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Headteacher’s Newsletter


Summer Update 2010 Message from the Head

Staff News

Top Class results again this year at A Level and GCSE. We are delighted that both year groups performed so admirably, helped enormously by the huge efforts on the part of staff and students alike. ‘The Vesey Learning Culture’ has changed significantly over the past few years and yet we know that we still have further capacity for future improvements with upcoming KS4 & A2 students ready for the challenge! Over the last 7 years, we certainly have done plenty, but the next 7 years promise to be the 7 years of plenty, given the fantastic platform for success we have created. Sincere thanks to everybody for being part of this unfolding story of success and for supporting us so admirably in so many ways. We are off to a flying start in the new academic year, so do please help us to maintain the momentum in the coming years.

We are delighted to announce the following internal appointments for 2010-11: Linda Blakemore - Head of ICT, Matt Collins Teacher i/c Community Cohesion, Geoff Goode Teacher i/c BVGS Virtual Learning Environment, David Goodwin - Sixth Form Achievement Leader, Sam Harper - Assistant Head of Year Sixth Form (U6), Elliot Godwin - Assistant Head of Year Sixth Form (L6), Heather Hodkinson - Member of Staff i/c PHSE/Citizenship, Chris Howell - Director of Sport, with Brian Davies and Kevin Doughty having specific departmental responsibilities in PE/Games, Laura King - Teacher i/c French, Dave Phillips - Head of IAG (Information, Advice & Guidance), Suzi Porter - KS3 Teaching & Learning Leader in English, James Rostron - Head of Year 8, Sarah Sangster - Head of Biology, April Slater Teacher i/c Spanish, Kate Steadman - Head of English and Teacher i/c Student Welfare in the Sixth Form. We are delighted to welcome new members of staff this year and wish them a fruitful and happy association with the school. Ralph Brocklebank (0V), Teacher of Chemistry, Claire Callan, Teacher of English, Ruth Davison, Teacher of Languages, Christelle Lutun, Teacher of Languages, Alexander Morgan, Teacher of Maths, Pilar Somoza Fernandez, GTP Teacher (Spanish), Jetender Karra, GTP Teacher (ICT), Suzanne McGuire, GTP Teacher (English), Danielle Smith, part-time Teacher of Psychology. As he joins the Senior Leadership Team, we offer a warm welcome to Graham Swindells, as our new School Business Manager.

David Iddon Headteacher

Welcome back New Year 7 students who embark on the seven years of plenty before them!

to all staff and students!

A Level Students 2010

Student Leadership duo, School Captain, Shane McIntyre, reading Geography and Economics at OxJames Lau off to read ford and Deputy School Engineering at Imperial Captain Rhiannon John, College, London. reading Music at Bristol.

Future doctors, Chris Wall & Mia Archer off to Keele and Newcastle Medical Schools. …...and lots more happy, smiling faces as excellent academic standards were maintained. 1 in 4 students scored a new A* grade. All 6 Oxbridge candidates converted offers to places. Oxford: Oliver Bentley Physics, Shane McIntyre Geog/Econ, Peter Whiting Chemistry, Naomi Zainuddin PPE, Ryan Felton Chemistry. Cambridge: Junaid Qasim Theology. 77% grades at A*-B - another tremendous year for our A Level students who leave with our best wishes for the next stage in their careers at top universities. We encourage them to stay in touch with the school and their contemporaries to build on the considerable network of Old Veseyans across the world.

GCSE Superstars 2010! With 57 A* grades between them, we offer our congratulations to the TOP SIX but also well done indeed to all those who have distinguished themselves at GCSE this year. L-R Tom Andrew 10A*, Alex Maxwell-Keys 10A*, Joe Nash 10A*, Oliver Jupp 9 A*s +1A, George Tomlinson 9A*s +1A and Alex Cole (not pictured) who also secured 10A*s +1A and has now moved to Repton School to pursue tennis at national level. No fewer than 22 students gained A*/A in 10 subjects and 51 students of 123 in Year 11 averaged Grade A across 10 subjects. 61.45% of all entries were awarded A*/A, so close to last year’s record of 61.73%! Well done to all our GCSE students on this splendid year group performance, under the leadership of Head of Year, Dave Phillips.

