The Panathlon Challenge Training

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During the February Half Term, a number of Kingsbury High School’s Sixth Form students received training from a representative from an organisation called The Panathlon Challenge. The Panathlon Challenge is a national charity that provides sporting opportunities for disabled young people through a number of sporting competitions and events.

The idea of the training was to coach Sixth Formers to act as sports officials for upcoming Panathlon competitions, which will take place in March and April. These competitions will welcome large numbers of primary school students to various venues where they will get the chance to experience and compete in inclusive sporting activities.

Holocaust Memorial Day 2016

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On Wednesday 27th January 2016 Ten Year 10 students joined students from other high schools in the borough to visit JFS School for their annual Holocaust Memorial Day Seminar.

The day included a talk by Mrs Renee Salt, 92 (a survivor of the Holocaust who lived through the horrors of the Lodz Ghetto, Auschwitz and Bergen-Belsen); a presentation by Ray Hill (former member of the British far-right BNP who became a well-known informant); and two sessions given by JFS Religious Education teacher, Miss Krieger, on the role of bystanders during the Holocaust and the moral dilemmas associated with the Holocaust.

The attending Kingsbury High students were particularly moved by Mrs Salt’s talk and commented, “It was amazing to hear first-hand the account of Mrs Salt, her story was so heart-breaking – but she was so keen to get her message across: stop hating others, and to try and live together in peace.”

“It is important we learn from the past, the Holocaust was a horrible event, millions died because of their beliefs – we must make sure we stand up to hate, just like Mrs Salt.”

Ekow Eshun Visits Kingsbury High School

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On Wednesday 27th January we were delighted to offer a talk for some Year 11 and Sixth Form students by Ekow Eshun, a former student who went on to become Head of the Institute of Contemporary Arts (ICA), a highly regarded author (his book ‘Black Gold from the Sun’ was nominated for the Orwell Prize in 2005) and a regular cultural critic on BBC 2’s ‘Newsnight Review’. He is currently a writer and broadcaster on a range of topics, including ethnicity, gender and identity. In addition to these interests, Ekow is in the process of writing a history of Hip Hop music.

It is Ekow’s first visit to the school since he left for university thirty years ago. He has also referred to the school on several occasions in interviews, citing Mr Clive Anderson, a former English teacher at the school and an authority on soul music, as his “inspiration”. Clive was able to attend Ekow’s talk and they were reunited for the first time in years.

Ekow discussed his journey from Kingsbury schoolboy to magazine writer, editor, cultural critic and arts manager, with lots of stories and inspiring observations along the way. He spent an hour addressing the students and responding to questions, and a further hour talking to individuals. He ended his visit with a brief look at K Hall, where he found his brother’s name on the Honours Board.

Thank you to the members of staff who were able to support the talk and to the following Year 11 students – Melanie Thirumanokaran; Isabel Rozanski; Christina Aquino; Braven Vanithas; Sara Dehvari; Ilyas Solayman; Lokmane Kherbane; Nikita Shikotra – for inviting Ekow Eshun to return to the school and thus providing the foundations for this event.

Fame Jr

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Last week (3rd – 6th February) saw the culmination of four months hard work by the students and staff of Kingsbury High School with the performances of the school production of ‘Fame Jr’. There were five performances which featured 36 performers from years 7 – 12 and a backstage team of Sixth Form students. The show was a huge success with fantastic support from students, staff, friends and family, many of whom attended more than one performance.

Sara Dehvari who played Grace (Lambchops) Lamb said “In Fame I had the chance to become someone different on stage. I was able to relate to a character who shared many differences and similarities to me. Throughout the experience I made amazing friends and was able to make people smile by doing something I love. I feel that doing just that is what made everything worthwhile and I will remember it for the rest of my life.”

Headteacher, Mr Waxman said “Congratulations and many thanks to all colleagues associated with last week’s run of Fame. During five performances over four days (and a well attended dress rehearsal) a fabulous cast produced the goods time after time. I saw three of the performances myself and each surpassed the previous. The joyous, spirited involved.”

Inclusive Futures Regional Conference

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On Wednesday 27th January 2016 six Kingsbury High School students attended the Inclusive Futures Regional Conference held at Kensington Leisure Centre.

Inclusive Futures is a volunteering program which came by as a result of the London 2012 Olympic & Paralympic Games and aims to challenge negative perceptions of disability in sport and volunteering.

At the conference, students took part in a series of workshops which taught them how to lead young people with and without disabilities in various activities. The workshops were also devised to give students a sense of the importance of volunteering, the impact it can have; and to empower them with the skills and confidence they need to volunteer locally.

Para swimmer, Amy Marren, four times World champion and European champion was in attendance offering advice and encouragement to students on the workshops.

The event was organised by former Kingsbury High School student Denzel Manyande who said “Inclusive Futures is really special because it allows everyone taking part to really think and question how they see themselves and the impact they can have on other people. It is about developing those young leaders who want to get involved and encourage more people to take part in sport or volunteering in general.

“Being able to have Kingsbury High attend was really special because Kingsbury High offers the chance to expand the knowledge there is on disabilities across to North West London. There is already a great deal being done at the school, but conferences like this are about encouraging those student leaders to learn differently in an environment where they don’t know anyone and so have to adapt quickly and sensitively.”

Find out more about what Denzel has been doing since leaving school on our Alumni Features page.

Kingsbury High School Debaters Claim Victory

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We are delighted to announce that Iman Mohamed (Year 13) and Sara Dehvari (Year 11) will be representing Kingsbury High School in the National Finals of the Oxford Union Schools Debating Competition 2016, to be held on Saturday 12th March at the Oxford Union, the “world’s most prestigious debating society”.

On a great night for Kingsbury debating and public speaking at Woodside High School, in which all of our teams performed with distinction, Iman and Sara fought hard for their place against incredibly tough opposition. The school teams that went through with Kingsbury High to finals day were from Haberdasher Aske’s School for Boys, St Paul’s and Westminster.

The two motions, prepared in 15 minutes without any external aids, were among the most difficult our students have faced:

*This House believes that states with a history of racial segregation should set ethnic diversity quotas for their national sporting teams.

*This House would fund an identity change for prisoners who have served long sentences upon their release.

Our thanks go to all the members of staff who have supported debating this year and to Sakthy Uthayakumar (Year 13) for using her Jack Petchey Award to support debating in the Upper School (with thanks also to Annette Woodrow for facilitating this).