On Wednesday, GSA was open to the community and presented Dimensions Artsfest, an open air event with live music, dance and drama. There were also stalls and activites, a bouncy castle and our BBQ serving Jerk Chicken.
The Academy was buzzing as our acts took to the stage. With dynamic dance pieces, excellent live music and a quirky drama production, the crowd were entertained all evening with some quality acts. Our stalls raised £130 for the Midlands Air Ambulance, which was chosen by our students. Everyone really enjoyed the atmosphere of the event and all students worked really hard to make sure it was a success! Even Mr Price took to the stage! Thank you to everyone who came and supported!
View the pictures from the Artsfest on Facebook
End-of-term letter from the Principal
Firstly, as I come to the end of my first term, I would like to thank you for a very warm welcome to the fabulous George Salter Ormiston Academy.
I am delighted and privileged to lead such a positive and lively school in which young people are encouraged to thrive and achieve high standards. The young people at George Salter are wonderful in so many respects. However, as I said to staff recently, this does not happen because of some bizarre from of alchemy, rather it is because of the dedication and care of our team and the partnership with you as parents. Thank you for your continued support.
In my first address to staff and students, I said that I would take the time needed to get to really know George Salter before looking to change anything. In this respect I have been as good as my word meeting regularly with staff, parents, governors and OAT representatives, spending a lot of time in lessons, doing duties and attending whole a raft of enrichment opportunities (including a simply wonderful Year 11 Prom). I have tried hard to understand the GSA culture and by that, I really do mean the way we do things around here.
At the end of this term I have worked with the senior leadership team on a restructuring of our roles, shadowed students and staff when writing whole school reviews on the provision for Disadvantaged White British Boys, SEND students, and drafted an academy development plan to secure further improvements. As regards the latter, we have put the child at the very centre of the plan; we have articulated as a staff what we feel our current learners are like and what we would like them to be. All of our actions will have this vision in mind. For 2018/19 our key plans will be:
- a rigorous and unrelenting focus on improving the quality of provision in all classrooms for all students and all ages – something all schools should always have as their number one priority
- empowering middle and senior leaders to drive change and raise standards still further
- accelerating the rates of progress of disadvantaged students
- narrowing the gender gap in achievement
- incentivising and rewarding young people
Our key professional development theme in 2018/19 will be that of "challenge". Given all the recent changes to our examination systems, it is hugely important that we expect more of our young people in all classes and in all years. Rest assured, we will do so in such a way as to ensure accessibility, engagement and enjoyment. My number one priority is to improve the quality of talk in classrooms; only through discussing their learning with peers and adults can young people deepen their understanding.
Over the course of the past two weeks I have been fortunate enough to attend two Sports Days (one was an Ormiston event) and a PE celebration evening. I loved celebrating our many successes and encouraging children to respect failure in order to learn from it. I am fully aware that we have a responsibility to educate the whole child and I am very keen to ensure that we continue to care for the physical, emotional and mental well-being of our children.
Sport has so much to offer in this respect, as does the wonderful work undertaken in our pastoral programme. I am also aware that there is a range of enrichment opportunities to take part in from Friday Fun, Performing Arts workshops to Duke of Edinburgh expeditions. These activities must continue and I am excited at the thought of visits abroad and skiing planned for next year.
This term I have been in an awful lot of lessons. Particular highlights include being inspired during a visit to an English lesson where students were responding to the horrific Windrush scandal, which has, shamefully, only recently hit the headlines. Their use of persuasive language was exceptional and their opinions powerful. I was enthralled in a Year 7 Science lesson where students were discussing exothermic reactions and tried to convince me that I could buy a can of coffee which would self-heat when opened! The very best part of my job will always be my visits to lessons and I am lucky enough to be impressed by what I see when I do get to spend time in classrooms. I am fortunate to be working with a team of dedicated professionals who are eager to share their practice, learn from each other and continue to do the very best for the young people in their charge.
Ahead of the summer holidays can I please draw your attention to the uniform policy which really is very sensible and was very recently sent out? In particular, I would remind you that we require students to wear polishable shoes and school trousers which are not leggings. Please do not be seduced by the signs in some shops offering Back to School wear which is, in fact, anything but. Similarly, can I also remind you about our rules regarding piercings and hair colour. We allow students one stud in each ear and no other piercings. Hair colour must be "natural". There is inevitably much time wasted every year wasted in all schools in discussion with young people about uniform issues; let this be the year that this does not happen at GSA. Thank you for your support!
