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Headteacher’s Newsletter


Summer 2009 Message from the Head

Three schools came together this term as we welcomed guest teachers from Poland and South Africa to BVGS. Opportunity aplenty to explore and compare education in very different settings, with much to be learned from one another as links and friendships develop. Our social and community cohesion within the ‘Vesey Community’ now has a global network base for mutual support and benefit. This half-term has seen once again so much happening both on and off-site, which has brought success and pleasure to so many. We can but marvel at and be grateful for the magnificent contributions of so many to make it all possible. The end of a truly memorable year of ‘best evers’.

David Iddon Headteacher

Staff News

Festival of

Maddy retires after 38 years of distinguished service to BVGS as Teacher of Languages, Head of Sixth Form and for the past 6 years as Deputy Head i/c Student Guidance & Welfare. We will hold fast to his wise and commonsense approach to teaching & learning and the welfare of young people and thank him for his extensive contributions to the life of the school. We say thanks and farewell to other colleagues retiring or moving on in their careers this summer after equally distinguished service: Mike Cross, Head of Maths, who retires after 25yrs, Diane Abbott, Head of Art who retires after 12yrs, Denise Quail Teacher of Languages who retires after 9yrs, Andy Hornett, Head of ICT who retires after 7yrs, Philip Blackshaw Head of Latin who retires after 5yrs, Laura Jones Teacher of Geography and Lead Netball coach moves to Adams’ GS, Shropshire after 3yrs, Wendy Turner Teacher of English after 2yrs Gareth Bartlett Teacher of PE/Games leaves after 1yr to be married in Canada and Craig Hetherington after 1yr as teacher trainee in PE/Games. We wish them all well as they journey on from our midst and thank them for the many and varied contributions they have made to the life of our school over a huge combined total of 103 years service to BVGS.

Languages in Sport


Many thanks to Mark Keeble and helpers who ran the “Languages in Sport Day” on 2 July, showing students how important languages are in the world of sport and giving them opportunities to try their hand at new activities. There were 6 exciting sessions – Football in Spanish, Handball in German, Badminton in Chinese, Kabbadi in Urdu, Sumo wrestling in Japanese and Capoeira, a Brazilian martial art. Staff were impressed with the students’ effort and enthusiasm. The day was a real success with fantastic weather too! Students and staff came away with a knowledge of new languages and an insight into the cultures of other countries.

Academic Profile We are delighted with the engagement and determination we have witnessed amongst exam candidates this year and expect record results yet again. Special thanks to all staff who helped with exam preparation and to Lesley Overton, Exams Officer and her team for their calm and efficient service within a most complex system.

Parents’ Association Year 8 enjoying the lunchtime sunshine

200 Club Winners: July - Mrs Bhamra, August: - Mrs M Wallace

Photos from the House Music Festival and Concert in honour of our South African guests

Headteacher’s Newsletter

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Rocket Day! 8 members of Y7 attended a ‘Rocket Day’ at Charlton School in Telford where they had to design and launch individual rockets, fuelled with gun powder. The rockets reached heights of over 500 metres! Many thanks to Head of Science Martin Lea and Science Technician, Steven Bainbridge for accompanying the students on this exciting Science Day.

Year 9 have been involved in an inter-form presentation competition, called the “Year 9 Information Showcase”. 9B presenting a talk on the BNP, 9G on spinning tops, 9R talking about the 2012 Olympics and 9W informed us about ‘cage fighting’. Science Club has met 4 times this half term, carrying out a fish dissection, writing secret messages and investigating water rockets. Back next term with many more exciting activities.

Governor returns to the classroom Peter Dines, Governor & Old Veseyan, returned to the classroom on Mon 20 May, talking to L6 AS Business Studies students for their Unit 2 module “Managing a Business”. Peter has also helped with a Young Enterprise company as one of their advisors.

L6 open air Physics and Biology experiments


Staff have been busy writing materials for the Moodle Virtual Learning Environment and Matthew Dyson 10B has written some interactive resources as part of his work experience. Cheryl Taylor has launched the Molecule of the Week initiative which has been displayed on the plasma screens. Students are given clues and have to work out what the common chemical or molecule is!

26 June - Joshua Topley Yr 10, Ismaeel Safdar Y9 and NgohHun Lam Y8 accompanied BVGS Librarian Teresa Smethurst to a local bookshop to select books for the library. Joint English Dept and Library Initiative - Author Keith Gray -shortlisted for the prestigious Carnegie Medal was in school to talk to a group of Y9 pupils who were shadowing books on the Carnegie shortlist.

