On Thursday 19th May, Kingsbury High School hosted the Brent Borough heat of the London Debate Challenge.
It was an exciting day for our KS3 debating teams, who took part in an English Speaking Union debating workshop in the morning, followed by competitive debating rounds against two other Brent schools, Ark Academy Wembley and Ark Elvin Academy, in the afternoon.
Motions dealt with topical ideas from introducing a sugar tax to banning violent combat sports. Kingsbury’s team, which included students from Year 7 and 8, Kashvi, Bashra, Nouh and Jawad, spoke confidently and convincingly on these topics and held their own against the opposing teams. They were well supported by our swing team, Bejan, Keenal, Mahdi and Humza, who all made contributions in our floor debates.
Congratulations to the champions of the day, Ark Academy: strong speakers and tough competition!
Congratulations, too, to all who participated. All of the participants showed great confidence – one of the most significant benefits of debating, according to the ESU’s James Hardy, who ran the morning workshop and judged the competition. He commented: “Learning debating at school is a great way to get students to think about and care about big issues, to learn how to develop arguments and to learn how to listen to others point of view. The thing I think is most useful, though, is the confidence it inspires. Debating gives them such a clear opportunity, and the growth in confidence from speech to speech is amazing.
“At the ESU, we’re committed to working to empower students to know that their opinion is hugely important, and to give them the skills to express it clearly and persuasively.”
On Wednesday 18th May, Year 11 students attended a final assembly before their GCSE examinations commenced.
The occasion was filled with a mixture of emotions as the students were taken through their five years at Kingsbury High School. Students settled into the hall with the traditional shirt signing; they heard from some staff that have had an impact on their time at Kingsbury High; Students took to the floor to thank their form tutors; and then after a musical interlude, they were filled with emotion when they were handed letters wishing them luck for their exams.
Stage Leader, Sandip Das, said “At Kingsbury we celebrate this important moment in their lives, confident that they are ready and able to take the next step. I look forward to their future with a great sense of optimism, and wish Year 11 good health, happiness and every success.”
On Friday 13th May Kingsbury High School students performed in front of members of the local community at the Opening Ceremony of the Willow Tree Doctors Surgery’s new site: 343 Stag Lane.
The students performed acoustically and were received warmly by visitors to the centre. Their pieces were followed by performances from staff and students at The Village School.
Dr. Meeta Dodhia, MD, CCFP, MRCGP said “We would like to thank the Kingsbury High School students for starting the opening ceremony of our new surgery. They performed marvellously and some members of the audience really got involved by clapping and swaying to the rhythm. The guitarist is very talented and the vocalist sang a very popular song. The Dhol player wowed the crowd and some guests started doing bhangra moves when he played.”
Kingsbury High School hosted a mini tennis festival for local primary school students as part of the Beyond the Baseline programme.
Beyond the Baseline is an initiative brought to schools by The Tennis Foundation and Youth Sports Trust. The programme uses tennis and inspirational tennis mentors to nurture students’ aspirations and put them on the path to achieving them.
This is the second year that Kingsbury High School has been involved in the programme. This year saw, Tennis Mentor, Jessica Weeks pay three visits to the school to inspire and coach Year 9 students.
By the end of the three sessions the students, along with last year’s mentees, were ready to lead the tennis festival which took place on Friday 6th of May.
Kingsbury High’s School Sports Co-ordinator, Ashley Dunne-Watts said “It was refreshing to see Year 10 and Year 9 Kingsbury High School students work together to create a successful mini tennis festival. The smooth running of the competition would not have been possible if it wasn’t for the Beyond the Baseline Programme.
“We would like to thank the staff and Year 3 & 4 students of the primary schools for attending the event.”
The following schools were in attendance: Byron Court Primary School, St Joseph’s Catholic Primary School, St. Robert Southwell Catholic Primary School, Sudbury Primary School, Preston Park Primary School and Uxendon Manor Primary School.
Friday the 29th April saw The Panathlon Challenge come together with Kingsbury High School at Burnt Oak Leisure Centre. The Panathlon Challenge is a national charity that provides sporting opportunities for disabled young people through a number of sporting competitions and events.
Kingsbury High School students had been trained on how to lead the activities that make up the event, during the February half term and were ready to support the wonderful occasion.
Students from West London primary schools attended and competed in games such as Polybat, Boccia and Table Cricket. The gold medal winners were Millbank Academy making them West London Champions.
Chris James, Primary Programme Manager, at Panathlon said “The students from Kingsbury High were excellent role models during the event and the way they interacted with both students and teachers from competing schools was really great to see. Many of them had not worked with students with disabilities before and it was really impressive how they immersed themselves in to the day, got stuck in and made it a safe, fun and enjoyable environment for all of the students taking part. I’d love to use all of these leaders again in the future!”
On Wednesday 4th May Tylers and Croft Hall hosted a momentous evening – the very first Higher Project Qualification (HPQ) Evening of Achievement. It was here that over 100, Year 9, students in the Advance track presented a culmination of a year’s work and it was a truly brilliant occasion.
The HPQ, usually aimed for KS4 and KS5 students, requires students to write a 2,000 word essay on a topic of their choice. With this, students are expected to conduct their own research, formulate their own critical arguments and then present their findings to an audience. In this instance, the audience consisted of 12 Kingsbury staff members including Mr Waxman, Mr Watkins, Mr Gibson, Ms Vishnuram, Ms Williams, Mr Tomlinson, Mr Mitchell, Mr Gannon, Mr Wilson, Ms Hollingworth and led by the HPQ Coordinator Mr Patrick Thompson and HPQ Supervisor Ms Ruparelia. Alongside this many sets of parents came along to share in the success of their children.
With topics ranging from gender inequality in sport; transgenderism in the 21st century; the impact of terrorism on religious groups; and the ethics behind animal testing, Kingsbury students shone and deserve to be hugely proud of their work. Many teachers who attended the evening described the work as “inspirational”.
Mr Thompson said “It is quite special to see Year 9 pupils engaging in such a mature and thoughtful way with academic writing and research. I am immensely proud of the students here and hope that the work they have put in this year sets them off in good stead for a successful academic career. With this said, the evening has been made possible by a genuine sense of community at Kingsbury with many teachers giving up their free time to support our students.”
Now Mr Thompson is busy preparing for the next HPQ cohort of current Year 8s.
A number of Kingsbury High’s Sixth Form students competed in the Brent Schools Chess League held at Barham Primary School in March.
In the lead up to the competition, the students regularly attended Kingsbury High School’s own Chess Club. Attending these sessions paid off for Gabriel Orgidan as his strategic playing at the Brent Schools Chess League earned him first place in a three-way-tie between students from Wembley High and Capital City Academy.