With this last newsletter of the School Year the time has finally come for me to say goodbye to King Edward VII School and the remarkable community I have come to know and admire over the last 20 years.
My wife and I had little idea when we came to Sheffield in 1988 that King Edward VII School would become an all-absorbing part of our life and of that of our two sons, but so it has been for two decades. Leaving a career in teaching after 35 years will not be easy; leaving KES will be even harder.
There are many happy memories and proud moments to recall: three successful inspections, two major building programmes to replace badly dilapidated buildings, becoming South Yorkshire's first Language College in 1998 and one of its first Training Schools in 2000, wonderful concerts, art exhibitions and plays by our many talented students, outstanding sporting triumphs, expeditions to remote parts of the world and international visits, the publication of two books about the School and the celebration of our centenary in 2005, the award of ` various accolades for academic excellence and even an invitation to meet Prince Charles at Highgrove House after Her Majesty's Chief Inspector has named us an outstanding school in 2003. There have been darker moments too such as the occasional tussles with the press and media or the Local Authority and in particular the death of several pupils and of some dear colleagues. Twenty years have simply rushed by.
My strongest memories are of the extraordinary range of people I have met, students, parents and colleagues.
I still believe that working as a teacher with young people is a very special vocation and KES students are the most diverse group of people I have ever encountered; they are endlessly stimulating and rewarding. Over the years I have experienced the full gamut of emotions from joy, exhilaration and hilarity to anxiety, frustration and occasional despair. It has become almost fashionable today to see our young people as a problem and even a threat. Reality is different: they are burgeoning with talent and energy; they do care, often deeply, about the world and people around them. They are instinctively generous and optimistic. I have learned so much from working with our students.
And what about my colleagues? I have been truly fortunate to be surrounded by many remarkably dedicated and committed people, both teachers and support staff, whose work on behalf of our students I am happy to acknowledge and praise. If KES is in many ways a special kind of school, it has a great deal to do with staff of the School.
As I prepare to leave King Edward VII School, I can honestly say that it has been a great privilege to serve the community of this school. I have a treasure house of memories and experiences on which to draw, which have enriched my working life. I am grateful to all those - colleagues, parents, governors, students 1 and friends of the School, who over the years have given me such support and encouragement. I very much hope that my successor, Beverley Jackson, will in her turn be able to count on the fund of goodwill the School enjoys.
I now look forward to following, albeit from a distance, the future development and success of a "vibrant learning community" and a great school.
We are writing to acknowledge your retirement after 20 years as head teacher of our school.
These years have been characterised by tireless devotion, quiet and reflective wisdom and outstanding leadership.
Over this period you have touched the lives of around 7,000 young people in Sheffield, leading the school to deliver an ever broadening range of educational experiences along with individual support and guidance and ever increasing opportunities to engage in sport, culture and outdoor pursuits locally, nationally and internationally.
You led this school to become the first Specialist Languages College in Sheffield which has gained the school a national and international reputation for language teaching. For our students, there is now a wide range of international visits spanning various curriculum areas. The School is also proud of being a Training School and playing an active role in supporting the development of the next generation of teachers.
Your meticulous attention to detail and unflinching determination have meant that you were able to steer the school through the rebuild of the Lower School site and you have laid the foundations, so to speak, of the refurbishment and new build programme for Upper School.
Last years results were the best ever for the school and we know you are very proud of the academic successes of so many students. But over and beyond this, you have devoted so many hours to personally support students when they have faced crises and challenges and have always sought positive outcomes if at all possible for all students. Maintaining a teaching commitment despite such a heavy workload is indicative of your commitment.
KES prides itself on being a very inclusive school that works hard to meet the educational needs of a wide range of students. The PHSE programme, which you have promoted, is noted as among the best in the city and the school was given the `Inspiring Youth' award for the excellent community projects by children from Sheffield's black and ethnic minority communities.
