Bishop Vesey’s Grammar School Newsletter Message from the Head What an eventful and exciting past few weeks! On 1 April after due consideration by the Governing Body and following careful execution through a very intricate process by School Business Manager Graham Swindells, BVGS converted to Academy Status, thereby giving us new freedoms to take the school forward in the modern era. On 14 May Chair of Governors Clive Richards OBE DL announced the Governors’ plans for leadership succession in the light of my impending retirement in August 2013. Dominic Robson and I very much look forward to serving the school community in our new rôles and to bringing yet further improvements to all aspects of BVGS and the Vesey Community. We offer this new ‘enhanced’ eight page newsletter with more features, more news, more photos, reflecting the increasing number of activities and continuing success of the school. With sincere thanks to all those involved in supporting the school and helping to maintain the momentum of our rapid and dramatic developments.
David Iddon Headteacher
Half-Term Summer 2012
New Triumvirate for Stability, Continuity and Progression Following the news that Headteacher, David Iddon is to retire in August 2013, Clive Richards has announced that the Governors have chosen, under new academy status, to re-model the leadership team with David Iddon moving to Executive Head i/c the strategic direction and business operations of the school for his final year and with Deputy Head Dominic Robson promoted to Headteacher i/c the day to day operations of the school, teaching and learning and achievement outcomes. This new model for senior executive leadership protects the tremendous platform of rapid growth and development we have witnessed in recent years and sets the scene for yet further improvements in all aspects of school life.
Old Veseyan Association
We are delighted to announce that we now have formal Academy links with Whitehouse Common Primary School to help develop the teaching and learning in Science. See Page 4
A charity set up by BVGS Students Mohammed and Ali Mirza. More details on page 5.
OVA Chairman Roger Crees, supported by Committee Members Peter Randon and Paul Wallis, along with OVA School Rep Dave Phillips held talks on 23 March with the next generation of school leavers to examine how best to make use of modern-day social networking media to gather together all those who wish to remain connected to the school.
Upper Sixth Leavers Day 2012 The last day at school is an emotion-laden experience in which joy and sadness intermingle with excitement and apprehension. The bonhomie and hilarity of fancy dress gave way to recollection and reflection in the final uniformed assembly. The swift changes between fancy dress and uniform and back again illustrated the juxtaposition of fun and seriousness and typified the relaxed rigour which pervades our school. The Upper Sixth leave with every good wish for the exam period and for their future careers in higher education and beyond. We say ‘au revoir’ and not ‘adieu’ for we know our leavers will be back in touch to tell us of their adventures and success in life, beyond the memorable ‘Vesey Experience’.
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The official Bishop Vesey’s Twitter account is @BVGS1527
Keeping in touch: Class of 2005……..Where are they now? Seven Years up! School Captain now Lt Tom Wallis RN, was awarded a 1st Class in MEng at Warwick, after 4 brilliant years of study and rowing. He then joined the Royal Navy as an Air Engineering officer and following his Certificate of Competency, joined 814 Naval Air Squadron, based at RNAS Culdrose, working on Merlin helicopters. His career has taken him to Norway, well into the Arctic Circle, to America on HMS Ark Royal and to Oman in support of tasking in the Middle East. He has also spent much time off the cold, wet NW coast of Scotland! He lives in Bath with fiancée Emily and is to marry on 30 June. The first Deputy School Captain, Dan Maskell is a PhD Research Student at the BRE Centre for Innovative Construction Materials, at the University of Bath, having graduated with 1st Class Honours and having gained the 2010 Institute of Civil Engineering Award for top Undergraduate Student. He has had several articles published in prestigious journals as well as most recently being invited to present a paper at the world conference TERA 2012 in Peru. His research into low carbon building materials has the potential to greatly impact the domestic building sector. Twins Ken & Henry Zhang went their separate ways after Vesey. Ken (left) White House Captain had a fantastic time at Fitzwilliam College Cambridge studying Engineering, learning about jet engines