CERN TRIP 2017

On the 27th November, 15 enthusiastic year 13 students, accompanied by Miss Gonzales and Mr. Patel went on a trip to CERN in Genève, Switzerland.
CERN is a wonderful example of peaceful cooperation between nations.
In 1953, 12 states ratified the convention which will see the birth of the largest laboratory to study the basic constituents of matter, in the world. It has now 22 full members and over 50 states in the form of associate or under a cooperation agreement. Over 600 universities and research institutions make use of the facilities and half of the world particle physicists carry out some research at the CERN.
At 14:00 we boarded the flight from Gatwick airport landing at Genève at 16:35 local time. A short ride in the comfortable and free train took us to Cornavin, Geneva central station. Our accommodation for the next two days was only a 10-min. walk away.
Formalities done and rules explained, we headed for “Il Fornello Napoletano” in Rue Lausanne. The stunning pizzas have made this restaurant a “must do”part of the itinerary. The owner greeted us in French, Italian, Spanish…. Geneva is also a place to check out your linguistic abilities.
Fed and rested, we headed to Lake Leman, lit this time of the night by the bright lights of the luxurious hotels on its side. A chilly wind was blowing but spirits were high.
On the second day, the number 18 tram took us to the CERN.
The site is located between the Jura mountains and the Alps, in the border of France and Switzerland.
Anton, a researcher from Bulgaria was our guide. First, a detailed introduction and then several visits to various locations around the 27 km long complex.
At CERN, particles are accelerated at near the speed of light and collided. Scientists study the results of these collisions. Our students learnt how to isolate the particle, how to accelerate them and what to do with the tremendous amount of data generated (30-40 petabytes /year).
I was proud to witness the students applying what they have learnt in lessons by asking very intelligent questions which were praised by our guide. We also visited the fantastic, newly redesigned Microcosm exhibition. Visitors, among other things, can now try to control the LCH (Large Hadron Collider) to simulate collisions.
Cheerful after our visit, we went on to enjoy a night out. Shopping, eating, bowling and pool were on the menu. Our students by now were fully confident with the Genevan transport network.
Tiredness was visible on the happy faces of the Kingsburians on this third and last day of our trip.
The trip to CERN is now a classic in Kingsbury and yet the mature and yet joyful attitude of the sixth formers has made this year one of the best.
I would like to thank every student for their contagious enthusiasm and Mr. Patel for being such a good travel companion.
Miss Gonzales

Hour of Code

During the annual “hour of code” week, KHS Year 7 and Year 8 students worked with Tanners Wood School in Watford. Students were encouraged to try computer programming for one hour, by working together using edmodo to share resources and work in groups to solve Scratch programming challenges and using Skype to video conference. Students consulted via Skype and got together in their teams to plan and discuss tasks, split workload and share their findings.
One Year 7 student commented ‘I found this very exciting to see how I can work with another student who is far away and solve the tasks. It was really fun.’

 

Music Department Performances Autumn Term 2017

The music department has had a busy term rehearsing and performing for several concerts. During the term we launched the new Friends and Family Concerts, of which there have been two so far, one in October and one in November. They take place at 4pm in the Drama studio and provide a performance platform for students of all abilities to perform in an informal environment in front of their friends, families and each other. Performances have included ensemble work students have been learning and composing in curriculum lessons, GCSE solo performances and solo performances students have been working on with their instrument teachers. Students from all year groups have taken part.

In September the year 10 class worked with professional musician and composer Laurel Swift and a group of professional singers. They performed pieces to our students from Travelling with Thomas, which is a project exploring and developing a folk musical. The students wrote new verses for one of Laurels songs which the singers learnt in record time and performed. We will be welcoming Laurel back into school in the new year for the final two phases of her project.

In October our singing teacher Miss Kvaerndrup opened up her choir rehearsal to other students for an informal concert. It was great to see Room 43 filled with students keen to hear their friends perform and for our singing students to practice performing the pieces they have spent a lot of time rehearsing.

On Thursday 30th November we our held our Winter Concert in Tylers Hall, with 30 students performing from different year groups. The concert was a showcase for our growing and blossoming ensembles and included guitar groups, choir, samba drumming and our newly formed Kingsbury Ensemble, along with some outstanding GCSE students performing solos. We ended the concert with Three Little Birds performed by the Beginner Guitar Group with students and their families singing along.

