Welcome to Adrian Price, our new Principal
I am delighted and honoured to have been appointed as the Principal for George Salter Ormiston Academy.
For the past five years I have been headteacher of Tenbury High in Worcestershire and my previous experience has taught me the value of getting to know the parents and carers as well as the staff and students. I know that a successful and happy school depends on all of us working together.
Throughout last term I was fortunate enough to have been able to visit the academy. I spent time walking around the site, spending time with the fabulous staff, meeting with governors and getting to know the wonderful young people. I would like to thank the staff and, in particular, Mr Patel for their support in enabling a smooth transition.
My educational philosophy is really rather simple. I believe every child should feel safe, be happy and enjoy school. They should be given the opportunity to be the best that they can be and in order to do this, the academy must help students to develop skills and obtain qualifications to give them better choices when they leave.
I will also endeavour to make sure that George Salter Ormiston Academy continues to place an unrelenting focus on developing the whole child. The students and their welfare will remain at the centre of our decision making. We live in unprecedented times and I firmly believe that every student should be encouraged to reflect on wider national and global events. I value the role our academy will continue to play in developing the active, compassionate and global citizens of the future.
My standards are high. I expect all students to wear our full uniform correctly, attend well, behave appropriately and support each other. I will expect them to give their best effort and participate in the full range of learning experiences on offer. I would like to take this opportunity to remind you of the following:
- Punctuality to school
All students should be in their form rooms by 8.40am every day. This allows a structured start to the school day.
- Punctuality to lessons
Students must ensure that they arrive punctually to lessons. This ensures that the start of each lesson is consistent and the young people get the most out of their education.
On Monday my first job as Principal was to deliver a presentation to staff on my experience to date and my vision for the academy; this talk also formed the basis for my assemblies which I gave to all year groups. During my assemblies I referred to:
- The life changing nature of education. A primary school teacher in Year 2 and an outstanding French teacher at secondary school are the reasons why I became the first person in my family to go to university.
- The importance of enrichment activities. When you reflect on your time at school, like me, you may not remember what you learnt but you will still remember the events, visits and how you felt. My first foreign holiday was a school coach trip to Holland which ignited a passion for travel which ultimately saw me complete a French degree and live in South East Asia.
- The importance of being a good friend, bravery and safe risk taking. Whilst living in South East Asia I was encouraged by friends to learn to dive and am so pleased that I did so - on many dives we swam with sharks, turtles and untold natural riches of the deep. During one dive I observed a shark surrounded by little fish who were biting away dead skin, algae and bacteria; even the big shark needs the support of its friends regardless of size.
- The need for unconditional positivity. I am a huge Aston Villa fan and have had a season ticket for years, I have even been a steward at Villa Park. With the exception of one glory season in the early eighties they have let me down time and time again, however I keep going back. Like my football team, students will make mistakes, which is in many ways to be expected. As adults we must allow the students to learn from these mistakes and not repeat them.
I intend to be a visible headteacher and this week I have visited many lessons, enjoyed duties at social time and met with students to discuss their thoughts on the academy. My first impressions are overwhelmingly positive. The academy certainly is a vibrant and exciting place with personable, confident and sociable young people. George Salter Ormiston Academy is a remarkable school and I feel privileged to be part of its continued journey to excellence.
I am committed to ensuring all students receive the first class education they deserve and will work closely with parents and carers, staff and students to ensure we deliver the high standards expected of us.
I look forward to working with yourselves in further developing a first class education for your child.
Blood Brothers trip
On the 18th April, the English Department took 42 Year 11 pupils to see 'Blood Brothers' at the Wolverhampton Grand Theater.
For some of our students this was their first trip to a theater and they loved every moment- they even took part in a standing ovation for the cast and said it was "brilliant"'.
The trip was to engage and help students with their GCSE preparation and to quote Rushane "I bare understand it now Miss", so the late night was worth it.
Well done and thank you to all those students who came; you were a credit to the school.
Mock trial competition success!
We had our first ever local heat mock trial competition on Saturday, 17 March, at the Birmingham Magistrates Court with a group of year 9 students.
There were 9 schools competing (5 being grammar schools) of which only 2 were selected for the next round. We were one of them coming second to Kind Edward VI Handsworth School!
