Young Enterprise Success


Kingsbury High School’s Young Enterprise team, NEOS, played their way to success, with their educational board game, Roundabout, at the Brent & Harrow area final on Tuesday 26th April 2016.

NEOS were awarded with the titles ‘Best Company in Brent’, ‘Most Innovative Product’ and ‘Best trade Stand at the event held at Brent Civic Centre.

The team were also commended on their company report; their attractive and informative trade stand; and their ability to work well as a team throughout the competition.

NEOS were able to show off their game to the Mayor of Brent, Councillor Lesley Jones

NEOS were able to show off their game to the Mayor of Brent, Councillor Lesley Jones

Associate Head of Faculty for Technology & Art, Manisha Sanghani, said “The Young Enterprise students have worked incredibly hard over the last few months to design and produce their game, and will now go on to represent the school and borough at the West London finals. Thank you to all those members of staff who have supported the team along their way.”

Pranesha Bhudia, Managing Director at NEOS, said “Hearing NEOS being called out as winners at the area final and seeing us all go up on stage made me realise how far we have come as a team and I hope we continue to succeed.”

Thanks to Bruce Viveash for the photography.

Update on proposed new multi-sport facilities

We wanted to update you regarding our partnership with Powerleague and the proposed development of new multi-sport facilities at the School.

In particular, we would like to clarify and correct misinformation on the proposals circulated by third parties.

We are aware that various leaflets and flyers are being circulated by third parties who object to our plans. We naturally respect the right of any person or group to object, but are concerned that literature being circulated contains inaccurate misinformation on our plans.

Please see the following short summary note that seeks to clarify and correct the assertions being made:

Kingsbury High School and Powerleague – key issues summary: April 2016

This note clarifies misinformation and responds to some of the claims circulated by third party objectors to the scheme.

Claim: The School has “amazing grass fields” and may be selling these off to Powerleague

Response: The School has grass sports pitches on both of our campuses. The proposals would replace half of the pitches on our Bacon Lane Campus with artificial multi-sport pitches. We have aspired to provide artificial pitches on this site for many years because the existing grass pitches currently become waterlogged and unusable for most of the academic year.

The remaining grass pitches at our Bacon Lane campus would be retained and improved to make them flat and remove the current slope. Our grass pitches at Princes Avenue would be unaffected.

The School will not be selling the pitches to Powerleague. They will remain in the School’s ownership and be leased to Powerleague.

Claim: Powerleague will seek to apply for an alcohol licence at the facility

Response: The School and Powerleague can confirm that as part of our operational agreement the facility would not have an alcohol licence. This would not align with our values and Powerleague operates a number of sites in partnership with educational institutions which are not licenced to serve alcohol.

Claim: Should the School be in partnership with Lucozade, whose drinks are so sweet that children would exceed their recommended sugar intake in just one serving?

Response: The School is in partnership with Powerleague, not Lucozade. Without this partnership the School would not be able bring forward the proposed new facility and the significant health benefits it would deliver for our students.

As parents will know, the School has recently signed up to the Food for Life Partnership. Food for Life Partnership schools are embedding food education into their curriculum, and a focus on ‘pupil voice’ means students take ownership and decide their own priorities. The Partnership is about bringing people together – teachers, students, families, cooks, caterers, farmers and the wider community – to enjoy good, wholesome food and change food culture in England significantly.

We also provide healthy school meals through the use of fresh, seasonal ingredients, providing students with choice and variety whilst delivering great value for money. We follow the government’s nutrition guidelines so food and drinks options are healthy and menus are well-balanced.

Claim: Astroturf is created from ‘toxic material’

Response: Powerleague’s playing surfaces consist of granulated crumb rubber. The health effects of this material have been the subject of more than 50 technical studies over the last two decades. None of these studies has established any link between artificial turf and any health issues.

Claim: The pitches will be hired out late into night, mainly to 18-30 year old males

Response: The facility would be for exclusive use of the School and our students during school hours.

Outside school hours, the facility would be made available to local community groups for 30 hours a week at selected times free of charge. The pitches are highly flexible spaces and can be used to promote a variety of sport and recreational activities, increasing community participation opportunities.

The pitches would also be available to the general public for hire in the afternoons and evenings outside the periods above. This is a requirement to fund the development of the facility. The pitches would be in use up to 10.30pm from Monday to Friday; 9.00pm on Saturday and 10.00pm on Sunday, with a number of measures (set out below) to ensure no unacceptable impact on the surroundings.  The pitches would operate using staggered start times so that the pitches closest to residential properties would close half an hour earlier than the rest of the facility.  The facilities would be available for children’s parties, room hire, as well as a wide range of sporting activities.

It must also be noted that Brent Council’s Playing Pitch Strategy highlighted a lack of suitable female showering facilities in the Borough. Female showering facilities would be provided as part of this scheme, helping to address this identified shortfall.

