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Headteacher’s Newsletter


Half Term Spring 2012 Message from the Head We ended last year forecasting that new records would be set in this Olympic Year of 2012! We are delighted to announce that we have equalled the best ever tally of Oxbridge places set back in 1988 and have set a new record for applications for the Sixth Form from students from across Birmingham and beyond. 505 prospective New Veseyans are eager to gain places for Post 16 study at BVGS . The school is in very good heart at the start of 2012 as you will see from the contents of this newsletter. We certainly expect to set further records as the year unfolds! We thank all members of the school and our many supporters who have helped to get us off to this impressive start in 2012

David Iddon Headteacher

Staff News

Eleven go to Oxbridge!

This term we welcomed on a part-time basis Mathematician Rebecca Teague. Congratulations to Art Technician Andrea Gregory who has taken on a part-time role in the Library.

Bike North Birmingham

Eight of our eleven students who are set to take up places at Oxbridge

Bike North Birmingham will be transforming local cycling in Erdington, Sutton Coldfield and the surrounding areas to 2015 and beyond, with the aim of making cycling more accessible, and of getting more people cycling more of the time. Working with schools, work places and the public, Bike North Birmingham will be creating new cycle routes and providing the support you need to get bike smart and cycle confident. Discover a world of fun, fitness and freedom... it’s as easy as riding a bike! For more information email the Bike North Birmingham Project Team at: or look online at

Year 7 gather at the start of the day


parents can text a student’s absence to mobile number 07717989975.

l-r: Laurel Windsor, Alex Maxwell-Keys, Kim Monks, Tom Andrew, Sam Rhodes, Anna Moon, Olivia Kirkbride & Hannah Zainuddin - not pictured: Beth Denning, Mark Smyth, Molly Vaughan. What a tremendous success rate in securing offers of places at Oxford and Cambridge this year! We are delighted for our successful students but mindful that offers as high as A*A*AA at A Level will need to be achieved in the summer exams. We are also mindful that those who were not offered places are top class students who will go on to very high levels of achievement at the TOP 10 universities for which they have made application. Congratulations to all involved in this ‘equal best ever’ record!

National Honours in Sport

Signwriter Stan Whitehurst recently added many more names to the Honours Boards in Big School. We are grateful to the late Dr Nigel Cooper OV 40-47, in whose name four more boards have been dedicated, thanks to a very generous donation made through Sutton Coldfield Municipal Charities in recognition for Nigel’s tremendous work as a Chairman and a Trustee.

Year 8 students

cold but cheerful, ready for a game of football before school on 3 February at 8.30am!

Year 8 engaged in recreational cricket despite the freezing conditions!

Headteacher’s Newsletter

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University Level Science comes to BVGS

All L6 students taking Biology, Chemistry or Physics were given a taste of university on Monday 23 January when two visiting science lecturers gave talks on Water Shortage in Zambia and another one on Neurodegenerative Diseases. Students responded well to the delivery of what, at times, was very complex university level science.

New Sponsor for Enrichment Activities

Higgs Boson and Physics Big Quiz Title elude us!

We are indebted to 'Progressive Tuition Services' who specialise in GCSE and A Level tuition, for joining us as a new BVGS sponsor. Tel: 0121 525 6728 or 078555 13130 to register or for further details. If you would like to become involved in the sponsorship of BVGS activities, please contact the Headteacher’s PA Sharon Weblin on Tel 0121-250-5403.

Ready, Steady, Cook! came to Big School on 7 Feb as a fun and highly educational session for Yrs 7-8 in nutrition, cookery and healthy life styles. Our thanks to Chartwells, our catering company for staging this event and to Hannah Lockyer and Sam Harper for organising it. Heads of Year Ralph Brocklebank and Tom Williams became Head Chefs for the afternoon along with their Red and Green Teams. Our host from Chartwells used the roving microphone to quiz team members and audience alike about various aspects of healthy eating. Good Fun! Good Food! Good Learning!

