BVGS Autumn 2014 Newsletter

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Autumn 2014 Newsletter from Bishop Vesey's Grammar School in Sutton Coldfield

Text of BVGS Autumn 2014 Newsletter

  • Bishop Veseys Grammar School Inspiration and Excellence

    Simply outstanding!

    The official Bishop Veseys Twitter account is @BVGS1527 Follow us on

    BVGS enters TOP 25!


    It has been a pleasure to welcome all the new members of the Vesey family: staff,

    families and, of course, our students. As you can see from this newsletter the

    mood in school is buoyant. Following record-breaking results, we were visited by

    Ofsted in October. They declared us to be Outstanding in all categories:

    A high performing school where the students make rapid progress and reach excep-tionally high standards. We were delighted that the Inspectors put great emphasis on the superb behaviour of our students, the passion of our teachers and our

    profound commitment to developing the whole person, whether it be as a

    pioneer in developing students understanding of mental health issues or our exceptionally wide variety of enrichment activities. To read in full please visit:

    2014 was another record-breaking year for BVGS. A level students, as a

    collective, performed very well indeed, with an amazing 75% of students

    beginning University this autumn heading off to Russell Group and Oxbridge

    universities. 85% of all grades at A level were awarded at A*-B, and 54% at

    A*/A, both new school records, putting us as the 24th best state school in

    the country! There was particular delight in the Ammar family with

    Omer and Usman bagging three A* grades and five As between them.

    Top performers included Andy Quach, one of 5 successful Oxbridge

    candidates) with an amazing 5 A*s to take him to Cambridge to read

    Economics. Four other students attained three A*s apiece: Rebecca

    Grundmann, Andrew Hyslop, Joshua Smith and Christopher

    Winters. In total, 44 students this year gained three A grades or better a big well done to them and all our students, who worked hard and did

    their best throughout their time with us.

    We also celebrated outstanding GCSE results yet again. 66% of all grades were at A*/A.

    Just under two-thirds of students attained six or more A*/A grades. Indeed, the

    percentage of grades awarded A* was up again to a record 30% across the school.

    There were, as usual, some excellent individual performances with ten students gaining

    an amazing eight A*s or better. Well done to Ahsan Abdullah, Taranjit Dhillon,

    Dominic Burden, Niall Keating, Saravanan Rajakumaran, Hamza Saleem,

    Daniel Scott, Sachin Seneviratne, Adam Smith and Thomas Young. As well

    as attaining ten A* grades, Thomas, along with two other students, Sunny Aujla and

    Akhilesh Madasamy, attained full marks in GCSE Geography. Performance in

    Languages was particularly encouraging with just under 70% of all grades in French,

    German, Chinese, Urdu and Spanish being awarded A* or A. There was also success

    for younger boys in Languages with Ridouan Asselman from Year 8 gaining A* in

    French and Jon Jon Tian and Akshay Khanna from Year 9 and 10 gaining A*s in

    Chinese and Italian respectively.

    We were delighted by the news in August that the Birmingham Mail ranked our GCSE results and progress in their league

    table of state schools as the best for boys in Birmingham and second in the whole city, just behind Camp Hill Girls .

  • Autumn 2014 Page 2

    House Music Festivals

    Artsfest 8 July

    Well done to Oliver Hobin, Ellen Rhodes and Eloise Harrison and all performers and helpers who arranged an absolutely first class Arts Fest.

    Karl Ward, OV, summed up the evening superbly when he wrote to the students saying, Thank you for arranging a wonderful evening last night. We thought the quality of food and entertainment was top drawer and can I ask that you pass on my personal thanks to all those who contributed on the night for making the evening such a success. You should also be really proud of yourselves for not only did you arrange a quality evening but

    you also managed to raise a fantastic 1500.00 for others who are less fortunate than ourselves and that is a fantastic achievement, well done.

    Community Apprentice: The Boardroom took place at Edgbaston Cricket Ground on the evening of Wednesday 25 June. Since February this year, young people from ten

    Birmingham schools have been competing to raise funds and awareness for five local

    Birmingham charities. The challenge, based on BBCs 'The Apprentice', was set by Sir Albert Bore, Leader of Birmingham City Council. It culminated in each team pitching why

    they should win in Sir Albert Bores boardroom at the Council House. The event includ-ed live entertainment, awards, special guests and gave the opportunity for all students to

    collect their certificates and celebrate everything achieved since February. We are pleased

    to announce that the Team Cohesion Award went to Team Global from BVGS!

