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Local employers have been teaming up with Year 11 students from The Coleshill School as part of the academy’s annual ‘Practice Interview Day’.

Year 11 students ‘dressed to impress’ in smart business wear for their practice interviews.  Outside companies including:  Balfour Beatty, Compass, HS2, Network Rail, Powerfix Connections Ltd, Marriott Hotels, Willmott Dixon, RPS Group, University of Birmingham, NHS, British Army, Barclays Bank, Royal Navy, Robert Walters Group Recruitment, Clive Mark, together with a selection of independent professionals, conducted the interviews which students had prepared for by completing formal application forms.  The 20 minute interviews were conducted just like ‘the real thing’ with structured questions about themselves including their predicted grades, outside interests and work experience.

For most of the students it was their first interview and a really important and valuable learning experience for them.  Feedback from the potential employers was really positive, including:

“Really impressed by the enthusiasm of all the students, especially those who had researched the company”.

“A great day supporting young people starting out into the big wide world!”

“Another terrific success! Students really shining and carrying themselves with maturity. Lots of good conversations with lots of high performers!”

“It was a real pleasure meeting the bright and charming students. Many were interested in the forces but I can see big things for some of them at HS2 The Midland’s Engine”.

Eileen Bishop, Careers Lead for the school commented “We are truly committed to equipping our students with the skills they will need to ensure a bright future awaits them.”

Headteacher Ian Smith-Childs said: “Our students really benefit from taking part in the interviews, especially with such a crucial life changing time ahead.  They took feedback and considered this to support them with their future endeavours.  We would like to thank all the companies and their representatives for taking part and we look forward to welcoming them back to school in the future.  A special thank you to Chartwells (Compass) who kindly sponsored the event and provided an excellent lunch for  our guests.”

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On Monday 10th February 2020 a group of Year 9 boys from The Coleshill School organised a penalty shootout event. During lunch break students paid £1.00 to take part in the penalty shootout in the Leisure Centre.  If students scored all 3 goals they won an early lunch pass.

Ian Smith-Childs, Headteacher commented: “The boys came up with the idea to raise money for charity themselves and organised the event with very little input from members of staff.  Despite very severe weather at lunchtime on Monday, they raised £40.00 for their chosen charity Cancer Research.  We are so proud of these boys who have worked together as a team and organised such a great event for a worthwhile cause.”


Headteacher’s Blog - 24th January 2020

Coleshill’s Creative Flair

There has been much to celebrate in our creative and practical subjects in recent weeks.  We had the amazing school production of ‘Alice in Wonderland’, students performing at the Christmas markets and some outstanding performances by our sports teams.  Being active and taking part in creative subjects and experiences is so important in ensuring our young people become well-rounded members of society as well as supporting their health and well-being.

Yesterday our GCSE Dance students were treated to a performance and workshop with the widely acclaimed Motionhouse dance company.  Two dancers performed a duet of astonishing power and beauty, based around the theme of space exploration. For many of the students this will have been their first experience of live contemporary dance up close.  I watched the performance myself and was in awe of the skills these amazing dancers displayed.  The students then worked on developing their own routines, under the guidance of the Motionhouse team and Miss Holland who organised the event. Students told me they had thoroughly enjoyed the experience.

We have welcomed hundreds of primary school children over the last two weeks in events organised by School Games and supported by our Sports Leaders.  I always enjoy chatting with the Year 3 and 4 students about the activities and they are always very proud of themselves!  In turn I am immensely proud of our fantastic Sports Leaders who always demonstrate maturity and confidence in the way they organise and work with the younger students.

We had an X Factor style judging competition in our Leadership Team meeting recently to decide the winner of the 500 year T-shirt competition organised by our fabulous Art department.  The idea is that we will produce 500 T-shirts and get a drone camera shot as part of our 500 year celebrations!  It was a very difficult decision with lots of very creative entries.  The winner was Madison’s design, with close runners-up Jessica and Emily.  Well done to these students and all who entered the competition.

So, at the start of a new decade, maybe students can challenge themselves to consider what they are going to do to develop their creative flair in 2020 and make their lives a richer experience in doing so.

500Motionhouse 1Motionhouse 3Motionhouse 4Primary Festival

Headteacher’s Blog – 31st January 2020

The importance of curriculum

What is the curriculum?

I have just come out of assembly with Year 8.  It was an important moment for these students as we introduced them to how their curriculum will be shaped over the coming years.  This made me think of the importance of continuing to share with families the work we are doing on ensuring our curriculum is the best it can be for our students, in our context.

The first question we answered was ‘What is the curriculum?’.  The curriculum is made up of the knowledge and experiences that learners will received beyond their home environment.  If you have seen the curriculum information on our website you will know that we are developing a “Knowledge Engaged” curriculum, which means a mix of knowledge and skills.  https://www.thecoleshillschool.org/parents/curriculum

We are working with primary and secondary expert teachers from across The Arthur Terry Learning Partnership to develop this curriculum, with History, Science and Modern Foreign Languages currently in place in Year 7 and all subjects from next year.  This curriculum is designed to support students to develop their meta-cognitive (thinking and memory) skills, develop independence and contribute positively to society and the wider world.  We are passionate about ensuring that students have access to a wide range of curriculum experiences both inside and outside of the classroom.  This will help them develop an understanding of the subjects they are learning about in depth and help them develop a sense of curiosity, as well as learning about the wider world and their place in it. 

Year 8 Curriculum Choices (Year 8 families will receive a separate letter today)

So what does this mean for our Year 8 students, who are about to make some decisions about the next stage in their education journey?

