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 Headteacher's Blog

Wednesday
May242017

25th May 2017

Exam season is now in full swing.  GCSE and A Level students have been working tremendously hard with their teachers in preparation for their final exams and it is now that the hard work will pay off.  I wish all of our students well and hope their success leads to bright futures.

On the building front, work on our new teaching block has been ongoing for the past few months.  It is exciting to see the new building taking shape with the ground floor walls in place.  We can now begin to see what the finished block will look like and look forward to the fresh new learning environment for students and staff.

We can now happily refer to the building work as “Phase 1” of our building project due the fantastic news that our second Condition Improvement Fund bid, to build a new sports hall, has been successful.  The amount of money awarded will not only enable us to build a new sports hall but also create outstanding outdoor facilities such as all weather surfaces for a wide variety of sports.  We have great hopes that we can provide these facilities for the students in our school, where we have always excelled in sport.  In addition, we really want to provide recreation and sporting opportunities for the whole community.  I firmly believe we can have a transformational impact in school and the wider community through this ambitious project.  Watch this space!

Over the Easter break, staff and over 40 students visited Gambia to continue our work on Project Gambia.  Once again, students returned speaking of a life enriching experience.  To benefit so much from the project while providing the gift of educational opportunity to so many Gambian children makes Project Gambia an invaluable aspect of the learning experience at Kinver High.  We are now able to include students from our MAT partner schools in the project.  Students from Crestwood school took part this year and we hope more will do so next time, hopefully with other MAT schools sending students.

On Thursday 25th May, there is a special presentation evening for students to share their experiences of Gambia.  The aim is to raise a further £1500 to enable further building to take place in Gambia before the rainy season begins.  I am so proud that, while we have managed to secure millions of pounds to build great new facilities for our students, they are prepared to raise all they can to help develop education for others.

Another really valuable trip as a learning experience is the London trip for Year 7 students.  This took place over the May Bank Holiday weekend with students touring sites such as St Paul’s Cathedral, Tower Bridge and the Millenium Bridge.  A trip to the Natural History museum was followed by a West End theatre visit to see Aladdin.  Our students really enjoyed this fantastic trip and as ever were highly praised for their excellent behaviour.

As always, I am very grateful to all our willing and supportive staff who give up their free time to arrange and take the students on these trips.  The added educational experiences for students are absolutely priceless.

Friday
Feb172017

17th February 2017

I am extremely pleased to be able to tell you that, following all the careful preparatory work, our build project will begin during the half term week.  During the week, our builders, Speller Metcalfe, will be setting out the routes to ensure safe transition around the school site for students.  We will make sure that students are fully informed of the changes to our normal movement around the school so that we can all manage our day to day routines safely and with as little disruption as possible.  I am sure you will agree that while the building work will obviously cause us some inconvenience, being able to see our new building take shape over the next few months is a very exciting prospect.

Also during the half term week, forty students and four members of staff will be enjoying our annual ski trip.  We wish them a safe journey to Folgarida in Italy and hope that they have a great time.

Another of our notable annual trips is the trip to Gambia which takes place at Easter this year.  I would like to congratulate our Year 7 students for their excellent fundraising work in aid of Project Gambia.  The proceeds from their Christmas Fayre, which saw Y7 form groups set up their own stalls selling their own produce and entertainment, amounted to £1,200.  What a great effort by all those involved.  Students used their skills and creativity brilliantly and gained valuable experience in the process.

Two of our Sixth Form students, Imogen Beddow and Ellie Smith represented the school when participating in a trip to the site of the concentration camp at Auschwitz organised by the Holocaust Education Trust.  While this will always be a difficult visit to make in many ways, both students responded very well to the experience and I am sure they will share that experience to the benefit of their fellow students at Kinver High.

I am delighted to reflect on the success of Kinver students in sport where our Under 16 Basketball team won the local league for the first time in around 10 years.  The fact that the team is made up of mainly Year 10 students makes this an even better achievement.  The praise received for the boys’ conduct as well as their skills is equally pleasing.  Our Year 9 debating team have won their way through to the regional finals of the Youth Speaks debating competition organised by the Rotary Club.  This was by virtue of winning the local competition held here at Kinver.  Debating skills are a valuable quality to gain and our students displayed them with distinction.  Well done to all our recent winners!

In closing, we are very much looking forward to the production of Jungle Book coming up in March.  This is a joint venture including children from Foley and Brindley schools as well as those from Kinver High.  I am especially pleased that the students from all Kinver schools are working together.  We anticipate sell out performances on the 22nd, 23rd and 24th of March.

Wednesday
Nov162016

16th November 2016

Last Thursday evening provided one of those “feel good” moments which remind all teachers why they do the job.  Our Certificate Evening to celebrate the achievements of the “Class of 2016” reflected on last year and the GCSE achievements of our students.  The students and their parents were joined by our staff, governors and invited guests who all enjoyed seeing the students presented with their certificates and special awards for outstanding achievements in a wide range of fields.

In thanking many people for their contributions to the success of our students and their support for the school over the year, we were also able to pay tribute to our Guest of Honour for the evening, Alan Jones.  Alan retired as a Cover Supervisor at the end of last school year having previously been a teacher of PE and Geography and a Head of Year.  In all Alan spent an incredible 37 years working at Edgecliff/Kinver High School.  We all wish Alan well as he embarks on new ventures.