School will close for the summer holidays at 12:40pm on Friday 20th July 2018. We have agreed our CPD days for the year when students will not be in school and these are listed below with our term dates for 2018/19. We return after the summer holidays on Wednesday 5 th September 2018: Years 7, 12 and 13 to arrive at 8.45am; Years 8 – 11 to arrive at 9.50am.
Term dates 2018/19:
Autumn Term – Monday 3rd September 2018 – Friday 21st December 2018. (training days: Monday 3rd and Tuesday 4th September 2018; half term: Monday 29th October 2018 – Friday 2nd November 2018).
Christmas Break: Monday 24th December 2018 – Friday 4th January 2019
Spring Term - Monday 7th January 2019 – Friday 12th April 2019 (training days: Monday 7th January 2019 and Friday 12th April 2019; half term: Monday 18th February 2019 – Friday 22nd February 2019).
Easter Break: Monday 15th April 2019 – Friday 26th April 2019
Summer Term – Monday 29th April 2019 – Friday 19th July 2019 (May Day Bank Holiday: Monday 6th May 2019; half term: Monday 27th May 2019 – Friday 31st May 2019; training day: Monday 1st July 2019).
I do wish you all the very best for a great summer. To the young people I say- stay safe, be active and read a book!
Thank you for your support. "Onwards and upwards"
Adrian Price, Principal
Chicane Dance Company at U.Dance Festival
Chicane Dance Company represented the West Midlands at the U.Dance National Festival which took place in Ipswich hosted by OneDanceUK and DanceEast.
The weekend residential involved dancers taking part in numerous workshops led by professional dancers and artists included the Alexander Whitley professional dance company and the National Youth Dance Company. Dancers loved getting involved in their workshops and were challenged and pushed to become more technical and creative dancers.
This experience also gave dancers the opportunity to meet youth dancers from different parts of the UK and share experiences and passions. Dancers were a credit to George Salter Academy showing confidence and passion when talking to others about their experiences and love of dance.
On Performance day students took part in a technical and dress rehearsal in the professional venue Jerwood DanceHouse a hub for dance in Ipswich. Dancers were given the opportunity to watch other youth dance companies work from different regions. This gave dancers an insight into the standard of youth dance across the country. During their technical rehearsal of ‘Confliction’ Richard Alston a world renowned choreographer gave great feedback on the piece and engaged in a conversation with Tyrese Haynes about his performance. Dancers were also given an insight into careers in dance from being part of organisation such as OneDanceUk but also dance therapy, project management, choreographer etc.
Just before dancers were about to go onto stage to perform their piece ‘Confliction’ is was evident that the dancers now understood how much they had achieved within a year. Chicane Dance Company performed with energy, passion and commitment to every moment. They showed a high standard of contemporary dance while being the youngest company representing a region. During the residential Chicane Dance Company were commented on for their professionalism, commitment in their performance and positive attitude. The dance department are extremely proud of every dancer who has been a member of Chicane Dance Company this year and we are excited for what is to come next year.
New Uniform Policy
We would advise all parents and carers to check the policy carefully, especially before purchasing expensive items of uniform such as shoes and outer wear.
Please read the policy and contact us if you have any queries.
Download the new Uniform policy letter [pdf, 565 KB]
Watch our dancers at U.Dance Festival
For the first time Chicane Dance Company are representing the West Midlands at the U.Dance National festival Friday 13th to Sunday 15th July.
Students will be on residential in the centre of Ipswich experiencing what it would be like to become a professional dancer.
Students will have the opportunity to take part in a number of workshops led by professional dance artists as well as watch the very best of youth dance in the UK. Students will be performing their piece 'Confliction' at the Jerwood Dance centre in Ipswich on Sunday 15th of July at 3.30pm.
For the first time OneDanceUK are streaming the performance live so please support the company by going to www.onedanceuk.org/udancelive
The dance department are extremely proud of every dancer who is part of Chicane dance company. As a company we have achieved so much in such a short amount of time and we are thrilled to be sharing our work with other youth dance companies and professional artists this weekend. Wish us luck!
Year 11 Prom - Class of 2018
The Year 11 Prom night on Friday 6th July at Banks' Stadium in Walsall was a great success with all of the students looking amazing.
Some of the cars that transported the students were unbelievable and ranged from Range Rovers to Lamborghinis and Ferraris!
Upon arrival, staff formed a guard of honour clapping all of the students into the venue. Mrs Ford had set up her photography booth where the students were photographed with props in their friendship groups.
