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Headteacher’s Newsletter


Half Term Autumn 2011 Message from the Head

Staff News

Staff and students alike have been wholeheartedly engaged in our drive for further improvement this half-term. ‘Excellence with Enjoyment’ remains at the very core of our activities. In a world that has potential to be ‘over-busy’, de-personalised and lacking in care and support for one another, we are doing our bit to redress the balance and holding fast to the underlying values of the longstanding Vesey beliefs and principles. As we celebrate, at the end of this half-term, the work of John Harman, later to become Bishop Vesey, through whose vision and benevolence BVGS was founded, we give thanks for the great opportunities before us in modern day Vesey. ‘Work, Rest and Play’ is very much in evidence in this newsletter! Time now for new horizons or new perspectives as we head off for a well-deserved break over half-term. Congratulations to all who have contributed to a wonderful start to this academic year!

This half-term we offer our sincere thanks to Linda Blakemore, Head of ICT who leaves with our best wishes for her new post at KES Aston after over 18 years service to the school. We also say thanks and farewell to Manuela Palmerini, Learning Mentor in KS3, for her support for students and families over the past 6 years. We congratulate Dave Goodwin on his appointment as Assistant Headteacher: Head of Sixth Form and wish him well as he joins the Senior Leadership Team taking charge of our flagship Sixth Form provision. Our developments at Sixth from level will continue as we set out to provide the best possible opportunities for Post 16 education.

David Iddon Headteacher

A Question of Sport in Big School!

Large Print Version Anybody wishing to receive this newsletter in our new-style large print version is asked to contact Headteacher’s PA Sharon Weblin on or tel. 0121-250-5403. Example of font size:

Please order our new large print version of the newsletter, if it would be helpful. Student Leaders in action

New for 2011-12: 6th Form Academic Leaders help Year 11 in special lunchtime sessions. See photo above. Other 6th Form students are involved in leadership placements at local primary schools, working at Banners Gate and leading tag rugby sessions in Little Sutton and St Joseph’s.

£108.07 raised for Charity from this fun lunchtime event organised by Sixth Formers. Director of Sport Chris Howell steered his team to victory over the Zak Feaunati and Dave Goodwin teams!

Energy, Enthusiasm & Engagement: Year 7 in action in the classroom October 2011

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Headteacher’s Newsletter Status Quo at Vesey’s?

Jeff Rich, former drummer with Status Quo, came to Big School on 18 Oct with his widely acclaimed afternoon session of interactive percussion for Yrs 7-8. Students had the opportunity to learn about and try out a number of different types of drums and percussion instruments in what proved to be an inspirational, entertaining and highly instructive afternoon.

History in the making……..

Professional Artist works with BVGS Art Department Watercolour artist Peter Welton recently visited the Art department to demonstrate and teach how to use his particular technique in watercolour painting to the L6 students. Peter, whose work has been purchased by The Queen and St. Paul’s Cathedral amongst many other commissions, regaled us with a plethora of anecdotes about his experiences as an artist over many years. He runs a busy studio practice and regularly teaches classes on board cruise liners, the most recent being a visit to the Antartic. Students along with teachers Emma Neville and Anne Fitton all had a very pleasing composition underway by the end of the afternoon.

On 29 Sept BVGS scored an historic 4-1 victory over Arthur Terry in the U18 County Cup Football Tournament. In exceptional heat, our boys showed passion, commitment and superb fitness to overcome last year’s County Cup finalists. Marcus CharlesDrummond capped a fantastic performance scoring a brace with Salvatore Bella and Nick Hepburn chipping in with the other two. Round 2 beckons!


Sixth Form Enrichment Activities

Sixth Formers enjoy a wide variety of Enrichment Activities beyond the formal A Level Curriculum including (left to right) 3D Level Design, Dance, Bar Mock Trial Competition and Envision. Reaching out to our local community, we are once again offering a special Over 60s Computer Course which is run by Sixth Formers who are eager to help older members of the community become more familiar with the wonders of modern technology.