Dates for you diaries:
Thursday 8th February Friends and Family Concert 4pm Drama Studio
Thursday 1st March A Level Recital 4pm Drama Studio
Thursday 17th May Spring Concert 6pm Tylers Hall

Year 13 Politics students visit the Supreme Court and FCO

Year 13 Government and Politics staff and students had an eye-opening experience last week when they were invited to visit the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) by a former Kingsbury student and now diplomat, Adam Wurr. The idea came to Adam during the school’s 50th anniversary celebrations. He had left the school for Durham University in 1990.

With an hour or so to fill prior to the FCO visit, the group chose to spend this time in the UK Supreme Court, opposite the Houses of Parliament and looking out across Parliament Square (see: https://www.supremecourt.uk/). The students have studied the Supreme Court as part of the AS Judiciary topic and enjoyed looking at the modern and traditional courtrooms, finding out about the Privy Council courtroom, and exploring the exhibition of court robes, cases and legal documents.

The students were delighted to meet with Adam at the FCO and his tour of the buildings, and the following Q & A including two female diplomats, proved to be the highlights of the trip. The tour of a remarkable set of buildings (see: https://www.gov.uk/government/history/king-charles-street) included the breathtaking Main Quadrangle, hidden from the public view, upon entering the FCO gate; a very close look at No.10 Downing Street; time spent in the elegant Durbar Court, which hosts diplomatic and Royal receptions; a tour and history lesson related to the Locarno suite, where the Locarno Treaties were signed in 1925; the Foreign Secretary’s Office; and an interesting glance at ‘History Corner’, an exhibition by FCO historians on the Congress of Vienna 1815 and the shaping of nineteenth century Europe. In discussion with the diplomats, students asked about political neutrality, foreign postings and the levels of responsibility within this fascinating career.

Thanks very much to Adam Wurr, and his FCO colleagues Laura and Kate; to Margaret Rechowicz, who met with Adam and pushed for this to happen; and to Ms Deighan and Mr Mitchell for taking the students on this enriching and stimulating school visit.

EU Mock Council 2018

Two Year 13 members of the Upper School Debating Society – Haider Nazerali (Head Boy) and Akira Allman – represented the Kingsbury High School at the EU Mock Council 2018. This was a high profile event, organised by the European Commission and the British Council, and Kingsbury High School had to win a qualifying round to secure a place. Kingsbury High School was one of only 32 winning schools across the UK that took part in the mock summit of EU leaders on 22 November at the Law Society in Chancery Lane. The 64 students discussed and debated two key issues: the future of the United Kingdom in the Erasmus+ programme and the rights of EU citizens in the UK once it has left the European Union.

The Mock European Council aims to give Sixth Form students a chance to experience the EU’s decision-making process by taking part in debates and learning more about EU policies in specific areas. Each school was assigned the role of one of the EU’s 28 member states, KHS being Portugal, and two students played its head of government, negotiating on one of the two issues in the talks.

The British Council’s EU Regional Director, Rebecca Walton, opened the event, with
welcoming remarks by Christine Dalby, Acting Head of the European Commission
Representation in the UK. Her Excellency Ms. Tiina Intelmann, the Estonian ambassador to
the UK, closed the one-day event with an inspirational and thoughtful speech.
Christine Dalby said: “The UK is leaving the EU but the way the EU works and takes
decisions will continue to be relevant to British economic and political life in the future.
Taking part in the mock summit will give the students an invaluable insight into the dynamics of political negotiations.”

Rebecca Walton said: “Sustaining educational and cultural ties between the UK and the EU
is fundamental to the UK’s future relations with Europe. Erasmus+ is of particular importance. It is a fundamental building block of cultural and education cooperation across Europe and it provides personal and career benefits to young people.”

Thanks to Harsha Sorathia and Tamara Faires-Back for supporting the students on the day and to Mr Mitchell and the Upper School Debating Society.

November Friends and Family Concert

We had a full house for the second Friends and Family concert of the year which included 26 performers from all year groups across the school. The music ranged from compositions written in lessons to GCSE and A level solo performances with the school Choir opening the concert. The music department is incredibly proud of all of the musicians who performed.

The next concert is on Thursday 30th November in Tylers Hall at 6pm and it will feature our school ensembles.