Vesey A & B Teams The quest for first title goes on…… students from Yr 9 took the opportunity to exhibit their Physics knowledge representing BVGS in the prestigious Physics Big Quiz held at the University of Birmingham. The event, held annually in The Great Hall, attracts schools from across Birmingham with over 80 teams competing to be this year’s winners. Quizzers also took the opportunity to explore the famous red brick campus and take in a presentation on the continuing research at CERN hunting the Higgs Boson by Dr. David Evans, researcher at the Large Hadron Collider and Lecturer in Physics and Astronomy at the University. Despite not returning victorious with the trophy, our teams finished a very respectable and commendable 4th and 6th with our students doing exceptionally well in the specialist round on Nobel Prize winning Laureates for Physics. A place on the podium and a medal was missed by the smallest possible margin of a single point. A great effort from all involved! Well done, indeed!

Vesey Musical in Big School 21-23 March: 3 nights of excellent entertainment before us do book early - this event will be a sell-out. The reputation of Music and Drama at BVGS over the years helps to draw the audiences from far and wide. With a cast of 45 students, produced and directed by Maryann Dye, Director of Music, Sarah Slater and Steve Baugh, this production promises to maintain the Vesey traditions of music and drama.

Dan Evans U6 and Tom Elliman Yr10 in rehearsal

Priority orders for your tickets direct from Sue Foster on Tel: 0121 250 5412

Dan Evans U6 and Deanne Leslie U6

February 2012 Vesey’s goes to Science Live!

19 Yr10 and 3 Yr 9 students recently attended a lecture day at Birmingham Symphony Hall to hear a mixture of top scientists discussing research in their collective fields. A wide range of topics was covered including the popular Biological author Steve Jones discussing the genetic basis of the age old Shakespearean question of ‘nature verses nurture’. Jim Al-Khalili, the well known Physicist continued by talking about careers in Physics, black holes and time-travel. Lord Robert Winston discussed fertility and why it declines in humans but not in other animals. A chemist was also there to provide the obligatory bang. The students gained some inside knowledge from a Chief GCSE Examiner on strategies for exam technique, which means they have no excuse for not excelling in their GCSEs now!

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Students of German at Aston Uni

Rüdi Götschel and Mark Keeble accompanied 15 G&T students to a German cultural day at Aston Uni, where they enjoyed workshops on German stereotypes, Austria, Sport and Music/ Street Art. Students were rewarded with certificates for our excellent efforts throughout the day. On 8 & 29 Feb students will attend French and Spanish cultural days.

Cross Country - Girls’ Team

West Midlands Cross Country Championships - Senior Girls’ Race Megan McBrien 5th, - Boys’ Race: Sam Lacey 7th, Alfie McBrien 9th, William Poland 10th and Thomas Henstock 26th. At the 41st Annual King Henry’s VIII Relay, famous for drawing teams from across the country, BVGS entered a Girls’ Team for the first time coming 3rd. l-r: Nicole Parsons, Rachel Smith, Megan McBrien, and Katy Warren pictured right.

Year 10 Work Experience - Business Day 2012

Work experience training sessions which developed problem solving and teamwork through stimulating and engaging activities on 6 February in Big School. An excellent opportunity to develop knowledge and skills for work experience placements this summer. This special ‘Business Day’ gave members of Year 10 a clear insight into the world of work and the necessary skills and personal attributes which are key to successful outcomes.

Pop Art A selection of Yr 9 work based on the Pop Art Movement. by Niall Keating, Amman Iqbal and Daniel Murphy. Each year in July there is a special Art Exhibition of the work of our students. Please call Sharon Weblin, Headteacher’s PA on 0121-250-5403 to register for an invitation this year.

Headteacher’s Newsletter

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BVGS wins Sutton Coldfield Sports School of the Year BVGS won the Secondary Sports School of the Year for the first time. The event was hosted at the Town Hall. It was recognition for all the extra-curricular activities we run, number of students taking part, team and individual success and PE curriculum. We also had 3 students nominated for the Young Sports Personality: Dan Venables 9B, Navraj Degun U6 and Bradley Lynch 11W.