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Headteacher’s Newsletter

Student Leaders 2010-11 set out their new agendas for change

‘This year will be all about people getting involved. We want to make sure that everyone feels part of the Vesey Community and makes the most of the ‘Vesey Experience’’ - Andrew Cotterill, School Captain pictured (right) with Deputy School Captain, Danny Knowles (left).

All smiles on GCSE Results Day

‘There is so much potential for the School Council to bloom this year, as we give more responsibility to younger students. With the diverse age groups working together, I hope to lead a successful campaign towards improving our school’ - Penny Hodges, President of BVGS School Council

More Student Leaders for 2010-11 Blue House Captain: Ronan Davis

National Triathlete

Mohammed Ahmed 11B who swims 8 times per week, was selected for the GB Triathlon Camp in January 2010, after coming 6th in the National Championships. This August he got a PB in the National Swimming Championships in U15-U16 50m Freestyle.

Champion Black Belt

Officers: Harriet Banner and Jack Kelly Gold House Captain: Conor Healy Officers: Rob Russell and Onyx Peynado Red House Captain: Jack Robson Officers: Annie Mears and Jonathan Manning White House Captain: Ed Heritage Officers: Becky Weaver and Esther Tichauer Charity Leader: Jay Lal Environmental Leader: Peter Moss

Early entry for Year 8 students Dilan Bamunuvitharana 9G scored an A in his GCSE French and Tom Reershemius 9R (both in Yr 8 at the time) scored an A* in his GCSE German -with a maximum UMS score of 360!

Jon Lefevre 11G, has been competing at regional and national level since 2005 and this year took 1st place in the Aiwakai National Championships, following 1st place in both the All England Karate Championships and EKF Midlands Championships.

Founder’s Day Service 22 October 2010 In recent years we have invited representatives from the major religions of the world, varying denominations and faith groups to join us. We are pleased to say that our guest speaker this year will represent the Buddhist faith and will speak on the theme of ‘Harmony’. We have worked hard on harmony in terms of ‘community cohesion’ within school, time now to reflect on inner peace and ‘internal cohesion’. Roy Peters, currently on retreat and about to be ordained within the Buddhist faith will join us at our service at Holy Trinity Parish Church, when we celebrate the foundation of our school in 1527 by Bishop Vesey. Parents and Friends of the School wishing to reserve seats, please contact Sharon Weblin, Headteacher’s PA on Tel 0121-250-5403 or e-mail

TOP CHEMISTS: Yr11 GCSE results were impressive in Chemistry but getting 400 out of 400 over four module examinations is simply amazing! Congratulations to Richard Robinson and Mark Smythe!

Roy Peters works as a photographer in the UK and is training for ordination into the Triratna Buddhist Order. He is keen on languages and language learning and has an ongoing curiosity for linguistics, semiotics and discourse analysis. He is passionate about Shakespeare as well as being a Birmingham City FC season ticket holder. His blog is at

Sharing best educational practice in Tanzania leads to change. During the summer, Head of Year 10 and Geographer, Matt Collins and his wife worked at Bethsaida Orphanage School in Tanzania . They tutored students in Geography, as well as providing support across other areas of the school, which is funded solely by donations. They also gave a presentation at the Ministry of Education in Tanzania and spoke to government ministers and directors about British education. As a direct result of this meeting the Tanzanian government has enacted a policy change. Rather than lessons consisting of teacher speaking and student note taking, Tanzanian teachers now include within their lesson plans, a section of the lesson called ‘student involvement’ whereby students work in groups or pairs and are involved in presentations or debates. We hope to hold a non-uniform day this year to raise funds for the Bethsaida Orphanage.

September 2010 Year 7 Two-day Rugby Induction Course

Lining up to listen and learn, developing new skills and spacial awareness (below), 90+ Year 7s met their new classmates in an enjoyable pre-term context at the end of August. A most promising start.

