On Tuesday 12th July the Kingsbury High Slambassadors, spoken word, team took their hard work from the previous week’s workshops to The Palace theatre in Kings Cross for the London Regional spoken word poetry finals.
Three performers from Kingsbury High took to the stage alongside six other schools from North and North West London including William Ellis, Parliament Hill and Alperton Community School.
Humna, Amina and Zubeyda performed their work confidently and to great applause from an audience made up of peers and professional poets, including the award winning and internationally renowned Hollie McNish, and legend of the UK Hip-Hop scene and celebrated social commentator Akala. Both Hollie and Akala performed for the collected schools and stayed around afterwards to pass on some words of the wisdom to the young performers.
Christopher Beschi said “Our students conducted themselves in exemplary fashion and there was even time for a quick trip around the British Library to look at their collection of ancient poetry books.”
“This, third year of Slambassadors at Kingsbury High School, has been a wonderful continuation of the legacy of Slambassadors and poetry at Kingsbury High School and it was touching to see last year’s Slambassadors supporting the new cohort; none more so that Jack Petchey award winner La-Shay Green who used her winnings from the award to supply the new group with hardback notebooks in which to continue their development as writers.”
Look out for more from our Slambassadors in the new year!
On the evening of Wednesday 6th July a number of current and former students from Kingsbury High joined students from across Brent to take part in ‘Brent Makes Music’ at Wembley Arena.
The concert included musicians from the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and a choir of over 1000 students. Kingsbury High School students formed part of a 50 piece guitar ensemble and also featured in the Brent Rock School Band. This was a fantastic experience for the students and is the product of an ongoing relationship with the Brent Music Service.
Friday 8th July 2016 marked the 10th anniversary of Kingsbury High School’s annual campaign with the charity Send My Friend to School.
Each year holds a different theme where Year 7 students come together to highlight the very serious problem of a lack of education for many children around the world.
This year’s theme focuses on the fact that more children than ever are having to flee their homes and schools due to emergencies. 37 million children, in crises affected countries, are missing out on an education.
On Friday, students made paper rucksacks to signify children fleeing their homes and schools with very few possessions. They wrote messages on the rucksacks asking World Leaders to ensure that these children are not forgotten and are a priority for International Aid. These creations will be sent to Number 10 Downing Street in the hope that world leaders will take notice and take action. To further highlight the issue, students ended the day by forming the shape of a school on the playground.
Head of the Student Development Faculty, Sarah Purtill, said “Over the last 10 years our Year 7’s have been raising awareness of the millions of children who do not have the opportunity of an education. Throughout these years we have met with Brent MP Barry Gardener; met with three International Development Minsters; taken part in Campaign films; attended meetings inside committee rooms at the Houses of Parliament and this year we took our campaigning inside Number 10 Downing Street. As a result of the years of campaigning, our students have become passionate global campaigners. It gives them an opportunity to reflect on how fortunate they are and it is fantastic to see them become dedicated to ensuring they speak out for those children missing out on school.”
Student, Richardo Rus, formed part of the Year 7 pressure group and said “It is important to take part in this campaign as there are millions of children who should have the same opportunities as we do, however they are limited by having such little resources that their future lives are dependent on having a good education. Today we are standing up and making rucksacks to raise awareness to our World leaders.”
Kingsbury High School exhibited hundreds of pieces of artwork at its annual Art exhibition on Monday 27th June 2016.
An eclectic mix of art & design, photography, fashion, sculpture and illustration; from GCSE, A level and BTEC courses was on display at the private viewing held in the lower school’s art rooms.
On the evening of the 29th June, Kingsbury High School students who have graduated from the Slambassadors spoken word poetry program were invited to a very special event to celebrate a very special achievement.
In the October half term 2015 La Shay Green and Zahra Shaikh were selected by Slambassadors founder and internationally renowned poet Joelle Taylor to participate in a week long writing retreat in the countryside of Yorkshire where they were able to refine, edit and rehearse pieces they had produced in the school workshops. They did this with one of the first ever Slambassadors winners and multi-published, award winning poet Anthony Anaxagorou.
As well as being a very successful poet Anthony also runs poetry and music events as well as founding his own independent publishing company Outspoken Press. Anthony and Joelle were so impressed by the standard of the work produced by our students and others during this retreat that he agreed to take the work and publish it.
Last night at the Forge in Camden, Joelle and Anthony hosted a launch night for the anthology A Heartful of Fist that saw performances from some of those included in the anthology alongside some of the best poets currently working in the UK.
Art teacher, Chris Beschi, said “It was proud and humbling to see these young poets hold their own alongside vastly more experienced performers.
“Slambassadors has been offering a platform for young people to find and grow their voices for the last 15 years. I am proud to have led some of our students to this and look forward to continuing a long relationship with the Poetry Society, Slambassadors, Outspoken Press and the poets they produce.”
As Britain faces the political, constitutional and economic consequences of a decision to leave the European Union, Kingsbury High School Sixth Form students were offered a fascinating perspective on events during a talk and question-and-answer session with Dominic Grieve, Conservative MP for Beaconsfield. Mr Grieve was able to give an up-to-date commentary on the state of the parties following BREXIT and outline some of the problems that will have to be navigated in the months ahead. He fielded questions from students on a range of current issues, including the wisdom of holding the referendum, the ability of politicians to engage and educate the electorate, the importance of listening to younger voters and the implications of BREXIT for students. Mr Grieve stayed after the event to answer questions from individual students.
The MP was visiting the school as part of the Speakers for Schools initiative. A barrister since 1980 and now a QC, and an MP since 1997, Mr Grieve rose to prominence in the Conservative Party and held the most senior legal post in government, Attorney General for England and Wales and Advocate General for Northern Ireland, from May 2010 to July 2014, under the Coalition Government. He currently chairs the Intelligence and Security Committee in Parliament and is a member of the Standards and Privileges Committee, among many other commitments both within and outside Parliament. In the recent European Union referendum campaign he argued to “remain”.
Speaking afterwards, Mr Grieve said that “it was a great pleasure for me to come to Kingsbury High School to speak to the Sixth Form. The discussion was lively and timely in view of current events. It was very interesting for me to hear the views of the students.”
Students responded very favourably to Mr Grieve’s visit. Masuda found it “fascinating” to hear him talk about current events and was impressed that he “was not afraid to answer any questions put forward”. Minah found the visit “inspiring” and was pleased to have an opportunity to ask questions about some of the issues dominating the news headlines. Zaenab said: “It was a very insightful talk and a genuinely engaging conversation from a politician’s honest perspective.”