and building robots, rowing, rehearsing for plays or simply in one of the many College bars! After 4 years he travelled to Thailand, Cambodia, Malaysia and Japan, teaching in China before returning to London using his skills to build financial structures with the Structured Capital Markets team of Barclays Capital! Henry, Red House Officer studied Medicine at Nottingham, acted in musicals, went on football tour and experienced medicine in Canada and Tanzania. A Foundation Doctor in the London Deanery, he is now working at St Thomas’ Hospital with training to become a surgeon due to start in October. He sees his job as a challenging mix of Sam Weatherley, (above left) Gold House Captain, gradu- academia, practical skills and human interaction. ated with a 1st Class in Earth Sciences at Oxford, after an enlightening and enjoyable experience. Beyond his studies, he Parents Association News Year 7&8 Disco in Big School enjoyed rowing and singing, spending the long summers in the The Spring Ball at Moor Hall on 20 April Arctic Circle, Greenland and Mongolia as a geologist on heliwas a splendid social event and raised copter supported research expeditions. He is now working on £6,410 for school funds. Special thanks his PhD using supercomputers, chemical analyses of rocks and to David Jupp and his team for this field observations to understand why partially molten rock from event but also for a total of £23K raised deep inside the earth moves to volcanoes at the surface. through such Balls over the past few years. Helen Green, John Beggan Charity and their team of helpers are congratulated on and thanked for yet another St Margaret’s Acad(Sipora) 1541.00 Various collections successful Yr7&8 Disco which raised Kids United Vision 890.04 Non-uniform 27.04.12 £482 on 27 April. Special thanks to Fiona and Stephen Tomlinson for Marie Curie Cancer Care 342.91 11W running the discos over the past few Cancer Research UK 35.13 7Blackroot years and for handing over so carefully to the new team of parents.
Sixth Form Help
Annual Art Exhibition Please join us at this year’s Art Exhibition of GCSE and A Level work displayed in the Randon Centre between 7.00pm and 8.30pm on Wednesday 20 June. An excellent event with refreshments provided.
Twice a year Pam Maskell and members of the 6th Form help out at a local fund raising event on behalf of the Norman Laud Association. On Sunday 25 March they all remembered to put their clocks forward and be in position in Sutton Park ready to marshal the 7 Pools Run. Without the support of the students, this event could not take place and The Norman Laud Association is indebted to us for our support.
Vesey diners at Moor Hall. Thanks to all involved in raising funds for the school. We are equally grateful to the PAC hospitality team headed up by Amanda Latham and Sue Lummus who have handed over to Helen Green and Julie Betty for their kind assistance in providing refreshments at events.
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Nathaniel Coxon 11B gains place
Soloists Concert is huge success
at The Purcell School from September 2012
On 24 April top performing musicians performed a wide variety of instrumental and vocal items to a capacity audience in Big School who were equally entertained by our Sixth Form hospitality team. Performers included violin players pictured below: Victoria Hill U6 who plays at Grade 8+ standard and has performed at Glastonbury and Barcelona Cathedral, such diverse venues! Philip Reader Yr 7 is already at Grade 5 standard and plays in Bâ€™ham Schools Concert Orchestra. He enjoys piano and guitar and is a 1st Dan Black Belt in Karate. Please join us at our next soloist event Junior Soloists Concert on Tuesday 9 October 2012.
Highly distinguished pianist and burgeoning composer, Nathaniel is excited about the prospect of being amongst the best students of Music in the country with nationally acclaimed tuition to help him fulfil his dreams. Our loss and their gain! Nathaniel leaves at the end of Yr 11 with every good wish for the future.
Moseley Violins New sponsors of Vesey Music Moseley Violins have kindly offered to be sponsors and patrons of Vesey Music, with a financial commitment, as well as offering a number of services, including presentations to younger students on how to look after instruments of the violin family. They have also offered to showcase electric violins, violas and cellos and will advise older students, ready to upgrade their instruments, on how to make their next choice. We are delighted to have the potential for renewed focus on String Instruments and encourage all those interested to see Maryann Dye, Director of Music and/or visit the Moseley Violins website for further information and advice.