Shortly after the arrival the food came and then the Oscars ceremony started with Staff voting on the winners of each Oscar. Oscars were awarded for the following categories:
- Most likely to become Prime Minister
- Most likely to brighten someone's day
- Most likely to be on reality TV
- Class Clown
The students and staff then voted for Best dressed male and female and finally for the Prom King and Queen. The Prom King and Queen then had a dance off involving all other students and then the party really started!
It was a fantastic night enjoyed by all!
Congratulations and all the very best for the future!
View the pictures from the Year 11 Prom on Facebook
On Friday 6th July GSA held our annual sports day at Hadley Stadium.
Sports Day is notoriously one of the best days of the year and 2018 certainly did not disappoint. The pupils demonstrated an array of talents in Athletics track and Field events with numerous school records being broken on the day!
A fantastic day had by all and a big shout out to Trinity who were sports day champions for the 4th year in a row!
Well done to all pupils who took part!
Trip to Liverpool
Yesterday, year 9 and 10 students went on a trip to Liverpool as part of the Aspire to Higher Education program.
We were given a private tour of The University of Liverpool and saw the sports facilities, the state of the art Engineering Faculty and the Faculty of Architecture, where we were lucky enough to look at some completed projects.
We then went on a open top bus tour of Liverpool taking in some of the sights such as Albert Dock, The Redbrick Building, The Liver Building, The Cavern Club and The Chinese Quarter.
We also visited Liverpool Museum and were able to see the new LGBT and John Lennon exhibitions. Some of our students enjoyed the John Lennon karaoke area too much!
The day was finished off in style with a cheeky Nandos! It was an amazing cultural day and the students were engaged, well behaved and really appreciated the trip.
OAT Cup success!
On Thursday 5th July GSA took 102 pupils to the OAT CUP in Stoke.
There were a number of events taking place throughout the day including Athletics, Tag Rugby, Football, Dodgeball, Tug of War and a Dance competition. In true GSA style the pupils were absolutely fantastic all day and showcased their amazing talents!
We came away from the tournament KS3 Girls Football champions, KS4 Tag Rugby champions, KS4 Dodgeball champions and Dance Champions! We also had huge success in both Athletics competitions!
A great day had by all and hopefully next year we can go back to defend our titles!
Hampton Court trip
On Wednesday 4th July 14 students from Years 12 and 8 went to Hampton Court Palace.
Built in 1515 and witnessing numerous rebuilds and expansion works over the next century, it was home to Henry VIII, William II and George II.
On this visit, pupils had a chance to learn about Henry and his life, as well as see some amazing works of art from the Royal Collection.
Students were impressed by the gardens with the manicured hollies and yews along a geometric system of paths and it was a great day for all involved.
Our Kickboxing Champion
One of our students, Kayla Palmer, year 10, recently became a regional kickboxing champion.
Kayla, who has been training for almost 10 years won the Kwom Grand Slam series in North Solihull after two days of intensive sparring. Already a multi-award winning kickboxer, Kayla excelled herself winning in five bouts against progressively against more skillful opponents. As champion Kayla won the Grand Champion belt and also received a medal.
A triumphant Kayla said, "I’m so proud of myself and my achievement; I trained really hard for this and my hard work totally paid off.”
Kayla is a member of the Stephen Miller's Warrior Squad kickboxing club in Oldbury and is currently working towards an even tougher competition in the next coming month.
Watch this space...
New GSA PE Kit on sale!
The new GSA PE Kit is on sale for all existing year groups on Tuesday 3rd July.
Current years 7-8 from 4-6pm and current years 9-10 from 6-8pm.
All sales will take place in the library at GSA. Payment can be made by cash or card.
Join us at our "Dimensions Artsfest"!
GSA presents a summer evening of music, art, dance and drama!
Come and join our "Dimensions Artsfest" a the "GSA Quad" courtyard on the 18th of July 2018 from 5:30pm
Prices - £2 for Adults, £1 for Concessions & Pupils - tickets available at GSA Performing Arts Office or on the door.
Enjoy great live music as well as creative dances, a dazzling art exhibition, interactive workshops, activities, stalls and a variety of food and drinks! All topped off with an excerpt from the play "The Last Resort".
Tom Watson MP impressed by football facilities at GSA
Tom Watson, MP for West Bromwich East, was delighted to receive an official tour of George Salter Academy’s two third generation (3G) artificial grass pitches (AGPs) and other sports facilities last Friday.