It means that students in Year 8 will be able to make some choices about the subjects they study in greater depth in Year 9, some of which they will go onto study in Year 10 and 11 for GCSE/BTEC.  It is important that students have a broad and balanced curriculum at this stage in their education and so, along with the core subjects of English, Maths, Science, PE and RE, all students will continue to study the Modern Foreign Language they have studied in Year 8.  So far students will only have had one and half school years of languages with our fabulous languages teachers and so we want them to continue to develop their understanding and appreciation of languages until at least the end of Year 9.  On the day we leave the European Union it is more important than ever that we work hard to keep students’ awareness of the world around them as broad and rich as possible.

All students who start their curriculum in Year 9 2020 will also study a humanities option of either Geography or History and a creative option, taken from Art, Dance, Drama, Food, Music, Technology (Resistant Materials or Textiles).  It is so important that students have an opportunity to continue to develop their creative skills, which support them in range of ways but also ensure they continue to develop as Coleshill Learners within the creative sphere. Students will then have the choice of two additional subjects to study in further depth as well.

From the five options chosen, students will be able to then rank their subjects in preference during Year 9, with the plan being they continue four option subjects from Year 9 into 10 at GCSE/BTEC.

Outside of the main curriculum in lessons there is a lot going on….

To support students’ creativity in the current Year 9 we will be working towards Arts Mark; this is a national award which recognises the school’s work in developing the arts.  All students in Year 9 will be having days off timetable to work on aspects of Music, Dance, Drama and Art, based around themes.  This will be in combination with existing clubs and activities within these curriculum areas.

STEM is a curriculum area of the school which has gone from strength over the last few years.  We recently had a fantastic day with ‘Solutions for the Planet’ where Year 8 students worked together to develop ideas for how to tackle climate change.  We have a flourishing STEM club after school and lots of amazing STEM activities happening in lessons.

Trips and visits form a big part of our curriculum, with students being given opportunities to take part in a range of activities.  Some of these are local trips, such as a Jewellery Workshop in the Jewellery Quarter, a visit to a local Construction Site for Year 9 students and a visit to Mira Technology Park for Year 10 students.  Other trips are more further afield, such as the residential trip to PGL in Lincoln for Year 7, a visit to the Royal Shakespeare Company in Stratford Upon Avon and we even have international trips including Euro Disney for Year 8, Krakow including a visit to Auschwitz for Year 9 and for the first time a team of Year 11 and Sixth Form students going to Tanzania on World Challenge in July.

Curriculum is also about developing The Coleshill Learner and a big part of that for our students is leadership.  Our fantastic Duke of Edinburgh scheme is a good example of this.  Last year over 150 students achieved their Bronze award and this year and we have a number of students going for Silver.  The organisation and resilience needed to complete the expeditions is testament to the hard work of these students and the staff who work with them.

So what is the curriculum? It is everything we do.  It is exciting, it is ever changing and we are always finding new ways to make it the best that it can be to suit the needs of the students who we work with, who themselves are growing up in a world which is very different to the one we grew up in and will require them to have very different knowledge and skills to be successful and happy citizens.

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Headteacher’s Blog - 17th January 2020

Celebrating The Coleshill Learner

This week we have had assemblies reminding students that the actions they take reflect the person they are.  We believe that all students should strive to be the best they can be and to develop the skills of The Coleshill Learner, as shown below.

The Coleshill Learner Wheel Media Collective

A key aspect of being a Coleshill Learner is taking an active role in ensuring our school community is a place that all of us can thrive in and enjoy. As The Wilson Block reaches completion, we have talked with students this week about respecting and valuing the facilities in school.  We should all be proud of our school environment and do all we can to keep it litter free and looking its best.

Another element of being a Coleshill Learner is being prepared.  This includes being on time for every lesson and having the right equipment.  As we start a new term can I ask you to please work with your child to ensure they are on time to school and have the correct equipment.  The roads around our school are always busy in the morning so please so leave enough time to drop off if driving, or encourage your child to get an earlier bus if they are finding their current one is making them late.  We will be imposing increased levels of sanctions in the coming weeks if students are late to school or lessons, as good attendance and punctuality are the bedrocks of all forms of education and work.

As we continue to work on The Coleshill Learner with our students, there are a range of rewards being given out. I was particularly proud to attend the Year 11 annual awards evening at The Town Hall on Tuesday evening.  This is a prestigious event in which we reward Year 11 students who have been nominated by their subject teachers and also those who have been given special awards.  Congratulations to all the students who won subject awards.  In addition to these awards we were delighted Adam Richardson, Mayor of Coleshill, was able to present Amy with the Wilson Award for her outstanding effort and determination to succeed in Year 11 and Zac with a Special Recognition Award for his resilience and progress.  Ashleigh won my Headteacher Award for her outstanding approach to lessons and study leading to academic excellence; she is a true Coleshill Learner!

In Year 7 we had a number of students this week achieve their Bronze and Silver certificates for completing extra-curricular activities.  These students are well on the way to being Coleshill Learners.

As ever, the week has been full of magic moments.  I have just watched a sensational dance performance from two Year 10 girls. Year 9 have been enjoying reading ‘Lord of The Flies’ with their English teachers. Year 7 have been loving their French lessons and spoke very positively in a student voice session yesterday. In a Year 7 drama lesson yesterday I was amazed by the knowledge of the students about Commedia del Arte, something we used to do in Year 9!  Sixth Form students have been mentoring and teaching Year 11 students in maths and science.  Yesterday I watched a mix of Year 10 and Year 8 students leading an event for primary school children in our Leisure Centre with fantastic leadership skills.

Our students are amazing. Let’s work together to ensure that each and every one of them can develop the skills of The Coleshill Learner, so we can celebrate their success in the future.

 Awards 21  Awards 20

Year 11 Awards Evening

Sports Leadership Academy Students

 Awards 19  Leaders

Year 7 receiveing their Bronze and Silver Children’s University Certificates