Claim: The proposals, with associated light and noise, will affect the character of the area

Response: Powerleague has commissioned detailed assessments of the light and noise impact from the plans. The site already has prominent background noise levels, (mainly from the nearby road traffic on Stag Lane), and the scheme would include measures to control noise, including a new fence along the southernmost pitch. As such, noise levels would be within World Health Organisation guidelines and there would be no unacceptable impact.

In respect of lighting, standard floodlighting for a full sized football pitch is 15 metres high. The proposed floodlight height for our large pitch would be 12 metres. A lighting assessment submitted with our planning application confirms that the vast majority of light generated would be contained within the School’s grounds. The floodlights would utilise modern directional floodlights which would ensure that there would be no significant light spillage onto residential areas.

In addition to this, as part of the scheme many existing floodlights on the campus would be lowered, removed or modernised, including the existing floodlight on the access road and the floodlights situated on the adjacent playgrounds. This would help to reduce light spillage and glare from the school lighting on residential properties situated to the north of the site.


Youngest person ever to have climbed Mount Everest & the North Pole visits Kingsbury High School


Bonita Norris, the youngest person in the world to have reached the summit of Everest and the North Pole, visited Kingsbury High School on Monday 18th April to speak in front of 100 girls as part of the, Play for Change, Slam Dunk Programme.

Play for Change is a charity aiming to improve the lives of children through the power of sport. Students from schools in Wandsworth and Brent came together at Kingsbury High to listen to Bonita’s exceptional talk and to share a game of basketball.

The Slam Dunk programme is delivered in communities across London using basketball as a hook to deliver life skills and inspirational workshops.

Bonita, standing in front of the young girls, said “we should all aim ridiculously high in life”. Bonita tells her story of coming from a small town with few opportunities, and 2 years after attending a lecture about Mount Everest she summited the world’s highest mountain at the age of 22, making her the youngest person to do so.

“When I push myself the most and I am outside of my comfort zone, that’s when the most amazing things happen”, said Bonita, who currently trains 4 hours a day for her next trip up K2 which is the second highest mountain in the world although widely perceived to be a harder and more dangerous climb.

Kingsbury High School student, Salma Abdi, was inspired by the talk and said “Bonita made me think I could climb Mount Everest too by taking one step at a time. She taught me that even if you have doubt in your mind, you can still do something great.”

Bonita Norris says “Being an Ambassador for Play for Change is such a huge honour. Sport changed my life and I’d love for that to be universal for anyone to be able to work their way out of any hardships. With Play for Change I know I can make a difference and I would love to see young girls having their confidence and life skills built through doing sport and realising what it can do for them.”

Associate Head of Faculty for Physical Education and Extended Learning at Kingsbury High, Lucy McNeil, said “We have started a very positive relationship with the charity Play for Change. This program has enabled us to gain access to great basketball coaching for the girls. Through this project we also had the privilege of a visit from Bonita Norris. She is a superb role model for the students and delivered a powerful speech which left our students inspired in more than one way I am sure.”

Debating & Public Speaking at Kingsbury High

As the Upper School Debating Society brings its season to a close, and the Lower School Debating Society looks likely to host the English Speaking Union’s London Debate Challenge this term, it is a pleasure to reflect on the year’s highlights (so far).

The crowning achievement was the success of Iman Mohamed (Year 13) and Sara Dehvari (Year 11) in reaching the National Finals of the Oxford Schools’ Debating Competition at the prestigious Oxford Union. Kingsbury High School was one of a very small number of state schools represented and the only one from the Brent and Harrow area. In debating, we are proud to make our claim of being the “finest for miles around”. The girls represented the school with distinction, having beaten first-class opposition in the regional round at Woodside High School to get to the national finals. Over a thousand schools had been knocked out on the way to the finals, which indicates the scale of this achievement. Sara is hoping to repeat this success during her years in the Sixth Form.

Oxford Schools’ Debating Competition

Oxford Schools’ Debating Competition at the prestigious Oxford Union. Photograph by Mr Senior

In addition to this achievement, the Sixth Form fielded five delegations (21 students) at the annual City of London School Model United Nations to compete against some well- known grammar and independent schools from in and around London. All performed brilliantly on the day but special congratulations are reserved for the efforts of Hadi Hijazi and Mahima Vekaria, both Year 12, for their excellent contributions to committees, and to Dhruv Sharan (Year 12) and Iman Mohamed (Year 13) for attaining ‘Highly Commended Delegate’ Awards.

City of London School Model United Nations.

City of London School Model United Nations. Photograph by Hadi Hijazi.

In public speaking, the school hosted the Jack Petchey Speaking Competition and our speakers, both in Year 10, were inspirational to watch: well done to Vinitha Vasantharajah, who set the standard for the evening with a fantastic opening speech, and to Hassan Naima, a prize-winner on the night, for his passionate oratory.