For many students, parents and staff you have been a source of inspiration. You have put the life of the school and its students as your top priority and have encouraged students and staff alike to strive for excellence. You have generated enormous trust and respect both from within the school and across the city and our latest Local Authority School Improvement Partner report categorises the school as outstanding'. Please accept our enormous gratitude for all that you have done and achieved at KES. We wish you and your family well for the future and hope you enjoy a long and happy retirement.
With very grateful thanks
On behalf of the Governing Body
Inevitably, with the number of people we employ, we are losing several members of staff this year.
Following the Head's example, a number of staff are retiring, though knowing them, that will certainly not mean having a rest.
Mr B Furie (Maths)
Mr A Powell (Careers) Dr J Hodgson (Biology)
Mr C Cresswell (Health and Social Care) Mr H Chia (Chemistry)
Mr R Arthur (Buildings Officer) after 12 years service.
Others are moving onto other Schools;
Mrs K Barker (Head of KS3 Languages) to be Head of Spanish at Sheffield Girls High School
Mr C Wilcox (Head of Modern Foreign Languages) to be Head Teacher at an International School in Bucharest.
Miss K Penny (Maths)
Mrs K Adams (Languages) moving to London to teach Spanish and French
Mrs B Hamdy, after seven years service at KES is moving with her family to Oxford.
We are losing several members of our Support team .
Three have been enjoying working with the students so much that they've decided to train as teachers.
Miss B Smith
Miss S Hully
Miss A Ali
Whilst Mr N Battersby (Pastoral Manager Y9) is following his passion for climbing and mountain biking to work as an Outdoor Education Instructor.
Long Service Recognition
A number of staff have been at KES for a significant length
We wish to say a big `Thank you' for their service to the School and its students.
Celebrating 10 years of service this year are:
Mrs Godley (Curriculum Leader for R.E)
Mr Twyman (Curriculum Leader for Design Technology)
Mr Galvin (Chemistry Teacher and Widening Participation Co-ordinator)
Mrs Poulton (Reception/ Lower School office)
Celebrating 20 years of service are:
Mrs Cowie (Food teacher)
Mr Barker (Physics teacher and Y13 Year Leader)
Mr York (Geology teacher and Exams officer)
Mrs Cavill (Learning Support and Y 9 Year Leader)
Mrs Simpson (Finance Officer)
Mrs Morley (Catering finance officer)
Mrs Sampson (Cook Supervisor, Upper School kitchens)
Celebrating over 25 years of service:
Mrs Cochram (Biology Department Laboratory Technician)
Mrs Murdoch (Administration Officer)
Mrs Millburn (Reprographics and Print room manager)
Congratulations to Clare Coatman in Y13, who has been awarded the opportunity to undertake a six week study trip to India this summer.
The Global Fellowship is a Prime Minister's initiative to encourage young people interested in learning about world issues.
A vigorous selection process was undertaken, including interviews and the submission of a detailed proposal.
Clare has elected to undertake an inter-generational study on how globalization has effected youth awareness of, and participation in, politics. (Blimey!) ;
During her time in India she will visit both rural and urban locations plus spend some time working alongside a multinational company. Upon her return Clare will submit a report to the Prime Minister and the wider community.
We'll let you know how she gets on! Alumni News
It's always pleasing to hear about ex-pupils achievements. Congratulations to:
Jessica MardelI MA 1st class Honours in French - Edinburgh University.
Jessica Chapman BA 2.1 in Architecture from Newcastle University
Daniel Cowie has just completed his studies at the University of Birmingham gaining a first class B.Sc Honours degree in Economics.
He is to continue at Birmingham doing research in Environmental Economics for a further 3 years for a PhD.
Martin Bishop read for a M.Physics ( Master's degree in Physics) at St. Hugh's College, Oxford. He graduated with First Class Honours in 2003.
As an undergraduate, he was captain of the Oxford University Cross Country Club and gained a "Blue". In 2007 Martin completed his doctorate in "Optical Mapping Signal Synthesis". In layman's terms this means using computational mathematical methods to correct distorted results from experimental work on the passage of nerve impulses through the heart muscle.
