This week we hosted our annual Alumni Day, where Year 12 students were treated to an array of presentations from former KHS students.
Every year we invite all former students to come back and share their experiences since leaving the school. This event is hugely inspirational for our students, allowing them to get an insight into different industries and an understanding of various routes that can lead to different careers.
The day starts off with the former students briefly introducing themselves, after which the current students get the opportunity to directly approach them for one to one conversations. Previously KHS students have not only managed to get guidance through these, but have ended up gaining work experience, which is a fantastic outcome. To finish the sessions some guest speakers gave a more in-depth introduction to themselves and the industry they work in.
This year we welcomed back over 50 former students, one of them was Christina Kumar, a solicitor who is taking a year off to fight child trafficking in the Philippines: https://www.youcaring.com/christinakumar-838793 She gave a very moving talk about herself and the choices she made.
Another insight to world affairs was provided by James Hillier, who gave an account of his work for Cambridge Analytica in recent Kenyan and US elections.
We also heard from entrepreneurs Suraj Gosai and Jordan Douglas, with one of the UK’s first e-sports start-up businesses, ‘Blinkpool’; and from Karim Clarke, talking about his Kent-based, but soon to be nationwide, start-up business ‘Unirunners’, which aims to take on the big delivery firms by delivering a wider variety of goods at any time of day or night.
Elizabeth Kennedy, a Digital Communications Apprentice and visitor on the day talked, with Savannah Mullings Johnson, an ITN apprentice, about the value of apprenticeships.
Live music was provided by brilliant singer-songwriter, Ziena Idani; by pianist, Akira Allman (Year 13); and by creative manager Erik Windrich, who has achieved chart success over the years with his band ‘Evoid’.
Mr Mitchell from KHS said that ‘it was fantastic to see such a large and inspiring turn-out of former students, perhaps the most varied line-up we have seen so far, and Kingsbury students were presented with a wealth of experiences and stories that will assist them as they make their own choices in the future’. Thanks go to Erik, Tamara and Tara in the creative team; to the K reception, caretaking and catering staff; to the Senior Prefects for offering a well-received Peer Induction in the Library, and a Freshers’ Fair in the Sixth Form Study Room; to Future First, for its support; and to the Sixth Form management team. Without these combined efforts, the day would simply not have been possible.’
On 22nd April we opened the doors and invited our former students for the day, to help us celebrate 50 years since Middlesex County Council brought together Kingsbury County Grammar School and two secondary moderns, the Tylers and Croft Schools.
With no idea of what numbers to expect we hoped to see some familiar faces and groups coming in to share their experiences with us. No one could have expected such a fantastic turnout and such excitement from former students and staff. People travelled from near and far to walk through the entrance that ‘only teachers were allowed to use’ and take a walk down memory lane. Some used the day as an opportunity for an organised reunion, some wondered in to see who they might bump into. The expressions on their faces were the same when they spotted familiar faces. Tears and laughter followed by ‘do you remember that time when…’ being the most used phrase of the day, captures the day.
Previous Headteachers Mr Mitchell and Mr Snell honoured us with a surprise visit, showing that they still like to recollect their days at KHS.
In K Hall and library a selection of documentation were displayed for the visitors’ reminiscence of their days back in the school. Photos were laid out on tables, free for anyone to take away and numerous old publications were available to read on the day. Groups gathered and enjoyed reliving memories over a cup of tea in the Hall whilst watching the presentations on the screens.
Hourly tours were offered to the Lower School on Bacon Lane, which allowed the guests to stick their heads into their old classrooms, after signing in at the school register. Group photos were taken to recreate those old class photographs.
Thank you to everyone that joined us on the day and made it such a memorable day.
On Friday 20th November the school hosted its first ever Total Communication Resource Alumni Day. Former Kingsbury High students from the Deaf & Hearing Impaired communities visited the school to inspire the next generation of students.
They spent the day sharing their experiences of their time at Kingsbury High, spoke of their journey since then and of what they are doing now. They attended Kingsbury High between the years 1988 -2015 so their ages ranged from 16 – 39 bringing with them a wealth of advice, knowledge and nostalgia.
24 year-old Abdulla Mustafa left school in 2008. He has since continued his education, travelled the world (playing basketball and working with the Deaf community in the Philippines) and has set up his own company in Internet Marketing. Speaking at the event he said “When I saw the school, I thought ‘wow, it seems really small now’. We didn’t have smart phones or facebook back then, but these things really help me now. I was obsessed with basketball and today I want to go out there [in the playground] and play basketball again.” His identical twin brother, Abdulrahman Mustafa, cuts in and says “I was really interested in Drama and Art and Abdulla was into Sports. I remember having Ms Winter in Year 7 to Year 9, you did History with us and you were explaining about Henry VIII and I’ll never forget that. That was my first one-to-one with you and you communicated really well. Break times were really difficult because we were on our own and we didn’t really know what to do. We felt depressed, but we didn’t tell anyone, we just kept it all inside. So we always went to the Library and went on the computer and read books. I discovered that I really wanted to go to university and I really wanted to do Film Studies.”
Communication Support Worker, Natalie Winter, organised the event and said “It was very interesting and exciting to hear about the progress of each former student. After leaving Kingsbury High they have followed an astounding range of careers in education and employment and they all said that they valued the support they received during their time at school.
“The day was a great success. We would like to thank these young people for offering their time to present themselves as positive role models and to support our students at Kingsbury High.”
The Year 12 induction process carried on two excellent traditions at the start of the new academic year: visits from 30 alumni to inspire and motivate the “next generation” of Sixth Form students; and an introductory programme devised by the Head Boy, Head Girl and Prefect Team, to welcome the new Sixth Formers and pass on wisdom from their own experiences. We were also delighted to host Michelle Perkins, of technology firm Capgemini, who talked to the students about some exciting opportunities with that business, including apprenticeships that some of our students have secured in recent years; and to introduce singer/songwriter Sheena Evans, a former student, who performed some very well-received tracks from her soon-to-be released EP.
Michelle said “I was so amazed by not just the achievements of the alumni students, but their fondness for Kingsbury, their individuality and their confidence in talking to a crowd. It was a really great event.”
Sheena added “There’s nothing like returning to a place that remains unchanged to see the ways in which you yourself have altered. Visiting Kingsbury High and walking the same hallways that were once my second home was a bizarre feeling, especially after so many years. Then being able to not only perform for the new sixth formers, but also to hopefully inspire is something I don’t take for granted. Having been sat in their position some time ago, I understand how pivotal this time is for the students, and if any budding musicians were thinking ‘could they?’ I hope I’m proof enough to ensure ‘they can!’. And for those on a completely different path I hope to have delivered a warm welcome.”
As a result of this event, a former student has set up a LinkedIn networking group for alumni, we are holding an alumni-led UCAS/Personal Statement surgery and another former student has offered Year 12 students an opportunity to attend an outreach day at global consultancy firm, Accenture. We are very grateful for the support we receive from our alumni and delighted to maintain links with them as they make their way in the world. Further alumni information can be found on our school website and on our alumni features page on our school blog.
If you are a former student, you can sign up to our network here.
Thanks to former student, Louis Cheshire for assisting with the photography.