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Vesey athletes compete at National Level

It was smiles all around for two Vesey students as they brought home the medals In the McCains UK Youth Athletics Final this summer. Ashley Guest (left and on the track) and James Brown (right) both represented Birchfield Harriers in the prestigious finals held at City of Manchester Stadium. The event sees the leading athletics clubs from across the UK that have won their regional divisions compete to become the best in the country. Whilst Birchfield Harriers missed out on the title, both Ashley (Gold in the 400m relay) and James (Silver in the long jump) contributed to a successful day for the famous Midlands clubs Under 15 team.

Hannah on a high as she hits the African peak!

Pre-Season Training for Senior Squad U16 forwards ‘lifting’ for the first time.

Joining a party of 28 on a 6 day assault on the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro, Hannah Smith (left in photo) raised £2,000 for MS Trust. Burning 6000 calories per day, with high exposure to UV rays and wind, facing altitude sickness and -25°C, they trekked at times in pitch black conditions, following the trail of head torches for 9 hours, digging deep inside themselves on the final push to reach the summit. Tears of joy, tinged with pain but a lifetime experience, with many friendships gained and a massive contribution to charity. Well done, indeed!

Captains of Hockey, Netball and Rugby 2010

Tower of Power! Then….. Crouch, Touch, Pause…….Engage!

1st XV Capt. Jack Robson (far left) selects his front row.

Sixth Form Helpers for Charity Nicola Shilliday, Rebecca Hull, Aron Dosanjh, Cecilia Odong and Hannah Smith volunteered to be ‘bucket collectors’ at Drayton Manor Park on Sunday 12 Sept as part of a fundraising appeal from Birmingham Children’s Hospital for their Heart Unit (The Children’s Heart Appeal).

Onyx Peynado (Centre) says she is aiming for greater cohesion between U6 & L6, with longer, harder, more structured training sessions, using new techniques to engender the sort of spirit that will win games and develop a team of which we can be proud. Jack Kelly (left) looks to lead his hockey team to the county championships again and is off on tour with his Senior squad to Spain this weekend, whilst Jack Robson (right) enjoys the prospect of a great season at 1st XV level with one of the most highly talented rugby squads we have seen in recent years.

Rowing Update To keep up with growing student demand, the school has appointed its first rowing coach Ian Bousfield. A new venue has also been established at Powells Pool in Sutton Park, by Teacher i/c Rowing Brian Davies. The school will use the boats purchased by the newly formed Sutton Coldfield Schools Rowing Association, which received a substantial grant from Sutton Coldfield Municipal Charities in order to develop rowing opportunities for the children and young people of Sutton Coldfield.

Headteacher’s Newsletter

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Examination Results 2010 Moving on from BVGS on a real high!

A Level

BVGS A Level students in jubilant mood on the steps of Vesey’s as they prepare to take the next big step into Higher Education.

Important Dates this Half-Term SEPTEMBER 2010 Monday 6

Start of Term (all years)

Tuesday 14

Year 8 Welcome Evening

Thursday 16

Open Evening

Friday 17

Open Morning

Monday 20

GCSE Parents’ Information Evening

Monday 27

Welcome Evening for New Y7 Parents

Tuesday 28

Full Governing Body Meeting


OCTOBER 2010 Monday 4

Governor Learning Walks

Tuesday 7

Year 8 Parents’ Evening

Monday 11

Shakespeare Festival, Birmingham

Tuesday 12

Upper Sixth Parents’ Evening

Friday 15

PAC Wine Tasting Event

Friday 22

Founder’s Day Service 2.30 pm Break up for Half Term

Parents’ Evenings Year 7

Tuesday 23 November 2010

Year 8

Thursday 7 October 2010

Year 9

Monday 7 March 2011

Year 10

Thursday 17 March 2011

Year 11

Monday 8 November 2011

Lower Sixth

Tuesday 8 February 2011

Upper Sixth

Tuesday 12 October 2010

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

BVGS Summer Update 2010  

Summer Update newsletter from head of Bishop Vesey's Grammar School

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