In April 2008 Dr Bishop was appointed to be a Junior Research Fellow at St Anne's College, Oxford and in June 2008 he was awarded a Wellcome Trust Fellowship to conduct research for a further four years. Everyone who taught Martin during his seven years as a student at King Edward VII School is immensely proud of his achievements. We are sure we have not heard the last of this research scientist.
Congratulations to Mr Twyman who has been awarded The Institution of Engineering Designers Design and Technology Award for Post-16 Teaching.
We've always known he's a star and now it's official!
The BBC's Rory Cellan-Jones presented the awards at a ceremony held at the Royal Society.
Now in its ninth year, the award gives professional recognition to teachers and trainers who have made outstanding contributions to D&T education.
Classification & Animal Handling Sessions
Over 2 Fridays in April, all Year 7s had the opportunity to learn about how animals are classified by scientists. A Biologist from the University of Sheffield delivered a presentation complete with an assortment of live animals that the students could see and handle. These included:
• 2 boa constrictors (one was enormous!
• 9 little hog-nosed snake
• Several leopard geckos
• A giant millipede
• A tarantula
• 4 scorpions
• Hissing cockroaches
Needless to say it was an excellent educational experience & heaps of fun too. The plan is that this will become a yearly event for all Year 7 students to compliment their lessons on "Classification and Variation".
Chemistry at Work
On the 23rd April, 30 Y8s headed down to the Octagon Centre P4 (at the University of Sheffield) to find out about careers in Chemistry and to carry out some engaging practical work.
Whilst not all of the activities were equally gripping -there was something to interest all the students as they made their own key-fobs using electroplating, learnt to resuscitate each other, carried out fitness tests, made models of DNA & inflated balloons using solid carbon dioxide. It was all good fun and hopefully encouraged some of them to consider Chemistry and the other Sciences as possible routes later in life.
Mr. A. Fehler
Lower School Library recently had a competition to design a cover for their favourite book.
Well done to Corinne Dignan whose design earned her a £10.00 Book Token.
Also commended were prize winners Olivia Earls, Michael Fisher, Hannah Grafton and Demi Mlyneck. All competition entries will now be sent off to a National Competition run by Scholastic Books. Good Luck!
Students support universal education project
Students in Ms Angland's Y8 ICT class have been learning about the 'Send My Friend' campaign.
The campaign aims to highlight the plight of millions of children worldwide who are deprived of a School education.
8 years ago a 68 summit[ was held and they have created 8 goals to be completed by the year 2015. As we are half-way through this campaign 'Send my Friend' has stepped in Lo remind those Go leaders about their promise.
he Go goals are:
Universal primary education
Gender equality empower women
Reduce child mortality
Improve maternal health
Combat HIV/AIDS & other diseases
One of the students writes:
'Send My Friend' is a worldwide campaign to give all children a chance to go to school and get a good education and future like most children around the world. In 2000, leaders made an amazing promise that all children would have an education by 2015. In 2005, millions of younger people helped remind them of their promises by sending them messages called `Buddies'. Through the years, teachers and children have been taking part in this campaign by colouring action cards, with a boy or a girl on, that have been sent to us to put on display and show all people mainly children what they are missing out on by not going to school.
Over 72 million children are missing out on an education and we are trying to help them by doing this campaign and colouring in the cards with writing and pictures.
Y8 Charity Project raises £550
The Y8 fundraisers events, which have been done as part of a ICT project, have now finished. I have been very impressed with the attitude and commitment shown by pupils in Y8 during the module and I am pleased to announce that the pupils have raised over £550 for fifteen charities.
;'This includes over £120 for Breast Cancer Care, £70 for WaterAid, £55 for the RSPCA and £30 for Sheffield Children's Hospital. There are still some events collecting the last few pennies from people but the total is unlikely to raise further.
F F F
///% A great big Thank You to all staff who have helped with these over the last fortnight, particularly M Black, A Wheadon and L Drabble, without whom none of the events would have taken place.
