoulder with the performers from other schools including those from the Birmingham school of Acting. The Small Heath Young REP are already working on their next production, Baghdad Zoo, which will open at The Door in March 2014. The cast were as follows; Yr 7 – Sabah Mahmood, Masumah Naz, Ruqayyah Bibi, Habiba Sultana, Humayrah Hussain, Aroosa Hussain Yr 10 – Zalika Stewart Yr 12 – Isaac Ethan, Saima Begum, Saira Mahmood G Ubhie - Expressive Arts


Monarch Apprenticeships Monarch Aircraft Engineering Limited (MAEL) has been involved with apprentice training for over 40 years and in 2012 we commenced the training of our 700th apprentice. With all of this experience we still continue to uphold our reputation for producing high calibre engineers for the industry. The current four year scheme is based on the knowledge and practical requirements of the City and Guilds NVQ Level 3 Apprenticeship in Aeronautical Engineering as well as the EASA Part 66 ‘A’ Licence. Both qualifications concentrate heavily on the students gaining excellent hand skills and a rounded understanding of the whole of the aircraft maintenance field. The initial period of hand skills training is carried out at our apprentice workshop within the newly opened Monarch Aircraft Engineering Training Academy (MAETA) at London Luton Airport; additionally there is also an element of class room based theory to supplement the practical training. Once this initial phase is completed it then rapidly develops onto the practical ‘On-Job Training Phase’ at our London Luton, Birmingham or Manchester hangar facilities. Individuals will then have the opportunity to work on a variety of aircraft types operated by our sister company Monarch Airlines as well as those of our third party customers. This highly regarded apprenticeship scheme maintains its reputation within the aviation industry. Not only does the scheme help towards the creation of jobs in the local community, it also provides an essential pipeline of skilled aircraft engineers for MAEL and the wider industry. NOTE: Minimum entry level requirements for applicants are to have or be expected to achieve 4 GCSEs at grade A*- C (or equivalent), which will include Maths, English, Science and preferably one practical subject.


Go Top Of The Class With Midlands Air Ambulance! Following the opening of Midlands Air Ambulance Charity’s state-of-the-art Education, Training and Visitor Centre with support from students from Small Heath School, the charity is working with Richard Riley to develop an education programme to further demonstrate the service’s commitment to children’s learning and development. The ‘High Flyers’ education programme is being produced in line with the national curriculum and will give children at all Key Stages vital skills in various subjects including maths, English, geography, science, technology and business. Each of the modules uses areas of the charity to provide practical learning examples, meaning the classwork is not only fun, but also provides some relevancy to the real world. Richard Riley, whose role includes work related learning enterprise education and business and industry links and marketing for Small Heath School and Sixth Form Centre, is intrinsic in the development of the High Flyers education programme. He comments: “Experience-based education with practical class work is well regarded as a fantastic way for children to learn key skills, which is why I was delighted to assist the air ambulance with the programme.” “I am extremely proud to be able part of the programme and look forward to sharing it with our classes and other schools across the region in the new year.” Jason Levy, fundraising and marketing director for Midlands Air Ambulance Charity, adds: “We are dedicated to supporting children’s development, not only to educate them about the importance of staying safe, but also providing them with some fun, yet important life skills to help them enter the real world. We’ve been extremely privileged to have support from Richard and the team at Small Heath School in the development of our High Flyers programme, their expertise has been invaluable. “Any schools or parents interested in finding out more about High Flyers are being encouraged to visit our website for further details.” If you are interested in finding out more about the Midlands Air Ambulance Charity, please call the service on 0800 8 40 20 40 or visit


Get to know the Midlands Air Ambulance Charity The Midlands Air Ambulance covers six counties, including the West Midlands and has three strategically located airbases across the Midlands: RAF Cosford in Shropshire, Tatenhill in Staffordshire and Strensham in Worcestershire. The service undertakes up to ten missions each day, and the flight paramedics and doctors attend a variety of missions such as road traffic accidents, horse riding falls, sporting injuries and incidents in remote areas where land ambulances just can’t reach. If a patient reaches hospital within 60 minutes of injury (referred to as the ‘Golden Hour’) their chances of survival are dramatically increased. That is why the rapid response of the Midlands Air Ambulance is so vital in an emergency situation. The service needs in excess of £6 million each year to remain operational as each mission costs £2,500. To raise this staggering amount, the charity is solely reliant on donations from the public, local businesses and students just like you!

Air Ambulance crew




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