This week saw our doors opening to welcome prospective students and parents/carers who are looking at their options for the next step to Year 7 in September 2024. Open Evening is an opportunity to meet students and teachers and experience the warm atmosphere of Heart of England.
Visitors were welcomed by staff and students and guided into the hall where they were entertained on the piano by students Harry, Ben and Michalina whilst they waited for events to begin.
Opening the evening with a keynote speech, our Principal Ms Hughes-Williams expressed the honesty and openness of our offer and school community by quoting Harper Lee: “As you grow up, always tell the truth…” Visitors were invited to take it all in, speak to the students and staff and really get to see who we really are.
She went on to say that we live in a very risk-averse age but that as we move further from recent restrictions where we relied on technology to provide us with a particular and narrower view of the world, now was time for openness, adventure and joy; to break the ‘algorithmic’ view we are served and experience reality. This is what our open evening is about – getting to know us, a chance to try new things, to be open to possibility.
The head students also presented their thoughts on their experiences at Heart of England. Both spoke about the aspect of community as a hallmark of our school. Head Boy Jacob said: “That sense of freedom and community which I have thrived on during my time at Heart of England has allowed me to look past my worries and anxieties and break free from what was holding me back.”
Summer, our Head Girl endorses what Jacob says about community: “Heart of England school, a community in itself, will provide you with many opportunities, one of which is being a part of that community. We as a school also notice that the wider community around us supports our school and we strive to do the same for them.” She also spoke of the chances and new experiences that this school opens for young people not least of which are explosions and literally making your hair standing on end in science!
Following on from the speeches, Vice Principal Mr Bennett invited visitors to explore the school, take part in the activities and enjoy talking to our existing students and tour guides. There was much to see with many displays, demonstrations and practical activities to take part in around the school.
Many departments offered something active to try and the atmosphere was very exciting. The science labs were very busy with experiments with electricity, wave tanks, chemical reactions and dissections. Ms Beer had quite a crowd around her when visitors were invited to inflate sheep’s lungs with a pump and touch its heart.
There were art demonstrations to take part in and an informative exhibition of religious artifacts by the Religious Studies department. The Modern Foreign Languages area also put on an impressive display as did Product Design. All departments were on show welcoming visitors and answering many questions. All in all, it was a great opportunity for our younger visitors to get to see what they would be learning about when they join us in Year 7.
The ever-changing and ever-evolving nature of education was a theme Ms Hughes-Williams spoke of in her presentation. “We are deliberate about the things we do in our school,” she said, “and it’s all about what is written above the door when you come in – ‘Creating Futures.’”
Open Evening Gallery
A selection of photos of the events of Open Evening. Click on pictures for more detail.