    Community Apprentice: The Boardroom

    Our Year 7 Science Fair in July was a brilliant new initia-

    tive from the Science department. The best entries from

    Year 7 had the opportunity to explain their experiments

    to an audience of visiting students, teachers and Gover-

    nors. The competition was judged by two Governors,

    Bilal Ahmad and Carolyn Nicholl. Bilal wrote, We were highly impressed by the quality of the Year 7

    projects on display today. There were some excellent

    scientific principles put to the test, but particularly

    outstanding was the confidence with which the students

    explained their work. Picking the top three was not an

    easy task, but many congratulations to the winners and to Helen Pitt for the organisation. Well done to all who took part and our winners: First place went to Haaris Butt The Science behind Diet Coke and Mentos, Second Place to Fraser Chapman Which liquid is the best

    conductor of heat? Third place to Erik Brown How does the incline of a ramp affect the speed of a car?

    Science Fair

    The annual Year 7 Performance Evening in July saw students performing on stage: either singing, playing a brass instrument, reading out excerpts

    from their short stories or acting sketches they had written. Thanks to Maryann Dye, Director of Music and Sarah Slater, Second in English in

    particular for masterminding this fun event.

    The House Music Festivals took place in July. The confidence and skill of all the performers was outstanding.

    Well done to all Year 9 taking part and the competition winners: Tom Parkes, Harrison Payne, Philip

    Reader, Joe Perrin, Jon-Jon Tian, Balamrit Sokhal, Edward Stanley, Ben Wallace, Amarpal Johal,

    Daniel Jolaosho, James Cutting, Luca Beech, Eben Gutteridge, James Batten, Louis Kill-Brown.

    The Year 7 and 8 House Music Festival winners were Andr Bean, Ned Walklett, Fraser Chapman,

    Ethan Allen and Joseph Hughes. Red house were triumphant!

  • BVGS Newsletter Page 3


    French Exchange German Exchange

    World Challenge 2014

    In July 16 Year 9 students undertook their own world challenge expedition to Norway. Following over a year preparing and fundraising, they em-

    barked on one of the most physically challenging trips of their school career. After a day practising putting up tents, preparing supplies and checking

    kit and provisions, they were ready for their adventure. On arrival the students organised a rota for jobs around the camp and a team to manage

    their budget. Food and supplies for the wild camps ahead were bought, packaged up and distributed among the team. Two days of trekking through

    challenging terrain with heavy packs followed to a camp site on the side of a mountain lake. On day two the highest point in the surrounding area

    was reached a great achievement. The scenery was stunning and the boys camped on an isolated island in a fjord. On the final day students en-joyed some rest and relaxation by white water rafting! Throughout the week the boys showed true character in facing difficult decisions and physi-

    cally demanding conditions. Well done lads! Thanks to Ralph Brocklebank and Alex Davis for organising such a marvellous opportunity.

    Also in July most of Year 9 took part in a new Bushcraft residential, organised by KS4 learning mentor Heather Hodkinson. This trip is designed to teach new bushcraft skills, as

    well help to develop team work and leadership skills. Students had a

    great time wild swimming, shelter building, fire lighting, learning first

    aid, panassing salmon, learning how to make traps and playing

    stealth games like predator. The trip provided a fantastic oppor-tunity for students to experience a different kind of residential. The

    boys were a credit to the school and impressed both BVGS staff

    and the Bushcraft leaders with their enthusiasm and willingness to

    learn, participate and develop as team players and leaders. Many

    thanks to staff who went along - Andy Whittle, Kallyann

    Williams, Heather Hodkinson, Alex Jones, Ralph

    Brocklebank, Davina Jackson, Jaspreet Kandola.

    Year 7 Residential

    Year 7 had their residential to Whitemoor Lakes, Alrewas in

    June. They started with a moving visit to the National

    Memorial Arboretum, in this the 100th anniversary year of the

    start of World War 1. As usual, they had an action-packed

    few days with plenty of exciting challenges to get stuck in to.