Indoor Athletics: Yr 7 B’ham Champions!


History in the making…...The Year 7 Indoor Athletics squad won

BVGS won 2 categories at Northampton Head on Sat 28 Jan, J15 Coxed fours consisting of Dan Bowbanks (cox), Robert Huskisson, Matthew McElroy, Dylan Thiarya, Connor Brady, and J16 Double of Oliver Higgins (far left) and Steven Mapp (far right) who beat crews from Kings School Canterbury, Stowe Sculling Club and Leicester RC by a considerable margin. More regattas to come this term and next……..

the Birmingham School Games Final on 7 Feb, a first for a BVGS squad. They had previously won the Sutton Schools Championships held at Fairfax. They now qualify for the Sainsbury's 2012 School Games finals to be held in May in the Olympic Stadium. Congratulations to team members: Naushed Hussain, Tom Hooper, Chris Mason, Dom Newcombe, Will Poland, Matt Price, Jamaal Simms & Marquez Sinclair. Year 8 boys competed superbly in the Sutton Coldfield inter school indoor athletics competition finishing in 3rd place. Unfortunately it was not quite enough to reach the Finals but all the boys should be commended on their effort, attitude and behaviour.

Hockey News After-school training is now well underway for the Yr7 hockey stars of the future (pictured right). BVGS hockey is increasingly prominent with sponsorship from Richard Baker OV 80 for additional coaching is beginning to make real impact on our provision and success. Wishing to extend the opportunities for hockey, we have made application for the installation of floodlights on Middle Field for after-school practices during the winter months and look to the OVA Sports Appeal to help with the financing of this exciting project.

Commonwealth Title for Dan Congratulations to Dan Powell 9W who won the Gold medal at the Commonwealth Judo Championships in Cardiff this January. He won all his 9 fights in the Under 50 kilo category in a 3 day event with competitors from across the world.

An excellent last gasp winner from Matthew Allen U6 saw the 1st XI team overcome Princethorpe College in a fantastic game. It was a superb, gutsy team performance with Sam Macdonald in Yr 11 making a significant impression. 2nd XI played very well away against Warwick and more than deserved their 2-2 draw. Scorers Gurpreet Bassi and James Brown. U15s are developing well, with a good 1-1 draw away to Loughborough GS who had beaten them convincingly earlier in the season. The U13Bs remain undefeated and along with U12 age group they are working hard in training and have many matches to come after half term.

Indoor Cricket

KS3 & KS4 Inter School Badminton at BVGS

Nets have now started for all age groups in preparation for a very busy summer fixture list. Details from Chris Howell, Director of Sport.

Nick Lee, Andrew King, Ali Mirza, Kelvin Li and Luke Berenbaum finished in 1st place in the Sutton School's Badminton competition and go through to the KS3 finals in Birmingham. The KS4 side Aman Aujla, Bradley Ross, Charlie Stableford and Mohammed Mirza also played exceptionally well and finished 2nd to a strong Bishop Walsh team.

5 Feb: BVGS U18 Soccer Team win a place in B’ham Schools Final with a 2-0 win over Sutton College.

Annual Rugby Dinner Friday 16 March at Ramada Hotel with All Black Stephen Donald Tickets £45 (Students £30) from Sue Foster Tel 0121-250-5412 or

Rugby Round-up

- 1st XV continues to play expansive rugby with quality tackling in defence, beating KE VI Camp Hill 30-13 seen below. U13A Team have hit a fine run of form winning consistently showing great team spirit and determination. Laurie Harries is in inspirational form at fly-half and Reiss Chahal and Chris Papadopoullos have been superb upfront. U13Bs P11 W10 L1. Many thanks to Dave Cope OV 71 ‘touch-judge’ at a recent 1st XV match.

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


Bishop Vesey's Grammar School Sutton Coldfield Feb 2012 Half Term Newsletter from Head David Iddon

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