Humour, Humanity and Enjoyment of Learning

Our Principal Miss Hughes-Williams rounds off a great academic year with a reminder of how well our students have done in and out of school:

Time once again for reflection and evaluation at the end of another successful school year.  Our recent awards evenings, achievement assemblies and tutor time have provided space to look back over the year and to celebrate our students’ hard work and enjoyment of learning.  Listening to our staffs’ glowing citations in a range of contexts, celebrating our students’ consistent hard work, courage in the face of challenge, determination to master new skills, creativity of thought, imagination and the genuine desire to succeed – it struck me just how deeply rooted the culture of Heart of England is in our shared core values.  What was also wonderful was the manner in which this success was characterised as being achieved; through kindness and the capacity to work humbly alone and with others.

students racing on track
Athletics meeting

It is not just inside our classrooms that children are excelling. Sport is moving from strength to strength. This term we have seen wonderful performances from our students representing the school in athletics, tennis and golf (where we have a very specific Year 8 golfing hero). As ever we were fully represented at all the Solihull Borough rounders tournaments where our students demonstrated an admirable determination to do their best. Likewise in tennis, we fielded squads who matched their opponents and did the school proud in their representation in both singles and doubles.  We had fifteen medallists at the Solihull Athletics Championships on a day in that saw us finishing third overall in the Year 9 & 10 boys competition and sixth on the day overall out of sixteen schools. Whilst there is still work to be done we have seen big improvements on the last few years. A whole layer of sporting talent was unearthed this year and as our new Curriculum Leader for PE said: “students really shone against the best the borough had to offer in competition and it was an absolute delight to be part of it, seeing students conducting themselves so fantastically and achieving great times and distances in their events. One of our students broke school and borough records in the 100m and 200m and represented West Midlands Schools at the national Championships and looking forward, another has been selected to represent England at the 2019 Judo Commonwealth Games taking place at the end of September.”

Photo of presentation
Matthew, Annabel and Charlie Biology Olympiad certificate presentation

In addition to glittering success in public speaking competitions at KS3, our Year 13 students have taken part in their first ever Biology Olympiad with two gaining bronze and a third a highly commended. There have also been Mathematics awards galore in the latest round of the UKMT’s National Maths Challenges.  Educational visits have been rich and varied: opportunities to visit Cern, cultural visits to France for KS3 students, language exchanges, opportunities to perform at the Albert Hall, Symphony Hall and the Abbey Road Studios, Geography and Biology field trips, visits to art galleries and libraries and of course the ever growing participation in Duke of Edinburgh bronze and silver (gold will return next year) to mention but a sample.

It has been an industrious year with many firsts brought to life with humour and humanity.  Grateful thanks to our staff, governors, PTA, parents, carers and broader communities for all your hard work and tireless support and for helping to make our school the rare and great place it is. On a final note, in the whole school assembly our new Head Girl and Head Boy invited students to consider the holidays as a chance to both rest and prepare for the challenges and adventures to come next term.  We also challenged our students to spend some time this summer off-line and to enjoy being perfectly present as they relax on holiday with friends and family.  In our age of rapid responses and the expectation of an instant reply I am reminded of Mr Bennett in Pride and Prejudice who states: “About a month ago I received this letter, and about a fortnight ago I answered it, for I thought it a case of some delicacy, and requiring early attention.”   A salutary thought! I wish you a relaxing and safe holiday with some time unplugged.

Miss Hughes-Williams