Biology Meets Art Day! On 1 July, 43 L6 students from the Biology and Art departments joined together for a visit to the controversial ‘Body Worlds’ exhibition at the O2 arena in London. Accompanied by Bev Gilbert, Matt Phillips, Diane Abbot and Chloe Knowles, the students were given the opportunity to debate, with each other, to what extent the ‘Plastinated’ human and animal exhibits were forms of art. They also visited the Natural History exhibition and gained an insight into life as a student living in London.

English July 8 - Languages/English/Library initiative. Poet Dreadlock Alien was in school for a day of workshops & performance poetry for all of Y8 - the theme for the day - ‘Other Cultures’.

Old Veseyan Earth Science News

Alistair White OV (04) has successfully completed the first year of his DPhil working on West African Mineralisation. He is working in Ghana for much of this summer. Sam Weatherly OV (05) has secured a First Class, Master of Earth Science this summer. He is going to pursue his DPhil whilst remaining at University College, Oxford. Jack J Haynes OV (08) has successfully completed his On Friday 26 June, 10 students from 9B spent an enjoyable night at the Covenfirst year of Earth Science at University College. try Speedway, courtesy of complimentary tickets donated by Vesey parent Naveed Syed. The group were accompanied by Matt Phillips, Tom WilLower Sixth Physics Trip to Cern liams and Heather Hodkinson.

Speedway Visit

Many thanks to Julie Wadeson, Phil Coulson & Andrew Whittle who accompanied 10 L6 physicists to Switzerland to visit the particle accelerator. A lecture, film and guided tour of the ATLAS detector and a visit to the microcosm interactive science museum all featured in an inspirational trip to a centre of scientific world renown for the LHC.

July 2009

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French Exchange June 2009

Polish Visitors July 2009

Headteacher, Henryk Głos and English Teacher, Piotr Lewtak accompanied 10 Polish students from our link school in Puławy, pictured here with English counterparts on one of the day trips. A tremendous opportunity for cultural and linguistic interchange. The return A group of 18 Y9 students, led by Jane Broughton, Ian Maddy and Laura visit of this exchange, which dates from 2003, takes place in Feb 2010. King, left Bishop Vesey’s at 6.30 am on Saturday 6 June to take part on the French Exchange visit to Dreux. A superb programme of activities had been organised for them by teachers at the Institut St Pierre St Paul, including two full days in Paris. The group visited the Stade de France, Montmartre, the Eiffel Tower, enjoyed a trip along the river Seine in a ‘bateau mouche’ and also experienced lessons in school taking part in crêpe making.

Art Department

Rowing Records

BVGS rowers beat the ‘Team 1-hour maximum distance Concept 2’ indoor rowing record by 213 metres by rowing 18192metres. Teacher i/c Rowing Brian Davies attributes the boys’ success to their excellent communication and team-working skills, as well as their determination. In the summer they will take part in the inaugural Bishop Bavin Regatta in Johannesburg. A team of four students aged between 14 & 16 also broke the Concept 2 1-hour maximum distance record for U18s by nearly a 1000m. Jasroop Bhogal came within a tantalising 0.2 seconds of breaking the short course 100m world record for 13-14 year olds . His next attempt is in October!

The Art Department celebrated their Annual Senior Art Exhibition on Thursday 18 June in the Randon Design Centre.Yr 8 Collaborative Competition - involved students in an ‘Apprentice’ type of environment, working in teams in a ‘student-centred’ project/mini enterprise to produce a 2010 calendar for staff and Governors. The final presentations were held in assembly on 1 July. The ’Electric Potato’ - Aman Aujla, Conrad Lummus, Sam Bruton & Thomas Adams were judged the overall winners. Congratulations and well done for producing such a professional calendar.

Abernant: Year 7 Residential 2009 Members of Yr7 enjoyed an action-packed week on the annual Residential which proved to be one of the best ever. Special thanks to Party Leader & Head of Year Lynn Penny and all teacher helpers.

English Golf Union National Schools Team Championship at Thetford Golf Club On 8th July, BVGS top golfers, Tom Jones 8B, Monty Foley-Williamson 8W & Sam Williamson 10R, representing Warwickshire as County Champions, finished Joint 8th from 27 county teams in the national 18 hole handicap play finals. Tom, scoring 38pts, reduced his handicap to an impressive 9.3, Monty and Sam both scored 33pts to take Vesey’s into the TOP TEN on the leader board.

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Headteacher’s Newsletter

Indoor Rowers move to the water at Edgbaston Reservoir

Birmingham Schools Regatta 2009 On 30 June, 23 students from BVGS competed in individual and team events against local schools at Edgbaston Reservoir winning the Boys Team event. Rhys Jones was also victorious in the Boys Individual event.

