London Schools and Black Child Academic Achievement Awards 2016

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The LSBC Awards were founded by Diane Abbott MP eleven years ago. The initiative aims to raise educational standards and encourage young black people to achieve their full potential.

This year Kingsbury High School was delighted to nominate one of our most successful Year 13 students, Annette Gyimah Yeboah, who was short listed for a LSBC Academic Achievements Award.

Annette was a model student throughout her time Kingsbury High School. A student who always persevered with her academic studies and was determined to gain a place at university to study Medicine, she attained A*, A, B, A* in her A levels: Psychology, Biology, Chemistry and EPQ respectively. The school was immensely proud when Annette secured a place at King’s College London to read Medicine ( Extended Programme ) starting this September. A fully deserved achievement.

Annette always supported others at the school and wider community; she was often observed helping other students with their studies and regularly volunteered at a local school for young people with special educational needs. Alongside her Advanced Level studies, Annette carried out a piece of research on anencephalic babies in organ donation, which she presented for her Extended Project Qualification ( EPQ ). Her presentation was outstanding, both beautifully crafted and well investigated. Moreover, Annette handled the challenging questions posed by the audience with ease.

Annette was invited by Diane Abbott MP, Shadow Home Secretary, to the House of Commons on Friday 7th October 2016 to receive her award at an evening to celebrate the excellent achievement of top black students in London schools. Her award was presented by Tom Shropshire, a top international lawyer for Linklater’s and Baroness Howell, a life peer and campaigner for race equality. The event was also attended by many other successful guests and speakers from the black community including: Chukka Umunna MP; Sol Campbell, professional footballer; Levi Roots,television personality / chef; Malia Bouattia, President of NUS; Courtenay Griffiths QC, Barrister.

Year 10 Motivational Workshops

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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.

Awards Evening 2014

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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.

Alumni Day 2014

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On Friday 5th September 2014, the school was thrilled to welcome back around 40 of its former students to inspire the new Year 12 students during their induction day. The oldest member of the panel left the school in the late 1960s and the youngest members have just completed their A levels and are waiting to take up university places. Visitors included Oxbridge lawyers, economists and astrophysicists; professional insolvency practitioners, lawyers, housing managers and law enforcement officers; undergraduates and postgraduates of a range of degree courses; and apprentices in nursing care and mechanics. Aside from sharing thoughts, experiences and advice, the former students had time to mix with our current students so that questions could be asked informally.

We were delighted, in addition, to welcome one of ‘The Independent’ newspaper’s School Leavers of the Year, Melissa Calleja, a Supply Chain and Logistics Manager for London restaurant chain, ‘Pret a Manger’, who had chosen to go into work after Kingsbury High rather than take the university route; Claire Jamieson, who has developed a highly successful managerial career with a pub restaurant chain since graduating from university; and Norman Womuhai who has set up his own non-profit organisation called ‘Aim Big Think Bang’ to encourage and motivate young people to engage in volunteering and extracurricular curricular activities whilst successfully managing their academic time.

Norman said “I am in a position where I have been successful thanks to the support given to me at school, so it was important to me to attend the Alumni Day to help my younger Kingsbury peers.

The atmosphere at the Alumni Day was very lively; I always enjoy such Kingsbury High School inspired events. I think for me, what made the vibe so exciting and the event buzz, was being surrounded by successful individuals with a wealth of experiences. What is more, I found it personally beneficial, as it was an excellent networking opportunity.

I thoroughly enjoyed the day – not only for meeting my peers, but also seeing and thanking the teachers who greatly contributed to my success.”

Year 12 student, Zaki Hassan, said “I thought the Alumni Day was wonderful. It helped me get some insight on how to search for a career and how to utilise my time in the Sixth Form.

Norman, in particular, definitely inspired me to do well in Sixth Form. He also encouraged me to participate in extracurricular events.

What surprised me the most is that the amount of work the former students had to do in order to achieve their goals. It’s daunting but I think it will be well worth it in the end.”

The highly successful alumni gave their time for free on the day and we hope that our new Year 12 students benefit enormously from their examples and insights. We hope to continue this tradition next year. The Sixth Form Prefects should also be highly commended for supporting the alumni whilst also making their own contributions to the induction day. A huge thank you goes to Binda Patel from Pure Potential for offering free university and career advice.

STEM talks at Kingsbury High School

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On Tuesday 8th and Tuesday 15th July 2014, former students, who are now working or training in the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) industries, were invited back to Kingsbury High to speak to current students about their experiences.

Former students spoke to students from Years 7 and 8 to share ideas about what inspired and enthused them to follow STEM routes at A level and beyond. Mr Cumbers said “Each had their own tales to tell, some straight forward and ‘easy’, others a little more complex and at times feeling unlikely in the extreme. We were very grateful to them for their freely given time to support their own science teachers in spreading the word about STEM and the wonderful opportunities it can hold.”

A Trip Down Memory Lane

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We have been taking a trip down memory lane on our Alumni and Old Scholars Facebook page with a series of photographs from times gone by. You can get involved at the following links:

Like our Alumni and Old Scholars Facebook page.

Former students can sign up to our Future First network.

Good Luck Messages and Advice From Former Students

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“Hi Year 11’s!! Good luck for your exams! As a former KHS student I know exactly how you are feeling. Just remember all the hard work you put in now will pay off in the future. Don’t get too stressed and take regular breaks when revising, and think of the relief you will feel once you are done! GCSE’s are a great stepping stone to avenues you may want to take later on so just do your very best.” 🙂

Kajal Mistry

Optometrist, Leaving Year 2002

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“I look back and think GCSE’s were probably the most easiest examinations that I’ve ever had to do, if only I saw it this way when I was sitting them. I’m telling you now that all you need to do is put those hours of revision in, don’t leave it last minute! I remember when I was doing my GCSE’s, there was a lot of pressure and competition around me but I chose to just focus on my work as no one else’s grades would do anything for me. I ended up with excellent GCSE’s but that was due to going to those extra revision classes, revising, listening to my teachers and staying away from the sun (Why do we have exams in summer?!) Don’t stress, just focus! Remember, that laziness pays of NOW, but hard work will pay off LATER.”

Tia Jounija

Founder of Wishful Smiles Charity

“When I was studying for my A levels, I recorded all the things I needed to revise and listened to it in my sleep. Years later I trained as a hypnotherapist and discovered that recording myself was a very good thing to do, as our subconscious mind takes information in even as we drift off to sleep, and sleep helps move all the short term memory
to long term. Making sure you plan revision and exercise between revision times, can also help the brain hold the information.

Don’t panic, use mindfulness and relaxation to help you cope better.

I am currently seeing A level and degree level students in Oxford for stress management for exams and if any pupils would like to have a copy of my CD then they are most welcome to download it from Soundcloud.”

Penny Ling

BA(Hons) DHP CBT(Hyp) SFBT(Hyp) SFBTSUP(Hyp) AccHypSup MNCH(Reg) CNHC(Reg) AfSFH
Solution Focused Hypnotherapist

“Hope all goes well and you get the results you hope for. These are important exams but remember they’re not the only important things in life so try to keep them in perspective. It works out in the end.”

Wendy Figueira (Groves)

Left Kingsbury High School in 1981 and is now a head teacher in small village primary school. Married for 30 years to someone she met at Kingsbury High.