There were some natural lawyers in that court room who left everyone amazed. The Magistrates and the Court Ushers were highly impressed at how our school performed considering we have only been practising for less than 3 weeks (bearing in mind that other schools have been preparing since last September)!
We are very proud of all the students who took part. This couldn't have happened without Amirah Shan and Muslima Khanom in year 13, who have given up so much of their own time to help prepare the students for the trial.
We shall now go onto the regional heat at Wolverhampton Combined Courts in May to win a place at the Nationals in June.
I have a dream...
"The dream of being a doctor is something some students will have from a very early age."
Elisha, Ria and Suman have always had a keen interest in medicine.
They all applied to the University of Birmingham, which is a very competitive course. All three of them have been accepted.
We are so proud of them. Thank you to Dr Stevens and their tutors who have supported the girls with their applications every step of the way.
Learning @ Star City
Yesterday, our Year 13 Psychology students attended a grade booster exam workshop at Star City run by Tutor2U.
Our students found the day really useful and won plenty of prizes that were offered to all the schools who were there.
Our Psychology students were the lucky winners of the Prize question draw and won £10. Well done to them all, their behaviour was exemplary for the Academy.
Dancing at the Arena Theatre
Our Chicane Dance Company were invited to perform their work "Confliction" at "Propel Youth Dance Platform" at the Arena Theatre in Wolverhanpton.
Propel is a diverse youth dance platform showcasing exciting new and developing works, hosted by Flexus Dance Collective.
They received wonderful feedback and had an amazing day watching outstanding youth dance work.
Great successes at Sandwell Schools Athletics!
GSA celebrated numerous successes at the Sandwell Schools Athletics competition yesterday.
The competition saw pupils from Sandwell school teams competing for both girls and boys.
Students compete for certificates, medals and trophies as individuals and for their school teams:
- The GSA KS3 Athletics team became champions of this year's Sandwell Schools Athletics competition!
- The Boys team came 1st overall
- The Girls team came 3rd overall
- Year 9 Girls came 1st overall
- Year 9 Boys came 2nd overall
- Year 8 Boys became 1st overall
- Year 7 Girls came 3rd overall
- Year 7 Boys came 3rd overall
- Congratulations to Tysha and Dom for their merit at the Athletics! Fantastic effort throughout the competition!
- Congratulations to Joszet for coming 1st overall Year 9 girl
- Congratulations to Isabell for coming 3rd overall Year 9 girl
- Congratulations to Kymari for coming 3rd overall Year 7 boy
View the pictures from the Athletics on Facebook
Year 8 were joined by Birmingham Poet Laureate Matt Windle and Performance Poet Kurly on Tuesday for a fantastic day centred around British Cultural Values.
"Most kids have a preconceived idea that poetry and the Poet Laureate is for old people. They are amazed to see that it is someone of my age who is a professional boxer." says Matt, the self-styled "Poet With Punch".
After working hard to prepare their poems, the day ended with some incredible performances on topical and important issues.
Well done to all students involved!
World Book Day
George Salter Academy fully entered into the spirit of World Book Day last week as staff dressed up as their favourite literary characters.
The Science department celebrated with their own version of Treasure Island whilst elsewhere there were Alice In Wonderland characters, Snow Whites, Red Riding Hood complete with a wolf and a whole host of Harry Potters.
Sixth Form staff and students also dressed up as their favourite characters for World Book Day.
Students took part in a range of literary inspired activities including Everyone Read in Class Together where the whole academy got stuck into a book.
The day was a huge success and we hope it inspires everyone to read for pleasure.
View the pictures from the World Book Day on Facebook
Shortlisted for National Dance Platform
Chicane Dance Company were one of only 8 dance companies selected from across the region to perform in the UDance regional dance platform at Birmingham Hippodrome.
As part of the platform students participated in workshops from professional dance artists and were able to watch other youth dance works. The dancers have just found out they have been shortlisted for the National Dance Platform taking place later this year.
We are thrilled!
Great coverage by the Express & Star
West Bromwich school to perform West Side Story
Students from George Salter Academy are bringing West Side Story to West Bromwich for the school’s annual music production.
More than 480 tickets have been sold for the performance which runs from Tuesday to Thursday next week in the Academy’s Green Room theatre.