Kingsbury High School hosted the Jack Petchey Speaking Competition. Photograph by Camille Shah

Kingsbury High School hosted the Jack Petchey Speaking Competition. Photograph by Camille Shah

The school provides for debating and public speaking opportunities across the age range, from Year 7 through to Year 13, which includes Lower School and Upper School clubs, externally provided debating workshops (this year run by Debate Mate, Jack Petchey Speakout Challenge and the English Speaking Union), internal mentoring, and competitions. We have fielded teams this year in the Oxford Union, Cambridge Union and English Speaking Union Mace competitions. In the latter, Xane Mills, in Year 7, and Nouh El-Ouaz, in Year 8, deserve particular praise for thoughtful points made in the floor debate at Haberdashers’ Aske’s School for Boys in Elstree.

Thank you to the debating and public speaking post-holders in K (Ms Michal Tumber and Mr Andrew Mitchell) and T (Ms Nicole Assaad); to Ms Annette Woodrow for organising the Jack Petchey opportunities; to SLT and Year Leaders for their keen support; to the student debating mentors in Years 11, 12 and 13; and finally to Sakthy Uthayakumar, Head Girl, for choosing to use her richly deserved Jack Petchey Award to fund a debating workshop for the benefit of Upper School students.

Desperate Glory


On Monday 21st March The Globe Players visited Kingsbury High School with their First World War production of Desperate Glory.

This year is one hundred years since the Battle of Verdun and the Battle of the Somme. Desperate Glory marks this centenary with a lively and moving show which combines the prose and poems of the writers who fought in the First World War with many of the music hall songs of the time, and brings to life the experience of some of the men and women whose lives were devastated by the first industrialised war. The patriotism, disillusionment, satire and sheer horror expressed in the writings of the soldier-poets are set against a background of the changing attitudes of those at home.

The play was performed to some 300 Year 8 students throughout the day. Associate Head of the English Faculty, Ms Bali, said “Desperate Glory was an extremely moving, richly entertaining, and, above all, thought-provoking show about World War One. It was an excellent introduction to the Year 8 unit: War Poetry.”

Ask the Apprentice

16.03.16  Harrow UK. As part of National Apprenticeship Week Christine Hodgson, CEO of Capgemini and Chair of The Careers & Enterprise Company speaks at an ‘Ask the Apprentice’ event attended by young people at Harrow College. Photo: Professional Images/@ProfImages

16.03.16 Harrow UK.
As part of National Apprenticeship Week Christine Hodgson, CEO of Capgemini and Chair of The Careers & Enterprise Company speaks at an ‘Ask the Apprentice’ event attended by young people at Harrow College.
Photo: Professional Images/@ProfImages

As part of National Apprenticeship Week, Harrow College and Capgemini worked together to create a special ‘Ask the Apprentice’ event on the afternoon of Thursday 10th March 2016.

Associate Head of Faculty for Technology & Art, Ms Sanghani, accompanied three Sixth Form student’s to the event where former Kingsbury High School student, Radhika Parmar, joined a panel of other Apprentices to talk about her experience.

Radhika joined Capgemini last year on the degree apprenticeship and is now living in Sale and working towards her BSc in Computer Programming degree. She said
“The event was a great way to promote the types of apprenticeships around, and the various companies who provide them. I’m pleased I chose an apprenticeship instead of university, and I would really recommend it because the opportunity is incredible. It was great to see people from my school, who introduced Capgemini to me”.

The event was led by Capgemini Chairman Christine Hodgson. It was open to young people, parents/guardians, employers and careers advisors and it offered a great opportunity to find out more about apprenticeships and speak to current apprentices.

In addition to a strong Capgemini presence, other employers and apprentices who attended included representatives from British Gas, Lloyds Banking Group, Travis Perkins, Rolls-Royce, Nationwide Building Society, Barclays Bank and the Civil Service.

The event offered plenty of opportunities for networking for the employers and attendees.

Michelle Perkins Capgemini Schools Outreach Director said “With two former students attending we were totally delighted to see students and staff from Kingsbury High at the event. I hope that some more Kingsbury High students will join us as Apprentices this year! Capgemini really likes working with Kingsbury High. Ms Sanghani in particular is a wonderful supporter of the school’s students, encouraging them to make the best choices about their futures.”

Also in attendance was another Capgemini Apprentice and former Kingsbury High School student, Anika Mahangra, who said “As a former Kingsbury High School student it was great to see current students there. Being introduced to Capgemini in this way is how I came to be a Capgemini Apprentice. Some of the things that persuaded me to choose an Apprentice route were the fact that I would have no debt and also gain skills/experience that is relevant to the job. I was able to strengthen my CV and get as much guidance and support when needed. I’m finding my Apprenticeship both amazing and challenging I hope other students will consider the Apprentice route as a viable option to the traditional university route.”