Inaugural BVGS House Indoor Rowing Championships On Wed 1 July 4 boys from each house in Years 7-9 competed in individual and 2012m team events to promote London Olympics, providing a wealth of personal bests with Bilal Pandair (7G) producing 539m to win in Y7, the 2nd best time ever by a Vesey pupil. Dan Offen rowed in excess of 800m for the very first time to win the Y8 event, whilst Jasroop Bhogal edged out Matt Goodall in Y9.


The Year 8 team have played the strongest teams so far in the AEGON Tournament, losing 2-4 to KES Camp Hill and 0-6 to KES Birmingham. They have been given a walk over against Hall Green and now play Kingsbury. The Year 10s have fared better, beating KES Camp Hill, KES Birmingham and Hall Green 6-0 and Bishop Challoner 5-1 to reach the next stage of the competition which will be played in the Autumn Term. The Senior team reached the finals of the Glanvill Cup for the fourth successive year with wins against Solihull School 6-0, Warwick School 4-0, Haybridge High 4-3 and Wolverhampton GS 4-0. Having been beaten by top class opposition Repton School in Rd 1, our Senior team of James Burland, John Keighley & Jack Lee all of 11R and Alex Cole 10G made good progress and finished in a very creditable 13th position in the National Championships, being one of the few state schools present and having beaten Ipswich School 6-0 in their final match. Special Thanks to Steve Crawshaw & James Rostron for accompanying our team which will be eligible for this competition once again next year.


Special congratulations to Navraj Degun 10W who has been selected for the England U16 training squad which is a magnificent achievement. This is the first full international in hockey for many years. Matthew Heller (Yr9) and Will Backhouse in Yr 8 have both been selected for the Midlands U15 squad.

Cricket: The 1st XI won a fantastic and memorable game against a very strong Matthew Boulton College side to reach the semi final of the U18 county cup. The opposition were fielding 4 county players. A superb fielding and bowling performance, notably Junaid Qasim taking 4-22 restricted MB College to 164. Our batting stood firm against a hostile bowling attack with Sam Truelove leading the way with a gritty 48. George Findlay added a valuable 28, Matthew Hill 24 and that left it to the ‘finisher’ Sam Griffiths to hit the winning runs with 6 balls and 2 wickets to spare. 2nd XI: Only two matches played since half term. We had King Henry`s Coventry at 17-5 from 5 overs and 84 all out eventually, a win looked likely but Vesey`s succumbed for 55. A less than memorable season ended with a win at Denstone College: Jack Robson (66) and Jon Hipkiss (72) led Vesey`s to an impressive 197-5 from 30 overs. In reply Denstone scored 150 all out with Reese Gora claiming 5-22. A Junior Select XI played host to Mornington Cricket Academy from Australia for three nights. On a humid day which became very hot during the afternoon, a lack of quality bowling was evident as the Australians piled on 331 for 6 wkts from 50 overs. Ben Tipson with 3-40 from 9 overs was the pick of the bowlers. It was important that Vesey`s top four batsmen stayed in and made good contributions but skipper George Findlay with 72, Alex McAleavy (21) and Jordan Beer (12) were the only ones to reach double figures as Vesey`s were all out for 164. The second day of Mornington`s trip saw a visit to Villa Park followed by a game of football which Vesey`s won 12-11, pitch conditions being unfit for cricket. U15 XI: have reached the semi-final of the B’ham Cup having bowled out KES Aston for 25 runs. Mark Page (5 for 7) Ben Tipson, Luke Finn, Calum Sandford & George Lakey have all shown they are capable of stepping up to senior level next season. U14 XI: Students had 2 closely fought losses to Warwick School, losing by 5 wickets with 2-3 overs remaining in both. Andrew Hendry batted well in both, and has scored over 500 runs this year. Hassan Qazi took 2 wickets with his first two balls in the second fixture, and he also tops the wickets taken along with Qaasim Yasin. U13 XI: Some very good early results but less good fortune in the cup games, losing narrowly to KES Five Ways. Well done to top scorer Monty Foley-Williamson, to James Morgan for consistent performances & to Joe Mewis for considerable improvement. U12 XI: a very fine season for a team with great potential and strength in depth P10 W7 L3. Daniel Betty 7K made is mark with the bat, notably 53not out, sportingly retiring v King’s Macclesfield and 65no v Holte School in the quarter finals of the B’ham Cup. Losing by only 7 runs to Warwick School in the Warwickshire Cup, holding them to 95 for 9 off 30overs was another memorable match. The team now looks forward to the semi-final of the B’ham Cup and hopefully the final.

Published for BVGS by Sharon Weblin, Headteacher’s PA Tel: 0121-250-5403. Printed by Jayne Joyce, BVGS Reprographics.

BVGS Newsletter July 09  
BVGS Newsletter July 09  

Bishop Veseys Grammar School Newsletter July 2009