Financially Speaking Final 2012


Year 9 students, Jai Ramchandani and Sahil Kotecha, represented Kingsbury High School at the Financially Speaking Final held at Bridewell Hall in Fleet Street on Tuesday 24 April 2012. The students were selected out of 30 Year 9 students by members of Speakers Trust at an event held at the school earlier last term. Kingsbury High School was the only Brent school invited to take part and was only one of 2 from schools north of the river. The students acquitted themselves extremely well.

The judging panel included:

– Paul Lewis, Personal Finance Journalist & Broadcaster
– Hugh Pym, Chief Economics Correspondent for the BBC
– Liz Ambekar, Director of Finance for The Eve Appeal
– Paul Warren, Bursar for Corpus Christi College, University of Cambridge
– Franca Rofe, Corporate Affairs, Citi
– Alex Palfreman, Financially Speaking Winner 2011, St Bonaventure’s Comprehensive Catholic School, Newham

Out of the 20 schools, 10 places were awarded at the end of the event of which Jai took 5th place.

A video of Jai’s speech is available for viewing on the Speakers Trust YouTube channel.

[information provided by Ms Woodrow & Mr Das; Photograph by Tony Preece & provided by Speakers Trust]

2012 Deutsche Bank Debate Mate


On Friday the 23rd of March, six Kingsbury High School students attended the 2012 Deutsche Bank Debate Mate Cup Competition at London School of Economics. The students were selected by Law undergraduate mentors’ of Kings College University, London.

The Deutsche Bank Debate Mate Cup is a competition run by a charity organisation known as Debate Mate. Every week mentors come along to train and gear Kingsbury High School students to develop their oracy skills so that they can take part in national competitions such as the Deutsche Bank Debate Mate Cup and the Urban Debate League. The competitions involve nearly a hundred schools who are encouraged to challenge each other in debates.

Kingsbury High School students worked extremely hard to prepare for the event, which involved three debate rounds. Out of the three rounds, students were provided with one pre-released motion and the other two were revealed 15 minutes prior to the debate. Students were up against a new team from a different school in each round.

The motions were challenging with statements such as: ‘This House believes that the UK should intervene militarily in Syria’. Within a short period of time and intense pressure the Key Stage 3 Debate Club team were able to come out successfully from 2 of the 3 debates. They all worked very hard to gain support for their point of view and to engage their peers in serious discussions about issues that affect us all.

At the end of the day and after many live performances, students left with precious advice from judges who professionally take part in debating competitions from all around the world.

[text provided by Ms Salmah; image provided by Ben McNelly, Programme Director, Debate Mate]

Artemis Urban Debate League 2012

Kingsbury High School is ranked first place, out of 107 schools, in the final league tables of the Artemis Urban Debate League 2012. This was a competition that took place between schools all over the nation. Kingsbury High School was able to succeed in gaining the highest score and maintain it after two hotly contested rounds.

For each round, students had to prepare for a pre-released motion and on the day, two debate rounds took place. Out of the two, one of the motions was pre-released and the second debate would be a blind one. Students performed brilliantly, throwing their powerful thoughts out to the audience with conviction and force. The judges placed both teams which were representing Kingsbury High School Debate Club at the top.

Students now have one more round to take part in and are currently in training for the grand final which will take place at the House of Lords. The students are very excited about the prospect of performing at such a prestigious venue.

[information provided by Ms Salmah]

Vocab Champions


When you’re learning a foreign language, why is vocabulary like Lego? That was the question put to Year 7 as they prepared to enter the Vocab Express National Championship – a vocabulary-learning competition which took place in March.

The answer is that vocabulary is like the building blocks of a language: with more words you can build better sentences and express yourself more creatively.

Over 90 pupils from Year 7 put this into practice by rising to the challenge the week-long contest, competing against schools from across the country to see who could learn the most new words in a week. Thanks to their determination and excellent effort, Kingsbury came 6th in the national Medio Challenge Cup.

There were some excellent individual performances: Parag Pindoria, Ritik Patel, Nikhil Shikotra, Abarathan Jeevaraj and Nikita Shikotra all scored more than 10,000 points. The school’s top scorer was Hasibullah Ghulamhaidar in 7G, who scored 28,215 – putting him in the top 25 in the country for his score in German. Congratulations on this excellent achievement!

From Kingsbury to Everywhere…


On Kingsbury High School’s Aim Higher Day on Wednesday 18 April 2012, former students volunteered to come back to school to give the current intake a personal insight into both university life and pursuing a successful career….

Pictured are:
Back row: Layla Hantouli and Chirag Kumar
Third row: Lauren Long, Trusha Raval, Sheena Evans, Valerie Mussi-Braojos & Suraj Gosai
Second row: Vascliff Fuller (V.A.S.), Geoffrey Yussouf & Fatima Ali
Front row: Mahamed Hashi & Louis Cheshire

[text by Matt Price; photo by Steve/Jo]

Former Kingsbury High School Student Returns to the School to Film his Music Video

Up-and-coming producer, singer, rapper, dancer and former Kingsbury High School student who goes by the name of V.A.S. has returned to the school to film his latest music video called Butterfly.

Taken from his album ‘The Chronicles Of Chilby’, Butterfly is a song about a teenage crush. The video was directed by Raheem Bakare and produced by V.A.S. himself. The 22 year-old from North West London says “The video shows a unique and cheeky character put together with a catchy chorus that everyone just won’t be able to get out of their heads.”