Over thirty Year 7 students met author Darren Shan, master of teenage horror writing. Darren has sold more than 15 million books worldwide. After a chilling reading from Lord Loss, Darren took questions from the audience. He said that the difficult part of writing is not coming up with ideas for novels but learning how to craft them into polished stories. He encouraged all budding writers to practise as much as possible.

Student Newspaper

Community Provision: Over 60s Computer Course run by 6th Formers

Editor Jack Riley U6 is to be congratulated on this recent publication called ‘Mitre’ which was in print this term.

October 2011 100% in Chemistry 41 students in the current Y11 scored 100% in the CHY2H GCSE module - a full 25% of the overall GCSE Chemistry course. Well done to staff and students on this great achievement. Record results expected again this next summer!

On Mon 26 Sept, BVGS actors from Years 10 & 11 attended a cast workshop in the Dance Xchange studios at the Hippodrome, Birmingham. They participated in drama activities with professional actors and performed a short extract of their chosen play, The Comedy of Errors, for fellow players and festival participants. The cast are now rehearsing hard for their upcoming performance at The Old Rep Theatre on Mon 31 Oct at 7.30pm. Tickets available direct from The Old Rep website.

BVGS Art Department supports local Church Flower Festival This half term in Art, Year 7 & 8 students produced floral drawings and paintings inspired by the artist Simon Bull. Small samples of the artwork produced were selected for an exhibition at Holy Trinity Parish Church, to mark their Flower Festival 2011. Those who were able to attend the occasion between 30th Sept - 2nd Oct praised our students’ colourful efforts. Individuals have since received certificates to acknowledge this great achievement and 1st 2nd and 3rd prizes have been awarded to the following students, 1st prize-Chris Papadopoullos and Daniel Beggan, 2nd prize-Muhammed Sam and 3rd prize Fazan Mahmood.

County Champions at Squash and Golf

Congratulations to Bradley Ross 11R who is the Warwickshire U17 Squash Champion and to Tom Jones 11B now playing off 4, who became the Warwickshire U18 Golf Champion by recording 70 (2 under par). He also won the Walmley Junior Open Championship with a 72 level par.

Table Tennis Having defeated KS3 teams from Arthur Terry and John Wilmott on 12th Oct, the BVGS team will be representing Sutton Coldfield schools in the City Finals later in the year.

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Painting by winners Chris Popadopoulus and Daniel Beggan both Year 8

Botanical Gardens Visit On Tues 6 Sept Emma Neville, Anne Fitton and Andrea Gregory accompanied 23 Year 11 students on a visit to the Botanical Gardens in Birmingham. Staff and students were met by a botanist, who explained how plants adapt to their changing environment and there then followed a tour around the different greenhouses. During the afternoon students had the opportunity to explore the grounds, make drawings and take photographs. The visit was designed to inspire ideas for GCSE controlled assessment portfolios based on the theme structures. Overall the visit was a real success and since returning to school students have generated some exciting artwork.

At KS4 the team lost to the Arthur Terry team, but played well and were good representatives for BVGS.

Charities Meet the Gals!

The things we do in the name of charity! Teachers Andy Whittle and Steve Baugh cross-dressed for the day as ‘Audrey and Sandra’ for charity this October, as part of the £10 Charity Challenge raising money for ‘Debra’. Totals so far this term 10W Cancer Research UK £200.04 Welcome BBQ: St Basils


County Air Ambulance


St John Ambulance


£10 Challenge: Debra


A Question of Sport


Running Total to date £1734.08

Audrey and Sandra

Photographs by Henry Thompson 11R

Maths Visitor from Malawi Willie Msukwa, mathematician and educational adviser in Malawi enjoyed a visit to our school on 3 Oct, seen here with Viv Green Head of Maths and Peter Cragg 2nd i/c Maths, following classroom observations and lunch with the Headteacher.