Principal Adrian Price showed Tom Watson MP and representatives of the Football Foundation the new state-of-the-art football pitches, where they also met with staff and pupils: "The pitches will provide a fantastic opportunity for more students and the local community to be involved in sports, with a particular aim of developing girls’ football. I would like to thank the Premier League & The FA Facilities Fund for the support they’ve provided for this project."
The new playing surfaces were made possible by a grant from the Premier League & The FA Facilities Fund, which is delivered by the Football Foundation.
The investment helped George Salter Academy to install the state-of-the-art pitches, which were officially opened by the Deputy Mayor of Sandwell, Cllr. Susan Eaves, in November 2017. The new playing surfaces have replaced the school’s existing sand-dressed artificial grass pitches, which had fallen into a state of disrepair due to their age.
The new all-weather facilities are in addition to the Academy’s two grass pitches, which also benefited from the Premier League & The FA Facilities grant. The project included surface and drainage improvement works for the full-size pitch and 9v9 pitch on-site, in addition to upgrading the 3G AGPs.
The project is already benefiting a number of users, not least of which is the Academy’s own pupils. Students and community members can take advantage of outreach sessions, such as Premier League Kicks, delivered on-site by the Albion Foundation – the charity arm of West Bromwich Albion FC.
Other users include the school’s two partner clubs, Tantany Lions FC and Greets Green Albion FC. Birmingham FA is also using the site for a range of sessions such as Safeguarding and Emergency Aid courses. The project has helped the school to provide the local area with state-of-the-art playing surfaces and users are making the most of the improved scheduling flexibility.
George Salter Academy were awarded a £462,000 grant from the Premier League & The FA Facilities Fund towards the project. The school also contributed £100,000 to the project, and were supported in their funding bid by their sponsor, Ormiston Academies Trust.
Birmingham FA and the Football Foundation helped the Academy to develop a five-year Football Development Plan, setting out a vision for grassroots football and improving participation on-site. The school’s previous facilities were already in high demand before the project, and the improved reliability of the all-weather pitches will support 14 new teams being introduced in the next five years. This will result in a 150% increase in overall football participation on-site.
Paul Thorogood, Chief Executive of the Football Foundation, said: "Grassroots sport plays an important role in communities across the UK, creating opportunities for people of all ages and backgrounds. That is why I am delighted that George Salter Academy has state-of-the-art 3G AGPs, thanks to investment from the Premier League & The FA Facilities Fund. I hope that Tom Watson MP enjoyed his tour of the all-weather pitches."
Tom Watson MP, who is also Deputy Leader of the Labour Party, said: "The George Salter Academy’s all-weather pitches are just excellent – I’m so pleased to have been invited for a tour of these superb facilities. It is great to see first-hand the effects that funding from the Premier League, The FA and the Government is having on community sports facilities.
I know how important grassroots football is, not just here in Sandwell, but across the country. It offers so much more than just a kick-about. It’s about making friends, having fun, knowing the importance of discipline on and off the pitch, learning how to win… and how to lose. These are proper meaningful skills for life… and you get to get fit in the process! The Premier League & The FA Facilities Fund, which is being delivered by the Football Foundation supporting projects like this across England, plays a vital role in making all this possible. It’s changing lives."
View the pictures from the visit by Tom Watson MP on Facebook
Join free Wates Summer Camp
There are some free, fully funded places (and your travel to and from the camp is also paid for) on the Wates Summer Camps (30 June - 5 July 2018, 28 July - 2 August 2018) for teenagers between 16 - 18.
It is a great camp which exposes young people to employment opportunities within Wates - the largest family run construction company. It’s not just about jobs on a site, they have a range of opportunities available and fund the camp to get young people thinking differently about employment.
The camp involves:
- Outward bound activities
- 5 nights paid for accommodation at a University
- All meals & transport
- Employability sessions
- Group projects
But be quick – there are 2 weeks of camp and with about 20 places left!
Fashion Show trip
On Wednesday 13th June, Year 9 Textiles students took front row seats at Sandwell Colleges Fashion Show.
The trip was a great opportunity for pupils to view works created by other creative minds and gain inspiration in preparation for their GCSE Textiles course work.
The fashion show was organised by Sandwell College students, who showcased a vast variety of works, ranging from fashion inspired by architecture, kimonos influenced by nature, high quality jackets with striking designs, the list goes on!
Students and staff from George Salter were thoroughly impressed by the quality and quantity of work produced and the lively atmosphere created by the students, celebrating all the hard work over the past academic year.
Trip to WaterWorld
Last Thursday 60 GSA students were rewarded for their amazing extra-curricular activity involvement with a trip to WaterWorld.
