Spring Term II Newsletter 2019 | Newsletter

Headteacher’s Introduction

Dear Parents

It is with great pleasure that I write the introduction to the Spring term newsletter.  This highlights and showcases just a small selection of the extra-curricular activities and achievements that the girls have enjoyed this term. As you will see, Handsworth girls continue to achieve great success in a wide range of sporting and extra-curricular activities as well as taking part in many visits as part of the curriculum.  This term we were particularly proud of the sixth form girls who won the National Bar Mock Trial Final in Edinburgh.  The team had beaten a number of excellent schools to reach the national final where they competed against 23 other schools to be crowned the champions.  As a school we have competed in this event for a number of years and this is our first victory.  A special thanks must go to Mrs Holmes who volunteers with the students to prepare them for the competition, and to the staff who helped to run the competition visits and the visit to Edinburgh for the final.  I do hope that you will enjoy reading about this as well as many other accounts of opportunities and events in school.  I am very grateful to all the members of staff in this school who continue to give up their time to arrange such a vast array of opportunities for our students and to the students who approach these opportunities with commitment and enthusiasm.

At the end of this term we say goodbye to Mrs Beulah Smith, our Chemistry Technician, who has decided to retire after many years of service to the school.  I should like to thank her for all she has done for the school and the students and wish her a happy retirement.

As many of you will be aware, we are currently preparing a bid to the Selective School Expansion Fund.  A bid would involve a commitment to expand our admission number in year 7 as well as further developing our outreach work to make the school as accessible as possible to students from disadvantaged backgrounds.  After the Easter break, I will be meeting with the School Council to listen to their views about the site and the impact of any possible expansion, as well as leading assemblies to update students on the proposed plans.  The outcome of a bid will not be known until Autumn 2019 but I will keep parents updated about the plans and proposals.

As this busy term draws to a close, I should like to draw parents’ attention to our expectations of behaviour within the school.  We are all very proud of the excellent behaviour of the majority of the students here.  We know that the vast majority of our students come to school with a focus on their learning and meet and exceed our expectations at all times and we continually praise them for doing so.

We expect that students will arrive to school, and lessons, on time with the right equipment and preparation to engage fully in their lessons.    We expect that all students treat staff and fellow students with courtesy, respect and show good manners at all times.   We expect that students follow other school rules such as ensuring that their mobile phones remain in their lockers during the day and being in the appropriate places before school and during break and lunchtimes.

As you will be aware, from September 2018, we introduced lunchtime and after school detentions.  The purpose of these sanctions are to reinforce our expectations and provide a proportionate sanction for the small number of occasions when students do not meet our expectations.   The after school detentions are used when previous sanctions have not resulted in students modifying their behaviour or on rare occasions when behaviour merits this more serious sanction.

I have been concerned in recent weeks that pastoral staff have noted an increase in parental communication in which parents have not been supportive of these sanctions.  I would like to reassure parents that sanctions which are issued are done so proportionately and after full consideration of the situation.  As per the home school agreement which all parents sign at the beginning of the academic year, I would ask that parents support the school when a sanction is issued. The school is aiming to do all we can do to nurture your daughter and ensure she can do her best, but at times a proportionate sanction may be necessary.  Students will make mistakes during their time in school and part of the important learning process at school for students is to recognise when this has happened, learn from it and make different choices in the future. It is also important for students to see that the school and home are working together to uphold our expectations to enable our students to flourish.  I would appreciate it if you can discuss these expectations with your daughter during the Easter break in readiness for the new term and also ask that if you do have a concern with a sanction which has been issued, to contact a member of the school’s leadership team rather than the Pastoral team or subject teachers.  I continue to be very proud of the excellent attitude and behaviour of the vast majority of the students in our school, who not only meet but exceed our expectations on a daily basis.

The next term at Handsworth promises to be a busy one including the external examinations for students in years 11 and 13 and internal examinations for year 10.  The Easter break is an important time for rest and reflection in readiness for all that the summer term will bring and I wish you and your families and peaceful and happy break.  We look forward to seeing the students return on Monday 29th April 2019.

Yours sincerely

A Whittall


Art Imagine Peace Ceramics Club Project

Inspired by our involvement in the Lichfield Cathedral ‘20,000 doves’ project, Ceramics Club have created a range of ceramic doves sculpted over a series of weeks.

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British Science Week

This term saw British Science week celebrated with an inspiring program of assemblies, talks and activities during mid-March.

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Free Flow

Last year we achieved a gold award in the next generation awards, although we didn’t get through to the final, we still think period poverty is a big issue so we have had the opportunity to continue our project in our school.

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History Globe Speaker

On 27th March we were very pleased to receive a visitor from The Globe Theatre in London. As a trip with 120 girls had just proved impractical, this was a very happy compromise!

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Magistrates Mock Trials

We are delighted to be runners up from the local heat and very much look forward to the regional heat next half term.

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Maths Challenge

On the 29th of April, I went to Aston Engineering University for the math challenge. I went with a year 9 and two year 8s.

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Online Scare Article

Reports of online scares or challenges encouraging harmful or suicidal behaviours can be alarming and confusing.

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PE Update

The girls have been training really hard for the Winter School Games Basketball Tournament.

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Science Club

Since the start of the year Science Club has evolved from soldering to also include studying!

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The Library and the Scholastic Book Fair

Thank you to everyone who made a purchase from the Scholastic Book Fair and to the Pupil Librarians for their excellent customer service.

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Year 7 Trip to Warwick Castle

As part of our History curriculum, we were very grateful to have been taken to Warwick Castle last Thursday.

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Young Wellbeing Leaders

On Friday the 22nd March the Young Wellbeing Leaders group attended the training session organised by a member of the Birmingham NewStart Programme.

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Young Wellbeing Leads

The wellbeing team consist of students that have put themselves forward to be a part of making our school environment a safer and happier place to be in.

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