-111111114I" / / / / / 10 0 ' 1
RETURN OF OUR NYANGAN FRIENDS
Last year Zabalaza: Songs of Freedom a group from Nyanga township near Cape Town, South Africa visited King Edward VII Lower School and inspired us with an extraordinary performance of singing, dancing and drumming. At the December 2007 School Concert £634.36 was raised by audience donation for the children's project at the centre where Zabalaza are based.
This year Zabalaza returned to King Edward's on Thursday 15 May for a song workshop with the Lower School Choir, another fantastic performance in the library and a very thoughtful discussion with a wide range of students from years 7, 8 and 9.
KES Staff: Footballing Giants!
King Edward VII 12- Park Academy 1
We may not have qualified any teams for the European championships this summer but our staff team have demonstrated a will to win that would make many a manager proud.
Thanks must go to Mr Burroughs for his enthusiasm in organising the team and the fixtures. Not that he's football mad or anything, you understand.
In an impressive display of sporting prowess our newly formed staff football team demolished the opposition form Park Academy. There were many individual triumphs so we won't embarrass anyone by singling them out but the score and performance bodes well for the remaining fixtures this tern.
Fantastic Fundamental Funtime
Key Stage one pupils from local Infant and Primary schools have had the opportunity to get ahead of the game
literally, by attending several multi - skills clubs held at King Edward VII Lower School recently, run in conjunction with the Arches School Sports Partnership and with help from the Big Lottery Fund.
The Funtime sessions were planned, organised and run by five enthusiastic Year 12 students as part of their Sports Leaders course under the watchful eye of their PE Teacher and School Sport Coordinator. The students were assisted by a number of Year 10 and 11 pupils who all volunteered their time after school to ensure that the youngsters were able to have plenty of help as they participated at the clubs.
Pupils from St Mary's C of E Primary, Broomhill Infants, Nether Green Infants and Westways Primary all participated in the sessions, which was a new venture for King Edwards and its students, and which saw over 70 boys and girls taking part over the three sessions.
The aim of the club was to encourage the children to join in with fun activities designed to help them develop some of the fundamental aspects of movement, such as agility, balance and coordination.
The clubs were a real success and a fundamentally fantastic time was had by all - participants and leaders alike! Hopefully it will be run again next year with a new group of Sports Leaders.
Well done and a big thank you to this year's leaders, Brindley Meredith, Rosie Upton, Connor Leach, Corinne Lawton and Rina Broomhead. Thanks also to their helpers, Connor Bingham, Jemma Broomhead, , James Toner, Hayley Cartright, Connal Jacklin, Emily Higgins, Amanda Douglas, Kashia Lipka and Rosa Tadhunter.
Oh, how we change....
The Y7 Induction Programme introduces the notion of a time-capsule, embracing student ambitions, experiences and significant life events.
This is then revisited and opened in Y9 as part of the Y9 transition process.
This first cohort found the experience enlightening, shocking, revealing and hilarious.
Below, one of the students recounts his experience of the project.
I never knew I had changed so much in 3 years. I felt quite shocked when I opened my 'time capsule' I could see how messy my handwriting was. We had sheets saying things like, if I was an animal I would be a and many more. For the animal malarkey I put that I would be a sloth, what kid wants to be a sloth? Most other kids put that they wanted to be a tiger or a lion but no, I had to put a sloth! But best not to linger on that subject.
My hobbies had stayed the same apart from I now live rugby. I can't get enough of it.
Looking around seeing everyone else's faces was a laugh. Some opened their capsule with shock, others with embarrassment. Lots had little photos tucked into the bottom which they had totally forgotten about, and when they found them it was funny seeing some sneak it away and some running around like an Olympic runner making sure the whole class had seen it. I didn't have a photo. Probably a good thing.
It was an experience, I can tell you that. It was great fun and a worthwhile project, even though I had totally forgot about it, but that was all part of the fun. By Monty Wales 9P2
"Asha's life in the village had always been
quiet and cosy until a group of terrifying shamans called the Millers take away her
brother and father as they pass through on
their way to the sinister solstice celebrations in far away London.
Asha has to leave her home behind and set out to bring her family back.