This reward programme began back in September 2017 when students were encouraged to attend as many extra-curricular clubs as possible and collect their stickers in return as evidence.
Whilst at WaterWorld all students had great fun going down the numerous slides available to them, with the Year 10 boys losing out on a race down the multi-coloured slides to Mr Bishton.
The students behaviour was impeccable with a member of the general public reinforcing this emphasising how polite and well mannered the GSA students were to both himself and his young toddler.
Excellent day out for all!
Festival of Voices
On Monday Students from GSA took part in the Summer Festival of Voices at the University of Wolverhampton which involved 4 schools from the local area coming together to perform songs that spanned the last 100 years.
The choir was backed by a live band as they sang their hearts out for the event. They also took part in workshops and rehearsals with Kevin Stannard who specialises in working with young choirs.
GSA Festival of Voices Choir had been rehearsing hard since March and were in fine voice on the day, singing with lots of expression and putting 100% into their performance.
Vote for GSA student in SHAPE final
Our very own MC Tiny aka Summer (yr 9) has made it through to the "SHAPE your talent" finals. We are so proud of you!
"SHAPE Your Talent" auditions took place during May 2018 at 6 local venues, with over 100 acts taking part.Talents ranged from singers, dancers, choirs, musicians, magicians and many more aged 8 to 19 years old.
Winners and wildcards have now been selected and it is your chance to vote for your favourite act. Voting is open until Thursday 21st June. Now to get voting MC Tiny!
"Hi my name is Summer Livingston AKA MC Tiny, I am 13 years old. I entered the talent show to show people that girls can rap just as well as boys and so people know it’s okay to follow your dreams and aim high. My ambition is to work in musical theatre when I am older as I love musicals and different types of theatre shows.
I also love Hamilton and Eminem (hence why I chose to combine the two songs). Rapping is my hobby and it’s something which I do in my spare time. I think people should vote for me because I may be tiny but I can rap and I have big dreams and I just want to make people happy with my raps.
I would like to be heard and inspire people to dream big just like me."
Regional Heat Mock Trial
Our keen lawyers in year 9 worked alongside our Law students, M. Khanom and A. Shan and took part in the Regional Heat Mock Trial at the Wolverhampton Crown Court this Saturday.
There were eight different schools competing for the one place to the finals. Unfortunately we did not make it to the finals but the students did a fantastic job during the trial.
Well done to all for getting this far and we hope that they will take this experience forward to their future and become successful lawyers.
Take part in our Pupil Premium 2018 survey
In order to plan the Pupil Premium spend more effectively for next year we would like to engage parents/ carers in this process. We would very much like to know how students and parents rate the Pupil Premium expenditure to date.
We would be most grateful if parents/ carers and students could complete the online Pupil Premium survey. This is an opportunity to rate the provision and also for any other comments about Pupil Premium to be made.
If you believe that something has had a big impact on improving student progress, please rate that criteria as 4 stars (Excellent); if it has contributed greatly, please rate it as a 3 stars (Very Good); if something had a good impact, please rate it 2 stars (Good) and if there has only been some limited impact from this provision, please rate it as 1 star (Fair).
The survey needs to be completed by Friday 8th June.
Chicane to perform at national dance finals!
Massive congratulations to "Chicane", who won the U.Dance Regional West Midlands platform and will be representing the West Midlands at the national platform this July in Ipswich!
Chicane is the Academy dance company extra curricular talent group of boys and girls in years 7-10.
In February, following a first time recorded application, they were unexpectedly selected to perform at the regional group platform of "U Dance 2018" by One Dance UK - a National leader in developing a stronger, more vibrant and diverse dance sector. This was held at the Birmingham Hippodrome and featured an exciting mix of dance genres and themes, celebrating some of the best young performers from the West Midlands.
Chicane competed against three other finalists; BOA (a selective Ormiston Performing Arts Academy!!), Kidderminster College and the Birmingham Centre for Advanced Training Dance company.
Chicane have been announced as the winners of the regional group and will now go on to represent the West Midlands at the National Festival taking place in Suffolk from 11-14 July 2018.
Following this victory, we are also able to form a partnership with DanceXchange, the Midlands main organisation for youth dance.
Well done to all students and teachers involved - we are very proud!
GSA @ BBC WiSTEM
On Thursday 26th April, some of our year 9 girls celebrated International Girls in ICT Day at the BBC mailbox in Birmingham as part of BBC School Report and BBC WiSTEM (Women in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics).
