Alumni Day at Kingsbury High

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The Year 12 students were treated to a day packed with inspiring speeches and career advice from Kingsbury’s alumni. The aim of the day was to support the students and offer them guidance in their decision making processes they will … Continue reading

Alumni Day 2015

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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.

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.

Feeding Britain’s Future

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Earlier this year, Kingsbury High School hosted a workshop for Year 9 students facilitated by the Institute of Grocery Distribution (IGD) and Future First. The initiative, called Feeding Britain’s Future, provided students with an insight into the world of work, and supported them in thinking about the skills and strengths they are developing across their academic choices and how they connect to working life.

Volunteers from Greencore Food to Go, Compass Group, Sainsbury’s and Waitrose gave up their time to attend the two hour workshop at Kingsbury High.

Students were invited to guess the jobs of the volunteers by listening to and viewing clues; students then heard about the pathway the volunteers took to get to their chosen careers; and through a series of activities, students were able to look at their own transferable skills and the link between how the subjects they are studying at school can influence their future careers.

Ian Cadwell, Supermarket Assistant on Customer Service and Cheese and Delicatessen Specialist Trainee for Waitrose attended the workshop and said “I thought the workshop was fantastic, the students were very engaging and after initial hesitancy, which I assume were nerves, seemed to open up and asked more in depth questions about our jobs and how we got to where we are today. I remember having similar workshops and found them very beneficial in boosting my confidence and development.

“The students presented themselves in a manner that any employer would be looking for. They were polite, confident, and interested in listening about what we all had to say.

“I believe the workshop was a great benefit to the students. Their confidence had dramatically changed from when we first started. Even if the students do not want to go into Retail I’m sure the skills they learnt at the Workshop will be all great help.”

Year 9 student, Rilik Osmani, said “I enjoyed the workshop because it inspired me to reach for my goals and to push myself. It taught me that I have to try hard in all subjects, not just the ones I like, because situations can change easily. It also gave me an idea of what subjects you need for different jobs.

“We could all relate to the consumer goods volunteers as they told us about their lives as children and how they got to where they are now. Also, when I realised what amazing jobs some of the volunteers had, I had a picture of what I wanted to be in the future.”

Taylor Wessing Insight Day

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On Friday 13th March 2015 two Year 10 students were selected to spend a day at, law firm, Taylor Wessing.

Teodora Vodislav and Enilla Ansari were chosen for the opportunity because of their interest in pursuing a career in law in the future.

The insight day, organised by Future First and Taylor Wessing, began with an icebreaker which helped students bond with their peers from other schools; students then met employees and partners of Taylor Wessing in a Careers Carousel where they interacted with and questioned staff from a wide range of jobs at the firm from PR Managers to IT Technicians and Trainee Solicitors to Legal Secretaries; students then built a life-size picture of themselves populating it with their interests, hobbies, hopes and aspirations which they used in the CV building workshop that followed.

During lunch, students were able to network with staff; take in the impressive views of London from the ninth floor of the building; and were given a guided tour of the offices.

The day came to a close with three debates where students, mentored by staff at Taylor Wessing, worked in groups to prepare and debate ethical and legal issues.

Enilla said “I had an amazing time at Taylor Wessing. It really allowed me to understand the different types of law in depth and allowed me to experience what it would be like to work in a law firm. My favourite part of the day was when I got to debate in front of lawyers.”

Amy Finch, Senior Programme Officer at Future First said “Teodora and Enilla were a credit to the school, throwing themselves into all the workshops and asking lots of questions of the volunteers. We wish them the very best of luck with their future careers – whether or not they decided to take up law!”

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.