On Friday 14 Oct Years 7&8 had a special sponsored charity workout in the Sports Hall in aid of Lepra which supports those who need treatment for leprosy in countries where the disease continues to affect lives. A fun way to support a serious and worthwhile cause. Sponsorship money is still coming in. Total to be announced later. Thanks to all who have donated to this and other charities this half-term.

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Headteacher’s Newsletter

1st XI and U15s in action against Nottingham High School and Solihull School

The 1st XI has got off to a solid start with draws against Nottingham HS and Solihull School, followed by a convincing 3-2 win over Adams’ GS. 2nd XI Captain Nikesh Patel is delighted with the excellent start: a draw against a strong KES B’ham side and wins over Nottingham HS and Adams’ GS. Three wins in a row for U15 against Solihull School, Warwick School and Adams’ GS. Govind Randhawa 10R scored all 3 goals in the 3-1 defeat of Solihull. U13 A & B started with a 0-1 defeat and a 1-0 win respectively and show huge promise for the future. Junior teams have plenty more fixtures this year, as we begin to benefit from the additional coaching sponsorship. Hockey is certainly on a dramatic upward curve at BVGS.

Senior House Basketball at lunchtime

Rugby Round-up Photos below show BVGS 1st XV who are off to a fantastic start with 5 wins from 6 starts including notable victories over Trent College, RGS Worcester Northampton Boys’ and John Cleveland College. Expansive and exciting rugby!

Charlie Greenwood U6 has re-ignited the House Competitions this term with Dodgeball, Cross-Country, Basketball, Badminton and Table-Tennis all having taken place under his administration. Overall Leaders: Reds with 23 pts from Gold with 20. More to come, including many non-sporting competitions.

2nd XV & U16 have both played well this half-term. The U15 team are comfortably through to Round 2 of the Daily Mail Cup. We will follow their progress with interest.

Cross Country Bill Potter, Deputy Head & i/c Cross Country reports excellent recruitment and results this half-term at all age groups, with a very strong contingent of L6 girls. Students wishing to join this thriving activity still have chance to sign up for races this season. Photos from the Midlands Inter-Schools ‘Pairs Race’ in Sutton Park with pairs of runners completing the course in opposite directions!

Top Runner Megan O’Brien L6 easing past another competitor

At U13s we have a very strong squad of players with some great wins for the B Team to complement a very good start at A Team level. Commitment and strong routines in training are producing attractive rugby. U14s have made an excellent start to the season. The team started with convincing victories over Trent 29-5, RGS Worcester 38-24 and Ellesmere College 58-23, with Joe Hartigan scoring 12 tries and over 100 points. The team then suffered its first defeat with a loss to a strong KES Aston team, but bounced back to play out a wonderful game of rugby against Northampton School for Boys, unfortunately conceding a late try to lose 42-40! As well as Joe Hartigan, Captain John Clarke has been a key figure. U12s have got off to a good start with wins against RGS Worcester at B and C Team level and the A Team showing real promise. Lots more junior fixtures to come at A, B & C Team levels.

BVGS Rowing Club at Bedford Head On Sun 9th Oct, BVGS travelled to Bedford to compete in the first Head race of the year. The 2000m course was to be the scene of 389 crews battling through the centre of Bedford.

Above: Pairs set off in opposite directions!

The course weaved through some narrow arches in the many bridges along the River Ouse making navigation difficult at times. Robert Huskisson came 24 seconds behind Emmanuel School BC. The J18 four recorded a solid time of 7:31 over the 2km course which was a great performance for the newly formed crew. J18 Doubles: Tom Breithaupt and Oliver Higgins, both boys ‘racing up’ one and two years, rowed the course well and finished in 4th position out of a strong category which was the stand-out performance of the day. Thank you to the families of the boys who came in force to support the Rowing.

Published for BVGS by Sharon Weblin, Headteacher’s PA Printed by Jayne Joyce , BVGS Reprographics.

BVGS Headmasters Newsletter 2011 Autumn Half Term  

David Iddon BVGS Sutton Coldfield Headmaster Newsletter 2011 Autumn