Held once a year, International Girls in ICT Day is a worldwide event co-ordinated by the International Telecommunications Union (ITU), a recognised agency of the United Nations based in Geneva. It aims to create a global environment that empowers and encourages girls and young women to consider careers in the field of ICTs. The day connected events taking place around the world and included:
- A Satellite workshop (looking at how satellites, radio, phone and internet works)
- Comparing analogue, digital and phone radio efficiency
- Creating games through coding and transferring to a micro-bit
- A tour of the BBC News studio for Midlands today, including the Blue Room and learning about the weather
It was great to see our students from GSA and Bartley Green connecting live with @ITU team in Geneva to share STEM career tips and celebrate Girls In ICT Day!
"I don’t normally like ICT or programming but when we actually did it, it changed my perpective": Jebisha and Nazia also talked to BBC West Midlands about spending the Girls in ICT Day with BBC WiSTEM and seeing how STEM plays a role in broadcasting and media careers!
View the pictures from BBC WiSTEM trip on Facebook
Mock trial competition success!
Magistrate David Warner attended our year 9 assembly to present certificates and trophy to students who participated in the Mock Trial competition in March where they secured a place at the regionals heat after coming second.
They are currently working extremely hard to prepare for another trial in May at the Wolverhampton Crown Court.
Good luck to all the students taking part.
Brilliant Club Success
A number of our students have successfully passed their final assessment of the Brilliant Club program: L. Aston, L. Reid, G. Kaur, B. Nasir, J. Rowley, A. Cottam, S. Rowley, R. Masih, J. Saternus
They have had a series of sessions with a university lecturer and completed a 2,000 word essay on gender and racial equality in film. This work has all been done in the students spare time.
They will all be attending a graduation ceremony at Warwick University.
Happy birthday, Shakespeare!
On Monday 23rd April, GSA staff celebrated the bard’s 454th birthday in style by dressing up as characters inspired by Shakespeare, including Lady Macbeth, Juliet Capulet, the Witches and Tudor peasants.
To celebrate, students took part in some Shakespeare quizzes. Did you know that we owe many of the phrases we use today to Shakespeare? Common day phrases such as "good riddance", "green-eyed monster" and "in a pickle" were first penned by the world famous playwright and poet. We also challenged the students to consider Shakespeare’s influence on the world around them today. For instance, did you know that Disney’s The Lion King is influenced by Hamlet?
The day was a great success and we hope it has enthused students with a renewed love and appreciation for William Shakespeare.
View the pictures from the Shakespeare Day on Facebook
GSA raises £826.47 for Sport Relief
The PE Department had a fantastic week promoting numerous activities that differed from our normal curriculum to raise money for such a great cause.
Below are some of the ways that we raised money in the Academy during Sport Relief week:
- Every pupil in years 7-10 completed a sponsored mile in their PE lesson which they could walk, jog or run (pupils had the option to do 3km and 5km as well should they want to).
- Sponsored Dance-a-thon where pupils Danced from 9am-2pm with no breaks
- Pay a donation to sponge the Teachers
- Dress up in red in PE lessons for 50p
- Girls completed a "Clubbercise" lesson where they had to work non stop for 50 minutes
- Boys completed a Basketball ‘dribble-a-thon’ where they had to dribble as far as they could in 50 minutes
- We did Interhouse competitions after school nearly every day and had hundreds of pupils participating.
- Step challenge: our pupils did 2,213,033 steps which roughly translates to just over 900 miles, or the distance from GSA to Kaliningrad in Russia
We have been educating the pupils in assemblies about what their money will help to achieve and speaking to them about some of the amazing projects you run to help disadvantaged children all over the world. A particular focus has been ‘mental health’ in our Academy as it is our job as educators to ensure pupils are aware of these issues, are not afraid to talk about them and know exactly where they can go to get support should they need it.
Asher Knight performs @GSA
Last week, our Year 7 and 8 students were treated to a performance from 21-year-old singer Asher Knight spreading an important message about anti-bullying.
Asher, from Bradford, is touring schools across the country as part of an anti-bullying campaign in partnership with children’s charity Barnardo’s.
It was a powerful performance from three singers who sang four songs with an anti- bullying message.
They spoke to students about the impact of bullying can have and wanted to ensure that students are confident in telling someone if they are being bullied or if they see anyone else being bullied. Asher also discussed his own experiences of bullying.
Jemima Walton from Ormiston Academies Trust said: "It is incredibly moving what he has to say on the subject and his performance was fantastic."
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)