V.A.S. recognises the importance of being a positive role model to young people, not only through his music, but also through motivational talks at High Schools and through his work with youth focused organisations such as Nutmeg Community.

V.A.S. recently visited Kingsbury High School to talk to students about his education, music, ambitions and to inspire students to follow their dreams. V.A.S. exhibits his determination and will to succeed in a positive way and reiterates this to young people. He says “one of the reasons I don’t swear in my songs is that first of all my mother would kill me, but also the older generation will not take you seriously and the younger generation will think it’s okay and it isn’t.”

V.A.S. says his inspiration for Butterfly was “remembering how it feels to have a crush on someone and the feeling of having that first crush in school where you start smiling just because the girl you like is there, forgetting about football, computer games, cars and everything else.” V.A.S. however, didn’t forget about his education and after leaving Kingsbury High School five years ago, went on to graduate from Middlesex University with a 2.1 honours degree in Business & Economics.

Butterfly was released on Monday 09th April 2012 and is available to buy on itunes.

Ritik’s Poster


‘Lose Yourself in a Book’ competition winner Ritik Patel in Year 7 has used his prize, a graphics tablet, to create his own poster. Ritik asked Kingsbury High School’s Creative Team questions about how they made their set of ‘Lose Yourself in a Book’ posters and then spent time over the school holidays to make one of his own. Well done Ritik!

Lose Yourself in a Book Competition Winners


The ‘Lose Yourself in a Book’ poster campaign, designed and created by Kingsbury High School’s Library and its own Creative Team, was launched on World Book Day 2012 and is part of a wider campaign to promote reading within the school and in the local community.

To reach out to the community and to show support for local libraries, Kingsbury High School have given a set of the posters for display at Kingsbury Library Plus, Kingsbury Road.

Wendy Levingstone, Manager at Kingsbury Library Plus, was happy to put up the posters in this busy location and said “They really are great and look fantastic on our display boards – children from Kingsbury High School have been looking at the pictures and trying to guess who is behind each book”.

Within the school, there was a competition for students to guess the identity of the well disguised members of staff in the posters. Winners were announced in school assembly on 27th March 2012.

Winner of the competition, Ritik Patel, aged 12, entered the competition as a challenge to see if he would be able to guess all of the members of staff correctly. He said “The posters were really interesting and the books reflected the teachers’ personalities or subjects. The prize was a graphics tablet which works very well and I will use it to draw things.”

Runners up were Ali Keser aged 14 and Sadaf Habibi aged 14.

To see the full set of posters see: Lose Yourself in a Book

Kingsbury success in Model United Nations (MUN) conferences


On the weekend of 9th-11th March, 18 Kingsbury High School (KHS) Sixth Form students participated in the Haberdashers’ Aske’s School for Boys’ Model United Nations (HabsMUN) conference, representing the countries of Bangladesh, Bolivia and Latvia. Of 25 participating schools, Kingsbury High School was the only non-selective state school at the conference. We were in very strong company: independent schools (e.g. Habs’ Boys, Benenden, Canford, Merchant Taylors, Royal Russell, Tudor Hall), grammar schools (e.g. King Edward VI, Chelmsford; Manchester Grammar) and international schools, including one from Lubeck, Germany. There were 430 individual delegates in all.

Kingsbury High School students worked extremely hard to prepare for the event, producing detailed draft resolutions (laws) for discussion at the conference, and their behaviour throughout the weekend was exemplary. They were on time to every stage of proceedings and were clearly determined to make an impact in their respective committees. Many students were involved in debating the resolutions under discussion and all worked very hard in the lobbying process to gain support for their ideas about serious international issues.

At the end of the conference, several Kingsbury High School students spoke in the General Assembly and three students won ‘Highly Commended Delegate’ awards: congratulations to Vincent Cutler and Harshadha Balasubramanian (who also both received awards at the North London Collegiate MUN, see below) in Year 12, and for Melissa Calleja in Year 13.

The staff team for HabsMUN comprised of Mr Mitchell, Mr Williams, Mr Cumbers, Ms Woodrow, Ms Hunt, Ms Molina, Mr Mendelsohn and Mr Senior.

The HabsMUN success followed a similarly impressive contribution by KHS students to an MUN conference at North London Collegiate School (NLCSMUN) on Saturday 25th February. On this occasion, 22 Sixth Form students travelled under the supervision of Mr Mitchell to North London Collegiate School to represent the UK, Germany, Pakistan, Afghanistan and Zambia during the conference. Kingsbury was the only school at the conference to have its countries’ resolutions passed by the General Assembly (UK’s resolution on the extent of UN intervention in transitional governments, proposed by Emilian Gega; and Pakistan’s resolution on protecting free speech in developing countries, proposed by Samantha Sivapragasam). In addition, Kingsbury students won a number of prizes. The following students were awarded ‘best delegate in committee’ following votes by peers from different schools:

  • Emilian Gega
  • Amelia Cutler
  • Alba Turku
  • Harshadha Balasubramanian

The following students won ‘Most Outstanding Delegate’ awards for their contribution to the whole conference, as selected by the organisers:

  • Emilian Gega
  • Vincent Cutler
  • Luke McCarthy Jones

Both MUN events were incredibly worthwhile and inspiring to watch, allowing for the demonstration of a range of important transferable skills (precise writing, negotiation, networking, public speaking, problem-solving and research) and presenting Kingsbury students at their very best in a challenging competitive environment.

[text & image provided by Mr Mitchell & Ms Helps]