As she faces her worse fears she learns much about herself, her family and her dead
mother and finds she has more in common with the Millers then she ever imagined.
Mrs Lockwood one of our English teachers, is soon to be a published author. Her book, called Windscape, is due out 1st September. She says:
"I will be holding a launch party for students, staff and parents in the autumn and will be running something similar in the city in conjunction with Sheffield Hallam University.
There is a website; www.windscape.org.uk - it is still under development but I'd love everyone to register on the mailing list so I can keep people posted.
My hope is that we can generate enough interest to be able to sell the book to Waterstones, WH Smiths, a lovely big international publisher and Warner Brothers!"
This climbing trip to the Dorset coast is fast becoming an annual feature in the Gifted and Talented Calendar.
Mr Cooke led the trip with support from Mr Hennely.
Staying at Tom's Farm campsite near Swanage, the group climbed on the sea cliffs, giving the climbers a totally different experience to that which can be found at Stanage or Burbage in the Peak District. Emily Cropton recalls her experiences:
Climbing in a place I'd never been before and experiencing a different and nicer type of stone. Getting too hot in a t-shirt (25°C?!)
Climbing `Wall Street' (HS 4C) because the first pitch which I led was quite long and I was really able to get into the zone and focus on the climbing and my movements on the rock.
Abseiling into Cormorant Ledge for the fantastic views down the coast and dramatic waves crashing below. Jumping into the sea for a quick (and chilly) dip.
Getting stuck seconding Strapiombo at the overhung crack and having to be hauled up it.
Why School should carry on supporting this:
Gave me the opportunity to climb somewhere that would have been really difficult to do on my own because of the fact you have to abseil in and climb out and the amount of gear you need.
Helped me practice skills that I can use when I am out climbing on my own that will keep me safe. Good break from schoolwork and exams.
I learned a bit about the geography of the area and the fossils.
Because it makes the most of the fact that our school has some very dedicated (getting up at 6am on a Saturday), enthusiastic (climbing for 11 hours) and talented staff. I can't think of any other school where the teachers are happy to spend the weekend as well as the week, with the students.
Because it was one of the best weekends I have had this year - ace climbing, ace people, ace(ish) weather.
NEW DRAMA PRODUCTION IS OUT Of THIS WORLD
Blank Slate Productions perform
The Spaceman by Rob John.
"Something big is definitely going to happen..."
Maggie says so, so it must be right. It's always been like that.
But things are about to change. The year is 1961 and Maggie, Michael and their friends in Class 4 at Howden County Primary School have only one thing on their minds: Have they passed the Eleven Plus or not? That is until they hear about Yuri Gagarin - the world's very first Space Man...
Performed by a talented cast of Y9 students who have spent the last year developing their drama skills through a series of extra-curricular workshops and directed by a former KES student who has gone on to work in professional theatre.
3 Nights only! Monday 7th until Wednesday 9th July, Lower School Hall, Darwin Lane.
Tickets £3.00 unwaged, £4.00 waged available from LS foyer and Upper School English office from Wednesday 25th June.
Come along and support Blank Slate's youngest members!
Widening Participation: Education Success
Another good term for our WP pupils. A fine weekend trip to mid Wales meant our pupils had the chance to climb the dramatic Cadir Idris.
The stoic group met some wintry conditions for April, but battled away on both days. The highlight for many was sledging down the snowy slopes back to the minibus!
Next year will see 3 WP weekend trips, plus a weekend set aside during which parents of WP pupils will be invited to come along and see what happens for themselves. So, if the only mountains you climb are the escalators in Meadowhall, it's your chance to follow your child's example and sample the wonders of the outside world!
WP is a project run by Mr Galvin, ably assisted by Mr Prigmore and Mr Thomas. Over the past 6 years it has grown from occasional after school trips to 6 periods per week.
It aims to involve pupils with different backgrounds in positive new outdoor experiences. For some, this is simply visiting the Peak district to walk alongside beautiful rivers. For the more experienced, it extends to challenging activities such as abseiling, climbing and weaselling.