New performance platform! Busking Week 2012 An initiative to take music out and about around the school at recreation time saw our young musicians playing in the dining room to audiences listening whilst munching baguettes and the like. The appreciative applause from diners encourages us to repeat this new opportunity for the showcasing of Vesey Music next year. Students participating enjoyed performing in this relaxed impromptu style.
Join the Patrons of Vesey Music Over the past few weeks we have raised just over ÂŁ5K from benefactors to the school who have joined an ever increasing number of Friends of the School who have offered significant financial support for the future development of the musical life of the school. This has enabled us to maintain our curriculum provision, to become a hub for A Level Music, to provide more performance platforms, to appoint a peripatetic vocal specialist who will develop new choirs and choral ensembles and to offer starter brass tuition across the whole of Year 7. We are indebted to all those who have help to make this happen. To become a Patron of Vesey Music, please contact Headteacher David Iddon on Tel: 0121-250-5403 for further details.
May 2012 Whitehouse Common School Year 4 Science Partnership Visit Year 4 pupils engaged in a fun activity organised by Sarah Sangster, Head of Biology, studying different food types and the digestive system. The young pupils enjoyed the opportunity to carry out some test tube reactions. The visit finished with refreshments before the walk back to school. The Science Department will continue the partnership links with the school over the coming months and plans are in place to train some Sixth Form Science Leaders to teach primary school lessons.
Bake me a cake,
Students are currently shadowing books on the shortlist for the Carnegie Medal. The Medal is awarded annually for an outstanding book for young people. BVGS Shadowing Group’s page at
as fast as you can!
Want an extra large sponge cake for that Diamond Jubilee Street Party in half-term? Then order from Bridie Curtis Chartwells Catering c/o BVGS Dining Room. Only £8.50 each. Tel: 0121 355 7458
Trip to the Rhineland:
Rüdi Götschel, Mark Keeble, Laura King & Natalie Adcock accompanied a group of 35 Yr 8 & 9 pupils to the Rhineland. Highlights of the visit included Cologne cathedral, the Lindt chocolate museum, the Sports & Olympic museum, a Rhine cruise, the fabulous Marksburg and an all day visit to the fantastic Phantasialand theme park. Much fun was had by all, much German spoken and culture, history and lifestyle sampled. Planning for next year's visit is already well under way!
French Exchange 2012
sincere thanks to Jane Broughton for organising the ‘home leg’ of the French Exchange programme and special thanks to all host families. The French party had trips to Stratford, Warwick Castle and Trinity College Oxford and a joint trip with English partners to Drayton Manor Park. Everyone was delighted with the experience and the return visit to Dreux is awaited ‘avec impatience’!
New York Trip 2012
Local MP Andrew Mitchell with Sixth Form Envision Team members 2012 and pictured above with members of the BVGS School Council on 25 May on his most recent visit to school during which he spoke about international development and his rôle as MP. Our thoughts remain with the family and friends of Tom Healy who left BVGS in 2010 to study Geography at Loughborough University and who lost his life at Easter in a tragic accident. Over 300 relatives and friends, many from the Vesey Community, gathered with his family, for the funeral at Christ The King Church in Kingstanding to celebrate his life, through which he had brought so much to so many others. Our deepest sympathy is extended once again to his family and friends as they come to terms with this sad loss.
25-31 March, the History & Geography Depts joint trip to New York: Sam Harper, Hannah Lockyer, Ruth Hearn and Dave Goodwin took 40 students in Yrs 10 & 11 to see the sights of the Big Apple. A fantastic time was had by all, visiting Central Park, Empire State Building, Ellis and Liberty Island, Ground Zero, New York Public Library and Time Square. Another highlight: New York Knicks beating the Milwaukee Bucks in a thrilling basketball game.