Josie Clark, head of drama at the school, said: "We have got a fantastic group of 65 students from across the key stages. We are looking forward to it and it is a fantastic opportunity for our students to display their wide-ranging talents and passion for performing arts."
"For us, West Side Story is timeless and has universal themes." Ms Clark said they were attracted to the production because of its challenging choreography and dynamic musical score.
Calum Dearn, aged 18, will star as Tony alongside Emma Millinchip, 17, who will star as Maria. Musicians from the University of Wolverhampton will also collaborate with the academy to perform the score.
Past productions have included Les Miserables, Grease, We Will Rock You, Fame, Beauty and the Beast, Hairspray, Fame Forever, Our House and Oliver!
Our Awards Evening!
On Thursday 18th January 2018 we were delighted to hold our KS4 and KS5 Subject Awards Evening.
Over 70 students (past and present) received awards for Attainment and Endeavour.
The evening featured musical performances from students across all key stages and Head Boy, Jeenesh Patel, and Head Girl, Shaakirah Khan, gave a very moving address.
View the pictures from the event on Facebook
Digital Music Lab Day
On Wednesday 24th January the A Level Music Technology students were invited to a Digital Music Lab workshop at the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire.
We explored loads of different ways of composing using technology and used recorded performances to showcase these techniques. We were given a tour of the new conservatoire and told about the courses they had to offer, which were appealing.
It was a very immersive day and fascinating to see the new technologies in action. We saw a million pound mixing desk which was amazing!!
We are looking forward to collaborating with the conservatoire again soon!
Written by Emma Millinchip, Aron Shoker and Tyriq Baker
Our PSHE Day
On Wednesday 24th, we had a PSHE Day which involved a Create a Country session for the first, second and last lesson.
We also took part in a politics workshop led by The Round Midnight Theatre Company during the third and fourth lessons.
We took part in the create a country session in form groups. There were 3 main teams involved in the session:
- Political team
- Cultural team
- Finance team
As the leader of the form, I was part of the Policy Team. There were different roles in my team:
- Policy Makers
- Environmental Ministers
- And the Human Rights Ministers
The roles in the Cultural team were:
- Flag Designers
- National Anthem Writers
- Location manager
The Financial team all worked together to discuss how much money they will spend on health, education, etc. Personally, I really enjoyed the task as it was a good way to engage with other members of the team, try new things and experience leading an entire class. Everyone worked well together as a team and the task was successful for our form.
In addition to creating a country as a class, members of our form went to other groups and members from other classes came to our group. We presented the ideas from our country and shared our country name. The other groups rated different aspects of our ideas from our own country and the other members of our form listened to other people’s ideas and rated their presentation. Our presentation went well, and people seemed impressed. I thought that it was a good idea to look at other classes countries and ideas as it gave us a chance to decide whose ideas we thought were better and compare our work to theirs.
Furthermore, the workshop was an enjoyable and interactive experience. There were parts of acting but an even balance of education incorporated into it. The actors interacted with us in different ways involving
- Asking for our opinions
- And bringing people from the audience to the front
I learnt lots of things about politics and enjoyed watching the process. I mostly enjoyed the funny bits of the show. For example, one of the actors narrated most of the show and the other actors acted out what he was saying to give us an easier way of understanding and to make it more engaging.
Additionally, another actor was playing the role of a school girl who also didn’t know much about politics and the term “democracy”. It was like she was asking the questions for us which led on to the narrator explaining those things to us as well as the other things.
After the performance, students from year 7 and 8 were chosen to do a session with the narrator of the show.
During the session, we got into 4 groups of 8 and had to think of local issues that frustrated us, and we wanted to change. Our group thought of the idea that we should have more multi-cultural food in the canteen, for example:
- American, etc
Once we had come up with our ideas, we had to organize a pitch explaining how we were going to advertise our idea and explain why we chose that idea. Later we voted for who we thought should win out of the 4 groups. Once the scores were counted it was a tie, however, the teacher put forward his vote and we won.
Overall, the day was extremely enjoyable but very educating at the same time. The Create a Country session was a good way for me to work with other people and lead a team. The workshop taught me a lot about politics and was fun to watch at the same time.
Holly Werhun (Year 8)