We were delighted with the positive response to our Open Evening and associated events for potential Year 7 entrants for September 2017.  Our Open Evening was extremely well attended, keeping staff and our very many helping students busy all evening.  As ever our visitors were full of praise for the friendly and welcoming atmosphere in school and, in particular, for our excellent students who spoke with confidence and enthusiasm.  The Open Evening was followed by four taster days on which we welcomed around 200 students.  We usually run three days but had to offer another in order to cater for the demand for places.  I conducted far more school tours than ever before which were met with much enthusiasm from the parents and children involved.

We are also pleased that students from our primary feeder schools find the transition days we offer so rewarding and enjoyable.  Earlier this term, students from Year 6 at St James’ and Cookley primary schools took part in a humanities-based day entitled “Where in the World” which involved finding out about Brazil.  On Friday 18th November over 100 students from Y5 at Ham Dingle, The Ridge and Cookley primary schools will join us for a day to study French with a food theme!

This week we began a programme for a group of students from Brindley Heath Junior School who will join us after school for a session in each of the next 5 weeks to experience GCSE style study in English and Maths.  The first session was last Thursday when the students enjoyed working with some short stories.

Some of our own students in Years 8 and 9 benefited from honing their creative writing skills while working with a professional author recently.  Former Edgecliff student and now published author, Adam Matthews provided some helpful creative writing tips and activities and talked about how he wrote his own book, “Pap – A 21st Century Dystopia”.

A group of Year 10 and 11 students, along with their parents will have the opportunity to visit Cardiff University for an Open Day experience on Saturday 3rd December.  This promises to be a highly motivating day as students begin to think beyond school towards university opportunities.

Monday
Sep262016

26th September 2016

Three weeks into the new school year and school is back in full swing.  The year began with us reflecting on some excellent GCSE and A Level exam results.

At GCSE there were some exceptional individual performances with the following students at the forefront in terms of attainment : Joe Frost with 7A* and 4 A grades, Grace Imeson-Wood with 6A* and 6 A grades, Charlotte Turner with 6A* and 5 A grades, Lily Higgins with 5A* and 6 A grades and Grace Reid with 5 A* and 6 A grades.  At A Level we celebrated with Dominic Wilson who gained 3 straight A grades.  Dominic is now studying History and Politics at the University of Exeter. Every student who applied for a university place achieved their goals and are now embarking on the exciting prospect of life at university. While these were outstanding individual A Level and GCSE results there are many other students who have also achieved beyond expectations and we are very proud of them. Our students worked extremely hard and deserve their success and our congratulations.

As a school we once again performed above national averages for key measures such as the percentage of students attaining 5A*-C GCSE grades including English and Maths (60%), A*-C in English (an excellent 86%) and Maths (at 66%).  We were also very pleased to record a positive score for our Progress 8 measure which is the latest method of measuring the progress students make in school. I am very grateful to the staff at Kinver High for their unfailing commitment to our students and to the continuing improvement of the School.

Our building project continues to gather momentum.  All survey work is now complete and the planning application is with the council.  We expect the actual building work to begin now in the new year with a completion ready for the new school year in September 2017.  I include some initial images of what our new block will look like.  The keener eyed will spot a new reception area as well.


During this week, on the evening of September 27th we will welcome visitors to our Open Evening.  I am particularly looking forward to introducing the school to many prospective new students and parents who will be able to share in the excitement of new developments at our school.  As ever I am sure that our students will be excellent guides and ambassadors for our visitors.

Many of our students will be eager to talk about the school and their success since being here.  The latest to do so will be our Staffordshire Best Kept Village Award winners who received their awards at a prize giving ceremony recently.  Year 9 student Neave Buckley-Harris won the county Textile prize and Emma Bastable and Faith Imeson-Wood, both in Year 10, were county winners of the Ceramic competition.  As ever we are proud to have such talented students representing our school so successfully.  Well done girls.

Monday
May162016

16th May 2016

On the new build front we are at the stage where we put out to tender for companies to bid for the work involved.  This includes project management work, legal support and of course the building work itself.  This stage will be followed by the contracted companies working on planning and ensuring that all is in place ready for building to begin; probably not until around November 2016.  Looking at all the successful bids to the Condition Improvement Fund it does appear to be that ours is one of the largest projects at £2.96 million.  We look forward to the point when we can show you the plans and drawings for the two storey block itself.

Last Saturday (14th May) we enjoyed an extremely successful and enjoyable Race Night held at the Kinver Community Association.  This event was organised by the Kinver High School Association and as ever, we are very grateful to the KHSA for all the hard work that went into the evening.  In particular the chief organisers, Kate Morrison and Charlie Corns, put in an incredible amount of work to make sure the event was a roaring success not only as an enjoyable evening but particularly in terms of the amount of money raised.  The event raised £2,500 which is a superb achievement for one event.  Kate and Charlie spent months working to ensure we had sponsorship, raffle prizes, auction items and enough paying guests to make this tremendous amount of money.  We cannot thank Kate and Charlie enough for their effort and commitment on behalf of the school.

Today saw our Year 11 and Sixth Form students embark on their public examinations with the beginning of the exam season for GCSE and A Level.  Our students have shown outstanding commitment to their studies and preparations.  The participation in extra intervention work, revision classes and holiday and weekend sessions has been very high.  Our staff have worked tirelessly to go that extra mile for our students.  The amount of intervention and extra support staff have been able to provide has been the highest we have ever been able to provide.  We have also been delighted with the way our sixth form students have supported their Year 11 colleagues through mentoring and revision programmes.  Predictions for GCSE results do look extremely promising.  We wish our students every success.  They certainly deserve it.