BVGS Newsletter International Chemistry Olympiad 2012
Well done to the seven A2 Chemistry students Mark Smyth, Tom Andrew, Jack Whiting, Joshua Topley, Kim Monks, Jess Garner and Maria Odyniec who competed in the recent competition. Congratulations to Mark Smyth, Tom Andrew, Jack Whiting and Joshua Topley who all achieved a Silver Award in the prestigious award run by the Royal Society of Chemistry. The competition involved them completing a gruelling two hour examination so well done to all those involved.
Year 9 Forensic Science Day
Biology Big Quiz
End of Year 11 Presentation Friday 4 May 2012
At the University of Birmingham on 19th March, BVGS A & B Teams came joint second with two other teams from a total of 55 teams from around the Midlands. The B Team won the tie-breaker to achieve overall second place. A great achievement to see both our teams in the final few. Well done to the B Team on achieving 2nd place. All of Year 9 (pictured above) were involved with a ‘Case of Conspiracy’ during which they had to solve the murder using different science techniques. The activity gave the students a great insight into the work of the police and scientists and they all enjoyed seeing how science is applied in law enforcement. Thanks to the Science Department and caretakers for making all the arrangements.
Triumph for BVGS in the Regional Finals held at Aston University Vesey boys did themselves and our school proud. Accompanied by Mark Keeble, Amarpal Johal, 7R came first with Aran Sandhu, 7G second in the German contest, and in a tough French competition Thomas Edwards, 7R achieved an excellent fourth place. All 3 students have progressed to the national finals at Cambridge University on 6 July.
An excellent display of team spirit as each Form presented to the rest of their Year group their memories of the last 5 years together. For some their Vesey journey stops here in Year 11 as they venture into pastures new for others we look forward to them joining the Sixth Form in September. From all the Year 11 Team we wish them success in their exams and good luck for the future.
After-school Cookery Club
Sarah Slater reports excellent progress towards a performance of Romeo & Juliet Act 3 Scene 1 at The Main School Presentation Evening on 17 July from a group of Yr7&8 students who form the Junior Drama Club and meet on Tuesdays after school. Congratulations to Matthew Bell, Jack Robinson, Liam Bashford and Zara Handley L6 who recently attended Cranmore Park in Solihull to present their work at the Engineering Education Scheme celebration and assessment The lead engineer commented that the students work was very impressive and had helped GKN to improve their warranty returns system.
A new group of cooks have taken up the course this year learning healthy ways to cook breakfast, lunch and dinner dishes as well as healthy snacks and puddings. They have also learnt basic food hygiene. It was run by Sam Harper and Hannah Lockyer, with support from Ruth Hearn. Following exam week there will be an advanced course for those who completed the basic course last year
Non-uniform Day on 27 April - £890 raised in aid of Kids United Vision BVGS students Mohammed & Ali Mirza in Yrs 10&9 founded Kids United Vision in 2009 - a charity set up by kids for kids. They inspired us to devote a non-uniform day to their well worth-while charity which seeks to offer help, in particular, to orphaned children in developing countries.
League Champions 2011-12
Photo Stu Small
Photo Stu Small
Sam Irvine BVGS 1st XV Capt 2002-3 and Veseyans RFC Capt 2011-12
Veseyans RFC, home to many former students over the years, have finished a wonderful season as league winners of North Midlands 3 West (North) beating Cleobury Mortimer 48-3 to clinch the title and runners-up in the North Midlands Shield with a spirited performance 16-27 running in two late tries against Droitwich. Zak Feaunati Head Coach at both BVGS & Veseyans RFC is delighted with the progress at both school and club over the past 4 years. Club Captain and BVGS 1st XV Captain in 2002-3 Sam Irvine is to be applauded for galvanising his squad into a winning team. Peter Atkins (pictured left) son of retired BVGS Assistant Headteacher Bob Atkins rises high for the ball. Squad photo: Former students and staff including Elliot Godwin BVGS Geography Teacher and Prop Forward (3 from right on front row). Contact www.veseyansrfc.co.uk for further details.