In addition, there are three weekend trips per year, usually to North Wales or the Lake district. These affordable expeditions are targeted at groups or individuals who would not normally have taken part in such events. A huge thank you goes to the staff involved in these trips, who give up their weekends for no financial reward. A special thanks to Mr Badham, Mr Saddler, Mr White, Ms Whittle and Ms Hebden for their sterling work this year.
The observable outcomes are, on the whole, hugely positive. Some pupils who find the school environment challenging and difficult have flourished whilst working out in the Peak with Bill Gordon, the Peak Ranger. Others, who excel in the classroom, have had their self confidence raised through challenging their limits in an outdoor arena. Pupils realise, to varying degrees, the importance of team work and communication, the so called 'wider key skills'. The weekend trips have been especially rewarding, as many of the pupils experience independent life away from Sheffield for the first time.
So where is WP going next year? The work undertaken so far is being written up as part of a three year Masters, funded by the school. This will also take in the educational lessons and benefits of trips such as Morocco '04 and Kyrgyzstan '07
There will also be an opportunity for staff, parents and community leaders to take part in a weekend trip on 8th to 10th May 09, to see for themselves what happens on these expeditions.
If you have any questions about Widening Participation, please email Mr Galvin on firstname.lastname@example.org
The Single Science groups continue to do excellent work with Bill Gordon, the North Lees warden.
The bird boxes they constructed are now being used by our feathered friends.
Muna Ahmed, Emma Pickering, Donjeta Hoxha and James Hill have been particularly hard working, as have Jamel Wall and Jamal Neita.
Dismantling an old fence
Building a dry stone wall
Working in the National Park
British WorldWise Champions 2008 KES takes on the Country and wins!
Congratulations to three Y10 students who have won the national WorldWise Challenge Trophy.
In February we reported that our team were Sheffield Champions, beating Birkdale into second place in a close and tense final.
With the first hurdle overcome, they journeyed to the Field Studies Council building in the beautiful setting of Malham, North Yorkshire.
There, they completed a physical study of Malham Cove and were then asked to present a report based upon their findings. Based on the professionalism of their report and their hard work over the weekend, they were made Champions!
This competition is also used to select the pupils who will compete in the National Geographic World Championships and the International Geography Olympiad, which in recent years have been hosted in North America, Hungary and Australia!
The team was Xue Wang, Annie Cudmore and Lydia Jewel and was inspired by Mr James, Curriculum Leader for Geography.
The three students describe their experience:
To be honest, I didn't really expect the weekend in Malham to be very fun but I was surprised! I had a great time, making loads of friends and doing activities. The best bit for me was doing our presentation on 'Why Malham is a special place'. I can't believe we won and I can't wait for next year to possibly represent Britain!
The geography weekend was brilliant! We had lots of fun doing activities and learning new geography in depth. We made loads of friends and it was an experience I'll never forget!
The best bit for me was a visit to Malham Cove, it was breathtaking and to learn the geography of how it was formed was fantastic.
The entire Worldwise geography competition has been a worthwhile and interesting experience and I wouldn't have missed it for the world! We gained a wealth of knowledge such as how to identify various soil samples and the history of the Yorkshire Dales. Knowing about how the unique Carboniferous landscape of Malham was formed over millions of years makes it an even more intriguing, enchanting and special place.
School dates for students are:
Tuesday 2nd September 2008- Thursday 23rd October 2008
Monday 3rd November 2008-Friday 19th December 2008
Monday 5th January 2009 Thursday 12th February 2009
Monday 23rd February 2009-Friday 3rd April 2009
Monday 20th April 2009-Friday 22nd may 2009
Monday 1st June- Friday 17th July 2009
School will also be closed to students on:
Monday 4th May 2009 (Bank Holiday)
Wednesday 17th June 2009 (Training Day)
Staff Training Days (School open to Staff only)
Monday 1st September 2008
Friday 24th October 2008
Friday 13th February 2009 (Unlucky for some!)
Wednesday 17th June 2009