‘Trouble in the World of Art’ by Norman Maurice Kadish, oil on canvas board, 1954. The scene is set in the art room at Tylers Croft School and the art teacher bears a striking resemblance to the artist.
Few people may have noticed the two large murals that hung over the staircase by Tylers Hall at Kingsbury High School for upwards of fifty years. Now darkened with age, these were painted by students in their art class under the direction of long-serving art master Norman Maurice Kadish (1916-1988).
Mr Kadish taught art for a total of 32 years, retiring from Kingsbury in 1981. He began his teaching career in 1947 at Belmont Secondary School. From there he went to Tylers Croft Secondary Modern School in Kingsbury where he became Head of the Art Department in 1961. In 1967 this school was merged with Kingsbury Grammar into a new ‘comprehensive’, the present Kingsbury High School.
Mr Kadish had a reputation as an excellent but strict teacher. He believed in the old-fashioned virtues of discipline and hard work. He occasionally used corporal punishment on unruly boys. Although he was out of step with educational theory in the 1960s, he was respected by his pupils. Besides Fine Art, he also taught Judo, and was a Blue Belt in the martial art. Nobody dared ‘mess’ in Mr Kadish’s class!
Contributed by Sharman Kadish, the artist’s youngest daughter
Below is a link to a video to remember our ’50 up’ celebrations back in April.
Thank you to Ali for creating this nice piece of work capturing some further nostalgia.
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.
During March and April, a group of Year 10 students participated in three motivational workshops to raise their confidence; provide them with a connection between their studies and the world of work; and to get them to think about their future career paths.
At each of the workshops, organised by Future First, four former Kingsbury High School students were invited back to school as role models.
The first session aimed to increase students’ knowledge about the various jobs that exist; expose them to different career pathways; and motivate them to think about the right career for them.
Working in small groups, students rotated round a bank of tables where alumni volunteers were stationed. Students were able to find out information about their working lives and how they got there.
Louis Cheshire left Kingsbury High School in 2007 and currently works as a Support Worker and a Freelance Photographer. Louis attended the first session and said “When I was that age I wasn’t really sure what I wanted to do after education. When I thought about getting a good job, I always imagined that it came down to getting high grades in school and moving forward in a very rigid, linear fashion. I found that a very daunting prospect. What I wanted to convey to the students is that there isn’t one universally ‘right’ way to do things – that there are countless ways of getting to the place in life you want to be. Sometimes you have to take a chance and try something new – it doesn’t always work out the way you imagined it would – but as long as you learn from the experience and better yourself for it, it should never be considered a mistake. The students seemed pretty perceptive of that. I saw some keen minds in that workshop and with the support and guidance of the school and Future First I’m sure they will achieve great things.”
Following on from Louis’ thoughts, in the second session, students heard from alumni volunteers about how both good and bad grades can impact on future education and employment opportunities. They also found out which skills, gained from subjects studied at school, the volunteers use most in their jobs. Volunteers then helped students identify how their subject and extra-curricular interests can be applied to different jobs.
The third session saw alumni volunteers act as coaches and helped students to create their own ‘Picture of Me’ guiding them into thinking more laterally about their talents and achievements. The activity culminated in a conversation about future career options based on the students’ strengths and skills.
Shazma Roshan also left Kingsbury High School in 2007 and now works at KPMG as Audit Assistant Manager. Shazma attended the final session and said “I thought the session was really well done and interesting for the students because it was so interactive. Students responded well, some were initially slightly less communicative, but by the end of a conversation, they really got talking and it was very interesting to hear about their worries, their hopes and their dreams. It was very enjoyable and I really hope they’ve taken something from it!”
On behalf of Kingsbury High School and Future First, we would like to thank the alumni volunteers for giving up their time to assist in these workshops.
In March, 24 Year 11 students took the opportunity to visit the University of Oxford at the invitation of two former Kingsburians, Amro Nagdy and Sahar Abas, who are currently undergraduates at the institution. Oxford is ranked at the top of The Times Good University Guide in the UK and is in the top five of the World University League Tables for the “high quality of its resources, teaching and research”. Amro Nagdy is reading PPE (Philosophy, Politics and Economics) at Trinity College, and Sahar Abas is reading Law (Jurisprudence) at Christ Church.
The Year 11 students began the day with an introduction to the university at Oriel College led by Emma Bausch, an Oxford outreach officer, and worked through some interesting course research and careers tasks, followed by lunch in the dining hall of the college. Amro then led a tour of Oxford landmarks – including the Bodleian Library and Radcliffe Camera, and the Sheldonian Theatre – before proudly showing the students around his own college, Trinity, with plenty of anecdotes and tips along the way. Sahar joined the group at this point to give her own perspective on studying at Oxford and advice about applying to the university.
The students were able to ask questions throughout the day and gained a very vivid sense of what it would be like to study at Oxford. Indeed, the visit seemed to have a powerful effect on the students, with some declaring their intentions to get the necessary grades at GCSE and target this institution in the future. We wish them every success in their endeavours!
On Thursday 17th December 2014, former students were invited back to Kingsbury High School to attend an Awards Evening.
The evening was made up with a mixture of nostalgia, as alumni looked back at photographs of their time at Kingsbury High School; pride, as they collected their awards; entertainment, as they watched current students perform in a musical interlude; and reunion, as they were reunited with their old classmates.
Awards included Achievement in the Face of Adversity; the Most Outstanding Contribution to the Life of the School; and Outstanding Public Service.
Xhesilda Kurtaj received the Outstanding Public Service award and said “For me it was just a great feeling to be reunited with everyone on such a lovely evening. It was a pleasure to receive an award that recognised my contributions to the school.”
Thanks to Bruce Viveash for the photography.