Warwickshire Championship Golf
Wins this summer at the two regattas attended - Birmingham and Worcester Regatta. At Birmingham the following boys won: J15 double scull Dylan Thiarya & Tom Reershemius, J16 double scull Steven Mapp & Oliver Higgins, J15 coxed quad Adam Stewart, Matthew McElroy, James Nesbitt and Ben Woodford. At Worcester Regatta: J18 single scull Tom Breithaupt. Coupled with the race victories, we have also had lots of students racing for the first time and progressing well. Their own race wins will not be to far away. Join us bankside at our next event - Stratford Regatta on 16 June.
1st XI has had a very good start winning 4 out of 4. A convincing 9 wicket win over Wolverhampton Grammar School got the season under way after 4 weeks of rain. Hussain Siddiqui was the pick of the bowlers picking up 3-10 in 8 overs. Monty Foley Wiiliamson led the run chase with 72 no and he was well supported by captain George Findlay who ended up 44 no. Callum Sandford held his nerve in a tight run chase in the U19 County Cup against South Birmingham College winning off the last ball. The defeat of Princethorpe College came after 292 in 30 overs with George Findlay 95no. Matt Heller took 4 for 1 to help dismiss Princethorpe for 124. The U14 team remains unbeaten in 4 matches this season. The U13s defeated Solihull School in the U13 County Cup and later Princethorpe with Callum Bick 76no. The U12s recorded their first win against Queen Maryâ€™s Grammar School and then beat Princethorpe comfortably.
Tom Jones 11B, off a handicap of 4, won the 2012 Warwickshire Schools Boys Individual Championship at Stonebridge GC on Tuesday 10 April with 72 gross, 68 nett
Sports Day 2012
Sports Day proved once again to be a fantastic date in the school calendar with the weather holding out for the third year in a row after torrential downpours all week. With the leader board changing hands throughout the afternoon, the relays at the end, with double points on offer, were the deciding factor in the race for this year's winners. The competition was fierce across all age groups and for the first time Bishop Vesey's had female competitors in a variety of different events including the 4x100 relay to finish. Individual performance to note: David James Yr10 who beat the school record in the 800m in a time of 2.11secs. Many thanks to all the staff and competitors that helped and participated on what was another great day of athletics. The final standings saw RED and BLUE share first place with GOLD in second two points behind and WHITE house 15 adrift in 3rd.
Birmingham Cup Final
Dan Venables meets Joe Glanfield Olympic sailing coach and former silver medallist who gave a presentation to Year 7 this April on how to compete at the top.
Finally out in the cupâ€Ś... Against a very strong BMET College side, the Bâ€™ham Cup Final was a tougher task than expected, especially after a string of injuries and absences stripped to the bare minimum, what had been a very fit and talented Vesey 1st XI . Vesey started well and, in blistering heat, found themselves still in the game at half-time. In the second half the team continued to battle hard and secured two consolation goals from Alex Comfort (whose celebration matched the finish!) and from Connor Hunt who helped to make the score line respectable. A great cup run and a creditable performance in the final.
World Champion Dan Venables in action on his way to a win at Graftham Sailing Club
The Vesey Foundation BVGS Annual Fund Review 2012 We thank you most sincerely for your kind and generous donations to the Annual Fund which have been gratefully received and which have continued to make significant differences to activities at BVGS. Major donors and sponsors have once again offered us help through grants, special awards and prizes, team sponsorship and subsidies which have all helped to develop an even wider variety of educational experiences for our students. Balances are currently being accumulated to support Science Block developments with the creation of further Science teaching rooms. We are delighted to report that ÂŁ20k will be claimed through Gift Aid, ÂŁ9k more than last year. This is indicative of the tremendous increase in donations and the excellent progress being made through the Vesey Foundation.
A sincere thank you to everyone who has contributed Parents, Students, Staff, Governors Old Veseyans and Friends of the School Together we can maintain the momentum